William Preston Few, prominent Southern educator, was born 1.6 mi. NE in 1867. Few received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1896 and joined the faculty of Trinity College, Durham, N.C., that same year. He became Trinity's fifth president in 1910 and was instrumental in transforming the small Methodist college into a major university by cultivating the financial support of industrialist James Buchanan Duke (1856-1925).
Few Persuaded Duke to establish the Duke Endowment in 1924, a trust which created Duke University and which still supports it and other institutions and charities in the Carolinas, including children's homes, hospitals, Davidson College and John C. Smith University in N.C., and Furman University in S.C. William Preston Few was the first president of Duke University, serving from 1924 until his death.