Bennington College

President Frederick H. Burkhardt, 1947-1957

President Frederick H. Burkhardt, 1947-1957


Dr. Burkhardt served as the third president of Bennington College, from 1947 to 1957. Frederick H. Burkhardt was born in Brooklyn in 1912. He received his B.A. with honors in philosophy from Columbia University in 1933. He went on to receive a Ph.D. from Columbia in 1940. Burkhardt began his career as a philosophy professor at the University of Wisconsin. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy, assigned to the Department of State as acting chief of the Division of Research for Europe. After his resignation in 1957, Dr. Burkhardt headed the American Council of Learned Societies until his retirement in 1974. He also served as a member of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO and directed the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna. After retiring, he founded the Darwin Correspondence Project. Dr. Burkhardt died in 2007. Notable events and projects during President Burkhardt’s tenure include the filming of a U.S. State Department film about Bennington College for distribution in West Germany (1952), the College’s 25th anniversary celebration (1957), and the beginning of plans for the construction of Crossett Library (1957). While President, Dr. Burkhardt took a leave from office from 1950-1951 to serve as the Deputy Director of the Office of Public Affairs of the U.S. High Commission for Germany. During Dr. Burkhardt’s absence, Bennington faculty member Thomas Brockway served as Acting President. NOTE on organization of physical collection: The arrangement of records in the Burkhardt series is based upon the original filing system used by President Burkhardt’s office. Original arrangement and folder titles have been maintained where possible. The records have been arranged into thematic sub-series. Each sub-series is arranged alphabetically by folder title. Materials within folders are arranged chronologically.

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