Origins of named Professorships at the University
The University's first professorships were established in 1925 through the efforts of President Ernest DeWitt Burton, in the expectation that "these professorships would be recognized in all educational circles as the highest compliment that could be offered to a professor." These "Distinguished Service Professorships" form a subset of the named chairs offered to our most distinguished members of the faculty.
The first "College Professorships" were established in 1949 and recognize those members of the faculty whose inspired teaching makes their original research alive for our undergraduate students.
Most recently, the University Professorships have been established to recruit to the faculty the most extraordinary individuals from outside the University.