Harrelson, J. W. (John William), 1885-1955

Biographical Note:
John Harrelson was born in 1885 in Cleveland County, North Carolina. He attended North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (A&M College), and graduated in 1909 with a B.A. in engineering. Harrelson earned a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the college in 1915. In 1909, Harrelson became an instructor of mathematics at A&M College, and later rose to the rank of professor. In 1929, Harrelson accepted an invitation by Governor O. Max Gardner to head the State Department of Conservation and Development, where he served for the next four years. In 1933, Harrelson returned to A&M College as head of the Department of Mathematics. In 1934, in the aftermath of the consolidation of North Carolina’s institutions of higher education and the retirement of NC State’s President Eugene Clyde Brooks, Harrelson was selected to head State College under the new title of Dean of Administration. He was the first alumnus to lead the college. Harrelson's title was changed to Chancellor in 1945, and he served in that position until 1953. After World War II ended in 1945, NC State saw extraordinary growth, and during Harrelson’s chancellorship the School of Design and the School of Forestry were established. Harrelson died in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1955. Related Archival Materials: John William Harrelson Papers, 1908-1955, MC 00001; Office of the Chancellor, John William Harrelson Records, 1933-1953, UA 002.001.002
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