Martin, William Joseph, Jr.

William Joseph Martin Jr.

Martin, William Joseph, Jr.

(b. 1868 d. 1943) Dr. “Bill Joe” Martin, M.D, Ph.D, LL.D. was born in Columbia, Tennessee, but moved with his family to Davidson in 1870. His father, Colonel William Joseph Martin, was a professor of Natural Sciences at Davidson College and also served as acting president in 1887-1888 during President Luther McKinnon’s illness. William Martin, Jr. graduated from Davidson in 1888 and earned an M.A. the following year. In 1890, he earned his M.D. degree from the University of Virginia and in 1894 he received a Ph.D. He returned to Davidson in 1896 as professor of Chemistry, a position he held until 1912, when he became president of the college.

During his tenure as president, Davidson experienced two major fires resulting in the loss of the Old Chambers Building and Watts Dormitory. The school mascot became the Wildcat. Student enrollment doubled from 300 to over 600 students, and the number of faculty positions expanded by fifteen. Additionally, Davidson became part of the Duke Endowment after its creation in 1924. In 1929, Martin retired from the presidency of Davidson and became the president of the Assembly Training School in Richmond, Virginia. Martin, also, served as moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., and was active in the Laymen’s Missionary Movement.

See Archival Record…

See Manuscript Record…

Presidents – Works Cited

Robert Hall Morrison, Samuel Williamson, Drury Lacy, John Lycan Kirkpatrick, George Wilson McPhail, John Rennie Blake, Andrew Dousa Hepburn, Luther McKinnon, John Bunyan Shearer, Henry Louis Smith, William Joseph Martin, Jr., Walter Lee Lingle, John Rood Cunningham, David Grier Martin, Samuel Reid Spencer, Jr., John Wells Kuykendall, Robert Fredrick Vagt, Thomas Warren Ross, Sr.

Beaty, Mary D. A History of Davidson College. Davidson, N.C.: Briarpatch, 1988.

Beaty, Mary D. and Sarah Merritt. “Davidson College Time Line and the Evolution of Chambers.” Davidson Journal 1 (1987): 12-13.

Cromartie, Caroline King. The Physical Development of Davidson, North Carolina: An Historical Analysis. Davidson College Honors Thesis, 1978.

“Davidson Apoints Thomas W. Ross, Sr., As College’s Next President.” Davidson College Press Release, 29 March 2007, on the World Wide Web at: <>

Davidson, Chalmers Gaston. “Davidson Celebrates.” Davidson Journal 1 (1987): 2-7.

Davidson, Chalmers Gaston. Mid-Point for ’28. Davidson, N.C.: Davidson College, 1953.

Fischer, Karl W. The Mystics and Beta Theta Pi. Germantown, PA: Beta Theta Pi, 1940.

Giduz, Bill. “President Vagt Announces His Plans to Retire.” Davidson College. 8 June 2006. Found on the World Wide Web at <>.

“An Honored Career .” Davidson College Press Release, 29 March 2007, on the World Wide Web at: <>

Kelley, Robert Lincoln. Davidson College: A Diagnosis and a Prescription. Lancaster, PA: Council of Church Boards of Education in the U.S.A., 1926.

Lingle, Walter L. Memories of Davidson College. Richmond, VA: John Knox, 1947.

Logan, Van Lear. “Growing Up in Davidson.” Davidson Journal 1 (1987): 20-23.

“Presidential Biography. ” Davidson College Press Release, 29 March 2007, on the World Wide Web at: <>

Ramsey, Robert Wilson. Milestones Backward Run: The Story of Beta Theta Pi at Davidson,1858-1940. Davidson, NC: The Phi Alpha Chapter of Beta Theta Pi, 1940.

Ratliff, Charles E. Economics at Davidson: A Sesquicentennial History. Davidson, NC: Davidson College, 1987.

Scherer, John P. A Code of Civility: Antiwar Dissent at Davidson College During the Vietnam Era. Davidson College Honors Thesis, 1989.

Shames, Steven A. A Good Faith Effort: Integration at Davidson College. Davidson College Honors Thesis, 1996.

Shaw, Cornelia Rebekah. Davidson College. New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1923.

Shaw, Cornelia Rebekah, comp. War Records of Davidson College, 1917-1918. Charlotte, NC: Presbyterian Standard, 1923.

Spencer, Samuel R. The First Year. Davidson, NC: Davidson College, 1969.

Shaw, Cornelia Rebekah. Davidson College. New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1923.

“Timeline.” Davidson College Press Release, 29 March 2007, on the World Wide Web at: <>

Author: Molly P. Gillespie
Date: 1998

Cite as: Gillespie, Molly P. “William Joseph Martin, Jr. ” Davidson Encyclopedia

Related Entries: Chambers BuildingDormitory RowPresident’s HousePresidents of Davidson College

Related Links: Martin’s Presidential Portrait


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