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Faces Behind the Places of DePauw University

This guide includes historical information about the people behind DePauw University's building names.

Roy O. West

                                                                   Roy O. West
                                                                  October 27, 1868 – November 30, 1958

Roy O. WestWest’s investment in law and government led him to national recognition in both fields. Admitted to the Illinois bar in 1890, West based his career in Chicago. He served as a member of the Cook County board of review, assistant county attorney for Cook County, and finally, as the city attorney for Chicago in 1896. Later in life, West partnered with his son, Owen A. West, in the firm of West, Leaton, and West.

Dedicated to the Republican Party, West served as chairman of the Illinois Republican State Committee (1904-14) and as the representative to the Republican State Central Committee five times. West’s dedication culminated into the role of Secretary of the National Republican Committee (1924-28) and as the Secretary of the Interior in the cabinet of Calvin Coolidge.

At DePauw, West was a member of Delta Tau Delta and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of 1890. He went on to receive his masters and an honorary doctorate of law degree from the university. West became a member of DePauw’s Board of Trustees in 1914 and in 1924, he took on the role of president of the board, maintaining his presidency until his retirement in 1950. West’s investment in DePauw included an investment in Methodism, serving as a trustee of his local church. Over the course of his long-term commitment to DePauw, West’s friendships with patrons, including the Rectors and John Harrison, led to his facilitation of more than $10 million in gifts to the university. In 1942, West was awarded the Old Gold Goblet and on October 20, 1956, West’s contributions were celebrated by dedication of the new campus library in his name.

                                                                 Roy O. West Library