Henry Eli Kendall

Henry Eli Kendall, a highly active member of the college community, served as the fifth president of NC State. Students described Kendall as a small man with great spirit: his football coach famously remarked, “If you all worked and [had] half the stuff in you that little 130-pound Kendall boy has, no team could lick us.” Kendall continued the NC State legacy of working with the Southern Federation of College Students and attended the convention as a delegate along with his successor, John Matheson. Kendall showed a great love for his school and ended up donating his personal papers and items to the college.


Years at State

Student Body President, 1925-1926


During Kendall’s term the student government put a new series of rules in place, directed at the freshmen of the college. The rules required, among other things, that freshmen run errands at the request of any upper-classman, wear a coat at all times while in Raleigh, and always be polite to upper-classmen and faculty.


After graduating from North Carolina State College in 1926, Henry Kendall worked for Plumer Wiseman Engineering Company in Danville, Virginia. In 1930 he moved to Shanghai, China, where he worked for Dibrell Brothers Tobacco Company for six years. He returned to North Carolina in 1936 and worked for the NC School Commission as a chief of plant operations.

He enrolled in the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1942 and served in Europe, the Philippines, and Japan. He was discharged in May of 1946 after attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Two months later, Governor Gregg Cherry named Kendall the chairman of the Unemployment Compensation Commission.

Kendall served as chairman of the Unemployment Commission until his retirement in 1973. He worked on numerous advisory committees for the governors of North Carolina and in 1973 received the Distinguished Public Service citation from the North Carolina Citizens Association.


Agromeck, 1926.

“Student Government Officers Are Installed” Technician Vol. V, No. 25 (April 10 1925), 1.

“Freshman Rules Pass House Student Gov’t” Technician Vol. 6, No. 3 (September 25 1925), 3.

“College Enrollment for Term 1924-1925 Approaches 1,700” Technician Vol. 5, No. 33 (May 15 1925), 1.

“New State College Library Masterpiece of Architecture” Technician Vol. 6, No. 2 (September 18 1925), 1.

“Red Mud of Campus is Fast Disappearing” Technician Vol. 6, No 3 (September 25 1925), 7.

“A Job For Student Government” Technician Vol. 6, No. 4 (October 2 1925), 3.

Biography of Henry Eli Kendall, Jr., written by Katharine Kerr Kendall, his wife. (UA 50.3.31)