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Landrum Bolling: Remembering Earlham's Ninth President

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An international figure in higher education, humanitarianism and peacemaking, Landrum Bolling (November 13, 1913 – January 17, 2018) was one of Earlham’s most honored citizens in its 170-year history.

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of Landrum Bolling. Landrum was president of Earlham from 1958-73, and helped transform the College into a national and international institution. After his retirement, he remained active in the Earlham community, serving as an Honorary Lifetime Trustee and often attending campus events. He is remembered with great fondness by many in the Earlham community.

A memorial service in Washington, D.C., was held on Saturday, February 17, at 2 p.m., in the Robert L. Smith Meeting Room at Sidwell Friends School.

Earlham will host a memorial service on Saturday, June 2, at 2 p.m., at Goddard Auditorium in Carpenter Hall. Landrum’s four children and his many grandchildren as well as many past friends, colleagues and Richmond community members also are expected to attend.

The service will include musical selections, personal reflections on Landrum Bolling, and a period of open worship for anyone to share their stories and memories. Following the service, a reception will take place in the Richmond Room at the Landrum Bolling Center.

Advocate for Peace

By Thomas Hamm
Professor of History; Curator of the Quaker Collection & Director of Special Collections

Landrum Bolling has been Earlham’s most honored president, with a connection to the college that spans six decades. It began when he joined the Earlham faculty as a professor of political science in 1948 and progressed through administrative posts to the presidency and, since 1974, to membership on the Earlham board, first as an at-large and then as a lifetime honorary trustee. Those years also saw him become a national and international figure in higher education, humanitarianism, and peacemaking.

In Pictures

Landrum at 100

“Maybe the real secret is enjoying life, enjoying people, enjoying what you’re doing. I would gladly have paid for the privilege of doing the jobs that I’ve had if I had to pay for it. I feel the same way about Earlham College.”

A Special Legacy in Sports

Landrum Bolling received Special Recognition from the Earlham College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011. Quakers athletics thrived during his tenure.

Earlham realized its greatest era of success in men's basketball under future NBA coach Del Harris. The Quakers were 25-3 in 1967-68, ranking sixth in final NAIA poll. In 1970–71, Earlham posted a record of 24-5, and reached the NAIA national tournament.

The Quakers football team won 22 consecutive games from 1961-63, including an undefeated 8-0 season in 1962.

The Earlham men's soccer team earned a co-national championship in 1963 and two years later, the Quakers were national runners-up.

The Quakers men's volleyball team won an NAIA national title in 1969.

The 1963 Earlham men's cross country team competed in the NAIA National Championship meet.

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).

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Richmond, Indiana
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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.