Benjamin Benjamin Stoddert Ewell Ewell (1810-1894)

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Benjamin S. Ewell

Biographical Sketch

Benjamin Stoddert Ewell (1810-1894) was a graduate of the United States Military Academy, a soldier, civil engineer, and educator; professor of mathematics and military science; colonel of the college company in the 32nd Virginia Infantry.

Benjamin S. Ewell served as interim president of the College of William and Mary from July 1848 until his resignation on October 5th, 1848. Ewell served as the interim president after Robert Saunders, Jr. and before Bishop John Johns. While the Board of Visitors elected Ewell to the presidency earlier in 1848, Ewell declined their offer, but agreed to stay on until the board found another candidate. When the board failed to do that in a timely manner, Ewell resigned, forcing them to find another president. Ewell served as president beginning in 1854 until the closure of William and Mary on May 10, 1861 due to the Civil War. Ewell managed to reopen the college on October 1, 1869, with mostly his own funds, and remained president until William and Mary's closure due to lack of attendance in July 1881. In 1888, the college was reopened with state funds, and Ewell was president until his resignation on May 11, 1888. Ewell is buried on the university's campus in the College Cemetery.

Ewell Hall and the Ewell Hall Dormitory were named in honor of President Ewell in the 20th century.

Preceded by College of William and Mary President Succeeded by
John Johns

July 1, 1849 - 1854

Benjamin S. Ewell

1854 - May 11, 1888

Lyon G. Tyler

August 23, 1888 - June 30, 1919

Material in the Special Collections Research Center

Benjamin S. Ewell abd Hugh Stockdell Bird in 1888 in the library of the Wren Building, 1888. University Archives Photograph Collection.

Further Reading

  • Holly, L. Neal and Martin, Jeremy P. Leadership in Crisis: A Historical Analysis of Two College Presidencies in Reconstruction Virginia. February 14, 2012. From Penn State University Higher Education in Review, Volume 9, 37-64. [1] (accessed November 10, 2016).

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A Note About The Contents Of This Wiki
The information available in this wiki is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of William & Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. Information in this wiki is not complete as new information continues to be uncovered in Swem Library's Special Collections Research Center and elsewhere. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use the Special Collections search tools for their research as the information contained in this wiki is by no means comprehensive.