Joseph Cummings

American clergyman and educator (1817–1890); president of Wesleyan University, later president of Northwestern University

Joseph Cummings (March 3, 1817 – May 7, 1890) was the fifth president of Northwestern University from 1881 to 1890, served as president of Wesleyan University for 18 years from 1857 to 1875, and also served as the president of the predecessor of Syracuse University (Genesee College) from 1854 to 1857. He was also a Methodist minister and teacher.


  • O Christians! are you willing to walk the streets of heaven, and have no one greet you there? Would you be willing to go yourselves inside the gates and never have a soul to greet you and say, " I thank God for the kind words of sympathy and love you spoke on earth?"
    • Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 561.
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