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Arnold Bennett Hall (1881-1936)

The Oregonian, 22 Jul 1932, page 7

Arnold Bennett Hall was reared amid books and colleges. He almost began life in a college and he has been in or very near them ever since July 22, 1881, when he was born at Franklin, Ind. His father Columbus Horatio Hall was president of Franklin college, from which the son received his degree of bachelor of arts in 1904. Young A. B. Hall then went to the University of Chicago, where he earned the degree of doctor of jurisprudence. This was conferred in 1907, the year of the so-called Roosevelt panic. It is a rare pleasure to find one nowadays who has the earned degree of doctor, that is, one outside the medical profession. Dr. Hall began teaching at the University of Chicago almost as soon as he became a doctor. He is now president of the University of Oregon at Eugene.

He was assistant instructor in political science and international law at Chicago from 1907 to 1909. Then a rival institution, Northwestern university, signed him up as instructor in public law and politics for the school years of 1909-1910. Then followed years of service as instructor, assistant professor and professor at the University of Wisconsin in the fields of law and political science. Dr. Hall was professor of political science at the wonderful university in Madison when the call came in 1926 to come to Oregon to head the splendid institution at Eugene, left without a president through the death of Dr. Prince Campbell. It was a beautiful as well as notable October 18 that the native of Franklin became president of Oregon’s university, thin in 1926.

His first public appearance in Portland after his inauguration as president was at the public auditorium the night of October 27, 1926, when he spoke under the joint auspices of the Portland center of the extension service of the university, the University medical school and the Portland Alumni association. He has since been greatly in demand as a public speaker. Miss Grace Stafford Carney of Franklin became Mrs. Hall June 15, 1911. Their daughter is Grace Elizabeth. Dr. Hall is author of two books on the Monroe doctrine and several others on political science and international law.


The Oregonian, 4 Jun 1936, pages 1-2

Dr. Arnold Bennett Hall, 54, director of the Brookings institute for governmental research, and president of the University of Oregon from September, 1926, to December 31, 1932, died in Washington, D. C., Monday night, according to word received here today. He was born in Franklin, Ind., July 22, 1881. The funeral will be held in Franklin Thursday.

Dr. Hall is survived by his widow and one child, Grace Elizabeth.

Oregonian, 16 Jul 1935, page 1

Washington, July 15 (AP)—Dr. Arnold Bennett Hall director of the institute of government research at Brookings institution, was said today at his home to be “still seriously ill.”

Dr. Hall, ex-president of the University of Oregon, suffered complications following a minor operation June 24.

Dr. Hall came here from the University of Wisconsin, where he was head of the department of political science and professor of law. While there he also made a brilliant record in the field of research and was founder or co-founder of a number of leading social science organizations.

Never robust, Dr. Hall was in poor health when he left Eugene after leading the university during the long struggles which preceded the Zorn-McPherson fight and the reorganization of Oregon’s higher education under the state board. About a year ago he suffered an injury to one of his fingers which was the start of an infection that caused his death.

During his years at Oregon, the university enjoyed its greatest growth and development. Enrollment rose from below 2500 to more than 3400 full-time campus students in 1930 and 1931, a mark that has not been reached since.

Dr. Hall while here was a vigorous pioneer in higher education, and many new plans put in operation under his direction are still followed. He developed the lower division system, which provides for a general education for the first two years, with specialization during the third and fourth, and the plan has been widely copied by other universities.

Dr. Hall worked out plans and policies for student activities, for research, adult education, and a number of other phases of higher education that won national attention.

Many outstanding educators were brought to the campus by Dr. Hall, some of whom still remain, while others have gone to important positions elsewhere. While not neglecting the physical development of the campus, Dr. Hall put the welfare of the faculty above everything else. He gave personal attention to matters concerning promotions and advancements, and was a ready friend and warm counselor when staff members were faced with perplexing personal problems.

Dr. Hall was responsible for the organization of both the Oregon Dads and the Oregon Mothers, groups which have taken an active interest in the welfare of the institution and of and of the education of their sons and daughters.

Although active in many fields of education, Dr. Hall placed the teaching of youth above everything else. He organized a committee for the improvement of teaching, which vigorously attacked the problem before it.

While recognizing the need for fundamentals, Dr. Hall saw beyond mere training of youth and constantly emphasized the importance of art and appreciation of beauty and the better things of life.

Dr. Hall was always popular with students and faculty. At Wisconsin he ranked in the upper five in a student ballot for the most popular and the most learned professor. At the university, at the close of his first five years of service, students united with Eugene business men and gave him a huge banquet. A special edition of the student daily was published recounting his activities.

Dr. Hall was a member of the Wisconsin war history commission, being appointed in 1919. He was admitted to the Indiana bar in 1907. He was a member of the American Political Science association, the American Social society, the League to Enforce Peace, the American Institutions of Criminology, the American Judicature society, the American Peace society, the American Society for Judicial Settlement of International Disputes, Phi Delta Theta fraternity, Phi Delta and Delta Sigma Rho, the Baptist church, the Madison University club, the University and Blackhawk clubs, and was a republican.

Among his works published are “Outline of International Law,” “The Monroe Doctrine,” “Dynamic Americanism.” He was editor of Hall’s “Fishback on Elementary Law,” “A Syllabus on the Past, Present and Future of the Monroe Doctrine,” and “Popular Government.” He also was on the editorial board of “Living Age.” Dr. Hall founded the national conference of the science of politics in 1923, and was chairman of the conference for the first three sessions.

University staff members and others expressed keen sorrow Wednesday upon hearing of the death of Dr. Arnold Bennett Hall, former president of the University of Oregon. Following are comments made by some Eugeneans:

Dr. C. V. Boyer, president of the university, said: “Dr. Hall was one of the outstanding educators of the United States, not only in the academic field, but more especially in the broad field of the humanities. Although a strict disciplinarian for fundamentals, he endeavored to lead his students and those who associated with him to a broad vision of life, a vision that included love of beauty, appreciation of art and a reverence for the finer things.

“The university and the state have lost a warm friend, and the nation has lost a brilliant educator in the death of Dr. Hall.”

Dean James H. Gilbert of the school of social sciences said: “Dr. Hall was, in my opinion, one of the outstanding educators of our time. His conception of the mission of higher education challenged the respect of thinking men throughout the country.”

Virgil D. Earl, dean of main said: “The cause of education and research suffers a distinct loss in the passing of Dr. Hall. I am sorry to hear of his death.”