Waddel, John N., D.D., LL.D.


Waddel, John N., D.D., LL.D.
One-line bio
John N. Waddel was a Presbyterian minister and academic who was Chancellor of Southwestern Presbyterian University (later Rhodes College) between 1879 and 1888.
John N. Waddel, D.D., LL. D. (1812-1895) was a Presbyterian pastor and educator originally from South Carolina. His academic career began with his appointment to the Chair of Ancient Languages at the University of Mississippi, a post he held from 1848 to 1857. Between 1857 and 1860 Waddel was Professor of Ancient Languages at La Grange Synodical College, in La Grange, Tennessee, and became President of the college in 1860.

Although the college closed with the outbreak of civil war, Waddel remained in La Grange where he served several churches. In December 1862, the federal officer in charge of La Grange ordered him to “discontinue his labors as a minister of the gospel in this place” until he agreed to take loyalty oath to the United States. Refusing to take the oath, Waddel fled La Grange for Mississippi and spent the war years as a fugitive from federal authorities.

Waddel was elected Stated Clerk at the founding General Assembly of Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America in 1861. In 1863 he became an agent of the Committee of the Bible Society of the Confederate States and was appointed Presbyterian Commissioner (chaplain) to the Army of the Mississippi, preaching to soldiers and visiting the wounded. In 1864 Waddel was appointed Presbyterian Commissioner to the Department of the (Confederate) Army.

In 1865 Waddel was elected Chancellor of the University of Mississippi and in 1870 signed a statement declaring that the “institution is, and ever has been, designed exclusively for the white race.” In 1871, Waddel chaired a convention to consider “the plan of establishing one grand University for the whole (Presbyterian) church South,” and in 1873 joined the board of directors of Southwestern Presbyterian University in Clarksville, Tennessee (later Rhodes College). In 1879, Waddel was elected Chancellor of Southwestern Presbyterian University, in which position he served until 1888.
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University of Mississippi
La Grange Synodical College
Southwestern Presbyterian University

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