Edward W. Strong

Chancellor, 1961-1965

A graduate of Stanford University (A.B. 1925) and Columbia University (M.A. 1929, Ph.D. in Philosophy 1937), Edward Strong joined the faculty of the University of California as a lecturer in 1932 and became a full professor in 1947. For 35 years he was a popular lecturer on campus, noted especially for the course he initiated in the philosophy of history. He served as President of the American Philosophical Association and was the principal founder of the Journal of the History of Philosophy. His close relationship with campus scientists led to his appointment in 1941 as Facilities Manager for the construction of the Radiation Laboratory on Charter Hill, now known as the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, which became a crucial component in the Manhattan P roject during World War II, leading to the development of the atomic bomb.

In 1946, Strong organized the Department of Sociology and Social Institutions and was its chairman for seven years, during most of which he was also an associate dean of the College of Letters and Science. He was appointed Vice-Chancellor in 1958, and Chancellor in 1961, following the resignation of Glenn Seaborg. He shared his inaugural ceremony on March 23, 1962, with the Charter Day appearance of President John F. Kennedy; both men spoke before 90,000 people gathered in California Memorial Stadium, the largest crowd ever assembled on the Berkeley campus.

Under Chancellor Strong the campus' Department of Computer Science was established, the Bodega Marine Laboratory in Marin County became an important research facility. His 1964 visit to David Rockefeller at the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York yielded more than $250,000 for improvements to International House, and for The Bancroft Library he provided necessary leadership in the purchase of the Honeyman Collection of Western American Art, some of which you see on these surrounding walls. But his administration's achievements were overshadowed by the sudden evolution in the fall of 1964 of the Free Speech Movement. Four months of campus disruptions led to his eventual resignation in March 1965. Appointed to the campus senior active chair, the Mills Professorship of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy and Civil Polity, he continued teaching until retirement in 1967. His death occurred in his Berkeley home on January 13, 1990.

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