|Birth: ||Jan. 29, 1899|
|Death: ||Apr. 15, 1977|
Harmon White Caldwell was born January 29, 1899, in the Carmel community in Meriwether Co. GA. He received his undergraduate degree (A.B.) from the University of Georgia in 1919, and his LL.B. from Harvard University in 1924. In 1935, he was awarded an Honorary LL.D., from Emory University, and that same year, he received a second Honorary LL.D. from Mercer University. In 1938, his third Honorary LL.D. was bestowed by Tulane University.
Caldwell, a quick study, earned his Bachelor's degree at Georgia in two years, and taught in Georgia public schools for two years prior to entering Harvard Law School. Upon graduation from Harvard in 1924, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Law at Emory University. He held this position until 1926, at which point he was admitted to the Georgia Bar, and he came to the UGA School of Law as a Professor of Law in 1929. In 1933, he became Dean of the Law School, and in 1935, was named President of the University.
After he left UGA, Caldwell became Chancellor of the University System in 1948, a position he held until his retirement in 1964. For the rest of his life, Caldwell remained active as a trustee of the Berry Schools, and Calloway Gardens, as well as his affiliations with Kiwanis, Masonry, and the Baptist Church.
Harmon Caldwell's greatest legacy to the University of Georgia was the extensive building program on campus during his administration. Caldwell should also be remembered as the man who drafted, organized and put into effect the first Statutes of the University, the first formalized organizational structure of the modern university. He also reorganized the Graduate School in 1937, the same year he persuaded the Regents to buy the DeRenne Library of Georgianna, which formed the original nucleus of the present day Department of Special Collections at University Libraries. In 1939, he oversaw creation of the University of Georgia Press, and he saw the University through the difficult years of interference from the Governor's office during the term of Eugene Talmadge in the early 1940s. This determination to set policy for the University in the face of what became known as the Cocking affair (1941) brought about the unseating of Talmadge in 1942, and more amicable relations with his successor, Ellis Arnall.
The war years saw UGA serve as host to a Navy Preflight School, a reduced student population, and plans for the growth that was sure to come with the peacetime influx of veterans. During the Caldwell administration, growth was substantial, with the addition of numerous buildings, a physical plant of 3,500 acres, and a Library with 185,000 volumes. After the war, student attendance jumped from 2,468 in the fall of 1945 to 6,643 in the fall of 1946.
The myriad of buildings erected during Dr. Caldwell's tenure include: Mary Lyndon Hall (1936); Four Towers (1937); Hoke Smith Building (1937); Clark Howell Hall (1937); Forestry Resources Building (1938); Baldwin Hall (1938); LeConte Hall (1938); Park Hall (1938); Rutherford Hall (1939); Dairy Science Building (1939); Snelling Hall (1940); McPhaul Child and Family Development Center (1940); Payne Hall (1940); Founders' Memorial Garden (1941); Fine Arts Building (1941); Alumni House (1943); Stegeman Hall (1943).
Harmon Caldwell died on April 15, 1977, in Atlanta, GA.
Caldwell-Burton Family Cemetery
Created by: Maureen Keillor
Record added: Jul 20, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20542339