Dr. Hinitt was elected president of Washington & Jefferson College September 23, 1914. He assumed the duties of the presidency on January 4, 1915, and was inaugurated June 15. He had most recently been president of the Central University of Kentucky for ten years and had also served as president of Parsons College, Iowa.
The United States' entry in World War I directly impacted the College. The Commencement of 1918, Dr. Hinitt's last, came early to give the young men who were left in school the opportunity to join the service. Only a few men out of the total enrollment of less than two years earlier were still in school and the ranks of the graduating class were thin, numbering only 24 men present. Total enrollment in the College numbered 180, down by half. Dr. Hinitt's commencement sermon reflected the fervor of the times and he closed with "To the Class of 1918, divided on this day, with so many of your men absent in service, I have but this word to say: Fear God and serve your country!" - College Bulletin, May-July, 1918.
Dr. Hinitt resigned from W & J June 30, 1918, to accept the pastorate of the First Presbyterian Church of Indiana, Pennsylvania. Before taking up this position, he was granted a year's leave of absence to do Y.M.C.A. war work in army camps in England and to serve as army field secretary of the United Kingdom, A.E.F.
Photograph courtesy of Observer Publishing Company.