Oliver Carmichael

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Oliver Carmichael
Born Oliver Cromwell Carmichael
October 3, 1891
Died September 25, 1966(1966-09-25) (aged 74)
Nationality American
Education Alabama Presbyterian College
University of Alabama
University of Oxford
Occupation University administrator

Oliver Carmichael (October 3, 1891 – September 25, 1966) served as the third chancellor of Vanderbilt University from 1937 to 1946. He also served as the President of the University of Alabama from 1953 to 1957.

Early life

Oliver Carmichael was born on October 3, 1891. He received a B.A. from Alabama Presbyterian College and an M.A. from the University of Alabama.[1] He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University alongside Harvie Branscomb (1894–1998).[1]


Carmichael worked in a YMCA in India and East Africa.[1] On his return, he became a high school principal, then the president of Alabama College, a women's college.[1]

Carmichael served as the third chancellor of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee from 1937 to 1946.[1] In 1939, he was also elected to the Board of Trustees of Duke University.[2]

Carmichael served as the President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching from 1945 to 1953.[1][3] During his tenure, he wrote an article entitled What Makes a Good College President.[4]

Carmichael served as the President of the University of Alabama from 1953 to 1957.[5] During his tenure, the football team lost consistently.[3] He resigned over a "violent controversy" after expelling Autherine Lucy, an African-American student.[3]


Carmichael died on September 25, 1966.[5]


The Carmichael Towers on the campus of Vanderbilt University are residential buildings named in his honor.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Vanderbilt University biography
  2. Duke University: Board of Trustees 1930s
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Kemper, Kurt Edward (2009). College Football and American Culture in the Cold War Era. U of Illinois P. p. 123. ISBN 9780252034664. Retrieved 15 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Carmichael, Oliver C. (Winter 1947). "What Makes a Good College President". Bulletin of the American Association of University Professors (1915-1955). 33 (4): 681–687. Retrieved 2 July 2015 – via JSTOR. (Registration required (help)).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dr. Oliver Carmichael, 74, Dies; Ex-President of U. of Alabama; His Reign Was Marked by a Violent Controversy Over Admission of Negro, The New York Times, September 27, 1966
  6. Vanderbilt University Campus Dining: Carmichael Towers
Academic offices
Preceded by
James Hampton Kirkland
Chancellor of Vanderbilt University
Succeeded by
Harvie Branscomb