1936-1970: Paul Swain Havens
Paul Swain Havens was born in Lawrenceville, New Jersey on Sept. 9, 1903. His mother, Eliszabeth Swain Havens, was a graduate of Wilson's class of 1895. Havens attended Princeton University, where he graduated as valedictorian and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, before earning his doctorate as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford from 1925-1928.
Before ascending to Wilson's presidency, Havens taught at Princeton and served as an assistant professor at Scripps College. On May 22, 1937, Havens was inaugurated as Wilson's president at the youthful age of 33, making him one of the youngest college presidents in the country.
As College President for 34 years, Havens had plenty of time to leave his mark on Wilson. During his time, the College saw a 40% increase in faculty and improvement of faculty benefits. He established funds to bring distinguished visitors on campus as well as president's and other prizes to recognize high student scholastic achievement. Affectionately known to students as "Prexy", Havens increased the number of courses offered, created Parents' Weekend in 1941, expanded the library, and increased available financial aid to students. He established a campus bookstore, a Placement Office, a Development Office, a Public Relations Office, and a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.
Additionally, he acquired more campus property for a total of 101 acres. He oversaw the addition of 15 buildings including Prentis, Davison, Disert, McElwain, and Rosenkrans dorms; Laird Hall; Sharpe House (now the President's residence); French, German, and Spanish houses; two fine arts studios, and a Science Center.
President Havens passed away on August 22, 1980.