George W. Lilley

Deceased Person

George W. Lilley (February 9, 1850 – June 8, 1904) was an American academic, professor of mathematics, and the first president of two American universities, today known as South Dakota State University and Washington State University. George W. Lilley was born February 9, 1850, in Kewanee, Henry County, Illinois, the son of William Lilley, a native of England, and Harriet Huntley Lilley, a native of Canada. Pioneers in Henry County, George's parents owned two farms including one with a substantial coal mining operation. They had six children. George Lilley began his college studies at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, earning a bachelor's degree about 1873 or 1874. In 1886, Knox College also granted him an honorary degree. He continued his studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois. The latter institution awarded him both Ph.D. and LL.D. degrees. Lilley began his career in business in Corning, Iowa, from 1878 to 1880. In early 1884 he was selected to be the first president of Dakota Agricultural College, today South Dakota State University in Brookings. Under his leadership, the first building was constructed  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Known as
George Lilley
Date of birth


Institution From To
University of Michigan
Knox College, Illinois


Date of death

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