JULIAN ALVIN CARROLL CHANDLER, PH. D., president of William and Mary College, is one of the ablest and best known educators of Virginia, if not of the South, and a man of the highest standing. He was born at Guinea, Caroline County, Virginia, a son of Dr. Joseph Alsop and Emeline Josephine (White) Chandler, both of whom were born in Caroline County, Virginia. He died in 1902, at the age of seventy-four, and she in the same year when sixty-four. Dr. Joseph Alsop Chandler was educated at Bethany College, Maryland, and in the Charleston Medical College, and was engaged in a general practice in Caroline County when war broke out between the two sections of the country. He was appointed by Governor Letchim, of Virginia, attending physician for Spotsylvania and Caroline counties, and while attending to his professional duties was captured by General Grant’s army at Spotsylvania Court House, and kept a prisoner for six months. He was finally released, given his horse and allowed to return to his practice. It was in his office that General Jackson died. Subsequently he was made demonstrating anatomist at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania., but failing health caused him to resign and return to his home. Of his two sons, President Chandler is the younger.
Growing up amid the strictly rural surroundings of a farm, Julian Alvin Carroll Chandler attended the local schools, and while still a boy resolved to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a physician. When he was only eighteen years old he was graduated from William and Mary College with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and the subsequent year he secured his Master’s degree from the same institution, for which he prepared while acting as assistant to Dr. John L. Hall, Ph. D., of William and Mary College, and found educational work so congenial and so suited to his capabilities that he decided to abandon his idea of becoming a physician and devoted himself to the profession of teaching.
For a year he held the position of principal of the high school of Houston, Virginia, and then went to Baltimore, Maryland, and while preparing for a Doctor’s degree at Johns Hopkins University was editor, at New York City, for Silver-Burden & Company, and dean of Morgan College. Ile received his degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1896, and from then until 1899 was acting president of the Richmond Woman’s College, and professor of history and literature, and from 1900 to 1904 held the chair of English in the same institution. At the same time from time to time he took up new studies, and has never ceased to add to his store of knowledge. From 1907 to 1909 he was editor of the Virginia Journal of Education at Richmond, and during 1908 and 1909 was also professor of history of Richmond College. From 1909 to 1919 he was superintendent of the Richmond public schools, although in October, 1918, he was called to Washington City as chief of the Rehabilitation Division, Disabled Soldiers, Federal Board of Vocational Training, and remained there for six months, putting into successful operation what is now the Veterans’ Bureau. While at Richmond he was a prominent figure in its Rotary Club, and during the war period was a zealous participant in all of the local drives. An earnest member of Grace Street Baptist Church, Richmond, he taught the men’s Bible Class in the Sunday school. On July 1, 1919, he was elected president of his alma mater, William and Mary College.
Doctor Chandler’s policy with reference to this old and celebrated institution has been as follows:
(1) To develop a department of education to be better able to effectively and efficiently help public schools;
(2) A business administration whereby graduates will be better fitted to enter the business world;
(3) Instruction in principles of government to make better citizens;
(4) Erection of new building so as to make this the best college in the land, but not to assume the offices of a university;
(5) Establish extension teaching, and this latter has been done in every county of Tidewater, Virginia, and also in the Richmond, Norfolk and Newport News cites. This is a new departure for Virginia schools, and a most excellent innovation, for it takes a college education to ambitious boys and girls whose circumstances would not permit their attendance at college. In this alone Doctor Chandler has accomplished a vast amount of good, and greatly advanced the cause of education in his native state.
Very democratic in all public matters, Doctor Chandler is a strong advocate of the good roads movement, and is a forceful speaker in its behalf as well as on other subjects of local moment. He belongs to the Newport News Rotary Club, the Williamsburg Chamber of Commerce and the Westmoreland Club. Farming is his hobby and motoring his diversion, but his chief interest is centered in developing the mentality of the rising generation and placing within the reach of all a solid educational training which will make of the young people of today and the citizens of tomorrow better and happier individuals. He has risen through the different bodies of Masonry to the Commandery and Shrine, and still maintains his membership with the Richmond lodges. His college fraternities are Kappa Alpha and Phi Beta Kappa. From 1899 to 1910 he rendered a very effective service as lecturer at the Virginia Summer School of Methods, and in 1907 was director of history and education at the Jamestown Exposition. Professionally he maintains membership with the Virginia Historical Society, the National Educational Association, the American Historical Association, the Society for the Preservation of Virginia Antiques, the Virginia State Teachers’ Association, which he served from 1917 to 1919 as president, and is now serving as director. Doctor Chandler is an author of distinction, and among his other works may be mentioned: 1896, Representation in Virginia; County Authority, 1919; History of Suffrage in Virginia, 1902; Geography of Virginia, 1904; Makers of Virginia History, 1904; County Author Makers of American History, 1910; and County Authors Our Republic. Doctor Chandler was a member of the first library board under the 1903 constitution, which office he held until going to New York City in 1904. In 1923 he was further honored by being appointed by the Virginia State Senate as a member of the Virginia State Board of Education for a term of four years. Twice he has served as vice president of the National Association of Education, and is now a member of its legislative committee.
On July 10, 1897, Doctor Chandler married Miss Lenon Burton Duke, of Churchland, Virginia, and they have four children: Herbert G., Alvin D., Carroll C. and Julian Alvin Carroll, Junior.