Metz, William D.

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William D. Metz was born in Buffalo, New York on June 13, 1914 and was raised in the village of Perry, New York, about 50 miles east of Buffalo. Metz graduated from Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, in 1937 and subsequently received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin in 1945. The following year, He accepted a position in the history department of the University of Rhode Island. Metz consequently spent the rest of his academic career with the history department until his retirement in 1982 as Professor Emeritus of History.

In the forty-five years that William D. Metz was associated with the University of Rhode Island, he served the University of Rhode Island academic community and the citizens of the State of Rhode Island in numerous ways.

During his tenure with the University of Rhode Island, he was active in publishing numerous articles on Rhode Island history, served as editor of Phi Alpha Theta 's (Honor Society of History) journal, The Historian, and was an abstracter for Historical Abstracts . He also served on many university committees, such as the Library Committee, Committee on History of URI, and the Arts and Sciences Committee . Additionally, Metz chaired the Nominating Committee and the Committee on Status of ROTC . He served on the Watson House Committee, the Special Senate Committee on Controversial Visitors, and was the Chairman of the History Department from 1962-to-1968.

From 1966-to-1967, Metz was a visiting Fulbright lecturer in American History at Makerere University College, Kampala, Uganda . He served as president of Phi Alpha Theta and was involved, at one time or another, with the fraternities of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Sigma Alpha .

The activities of Professor Metz extended beyond the University as well. He served as president of the Pettaquamscutt Historical Society and the Cocumscussoc Association, and gave numerous talks on East Africa (because of his sabbatical leave spent there) and on Rhode Island history throughout his career. In the 1960s, he was a member of the Rhode Island Civil War Centennial Commission in which he conducted programs for marking sites where Abraham Lincoln spoke in Rhode Island in 1860. In 1977, he was elected chairman of the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities .

He was the first chair of the South Kingston Historic District Commission, chair of the South Kingston Bicentennial Commission, and was a founding member of the RI Historical Preservation Commission . Metz also acted as the archivist for the historic Kingston Congregational Church, which he was a member of.

After his retirement from the University of Rhode Island in 1982, Metz was instrumental in establishing the South County Museum in Narragansett, RI . In 1997, the State of Rhode Island honored William D. Metz for his lifelong community service by conferring the state's highest historic preservation award, the Antoinette F. Downing Volunteer Service Award, upon him at a statewide planning conference entitled "Preserving Place-Growing Smart," that was held at URI.

From the guide to the William D. Metz Collection, 1946-1982, (University of Rhode Island Library Special Collections and Archives Unit)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
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correspondedWith Smith, Donald person
correspondedWith Smith, Robert person
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correspondedWith Webster, Donald person
correspondedWith Weill, Herman person
correspondedWith Weisbord, Robert person
correspondedWith Wellman, Harvey person
correspondedWith White, Gerald T. person
correspondedWith White, Louisa person
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correspondedWith Williams, T. Harry person
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associatedWith World Relatedness Commissions corporateBody
correspondedWith Wronski, Stanley person
correspondedWith York, Dr. Robert person
correspondedWith Young, Carol person
correspondedWith Zorn, Roman-Dean person
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Ark ID: w69t6fgt

SNAC ID: 75460524