Lloyd H. Elliott, GWU’s 14th president

Just about every story we journalists write leaves out details from our notebooks that we wish had gotten into print. So here are a few from my obituary of George Washington University’s 14th president, Lloyd H. Elliott, who died on New Year’s Day at age 94. He led the university nearly a quarter century, from 1965 to 1988.


President Lloyd H. Elliott of George Washington University stands in the center of a group of students in the school's Administration Building as he discusses their grievances. (LeRoy Woodson/THE WASHINGTON POST)

He launched a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps at GWU in the early 1980s, which was probably no accident, given his own service in the Navy in World War II in the Mediterranean.

He banned a Virginia Slims women’s tennis event from campus, objecting to the promotion of the cigarette brand, according to his successor, Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. He was later miffed when Trachtenberg — after extracting funding from the tobacco company sponsor for scholarships for women to attend medical school -- lifted the ban.

And here’s a quote that came in after I filed the story. It pays tribute to the style Elliott cultivated as a leader — low key but effective.

“He was a gentleman,” said Young-Key Kim-Renaud, a professor of Korean language and culture and international affairs at GWU’s Elliott School of International Affairs. “He seemed quiet but seemed to know everything that was going around him. He was a kind leader, who noticed you however small you were.”

Nick Anderson covers higher education for The Washington Post. He has been a writer and editor at The Post since 2005.

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