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.
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.