University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries
University of Georgia Libraries

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

Moses Waddel



Born June 20, 1770, Rowan County, NC; Died July 21, 1840, Athens, GA; B.A. Hampden Sidney College (1791).

Waddel became a schoolmaster in Iredell Co., NC at the age of fourteen. In 1788, he relocated to Georgia where he ran a school near Greensboro. He attended Hampden Sidney College in 1790-91 and was ordained as a Presbyterian minister upon graduation. Several years of preaching and teaching (including John C. Calhoun) led to the establishment of Willington Academy in SC where he was headmaster when offered the Presidency of Franklin College. After leaving the university, he returned to Willington.


When Waddel started his career at UGA, there was a faculty of one and student body of seven. He worked to regularize state funding, gaining solvency for the school in 1823. He brought a new climate of religious scholarship to campus and recruited zealously, raising attendance to 100 and garnering $2,000 for library improvements. Waddel resigned in August of 1829 after a prolonged feud with the Baptist faction at the University.


Philosophical Hall (1821); New College (1823); Demosthenian Hall (1824).