David Wistar Daniel

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David Wistar Daniel, was a professor of English at Clemson for many decades. Daniel Hall is named for him.

David Wistar Daniel was born in Laurens County, South Carolina, May 22, 1867. He graduated from Wofford College, 1892, with A.B. degree; took A.M. degree at Vanderbilt University, 1902. Taught in public schools, 1892 to 1898, at which time he was elected Assistant Professor of English at Clemson College. (The Oconeean, Volume Two, 1904, page 20.) He served on the Clemson faculty from 1898 to 1947.

Dr. Daniel had a noted speech, "The Measure of a Man", which he delivered many times. It is recorded being given by The Tiger in 1915 and was presented again at the Furman University commencement in 1948.

"Under the auspices of the Y. M. C. A., Dr. D. W. Daniel, our efficient English professor who has for the previous three months lectured with a chatauqua, gave last Sunday night (September 12 - Ed.) one of his interesting and beneficial lectures on 'The Measure of a Man.' About four hundred cadets and visitors gathered in the college chapel and for thirty minutes gave their undivided attention to the speaker. Dr. Daniel spoke of the many kinds of standards of measurement used in scientific work today, the fraud exhibited when these are copied from, and the failure on the part of manufacturers to make proper instruments of measurements. He said that 'the body is not the measure of a man, tho every man should strive to be physically strong, as the creator intended. Clemson men often put the measure of their manhood on the wrong things. Often they are led away by those of high and fast society, which in many cases leads to dissipation and ruin. Dissipation for one night is momentary pleasure, but in the end it is a disgrace. Examine all shame resultant from such a course of conduct and do not be led astray by those who are pretended friends,' he said, in part. Further, Dr. Daniel stated that 'Man can not be measured by his money. The one in bankruptcy who kills himself to shun his debts is not a man. The rich Dives who eats and drinks to his heart's content without feeding his neighbor's starving children can not be called great. Man is measured by his character, the result of habit - that which money can not buy, society can not confer upon one, and ancestors can not hand down. Character should be formed when one is young. It is not advisable to take any man as a model, but look to the life of Christ, who died to save a wicked world, as the one whom all men should have for a model.'" (The Tiger, "Grand Lecture By Dr. Daniel", 21 September 1915, Volume XI, Number 1, page 1.)


According to Richard A. Sublette, Dr. Daniel had the air of the classic proper professor. His classroom was decorated with plants, and the students were as immaculate as the desks. No graffiti here!


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