Washington Gladden (1836-1918)

Graduate of Williams in the Class of 1859, which he entered from secondary school as a sophomore in 1856. Congregational minister, lecturer, and author, he was a pioneer in the social gospel movement, a widespread effort on the Christian churches to bring religion to bear on the great ethical problems of modern industrial society. Author of "The Mountains" [the Williams College song] as an undergraduate and trustee of the College as an alumnus, he was perhaps the most widely known and most influential graduate of Williams during the closing years of the nineteenth and opening years of the twentieth centuries. During his long pastorate in Columbus, Ohio, from 1882 to 1918, he was active in municipal and industrial reform, helped to popularize new trends in Biblical criticism, worked in behalf of the reconciliation of the churches, and fought vigorously against bigotry and nativism. His message was the Golden Rule; it inspired his over thirty books, it led him to battle against the economic and social evils of his time, and it informed his own love of justice and life of service.

By Prof. Fred Rudolph (Williams class of 1942)

SOURCES:
Williams College Alumni Review . May 1965.