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.