Albion Interactive History / People / Frederick Goodrich

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / People / Albion College

Rev. Frederic Goodrich, 1865
College Chaplain

    Died April 17, 1948 

Goodrich was born September 8, 1865, in Waterbury, Connecticut. His parents were Augustus Ives and Helen Isabel (Corbett) Goodrich. One source shows his father was the superintendent of the Waterbury Clock Company.

After graduation from Waterbury High School in 1882, Frederick Samuel attended the Wesleyan Academy, Wilbraham, Massachusetts, and was graduated in 1885, and then attended the Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, from which he received a bachelor’s degree in 1890 after election to Phi Beta Kappa. The next two years he studied at the University of Berlin and at the American School of Archaeology in Athens before returning to the United States to become registrar and tutor in Greek at Wesleyan University.

He joined the faculty in 1892. Five years after joining the Albion faculty, Prof. Goodrich received his master of arts degree from the University of Michigan. The catalog in which his membership on the faculty was first recorded gave him the title of John Morrison Reid professor of Greek language and literature. Later his title changed to professor of English Bible and acting professor of Greeek language and literature. He retained the professorship of the English Bible until his retirement whereupon he became the college chaplain. In 1909 Defiance College, Defiance, Ohio, granted him the honorary doctor of divinity degree.

On January 21, 1924, Goodrich was appointed on an interim basis to replace departing president John W. Laird. Dr. Goodrich, senior professor of the college with 32 years of service by 1924, would be acting president until June. The Albion Evening Recorder for January 22, 1924, reported that Dr. Goodrich and the faculty were “greeted with applause” when they took their places as chapel opened on the campus that day. “Let’s sink all personal considerations and all do our best for old Albion,” the Recorder quoted Dr. Goodrich as saying during the service. By the time in July 1924 when Dr. John Lawrence Seaton arrived to become the seventh president of Albion and the college’s tenth chief executive, peace had returned to the campus. Dr. Goodrich had seen to that.

His wife was the former Mary Maltby Harrison whom he married January 3, 1893, in Waterbury, Connecticut. They had a son and daughter. Goodrich was a much-respected and much-revered professor. Goodrich was an active member of the Albion College faculty for 43 years, but was associated with the institution even after his retirement. He retired June 4, 1935.

Dr. Goodrich’s retirement prompted the Detroit Free Press for May 27, 1935 to print a number of statements concerning his career.

“People all over Michigan know Dr. Goodrich, as he lectured in nearly every city and village of the State on Palestine, which he visited in 1890, 1913, and 1930. The lectures have been profusely illustrated by slides and garments gathered in the Holy Land. Other popular lectures include those on the Passion Play and Mexico.

Possessor of a remarkable memory, he recites many chapters of Scripture without a note and unhesitatingly can quote scores of shorter passages.

His services to the college have been manifold. Nearly 100 students have made their college home with Dr. and Mrs. Goodrich during the 43 years. They are scattered from Florida to California and even to the Orient.

It was Dr. Goodrich that the college trustees turned when they needed an acting president of unusual skill after the administration of President John W. Laird. He served until President John L. Seaton was installed.”

Alumni agrees during the administration of President John L. Seaton to build the chapel which since has been erected and which bears his name. The chapel was dedicated September 21, 1958.

Source: Gildart, Robert. Albion College, 1835-1960, A History. Chicago: Donnelley Lakeside Press, 1961.

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