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Memorial

Alfred Henry Lloyd
The Michigan Alumnus 643-645

Alfred Henry Lloyd, Ph.D.

By Frank E. Robbins, Assistant to the President


Early on the morning of Wednesday, May 11, Al
fred Henry Lloyd, Dean of the Graduate School
 of the University of Michigan, died at the University Hospital. He had been suddenly stricken
 on the afternoon preceeding while he was addressing 
the senior classes in Hill Auditorium, assembled
 for their annual "swing-out," on "Some Factors of 
a Life Worth While." Doctor Lloyd was immediate
ly taken to the Hospital, but the nature of his 
malady, a blood-clot impeding one of the great ves
sels about the heart—made it impossible to prolong
 his life. He was sixty-three years of age. 


This is not a biography of Dean Lloyd, nor yet 
a fully rounded estimate of the part he played in 
the academic and social life of the University of
 Michigan. There are chapters of such a story that
 can be written only by the students in his classes, 
his contemporaries and close friends among his colleagues, and the members of his own family. Here
 are given only the impressions of one of a younger
 generation, who first came to know him as a teacher 
in another department, then as Dean of the Gradu
ate School, and finally had the privilege of close 
association with him in his work for a period of
 several months. 


Doctor Lloyd's student days belong to Harvard, 
 where he received his bachelor's degree in 1886, the 
master's in 1888, and the doctorate in 1893. He had 
spent three years abroad, at Gottingen, Berlin, and 
Heidelberg, and one year, 1886-1887, at Phillips-
Andover Academy. In the records of this Univer
sity, Doctor Lloyd reports that at Andover he was 
"Instructor in English and Latin, and Teacher of 
English, Latin, History, Botany, Physiology, Phys
ical Geography, and Arithmetic;" his friends will
 recognize the quiet, whimsical humor, so typical of 
the man, that led him to set down this resounding 
title in all its detail. In 1891 he came to Michigan as 
an Instructor in Philosophy; he became a Professor 
in 1906, and Dean of the Graduate School in 1915. 


We have come to think of him most frequent
ly in this latter capacity, and deservedly so, 
for the evolution of the Graduate School, the shap
ing of its policies, and the development of a strong
 administrative system constitute his greatest serv
ice to the University. Dean Guthe's term of office
 was terminated after only three years by his sudden
 death, and it fell to Doctor Lloyd, the second dean 
of this important division, which was established 
as late as 1912, to build up the present School. There were 552 graduate students in 1915-1916; 
 during 1925-1926, 1,464. In 1915, 153 graduate degrees were conferred; in 1925-1926, 352. These fig
ures are eloquently significant of Dean Lloyd's 
capabilities as an organizer and administrator. 
 Graduate students know their own minds, and they 
do not go where they cannot find competent instruc
tion and standards properly determined and upheld.


Being Dean of a Graduate School is not an easy 
matter. The subjects of instruction cover the
 whole range of the university catalog, from anatomy 
to zoology and from dentistry to aeronautics. Every 
student's case is an individual one, to be weighed
 and decided by itself; a firm negative—not the least
 difficult of a dean's duties—must often be pro
nounced. There are general policies to be deter-
mined. The dean must make the encouragement
 of research and the publication of its results his spe
cial care. He is frequently called upon to speak 
publicly and to represent his university. He must 
be a scholar, and much be endowed with dignity, 
 fairness, evenness of temper. All these qualifica
tions Dean Lloyd possessed, and all these duties
 he performed admirably during the twelve years of 
his administration of the School. How he visualized 
its problems and came to his conclusions as to their
 solution may be read in his annual reports to the 
President, each a thoughtful, sincere, and helpful 
essay, full of substance and deserving of far more 
attention than such writings usually obtain. His 
insistence brought about a large addition to the 
annual appropriations for scholarly publications. He obtained funds, which could be, expended here 
and there, for books, apparatus, or special services, 
 in the aid of research. If, in short, between 1915
 and 1927 the University of Michigan has gained in
 prestige on the accounts of research and graduate 
study—and there can be no denying that it has—
to Dean Lloyd we must assign a very large share 
of the credit.


In 1925 Doctor Lloyd was called upon to bear 
the heaviest burden of responsibility placed upon 
him by the University of Michigan. President Bur
ton died on February 18, and on February 26, by request of the Regents; Dean Lloyd became Acting
 President, a position that he held until October 
1 of the same year. It was an unusual time. The 
legislature was in session, the University was in
 need of enlarged maintenance funds, and until late 
spring there was uncertainty as to the amounts that 
would be available for the coming year, the budget 
of which was still to be made. Every department
 needed, and asked for, financial help. The emer
gency demanded a man of proven ability who commanded the full respect of his colleagues, and the
 Regents' choice of Doctor Lloyd was universally satisfactory, both then and later. As 
Acting President, Doctor Lloyd took a 
positive and courageous stand with regard to the disposition of the University's 
funds. He insisted that the charges for 
physical maintenance should be held at
 the lowest practical figure, and that the 
greatest possible assistance be given to 
the teaching departments. Thus, though 
his term of office was brief, it was a time
 of real accomplishment.


The account of Doctor Lloyd's work
 as a philosopher and teacher should 
be written by his colleagues in his own
 field. Here it is only to be remarked that 
the list of his writings includes five books 
and dozens of articles and reviews, and 
that he served successively as president
 of the Research Club of the University of 
Michigan and of the Western Philosoph
ical Association—facts which testify
 clearly the respect which scholars here 
and elsewhere felt for a trained and ef
ficient mind, always under command and 
habitually productive. In 1924 California
 conferred upon him the degree of LL.D.


Dean Lloyd married, in 1892, Miss
 Margaret E. Crocker of Springfield, 
 Massachusetts, by whom, with their four
 children, Frederick Thurston, Alice
 Crocker, Putnam Crocker, and Anna 
Mary, he is survived. Doctor and Mrs. 
Lloyd have made their Ann Arbor home Avenue—gracious without and within. Their summer camp at Piseco, New York, also
 shared largely in Dean Lloyd's affections, for he
 loved the woods and the hills.


In his full, useful life Dean Lloyd gave to his 
friends much more, it is probable, than he himself 
could, or would, ever realize. It is not only the 
visible and tangible evidences of duties ably per
formed, of scholarly industry, of building for the 
University and upholding an entire department of 
its activity. He was himself very close to the ideal
 scholar and gentleman. He was instinctively right. 
In all his manifold dealings with others in the administration of his office his high-minded simplicity of character could never take the devious course
 which leads to misunderstanding and jealousy; 
hence it was literally true that he had not an enemy 
on the Campus. In our imperfect world personality 
remains one of the great mysteries. Individuals 
abound who achieve the almost and the not quite; those are few who stand forth substantial, strong, and courageous, kind, sweet, and human. Those who knew Alfred Henry Lloyd found him all this and more; his presence among them was a steadying, comforting, and inspiriting reality.