University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries
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hargrett library :: past exhibits :: uga presidents :: alonzo s. church

From Ahmedunggar to Lavonia:
Presidents at the University of Georgia 1785-1997

Alonzo S. Church



Born April 9, 1793, Brattleboro, VT; Died May 18, 1862, Athens, GA. B.A. Middlebury College (1816).

Church came to Putnam Co., GA as a schoolmaster. While a Presbyterian minister, he joined faculty at UGA as Professor of Mathematics. Following his resignation in 1859, he retired to the country.


A stern disciplinarian, Church's puritanical ethos clashed with the student body, resulting in periods of campus unrest in each decade of his tenure. Additionally, he clashed with Joseph and John LeConte who refused to serve as disciplinarians of the student body. This series of confrontations led to an erosion of attendance. As a result of the crisis, a commission was formed which produced the Mitchell Report of November 1855. They advocated the creation of a school of science, law, teacher education, and agriculture as well as the addition of a professor of modern languages to the faculty.


Classroom/Library (Southern half of current Academic Building, 1831); Chapel (1832); Phi Kappa Hall (1836); Lumpkin House (Rock House, 1844); Lustrat House (1847); Garden Club House (1857); The Arch (1858) (funded through sale of the University Botanical Garden for $1,000).