Henry Gadd Harmon

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Henry Gadd Harmon. Photo Provided by The Quax,1959, page 78

Dr. Henry Gadd Harmon

Originally submitted by Emily Notturno on November 29, 2011, Drake University


Early Life

Henry Gadd Harmon was born on the 14th of June, 1901 in St. Paul, MN, to Andrew and Alice Harmon. Alice and Andrew were both educators, Mr. Harmon was a minister and president of Cotner College in Lincoln, NE, and of Transylvania College at Lexington, KY. His mother, Alice was a professor of sociology at Cotner College, and later dean of Hamilton College at Lexington, KY. Henry was the third child, and only son, of Alice and Andrew.[1]

Personal Life

Henry Harmon married Helen Bernice Sherman, a graduate of Cotner College, on November 12, 1925. Together they had three children, Jeanette Sherman, Norma Jean, and Henry Andrew.[2]

College, Degrees, and Early Work

Henry attended Cotner College in Lincoln, NE in 1924 where he earned an A.B. degree with majors in history and education. Harmon became ordained in the Disciples of Christ ministry once graduating from Cotner. He then taught English for a year in a government school in China.[3] Harmon then decided to return to school, and he obtained a master's degree from Transylvania College, located in Lexington, KY, with the majors of College administration, education, and educational psychology. Harmon obtained a position working as a Professor of Education at Culver-Stockton College, located in Canton, MO from 1925 to 1934.[4]

He then decided to work on a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, and was the first student in the school's department of college
Henry G. Harmon getting into a Jet Plane. Photo provided by the Drake University Cowles' Library Archive Collection: Henry Harmon File
, he obtained his Ph.D. in 1935 from the University of Minnesota, located in Minneapolis, MN, even though most of his course work was completed at the University of Chicago. Dr. Harmon was President of William Woods College , in Fulton, MO. from 1934 to 1941.[5]

Drake and Later Years

Dr. Harmon assumed the title of President of Drake University on September 1, 1941, after seven years of presidency at William Woods College.[6] While president of Drake University, Harmon made many strides to be the best leader and educator he could be.[7] Harvey Ingham Hall of Science, the Fitch Hall of Pharmacy, and the Oreon E. Scott Meditation Chapel and the "quad" dormitories are a result of his leadership.[8] Harmon was involved in many organizations while at Drake including, Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Kappa Alpha, Phi Delta Kappa, Pi Kappa Delta, Omicron Delta Kappa, Rotary Club, Newcomen Society, Masonic Order, the Edmundson Art Foundation, Inc., Greater Des Moines Committee, and the Des Moines Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Harmon also has Honorary Degrees from Transylvania College, 1954, with a honorary doctor of laws and from Culver-Stockton College, 1953, with a honorary doctor of laws.[9]


Death

Dr. Henry Gadd Harmon passed away on Monday October 5, 1964 in Des Moines from a heart attack. The Drake University Secretary, Robert M. Evans sent out the following message of his passing, " President Henry Harmon left a great heritage in a strong University, which is a source of pride for all of us. We know you share in this hour of sorrow with all who work toward the advancement of Drake."[10]

H.G. Harmon Fine Arts Center, Drake University, Photo provided by Emily Notturno

Dedication to Henry G Harmon

The Fine Arts Center was dedicated to Henry G. Harmon on October 6th, 1974 with a formal ceremony and concert.[11] By decision from the board of trustees, Drake University named the fine arts facility in remembrance of the late Dr. Henry G. Harmon, seventh president of Drake.[12] “Naming the fine arts facility in Dr. Harmon’s memory reflects the affection felt for him but the University’s Board of Trustees as well as others on the Drake community and in Des Moines,” Dr. Wilbur C. Miller, Drake President said. He also added that “this action by the University’s trustees is a tribute to Henry Harmon’s ability and contribution to the development of Drake University as well as to his many cultural and service achievements in this city.” After October 6th, 1974, the fine arts facility was known as the Henry G. Harmon Fine Arts Center.[13]


Citations

  1. Drake University News Bureau. (N.D.). Biographical Outline-Henry Gadd Harmon. (Unpublished Document). Drake University. [Available in Cowles Library Archive Collection-Henry Gadd Harmon].
  2. Drake University News Bureau. (N.D.). Biographical Outline-Henry Gadd Harmon. (Unpublished Document). Drake University. [Available in Cowles Library Archive Collection-Henry Gadd Harmon].
  3. Drake University News Bureau. (N.D.). Biographical Material On-Drake University President Henry G. Harmon. (Unpublished Document). Drake University. [Available in Cowles Library Archive Collection-Henry Gadd Harmon].
  4. Drake University News Bureau. (N.D.). Biographical Outline-Henry Gadd Harmon. (Unpublished Document). Drake University. [Available in Cowles Library Archive Collection-Henry Gadd Harmon].
  5. Drake University News Bureau. (N.D.). Biographical Outline-Henry Gadd Harmon. (Unpublished Document). Drake University. [Available in Cowles Library Archive Collection-Henry Gadd Harmon].
  6. Drake University News Bureau. (N.D.). Biographical Material On-Drake University President Henry G. Harmon. (Unpublished Document). Drake University. [Available in Cowles Library Archive Collection-Henry Gadd Harmon].
  7. Drake’s Harmon Devoted Life Toward Progressive Education. (1964, October 7). Drake Times-Delphic, Volume 83, No.5, pp.1.
  8. Drake University News Bureau. (N.D.). Biographical Material On-Drake University President Henry G. Harmon. (Unpublished Document). Drake University. [Available in Cowles Library Archive Collection-Henry Gadd Harmon].
  9. Drake University News Bureau. (N.D.). Biographical Outline-Henry Gadd Harmon. (Unpublished Document). Drake University. [Available in Cowles Library Archive Collection-Henry Gadd Harmon].
  10. Evans, Robert M. (Personal Letter, 1964, October 12)
  11. Drake University. (1974, Oct. 6). Dedication: Henry G. Harmon Fine Arts Center, Drake University.[Cowles Library’s Archive Collection-Fine Arts File]. Des Moines, IA: Drake University.
  12. Rehder, Dennis L. (1974, August). Fine Arts Center named for Harmon. Drake Perspectives, Volume 6, No. 5, pp. 1.
  13. Rehder, Dennis L. (1974, August). Fine Arts Center named for Harmon. Drake Perspectives, Volume 6, No. 5, pp. 1.