Charles Custis Harrison

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Charles Custis Harrison
Charles Custis Harrison.jpg
Charles C. Harrison, 1911
Provost of the
University of Pennsylvania
In office
Preceded by William Pepper
Succeeded by Edgar Fahs Smith
Personal details
Born(1844-05-03)May 3, 1844
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died February 12, 1929(1929-02-12) (aged 84)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Charles Custis Harrison (May 3, 1844 – February 12, 1929) was an American university provost. He was born in Philadelphia on May 3, 1844, the son of George Leib and Sarah Ann (Waples) Harrison.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Philadelphia Largest city in Pennsylvania, United States

Philadelphia, sometimes known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2017 census-estimated population of 1,580,863. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.



His early education was at the private school of Miss Tatham on Pine Street in Philadelphia and the parish school of St. Luke's Episcopal Church before entering Episcopal Academy. He received the Bachelor of Arts in 1862, the Masters of Arts in 1865, and an honorary LL.D. in 1911 from the University of Pennsylvania.

Episcopal Academy

The Episcopal Academy, founded in 1785, is a private, co-educational school for grades Pre-K through 12 based in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. Prior to 2008, the main campus was located in Merion and the satellite campus was located in Devon. The Newtown Square facility is 123-acre (0.50 km2). Episcopal Academy has been consistently ranked as a top private school in the nation by various media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal. The Academy is affiliated with the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

University of Pennsylvania Private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university located in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Chartered in 1755, Penn is the sixth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. It is one of the nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum. The university's coat of arms features a dolphin on its red chief, adopted from Benjamin Franklin's own coat of arms.


"Happy Creek Farm," (c.1890), Devon, Pennsylvania, Frank Furness, architect. Harrison's country house. Happy Creek Farm from Hotchkin Rural Pennsylvania.jpg
"Happy Creek Farm," (c.1890), Devon, Pennsylvania, Frank Furness, architect. Harrison's country house.

He married Ellen Nixon Waln in 1870. As the co-owner of a very profitable sugar refinery, he became a Trustee of the University in 1876 and continued in this capacity until his death in 1929.


In 1894, at the urging of his colleagues, he became the Provost of the University. His years as Provost, 1894-1910, were a time of expansive growth for the University of Pennsylvania, especially in the number of buildings added to the campus. Using his extensive personal contacts from his business and political associates, Harrison raised funds (making large contributions himself) for dormitories as well as Houston Hall, the University Museum, the Medical Laboratory, the Law, Engineering, and Dental School buildings from the wealthy of Philadelphia society.

Houston Hall (University of Pennsylvania)

Houston Hall is the student union of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Completed in 1896, it was the first student union built on an American college campus.

University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology archaeological museum

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology—commonly called the Penn Museum—is an archaeology and anthropology museum that is part of the University of Pennsylvania. It is located on Penn's campus in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia.

After Provost

After stepping down as Provost, he continued his involvement with the University as the Vice President and later, President, of the Board of the Managers of the University Museum (1911-1929). During this period, joint expeditions with the British Museum were planned and carried out and many works of art were procured for the Museum. Harrison won the Philadelphia Award in the year 1924. He died in Philadelphia on February 12, 1929.

British Museum National museum in the Bloomsbury area of London

The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, having been widely sourced during the era of the British Empire. It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world.

The public domain consists of all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable.

Daniel Coit Gilman American journalist

Daniel Coit Gilman was an American educator and academic. Gilman was instrumental in founding the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale College, and subsequently served as the third president of the University of California, as the first president of Johns Hopkins University, and as founding president of the Carnegie Institution. He was also co-founder of the Russell Trust Association, which administers the business affairs of Yale's Skull and Bones society. Gilman served for twenty five years as president of Johns Hopkins; his inauguration in 1876 has been said to mark "the starting point of postgraduate education in the U.S."

<i>New International Encyclopedia</i> American encyclopedia first published in 1902

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