James T. Laney

James LaneyPresident 1977-1993

  • Recruited from Vanderbilt University to serve as Candler School of Theology dean, where he expands the faculty and student body and triples the library collections
  • Announces the largest gift made to a U.S. educational institution as of 1979: $105 million from Robert W. Woodruff and his brother George
  • Hires renowned professors, creates merit scholarships, elevates the quality of student life, and launches a new school of public health
  • Eliminates millions of dollars in deferred maintenance and starts an extensive building program
  • Establishes goals of doubling federal research funding, increasing PhD graduate numbers, tripling annual gift support from alumni, and moving graduate programs and schools into top rankings
  • Named president emeritus when he resigns to serve as U.S. ambassador to South Korea
  • Graduate school named for him in 2009

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