William C. Roberts
Centre College President (1898-1903)
William C. Roberts was born at Aberystwyth, Wales, on September 22, 1832. He was brought to the United States when quite young, but was soon left orphaned and destitute. By hard work he was able to graduate from Princeton in 1855 and the Princeton Theological Seminary in 1858. After pastorates in Delaware and Ohio, Roberts became president of Lake Forrest University, Illinois, in 1856. He was elected president of Centre College in 1898 following the death of William C. Young. Roberts found the college in good financial health, due to the fund-raising activities of his predecessor. The most crucial event during the Robert's administration was the consolidation of Centre College and Central University in 1901. Roberts remained as President when the two institutions consolidated, but many on both sides had reservations about the move, and credit must be given to Roberts and his administration for holding the divisions to a minimum. Roberts has also been credited with a major effort to improve the appearance of the Centre College campus and grounds. Roberts died in office on November 27, 1903, and was buried in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
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