William Harris (President)
William Harris was a clergyman who served as President of Columbia College.
Harris began his educational career at a boarding school in Marblehead, Massachusetts, where he tortured future Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story with regular beatings. He was elected to Columbia's presidency after serving as deacon of Trinity Church and reverend at St. Marks-in-the Bowery. Having received his bachelors from Harvard, he was given a Doctor of Divinity degree by both Columbia and Harvard upon his ascension to the office.
Harris' election deeply upset another favorite for the position, John Mitchell Mason, who in a compromise was given the newly-created position of Provost. In 1816, Mason resigned the Provostship, and some of the duties which had been passed to him reverted to the Presidency, giving Harris full control for his remaining thirteen years at the post - he died in office.
|President of Columbia University