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Fred Carrington Cole

President, Washington and Lee University, 1959–1967

Fred Carrington Cole was born in 1912 in Franklin, Texas. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an A.B. in 1934, an A.M. in 1936 and a Ph.D. in history in 1941. He edited several publications. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy. At Tulane University, he served as a professor, dean and vice president from 1946 to 1959.

At Washington and Lee, he raised academic standards and integrated the library into the curriculum. During Cole's tenure, renovations of Lee Chapel, the Alumni House and Howe and Reid Halls were completed, and the University began construction of the Early-Fielding Memorial Building. One of Cole's major contributions, the completion of the University's first self-study, resulted in the trustees' accepting increasing responsibility for developing financial support and the initiation of a development office. Also during Cole's time, the Board of Trustees decided to integrate the school. The first African-American student enrolled in the fall of 1966.