Name: Edward Dickinson Duffield
Birth: 3 MAR 1871 in Princeton, NJ
"ast week, their quest still unsuccessful, they chose one of their own number to be acting president. He was Edward Dickinson Duffield, bulky president of Prudential Insurance Co., super-loyal Princeton alumnus. He will direct Princeton's affairs as long as may be necessary until a permanent president is picked.*
Though not primarily a scholar, Acting-President Duffield received both B.A. and M.A. degrees from Princeton (1892, 1895). He has served twelve years as a life trustee. He is descended from Princeton's first president, Jonathan Dickinson. His father, Rev. John Thomas Duffield, taught there for 56 years. His brother, Henry Green Duffield, was treasurer from 1901 to 1930. Than Ed Duffield no man appreciates more the remarkable group of trustees—including Moses Taylor Pyne, Bayard Henry, Charles Scribner, Cyrus McCormick, Melancthon W. Jacobus, Edward Sheldon, Henry B. Thompson—who built up the modern Princeton. None is more devoted than he to their belief that the genius of Princeton and its distinction lie and should remain in the undergraduate college rather than in the ramifications of a big university.
Big of frame and face, President-elect Duffield, 61, has been president of the Village of South Orange, N. J. (1917) and of its board of education (1901-04). In 1905-06 he was New Jersey's assistant attorney general. Last year was not the first time New Jersey has thought of him as a Republican gubernatorial possibility. Because of his many other activities (Presbyterian councils also keep him busy) he will not be a full-time president of Princeton. When he is away the administration of the university will be in the hands of Dean of the Faculty Luther Pfahler Eisenhart, who has been at Princeton for 32 years and was largely instrumental in formulating the upperclass ("four-course") plan of study inaugurated in 1924.
Edward D. Duffield Correspondence with Josephine Curtis,
Biography of Edward D. Duffield
Duffield studied law in Newark, N.J., after graduating from Princeton University, and from 1895-1896 was managing clerk for the law firm of Depew & Parker in Newark. In 1906 Duffield became general solicitor of the Prudential Insurance Company of America, later becoming its president, a position he held until his death in 1938.
Acting President Edward D. Duffield, 1871-1955 [bulk: 1929-1939]
Subseries 4: Acting President Edward D. Duffield Records, 1871-1955 [bulk: 1929-1939], is arranged topically and includes biographical and post-mortem information, a modest amount of correspondence, three folders of addresses, a scrapbook of news clippings and photographs, and a variety of other items. The inclusion of this material reflects the fact that Princeton University's Board of Trustees had not found a new president when Hibben retired in June 1932, leading to Duffield's appointment as acting president. He filled this position until June 1933, when Harold W. Dodds took office. Images of Duffield can be found at the end of the collection in boxes 242 and 245.
Duffield was born in 1871 in Princeton, New Jersey. His father, John T. Duffield, was a clergyman and professor of mathematics at the College of New Jersey, as well as an alumnus, and his mother was Sarah Elizabeth Green of Groville, New Jersey. Duffield was also a descendent of Jonathan Dickinson, Princeton University's first president. Like his two older brothers, Duffield attended the College of New Jersey, graduating in 1892. He was an active participant in Clio Hall debates and received a prize in oratory. In 1894 he graduated from the New York Law School and in 1895 received a Master's degree from his alma mater. Duffield married Josephine Reade Curtis in 1897, with whom he had two children. Josephine died in 1914, and Duffield married Barbara Freeman in 1916.
A practicing lawyer, Duffield served as Assistant Attorney General of New Jersey from 1905 to 1906. He then became the general solicitor for the Prudential Insurance Company, rising to vice president in 1916 and president in 1922. His interest in education is reflected in his appointment as chairman of a committee formed to adjust the relationship between the State of New Jersey and Rutgers University. The work of this committee resulted in the creation of the State Board of Regents, which regulates higher education in New Jersey. From 1920 to 1938 Duffield served as a trustee of Princeton University, and in 1932 he was asked to fill the role of acting president. Retaining his position as president of the Prudential Insurance Company, he stayed in Princeton two days per week, leaving Dean Luther Eisenhart to run the University in his absence. Duffield would also serve as chairman of the Board of Trustees and president of the Class of 1892 before succumbing to the effects of a stroke on September 17, 1938. For all his success, he was never prideful and was quoted in the Princeton Alumni Weekly as referring to himself as the trustee who represented “the great intellectual middle-class.”
Duffield received many tributes in his lifetime, including honorary degrees from Princeton and Rutgers Universities and Lafayette College. In 1932 Time named him Man of the Year. He was a member of numerous clubs involved in professional, religious, civic, and leisure activities. He also served on many University committees. As chairman of the Committee on Undergraduate Life, which he was instrumental in organizing, he worked to ensure that Princeton University remained hospitable to young men of all economic classes from all parts of the country. He believed that the University would fail if young men of ability who were poor in material terms could not enroll and enjoy ample participation in campus activities. In 1939 a scholarship fund was established in his memory, honoring his interest in educating young men of moderate means.
Father: John Thomas Duffield b: 19 FEB 1823 in McConnellsburg, Bedford (now Fulton) Co, PA
Mother: Sarah Elizabeth Green b: NOV 1828 in New Jersey
Josephine Curtis b: ABT 1882 in Troy, New York
- Elizabeth Morrison Duffield b: 4 APR 1898
- Dickinson Curtis Duffield b: 5 OCT 1903
Barbara Freeman b: ABT 1890