Prof. anc. langs. Moores Hill Coll., 1880-9; asst. Gk. & Lat. Woman's Coll. Baltimore, 1890-2; sr. fell. Gk. Johns Hopkins, 1891-2; Carter prof. Gk. lang. & lit. Iowa (now Grinnell) Coll., 1892-1900; actng. pres. 1900-2; dean fac, 1902-6; pres., 1906-31; trustee Carnegie Found. Adv. Tchng., 1924-31; ed. Grinnell Review.
"Locative Expressions in the Attic Orators" (Johns Hopkins, 1892); printed (Baltimore, 1892).
As president of Grinnell, Main, a student of Gildersleeve, won wide fame for liberalizing the curriculum, adding courses in music and drama, business and psychology, instituting a student government, and building large residence halls with common dining rooms. He increased the size of the student body, faculty, and endowment and began a professorial exchange with Harvard. Many of Main's reforms became standard in American universities and colleges. His chief publications are his addresses.
Charles E. Payne, DAB Suppl. 1: 537-8; NatCAB 23:398-9; WhAm 1:769.