Douglas C. Wilson ’62 Publishes an Anthology of Writings on Amherst College History

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen

December 12, 2007
Contact: Emanuel Costache '09
Media Relations Intern
413/542-2321

Caroline Jenkins Hanna
Director of Media Relations

413/542-8417

AMHERST, Mass.—Longtime Amherst College editor Douglas C. Wilson ’62 is the editor of the new book Passages of Time: Narratives in the History of Amherst College (298 pp., Amherst College Press, 2007). The book chronicles the history of an institution described as “unsightly” during the first decades of its existence and—more than a century later—the tree-shaded campus that alumni know as “the fairest college.”

Of the new book William H. Pritchard ’53, Henry Clay Folger Professor of English, said, “Douglas Wilson’s splendidly imaginative assemblage of writings from and about Amherst’s history is exactly what this history-minded reader has been waiting for.” In it, readers can learn about the anti-slavery effort and Civil War casualties, about the Amherst of Robert Frost, Julian Symons and Emily Dickinson, about revolutionary educators like Alexander Meiklejohn and Joseph Hardy Neesima.

Wilson—who contributed several articles in the collection—worked for 27 years in the publications office at Amherst, retiring in 2002. For most of his career at the college, his responsibilities included editing Amherst magazine—where most of the selections in Passages of Time first appeared. He also served as secretary to the college and college editor, and was responsible for the Amherst College Press, media relations and official events such as inaugurations, memorial services, convocations and commencements. In 2003, he was awarded the Medal for Eminent Service for extraordinary devotion to his alma mater.

After graduating from Amherst in the 1960s, Wilson worked as a reporter for The Providence Journal for 13 years, starting out in its Pawtucket, R.I. bureau and later moving to Newport, Providence and, in 1969, Washington, D.C. In 1975, he received the Merriam Smith Memorial Award from the White House Correspondents Association for the first news report of President Nixon’s decision to resign.

At Amherst, Wilson majored in history and was chairman of the student newspaper, The Amherst Student. He went on to earn a master’s degree in international studies from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University in 1964. His historical essay “Web of Secrecy: Goffe, Whalley, and the Legend of Hadley” received the 1986 Walter Muir Whitehill Prize in Colonial History from the Colonial Society of Massachusetts.

Wilson has been a member of the Western Massachusetts Broadcasting Council and the Town of Amherst Historical Commission and Conservation Commission. He and his wife, Cheryl B. Wilson, live in South Amherst, where they raised their three children.

Passages of Time: Narratives in the History of Amherst College is available for $25. To place an order, call 413/542-2321 or e-mail press@amherst.edu.

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