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John C. Fales

John Cilly Fales was born at Thomaston, Maine, on December 30, 1836. He attended Colby College (then Waterville College), graduating in 1858 as valedictorian of his class. Soon after graduation, he came to Kentucky, first serving as Principal of Lebanon (Ky.) Seminary from 1860 to 1868, and then as Assistant Principal of Morse Academy (New Albany, Ind.) from 1869 to 1872. Fales joined the faculty of Centre College in 1872, where he would remain until his death. He filled many positions while at Centre: Professor of Natural Sciences (1872-1894), Professor of Geology and Biology (1894-1908), Acting President (1896-1898 and 1903-1904), Dean of the College (1896-1908), and librarian (1908-1916). Fales was a widely read man, had a reading knowledge of several languages, owned an extensive library, and had a special fondness for Italian literature. It is an indication of the breadth of his interests that Fales was a member of both the Geological Society of America and the Dante Society of America. His obituary notes that he "made it a practice never to permit frivolities or more than a limited amount of social pleasures to draw him aside from his goal of scholarship." Despite his seriousness, Fales' students found in him a lasting friend, and he was always remembered with admiration, gratitude, and affection by former students. Fales was married in 1862 to Margaret Cleland of Lebonan, Ky., who died in 1869. He was remarried in 1876 to Amanda Helm, who died in 1913. In 1903 he was awarded an honorary LL.D. from Hampton Sidney College. Fales died on February 28, 1916.