Stevenson, William Edwards, 1900-1985

Alternative names
Birth 1900-10-25
Death 1985-04-02

Biographical notes:

Lawyer, diplomat.

From the description of Reminiscences of William E. Stevenson oral history, 1981. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122481164

Stevenson was educated at Princeton University (1918-22) and Oxford University (1922-25) where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He practiced law in New York from 1925 until 1942, when he joined the American Red Cross as Delegate to Great Britain and subsequently to North Africa and Italy (1942-44). On his return to the United States, he was elected eighth President of Oberlin College (1946-59). From 1961-64, he served as Ambassador to the Philippines. He enjoyed an active retirement (1970-85) and died in Florida in April 1985. Eleanor Bumstead Stevenson, wife of William Stevenson, was born in 1902, brought up in New Haven, and educated at Rosemary Hall and Smith College, where she graduated in 1923. Married in 1926 to William Stevenson, she joined the Red Cross in 1942, working on the Italian beachheads to establish clubmobile units for the American Fifth Army. She accompanied her husband to Oberlin and to the Philippines. She died at her Florida home in 1987.

From the description of Papers, 1809-1987, 1942-1985. (Oberlin College Library). WorldCat record id: 25029698

Lawyer, Rhodes scholar, Olympic gold medalist, Williams Edwards Stevenson (1900-85) served as eighth President of Oberlin College (1946- 59). He was educated at Phillips Academy, Princeton, and at Balliol College, Oxford. During the Second World War, he and his wife, Eleanor Bumstead Stevenson (1902-87) organized American Red Cross relief operations in England, North Africa, and Italy (1942-44). During his administration at Oberlin, Stevenson brought student war refugees to the college, completed the design and construction of Hall Auditorium; and initiated a review of the organization of the College, resulting in the creation of new offices. Following his service at Oberlin, he was named American Ambassador to the Philippines by President Kennedy and served there until 1964. He retired in 1970 and died in 1985.

From the description of Papers, 1943-1961. (Oberlin College Library). WorldCat record id: 25681510


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  • Student exchange programs--History
  • World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Sources
  • Ambassadors
  • Law partnership
  • Lawyers--Interviews
  • Diplomats--Interviews
  • World War, 1939-1945--Civilian relief


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  • United States (as recorded)
  • Africa, North (as recorded)
  • Philippines (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Italy (as recorded)