William Ernest Hocking '01 has been chosen by the Governing Boards of the University to succeed to the famous Alford Professorship left vacant by the death of Josiah Royce.
Professor Hocking was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1873, was graduated from Harvard in 1901, took the Harvard degrees of A.M. and Ph.D. during the next three years, and began his teaching career as instructor in the History and Philosophy of Religion at the Andover Theological Seminary. Since then he has served successively as instructor and assistant professor of Philosophy at the University of California, as assistant professor and professor at Yale, and as professor of Philosophy at the University, where he has been since September, 1914. He is the author of "The Meaning of God in Human Experience," and a number of magazine articles, notably a recent essay in the Atlantic Monthly on the subject of "Moral".
The Alford Professorship of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity is one that has been made eminent by the many distinguished men that have occupied it. It was endowed in 1789 by Edmund Trowbridge, of the class of 1728, and Richard Cary of 1763, executors of the will of John Alford who died in 1761. The first two holders of the title were Levi Frisbie and Levi Hedge. James Walker, 1814, occupied the chair from 1838 to 1853 when he was elected President of the University. Francis Bowen '33 followed him. In 1859 George Herbert Palmer '64 was appointed: after the retirement of the latter, in 1913, as Professor Emeritus. Josiah Royce took the position. The chair has been unoccupied since his death.