Daniel B. Purinton died in Morgantown on November 27, 1933. A native of Preston County, he was one of West Virginia University’s early graduates. He earned a bachelor of arts from the school in 1873 and a master of arts in 1876. He later received a doctorate from the University of Nashville.
He was a professor at WVU for 16 years, beginning in the Preparatory Department. He went on to teach logic, mathematics, metaphysics, and vocal music. He also wrote about 40 songs in his lifetime. In 1881, he became acting president of the university and was an early supporter of co-education. In 1889, he made a motion to admit women as degree candidates. His sister-in-law Harriet Lyons became the first woman to graduate from WVU. A devoutly religious man, Purinton also served as president of the West Virginia Baptist General Assembly.
In 1890, Purinton left to become president of Denison College in Granville, Ohio. But he returned in 1901 as WVU’s president and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He served in both capacities until stepping down in 1911.