Honorary Degrees
1918 - Present

John Howell McLean 
Doctor of Laws  1925
Status: conferred

John Howell McLean was an important educator, minister and university president throughout the State of Texas. Born in Georgia in 1838, McLean grew up in Marshall, Texas and graduated from McKenzie College in 1858. He began teaching at his alma mater and was granted a license to preach by the Methodist Church. McLean was appointed vice-regent and chair of English language and literature to Southwestern University. He was later elected regent of Southwestern and served from 1890-1897. During his tenure, the institution increased in enrollment, faculty and facilities, becoming a top university in Texas higher education. Upon his retirement in 1897, McLean reentered the ministry and was assigned to the Dallas District as presiding elder. He served on numerous Methodist boards and was a delegate to many ecumenical conferences. McLean passed away on July 24, 1925, shortly after receiving his honorary degree from SMU. In recognition of his steadfast commitment to Texas higher education and his devotion to the Methodist Church, SMU was honored to confer upon John Howell McLean the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

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