Wilbert Renwick McChesney

Wilbert Renwick McChesney



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Years of Service


Biographical Sketch

Dr. Wilbert McChesney, born in Pennsylvania in 1871, attended Greersburg Academy and graduated from Franklin College in 1892. Following his graduation, he taught Latin and History at Franklin for two years and in 1894 became the first professor at Cedarville College when the doors officially opened for classes. He received his Masters and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Franklin College and a Doctor of Divinity from Tarkio College. Dr. McChesney served at Cedarville, not only as a faculty member, but also as Secretary of the Faculty, Vice President, and Dean. In 1915, upon the retirement of Dr. David McKinney, Dr. McChesney was named the second president of Cedarville. For a period of time, the Reformed Presbyterian Seminary was also located at Cedarville, and Dr. McChesney served the Seminary as professor of New Testament literature and later as professor of systematic and pastoral theology. Dr. McChesney commanded the respect of his denomination and of his community. In addition to his ministry at Cedarville, he served seven terms in the Ohio Legislature. He led the College during very difficult days during World War I and the Depression. Even so, one historian described those years at the College as the "golden years." As Dr. McChesney approached 70 years of age, the pressures of the office of president and the desire for a younger man to assume the responsibilities of the administration led him to submit his resignation on June 1, 1939. It became effective in 1940 upon the appointment of Walter Kilpatrick as the third president of Cedarville. When an alumnus of the class of 1908 was asked his opinion of Dr. McChesney, he immediately responded, "He was the finest man ever connected with Cedarville College." At the completion of his 25 years as president, Dr. McChesney had served Cedarville College for 46 years. McChesney Hall, a dormitory constructed in 1999, was named in honor of Dr. McChesney.

Wilbert Renwick McChesney