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Edgar C. Cumings

Ninth President of Coe College (1950-1951)

Birth: Unknown
Death: Unknown
Educational Background: A.B., Indiana University, 1931; M.A., Indiana University, 1932; Ph. D., University of Chicago, 1936
Teaching Experience:
Assistant Professor of German, University of Rochester in Rochester, NY, 1936-1943
Ministerial Experience:
Administrative Experience: 
Assistant Director of Extension, Indiana University, 1945-46; President, Canterbury College, Danville, Indiana, 1946-48; Dean, Depauw University, 1958-50; Vice-President, Coe College, 1950
Post-Coe Career:
"Federal duties"

From the Coe College Courier, Nov 1950, Vol. 51, No. 2

Dr. Edgar C. Cumings assumed the presidency of Coe College on October 12.

Named vice-president of the college in May, the 40-year-old Indiana educator was designated by the Coe board of trustees to succeed Dr. Byron Hollinshead on his resignation as president in July.

Dr. Cumings came to Coe from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where he was dean of the university and acting president during the illness of President Clyde Wildman.

His previous college experience has included the presidency of Canterbury College in Danville, Indiana, and the administrative posts at the University of Rochester and Indiana University.

"Dr. Cumings' qualifications for the eventual presidency of Coe had been considered by Dr. Hollinshead and the trustees in March when Dr. Cumings first came to Cedar Rapids for the interviews," said Arthur Poe, chairman of the board.

"At that time it was decided Dr. Cumings should be brought to Coe as vice-president of the college and as a possible candidate for the presidency at such time as Dr. Hollinshead might decide to retire from his duties as head of the institution."

"Dr. Cumings' appointment is the result of a long search for a man of his presidential caliber."

A native of Bloomington, Indiana, the new president was graduated from Indiana university in 1931, and received the M.A. degree from the same institution in 1932.

After a year's study at the University of Leipzig in Germany, he attended the University of Chicago graduate school, receiving the Ph.D. in Germanic languages and literature there in 1936.

Dr. Cumings served as instructor and assistant professor of German and as administrative assistant at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York, from 1936 to 1943.

He was acting dean of the college for men during the summer of 1942.

From 1943 to 1945, Dr. Cumings served with the U.S. Navy.  He was attached to the war orientation office of the U.S. Naval Training center, Bainbridge, Maryland.

The new president served as assistant to the director of the Indiana university extension division in 1945 and 1946.

From 1946 to 1948 he was president of Canterbury college in Danville, Indiana. In the fall of 1948 he was appointed dean of the university at DePauw University.

Dr. Cumings is a member of Phi Beta Kappa honorary scholastic fraternity, and of Sigma Alpha Epsilon social fraternity.

He also holds membership in the National Education association, the North Central association, and the American Association of University Professors, the Modern Language association, the Indiana Conference on Higher Education, the Society for the Advancement of Education, and several other professional organizations.

Dr. Cumings has contributed to "School and Society," "The Churchman," "The Germanic Review," "The American Journal of Folklore," and other publications.

The biography of Coe's new president is included in "Who's Who in American Education," "The Biographical Directory of American Scholars," and the yearbook of Phi Beta Kappa.

Dr. and Mrs. Cumings have two children, Robert, 10, and Bruce, 5.

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