Charles Grandison Finney (1792-1785), a preacher, theologian, reformer, educator, and author, was a great evangelist of the Second Great Awakening (1800-1830s). He served as the second president of Oberlin College from 1851-1865, and was the head of its theological department.
Noted church historian William McLoughlin stated, “Finney had an ardent faith in progress, in the benevolence of God and in the dignity and worth of the common man.” Finney’s moral stances, as a professor, trustee and president, helped firm the college’s commitment to liberal arts education for all Oberlin students, regardless of race or gender. As an educator, too, Oberlin associates Finney's name with a tradition that still continues today--the Oberlin general faculty controls the governance of the college.
Oberlin Theological Seminary Professor G. Frederick Wright (1838-1921), in the first official biography of Finney, wrote: “The life of President Finney fell in times well adapted for the development of the remarkable natural abilities with which he was endowed. He was made for an active career...”
For more information concerning the life and career of Charles G. Finney, see the finding guide for the Presidential Records of Charles G. Finney (2/2). The College Archives holds The Richard A. G. Dupuis Papers. Dupuis, a Finney scholar, is the co-editor of The Memoirs of Charles G. Finney: The Complete Restored Text (Grand Rapids, MI: Academie Books, 1989).
For addtional information on the portrait of Charles G. Finney, see the Select Historic Portraits Collection.
Charles Grandison Finney, Second President of Oberlin College
Beginning in January 2008, the Oberlin College Archives website will feature each month one of the fourteen presidents of Oberlin College (The Oberlin Collegiate Institute from 1833-1850). For the complete listing of the presidents and the finding guides to their presidential records, see the following link: www.oberlin.edu/archive/holdings/finding/index.html
Announcements and Other Information
New online exhibit featured: Gilford Scientific Instruments, assembled by KSU graduate intern Erica Noble.
OC Archives is in the news! See article, "Oberlin History Goes Digital."
New website featured: The Oberlin College Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) Community History Project