RAY LYMAN WILBUR, LL. D.
SURNAMES:LYMAN, PROCTOR, BLAKE,
A distinguished American educator who has done much to make California
favorably known in circles of higher learning throughout the world, Dr.
Ray Lyman Wilbur, President of Stanford University, and the leader in
all of the many and varied activities of that great institution, has
come to exert the most enviable influence wherever a son or daughter of
Stanford may he found, his mental calibre and the warmth of his genial,
impelling personality being as impressive as his immense, commanding
physique. He has been at the helm of Stanford for the past six years;
and it is only fair to say, without invidious comparisons or the
disparagement in the least of any predecessor—Stanford invariably
standing for loyalty to its recognized chiefs—that the University, of
which Californians are so justly proud, has never had a better
presiding officer. He was born at Boonesboro, Iowa, on April 13, 1875,
the son of Dwight Locke Wilbur, a native of Ohio and a graduate of the
Law School of the University of Michigan, who had settled for the
practice of law at Boonesboro, and had also become a coal operator
there. From Boonesboro he moved to the Dakota Territory, and there
became interested, as agent of the Northern Pacific Railway, in selling
railway land. From Dakota he removed again still farther West to
Riverside, Cal., and there acquired an orange grove. He took a lively
interest in local commercial affairs and was elected chairman of the
Board of Trade of Riverside. He also evinced an intense interest in
popular education and very naturally was made a member of the Riverside
School Board. When he retired, he chose Los Angeles as his residence,
and there he lived until he was sixty-four years old.
While still in Ohio, Mr. Wilbur was married to Miss Edna Maria Lyman, a
daughter of Elias and Hannah (Proctor) Lyman and a representative of
another long-established American family, the Lymans and the Proctors,
like the Wilburs,
having come to New England in the earliest periods there. Prior to his
marriage, Dwight Locke Wilbur enlisted for service in the Union Army as
a member of the 87th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and being destined for
capture had the distinction of falling
into the hands of the famous Stonewall Jackson. He was paroled, and
returned to Ohio; and then, with his wife, he removed to Iowa. Mrs.
Wilbur died in Los Angeles, the mother of six children, among whom our
subject was the fourth child.
Ray Lyman Wilbur was only eight years old when his parents moved into
the Dakota Territory and settled in what is now North Dakota; and at
Jamestown he grew up and attended the local schools. Coming to
Riverside he continued his schooling and in 1892 was graduated from the
Riverside high school. He then matriculated at Stanford University in
1892 and was duly graduated therefrom in 1896. He continued another
year at Stanford and in 1897 rounded out his Master of Arts work. He
next took up the study of medicine and in 1899 was graduated, with the
coveted M. D. degree, from the Cooper Medical College at San Francisco.
In the course of time Dr. Wilbur went abroad for post-graduate study
and during 1903-04 was a student at Frankfort-on-the-Main and also at
London, and during 1909-10 he was at the University of Munich.
On December 5, 1898, Dr. Wilbur was married at San Francisco to Miss
Marguerite May Blake, a native of the Bay metropolis and the daughter
of Dr. Charles E. Blake, a prominent physician and one of the lecturers
at the College of the Pacific, in the
medical department which later became the Cooper Medical College. Dr.
and Mrs. Wilbur have five children: Jessica, Blake
C., Dwight L., Lois Proctor, and Ray Lyman, Jr.
During 1896-7, Dr. Wilbur was instructor in physiology at Stanford
University, and during 1899-1900 he was lecturer and demonstrator in
physiology at the Cooper Medical College; and from 1900-03 he was
assistant professor of physiology at Stanford University. From 1909 to
1916 he was professor of medicine at Stanford University, and from 1911
1916 he was dean of the Medical School there. On January 1, 1916, he
was inaugurated president of Stanford University succeeding Dr. John
Caspar Branner, its former president, now deceased, who in turn had
succeeded David Starr Jordan, now chancellor emeritus. In 1917, Mr.
Herbert Hoover asked Dr. Wilbur to become chief of the Conservation
of the U. S. Food Administration at Washington, and he also acted in
that year as a member of the California State Council of Defense. He
was regional educational director of the S. A. T. C., District No. 11,
in 1918, and in 1919 he was president
of the California State Confederation of Social Agencies. Both the
University of California and the University of Arizona conferred on Dr.
Wilbur the honorary LL. D. degree in 1919; he is a Fellow of the A. A.
A. S., a member of the American Academy of Medicine, of which he was
president in 1912-13, and he is a Phi Beta Kappa. He belongs to the
Commonwealth, Bohemian, and Pacific Union clubs, and is not only highly
esteemed and revered as a profound scholar and a patriot, like his
predecessor, Dr. Jordan, but also, and equally popular, as a man of the
greatest cordiality and gifted with winning qualities attracting to him
the ambitious youth.
The year 1922 will be remembered as the year of the campaign to raise
the first million for the Stanford Endowment. President Wilbur has
thrown him-self heart and soul into this work and has met with
heartiest response from the Alumni. At the present writing, June 1,
1922, success is apparent, as $900,000 of the $1,000,000 has already
been secured. Additional glory was added to Stanford when on May 25,
1922, Dr. Wilbur was elected president of the American Medical
Association. He will assume office at next year's convention.