Office of the President

Gilbert W. Mead

19th President of Washington College


(1889-1949)

Education 

  • A.B. Allegheny College, 1911
  • A.M. Columbia University, 1916 
  • LLD Birmingham-Southern College 

Gilbert Wilcox Mead was born in Pittsburgh May 7, 1889 and was brought up in a small town and educated in a small college. He was a teacher in the county schools of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The was principal and supervisor of schools in Bergenfield, New Jersey, English Master in Buckley School New York, instructor in English and comparative literature at Columbia, special lecturer in Hunter College, and served as dean of Birmingham-Southern College, Birmingham Alabama from 1925-1933. 
<em>In the midst of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt pitched his New Deal to thousands of spectators gathered on campus for the inauguration of College President Gilbert Mead.</em>In the midst of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt pitched his New Deal to thousands of spectators gathered on campus for the inauguration of College President Gilbert Mead.

He was President of Dixie Intercollegiate Conference from 1931-1933, Secretary of the English Victorian Section of the Modern Language Association of America, Secretary of the Southern Conference of Liberal Arts Deans, President of the Alabama College Association, Vice President of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, and Secretary of the Birmingham Kiwanis and Press Clubs. 

College President Gilbert Mead walks down the steps of William Smith Hall with President Harry S. Truman. (c 1946)College President Gilbert Mead walks down the steps of William Smith Hall with President Harry S. Truman. (c 1946)


He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Gamma Phi, Tau Kappa Alpha, Omicron Delta Kappa and Kappa Phi Kappa.  

Mead was the author of A Course in Speech Composition (1922).