When the Board of Regents was unable to immediately fill the vacancy created by President von KleinSmid’s departure, it created an administrative committee whose members were Francis C. Lockwood, dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Gurdon Butler, dean of the College of Mines and Engineering, and D.W. Working, dean of the College of Agriculture. In April 1922, Lockwood was made acting president. He was 58 years old.
Born in Mount Erie, Ill., in 1864, he came to the University of Arizona in 1916 as professor of English literature. Prior to his arrival, he taught at Mount Union College, Kansas State College and Alleghany College. During World War I, he spent 1918 as a YMCA lecturer on troop transports, crossing the Atlantic nine times. He held a doctorate in philosophy from Northwestern University when he came to Arizona, and later did research at the University of Chicago, the University of Oxford, and Wesleyan University, where he received a doctor of literature degree in 1936.
During his years at the University, Lockwood served in many capacities. He was a professor of English, director of the Extension Division, dean of men, and dean of the College of Liberal Arts, as well as acting president. A highly regarded scholar, he traveled extensively throughout Arizona and the Southwest, following many of the routes taken by Father Kino. After publishing “Padre Kino on the Trail,” he founded the Kino Memorial Association and led a campaign to erect a Kino memorial. He authored a number of books that have become classics of Southwestern history and literature.
He retired from the University in 1941, and died in Tucson in 1948 at the age of 83.