Monday, June 14, 2004

Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson This is a short and very readable biography of President Wilson. It is from USA Presidents.

From the site:

Dr. Thomas Woodrow Wilson ( December 28 , 1856 – February 3 , 1924 ) was the 28th ( 1913 - 1921 ) President of the United States . He was the second Democrat to serve two consecutive terms in the White House after Andrew Jackson.

Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia , with ancestry in Strabane , Northern Ireland . He grew up in Augusta, Georgia .

Wilson attended Davidson College for one year and then transferred to Princeton University , graduating in 1879 .He was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternal organization . Afterward, Wilson studied law at the University of Virginia for one year. After completing and publishing his dissertation, Congressional Government, in 1886 , he received his Ph.D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University . Wilson remains the only American president to have earned a doctoral degree.

Academic career

Wilson served on the faculties of Bryn Mawr College and Wesleyan University before joining the Princeton faculty as professor of jurisprudence and political economy in 1890 . A popular teacher and respected scholar, Wilson delivered an oration at Princeton's sesquicentennial celebration ( 1896 ) entitled "Princeton in the Nation's Service." In this famous speech, he outlined his vision of the university in a democratic nation, calling on institutions of higher learning "to illuminate duty by every lesson that can be drawn out of the past."

Woodrow Wilson was unanimously elected president of Princeton on June 9 , 1902 . In his inaugural address as Princeton's president, Wilson developed these themes, attempting to strike a balance that would please both populists and aristocrats in the audience.

As president, Wilson began a fund-raising campaign to bolster the university corporation. The curriculum guidelines he developed during his tenure as president of Princeton proved among the most important innovations in the field of higher education. He instituted the now common system of core requirements followed by two years of concentration in a selected area. When he attempted to curtail the influence of the elitist "social clubs," however, Wilson met with resistance from trustees and potential donors. He believed the system was smothering the intellectual and moral life of the undergraduates. Opposition from wealthy and powerful alumni further convinced Wilson of the undesirability of exclusiveness and moved him towards a more populist position in his politics.

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