Clifton Daggett Gray

Clifton Daggett Gray, clergyman and former editor of Chicago’s The Standard, saw Bates through an era marked by vibrant growth, the Great Depression, and World War II.

In the early 1920s, Bates debating went international; Libbey Forum and Hedge Laboratory were renovated, and the Clifton Daggett Gray Athletic Building and Alumni Gym were built. Then, in 1929, the stock market crashed. Students became hard to find. Who could afford the $600-a-year tuition? The result was a year in the red. However, the financial difficulty did not last long.

When World War II came, the College responded.  President Gray arranged for a V12 Naval Training Unit on campus, assuring the College good students during wartime while other colleges were feeling the draft. Ninety Bowdoin students came upriver to Bates for the V12 program.

By the time he retired in 1944, Gray had increased student enrollment from 527 to 749, faculty from 36 to 70, and the endowment from $1 million to $2 million.