Truman, David B. (David Bicknell), 1913-2003

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1913-06-01
Death 2003-08-28
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

David Bicknell Truman, a political scientist and college and university administrator, was born on June 1, 1913, in Evanston, Illinois to Malcolm George Truman and Jane Mackintosh Truman. He graduated from Evanston High School in 1931 and attended Amherst College, graduating with a B.A. degree in 1935. He received his M.A. (1936) and Ph.D. (1939) in political science from the University of Chicago. On February 4, 1939 he married Elinor Jane Griffenhagen. They had a son, Edwin Malcolm Truman. After serving in the United States Navy during World War II and participating in the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of the Pacific Theater in 1945-1946, Truman taught political science at Bennington College (1939-1941), Cornell University (1941-1944), Harvard University (1946-1947) and Williams College (1947-1951). He began teaching at Columbia University in 1951, where he also served as the Dean from 1963-1967 and Vice President and Provost from 1967-1969 (a position he held during the student-led takeover of that institution). In 1969, he resigned from Columbia to become president of Mount Holyoke College. Achievements and events during his administration included Mount Holyoke's recommitment to remaining a college for women; revisions to the curriculum that included the formation of the Black Studies Department and numerous interdepartmental and interdisciplinary programs; changes in regulations concerning male guests in dormitories and alcohol use by students; the strengthening of cooperative relationships among the Five Colleges (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst); the creation of a Black Cultural Center; and the construction of the Art Building and Willits-Hallowell Center. Truman retired from Mount Holyoke in 1978 and served as president of the Russell Sage Foundation, from 1978-1979. During his career, Truman wrote and published extensively and was an active member of several educational organizations and societies, including the American Political Science Association, the American Philosophical Society, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He died on August 28, 2003 in Sarasota, Florida at the age of ninety.

From the guide to the David Bicknell Truman Papers MS 0847., 1921, 1935-1999, 2004, (Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections)

College administrator.

From the description of Oral history interview with David Bicknell Truman, 1968. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 86158540

From the description of Reminiscences of David Bicknell Truman: oral history, 1968. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122527916

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Subjects:

  • Lectures
  • Student movements
  • College students--New York (State)--New York--Political activity
  • Autobiographies
  • Civil rights demonstrations
  • College administrators--Interviews
  • United States Strategic Bombing Survey
  • Women college students--Massachusetts--South Hadley
  • Speeches
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--New York (State)--New York
  • Cold War
  • Germany--History--1945-
  • Political scientists--United States
  • Student-administrator relationships--New York (State)--New York
  • Student strikes
  • Letters
  • Universities and colleges--Administration

Occupations:

not available for this record

Places:

  • New York (State)--New York (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)
  • Italy (as recorded)
  • Switzerland (as recorded)
  • Japan (as recorded)
  • Belgium (as recorded)
  • Germany (as recorded)
  • France (as recorded)
  • New York (State)--New York (as recorded)
  • Austria (as recorded)