Biographical Sketches of the Iliff Presidents
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Name Dates
Harris Franklin Rall 1910 - 1915
James Albert Beebe 1916 -1920
Edwin Wesley Dunlavy 1921 - 1924
Elmer Guy Cutshall 1925 - 1932
Charles Edwin Schofield 1934 - 1942
Harry T. Morris 1942 - 1946
Edward Randolph Bartlett 1947 - 1952
Harold Ford Carr 1953 -1961
Lowell Benjamin Swan 1962 - 1969
Smith Jameson Jones, Jr. 1969 - 1981
Donald Edward Messer 1981 - 2000
David Maldonado, Jr. 2000 - 2004
David G. Trickett 2006 - 2012

Harris Franklin Rall
(July 27, 1910 - September 1, 1915)
Photo of Harris Franklin Rall

Harris Franklin Rall was the first president of Iliff after the School reopened in 1910, and he also served as Henry White Warren professor of Practical Theology. President Rall authored 24 books in the fields of theology and biblical studies. His work on the teachings of Jesus reflected the values of early liberalism. Rall later became president of Garrett Biblical Institute in Evanston, Illinois. He died in 1964 at the age of 94.

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James Albert Beebe
(July 5, 1916 - September 1, 1920)
Photo of James Albert Beebe

James Albert Beebe came to Iliff from the Englewood Church in Chicago. His area of expertise was Practical Theology, which consisted of homiletics, ethics, worship, religious education, Methodist polity, and public speaking. He was the author of a well-respected and much-used book on Church Administration. After his tenure at Iliff, Beebe went on to become Dean of the Boston University School of Theology; later he became President of Allegheny College in Meadville Pennsylvania. He died in 1934 at the age of 56.

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Edwin Wesley Dunlavy
(Jan. 7, 1921 - April 30, 1924)
Photo of Edwin Wesley Dunlavy

Edwin Dunlavy's educational background is not known. In addition to being president of Iliff, he was professor of Practical Theology. During his presidency, a controversy arose between exponents of conservative and liberal theology which led to his resignation in 1924.

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Elmer Guy Cutshall
(July 1, 1925-June 30, 1932)
Photo of Elmer Guy Cutshall

Former president of West Virginia Wesleyan College, President Cutshall's foremost concern was the training of ministers. He made a systematic study of the various Methodist textbooks used for this purpose over the years. In addition, he headed the new department of Philosophy of Religion. President Cutshall left Iliff to become Chancellor of Nebraska Wesleyan College. He was later involved with several organizations, including Rotary Int'l. Dr. Cutshall retired in 1955, and he passed away in 1982.

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Charles Edwin Schofield
(July 1, 1934 - June 9, 1942)
Photo of Charles Edwin Schofield

Dr. Schofield held many estimable positions prior to becoming president of Iliff: Director of the Wesleyan Foundation in Fort Collins; pastor at Bethel Church in Pueblo; pastor at Casper, Wyoming; pastor at Fort Collins; District Superintendent of the Grand Junction District. In addition he was a member of the Colorado Methodist Conference. He wrote or edited seven books. After leaving Iliff, Schofield became President of Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. Later he became editor of Adult Publications for the Methodist Board of Education in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Harry T. Morris
(June 15, 1942 - February 14, 1946)
Photo of Harry T. Morris

A minister for almost twenty years before coming to Iliff, Dr. Morris earned his B.D. and Th.D. degrees from Iliff. His major emphasis was field education. During his tenure, the Iliff Week of Lectures was instituted. He also initiated the publication of The Iliff School of Theology Bulletin, and he supported the publication of The Iliff Review. He died of a heart attack in 1946 at the age of 47.

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Edward Randolph Bartlett
(March 26, 1947 - April 15, 1952)
Photo of Edward Randolph Bartlett President Bartlett came to Iliff from DePauw University, in Greencastle, Indiana, where he had been professor of Religious Education and Bible for two decades, and dean for six years. During his presidency at Iliff, the School saw both its assets and its student body double. Taylor Hall dormitory was built during this time, and Dr. Bartlett established the Department of Sociology of Religion. Bartlett also held significant positions within the community, such as President of the Denver Council of Churches, and as Chairman of the Mayor's Labor-Management-Citizens' Commission. He died of a heart attack in 1952 at the age of 62.
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Harold Ford Carr
(January 1, 1953 - June 15-1961)
Photo of Harold Ford Carr President Carr was senior minister of the Lakewood Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, before coming to Iliff. Before that he had pastored several other Midwestern churches, and he had taught at Oberlin Theological Seminary and Ohio Wesleyan University. During his time at Iliff, Carr further increased the endowment and led the construction of the Ira J. Taylor Library. He also added two new professorships, one in Christian Ethics and the other in the newly formed Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Pastoral Care. President Carr resigned in 1961 to become Director of the College of Preachers at Garrett Biblical Institute.
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Lowell Benjamin Swan
(September 1, 1962 - January 18, 1969)
Photo of Lowell Benjamin Swan As minister at Warren Memorial Methodist Church in Denver, Dr. Swan's ties to Iliff were strong long before he became the School's president. While at Warren, Swan instituted the Frederick J. Cox Memorial Lectures at Iliff, encouraged his young parishioners to attend Iliff, and employed Iliff students as his assistants. His major area of academic interest was history. During his tenure as president, Iliff's student body and endowment continued to increase. Schlessman Hall was opened in 1963, and Iliff Hall was remodeled. Dr. Swan died in a plane crash on January 18, 1969.
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Smith Jameson Jones, Jr.
(September 10, 1969 - February 10, 1981)
Photo of Smith Jameson Jones, Jr. Rev. Dr. Jones was serving at the Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church in Greencastle, Indiana, when he accepted the position of President at Iliff. Jones had an extensive background in the Methodist church, and he led Iliff as it redefined itself as a graduate school for the training of ministers across denominations. His ecumenical spirit is reflected in the fact that by 1981, twenty-one denominations were represented at Iliff. Due to his recruiting zeal, the student body and the operating budget tripled during his presidency, the library budget quadrupled, the endowment doubled, and the faculty increased by twenty-five percent.

Moreover, faculty salaries increased to among the highest in the nation. hroughout his tenure, Dr. Jones was active in the Methodist Church - he was elected to the University Senate in 1976; he served as a member of the Board of Ordained Ministry from 1977 until his death; and he was a delegate to the General Conference of the UMC in 1968, 1970, 1976, and 1980. Jones left Iliff to become Dean of the Divinity School at Duke University. He died suddenly from heart disease on July 18, 1982.

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Donald Edward Messer
(July 1, 1981 - May 31, 2000)
Photo of Donald Edward Messer

Donald Messer, a native of South Dakota, served as President of Dakota Wesleyan University for ten years prior to being named President and Henry White Warren Professor of Practical Theology at Iliff in 1981. Dr. Messer earned his Ph.D. and M.Div. degrees from Boston University and his B.A. from Dakota Wesleyan. He was elected to the 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000 General and Jurisdictional Conferences of the United Methodist Church, and his ecumenical work with various churches and theological schools has taken him to nearly two dozen countries.

Dr. Messer has been a member of the World Methodist Council since 1986. In addition, he served on the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries from 1988 to 1996, and on the United Methodist Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Affairs from 1996 to 2000. Messer has published nine books and numerous articles.

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David Maldonado, Jr.
(June 1, 2000 - May 26, 2004)
Photo of David Maldonado, Jr. David Maldonado, Jr. assumed the office of president of The Iliff School of Theology on June 1, 2000. An ordained elder in the Rio Grande Conference of the United Methodist Church, Maldonado was on the faculty of Perkins School of Theology, in Dallas, Texas, since 1984. He earned his master's and doctoral degrees in social work from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to working in higher education, Dr. Maldonado was a pastor in Texas, a community organizer in California, and the executive director of the Office of Economic Opportunity Migrant Project in Kansas.

He has authored numerous articles and contributed to a number of books. Most recently, he published the autobiographicalCrossing Guadalupe Street and edited Protestantes/Protestants: Hispanic Christianity within Mainline Traditions.

David G. Trickett
(July 1, 2006 - 2012)
Photo of David G. Trickett David Trickett joined the Iliff community as its 13th president and as Henry White Warren Professor of Ethics and Leadership.  He was previously chairperson of the board and senior fellow at the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution (CRDC) at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, as well as the founder and president of The Jefferson Circle.

As an ordained United Methodist elder in full connection within The United Methodist Church (UMC), President Trickett has worked in congregations from 350-10,000 members.  His service to the UMC includes membership on numerous committees at district, annual conference, and jurisdictional levels; participation in the Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies; election to the World Methodist Council; and service on the denominational Genetic Science Task Force.  As an interfaith leader involved in global dialogue, he has worked to bring many different faith traditions together on complex issues.

President Trickett has taught at several theological schools, including Perkins School of Theology, Washington Theological Consortium (which he also headed), Virginia Theological Seminary, Howard University School of Divinity, and the Catholic University of America.    

His accomplishments include more than 100 articles, reports, chapters in books, and other writings.  His civic achievements are also far-reaching – as chairperson of the U.S. Committee for UNICEF (southeastern region), board member for the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and as a member of the Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools Human Relations Advisory Committee. He has also served as a National Park Ranger.

Trickett has been a member of organizations such as the American Academy of Religion, Society for Values in Higher Education, Society of Christian Ethics, North American Academy of Ecumenists, American Society of Church History, and National Association of College and University Chaplains.   Currently, he is active in many professional, denominational and ecumenical organizations, including continuing service as a member of the board of trustees for the CRDC at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University and the JUSTPEACE Center for Mediation and Conflict Transformation of the UMC.

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