Malcolm MacVicar

30 Jul

Yes, MacVicar, as in MacVicar Hall, one of our residence halls. He was “principal,” that is president, of our school 1858-1868. This was a key transitional period for the school, where we went from being a private “collegiate institute” to being a state “Normal School.”

MacVicar was a Scottish immigrant to Canada and came to this country as a teenager to work as a ship’s carpenter, but discovered a calling to preach and became a Baptist minister.  He found though that his real calling was in education, and he was a capable and astute educator, leading Brockport through some difficult times, where as a private school we were in real financial difficulties, to a secure place as a state supported school.

He then went on from Brockport to run Potsdam, and later several other colleges. Subsequently he was involved in higher education for blacks in the American post Civil War south. As superintendent of the American Baptist Home Mission Society, he oversaw the operations of a seminary, seven colleges, and a number of academies across the south.

MacVicar finished his career as president of the newly formed Union University in Virginia, which is today Virginia Union University – and they also have a residence hall named after MacVicar!

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Posted by on July 30, 2010 in Uncategorized


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