John U. Monro

John Usher Monro (December 23, 1912 – March 29, 2002) was an American academic administrator and Dean of Harvard College from 1958 to 1967. He made national headlines when he left Harvard for Miles College, a historically black and then-unaccredited institution in Birmingham, Alabama.

John Usher Monro
Monro as assistant provost and counselor for veterans in 1949[1]
Dean of Harvard College
In office
1958 (1958)–1967 (1967)
Personal details
Born(1912-12-23)December 23, 1912
North Andover, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedMarch 29, 2002(2002-03-29) (aged 89)
La Verne, California, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
Spouse(s)
Dorothy Steven Foster
(m. 1936; died 1984)
Children2
EducationPhillips Academy
Alma materHarvard College
AwardsBronze Star Medal (1945)
Doctor of Humane Letters (1967)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch United States Navy
RankDamage control officer
WarWorld War II

Monro, born in Massachusetts and educated at Phillips Academy in Andover, worked as a journalist after graduating from Harvard University in 1935. When the United States entered World War II in 1941, he joined the United States Navy and later served on the USS Enterprise. He was honoured with a Bronze Star for his efforts as a damage control officer. After the war, he worked in various roles at Harvard, became the director of financial aid and co-founded the College Scholarship Service. He was made Dean of Harvard College in 1958, but his strong interest in supporting black students saw him leave Harvard to work as director of freshman studies at Miles College in 1967. In the late 1970s, he moved on to Tougaloo College, where he worked as the director of its writing center.