Jackson, Thomas Harold
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James Edward Dickey was the twelfth president of Emory College and the last to serve at its Oxford, Georgia campus before it was consolidated into Emory University. As were many of his predecessors, Dickey was an Emory alumnus and Methodist minister who came to the presidency with a background of teaching and preaching. A systematic administrator with a gift for fundraising, he served as president from 1902 to 1915, longer than any of his predecessors, and oversaw construction of a new science building, dormitory, gymnasium and a sanctuary for the campus church. An old-style southern orator noted for his eloquence and grandiose delivery, he preached conservative values leading to Christian salvation. Serving as pastor of prominent Georgia Methodist churches before and after his presidency, he was elected bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South in 1922, serving until his death in 1928. As such, he campaigned vigorously against a proposal to unify the southern and northern branches of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Key influences and factors in his life and career were his mentor and long-time colleague Warren A. Candler, also an Emory president and Methodist bishop; the transition of the Old South of his birth and its "Lost Cause" rhetoric to the New South of his maturity, as outlined by Atticus G. Haygood and Henry W. Grady; the pervasive influence of race in the life of the church, college and society of Dickey's time; the Methodist Church and its commitment to higher education through the Wesleyan philosophy of melding knowledge with vital piety; and the coming of the Progressive Era and its resulting impact on higher education in general, and on Emory in particular, as it transformed from a small liberal arts college to a great research univesrity.