Wofford College Art Tour
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Hugh Ratchford Black

Walter Kirkland Greene
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37 of 53

Henry Nelson Snyder

Walter Kirkland Greene
By William Steene
Main, Leonard

Born in Greenwood, South Carolina on February 22, 1884, Dr. Walter Kirkland Greene, a 1903 Wofford graduate, is the only alumnus of the college to serve as its president. After graduation from Wofford, Greene studied for a master's degree at Vanderbilt, where he graduated in 1905. Greene taught in preparatory schools before going to Harvard in 1920, where he got an M.A. and Ph.D. in English. He spent the bulk of his career at Duke University until he took office at Wofford in the fall of 1942. As president, Greene had to guide the College through World War II and prepare it for the rapid growth of the student body that followed the war. In 1947, church leaders voted to place Wofford and Columbia under a single administration and board of trustees. The plan took effect in November 1948 and President Greene became president of institutions. The plan, however, proved unworkable, and each campus was returned to its own president and board of trustees. Tired by the campaign and controversy within the church, and stretched by the strain of presiding over two colleges separated by 100 miles, President Greene announced his retirement in 1951. He moved to Ashland, Virginia to be near his daughter, and died there on January 9, 1961.

(For more information, read Phillip Stone's biography of Walter Kirkland Greene.)