Frank Aydelotte

Past Director

Frank Aydelotte, former President of Swarthmore College, succeeded Abraham Flexner to become the Institute for Advanced Study’s second Director, serving from 1939 to 1947.

From the National Academy of Sciences:

Frank Aydelotte was a man of great intellectual and athletic ability and a talented academic administrator, who pursued graduate work in English literature at Harvard University and studied thereafter as a Rhodes fellow at Oxford University. He taught English literature at Indiana University, moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1915, became president of Swarthmore College in 1921, and Director of the Institute for Advanced Study in 1939. Frank Aydelotte established a program of honors seminars and student concentrations at Swarthmore that brought the college into the first rank of American colleges. He was American Secretary of the Rhodes trustees (1918–52), chairman of the education advisory board of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1925–50), and held many other advisory positions relating to education, government, and international affairs.

The above text is excerpted from a publication about William Aydelotte, Frank Aydelotte’s son: Allan G. Bougue and Gilbert White, “William Osgood Aydelotte: September 1, 1910–January 17, 1996,” National Academies Press, 1998

For more information on Frank Aydelotte, see the IAS finding aid: Records of the Office of the Director: Frank Aydelotte files.

Dates at IAS



University of Oxford
Harvard University
Indiana University


Member, American Philosophical Society
Rhodes Scholarship, University of Oxford
honorary degrees from many institutions, including Yale University, New York University, and the University of Pennsylvania
Phi Beta Kappa


Swarthmore College
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Professor of English
Indiana University
Associate Professor of English