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James Pinckney Kinard (1864-1951)

Digitized Collection

James Pinckney Kinard ca 1930

Winthrop's Second President 1928-1934

    James Pinckney Kinard, Winthrop's second president was a dedicated educator. His attitude toward education was truly progressive. he believed that "the true meaning of education...was not a mere accumulation of facts, but a training of the faculties of mind, heart, (and) a growing into mental and moral strength." In a commencement address to the class of 1929 he stated that "(we) must continue to study and to learn..." all of our lives, for only by doing so can we find the "truth that will make us free from envy and hatred and fear."

      Dr. Kinard was born in 1864 at Kinard, South Carolina, to John Martin and Lavinia Rook Kinard. He attended Newberry Male Academy and later entered Newberry College. In 1882 he won a scholarship to the Citadel. Dr. Kinard's association with the Citadel continued throughout his life. He taught there as professor of English from 1888 to 1891 and again from 1913 to 1914. A loyal alumnus, he received an honorary degree from the Citadel in 1930 and in 1964 the Citadel unveiled his portrait at the Citadel Memorial Library.

      After graduation from the Citadel in 1886, Dr. Kinard taught at Newberry Male Academy for two years. The way was eventually made clear for him to satisfy a genuine longing for further study of English Literature and in 1891 he entered John Hopkins University. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from John Hopkins in 1895. Soon after, he returned to South Carolina as professor of English, language, and literature at Winthrop Normal and Industrial College of South Carolina (Winthrop University's name from 1893-1920). From 1914 to 1916 he served as president of Anderson College. He resigned his position in 1916 to become superintendent of Newberry City Schools. But Winthrop was still near to his heart for he wrote to Dr. Johnson, "It seemed very queer to go to work this fall away from Winthrop and my friends. I found myself constantly thinking about you all during the opening days."

      In 1917 he returned to Winthrop as dean and professor of psychology and education. In his commencement address of 1934, he humorously referred to his decision to resign from Winthrop as a "moment of mental aberration." Dr. Kinard assumed leadership of Winthrop College, the South Carolina College for Women (Winthrop University's name from 1920-1974) in 1928 upon the death of Winthrop's founder and first president David Bancroft Johnson. He continued in that position until his retirement in 1934. He served as president emeritus from that time until his death in 1951. As much as Dr. Kinard loved Winthrop, Winthrop loved him even more. In the welcoming remarks of alumna Frances W. Beaty to a meeting of Winthrop Alumni in 1935, she referred to Dr. Kinard as "that very parfait gentile knight. a scholarly educator, a kindly friend," and she expressed Winthrop's loyalty by calling him "Winthrop's king of hearts."

      Dr. Kinard's academic career had not been spent totally in the classroom or behind the administrative desk. In 1899 he visited Europe, spending some time in Scotland, England, and France. Out of these travels came "Old English Ballads," published in 1902. He also won first prize in "The State" newspaper drama contest in 1922 for his one-act play, "Mortmain." As a scholar and teacher interested in the study of the English language, Dr. Kinard produced several textbooks. "The English Language," published in 1911 and co-authored with Miss Sarah Withers of Winthrop Normal and Industrial College of South Carolina, was adopted for use three times by the State Board of Education. Another textbook, "Our Language," co-authored by Mary Brown and Florence Hopkins Rogers, and published in 1929, was also selected by the State Board of Education for use in the public schools. Dr. Kinard was a very active Rotarian and served as president in 1927. He was also involved with the Community Boy's Work in Rock Hill, forerunner of the Rock Hill YMCA, and was president of the South Carolina Education Association around 1928.

      In 1899 he married Miss Lee Wicker of Farmville, Virginia, who had taught for several years as professor of history at Winthrop. Together they raised four children: James, Jr., Livinia, Nell, and Katherine.

      During his administration, the burden of guiding the college through the lean Depression years fell on his shoulders. Still the college saw expansion of the Carnegie Library and the planning of an amphitheater on back campus for presentations of outdoor dramas. In 1929 the new classroom building was named for Dr. Kinard in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of education and to Winthrop. Perhaps the inscriptions on the front stones of Kinard Hall best express the spirit of Dr. Kinard's life. On one side it reads "And gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teach," and on the other, "Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free."


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