1833 – 1834
James Piper Presidency
When he was selected as president of East Tennessee College (UT’s fourth president) in 1833, James Hays Piper had been president of Columbia College (formerly Woodward Academy) in Columbia, Tennessee, for two years and a professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at East Tennessee College for three years. The 33-year-old native of Rockbridge County, Virginia, received a bachelor’s degree from Washington College (later Washington and Lee) in 1819 and a master of arts degree from East Tennessee College in 1830, the latter apparently as a reward for his joining the faculty. After serving only one year as president, Piper resigned and returned to his home state of Virginia, where he became a surveyor, engineer, and turnpike builder. He also served in the Virginia state senate from 1840 to 1846 and for a short time in the administration of US President James K. Polk as principal clerk of public lands in the General Land Office.