Pattillo, Manning

PATTILLO, Jr., Manning Mason

Manning Mason Pattillo, Jr., President Emeritus of Oglethorpe University, died in Atlanta on June 3, 2024, at age 104. He was the son of Manning Mason Pattillo and Margaret Camblos Pattillo and was born in Charlottesville, Virginia on October 11, 1919. He was a descendant of the Rev. Henry Pattillo, a Presbyterian minister, who came to Virginia from Perth, Scotland in 1740. On his mother's side, he was descended from George Calvert, who founded the English colony of Maryland in 1632.

Manning was graduated from the University of the South (Sewanee) in 1941, ranked first in his class, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and was president of his fraternity. Following service in the U.S. Army in World War II, he earned the degrees Master of Arts (1947) and Doctor of Philosophy (1949) at the University of Chicago.

Manning was happily married to Martha Aileen Crawford Pattillo for 56 years, and they had three children: Manning Mason Pattillo, III, Martha Crawford Pattillo, and John Landrum Pattillo. He was predeceased by his parents; his wife; his older son; his grandson, Samuel Pattillo; and his sister, Margaret Pattillo Kuzell. He is survived by his daughter; his younger son; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Manning loved the academic world and academic life. He served as a faculty member or administrator at the University of Chicago, New York University, the University of Rochester, St. Mary's College of Maryland, and the University of Georgia, in addition to Oglethorpe. He was the author of four books on American higher education and 75 articles in professional journals.

Eight colleges and universities conferred honorary degrees on him, including the degrees Doctor of Letters, Doctor of Humane Letters, Doctor of Laws, and Doctor of Civil Law. Over the years he served as a trustee of seven colleges and two private schools. He was a frequent keynote and commencement speaker at colleges, universities, and educational meetings. He was especially proud of having served as a consultant to the United States Air Force Academy at the time of its establishment. Working closely with the Superintendent and the Dean, he helped to plan the academic program which has made the Academy such a distinguished institution. He served on advisory committees of the Brookings Institution, Wellesley College, and Sarah Lawrence College.

For a number of years Manning was active in the field of philanthropy. He served as Executive Director for Education at Lilly Endowment and Vice President of the Danforth Foundation and later as President of the Foundation Center in New York City. Before joining the staff of Lilly Endowment, he directed a comprehensive survey of private colleges in Indiana for the Endowment.

At the Danforth Foundation he headed a three-year study of the 800 church-affiliated colleges and universities in the United States. He was a consultant to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Western Electric Fund and was president of the National Council on Philanthropy.

Manning was a committed Anglican layman. He served twice as Senior Warden of the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta and as senior warden or vestryman in five other parishes in cities in which he lived. He was elected to the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. He was the author of a widely distributed pamphlet "The Episcopal Church: Diagnosis and Reform." He studied theology in summer programs at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and lectured on the role of religion in higher education at the Yale Divinity School. In 2010 he was appointed to the Order of St. John by Queen Elizabeth II. In his latter years he was an active member of Christ Church of Atlanta.

Manning was appointed President of Oglethorpe University in 1975. During his administration the University made remarkable strides in several areas, especially in the quality of students and faculty. The average Scholastic Aptitude Test score of entering students rose 250 points, making Oglethorpe one of the more selective institutions in the South, and extraordinarily talented teachers were attracted to the faculty. Upon Manning's retirement in 1988 the Board of Trustees conferred on him the honorary title Chancellor of the University. He attended 47 Oglethorpe commencement ceremonies, honoring every graduating class from 1976 to 2022.

Throughout his professional career Manning had a strong interest in academic standards and accreditation. He served as Associate Secretary of the Commission on Colleges and Universities of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and wrote the Commission's policy on intercollegiate athletics. Later he was a member of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and served on the panel that revised the standards for the accreditation of institutions of higher education. He was also Co-Director of the College Consulting Network of the Commission on Colleges.

Manning was active in community and cultural affairs in Atlanta. He served as chairman or president of several organizations, including the English-Speaking Union, Phi Beta Kappa Association, Georgia Special Olympics, the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, Leadership DeKalb, the Georgia Association of Colleges, and the Association of Private Colleges in Georgia. He was a Life Trustee and Vice Chairman of the Woodruff Arts Center and a board member of the DeKalb Community Relations Commission and the DeKalb Council on Aging. He was a member of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Task Force on Education and the Board of Visitors of the Salvation Army College for Officer Training. He was also a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta (40 years perfect attendance), the Capital City Club, the Century Association (New York City), the Federalist Society, the Sons of the American Revolution, and the President's Club of the Heritage Foundation. He was elected a member of O.D.K., the leadership honorary society, and was Kappa Sigma of the Year in Atlanta. In the last 20 years of his life he became a popular speaker on Winston Churchill, addressing civic clubs and college audiences on this subject.

Manning was listed in Who's Who in America for 50 years. Governor George Busbee named him as a representative of the State of Georgia at a celebration of the birth of James Edward Oglethorpe, the first governor of Georgia, held at Godalming, England. Governor Joe Frank Harris appointed him an honorary aide-de-camp with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was also honored by selection for Heroes, Saints, and Legends by Wesley Woods, the geriatric center of Emory University.

From 1997 until the time of his death Manning was a resident of Lenbrook. He was twice elected President of the Residents Association and also served as chairman of several committees. He was an enthusiastic participant in the ballroom dancing program at Lenbrook.

A memorial service will be held at 11 AM, June 15, 2024, at Lenbrook with the Rev. Alfred Sawyer, officiating. A reception will follow. In lieu of flowers the family requests that contributions be made to Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Road, Atlanta 30319 or to Lenbrook Square Foundation, Inc. (for support of the Friends of the Arts Program), 3747 Peachtree Road, Atlanta 30319.

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