David Jayne Hill

David Jayne Hill (1850-1932) came to the Presidency of the University of Rochester from the Presidency of the University of Lewisburg (now Bucknell University) in 1889 and served until 1896. His comparatively brief administration saw the weakening of the University's ties to the Baptist Church and the liberalization of the curriculum.


In October, 1891, University leaders and other influential Rochester citizens gathered at the home of Susan B. Anthony to honor Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Much criticism was voiced on the University's continuing policy of not admitting women. President Hill, who had just become the father of twins –a girl and a boy -- remarked that "if the Creator could risk placing sexes in such near relations…they might with safety walk on the same campus and pursue the same curriculum together." Despite Hill's blessing on co-education, it was another nine years before women were admitted to the University.

After their service to the University, some of our presidents have retired, while others have pursued new careers. Hill, who was in his mid-40s when he left Rochester, was later Assistant Secretary of State, Minister to Switzerland, and Ambassador to Germany. He also wrote extensively on political science.

From our early years onward, many campus buildings have been named to honor faculty, staff, alumni, trustees and supporters of the University. David Jayne Hill Court was dedicated in 1969.