John Chandler: former Duke COB and President of AACU on frats

The racist video from Sigma Alpha Epsilon at the University of Oklahoma. Brothers at Kappa Delta Rho at Penn State posting photos of naked, unconscious women. A Pi Kappa Phi pledge notebook at N.C. State with racist and sexist language.

John Chandler, the former president of Williams College in Massachusetts, isn’t surprised. “I don’t think there’s any college or university that’s immune,” he told me this week. “But I think without fraternities the risk is considerably lower for episodes of that kind.”

Chandler, 91, is a North Carolina native who graduated from Wake Forest College in 1945 and received his doctorate from Duke. He taught religion at Williams in the early 1960s when the all-male college decided to phase out fraternities. He served as president of Hamilton College in central New York from 1968 to 1973, then returned to Williams as president for 12 years.

Later he was president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and chairman of the board at Duke. He’s one of the most distinguished figures in American higher education.


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