James Richard Leutze

H-SC President, 1987-1990James Richard Leutze

Some fourteen months after Josiah Bunting announced his resignation in December 1985, on 4 February 1987 the Board elected James Richard Leutze, a distinguished and popular professor of history at the University of North Carolina. A native of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, he was educated at the University of Maryland, the University of Miami, and Duke. For nineteen years he had been a professor at Chapel Hill (and had served in the administration there), winning several awards for teaching and research that concentrated on modern military history and international affairs; he had also won acclaim for his public television program Globe Watch. Quite naturally, he oversaw the establishment at Hampden-Sydney of several new courses of an international character and a para-degree Certificate in International Studies. The day after his election he was introduced to the community at a special assembly, where he good-naturedly donned the varsity football jersey that Mr. Bunting presented him; thus began regular visits designed to ensure a seamless transition. Despite all the energetic activity of the preceding ten years, the new regime was faced with a full measure of Old Business dominated by "deferred maintenance" (some of it pending for decades) and by the need for additions and replacements to the physical plant. Having started under a certain onus of student suspicion about his plans and motives, Dr. Leutze did not help the situation by announcing plans to replace the hand-rung bell of Watkins Bell Tower with an electrified mechanical one; after a storm of protests, the plans were abandoned. But things seemed to be going well when, in April 1990, he indicated his intention not to seek renewal of his three-year contract; on 7 June he resigned to become Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.