Guild, Thacher Howland (1879-1914) | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Guild, Thacher Howland (1879-1914)

Historical Note:

Thacher Howland Guild (1879-1914) was instructor (1904-06) and associate professor (1906-14) at the University of Illinois (UI) English Department. In addition to his work as an educator and an academic, he was a playwright and composer, perhaps best remembered for writing the UI school song, "Illinois Loyalty" (1906).

Guild was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on February 16, 1879. He earned a bachelor's degree from Brown University in 1901. He earned a masterâ??s degree in English from the University of Chicago (1901â??02) and undertook further graduate studies at Harvard University (1903-04) where he studied under George Pierce Baker. In 1904, Guild joined the UI English department faculty as instructor. He became noted for being an engaging educator, teaching courses on Shakespeare, modern drama, and dramatic interpretation. Guild helped to found and mentor the undergraduate dramatic club, the Mask and Bauble Society and became an active participant in the Players club, a dramatic organization for university faculty. His publications during his lifetime included the articles "Going Forth to the Philistines: College Course in Composition" (1912) and "Suggestions for the High-School Play" (1913). His plays were performed in a variety of locations during his lifetime, and his baseball comedy play, Two Strikes, was published in 1910.

Guild married Lois Greene in 1908, and they had a daughter, Margaret Elizabeth. He died suddenly and unexpectedly while playing tennis on the UI campus on July 21, 1914. Upon his death, he left several manuscripts of one-act plays that had been performed at UI, including "The Power of a God," "The Class of '56," "The Higher Good," and "The Portrait," which were published posthumously in The Power of a God, and Other One-Act Plays (University of Illinois Press, 1919).


"Illini Writings," The Alumni Quarterly and Fortnightly Notes of the University of Illinois vol. 4 (October 15, 1918), pp. 48â??49, accessed online June 3, 2020,

"Illini Loyalty," accessed June 3, 2020,

Thacher Howland Guild, The Power of a God, and Other One-Act Plays, with Sketches of His Life and Work (Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1919).

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