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Education Of A University President

Marvin Wachman

Publication Year: 2005

Marvin Wachman's parents were Russian Jewish immigrants with little formal education. Yet they instilled in their son the values of education, self-improvement, and perseverance. Because of Wachman's beliefs in human progress, he learned not only how to survive in hard times, but how to flourish. A newly minted PhD, Wachman served in World War II as a combat platoon sergeant where he was further drawn to teaching by his desire for work of lasting value. He proved a man of vision and administrative ability, qualities that suited him to lead two great universities renowned for their commitment to extending educational opportunity. During the Civil Rights era, Wachman served as the president of Lincoln University, the country's oldest historically Black college; later he guided Temple University to greater fiscal security, and under his leadership, education programs for Temple students were launched in Europe and Asia .The Education of a University President recalls Wachman's distinguished career in education and his steadfast dedication to liberal values.

Published by: Temple University Press


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pp. vii

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pp. ix-xiv

In this illuminating memoir, Marvin Wachman, son of Russian Jewish immigrants, reflects on his six-decade odyssey in American higher education. A quintessential liberal optimist, Wachman apparently never met anyone of irredeemable value or virtue. Nor did he ever encounter a problem that could not be resolved through patience, perseverance, understanding, ...

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pp. xv-xvi

Harry Golden, the late publisher of the Carolina Israelite, titled one of his books Only in America. His title fits my story. I was born to immigrant parents from Eastern Europe who had little formal education, yet I graduated from college and became first a professor and then president of two unique and distinguished American universities. While teaching and serving ...

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Chapter 1. The Apprentice

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pp. 1-21

The only exceptional thing about my family background is how unexceptional it was. My parents belonged to that huge wave of desperate Russian Jewish immigrants who, in the late nineteenth century, turned to America as a refuge from anti-Semitism, pogroms, and compulsory service in the tsar’s army. These poor, trembling, parochial shtetl dwellers summoned up ...

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Chapter 2. The Professor: Colgate University

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pp. 22-37

After my discharge from the army and return to Addie, I began the process of becoming a full-fledged civilian once again. That meant discarding my army khakis for a civilian business suit. Addie’s uncle Sam Salinsky of Aberdeen, South Dakota, who owned a women’s clothing store, introduced me to the Hart Schaffner & Marx distributor in Chicago, and ...

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Chapter 3. Exporting the American Idea: The Salzburg Seminar

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pp. 37-50

In the spring of 1958 i received an unexpected phone call from Dexter Perkins, a well-known specialist in the history of American foreign policy at the University of Rochester who had moved recently to Cornell. I had met Dr. Perkins while serving as an external examiner for Rochester’s honors program. Perkins wore a second hat as president of the Salzburg ...

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Chapter 4. Confronting the Race Problem: Lincoln University

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pp. 51-93

Sunday, June 6, 1961, was a hot and humid day in southeastern Pennsylvania. Rain was coming down in the morning and the big issue of the day at Lincoln University was whether to hold that afternoon’s commencement exercises outdoors or indoors. To be on the safe side in case it showered again, a committee opted to squeeze several thousand people into ...

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Chapter 5. Temple: The Urban University

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pp. 94-159

January 2, 1970, was a cold, windy morning in North Philadelphia. I left my car in the parking lot and walked across Broad Street to the corner of Montgomery Avenue. It was 7:45 a.m., and hundreds of students and faculty were streaming out of the subway station a block away and getting off buses at the doorstep of Conwell Hall, Temple University’s primary administration ...

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Chapter 6. Retirement

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pp. 160-196

As of July 1, 1982, my title was changed from president to chancellor of Temple University. The “chancellor” title can mean many things in American higher education. It can mean the head of a state system of colleges and universities in which the individual unit heads are labeled president, as in the State University of New York, or it can mean the reverse, ...


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pp. 197-198


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pp. 199-206

E-ISBN-13: 9781592133789
Print-ISBN-13: 9781592133772

Publication Year: 2005