Past Presidents 1919 – 1892

James Campbell

James W. Campbell
1916-1919

James Watson Campbell was elected the college’s 11th president. Members of the Board of Trustees traveled east to interview candidates and, by accident, met up with this Methodist minister. Campbell was an advocate of career-oriented education and helped establish a college-level Department of Economics and Business Administration.

 

 

William E. Hamilton

William E. Hamilton
1915-1916

Years later, in 1915, after the resignation of President Francis Strickland, Hamilton, now emeritus professor, was asked again to step into the presidency. This marked the fifth time Hamilton served as president or acting president. During this year, a fund drive was completed and $300,000 was added to the endowment. Hamilton House, a student apartment building, is named in his honor.

 

 

Charles E. Shelton

Charles E. Shelton
1899-1910

Charles Eldred Shelton was the ninth president of Simpson. He was not a minister nor did he go to seminary. An Iowa Wesleyan University graduate, Shelton studied law, was admitted to the bar and served as Superintendent of Schools in Burlington. Through his leadership at Simpson, the total enrollment of the college grew along with the endowment; the Conservatory of Music, Administration Building, Carnegie Library and Central Heating Plant were built, a result of a successful Jubilee Campaign. Shelton resigned, citing his wife’s health and the need for new leadership.

 

 

Joseph B. Harris

Joseph B. Harris
1898-1899

Joseph Benton Harris, the college’s eighth president, agreed to serve one year while the college searched for a new president. He was the pastor at the Methodist Church. Harris did not have an undergraduate degree or a seminary degree. He did attend Simpson as an undergraduate and was admitted to the Des Moines Methodist conference. During his administration, the concept of term hours was introduced and the college adopted the elective principle in its curriculum.

 

 

Fletcher Brown

Fletcher Brown
1892-1898

Another Simpson alumnus, Fletcher Brown, served as vice-president of finance under Holmes. He took over as the seventh college president when Holmes resigned. Brown, a skilled fundraiser, successfully guided the college through times of national financial depression. While vice-president, he startedThe Educator, a publication which he continued to write, edit and publish during his presidency. The work discussed the virtues of the college and urged readers to support the college. Brown resigned to return to pastoral work.