1827 – University of Wisconsin President John Bascom Born

On this date was born in Genoa, New York. A noted educator, university president, and author, Bascom received his B.A. (1848) and M.A. (1852) from Williams College in Massachusetts. In 1855, he entered the Andover Theological Seminary in Massachusetts. He was appointed president of the University of Wisconsin in 1874. A leader in college education, he devoted his career to improving university standards by encouraging improved high school instruction. Bascom also advocated co-educational instruction, a rarity in the 19th century. During his tenure as president, the first Agricultural Experimental Station and the School of Pharmacy were created, and new buildings such as the ,, the Library, and Assembly Hall were built. Bascom was a strong supporter of women’s rights, was a leader in the Prohibition party, and advocated the right of workers to join trade unions and strike for decent wages. He resigned from his university presidency in 1887 and returned to Williams College to lecture in sociology and political science. John Bascom died on October 2, 1911. [Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin Biography, pg. 29]