Biographies > Grinnell College
Main, John Hanson Thomas

John Hanson Thomas Main was born in Toledo, OH in 1859. He received his A.B. and A.M. from Moore's Hill College and his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. He had a distinguished career as professor of Greek and joined the faculty of Grinnell College in 1892. Beginning in 1900, Main served for two years as Acting President of the College, then became Dean of the Faculty before being selected as Grinnell's President in 1906. Main embraced foreign missionary work and set up several programs, all affectionately dubbed Grinnell-in-______, including Grinnell-in-China, Grinnell-in-Greece, and Grinnell-in-Turkey. He headed the Home Board for the Grinnell-in-China program, securing funds and teachers for the Porter-Wyckoff schools. His enthusiasm for the Grinnell-in-China program kept it alive through financial crisis and waning interest. When he died in 1931, Grinnell-in-China lost its biggest supporter and the official Grinnell-China connection was severed.

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