Thursday, January 6, 2022

A(bbott) Lawrence Lowell

TL;DR -- A(bbott) Lawrence Lowell served as President of Harvard after Eliot and before Conant. He changed the focus to be more scholarly and collegial with decisions like having the dormitory experience cut out the 'Gold Coasting' that had become the New England way, say as we saw with Boston Brahminship. 


We have been adding Heads of Harvard (Wikipedia) to our list (History of Harvard) while taking a brief look at each with respect to time and affiliations, such as family and connections to New England. Our research started with a recent President (James Bryant Conant) who followed Lowell, and we have done a few more. For each of those chosen so far, there was a motivation involved which we will document. 

A. Lawrence Lowell came to our attention due to his family ties. He has a large New England pedigree (Lowell- 642) according to the researchers at WikiTree. We will be checking that. However, we noticed, too, that not much has been written about Lowell. We have seen this of several Presidents.  

So, on looking further, we found that there is a page at the Harvard site titled "History of the Presidency" at which one can learn more about each person. Lowell helped move the culture such that a common spirit might develop. We learned that early classes were ranked by the social status of the family of the student. 

Lowell built dormitories and emphasized the need for students to live in these. Prior to that, how the student lived was, again, according to social status. One might say, the infamous 'Gold Coast' of the Boston Brahmins which had been encouraged by the prior President, Charles William Eliot. An example is the Adams House which became a dormitory - its website.  

Like the others, Lowell's time had its ups and downs. Example: Writing the Wrong (2005). Also, Lowell had accomplished siblings (Percival Lowell and Amy Lowell) and cousins (John Lowell Gardner). 

Remarks: Modified: 02/18/2022

01/07/2022 -- Doing, finally, a post on Boston Brahmins. Plus, Lowell paraphrased: every issue has a Harvard man on the wrong side. 

02/02/2022 -- Add 't' to Abbott. Put a link to the Wikipedia page. 

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