Kirkland, James Hampton (1859-1939)

 Digital Record
Identifier: 630
Kirkland, James Hampton (1859-1939)


  • 1933 - 2004

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Historical or Biographical Note

James Hampton Kirkland was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, on September 9, 1859. He received an A.B. in 1877 and A.M. in 1878 from Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C. He received a Ph.D. in Comparative Philology at University of Leipzig in 1885. In 1886, Kirkland was appointed Professor of Latin at Vanderbilt University.

Besides being an able teacher and researcher in classics, Kirkland played a lead role in a faculty-led movement of educational reform that resulted in higher entrance requirements, the reorganization of the four-year-curriculum, and a general raising of academic standards. He held the professorship until 1893, when at the age of 33, he was elected second chancellor of Vanderbilt. During Chancellor Kirklands 44-year tenure (1893-1937), Vanderbilt witnessed a significant period of expansion. With his leadership, the educational reform for maintaining high academic standards, from entrance exams through college curriculum to graduate programs, was further developed, thus laying a solid foundation in academics for Vanderbilt and giving the institution an opportunity to play a leading role in the reform of southern higher education in the turn of the century.

Language of Materials



Biographical file includes numerous photographs, correspondence, event programs, speech, Kirkland's history of Medical Education at Vanderbilt, a 1933 edition of The Vanderbilt Alumnus commemorating Dr. Kirkland, and other biographical information.

Repository Details

Part of the VUMC Historical Images and Biographies Repository

Eskind Biomedical Library
2209 Garland Ave.
Nashville TN 37232


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