Deceased January 17, 2015

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50th Reunion Book Entry


In Memory

Ernst G. Beier ’40 died Jan. 17, 2015. Ernie was from Breslau, Germany. At Amherst he was a member of the Ski Club (3, 4) and the Outing Club (4). Ernie was grateful for his education at Amherst, the consideration of the faculty and the friendship of the students. After the ill will and dangers he had experienced in Germany, Amherst was a healing experience.

After graduation from Amherst, he worked in the lab at Socony Oil then joined the 10th Mountain Division in Colorado. Later he transferred to the 28th Infantry Division (Pennsylvania) and deployed to Europe, where he was captured by the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge.

He then got his Ph.D. in psychology at Columbia on the G.I. Bill. In 1953 he started the doctoral program in clinical psychology at the University of Utah, where he worked for 40 years. Ernie also taught at Syracuse University for five years. He published 100 research papers and several books (People Reading), got an honorary doctorate and was very active in the American Psychology Association.

Retiring at age 70, he continued his research, wrote an autobiography and traveled to collect information on primitive healing arts in Papua New Guinea, and Ecuador.

Ernie greatly enjoyed life, including sailing, skiing, trekking, traveling, visiting and interviewing shamans, piloting his own plane and writing books. He pursued these hobbies and maintained friendships from all over the world.

Having chaired many committees of the American Psychological Association, he was awarded the Carl Heiser award for Advocacy in Psychology.

Ernst had a wonderful sense of humor and a positive approach to life. He is survived by his wife, Frances; a son, Paul; a daughter, Lisa Jameson; and four grandchildren.

Larry Griesemer ’40

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50th Reunion

40ErnstBeier.jpg I will never forget the education, the consideration of the faculty and the friendship of the students at Amherst. After the ill will and dangers I had experienced in Germany, this was a new and healing experience. 

After graduation, I worked in the lab of Socony Oil, then went to the 10th Mountain Division in Colorado. Later, I was transferred to the 28th Infantry Division (Pennsylvania) went overseas to Europe, was captured by the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge, but survived and went on GI bill to Columbia, where I got my Ph.D. in psychology in 1949.

Then I taught at Syracuse University for five years and in 1953 accepted a position with the University of Utah, where I started the Doctoral program in clinical psychology, which is still accredited and flourishing. During my tenure, I published some one hundred research papers, several books (one of them, a popular book: "People Reading," together with Red Valens, my former ski captain at Amherst), got an honorary Doctorate and was very active in the American Psychological Association. One of my attractions to Utah was skiing, which I still do all season.

After my retirement  at 70, I am still doing some research, see 40ErnstBeier2.jpg some people who are troubled, write an autobiography, and travel collecting information on primitive healing arts (Papua New Guinea, Ecuador).This year, however, I will travel with my wife and two children to see Italy again.

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