Education: Yale-Builder

Yale's late William Lyon Phelps had only one reservation about his friend President Angell. "There should be some dullness in every college president," Phelps once remarked. "Knowing Angell intimately, I have never been able to detect even a shadow of it in him."

Other Yalemen would have agreed. When James Rowland Angell, amidst blaring bands and welcoming streamers, arrived in New Haven in 1921, he was the first non-Eli since 1766 to have been elected president of Yale — and Yale was never the same thereafter. For 16 years —through the roaring '20s, the big depression and the first days of the...

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