Hutchins, Robert Maynard, 1899-1977

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University president; interviewee d.1977.

From the description of Reminiscences of Robert Maynard Hutchins : oral history, 1967. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 309740103

American author and University administrator.

From the description of Typed letters signed (2) : Chicago, to Edward Wagenknecht, 1941 Feb. 4 and Apr. 15. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270868116

From the CSDI Collection (Mss 18) description:

Hutchins, Robert Maynard. Born: Brooklyn, Jan. 17, 1899. Died: May 14, 1977. CSDI: Chief Executive Officer, 1954-1974; President, 1956-1969, 1975-1977; Member, Board of Directors, 1956-1969, 1974-1977; Chairman of the Consultants, 1958-1962; Fellow of the Center, 1965-1974; Senior Fellow, 1969-1974; Chairman, Board of Directors, 1970-1974; Chairman of Fellows, 1971-1974; Life Fellow, 1974-1977. Oberlin College, student, 1915-1917. Yale, A.B.,1921; A.M., 1922; LL.B., 1925. Yale Law School, Lecturer,1925-1927; Professor of Law, 1927-1929; Acting Dean, 1927-1928; Dean, 1928-1929. President, University of Chicago, 1929-1945; Chancellor, 1945-1951. Associate Director, Ford Foundation, 1951-1954. Board of Editors, Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1946-1974; Director, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 1947-1974; Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, Inc., 1947-1974. Publications include: The Higher Learning in America (1936), No Friendly Voice (1936),Education for Freedom (1943), Great Books of the Western World (Editor in Chief, 1948-1957), St. Thomas and the World State (1949), Morals, Religion and Higher Education (1950), The Democratic Dilemma (1951), The Great Conversation: The Substance of a Liberal Education (Great Books of the Western World, v. 1, 1952), The Conflict in Education in a Democratic Society (1953), The University of Utopia (1953), Great Books, the Foundation of a Liberal Education (1954), Freedom, Education, and the Fund: Essays and Addresses, 1946-1956 (1956), Some Observations on American Education (1956), The Learning Society (1968), Zuckerlandl! (1968), and Contemporary Ideas in Historical Perspective (edited with Mortimer Adler, 1977).

From the description of Robert Maynard Hutchins Collection, ca. 1951-1991 (University of California, Santa Barbara). WorldCat record id: 780712087

Biography

From the CSDI Collection (Mss 18) description:

Hutchins, Robert Maynard. Born: Brooklyn, Jan. 17, 1899. Died: May 14, 1977. CSDI: Chief Executive Officer, 1954-1974; President, 1956-1969, 1975-1977; Member, Board of Directors, 1956-1969, 1974-1977; Chairman of the Consultants, 1958-1962; Fellow of the Center, 1965-1974; Senior Fellow, 1969-1974; Chairman, Board of Directors, 1970-1974; Chairman of Fellows, 1971-1974; Life Fellow, 1974-1977. Oberlin College, student, 1915-1917. Yale, A.B.,1921; A.M., 1922; LL.B., 1925. Yale Law School, Lecturer,1925-1927; Professor of Law, 1927-1929; Acting Dean, 1927-1928; Dean, 1928-1929. President, University of Chicago, 1929-1945; Chancellor, 1945-1951. Associate Director, Ford Foundation, 1951-1954. Board of Editors, Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1946-1974; Director, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 1947-1974; Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, Inc., 1947-1974. Publications include: The Higher Learning in America (1936), No Friendly Voice (1936), Education for Freedom (1943), Great Books of the Western World (Editor in Chief, 1948-1957), St. Thomas and the World State (1949), Morals, Religion and Higher Education (1950), The Democratic Dilemma (1951), The Great Conversation: The Substance of a Liberal Education (Great Books of the Western World, v. 1, 1952), The Conflict in Education in a Democratic Society (1953), The University of Utopia (1953), Great Books, the Foundation of a Liberal Education (1954), Freedom, Education, and the Fund: Essays and Addresses, 1946-1956 (1956), Some Observations on American Education (1956), The Learning Society (1968), Zuckerlandl! (1968), and Contemporary Ideas in Historical Perspective (edited with Mortimer Adler, 1977).

RMH = Robert Maynard Hutchins.

From the guide to the Robert Maynard Hutchins Collection, ca. 1951-1991, (University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections)

Robert Maynard Hutchins, (1899-1977) was educated at Oberlin and Yale. A dynamic lecturer and administrator, Hutchins began his career as a professor and administrator at Yale Law School. Following the 1928 resignation of Max Mason, Hutchins was considered as part of a long list of candidates for President. His experience and qualifications were much debated, but Hutchins was finally elected in 1929, at the age of 30.

Almost immediately, Hutchins began making high-profile media appearances, and gained a national presence as a public intellectual and representative of academic ideals. His visionary and sometimes iconoclastic positions promoted the University as a site of vital, innovative intellectual activity.

Seeing his role as one of leadership and public relationship, Hutchins had his title changed to "Chancellor" in 1945. The title of "President" now referred to the university's administrative chief, a post filled by Ernest Cadman Colwell. The title of "Chancellor" was changed back to "President" in 1961, early in the administration of George W. Beadle.

Hutchins spearheaded dramatic and often controversial changes to the university's administrative structure. Graduate departments were reformed within divisions of biological sciences, physical sciences, humanities, and social sciences. A critic of undergraduate specialization and vocational study, Hutchins overhauled the bachelor's degree program to focus on liberal education, "Great Books," and general studies. Undergraduate programs within academic departments were consolidated into the College, reporting to a single Dean. Causing the most public controversy was the elimination of varsity football, which Hutchins and his supporters saw as a distraction from the mission of the university.

Hutchins attracted loyal admirers who supported the University of Chicago through difficult and contentious times, including the Great Depression, World War II, and challenges to academic freedom. While many of his positions were controversial, and some of his reforms were overturned in later years, the ideals of the University of Chicago, as well as its public image, are largely the legacy of the Hutchins administration.

From the guide to the University of Chicago. Office of the President. Hutchins Administration. Records, 1892-1951, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Walter Paul Paepcke was born on June 29, 1896, in Chicago, Illinois. He was the son of Hermann Paepcke, a Prussian immigrant, and Paula Wagner Paepcke. Walter attended the University School for Boys and the Boy's Latin School where he graduated in 1913. He received a degree in economics and history from Yale University in 1917 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. From 1918 to 1919, Walter served as an ensign in the United States Naval Reserve Forces. During this same time he also attended night classes at the Kent College of Law.

Walter's father Hermann was the president of the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company, which was described in 1909 as being the largest lumber and box company in the country. In the spring of 1919, after being honorably discharged from the U.S. Naval Reserve Forces, Walter came to work at his father's company as the assistant to the treasurer. He held this position until 1921 when upon his father’s death he became president.

Through the influence of his parents, who were lovers of music and literature. Walter began a lifelong dedication to promoting and preserving the arts. Due in large part to his father, Walter began a relationship with the cultural community of the University of Chicago. It was in this cultural community that Walter became friends with Professor William A. Nitze, chairman of the Department of Romance Languages, and his family. In 1922, Walter married Professor Nitze's daughter, Elizabeth Nitze, and together Walter and Elizabeth began to make considerable contributions to the liberal arts.

In 1926 Walter assumed dual positions in both the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company and a new company he founded called the Container Corporation of America. This new company had begun as a side line business making paper containers during the economically lean period of World War I. Walter saw the potential of this new enterprise and merged it with businesses he had recently acquired, the Philadelphia Paper Manufacturing Company and the Midwest Box Company. By the late 1940s the Container Corporation of America (CCA) had become the largest domestic producer of paper containers.

Walter had an unusual vision for his new company. CCA set out to promote the service offered by its products not the product itself. It could be said that every household contained something made by CCA. Walter also felt that design was central to the success of his new enterprise. In the 1930s Walter Paepcke and CCA became innovators that brought the concept of modern design and business together. CCA launched an advertising campaign that established the company as the best known in the industry. It also helped to focus considerable light on the modern art and design world. By 1955 Walter was honored for his vision and named Industrial Advertiser of the Year.

Beyond his business interests, Walter and Elizabeth were patrons and promoters of the musical, literary, and artistic worlds. Walter Paepcke served as a trustee or as a member of the board of directors for the University of Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Orchestral Association, Cliff Dwellers Club, Great Books Foundation, and the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

One unique project Walter Paepcke undertook was a festival in honor of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. His friend, Robert Hutchins, chancellor of the University of Chicago, and Professor Guiseppe Borgese came to him in 1947 with the idea of honoring the German philosopher and poet on the 200th anniversary of his birth. Walter had read Goethe’s writings since his youth and was very much in favor of helping to create a program to honor Goethe. A short time earlier on a trip to Colorado, Walter had seen the town of Aspen and its surrounding countryside. After searching unsuccessfully for a location near Chicago for the celebration, the group decided that the festival could be held in Aspen, Colorado. With considerable involvement on Walter’s part, especially financially, the festival took place in June 1949. As a result of the work Walter did to help organize the Goethe Bicentennial Festival, he began purchasing property in and around Aspen for future development.

The development of Aspen, Colorado led to Walter Paepcke’s most ambitious undertaking. Spurred by the success of the Goethe Festival, Walter established the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies in 1950. The Aspen Institute, a non-profit institute, was to be an intellectual and cultural center of continuing education. Part of its programs were geared towards giving executives the opportunity to understand their role in society and to develop goals and convictions for their lives.

It was said that Walter Paepcke sold big business on its responsibilities as a purveyor of culture. He devoted a lifetime to the patronage of the arts while building and leading a company that became the nation’s largest producer of paperboard containers. Paepcke died in Chicago on April 13, 1960.

From the guide to the Paepcke, Walter P. Papers, 1912-1961, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Robert Maynard Hutchins (1899-1977) was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of William James Hutchins, a professor of theology who ultimately became President of Berea College (Kentucky). Hutchins enrolled at Oberlin (where his father taught) in 1915 but discontinued his undergraduate studies in 1917 to serve with the Ambulance Corps of the U. S. Army. For his conduct, he was decorated by the Italian government. He resumed his education at Yale in 1919, graduating in 1921.

He graduated from the Yale Law School in 1925 while also serving as Secretary of the University since 1923. He joined the faculty of the Law School in 1925, becoming a full professor in 1927. He became Acting Dean (1927) and then Dean of the Law School in 1928. While at Yale, he was instrumental in creating the Institute of Human Relations, an interdisciplinary center for the legal, medical, and sociological study of contemporary social problems.

Hutchins' youth made his appointment as President of the University of Chicago something of a surprise, but according to Harold Swift, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, the search committee was concerned to find an individual with the personality and the intellectual drive to fill the position. Hutchins' gregarious nature and his commitment to curriculum reform, evident at Yale, seemed to make him an ideal candidate to provide the kind of leadership and vision that the University had not had since William Rainey Harper.

The initial years of Hutchins' administration were dramatic ones. He accepted and implemented plans for a general reorganization of the University that had been in the works since the administration of Ernest D. Burton (1923-25). These reforms were intended to simplify the administrative structure of the University, to promote interdisciplinary work among the faculty, and to redefine the undergraduate curriculum. The so-called "New Plan" or "Chicago Plan" created four graduate divisions-Humanities, Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Biological Sciences – and established a consolidated College as a separate division of the University. Hutchins' major interest, however, was in the nature and goals of undergraduate education in general and the College in particular. Curricular reforms, with which his name has become more or less synonymous, emphasized the role of the College in providing general education grounded in philosophy and philosophical analysis. Impatient with the increasingly fine division of academic labor and the intensification of research specialization, Hutchins became an outspoken advocate of the value of general education. He lectured tirelessly on the meaning of college and seemed to relish his self-assumed role as a leading American educator.

Hutchins' candor and glibness, his self-confidence and (to some) his dogmatism were mixed blessings. The Walgreen investigations (1935) into possible subversive activities on the part of certain faculty at the University put Hutchins in the public eye as an eloquent defender of academic freedom against the claims of naive xenophobes. On the other hand, his style and opinions antagonized parts of the faculty who came to resent what they interpreted as arrogance and a sort of "party line" within the University. Their fears of Hutchins' power and their perception of the declining role of faculty governance at the University, stood behind the Senate Memorial (1944) to the Board of Trustees. Protesting some of Hutchins' assertions about the role of the University in contemporary society, the Memorial coincided with widespread administrative reforms designed at least in part to more clearly define the respective roles of the President and the University Senate in the making of educational policy.

As a public figure, Hutchins championed a variety of issues and causes. Although he opposed America's entry into World War II, he cooperated with the government in the establishment of the Metallurgical Laboratory (1942) on campus as part of the Manhattan Project. Following the war, Hutchins was in the forefront of groups seeking to control the destructive potential of nuclear energy and to evaluate the broader implications of scientific research. He was sympathetic to the idea of a single world order (which he could trace to Thomas Aquinas) and in 1945 established, at the request of G. A. Borgese and Richard McKeon, the Committee to Frame a World Constitution. One year earlier he had been appointed chairman of the Commission on the Freedom of the Press. Funded by grants from Time, Inc. and the Encyclopedia Britanica (of which Hutchins had been a director since 1943), the Commission inquired into the nature, function, duties, and responsibilities of the press in America. It was particularly sensitive to the constraints on a free press in the contemporary world.

Controversial and opinionated, Hutchins served as President (and then as Chancellor) of the University longer than any other individual. He retired in 1951 to assume the Directorship of the Ford Foundation.

From the guide to the Hutchins, Robert M., and Associates. Oral History Interviews, 1958, 1973-1979, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

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Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Adler, Mortimer Jerome, 1902- person
correspondedWith Arnold, Melvin. person
associatedWith Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies corporateBody
associatedWith Aspen Music Festival corporateBody
associatedWith Baldridge, Cyrus Leroy, 1889-1977. person
associatedWith Barr, Stringfellow, 1897-1982. person
associatedWith Bayer, Herbert, 1900 person
associatedWith Beal, Junius E. (Junius Emery), 1860-1942. person
associatedWith Benton, William, 1900-1973 person
associatedWith Bilderberg Meetings corporateBody
associatedWith Bingham family. family
associatedWith Bingham family. family
associatedWith Bingham family. family
associatedWith Blaine, Anita McCormick. person
associatedWith Blanshard, Paul, 1892- person
associatedWith Borgese, Elisabeth Mann. person
associatedWith Borgese, Giuseppe Antonio, 1882-1952 person
associatedWith Bowles, Chester, 1901-1986. person
associatedWith Brauer, Jerald C. person
associatedWith Buchanan, Scott, 1895-1968. person
correspondedWith Buchanan, Scott Millross, 1895-1968 person
associatedWith Campbell, Gladys person
associatedWith Campbell, Gladys. person
associatedWith Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions. corporateBody
associatedWith Chicago Mill and Lumber Company corporateBody
associatedWith Clark, Charles Edward, 1889-1963. person
associatedWith Cohen, Morris Raphael, 1880-1947. person
associatedWith Colwell, Ernest Cadman, 1901- person
associatedWith Commission on Freedom of the Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Committee to Frame a World Constitution. corporateBody
associatedWith Community and War Fund of Metropolitan Chicago corporateBody
associatedWith Container Corporation of America corporateBody
associatedWith Couch, William T. (William Terry), 1901-1988. person
associatedWith Coward, Noel, 1899-1973 person
associatedWith Custard, Harry Lewis, 1893-1966 person
correspondedWith Douglas, William O. (William Orville), 1898-1980. person
associatedWith Dummer, Ethel Sturges, 1866-1954. person
associatedWith Fadiman, Clifton, 1904- person
associatedWith Faherty, Roger, 1889-1967. person
associatedWith Filbey, Emery Thomas person
associatedWith Filbey, Emery Thomas. person
associatedWith Fisher, Samuel Herbert, 1867-1957. person
associatedWith Ford Foundation. corporateBody
associatedWith Frank, Jerome, 1889-1957. person
correspondedWith Fund for the Republic. corporateBody
associatedWith Gascoyne, David Emery, 1916-2001 person
associatedWith Goethe Bicentennial Festival (1949: Aspen, Colo.) corporateBody
associatedWith Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 1749-1832 person
associatedWith Greenewalt, Crawford H., 1902-1993. person
associatedWith Grinnell, Frank W. q (Frank Washburn), 1873-1964 person
associatedWith Hand, Learned, 1872-1961 person
associatedWith Harris, Leon A. person
associatedWith Harwood family. family
associatedWith Heythum, Antonin, 1901-1954. person
correspondedWith Hocking, William Ernest, 1873-1966 person
associatedWith Hutchins, Maude Phelps McVeigh person
associatedWith International Design Conference corporateBody
associatedWith International Education Board. corporateBody
correspondedWith Jones, Robert Edmond, 1887-1954 person
associatedWith Judd, Charles Hubbard, 1873-1946. person
associatedWith Kane, William T. (William Terence), 1880-1946. person
associatedWith Kimpton, Lawrence Alpheus, 1910- person
correspondedWith Kolisch, Rudolf, 1896-1978 person
correspondedWith Lehman, B. H. (Benjamin Harrison), 1889-1977 person
associatedWith Levi, Edward H. (Edward Hirsch), 1911-2000. person
associatedWith Lewis, Sinclair, 1885-1951. person
associatedWith Lindbergh, Charles A. (Charles Augustus), 1902-1974. person
associatedWith Matthews, J. B. (Joseph Brown), 1894-1966 person
associatedWith McCormick, Harold Fowler, 1872-1941. person
associatedWith McDonald, Donald, person
associatedWith McKeon, Richard (Richard Peter), 1900-1985. person
associatedWith McNeil, William Hardy, 1917 person
associatedWith Meiklejohn, Alexander, 1872-1964. person
correspondedWith Morgenthau, Hans J. (Hans Joachim), 1904-1980. person
associatedWith Nef, John U. (John Ulric), 1899-1988. person
associatedWith New Directions Publishing Corp. corporateBody
associatedWith New York Times Company corporateBody
correspondedWith Niebuhr, Reinhold, 1892-1971. person
associatedWith Norris, Joe Lester, 1906- person
associatedWith Office of the Messrs Rockefeller. corporateBody
associatedWith Ortega y Gasset, Jose, 1883-1955 person
associatedWith Paepcke, Walter Paul, 1896-1960. person
correspondedWith Pease, Arthur Stanley, 1881- person
associatedWith Pierpont Morgan Library. Wagenknecht Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Pool, Ithiel de Sola, 1917-1984 person
associatedWith Ripley, Alfred Lawrence, 1858-1943. person
associatedWith Ruthven, Alexander Grant, 1882- person
associatedWith Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967. person
associatedWith Schallau, Donald Joseph, 1944- , person
associatedWith Schmitt, Bernadotte Everly, 1886-1969. person
associatedWith Schütze, Martin, 1866-1950. person
associatedWith Schweitzer, Albert, 1875-1965 person
associatedWith Scott, Arthur P. (Arthur Pearson), b. 1884. person
associatedWith Seymour, Charles, 1885-1963. person
associatedWith Sheinbaum, Stanley K. person
associatedWith Simons, Henry Calvert, 1899-1946. person
associatedWith Smith, Thomas Vernor, 1890-1964. person
associatedWith Spelman Fund of New York. corporateBody
associatedWith Struve, Otto, 1897-1963. person
associatedWith Swanberg, W. A., 1907- person
associatedWith Sykes, Gerald, 1903- person
associatedWith Tugwell, Rexford G. (Rexford Guy), 1891- person
associatedWith University of Chicago. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Chicago. Administration corporateBody
associatedWith University of Chicago. Board of Trustees. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Chicago. Office of the President. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Minnesota. Office of the Vice President. Business Administration corporateBody
associatedWith Van Sickle person
correspondedWith Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949 person
associatedWith Wagenknecht, Edward, 1900-2004, person
associatedWith Ward, F. Champion, 1910-2007. person
associatedWith Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975 person
associatedWith Wolff, Perry. person
associatedWith Woodward, Frederic Campbell, 1874- person
correspondedWith Woollcott, Alexander, 1887-1943 person
associatedWith Yale University. Office of the Secretary. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Universities and colleges
College presidents--Interviews
World War, 1939-1945
Pacem in Maribus Convocation
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1899-01-17

Death 1977-05-17

Americans

English

Information

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Ark ID: w6wq057b

SNAC ID: 38191401