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Alexander Meiklejohn

From Academic Kids

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Time-magazine-cover-alexander-meiklejohn.jpg
1928 Time' cover featuring Meiklejohn

Alexander Meiklejohn (February 1, 1872December 17, 1964) was a philosopher, university administrator, and free-speech advocate. He served as dean of Brown University and president of Amherst College.

Meiklejohn was born in Rochdale, England of Scottish descent, being the youngest of eight sons. When he was eight, the family moved to the United States, settling in Rhode Island. Family members pooled their money to send him to school. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at Brown and completed his doctorate in philosophy at Cornell in 1897.

In the same year, he began teaching at Brown. In 1901 he became dean of the school, a position he held for twelve years. The first-year advising program at Brown now bears his name. From 1913 to 1923 he was president of Amherst College. From there he went to the University of Wisconsin, where he taught and set up an experimental college. He then, in 1938, joined the School of Social Studies in San Francisco, where he was involved with adult education. His books span the period from 1920 to 1960.

Meiklejohn is known as an advocate of first-amendment freedoms. He was a member of the National Committee of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In 1945 he was a U.S. delegate to the founding meeting of UNESCO in London. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) established the Alexander Meiklejohn Freedom Award to honor his work. He received the Rosenberger Medal in 1959. Meiklejohn was selected by John F. Kennedy to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which was presented by Lyndon B. Johnson shortly after Kennedy's death.

The Meiklejohn Advising Program is Brown University's advising program for incoming first-year students. Meiklejohn Advisors (known as Meiklejohns for short) are student advisors who are paired with each first-year, along with a faculty advisor, to provide academic advice and help the transition to college.

See also: Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute (MCLI).

List of writings

  • The Liberal College
  • Freedom and the College
  • The Experimental College, 1932 (full text online) (http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/UW.MeikExpColl)
  • Free Speech and its Relation to Self-Government, 1948 (full text online) (http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/UW.MeikFreeSp)
  • Political Freedom; the Constitutional Powers of the People

Reference

  • Alexander Meiklejohn: Teacher of Freedom, by Cynthia Stokes Brown. MCLI, 1981.

External links

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