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Paul A. Chadbourne

Todaalty, Friday October 21st, is the birthday of Paul Chadbourne who was president of UW Madison from 1867-1870. Many of you may have once lived in Chadbourne hall as a Freshman or have at least walked past it on your way up Bascom Hill, well this is the president it was named after.

Paul Ansel Chadbourne
President, 1867-1870

In 1866 the Wisconsin legislature passed an act to enlarge and restructure the university including its curriculum, faculty, and students.  The legislature also created a new corporation and a new Board of Regents.  One of the first pressing needs was to find a chief executive, now called president, for the reorganized university, and the regents settled on Paul Chadbourne. Chadbourne was a strong administrator and laid the groundwork for the growth of the university in later years.  The Law School was established during his administration, and the first professor of agriculture was hired.  Ladies Hall, which originally housed the Female College and later was a women's dormitory, was named for Chadbourne.

Chadbourne was born in North Berwick, Maine on October 21, 1823.  He attended Phillips Academy and worked for several years before graduating from Williams College in 1848. Chadbourne resigned in June, 1870, and later became president of Williams College from 1872 to 1881 and then returned to the Massachusetts Agricultural College as president in 1882.  He died in New York city, where he had gone for business, on February 23, 1883.

If you would like to read more about Paul Chadbourne or some of our other university presidents, A history of housing at the University of Wisconsin (1987), by Barry James Teicher is a great place to look.


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