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Havighurst, Harold C., 1897-1981



  • Existence: 1897 - 1981


Harold Canfield Havighurst was born on December 24, 1897 in Findlay, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1919 at Ohio Wesleyan University, and went on to earn both an M.A. in 1922 and an L.L.B. in 1926 from Harvard University. Havighurst practiced law at Miller, Otis, & Farr in New York City from 1926 to 1928

Professor Havighurst's teaching career began in 1928, when he became an associate professor of law at West Virginia University. Shortly afterward, in 1930, he came to Northwestern University School of Law to accept a similar position teaching contracts and insurance law. In 1933, Havighurst was promoted to full professor, where he established himself as a leader in his profession with an innovative teaching method.

When Leon Green, Dean of the School of Law from 1929 to 1947, announced his retirement in September of 1947, Professor Havighurst served as administrative officer until 1948, when he was named dean himself. Dean Havighurst made many changes during his tenure, continuing the trend of innovation that the former Dean had initiated. For example, the Northwestern University School of Law became one of the first in the nation to use graduate-teaching associates for a program of legal research and writing. Havighurst also strengthened the faculty after the number of professors had dwindled during the war, by hiring many more resident professors. Furthermore, the School of Law's first systematic annual giving campaign was initiated by Dean Havighurst in the form of the Law Alumni Fund.

In 1957, Dean Havighurst relinquished his administrative position in order to spend more time teaching. His work was so highly appreciated by the School that in 1961 he was invited to give a lecture in the Rosenthal Lecture series - the first resident faculty member to be so recognized. The lecture was later published as The Nature of Private Contract. Havighurst continued teaching at Northwestern until 1966, when he announced his retirement. The following year, he became the first faculty member hired at the new Arizona State University College of Law.

On October 16, 1981, Harold Havighurst passed away in Alexandria, Virginia; he was survived by his wife, Marion, and two children. He has been remembered as an extraordinary dean, a revolutionary professor, and a brilliant attorney.

For the history of the Northwestern University School of Law, see Northwestern University School of Law, A Short History, by James A. Rahl and Kurt Schwerin (Chicago: Northwestern University School of Law, 1960).

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Harold C. Havighurst (1897-1981) Papers

Identifier: 17/30

Harold Havighurst taught law at Northwestern University from 1930 to 1966, and distinguished himself as a leader in his profession with an innovative teaching method. The Harold Havighurst Papers consist of correspondence; statistics, membership and address lists, reports, payroll and financial information, and memos to faculty are also part of the series. The records are divided into categories according to Havighurst's original filing system.

Dates: 1947-1957