Charles Custis Harrison

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Charles Custis Harrison

Birthdate: (84)
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: February 15, 1929 (84)
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
Place of Burial: Wayne, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of George Leib Harrison and Sarah Ann Harrison
Husband of Ellen Nixon Harrison
Father of George Leib Harrison; Edward Waln Harrison; Ellen Nixon Harrison; Charles Custis Harrison, Jr.; Harry M. Waln Harrison and 2 others
Brother of Harriet Morgan Frazier; Alfred Craven Harrison and William Welsh Harrison
Half brother of Mitchell Harrison

Managed by: Private User
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About Charles Custis Harrison


Charles Custis Harrison (May 3, 1844 – February 12, 1929) was an American university provost. He was born in Philadelphia on May 3, 1844, the son of George Leib and Sarah Ann (Waples) Harrison.


His early education was at the private school of Miss Tatham on Pine Street in Philadelphia and the parish school of St. Luke's Episcopal Church before entering Episcopal Academy. He received the Bachelor of Arts in 1862, the Masters of Arts in 1865, and an honorary LL.D. in 1911 from the University of Pennsylvania.


He married Ellen Nixon Waln in 1870. As the co-owner of a very profitable sugar refinery, he became a Trustee of the University in 1876 and continued in this capacity until his death in 1929.


In 1894, at the urging of his colleagues, he became the Provost of the University. His years as Provost, 1894-1910, were a time of expansive growth for the University of Pennsylvania, especially in the number of buildings added to the campus. Using his extensive personal contacts from his business and political associates, Harrison raised funds (making large contributions himself) for dormitories as well as Houston Hall, the University Museum, the Medical Laboratory, the Law, Engineering, and Dental School buildings from the wealthy of Philadelphia society.

After Provost

After stepping down as Provost, he continued his involvement with the University as the Vice President and later, President, of the Board of the Managers of the University Museum (1911-1929). During this period, joint expeditions with the British Museum were planned and carried out and many works of art were procured for the Museum. Harrison won the Philadelphia Award in the year 1924. He died in Philadelphia on February 12, 1929.

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Charles Custis Harrison's Timeline

May 3, 1844
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
March 23, 1872
Age 27
March 23, 1872
Age 27
March 10, 1874
Age 29
April 27, 1877
Age 32
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
May 18, 1879
Age 35
September 2, 1881
Age 37
May 30, 1886
Age 42
February 15, 1929
Age 84
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States