Presidents of the College




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Harold Mestre, who served as the 9th president of the college, was a distinguished biophysicist appointed to the position in January of 1938. The College was facing insolvency during this time, and almost closed its doors. Grass roots efforts on the part of the students, alumni, and even the local communities provided hope in the coming year, but Dr. Mestre died suddenly on the second day of the fall semester in 1939. His term was completed by Bennington President John Leigh, then on sabbatical. Dr. Leigh provided the trustees with a six-year plan to improve enrollment, modernize the campus, and balance the budget, with continued support from Columbia and the board of trustees. He nominated his fellow Bennington colleague Charles Harold Gray for the position of dean to implement the plan.



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