Frederick W. HinittFrederick W. Hinitt
Centre College President (1904-1915)

Frederick William Hinitt was born on November 21, 1866, in Kidderminster, England. When he was still young, the Hinitt family moved to the United States. Hinnitt graduated with distinction from Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, in 1889. He received the A.M. degree from the same school in 1891, and graduated from McCormick Theological Seminary in 1892. He would eventually earn two more degrees, a doctor of philosophy in 1896 and a doctor of divinity in 1902, both from Wooster College.

Hinitt served pastorates in Missouri and Iowa, and in 1900 became president of Parsons College. Within four years, however, Hinitt was elected president of Centre College. On assuming the presidency in April 1904, Hinitt found the educational standards of Centre low compared to other regions. He realized the main problem was that the secondary schools of Kentucky were not preparing students to meet the higher demands of a college curriculum. Hinitt became a strong advocate of increased standards for Kentucky secondary education, pushing the state legislature to establish public high schools in every county of the state. Locally, Hinitt at once began a program to raise the admission and academic standards of Centre. The program was so successful that during the first year of his presidency, Centre was admitted into membership in the Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools of Southern States.

Hinitt also felt that Centre was not benefiting enough from its relationship with the Presbyterian Synod. By relaxing the bonds to the Synod, and emerging as more of an independent institution, Centre was placed on the list of accepted institutions of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. A new library, dedicated as Carnegie Library in 1913, was funded by a $30,000 gift from Andrew Carnegie. Other changes included the remodeling of Breckinridge Hall, originally built for the Danville Theological Seminary, to accommodate the increased number of students; the completion of Young Science Hall; and the construction of the Boyle-Humphrey Alumni Gymnasium.

Hinitt resigned the presidency of Centre College on January 1, 1915, and left Danville to become the president of Washington and Jefferson College, Pennsylvania. He remained at that school until 1918, when he left college administration to resume preaching. He served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Indiana, Pennsylvania, until his death on October 25, 1927.

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