Landrum Bolling served as Earlham’s president from 1958-73.
Bolling broke the mold of presidents in some ways; for one, he did not have a Ph.D. He grew up in Tennessee and earned a master’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago. Bolling taught at Beloit College and Brown University and was a war correspondent prior to arriving at Earlham.
During his tenure at the Quaker college, Earlham became nationally known, gained a Phi Beta Kappa chapter and hired its first African-American faculty member, William Cousins. Bolling carefully cultivated donors, gaining a Kresge Foundation grant and several gifts from Indianapolis philanthropist Eli Lilly. Off-campus and international programs blossomed under his leadership. Facilities added to the campus during Bolling's administration include Lilly Library, Hoerner Residence Hall, Runyan Center, and Noyes and Stanley halls.
After resigning from the presidency, Bolling was named a Honorary Lifetime Trustee of Earlham. He continued his active involvement in global peace and justice issues and serves as a senior advisor to Mercy Corps, an international humanitarian agency. As a tribute to Bolling's leadership, Earlham named its new social sciences building, the Landrum Bolling Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and Social Sciences, for him in 2002. Later Bolling received the 2005 James L. Fisher Award for Distinguished Service to Education by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.