Woodrow Wilson and John Grier Hibben each won Princeton’s presidency, but a bitter dispute over the University’s future destroyed their friendship
Michael Witte '66

As president of Princeton, Woodrow Wilson 1879 became one of the most revered educators in America — and one of the most hated. In a new book, W. Barksdale Maynard ’88 tells the story of Wilson’s complex relationship with Old Nassau from freshman year to the day he died. This excerpt describes the falling-out between Wilson and University president John Grier Hibben 1882 — best friends turned bitter foes in a clash Wilson’s daughter called the most painful of his life. Here we see one of Wilson’s most infamous and perplexing characteristics: his vindictive streak. (Adapted from
by W. Barksdale Maynard, Yale University Press, 2008. Reproduced by permission.)
John Grier Hibben 1882 broke with Woodrow Wilson but succeeded him as Princeton president.
John Grier Hibben 1882 broke with Woodrow Wilson but succeeded him as Princeton president.
The Princeton Bric-a-Brac, 1917































Wilson, then U.S. President, returned to campus for his 35th reunion in 1914, and lashed out at his Princeton foes — including Hibben.
Wilson, then U.S. President, returned to campus for his 35th reunion in 1914, and lashed out at his Princeton foes — including Hibben.
George Grantham Bain collection/Library of Congress























W. Barksdale Maynard ’88 is a lecturer in the School of Architecture.