Past Presidents & Chancellors


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Reverend Edward Lewis

President of Chattanooga University, 1886-1889

Reverend Lewis was born in Natick, Massachusetts in 1855.  He graduated from Boston University, where he also received his master’s degree. As an undergraduate, he earned membership in Phi Beta Kappa and was graduated with honors.  Rev. Lewis was a professor at Cincinnati Wesleyan College and then President at Little Rock University for before being elected Acting President of Chattanooga University at the young age of 31.




  image thumbnailReverend John F. Spence

President of Grant University (Chattanooga campus), 1889-1893

An Ohio native born in 1828, Reverend Spence graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1853.  Prior to the Civil War, he was a circuit riding preacher in Ohio.  During the war he was a chaplain in the Federal Army.  He then worked in Knoxville after the war, primarily with the Holston Conference as presiding elder.  He later became President of Knoxville Female Academy and then was elected President of East Tennessee Wesleyan University in Athens in 1875.  This school would later be renamed Grant Memorial University.  Upon consolidation of Grant Memorial University and Chattanooga University in 1889, Spence became president of the school that was then named US Grant University.  He served in this capacity until 1893.  Upon leaving Grant University, Dr. Spence founded the American Temperance University, in Harriman, Tennessee.   He was chaplain-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic from 1908-1909.  Dr. Spence died in Orlando, Florida in 1912.


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Bishop Isaac W. Joyce

Chancellor of Grant University (Chattanooga campus), 1891-1896

Bishop Joyce was born in Ohio in 1836.  He graduated from Hartsville College and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1858.  He was a pastor in Lafayette, Indiana from 1866-1876, and then in Greencastle, Indiana from 1877-1880.  From 1880-1888, he was a pastor in several Methodist churches in Cincinnati.  In 1888, he was elected a Bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church as was assigned an Episcopal residence in Chattanooga.   From 1891 to 1896, he served as Chancellor for US Grant University.  Upon his retirement from that position, Bishop Joyce served the Methodist Church in work in Mexico and overseas.  After leaving Chattanooga in 1896, he relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he died in 1905.




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Reverend John H. Race

President of Grant University (Chattanooga campus) and the University of Chattanooga, 1897-1913

Reverend Race was born in Paupack, Pennsylvania in 1862. He held both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Princeton University. Race was an ordained a Methodist minister in 1890 but had taught Greek and rhetoric in Wyoming Seminary, Kingston, Pennsylvania until 1894 when he became pastor of the Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church at Binghamton.







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Dr. Fred W. Hixson

President of the University of Chattanooga, 1914-1920

Born in Indiana in 1874 and living most of his life there, Dr. Hixon completed collegiate studies in his home state and graduated in 1899 with a B.A. from DePauw University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Hixson received a local preacher’s license as early as 1896. In 1913, he received Doctor of Divinity degree in recognition of his services at DePauw. When he was invited to become the President of UC, he was the minister of the First Methodist Episcopal Church at Crawfordsville, Indiana.






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Dr. Arlo A. Brown

President of the University of Chattanooga, 1921-1929

Dr. Brown was born in Sunbeam in Mercer County, Illinois in 1883. He graduated from Northwestern University with an A.B. in 1903 and then received a B.D. from Drew Theological Seminary. Dr. Brown did graduate work at Union Theological Seminary and Northwestern. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was awarded the D.D. degree in 1921 by Cornell College. From 1903 to 1912, he served various pastoral charges in the Methodist Episcopal Church. From 1914 until his appointment as President of UC, he was the superintendent of the Teach Training Board of the Sunday Schools of the Methodist Episcopal Church, although during the war years he was a Chaplain in the American Expeditionary Forces.




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Dr. Alexander Guerry

President of the University of Chattanooga, 1929-1938

Dr. Guerry was born in North Carolina in 1890. Graduated from the University of the South with a B.A. in 1910 and was awarded a D.C.L. there in 1929. Immediately after graduation, he came to Chattanooga as a member of the faculty of McCallie School. After two years there, he moved to Baylor School. Except for his war experience in 1917-1918 as a combat officer in France, Dr. Guerry was connected with Baylor School, first as associate headmaster and later as headmaster until his election to the presidency of UC.






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Dr. Archie Palmer

President of the University of Chattanooga, 1938-1942

Born in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1896, Dr. Palmer graduated from Cornell University in 1920 and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. By the time he received a master’s degree from Columbia, he had had wide experience in educational activities. After completing his undergraduate work, he served for three years as the Secretary of the Liberal Arts College at Cornell and then as Acting Dean. During the next two years, Dr. Palmer worked in sales and personnel research and Proctor and Gamble Company. He had been Alumni Secretary at Columbia University and for a period served as Associate Secretary of the Association of American Colleges. At the time of his election as President of UC, he was Executive Secretary of the Cornellian Council of Cornell University.




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Dr. David A. Lockmiller

President of the University of Chattanooga, 1942-1959

A son of a onetime trustee of the institution, Dr. Lockmiller was the first native of Tennessee and first Methodist layman to become President of the University. He was born in Athens in 1906 and graduated from Emory University in 1927, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and where he later earned a master’s degree. He also received a law degree from Cumberland University and practiced law in Missouri for four years before enrolling at the University of North Carolina for further graduate studies. Upon receiving the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, he entered the teaching profession at North Carolina State College, where he rose from the rank of instructor to head of the department of history and political science.



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Dr. Leroy Martin

President of the University of Chattanooga, 1959-1966

A 1924 graduate of the University of Chattanooga, Dr. Martin would be the last Methodist minister to serve as head of the university.  He was born in Morristown, Tennessee in 1901. He received theology degrees from Boston University and Drew University, in Madison, New Jersey, where he served as University Pastor for eight years. In 1950, he became President of Tennessee Wesleyan College in Athens, Tennessee. He became the President of the University of Chattanooga in 1959 and guided it for seven years, moving the university ahead with the integration of African-American students in the early 1960s. After stepping down as President, Dr. Martin remained on the staff as the John H. Race Professor of Classics, until his death in 1971. Today, the university has a chair named in his honor:  The LeRoy A. Martin Distinguished Professorship of Religious Studies.



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Dr. William A. Masterson

President of the University of Chattanooga, 1966-1969 
hancellor of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 1969-1973

Dr. Masterson was President of the University of Chattanooga from 1966 until the school’s merger into the University of Tennessee system in 1969. After the merger, he remained as Chancellor of the university until his resignation in 1973. After his chancellorship, Dr. Masterson stayed on the faculty at the university until his retirement in 1979. A native of Texas, Dr. Masterson graduated from Rice University in Houston. He received graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to his graduate work, he taught at the Baylor School in Chattanooga and also served his country in World War II. He taught at Rice University during the 1950s, where he also had administrative positions. He remained at Rice University until he returned to Chattanooga in 1966 to serve as President of the University of Chattanooga. After his retirement in 1979, he returned to his native Texas, where he died in 1983 at the age of 68.


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Dr. James E. Drinnon

Chancellor of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 1973-1981

Dr. Drinnon became Chancellor of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1973. Prior to this, he was the Vice President for Administration for the University of Tennessee, where he had worked in various positions since 1965. He was an alumnus of the University of Tennessee, and a native of Morristown, Tennessee.  Prior to his career at the University of Tennessee, he also worked with the FBI as a special agent and as a lawyer. He resigned his position in early 1981.






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Dr. Fred Obear

Chancellor of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 1981-1997, Interim Chancellor, 2004-2005

Dr. Obear is a native of Massachusetts. He received a degree with high honors from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He also holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of New Hampshire, as well as an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from his undergraduate alma mater.  Dr. Obear came to UTC in 1981 from Oakland University where he was Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost as well as Professor of Chemistry. From 1973-1979, he served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Marygrove College in Detroit. Dr. Obear was named an ACE Fellow 91967-68), was President of the Council of Fellows (1986), received the program’s 25th Anniversary Service Award (1990), and has also been a mentor in the Fellows program and served on several ACE commissions and committees. While on sabbatical leave from UTC after 16 years of service, Dr. Obear served as Acting Vice President for Academic and International Programs for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.


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Dr. Bill Stacy

Chancellor of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 1997-2004

Dr. Stacy is a Bristol, Tennessee native. He received his bachelor’s degree from Southeast Missouri State University and his master’s and Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University. He became Chancellor at UTC in 1997 and served until his resignation in 2004.Prior to coming to UTC, Dr. Stacy was President of California State University at San Marcos, and he had also previously served as President at Southeast Missouri State University. Upon his departure from UTC in 2004, Dr. Stacy served several years as the headmaster at the Baylor School in Chattanooga.





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Dr. Roger G. Brown

Chancellor of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 2005- 2012

A political scientist with particular academic emphasis in American government, Brown earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Political Science from the University of Tennessee and then a Ph.D. in Political Science from The Johns Hopkins University. He began his teaching career at Iowa State University in 1983 before joining the UNC Charlotte faculty in 1985 and moved up the ranks there for the next several years. Brown left UNC Charlotte in 2000 to serve as UNC Pembroke’s Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Brown came to Chattanooga from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in late 2005.






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Dr. E. Grady Bogue

Interim Chancellor of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 2012- 2013

Dr. Bogue earned the first doctoral degree granted by the University of Memphis, from which he also earned a master’s degree, and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. In 1986, the university named him a distinguished alumnus. Bogue was chief academic officer for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission from 1974 to 1980. Prior to joining THEC, Bogue was on the administrative staff at the University of Memphis for ten years. He was chancellor of Louisiana State University in Shreveport from 1980-1991, interim chancellor for one year at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, and named chancellor emeritus of LSU Shreveport by the LSU Board of Trustees in 1991.He was a professor of leadership and policy studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville from 1991 until his retirement in early 2012. After only a few short months of retirement, he came to Chattanooga to serve a one year term of Interim Chancellor.