​Rev. William Harris Guyer, D.D.

President 1913-1926

Rev. William Guyer taught public school before enrolling at Findlay College in 1895-96 and completed his degree by correspondence in 1906. He then served as a school principal and pastor in West Pennsylvania before joining the Findlay College faculty. By the time of his election to the presidency, he had published numerous articles and three small books: "James Arminius," "Our Mothers" and "Memories of Our Old Homes." He was hired in 1912 as professor of theology and history and was named president of Findlay College in 1913. ​

In addition to his presidential duties, Guyer was the last president to combine the jobs of president and pastor of College Church. A dedicated churchman, the charismatic Guyer was a favorite among both the church and the community. He taught theology classes and gained a significant reputation as a platform speaker before church and secular groups. Also known for his love of books, Guyer served as the Findlay College librarian from 1912 to 1915 and was a member of the city library board, working to develop a new library in Findlay. In 1961, the library in Old Main was dedicated in his memory and later the William Harris Guyer Room on the main floor of Shafer Library was originally named for him in 1968. Recognized for his ability to relate extremely well with the Churches of God as well as the city of Findlay, he always emphasized the role the College played in Findlay's economy.

President Guyer continued many of the administrative policies and procedures associated with President Brown. While budgets tended to have shortfalls of $1,000 to $2,000 per year, frequent fundraising campaigns covered the differences. Identifying a healthy endowment as a necessity to meeting his goal of accreditation through the Ohio College Association, Guyer increased the $104,000 endowment to $277,000 in 1925. Due to his strong alliance with the Churches of God, 15 to 20 percent of the growing student body were Church members, $118,000 of the endowment was committed for chairs in religion or theology, and 34 scholarships were offered to theological, ministerial or missionary students.

President Guyer died of a heart attack on July 22, 1926 at age 56, the only Findlay president to die in office. With the esteem and respect he received from the College as well as the greater community, Richard Kerns, author of “Findlay College: The First Hundred Years," noted him as one of the most popular University presidents of all time. The “Findlay Morning Republican" reported that 4,000 people attended his funeral.

Guyer and his wife Myrtle (Hartstock) Guyer had four sons and two daughters who all attended Findlay College. After his death, his youngest son, Tennyson William Guyer, who was born in 1912, lived with his uncle James, pastor of College Church and professor of history at the College. After a brief stint as an aerialist in the circus, Tennyson Guyer graduated from Findlay College in 1934 and became a social worker, pastor, speaker, politician and later a senator for the fourth Ohio District for five terms and highly recognized alumnus of the College. In 1981, he, too, died of a heart attack and a memorial fund was established at the University in his honor. The Tennyson Guyer Memorial fund supported a scholarship, an annual lecture series, and the refurbishing of the Guyer Room in Shafer Library where pictures and memorabilia of the family are kept.​​