William Armstrong Oates, Eighth Rector: 1970-82


William (Bill) Oates, who had been a member of the faculty since 1942 and had served under three rectors – Nash, Kittredge, and Warren – became the Eighth Rector of St. Paul’s School on March 12, 1970. Beginning at St. Paul’s School as a teacher of history and mathematics and as a coach of Delphian teams, Mr. Oates served as a housemaster of Manville and continued through a series of appointments as registrar, director of admissions, administrative Vice Rector, and, finally, Rector.

The scope of Mr. Oates’ achievements were wide-ranging and are still felt today. His rectorship ushered in coeducation, along with a more structured residential life program on campus that incorporated new policies on dress code, inter-visitation and disciplinary processes. Initiatives in the academic realm included creation of the School Year Abroad and Independent Study programs, as well as the internship program for young faculty. Critical offices such as Human Relations and Development were integrated into the School’s infrastructure. While some buildings such as the Lower School were demolished, others including the performing arts venues, were erected. Mr. Oates paid special attention to alumni. During his administration, the Alumni Office was moved to Concord, the role of Form Agents was established, and the School invigorated its outreach to parents. Finally, Mr. Oates celebrated victories at the Henley Regatta and presided over the School’s 125th Anniversary.

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"William Armstrong Oates, Eighth Rector: 1970-82." St. Paul's School. Ohrstrom Library Digital Archives. Web. 13 July 2024.