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Fred George Walcott
LSA Minutes


Professor of Education, School of Education, and Professor of English, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, died at his Ann Arbor home on November 19, 1984.

Born on his family's farm north of Grand Rapids, he worked on the farm until his parents' deaths in the mid 20's. In 1919 he married Edith Carlson. They had a son John Wesley and a daughter Virginia Mary. After graduation from Grand Rapids Junior College he served as principal of Sparta High School; then for two years he taught English in Negaunee High School in the Upper Peninsula. In 1929 he received the M.A. degree from The University of Michigan, in 1945 the Ed.D. degree.

For many years he served as head of the University High School Department of English and taught courses in the philosophy of education, with particular emphasis on John Dewey. In the English Department of the Literary College he taught courses in "The Teaching of High School English" and introductory courses in literature. He also taught at the University of Sheffield, England, on the University exchange program. (And it should be recorded that Professor Walcott's will left a bequest in support of this program.)

For some thirty years he was a leader in the Michigan Council of Teachers of English, including his informal programs at teacher conferences of memorized poems from his ample repertory: Shakespeare, Milton, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Browning, Arnold, Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost....

His publications include Facts about English Usage (with A. H, Marchwardt) 1935; ten textbooks for junior and senior high school English, seven in collaboration with Robert C. Pooley, University of Wisconsin, three with D. C. Thorpe; The Origin of Culture and Anarchy: Matthew Arnold and Popular Education in England, 1970.

There is a good prospect that chapters from his admirable biography, covering his years up to the mid-1920's, will be published in the near future. A copy of the full text is available at the Bentley Library on North Campus.
Carlton F. Wells