Colgate Darden
File:Colgate Darden.jpg
3rd President of the University of Virginia
In office
June 23, 1947 – September 1, 1959
Preceded by John Lloyd Newcomb
Succeeded by Edgar F. Shannon, Jr.
54th Governor of Virginia
In office
January 21, 1942 – January 16, 1946
Lieutenant William M. Tuck
Preceded by James H. Price
Succeeded by William M. Tuck
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1939 – March 1, 1941
Preceded by Norman R. Hamilton
Succeeded by Winder R. Harris
In office
January 3, 1935 – January 3, 1937
Preceded by District re-established
Menalcus Lankford before district abolished in 1933
Succeeded by Norman R. Hamilton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's At-large district
In office
March 4, 1933 – January 3, 1935
Preceded by District re-established
John S. Wise before district abolished in 1885
Succeeded by District abolished
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates for Norfolk City
In office
January 8, 1930 – January 11, 1933
Preceded by Sarah Lee Fain
Succeeded by Richard W. Ruffin
Personal details
Born Colgate Whitehead Darden, Jr.
(1897-02-11)February 11, 1897
Franklin, Virginia
Died June 9, 1981(1981-06-09) (aged 84)
Norfolk, Virginia
Resting place Beechwood Plantation, now Jericho, Southampton County, VA
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Constance Simons Du Pont
Alma mater University of Virginia
Columbia Law School
Oxford University
Profession Educator
Military service
Service/branch French Army
United States Marine Corps
Rank Lieutenant
Battles/wars World War I
Awards French Croix de guerre

Colgate Whitehead Darden, Jr. (February 11, 1897 – June 9, 1981) was a Democratic U.S. Representative from Virginia (1933–37, 1939–41), the 54th Governor of Virginia (1942–46), Chancellor of the College of William and Mary (1946–47) and the third President of the University of Virginia (1947–59). The Darden Graduate School of Business Administration of the University of Virginia was named for him.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Darden was born on a farm near Franklin, Virginia to Katherine Lawrence (Pretlow) Darden (1870–1936) and Colgate Whitehead Darden, Sr. (1867–1945). Darden served in the French Army and as a lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps Air Service during World War I. He later attended the University of Virginia, where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, and graduated in 1922 before going on to Columbia Law School (graduated 1923) and then Oxford University. He was admitted to the bar and opened practice in Norfolk, Virginia. He was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1930 to 1933.

Congressional service[edit | edit source]

Darden was elected as a Democratic U.S. Representative in an At-large election to the 73rd Congress, and re-elected in the 2nd district to the 74th Congress, and served from March 4, 1933 – January 3, 1937. He was not re-elected to the 75th Congress in 1936, but was re-elected in 1938 and 1940 to the 76th and 77th Congresses and served from January 3, 1939 – March 1, 1941, when he resigned to run for Governor of Virginia.

Electoral history[edit | edit source]

  • 1932; Darden was elected to Congress with the rest of the Democratic slate as an at-large member winning 8.24% of the vote in a 24-way race.
  • 1934; Darden was re-elected defeating Republican Gerould M. Rumble, Socialist George Rohlsen, and Communist Herbert S. Carrington, winning 76.14% of the vote.
  • 1938; Darden was re-elected defeating Independent Carl P. Spaeth, winning 87.7% of the vote.
  • 1940; Daren was re-elected unopposed.

Governor of Virginia[edit | edit source]

Darden was elected Governor of Virginia with 80.72% of the vote, defeating Republican Benjamin Muse, Communist Alice Burke, and Socialist M. Hilliard Bernstein. Darden was inaugurated January 21, 1942, serving until January 16, 1946. As governor, he reorganized Virginia's civil defense, reformed the penal system, and created a pension plan for state employees and teachers.

President of the University of Virginia[edit | edit source]

Darden was elected president of the University of Virginia in 1947, despite public misgivings from some among the university faculty, who resented his lack of faculty experience, and a portion of the student body, who feared that he planned to abolish the fraternity system at the university. The latter concern had its origin in Darden's actions as Governor of Virginia, where he recommended barring students at the College of William and Mary from living in fraternity or sorority houses on the grounds that it was "undemocratic" and placed undue financial burden on parents. While Darden did not impose similar restrictions at Virginia, he did attempt to implement other measures, such as a ban on first year rushing.[1]

At Virginia, Darden was responsible for the building of the student union building, named Newcomb Hall for his predecessor John Lloyd Newcomb; the establishment of the Judiciary Committee, which handled student misconduct that did not rise to the level of an honor offense; the creation of the graduate school of business administration, named in his memory; and significant improvements to faculty salaries. Upon his retirement, he was presented with the Thomas Jefferson Award and the Raven Award.[2]

Other service and death[edit | edit source]

Darden was appointed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations General Assembly in 1955. He died in 1981 at his home in Norfolk, Virginia.[3] He was buried in the family plot with his parents. In addition to his wife, he was survived by his younger brother Joshua Pretlow Darden, who was a mayor of Norfolk, Virginia (1949–50).

References[edit | edit source]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

External links[edit | edit source]

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