David Morton Edwards, About | Earlham College
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David Morton Edwards

EdwardsDavid Morton Edwards served as president from 1917-29.

Edwards was born in Earlham, Iowa, and was the first president since the founding of the College who was not an alumnus. He graduated instead from Penn College in 1896, followed by graduate work at the University of Chicago and Boston University. He was the first president with an earned doctorate. Prior to coming to Earlham, Edwards was the president of Penn College. He came from an old Quaker family and was, like past presidents, a recorded minister.

Edwards was president during the "heresy trial" of 1920-21, in which some Friends decried modernist teaching on campus. Following the controversy, Earlham continued squarely down the path of liberal Quakerism. Edwards encouraged Clarence Cunningham, Earlham's first black graduate, to enroll. Edwards also brought black speakers to campus and signed a public declaration against the Ku Klux Klan in 1924.

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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission


Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.