Ask the Archivist
Who was Bucknell’s youngest president?
By Isabella O’Neill
David Jayne Hill was Bucknell’s youngest president. He graduated from the University at Lewisburg in 1874 and received his master’s in 1877. He was an instructor at the University between 1875 and 1877, and the Trustees elected him president on March 11, 1879. Hill was 28 years old.
In June 1888, Hill left Bucknell to become president of the University of Rochester, and he remained so until 1896. In 1898, he was sworn in as first assistant secretary of state and continued in office for four years. He was appointed the ambassador to the Netherlands (1905–08) and ambassador to Germany (1908–11). He returned to Bucknell to give the University’s Commencement address in 1924.
Hill had a unique autograph and scrapbook that was created on the occasion of his attendance at the Second Peace Conference at the Hague, held between June 15 and Oct. 18, 1907. The book is very likely to be the only of its kind in existence. A large folio bound in heavy, tooled parchment, the work has 60 illuminated pages with original artwork, including sketches by John Sargent and Joseph Israels, and a musical score written by Ignace Paderewski.
There are more than 100 individual photographs and signatures from delegates and jurists, including Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, Andrew Carnegie, Theodore Roosevelt, Nicholas the Second czar of Russia, King Edward the Seventh of England and the Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany. Walter Liddell Hill, David Jayne Hill’s son, donated the scrapbook to Bucknell.