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Thu, 11.12.1885

Florence Read, College Administrator born

Florence Read

*Florence Read was born on this date in 1885. She was a white-American college president.

From Delevan, New York, Florence Matilda Read was the daughter of William Ervin Read and Cornelia Minerva Waldo; she had a brother Harry. Read received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in 1909 and served as alumnae secretary.

In 1911, Read moved to Portland, Oregon, where she was secretary to the president of Reed College, a post she held until 1920. During World War I, Read worked at the Council of National Defense in Washington, D.C., and later with the YMCA in France. From 1920 to 1927, Read served as executive secretary of the International Health Division of the Rockefeller Foundation. In 1927, Read was named President of Spelman College.

Enrollment almost doubled during her time as president, and its reputation in the liberal arts was enhanced. On April 11, 1929, Spelman's 48th celebration of Founder's Day, Read was a co-signer of the Agreement of Affiliation between Spelman College, Morehouse College, and Atlanta University. While she was president at Spelman, she also became superintendent of Atlanta University. She helped decide to incorporate women students at Atlanta University into the Spelman student body and college community.

Read was elected Spelman's President Emeritus when she retired in 1953. In 1955, she researched what would later become her history of Spelman College while living in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Florence Read died on April 29, 1973.

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