Hamline News

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In Memoriam: President Charles Graham

Charles Graham, who served as Hamline’s 16th president from 1981–87, died on December 23, 2016.

During his time at Hamline, the Hamline Plan, which became a nationally recognized curriculum for its holistic, forward-thinking approach to undergraduate education, was developed. The university also received accreditation for Hamline School of Law (now Mitchell Hamline School of Law) as well as the Master of Arts in Public Administration and Master of Arts in Liberal
Studies programs. Graham also oversaw the construction of a $2.5 million theater and a $1.6 million track.

Graham graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Illinois in 1950 and earned a Ph.D. in political science in 1955.
After a time working for the Naval Department in Washington, he served as chair of the Social Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls, then as dean of arts and sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater. In 1960, he took a two-year sabbatical to serve as legislative assistant to U.S. Senator William Proxmire. In 1971, he was named president of St. Cloud State University, where he served until becoming president of Hamline in 1981.

Following his retirement from Hamline in 1987, Graham became vice president of the Minnesota Private Colleges Council and Fund and head of overseas programs for Minnesota’s state university system. He was instrumental in founding Akita International University in Japan, a joint venture between the Minnesota state university system and the government of Japan. His last public service post was as acting president of Metro State University.

He is survived by his wife, Bonnie; his sons, David Graham JD ’87, John, and James; Andrew Charles Pautz Graham ’16 and nine other grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.