Anderson Hall

James Anderson

James Anderson

James Nesbitt Anderson
Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, 1910-1930;
Dean of the Graduate School, 1930-1938

James Nesbitt Anderson was born on October 21, 1864 in Lauren, South Carolina. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Virgina and his Ph.D. in Latin, Greek, and Sanscrit at Johns Hopkins University in 1894. He also studied at the Universities of Berlin, Heidelberg, and Paris, after which he held teaching positions at the University of Oklahoma and Vanderbilt University.

Anderson joined the newly reorganized University of Florida in 1905, and, in 1909, when UF was divided into four separate colleges, Anderson was named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to his responsibilities as dean, he taught four classes in Latin and three in Greek. In 1930 he became the first dean of the Graduate School and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1938. The former Language Hall, which housed Anderson and the College of Arts and Sciences, was later renamed Anderson Hall in his honor.

Professor Anderson was a strong advocate for a rigorous program of undergraduate education. Not long after becoming Dean, he wrote: "Let us not cheapen our courses. Let us not imagine that we shall win out in the long run by making our courses so superficial and easy…. A mere smattering is usually, taken all in all, worse than nothing."*

* "The Status of Classical Studies in Florida Colleges," a paper by James N. Anderson, read before the Florida Classical Association, Jacksonville, December 28, 1911.

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