Lovett, Edgar Odell, 1871-1957

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1871-04-14
Death 1957-08-13
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Edgar Odell Lovett, mathematics professor and president of Rice Institute (now Rice University), was born in Shreve, Ohio, on April 14, 1871, the son of Zephania and Maria Elizabeth (Spreng) Lovett. After graduating from Shreve High School he entered Bethany College, Bethany, West Virginia, where he graduated in 1890 at the age of nineteen. From 1890 until 1892 he was professor of mathematics at West Kentucky College; in 1892 he became an instructor at the University of Virginia, where he continued his studies and received the degree of M.A. and Ph.D. in 1895. The following year he studied in Europe at the universities of Christiana and Leipzig; he received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the latter in 1896. In 1897 Lovett lectured at Johns Hopkins University and the universities of Virginia and Chicago. In September of that year he became instructor in mathematics at Princeton University. He was promoted to assistant professor and head of the Department of Mathematics and Astronomy at Princeton.

In 1907 he was asked to head Rice Institute, then being planned at Houston; he was recommended for the post by Woodrow Wilson, then president of Princeton. He accepted in 1908, moved to Houston, and was formally inaugurated as the first president of the institute on October 12, 1912; he continued in this capacity until his retirement on March 1, 1946. Thereafter, he was associated with Rice as president emeritus, director, and consultant.

He was a member of many learned societies, including Phi Beta Kappa, the London Mathematical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Circolo Matematico di Palermo, Societe Mathematique de France, and the Royal Astronomical Society. The degree of L.L.D. was conferred on him by Drake University, Tulane University, Baylor University, and Bethany; that of Sc.D. was conferred upon him by Colorado College. In 1898 Lovett married Mary Ellen Hale of Mayfield, Kentucky; they had two daughters and two sons. He died on August 13, 1957, and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Houston.

Excerpted from The New Handbook of Texas, vol. 4, 1996. 308.

From the guide to the President E. O. Lovett - Personal Papers, MS 60., 1871-1957, Bulk Dates 1908-1946, (Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX)

Edgar Odell Lovett (1871-1957), mathematics professor and president of Rice Institute (now Rice University), was born in Shreve, Ohio, on April 14, 1871. After graduating from Shreve High School he entered Bethany College, Bethany, WV, where he graduated in 1890. From 1890 until 1892 he was professor of mathematics at West Kentucky College; in 1892 he became an instructor at the University of Virginia, where he continued his studies and received degrees of M.A. and Ph.D. in 1895. The following year he studied in Europe and received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Leipzig in 1896. In 1897 Lovett lectured at Johns Hopkins University and the universities of Virginia and Chicago, and became instructor in mathematics at Princeton University in September. He was promoted to assistant professor of mathematis in 1898 and from 1900 to 1905 held the rank of professor. From 1905 to 1908 he was both professor and head of the Department of Mathematics and Astronomy at Princeton.

In 1907 he was asked to head Rice Institute, Houston, being recommended for the post by Woodrow Wilson, then president of Princeton. He accepted in 1908, moved to Houston, and was formally inaugurated as the first president of the institute on Oct. 12, 1912; he continued in this capacity until his retirement on March 1, 1946. Thereafter, he was associated with Rice as president emeritus, director and consultant.

Lovett was a member of many learned societies, including Phi Beta Kappa, the London Mathematical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Royal Astronomical Society. In 1898 he married Mary Ellen Hale; they had two daughters and two sons. He died on Aug. 13, 1957, and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Houston.

Excerpted from The New Handbook of Texas, 1996

From the guide to the Rice Institute President Edgar Odell Lovett papers, UA Lovett Presidential., 1907-1954, Bulk dates 1914-1944, (Rice University, )

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  • Mathematicians--United States
  • College presidents

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