President, Trinity College, 1910-1924, Duke University, 1924-1940
When Kilgo was elected a Bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, the trustees elevated a Professor of English and the first Dean of the College, William Preston Few (1867-1940), to the Presidency. Few had a B.A. degree from Wofford and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Like Kilgo he was greatly respected by students. One wrote admiringly, "He was a model of prudence. To Dr. Few I owe about all the balance I may have in my make-up."
Of Wood's criteria for a successful presidency, Few certainly exhibited “patience and labor.” Perhaps unique in the history of higher education in America, he also had the time—30 years as President—and the money—the largesse of the Duke family. His most spectacular accomplishments were helping to nurture the concept behind The Duke Endowment to fruition, and overseeing the transformation of Trinity College into Duke University.
Just as Few often emphasized that Duke University owed its rapid development to the strength of Trinity College, the stature of the University today is due in large measure to the ideals and talent of William Preston Few. What Craven was to the institution in the 19th century, so Few was in the 20th.