Dean E. G. Williamson

E.G. (Edmund Griffith) Williamson (1900–1979) earned his PhD at the University of Minnesota in 1931 and began his career in the Psychology Department shortly thereafter. He authored numerous publications and developed what is considered to be one of the first comprehensive theories of counseling, the “Minnesota Point of View.” During WWII, Williamson was asked to apply his theory to the classification and assignment of recruits to appropriate positions in the U.S. military. He was elected the 10th president of the American College Personnel Association in 1941 and was made Dean of Students at the University of Minnesota in the same year.

Shortly after becoming dean in 1941, Williamson took part in the administration’s effort to keep Pioneer Hall an exclusively white male dormitory by counseling African American students to move into the International House, then renamed the “Washington Avenue Student House.” Despite pushback from student activists, he continued to facilitate the administration’s segregationist agenda.

Williamson eventually became an advocate in favor of the rights of minority students and remained Dean of Students until 1969.