Millard Mayhew Parker

Presidential Order: 3rd president
Years: 1897-1901

Millard Mayhew Parker was born in Maine and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Before coming to the UA in 1897, he founded Pasadena Academy in California, which merged into Throop Polytechnic Institute, the forerunner of the California Institute of Technology. He was vice president of Throop and came to the UA with excellent administrative skills.

Parker recruited exceptional faculty during his tenure at the UA. He obtained funding from the Legislature for a new men’s dormitory, South Hall, and a joint manual training/assay building. He increased publications of the Agricultural Experiment Station, raised admission standards, encouraged athletics and supported the development of the University library. Estelle Lutrell, the University’s first full-time librarian, joined the UA during Parker’s time. The president’s son and daughter both enrolled at the University. His son, George Parker, was elected captain of the football team. The team played the University’s first intercollegiate game with Tempe Normal School, which later would become Arizona State University, on Thanksgiving Day 1899. Tempe won 11-2 and was awarded the Territorial Cup. The cup is awarded to the winner of each UA-ASU football game. It is recognized by the NCAA as the oldest award given for a rivalry game in the nation.

In 1901, the Board of Regents re-employed Parker for another term with a $400 salary increase. But in short order, Chancellor William Herring asked for his resignation with charges of improper conduct toward “certain female instructors.” The charges were never substantiated. But after being denied a hearing by the Board of Regents, Parker resigned and returned to Pasadena. He died there in 1928 at the age of 78.

[Return to All Past Presidents]