President Emeritus Pens New Book About Wittenberg
William A. Kinnison ’54, president emeritus, has authored a groundbreaking book on the history of Wittenberg. Titled Wittenberg: An American College, the book seeks to tie together numerous historical documents and publications throughout the years into the most thorough overview of the university’s earliest history ever published.
“Half of all the colleges founded before the Civil War did not survive. Wittenberg did,” notes the book jacket. “This is the story of a college on the Ohio frontier that sought to Americanize millions of German immigrants and to Americanize the German Lutheran Church. In spite of that, Wittenberg was caught in the anti-foreign prejudice of ‘Nativists’ who feared the influence of immigrants on American institutions.
The school prospered after the Civil War as America embraced German culture from classical music to the Christmas tree. The school again faced prejudice in the anti-German furor of World War I. Simultaneously, this is the story of students and faculty coping with the pressures of a nation going from the poverty of the rural frontier to the wealth of an urban-industrial society and how they and Wittenberg changed from 1842-1920.”