UMass Amherst
Office of the Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  Chancellor Home | Past Chancellors & Presidents

  Past Chancellors & Presidents on the Amherst Campus

The Campus

Number of students:

Number of degrees awarded:

Instate undergraduate tuition:

New buildings:

Edward M. Lewis, 1924-27

Literary scholar and baseball pitcher, Edward Lewis enjoyed a diverse career before succeeding Kenyon Butterfield as President of Massachusetts Agricultural college in 1924.

Lewis was born in Machynlleth, North Wales, and came to the United States in 1881 at the age of 8. While attending Williams College, he was so effective as a pitcher for the college baseball team that, on leaving Williams, he entered professional baseball, pitching for the Boston National League team for four years and the Boston Americans for one year.

In 1901, he began what was to be his life work—education—and he taught at Columbia, Williams, Harvard, and Yale before he came to Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1911.

At Massachusetts Agricultural College he was, first, assistant professor of English and assistant dean; later, head of the department of languages and literatures; and, for ten years, dean.  As President, Lewis was noted for improving relations with the state commission on administration and finance.  When state funding was insufficient, he called for seeking funding from the private sector.

Lewis enjoyed politics, chairing the Massachusetts Democratic convention in 1913.  He also ran for Congress, unsuccessfully.   In 1927 he became President of the University of New Hampshire.


Profiles compiled from historical documentation located in Special Collections and Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts and from Cary, H. (1962). The University of Massachusetts: A History of 100 Years. Amherst: University of Massachusetts.

Image provided by Special Collections and Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

This page last updated June 14, 2004

umass amherst seal