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Henry Dunster

From Academic Kids

Henry Dunster(c. 1612 - 1659) was an English-American Puritan clergyman and educator. He was born in Lancashire, England, and studied at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He emigrated to Boston in 1640. When Master Nathaniel Eaton was dismissed as leader of the recently-established Harvard College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dunster was appointed as his successor. Thus on August 27, 1640 Dunster became the first president of Harvard. (For a discussion of Dunster's choice of the title "president" see President, history of the term.) He modeled Harvard's educational system on that of the English universities.

In 1651, Dunster refused to have his child baptized, confessing himself an antipaedobaptist. For this heterodoxy, he was forced to resign from Harvard, although it was with much regret that he was sent away, since he was universally well-respected there. He spent the last few years of his life in Scituate, Massachusetts, as a pastor, before passing away in 1659.

Dunster House, one of the twelve residential houses of Harvard University, is named after Henry Dunster.


Preceded by:
(none)
President of Harvard University
1640–1654
Succeeded by:
Charles Chauncy

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