Education: Rising to Quality

In Waterville, Me., a tall, friendly man of 65 sat back and mused: "I think I was born to teach, not to be a college president." J. (for Julius) Seelye Bixler should have known better. Last week, as his successor prepared to take over solid little Colby College, retiring President Bixler's 17-year record looked hard to beat.

Colby roiled in confusion when Connecticut-born Philosopher Bixler arrived in 1942, after teaching at Harvard Divinity School. Founded in 1813, Colby had opened on a pleasant site between the quiet Kennebec River and a country road. A century later, the campus lay suffocating between smelly...

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