Cloyd Heck Marvin – A Foggy Bottom President

Born in Findlay, Ohio in 1889, Cloyd Heck Marvin had funny names cred from the start. His parents were Ezekiel Cloyd Marvin, and Ida Gertrude Heck, from each of whom he grabbed the best parts of their names. It appears that Ezekiel also had a daughter whom he called “Toots Jr.”, but I’m not entirely sure if this is the same family. Judge for yourself. I choose to believe in Toots.

Cloyd became notable for his work in academia. First, as the youngest ever president of an American university at the time, when he became the Univerity of Arizona chief in 1922. He was only 32 years old. A few years later, he resigned after a battle with other faculty and administrators, and was subsequently appointed as head of George Washington University in Washington, D.C. There he stayed for an impressive 32 years, and thus became the longest serving president in that establishment’s history.

It also pleases me to report that the George Washington campus is located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of D.C. The area was of course named (ish) in honor of the fine musical group seen below.

In 1970, the Cloyd Heck Marvin Center was founded at the GWU campus in his honor. The building functions as the institution’s community center. The naming continues to stir some controversy among students today because of Marvin’s views at the time, including his support of segregation.

Cloyd often seemed to stir up trouble and controversy wherever he went. At Arizona, he wound up in a war of words with the president of the student body, Johnny Buttons Salmon, who questioned Marvin’s honesty in the student paper. Personally I’d love to get in a tiff with a guy armed with a name like that. Could really push his buttons.

So pleased about the Jr.

So pleased about the Jr.

At both universities where he served, he fired a large amount of faculty, which understandably raised tempers. Then again, you probably don’t last thirty two years in a job without pleasing someone, and during his term he more than doubled GWU’s student population.

And of course, who could forget a name like Cloyd Heck Marvin.




About Arto

Co-founder of the Funny Names Blog, Hawaiian shirt enthusiast, and holder of a funny name himself with too many vowels for any sensible person. Currently residing in San Diego, California, scouring through obscure documents on a hunt for more funny names.
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20 Responses to Cloyd Heck Marvin – A Foggy Bottom President

  1. Dave says:

    Aw Heck! That’s a fantastic name.

    The only other Cloyd I’ve heard of is former baseballer Cloyd Boyer, brother of Clete (and I believe they had a sister named Pansy). I wish I could be a university president at 32. Looks like I’m not on the academic fast track for that one…

  2. Dave says:

    That “judge for yourself” page was interesting too. I doubt it’s a high volume page, but it is an interesting one.

    • Arto says:

      I would call that going above and beyond the levels of research expected on this blog, personally. But that’s just because I love tooting my own horn.

  3. ksbeth says:

    i love the name, and my daughter spent a couple of years at gw, in foggy bottom, one of the highlights of the experience for me)

    • Arto says:

      I think I’ll need to make a pilgrimage out to Foggy Bottom myself one of these years.

      Would you say it was both foggy, and at the bottom of something?

  4. kerbey says:

    I liked Pansy, Bro Hovis, and Elmyra in the letter. Cloyd is a new one to me. It’s like a syrupy Clyde (more cloying). And The Hecks are the family in “The Middle,” so I’m all too familiar with Sue Heck, my favorite Heck on the show. She is notorious for being forgettable, which a Cloyd could never be. How does a person even button a salmon? How can your middle name be a transitive verb? I’ve heard of trans, but THIS is ridicu-luss!

    • Dave says:

      Wow, Elmyra Twining Heck is way way way way up there on the funny names scale! I had a classmate whose middle name is Byrnes, and whose last name is Finger. So I guess I had a trans classmate

      • kerbey says:

        Nicely done, Dave (clapping from Texas). That is very trans. Good that his LAST name wasn’t Byrnes, or he would have had his share of The Simpsons jokes. Mexcillent…

    • Arto says:

      You make sure astute observations about buttoning fish that I am left with no words other than agree that this is “ridicu-luss!”

  5. wdydfae says:

    “. . . How can I do any blurbs when Dave already used my ‘heck’ joke? . . .”

    “. . . Arto’s latest is an absolute Marvil . . .”

    “. . . if Bonnie and Clyde were Australian they’d be Bonnie and Cloyd . . .”

    “. . . That’s all I got . . .”

  6. Dave says:

    Believe in Toots, Arto. Believe….

    What would I say if I got in a tiff with a guy with your name? Would I really pull his Hermanni? How do I even spell your middle name, vowel guy?

  7. That’s one heck of a name there.

  8. wdydfae says:

    There is a “Heck’s Angels” scooter club:

    Heck’s Angels Twin Cities Scooter Club

    Minneapolis, MN
    393 Heck’s Angels

    This is the official site of the Heck’s Angels Twin Cities Scooter Club.

    Next Meetup

    Rides of March

    Saturday, Mar 12, 2016, 12:30 PM
    5 Attending

    Check out this Meetup Group →

    As they say, FWIW.

  9. Bumba says:

    With a name like Cloyd, what the Heck. I heard that tomorrow is officially strange name day. What the heck?

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