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C. L. Max Nikias Inauguration

George Finley Bovard

George Bovard.jpgGeorge Finley Bovard, Methodist minister and brother of Marion Bovard, was USC's fourth president. Following the resignation of President White, USC was without a president for four years. Rev. George Bovard served as administrator during that period, before being elected to the presidency in 1903.

Bovard attended De Pauw University in Indiana and taught school for several years prior to 1879, when he moved to California and entered the ministry of the Methodist Church. After serving a pastorate at San Bernardino, he moved to Phoenix, Ariz., where he oversaw the building of the first Methodist church in that city. In 1881, he returned to California and earned A.B. and M.A. degrees from USC. During the last two years of his courses, he was also a member of the faculty. He was elected to the USC board of trustees and held the chairmanship of the board before his election to the USC presidency on April 8, 1903. No records of the inaugural ceremony have been preserved.

Under the second Bovard administration, the student body grew to approximately 5,000 and the faculty grew to 273. USC expanded to include the Graduate School and the schools of pharmacy, education, engineering, architecture and social work. Also added was the College of Commerce and Business Administration, which was renamed the School of Business Administration in 1960 and, together with the Graduate School of Business Administration established that year and the School of Accounting established in 1979, now constitutes the Marshall School of Business. The Bovard Administration Building, dedicated in 1922, was named after USC's fourth president.

In 1921, Bovard became ill and, at his request, was relieved of his duties as USC president.


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