Edward M. Lewis, 1924-27
Literary scholar and baseball pitcher Edward M. Lewis enjoyed a diverse career before succeeding Kenyon Butterfield as Acting President of the Massachusetts Agricultural College from1924-26 and President from 1926-27. He had served as Acting President in 1912, as well.
Lewis was born in Machynlleth, North Wales, and came to the United States in 1881 at the age of eight. While attending Williams College, he was so effective as a pitcher for the college baseball team that, on leaving Williams, he entered professional baseball, pitching for the Boston National League team for four years and the Boston Americans for one year.
In 1901, he began what was to be his life work-education-and he taught at Columbia, Williams, Harvard, and Yale before he came to the Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1911.
At the Massachusetts Agricultural College he was, first, assistant professor of English and assistant dean; later, head of the department of languages and literatures; and, for ten years, dean. As president, Lewis was noted for improving relations with the state commission on administration and finance. When state funding was insufficient, he called for seeking funding from the private sector. Lewis enjoyed politics, chairing the Massachusetts Democratic convention in 1913. He also ran for Congress, unsuccessfully. In 1927 he became president of the University of New Hampshire.