17 Facts About Alexander Meiklejohn


Alexander Meiklejohn was a philosopher, university administrator, educational reformer, and free-speech advocate, best known as president of Amherst College.


Alexander Meiklejohn was born on February 3,1872, in Newbold Street, Rochdale, Lancashire, England.


Alexander Meiklejohn was of Scottish descent, and the youngest of eight sons.


Alexander Meiklejohn earned bachelor's and master's degrees at Brown University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and completed his doctorate in philosophy at Cornell in 1897.


From 1912 to 1923, Meiklejohn served as president of Amherst College.


Alexander Meiklejohn's presidency ended with his forced resignation for trying to apply his reforms, and thirteen students refused their diplomas that year in protest.


Alexander Meiklejohn was unable to develop adequate funding for creating an entirely new school, but he was invited by Glenn Frank, new president of the University of Wisconsin, to create the University of Wisconsin Experimental College there, which ran from 1927 to 1932.


Alexander Meiklejohn retired from the University of Wisconsin in 1938, having already moved to Berkeley, California.


Alexander Meiklejohn was a cofounder of the School of Social Studies in San Francisco, an adult education program focusing on "great books" and American democracy.


In 1945, Alexander Meiklejohn was a US delegate to the founding meeting of UNESCO in London.


Alexander Meiklejohn died at age 92 on December 17,1964, in Berkeley, California.


Alexander Meiklejohn was known as an advocate of First Amendment freedoms and was a member of the National Committee of the American Civil Liberties Union.


Alexander Meiklejohn was a notable proponent of the link between freedom of speech and democracy.


Alexander Meiklejohn argued that the concept of democracy is that of self-government by the people.


Alexander Meiklejohn acknowledges that the desire to manipulate opinion can stem from the motive of seeking to benefit society.


Alexander Meiklejohn said that properly framed regulations limiting monetary contributions could substantially expand the opportunity for freedom of expression rather than limit it.


Alexander Meiklejohn pointed out that the integrity of the electoral process needs to be maintained since that is the means by which a free society translates political advocacy into concrete political action, and that regulating the financing of political campaigns is integral to that advocacy.