Palmer Speare enjoyed a lengthy career in education even
before he came to Northeastern University. Following his
graduation from Bridgewater College in 1889, he served
for several years as principal of Avon High School in
Massachusetts. He also worked as a teacher at Berkeley
School in Boston, as director of the evening program in
the city of Medford, Mass., and as an English teacher
at the Boston YMCA. In the summer of 1896, Speare both
taught at Berkeley School and served as a tutor at the
Summer Camp Idlewild for Boys at Lake Winnipesauke, New
served as the Educational Director of the Evening Institute
of the Boston YMCA, Northeastern University's pre-cursor,
from 1896 to 1916. In 1916 the Institute was formally
incorporated as Northeastern College. Speare was elected
its first president, and was inaugurated in March, 1917.
He retired in 1940 and was appointed President Emeritus.
Speare remained a trustee and member of the NU Corporation
1918 to 1947, Speare was President of the Board of Trustees
and principal stock-holder of the Chandler
in Boston, a private professional training school for
women established in 1883.
Under Speare" describes how Speare transformed
Northeastern from a small, loosely organized collective
of night classes into a major institution of higher education.