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Dr. Mark M. Chamberlain, 1969-1984
Dr. Mark M. Chamberlain became the college's fourth president in 1969 and led it through the turbulent 1970s. The nation was protesting the war in Vietnam and the institution was trying to become a comprehensive college that could meet the region's growing needs.
Dr. Mark M. Chamberlain, 1969-1984 Born in Pawtucket, R.I., Chamberlain moved with his family to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1940 and graduated from South Hills High School in 1949. He majored in chemistry at Franklin and Marshall in Lancaster, Pa., and earned a doctorate of philosophy in inorganic chemistry from the University of Illinois.
Chamberlain became an educator and joined the faculty at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where he stayed 13 years, serving as assistant chair of the chemistry department and vice provost for student services. (The institution later was renamed Case Western Reserve.)
Although students at the institution were peaceful throughout the 1960s, activism began to surge in the latter part of the decade, as the student body became frustrated with the ongoing war in Vietnam. When Chamberlain became president, students were actively protesting by holding peace marches, rallies and candlelight vigils. His careful maneuverings helped ensure that the college remained open and safe.
Chamberlain took a collaborative approach to governing the institution, which was appropriate to the activist era. Like other leaders of the time, he sought to gain the input of faculty and students rather than running the college in an authoritarian manner.
During Chamberlain's tenure, the college opened its doors to more people as the Educational Opportunity Fund provided disadvantaged students with the necessary financial resources to continue their education. The institution more than doubled its student population and moved from its traditional role of educating teachers to becoming a multipurpose institution, adding major programs in the liberal arts and sciences, fine and performing arts and business administration.
During Chamberlain's tenure, the Wilson Music Building, Robinson Teacher Education Building, the Student Center, the Bole Building and two new dormitory complexes were built. There were additions and renovations to the gymnasium, bookstore and water tower. The college bought apartment buildings for student housing as it grew in size and expanded its curriculum.
Chamberlain resigned in 1984 after 16 years as president, but stayed on as a distinguished professor in the Department of Chemistry and Physics. He retired in 2000.