Ray Lyman Wilbur

Ray Lyman Wilbur (1875 - 1949) was the third president of Stanford University, serving between 1933 and 1943. During his time at Stanford, both as dean of the School of Medicine and as president, Wilbur expanded Stanford’s medical education and research, leading the newly created School of Medicine during its formative years. During his tenure as president, Wilbur also served in the Hoover Administration as Secretary of the Interior.

Wilbur’s interest in medicine and public health led him to eugenic thought. Like most eugenicists, Wilbur cared deeply about promoting public health, even if that meant limiting the reproduction of “unhealthy” populations. 

During his time at Stanford, Wilbur expanded Stanford’s medical and hygiene programs, which were often used to teach Stanford students the science of eugenics. Wilbur himself vocally supported an expansion of eugenic education for college students.

Wilbur regularly promoted eugenic measures in the name of public health. In a 1931 speech to the Annual Congress on Medical Education, Wilbur purported that “there is so much we might do if intelligence rather than emotions controlled the quality of the oncoming race.”


Wilbur Hall is named after Ray Lyman Wilbur.

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