1915-1936: Ethelbert Warfield

President Ethelbert D. Warfield

Dr. Ethelbert Dudley Warfield

Dr. Warfield was born in Lexington, KY in 1861. He was educated at the University of Kentucky before completing his BA at Princeton in 1882 (later returning to receive his MA). He spent the academic year of 1882-1883 at Oxford, where he specialized in constitutional history. In 1885 he graduated from Columbia University with a law degree. He was ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church in 1899.

At the age of 27, Warfield became president of Miami University of Ohio--the youngest college president up to that time. From 1891-1914 he served as president of Lafayette College, before becoming President of Wilson.

One of Wilson's longest serving Presidents, Dr. Warfield led the College for 47 years. During that time, he supported closer ties with the Presbyterian Church, granted more scholarships, doubled enrollment numbers, and increased course offerings in the sciences.

Warfield's presidency coincided with the first World War. He encouraged students to remain in College despite the temptation to leave. When a serious influenza epidemic swept the nation, Wilson remained largely untouched - a fact attributed to Warfield's emphasis on physical fitness that included regular drills, marches, and other exercises.

During his presidency, the campus expanded to include a power plant, swimming pool, the library, Riddle Hall, and the Recitation Hall (since renamed in his honor as Warfield Hall).

President Warfield died on July 6, 1936. 

1915-1936: Ethelbert Warfield