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- 1869-1952 (Creation)
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Dr. Bowman Foster Ashe was the first President of the University of Miami from 1926 to 1952. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in economics in 1912 from the University of Pittsburgh, taught English and history in public schools, and later received an appointment to the University of Pittsburgh's faculty and administration. The University awarded Dr. Ashe an honorary LL.D. degree in 1927 for his many achievements.
Bowman Foster Ashe, first president of the University of Miami, served from 1926 to 1952. Born in 1885, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh. After graduation, he took a job teaching English and history in public school. Ashe also worked as the educational/social director of Langeloth, a model town near Pittsburgh. Ashe’s work eventually led him back to the University of Pittsburgh where he became a faculty member and supervised the admission, transfer and academic progress of freshmen and sophomores.
The founders of UM hired Ashe from Pittsburgh to oversee the institution during its challenged infancy. In 1929, with the collapse of the economy, UM's financial plight was severe, but Ashe held it together almost single-handedly during the dual hardships of the land boom failure in Florida and the Great Depression. During Ashe's presidency, the University added the School of Law (1928), the School of Business Administration (1929), the School of Education (1929), the Graduate School (1941), the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (1943), the School of Engineering (1947), and the School of Medicine (1952). He took over as Chairman of its Board of Trustees in 1929, but later gave up that role and continued as President until 1952, the year of his death.
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