Lindenwood University

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Past Presidents

Mary Sibley  (1827-1856)
- Founded Lindenwood as a Presbyterian women’s college in 1827
- Her father, Rufus Easton, was one of the first judges for the Missouri Territory

Rev. Addison Van Court  Scheneck (1856-1862)
- Son died in 1858, and was buried in the cemetery behind Lindenwood
- Father-in-law led the daily services for Lindenwood’s students

Rev. Thomas P. Barbour (1862-1865)
- Convinced many parents that Lindenwood would be safe from the battles of the Civil War
- Resigned because he refused to take an oath of allegiance to the United States during Reconstruction

Professor French Strother (1866-1870)
- Personally held a lease on Lindenwood College and spent a great deal of money on improvements
- Southern sympathizer who lost a lawsuit over the control of Lindenwood to the Northern Presbyterian Church

Rev. J. Howard Nixon (1870-1876)
- Served as pastor to U.S. President Benjamin Harrison when he lived in Indianapolis, Indiana

Mary E. Jewell (1876-1880)
- Only other woman, besides Mary Sibley, to serve as president of Lindenwood
- Very little is known of her other than she later married A.S. Mermod

Rev. Robert Irwin (1880-1893)
- Added the south wing to Sibley Hall in 1881, and the north wing in 1887
- Established Lindenwood’s first gymnasium in 1890

Rev. William Sims Knight (1893-1898)
- Founder of a college in Carthage, Missouri, prior to coming to Lindenwood

Dr. Matthew Howell Reaser (1898-1903)
- Was president of Oswego College prior to his time at Lindenwood
- Managed to increase enrollment substantially, reduce debt, and raise money for improvement

Dr. George Frederick Ayres (1903-1913)
- Received $10,000 from Andrew Carnegie to build Jubilee Hall in 1907 (renamed Ayres Hall in 1927)
- Died while president

Rev. John Fenton Hendy (1913-1914)
- Served as president of Oswego Women’s College in Oswego, Kansas, for three years
- Pastored in Jefferson City, Missouri, and for many years was considered the most influential minister in Missouri’s capitol city

Rev. John Lincoln Roemer (1914-1940)
- Refused the position of president three times before finally accepting
- Greatly expanded enrollment, and built six buildings during his presidency

Dr. Harry Morehouse Gage (1941-1946)
- Outspoken critic of Adolph Hitler before the United States entered World War II
- Encouraged students to help with the war effort by raising money for a ship, a plane, and blood drives

Dr. Franc L. McCluer (1947-1966) (1973-1974)
- President of Westminister College in Fulton, Missouri, when Winston Churchill gave his “Iron Curtain” Speech
- Changed Lindenwood from a women’s college to a coeducational institution
- Dr. McCluer’s nickname was "Bullet" due to his oratory skill.  Debate was his natural forte.  The story goes that one drawling Texan, Spoon Campbell, complained that McCluer had an unfair advantage because he could fire off arguments at three times the normal rate.  The Texan dubbed him "Bullets", and the name stuck.

Dr. John Anthony Brown (1966-1973)
- Founded Lindenwood College for Men in 1969 to increase the enrollment of men
- Convinced the Missouri State Legislature to provide state aid to students in private colleges for the first time in history

Dr. William Courtney Spencer (1974-1979)
- Doubled enrollment to over 1,700 students during his tenure
- Initiated graduate programs in business and teacher education
- Started Lindenwood's College for Individualized Education

Dr. Robert Johns (1979-1982)
- Applied conventional business model to help the college through rough financial times

Dr. James I. Spainhower (1983-1988)
- Served in the Missouri State Legislature and as Missouri State Treasurer prior to his time at Lindenwood
- Served as the first chairman of the Missouri Children’s Trust Fund
- Renewed Lindenwood's historic allegiance to Judeo-Christian values

Dennis Spellmann (1990-2006)
- Enabled Lindenwood to become completely debt free
- Began an ambitious building program that continued after he passed away in 2006
- Increased enrollment four-fold

Copyright 1827 - Lindenwood University • 209 S. Kingshighway • St. Charles, MO 63301
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