James A. McCain - 1945-1950

James A. McCain

September 1945 - July 1950

"The critical problem of our age is that of human relationships."


  • A.B., Woffard College, 1926
  • A.M., Duke University, 1929
  • Ed.D., Stanford University, 1948

Accomplishments as President

As his first achievement in office, McCain solved the problem of inadequate housing using temporary buildings. He also found 65 new instructors to accommodate the growing number of veterans entering the University. McCain provided the Bureau of Business and Economic Research with its own staff. Under McCain's administration, the University developed a number of alliances with Montana organizations, improving UM's public image and community involvement. UM drama students were offered the opportunity to gain experience with the Virginia City Players during the summer months. The newly-developed School of Public and Private Administration offered educational courses to personnel of the U.S. Forest Service, the Soil Conservation Service, and the National Park Service, resulting in a UM connection to the U.S. Public Health Laboratory. In addition, McCain reorganized faculty committees in order to make their duties more concise and efficient.

Background History

While studying to receive his A.M., McCain was a professor of English. He served as the Assistant to the President and later as Dean of Student Personnel at the Colorado College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. Directly before his UM presidency, McCain was a Lieutenant Commander for the U.S. Navy during WWII.

Following the Presidency

McCain left UM to become President of Kansas State College, now Kansas State University. Under his administration, KSU enlarged its campus, research programs, and international studies programs. KSU now has both an auditorium and an annual performance series named in honor of McCain.

James A. McCain

Landmarks Erected

  • Jumbo Hall, 1946 (razed in 1960)
  • Education Building, 1948
  • Forestry School Memorial Greenhouse, 1950

Programs Established

  • School of Public and Private Administration
  • Department of Sociology
  • Wildlife Research Unit
  • Stella Duncan Memorial Research Institute