Iconic leaders are those who have become symbols of their institutions. This volume of historical studies portrays a collection of college and university presidents who acquired iconic qualities that transcend mere identification with their institution.
The volume begins with Roger L. Geiger's observation that creating and controlling one's image requires managing publicity. Andrea Turpin describes how Mount Holyoke Seminar's evolution into a modern women's college required reshaping the image of Mary Lyon, its founder. Roger L. Geiger and Nathan M. Sorber show how College of Philadelphia provost William Smith's partisan politics and patronage tainted the college he symbolized. Joby Topper reveals how presidents Seth Low of Columbia and Francis Patton of Princeton mastered the modern art of publicity.
Katherine Chaddock explains how John Erskine—the Columbia University English professor responsible for the first Great Books program—and his unusual career inverted the normal route to iconic status. In contrast, Christian Anderson's analysis of John G. Bowman, chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, shows how he substituted architectural vision for academic leadership. James Capshew explores the background that made Herman Wells a revered leader of Indiana University. Nancy Diamond details how building Brandeis University involved a challenging series of decisions successfully navigated by founding president Abram Sachar. Finally, Ethan Schrum depicts how Clark Kerr's controversial understanding of the role of contemporary universities was formed by his earlier career in industrial relations. This study of iconic leaders probes new dimensions of leadership and the construction of institutional images.