Best graduated from Springfield College (then the International YMCA Training School) in 1911, and then taught at the college from 1913-1916. Upon the retirement of Laurence Doggett, Best was inaugurated as Springfield College's fifth president. During his presidency from 1937-1945, Best weathered the draft of the majority of all of the full-time students; setting up and providing quarters and training for prospective Air Force and Navy officers; and the hurricane of 1938. Best emphasized the traditions of Springfield College including liberal interpretation of Christianity; the education of the whole person; a continued connection with the YMCA; professional training for youth services staff; international student exchange; racial and religious tolerance; and a continuing emphasis on health, physical education, and recreation.
He died on May 19, 1963.
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