William Fairfield Warren, BU’s Inaugural President

in Campus, Leaders, Presidents
February 27th, 1873

from 1873–1903

In 1867, William Fairfield Warren became acting president of Boston Theological School, which evolved into Boston University. The former pastor was officially appointed president of BU in 1873. Warren created a distinctive new educational institution, combining the breadth of the American liberal arts college, the inclusion of professional studies typical of the British university, and the focus on original research of the German university. Serving for 30 years, Warren championed higher education for all students regardless of religion, race, or sex. During his administration, BU became the first university anywhere to award a doctor of philosophy to a woman.