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William Cullen Dennis served as president from 1929-46.
Dennis was the son of beloved biology professor David W. Dennis. He graduated from Earlham and earned two degrees from Harvard. Dennis, an authority on international law, was practicing in Washington, D.C. when asked to become Earlham's next president. In contrast to previous presidents, Dennis had never taught at a Quaker institution, and was the first Earlham president who was not a recorded Quaker minister.
Dennis shepherded Earlham through the turbulent times of the Great Depression and World War II, defending Japanese-American students from local hostility.