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Byron Hollinshead

Eighth President of Coe College (1945-1950)

Date Unknown in Medford, New Jersey
Educational Background:
Brown University; M.A., Bucknell University
Teaching Experience:
Professor, Bucknell University, 1928-1934
Administrative Experience: 
President, Keystone College, 1935-1945
Key events/accomplishments during administration:
Planning for the construction of Hickok Hall; Fundraising for Sinclair Memorial Chapel re-buidling; Coe establishes Phi Beta Kappa Chapter


"President Hollinshead Resigns" from the Coe College Courier, August 1950, Vol. 50, No. 8

The resignation of President Byron S. Hollinshead has been accepted by the Coe board of trustees.  In announcing his resignation, to become effective not after Jan. 1, 1951, Dr. Hollinshead pointed out that to those closely associated with him "it has been no secret that I have long wished to escape the weight of responsibility and the physical demands made by this college presidency."

"About a year ago I asked the board to select a vice-president who might possibly succeed me as president of Coe. We now have a vice-president.  I have therefore asked the board to release me.  As soon as my work here is concluded I expect to take a long vacation for I am very tired.  Sometime next spring or summer I shall locate to another section of the country.  I have been a college president for 16 years, and a college administrator or teacher for 22.  Only those who have done comparable work in the field of education over a similiar period can appreciate what that means."

"One regret at leaving now that I will not be here through the Coe centennial.  However, much of the centennial planning will have been completed by early fall.  My going, under those circumstances, will be no great handicap to those who carry on the work." 

"On the other hand, our friends will fully understand that an important phase of the work here has been completed, and that to stay longer would be contrary to plans we have been anxious to carry out for some time."

When Mr. Hollinshead's resignation was announced on July 11, Arthur Poe, chairman of the board of trustees, declared that the college was fortunate to have had Dr. Hollinshead.

"He has served the institution faithfully and well," Poe declared, "and he will be missed by all of us who have a deep interest in the college."

"For five years we have made heavy demands on President Hollinshead's energy.  When he arrived to take over his duties here the college was inadequately housed as regards classrooms, our resources were not the best."

"G.I.’s were returning to tax the capacities of the faculty, staff, and physical plant.  There were other problems of a pressing nature, not the least of which was the destruction of the Sinclair Memorial chapel by fire in 1947."

Major Problems Solved

"Now, five years later, the skies at Coe are reasonably clear.  Major problems have been largely solved.  Hickok Hall, the new classroom building, will be dedicated this fall; work has begun on the new chapel, plans have been drawn for the new Memorial Union."

"As the figures stand today, a substantial increase in the freshman enrollment is indicated.  Athletic prospects are better than they have been for several years.  We have been honored being awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, a tremendously important asset educationally."

"President Hollinshead has every right to look with great pride on what has been accomplished during his tenure.  We are fortunate to have had him as long as we have."

Praises Presidential Record

Community regret over Dr. Hollinshead's action was expressed promptly in a Cedar Rapids Gazette editorial, citing the "youthful and dynamic spirit he has injected into the institution and has managed to maintain."

"It attests also to the breakneck pace of the postwar years which have pelted Coe, along with most other liberal arts colleges of its class, with a steady barrage of difficult problems."

"It has seemed to us that President Hollinshead has faced and met those problems in an unusually capable manner."

"It is our impression that during the period of his administration despite the obstacles that have plagued institutions of higher learning generally, the caliber of both the student body and the faculty at Coe has been raised appreciably."

“We feel sure that he will make his mark in whatever he undertakes and that a great deal more will be heard of him in the future.”

Born at Medford, New Jersey, Dr. Hollinshead was graduated from Brown university and received his master of arts degree from Bucknell university. He holds the honorary doctor of laws from Grinnell.

From 1928 to 1934 he was a member of the Bucknell faculty.  He served as president of Keystone college in La Plume, PA, from 1935 to 1945 when he came to Coe.  He has also served as visiting professor at the University of California and at Harvard University.

Prominent Educator

In 1934 he was given a leave of absence from Keystone to serve as the only full-time member of the Harvard University committee on "The Objectives of a General Education in a Free Society," a report which has had wide influence in educational circles.

During his presidency at Keystone, Dr. Hollinshead also served as consultant on the Rockefeller General Education Board of New York, and has been a member of the American Council on Education committee on Relationships between Higher Education and the Federal Government. 

Recognized as a champion for the small liberal college, Dr. Hollinshead has written widely in the educational field, holds membership in Sigma Tau Delta, Pi Delta Epsilon, Phi Kappa Phi and Delta Upsilon.

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