List of longest serving higher education presidents in the United States
The longest serving president of a United States institution of higher education is Eliphalet Nott, who served at Union College in Schenectady, New York, for 62 years (1805–66). The longest living college or university president is Dr. Jack Evans Sr., who continues at Southwestern Christian College of Terrell, Texas, as president after 49 years of service.
According to a 2007 report from the American Council on Education, only about 5% of all in-office college presidents had served longer than 20 years. The table below considers candidates who can be demonstrated to have served for 25 years or longer unless another distinguishing factor warrants inclusion. Records for the longest serving college or university presidents are usually kept by the respective institutions themselves.
|Eliphalet Nott||61 years (1805–1866)||Union College||Schenectady, NY||Longest serving college president in U.S. history.|
|Paul F. Beacham||59 years (1919-1978)||Holmes Theological Seminary||Greenville, SC||Longest serving seminary president in U.S. history.|
|B. B. Dougherty||56 years (1899-1955)||Appalachian State University||Boone, NC|
|W. Wilbert Welch||56 years (1959-2015)||Cornerstone University||Grand Rapid, MI||Served as President until 1983, then Chancellor.|
|Francis H. Smith||50 years (1839-1889)||Virginia Military Institute||Lexington, VA||Longest serving military superintendent in U.S. history|
|James Blair||50 years (1693–1743)||College of William and Mary||Williamsburg, VA||The first and longest serving president of the college.|
|Jack Evans, Sr||49 years (1967—present)||Southwestern Christian College||Terrell, TX||The longest serving college president still sitting. Served as President until 2016, then Chancellor.|
|Norman Francis||47 years (1968–2015)||Xavier University of Louisiana||New Orleans, LA|
|Richard I. Gouse||45 years (1971–present)||New England Institute of Technology||East Greenwich, RI||Only 24 at the time of assuming his position.|
|J. Donald Monan||44 years (1972-present)||Boston College||Chestnut Hill, MA||Served as President until 1996, then Chancellor|
|Clarence W. Daugette||43 years (1899-1942)||Jacksonville State University||Jacksonville, AL||State of Alabama's longest serving university president.|
|Nicholas Murray Butler||43 years (1902-1945)||Columbia University||New York, NY||Columbia's longest serving president.|
|Joseph N. Hankin||43 years (1971–2014)||Westchester Community College||Valhalla, NY||Longest serving community college president in the US.|
|Luns C. Richardson||42 years (1974–present)||Morris College||Sumter, SC||Life Member and Golden Heritage Member of the NAACP|
|Robert H. Spence||42 years (1974–present)||Evangel University||Springfield, MO||Served until May 1, 2014 as President, and since then as Chancellor.|
|Leon Botstein||41 years (1975–present)||Bard College||Annandale-on-Hudson, NY|
|Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones||41 years (1936-1977)||Grambling State University||Grambling, LA|
|William Foster Peirce||41 years (1896–1937)||Kenyon College||Gambier, OH||Assumed the presidency at the age of 28.|
|W. Sam Monroe||40 years (1974-2014)||Lamar State College-Port Arthur||Port Arthur, TX|
|Charles William Eliot||40 years (1869–1909)||Harvard University||Cambridge, MA|
|Henry Nelson Snyder||40 years (1902-1942)||Wofford College||Spartanburg, SC|
|David L. Eubanks||38 years (1969–2007)||Johnson Bible College||Knoxville, TN|
|James Burrill Angell||38 years (1871–1909)||University of Michigan||Ann Arbor, MI||UM's longest serving president.|
|Philip Pumerantz||38 years (1977–2015)||Western University of Health Sciences||Pomona, CA||Founding president of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (1977), which became Western University of Health Sciences in 1996.|
|Pat Robertson||38 years (1978–present)||Regent University||Virginia Beach, VA|
|William R. Harvey||38 years (1978–present)||Hampton University||Hampton, VA|
|Janet Eisner||37 years (1979–present)||Emmanuel College||Boston, MA||Longest serving female president still sitting.|
|Dennis J. Murray||37 years (1979–2016)||Marist College||Poughkeepsie, NY|
|Sister Denise Roche||37 years (1979–2016)||D'Youville College||Buffalo, NY|
|Mary Emma Woolley||37 years (1900-1937)||Mount Holyoke College||South Hadley, MA|
|Jerry Falwell||36 years (1971-2007)||Liberty University||Lynchburg, VA|
|John Wheelock||36 years (1779–1815)||Dartmouth College||Hanover, NH||Dartmouth's longest serving president.|
|Robert L. McLendon Jr.||36 years (1972-2008)||St. Johns River State College||Palatka, FL|
|Bevan Morris||36 years (1980-2016)||Maharishi University of Management||Fairfield, IA|
|Cornelius P. Haggard||36 years (1939-1975)||Azusa Pacific University||Azusa, CA|
|Theodore Hesburgh||35 years (1952–1987)||University of Notre Dame||South Bend, IN|
|Charles P. Adams||35 years (1901-1936)||Grambling State University||Grambling, LA||Founding president of the Colored Industrial and Agricultural School in 1901, which became Grambling State University in 1974.|
|Willard M. Aldrich||35 years (1943-1978)||Multnomah University||Portland, OR|
|Nathan Lord||35 years (1828–1863)||Dartmouth College||Hanover, NH|
|E. George Evans||35 years (1884-1919)||Champlain College||Burlington, VT|
|A. Gordon Tittemore||35 years (1920-1955)||Champlain College||Burlington, VT|
|Sister Joel Read||35 years (1968–2003)||Alverno College||Milwaukee, WI|
|William Lowe Bryan||35 years (1902–1937)||Indiana University||Bloomington, IN|
|Marilyn Schlack||34 years (1982–present)||Kalamazoo Valley Community College||Kalamazoo, MI||Longest serving community college president still sitting|
|Ray Paul Authement, Sr.||34 years (1974-2008)||University of Louisiana at Lafayette||Lafayette, La|
|James M Rosser||34 years (1979–2013)||California State University, Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA|
|Edgar Odell Lovett||34 years (1912–1946)||Rice Institute||Houston, TX|
|Thomas Hanna McMichael||33 years (1903-1936)||Monmouth College||Monmouth, IL|
|C. Hoyt Watson||33 years (1926-1959)||Seattle Pacific University||Seattle, WA|
|Mark W. Ellingson||33 years (1936-1969)||Rochester Institute of Technology||Henrietta, NY|
|Palmer C. Ricketts||33 years (1901–1934)||Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||Troy, NY|
|H. Mebane Turner||33 years (1969–2002)||University of Baltimore||Baltimore, MD|
|Charles Schlimpert||33 years (1983–present)||Concordia University Portland||Portland, OR||Longest serving President in the State of Oregon|
|Joseph W. Polisi||32 years (1984–present)||The Juilliard School||New York City, NY|
|Cloyd H. Marvin||32 years (1927-1959)||George Washington University||Washington, DC|
|Steven Van Ausdle||32 years (1984–2016)||Walla Walla Community College||Walla Walla, WA|
|John F. MacArthur||31 years (1985–present)||The Master's College||Santa Clarita, CA||Longest serving president in the state of California|
|Henry Hardin Cherry||31 years (1906-1937)||Western Kentucky University||Bowling Green, KY|
|Felton G. Clark||31 years (1938-1969)||Southern University||Baton Rouge, LA|
|Claybrook Cottingham||31 years (1910-1941)||Louisiana College||Pineville, LA|
|Alvin O. Austin||30 years (1986-present)||LeTourneau University||Longview, TX||Served as President until 2007, then Chancellor|
|Charles Paul Conn||30 years (1986–present)||Lee University||Cleveland, TN|
|Lincoln Hulley||30 years (1904–1934)||Stetson University||DeLand, FL|
|Daniel R. Chamberlain||30 years (1976–2006)||Houghton College||Houghton, NY|
|John L. Lahey||29 years (1987–present)||Quinnipiac University||Hamden, CT|
|Edgar Young Mullins||29 years (1899-1928)||Southern Baptist Theological Seminary||Louisville, KY|
|Jeremiah Day||29 years (1817–1846)||Yale University||New Haven, CT|
|Rees Edgar Tulloss||29 years (1920-1949)||Wittenberg University||Springfield, OH|
|Albert Parker||29 years (1929-1958)||Hanover College||Hanover, IN|
|Jack L. Stark||29 years (1970–1999)||Claremont McKenna College||Claremont, CA|
|David Lieber||29 years (1964–1993)||University of Judaism||Bel-air, Los Angeles, CA|
|Charles E. Young||29 years (1968–1997)||UCLA||Los Angeles, CA||Was also the president of the University of Florida from 1999-2003.|
|Edith Lesley||29 years (1909-1938)||Lesley University||Cambridge, MA|
|Edwin Massey||28 years (1988-present)||Indian River State College||Fort Pierce, FL|
|Ernest O. Holland||28 years (1916-1944)||Washington State University||Pullman, WA|
|Gary Cook||28 years (1988-present)||Dallas Baptist University||Dallas, TX||Served as President until 2015, then Chancellor|
|Katharine Elizabeth McBride||28 years (1942-1970)||Bryn Mawr College||Bryan Mawr, PA|
|M. Carey Thomas||28 years (1894-1922)||Bryn Mawr College||Bryan Mawr, PA|
|E. Wilson Lyon||28 years (1941-1969)||Pomona College||Claremont, CA|
|Daniel Fisher||28 years (1879-1907)||Hanover College||Hanover, IN|
|John A. Hannah||28 years (1941–1969)||Michigan State College||East Lansing, MI|
|Joab Mauldin Lesesne Jr.||28 years (1972-2000)||Wofford College||Spartanburg, SC|
|James R. Day||28 years (1894–1922)||Syracuse University||Syracuse, NY|
|William P. Tolley||27 years (1942–1969)||Syracuse University||Syracuse, NY|
|Diana Natalicio||27 years (1988–present)||University of Texas at El Paso||El Paso, TX||Longest serving president still sitting of a major public research university. Appointed interim president in 1987.|
|Ray Lyman Wilbur||27 years (1916-1943)||Stanford University||Stanford, CA|
|James Henry Carlisle||27 years (1875-1902)||Wofford College||Spartanburg, SC|
|Edwin H. Welch||27 years (1989-present)||University of Charleston||Charleston, WV|
|Edward H. Hammond||27 years (1987-2014)||Fort Hays State University||Hays, KS|
|Bowman Foster Ashe||26 years (1926-1952)||University of Miami||Coral Gables, FL|
|Benjamin Labaree||26 years (1840–1866)||Middlebury College||Middlebury, VT|
|Dan Reneau||26 years (1987-2013)||Louisiana Tech University||Ruston, LA|
|Harry Augustus Garfield||26 years (1908-1934)||Williams College||Williamstown, MA|
|Alfred Bryan Bonds||26 years (1955–1981)||Baldwin Wallace University||Berea, OH|
|Elizabeth Coleman||26 years (1987–2013)||Bennington College||Bennington, VT|
|Royce Money||25 years (1991-present)||Abilene Christian University||Abilene, TX||Served as President until 2010, then Chancellor|
|Clyde Cook||25 years (1982-2007)||Biola University||La Mirada, CA|
|James McCain||25 years (1950–1975)||Kansas State University||Manhattan, KS|
|Frederick L. Hovde||25 years (1946–1971)||Purdue University||West Lafayette, IN|
|Betty Siegel||25 years (1981–2006)||Kennesaw State University||Kennesaw, GA|
|Homer B. Williams||25 years (1912-1937)||Bowling Green State University||Bowling Green, OH|
|F. Jay Taylor||25 years (1962-1987)||Louisiana Tech University||Ruston, LA|
|Walter Washington||25 years (1969–1994)||Alcorn State University||Lorman, MI|
|Theodore Dwight Woolsey||25 years (1846–1871)||Yale University||New Haven, CT|
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