Fifth president of Hollins dies

on September 6 | in In the Loop | by

John A. "Jay" Logan

President Logan with members of the class of 1974: Leslie Bryan, Suzanne “Suzy” Mink, Linda Koch Lorimer, and Brooke Breckenridge Morton.

John A. “Jay” Logan, Jr., president of Hollins from 1961 to 1975, died on July 4, 2011, at the Connecticut Hospice in Branford, after a fall and a brief illness.

Logan was born in Chicago in 1923 and attended Yale, where he earned a B.A. in history in 1949 and a Ph.D. in 1954. He taught American diplomatic history there until 1961, when he published No Transfer: An American Security Principle with Yale University Press and joined the Salzburg Seminar in Austria as a visiting lecturer in American foreign policy. Later that year he was named president of Hollins.

While visiting Hollins as president-elect in April 1961, Logan remarked that “whatever we do is going to be evolutionary, not revolutionary.” Indeed, Logan’s thoughtful leadership guided Hollins through unmatched growth during a turbulent time in our country. During his tenure here, Hollins attracted and developed an outstanding faculty, notably in the English and creative writing department. He was the driving force for a new curriculum, including a January Short Term, the growth of the master of arts in liberal studies program, and the creation of the Dana Science Building and Tinker House dormitory. He also worked with student government to involve students in the curriculum and to navigate the political upheaval of the 1960s and ’70s.

Mary E. “Mary Beth” Hatten ’71, Frederick P. Rose Professor at Rockefeller University’s Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology, wrote in an e-mail, “I ran into him on the street in New York as I was headed to Rockefeller University to sign the contract to become the first woman professor there. He was so thrilled for me and I was so happy to have seen him in that moment that I took it as a ‘sign.’ I know that I shall never forget my interactions with him on behalf of student government, or his invaluable advice and support of my graduate school plans.”

To Suzanne McCormick Taylor ’64, it took awhile to understand fully how much she benefited from his leadership. The time she spent at Hollins and on the Hollins Abroad–Paris program “was a challenging, glorious, and blessed existence. When we are experiencing something like that firsthand, it can take years to put it in context.…Honestly, there is rarely a week that passes without the surfacing of some Hollins connection or influence on how I think and live my life. The Logans were a huge part of that and to me, unforgettable.”

Logan left Hollins in 1975 to become president of the Independent College Funds of America in New York. He retired in 1986.

He was married to the former Ann Douglas Orr of New Haven, who died in 2001. He leaves a son, Douglas O. Logan of Stony Creek, Connecticut, a daughter-in-law, Melissa, and two grandchildren, Nicholas and Jane.

Gifts to Hollins in President Logan’s memory can be made at

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