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Prosser Gifford H1969, LHD1980

Prosser Gifford was interviewed by Robert C. Townsend on June 8, 2011.  Excerpts from the interview are below.  Copies of the interview on DVD are in the open stack video collection of the Frost Library for borrowing, and are available for viewing in Archives and Special Collections or for purchase on request.

Prosser Gifford served as Dean of the Faculty from 1967 until 1979.  He holds a law degree from Harvard Law School and  a Ph.D. in history from Yale.  In addtion to teaching appointments at Yale, he has extensive experience as an editor of volumes on African history and United States foreign policy.  In 1980 Gifford was appointed deputy director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars where he worked until 1988.  he then served at the Library of Congress as the director of the Office of Scholarly Programs and the John W. Kluge Center until his retirement in 2005. 

Robert C. Townsend came to Amherst in 1962 as a member of the English Department and served as the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities until his retirement in 2008.  He as taught everything from Wordsworth and Keats to nonfiction writing.

  • Gifford talks about becoming the first Dean of the Faculty:
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  • Gifford argues in support of Amherst becoming coeducational:
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  • Gifford talks about being Dean during the turbulent 1970s:
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