Harris Wofford

Apr 9, 1926 - Jan 21, 2019

Remembering Bryn Mawr's Fifth President, Harris Wofford

Former Sen. Harris Wofford, a lifelong civil rights advocate and backer of progressive causes, died Monday at a Washington hospital at age 92.

The Bryn Mawr community mourns the death and celebrates the life of the College’s fifth president, Harris Wofford, who passed away on Jan. 21 at the age of 92.

Best known for his role in the Civil Rights Movement, Wofford rose to national prominence as President John F. Kennedy’s special assistant for civil rights. He also helped Sargent Shriver launch the Peace Corps.

As president of Bryn Mawr from 1970-78, Wofford led the College during a period of intense political, economic, and social change. Wofford believed deeply in the need for cross-cultural dialogue and led successful efforts to recruit international students to the college and to provide financial support for their enrollment. He also strengthened and broadened opportunities for Bryn Mawr students to study abroad, and to pursue externships and internships. 

The thoughts of the Bryn Mawr community are with President Wofford’s family, friends, and all those whose lives were touched by his activism, kindness, and compassion. 

Late in his life, Wofford, whose wife, Clare, died in 1996, married Matthew Charlton, a man 50 years younger whom he had met some years earlier on a beach in Florida.

In addition to his husband, Mr. Wofford is survived by daughter Susanne; another son, David; a brother; a sister; and six grandchildren.

Plans for services were incomplete.



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