1872-1883: The Early Years

Rev. James Kennedy

Rev. James Kennedy

Rev. Dr. James F. Kennedy, Vice-President, Acting President (1872-1876)

Rev. Dr. Kennedy was Vice President during President Archibald's term and then served as acting president between Archibald's resignation and President Wylie's inauguration.

 Rev. Dr. George Archibald (1873-1874)

Rev. Dr. Archibald was educated at Jefferson College, class of 1847. He went on to teach at Danville Theological Seminary. When the Seminary temporarily closed, Archibald accepted the position of president at Wilson College. He was inaugurated on Sept. 11, 1874. He remained at Wilson for only one year. When the Seminary reopened in 1874, Archibald decided to return to his former position. He resigned on June 23, 1874.

Rev. Mr. W.T. Wylie, President-Elect (1875-1876), President (1876-1878)

While President, Rev. Wylie reorganized the college curriculum and tried to make a greater distinction between work at the college level and at the secondary level. He also sought to cap enrollment at 75 students (a limit he did not reach) and instituted housekeeping courses for non-academic courses. He resigned in 1878.

Rev. Dr. T.H. Robinson, President Pro Tem (1878-1881) & Lady Principal Abby Goodsell

While Rev. Robinson was in charge, management of the College was largely given to Lady Principal Abby Goodsell. Ms. Goodsell came to Wilson from the vice lady principalship at Vassar, her alma mater. From 1877-1881 she served as Lady Principal of Wilson. While at Wilson, she started the Alumnae Association. Ms. Goodsell ultimately left Wilson to take the same position at Vassar, where she worked from 1881-1891 until she resigned due to illness. She died on Sept. 19, 1893.

Rev. Dr. J.C. Caldwell (1881-1883)

Rev. Caldwell established a School of Music in 1881 and a special course in Fine Arts in 1882. He resigned in 1883.

1872-1883: The Early Years