Oral History History with Rose Olver: Sponsored by the Friends of the Amherst College Library

Interviewed by Hugh Hawkins, January 22, 2008

Rose Olver, former professor of psychology and women's and gender studies and the first female professor at Amherst College, was interviewed by Hugh Hawkins, former professor of history and American studies.


Rose Olver was the L. Stanton Williams '41 Professor of Psychology and Women's and Gender Studies. She graduated from Swarthmore College and earned her doctorate from Radcliffe College. In 1962, she became the first full-time woman faculty member in a tenure-track position, and in 1968 became the first woman on the faculty to receive tenure. Olver became chair of the Psychology Department in 1970, the first woman to chair any academic department at the college. She was considered a leading expert in the psychology of self.

Hugh Hawkins was a past Anson D. Morse Professor of History and American Studies. He retired from the faculty in 2000. He helped build both the history and American Studies departments, as well as being a chief architect for the first-year Liberal Arts studies program.

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