Past Presidents of the University of Rochester

"Do we not most need an outdoor managering man to look after the wealthy men of the State and get them interested in the University, to keep up the confidence of all the sects in Rochester, to entertain liberally for the University bringing the whole thing pleasantly before the public; in other words, is it not diplomacy [rather than] teaching talent, and influence that are needed at the present time?"

- 19th century University of Rochester Trustee

The inaugural addresses of the UR presidents may now be read online

Photograph of Martin Brewer Anderson
Martin Brewer Anderson 
b. 1815, Brunswick, Maine; d. 1890 
B.A., 1840, Waterville (now Colby) College, Maine; graduate studies, Newton Theological Institution, Massachusetts 
President, 1853-1888

Photograph of David Jayne Hill
David Jayne Hill 
b. 1850, Planfield, New Jersey;, d. 1932 
Bachelor's degree, 1874, University of Lewisburg (now Bucknell); ordained Baptist minister 
President, 1889-1896

Photograph of Benjamin Rush Rhees
Rush Rhees 
b. 1860, Chicago, Illinois; d. 1939 
Undergraduate degree, 1883, Amherst; graduate of Hartford Theological Seminary; ordained Baptist minister 
President, 1900-1935

Photograph of Alan Valentine
Alan C. Valentine 
b. 1901, Glen Cove, New York; d. 1980 
BA, 1921, Swarthmore College; MA, 1925, Balliol College, Oxford 
President 1935-1950

Photograph of Cornelis de Kiewiet
Cornelis W. de Kiewiet 
b. 1902, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; d. 1986
BA, 1923; MA 1924, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Ph.D. (History), 1927, University of London 
President, 1951-1961

Photograph of W. Allen Wallis
W. Allen Wallis 
b. 1912, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; d. 1998
BA (major Psychology), 1932, University of Minnesota 
President/Chancellor, 1962-1975

Photograph of Robert L. Sproull
Robert L. Sproull 
b. 1918, Lacon, Illinois; d. 2014
AB (major English), 1940; Ph.D. (physics), 1943, Cornell University 
President and CEO, 1975-1984

Photograph of Dennis O'Brien
Dennis O'Brien 
b. 1931, Chicago, Illinois 
AB (major English), 1952, Yale University; Ph.D. (philosophy), 1961, University of Chicago 
President, 1984-1994

Photograph of Thomas H. Jackson
Thomas H. Jackson 
b. 1950, Kalamazoo, Michigan 
BA (major American Studies),Williams College; LLB, Yale University 
President, 1994-2005

Joel Seligman 
A.B., UCLA (political science), 1971; J.D., Harvard University, 1974 
President, 2005-2018 

Richard Feldman
B.A., Cornell University, 1970
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, 1975 
President, 2018-2019