Woodrow Wilson Sayre papers, 1958-1978


This collection has:

1.00 cubic ft.

The grandson of United States President Woodrow Wilson, Sayre attended Williams College and Harvard University before enlisting in the military in 1942. After World War II, he was appointed instructor at Pomona University from 1948-52. From 1952-57, Sayre earned his doctorate in philosophy at Harvard. Upon graduating, Sayre was appointed to the position of Assistant Professor in Philosophy at Tufts University, a position he held from 1957-1964. In the spring of 1962, Sayre and three others attempted to climb Mount Everest chronicled in Sayre's book 'Four Against Everest' (1964). Sayre then returned to his teaching position at Tufts, but in the fall of 1963, the Philosophy department denied him tenure concluding that Sayre had not contributed adequately in the area of scholarly publications. This decision sparked a nation-wide debate and many students protested the University's choice, as did faculty from other institutions and the general public. However, Tufts adhered to its required policy of academic scholarship, and Sayre was not granted tenure. He began teaching at Springfield College in Massachusetts in 1965 and died in 2002.

View Online Materials

Some of the materials from this collection are available online. Not all materials have necessarily been digitized. View the finding aid or contact DCA for more information.


View Finding Aid

A finding aid is a description of a collection of archival material, which will help you discover what records are available for research. It provides information about a collection, the collection's creators, and an outline of the collection's contents. Learn more about finding aids.