David L. Friday (b. 1876 d. 1945)

David L. Friday President
Michigan Agricultural College
1922–1923

David L. Friday, at the age of 18 and after the death of his father, took over the work of the family farm near Benton Harbor, Michigan. During the winters he taught school and studied law. He entered the University of Michigan at the age of 29 and graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors. Friday subsequently accepted an appointment as an instructor in economics at his alma mater. He remained at U. of M. until March of 1922 when he accepted the presidency of the Michigan Agricultural College at East Lansing.

As an agriculturist and an economist of national repute, the State Board of Agriculture hoped that Friday would be able to provide answers to the farmers' problem that resulted from the post W.W.I. agricultural depression. Friday felt that the best action would be to increase farming output, as this would do much to combat the farm price deflation.

President Friday also endeavored to develop a more liberal education program at M.A.C. Upon his suggestion, faculty members decided to allow engineering students to replace a share of their technical course requirements with liberal arts courses. Further, he was the main force behind the development of the lagging graduate program. As a result of his efforts a program leading to a Doctor of Philosophy degree was established at the college. The first Ph.D. degree was granted in 1925.

In May 1923, a newspaper story appeared stating that Friday had been accompanied on his speaking tours by his research assistant. Though innocent of the charge, refutation provided hopeless and Friday resigned. He left M.A.C. and accepted a position in New York at the New School for Social Change.

David L. Friday was born to Jacob and Elizabeth Friday on September 30, 1876 in Coloma, Michigan. Friday married Genevieve Lockwood on November 24, 1901.

Finding aid to the David L. Friday papers (UA 2.1.9)


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