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Irving Maurer

Irving Maurer


Excerpted from "Seven Presidents of Beloit College" by Dr. Robert Irrmann:

In 1924 Beloit College turned to its earlier tradition of calling a son of the College to the presidency; on this occasion it was Irving Maurer of the Class of 1904. Irving Maurer had gone from Beloit to Yale, receiving both a Bachelor of Divinity degree and a Master of Arts in 1908. As a Congregational minister, Maurer held two significant pastorates prior to returning to Beloit: that of the Jonathan Edwards Church in Northampton, Massachusetts, and Washington Gladden's First Congregational Church in Columbus, Ohio. Irving Maurer brought a deep feeling for the older Beloit, a broad ranging humanistic outlook, and a devotion to the College Chapel as a forum for all interests of the College. Educated under Eaton's regimen, President Maurer continued to beautify the Vesper Service, stressing the role of music in its heightening effect. The earlier values of the Founders were those professed by President Maurer as animating forces in the life of the College: a non-sectarian, democratic spirit, characterized by simplicity and mental activity and by moral idealism in public life. He saw Beloit College as an institution, "cultural rather than professional, animated by a deep sense of truth, profoundly religious but knowing no antagonism between science and religion." To his students he stressed the charm and attraction of the world of books. His love of the arts was mirrored in the erection of the Theodore Lyman Wright Art Hall. His belief in student collegiality at the outset of a college career is seen in the construction of the men's dormitories in 1927-28. Faithful to the ideals of an earlier Beloit, and to the soundness of a broad humanism, Dr. Maurer carried the College through the depression years of the 1930s, and he presided over America's entry into World War II. Granted an extension of his presidency beyond age 65, so he might preside at the College's Centennial in 1946-1947, an untimely and unexpected death in February 1942 ended his presidency.

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