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This Day in Georgia History

April 09, 1793

Alonzo Church Born

Educator Alonzo Church was born in Brattleboro, Vermont. After graduating from Middlebury College, Church moved to Georgia in 1816, becoming a schoolmaster in Putnam County. In 1819, he joined the faculty of the University of Georgia. When Moses Waddel resigned the presidency of the university in 1829, Church was chosen to replace him. Church served as president for thirty years, during which time eight new buildings were constructed. During Church’s administration, the university’s curriculum expanded from its classical heritage to include more scientific and mathematical study. Still, he was a strong believer in the classics and firm discipline, which led to conflicts with some students and faculty - most notably John and Joseph LeConte. Church resigned in 1859 and retired to his home outside of Athens, where he died on May 18, 1862.