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Francis Wayland Edit Profile

Clergyman , economist , educator

Francis Wayland was an American educator, economist and pastor.


Francis Wayland was born on March 11, 1796, in New York City, United States, to a Baptist family recently emigrated from England.


Wayland entered Union College, Schenectady, at the age of 15. After his graduation in 1813, he began studying medicine with doctors in Troy. He received his license to practice medicine but decided to study theology and went to Andover Theological Seminary in Massachusetts in 1816.


Financial difficulties interrupted Wayland's theological studies. He accepted a tutorship at Union, where he associated with the president of the college, Eliphalet Nott. After 4 years in teaching, he became pastor of the First Baptist Church of Boston in 1821. In 1826 he resigned his pastorate to become a professor of moral philosophy at Union. In 1827 he became president of Brown University.

At this time Brown was suffering from a decline in applicants, faculty dissension, and a breakdown in student discipline. To correct the abuses, Wayland called for more faculty responsibility in teaching and in the supervision of student life and for greater student discipline.

Wayland also tackled the problems of declining enrollments and financial crises. In 1842 his "Thoughts on the present Collegiate System in the United States" cast him nationwide as a critic of higher education who urged drastic reforms. He charged that college education did not meet the needs of an American public with increasing diversity of backgrounds and educational needs. His reforms stressed an expanded curriculum, including science; a student's election of his own course of study; flexibility in the required residence for a degree; thoroughness in teaching; increased fees; and better library facilities. In 1850 his report to the Brown board of trustees called for an overhaul of the college's educational program in order to attract more students and improve the college's usefulness to society.

Wayland's proposals ultimately won disfavor, and he resigned in 1855. His later years were spent in writing and as pastor of a Baptist church in Providence, R. I.

Francis Wayland died on September 30, 1865.


  • The educator and clergyman, Francis Wayland was in the forefront among educators, who urged reforms in American collegiate education.

    The town of Wayland, Massachusetts was named in his honor. Wayland Seminary in Washington D. C. , a predecessor of Virginia Union University was named for him. The Wayland Day lectures at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan, also were named in honor of Wayland.



Quotations: "Childish, imbecile carelessness is enough to render any man poor, without the aid of a single positive vice. "

"Wealth is not acquired, as many persons suppose, by fortunate speculations and splendid enterprises, but by the daily practice of industry, frugality, and economy. He who relies upon these means will rarely be found destitute, and he who relies upon any other will generally become bankrupt. "


On November 2, 1825, Francis Wayland married Lucy Lane, they had three children. After his first wife's death in 1834, he married Hepsibah Howard on August 1, 1838, they had one son.

Francis Wayland

Sarah Wayland (Moore)

Susanah Stone (Wayland)

Lucy Lane Wayland (Lincoln)

Hepsibah Wayland (Howard)

Emma L. Wayland

Howard Wayland

Herman Lincoln Wayland

Francis Waylan

Francis Waylan was an American was lieutenant-governor of Connecticut from 1869-1870, and became a professor and Dean of the Yale Law School.