Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Stearns, Albert Warren, 1885-1959
|Albert Warren Stearns (1885-1959), A1906, M1910, H1943, served as the seventh Dean of the Tufts College Medical School from 1927 to 1935.He was the first Tufts alumnus to hold that office.|
Stearns was born on January 26, 1885 in Billerica, Massachusetts. He attended public schools there, leaving to work in a hardware store shortly before his high school graduation. In 1905, he met a member of the Tufts staff who persuaded him to enter the college. He arrived at for the start of the academic year with his neighbor and fellow Tufts student, Michael Neson, in a horse-drawn carriage, piled high with furniture. After graduation, Stearns decided to attend Tufts Medical School, expressing interest in the neurological sciences. He received his medical degree in 1910. In 1911, he became a resident at Danvers State Hospital, moving the following year to Boston State Hospital. Also in 1912, he married Frances Matsell Judkins, with whom he had two children.
By 1913, Stearns was practicing neurology and psychiatry and, from 1923 to 1927, served as consultant to the US Naval Hospital in Chelsea, MA.He returned to the Medical School in 1927 as a professor of psychiatry and dean of the school, a position he held until 1945, when he became a professor and chairman of the Department of Sociology in Arts and Sciences for ten years. From 1929 to 1933, Stearns served as commissioner of the Department of Correction of Massachusetts. He also acted as associate commissioner of the Department of Mental Diseases for the state from 1935 to 1945.He served in both world wars in the Medical Corps of the US Navy and was on leave for that purpose from 1942 to 1945. He held prominent positions in several psychiatric and medical organizations. He authored a number of works, including "Personality of Criminals," published in 1932.In 1945, Tufts awarded him an honorary degree of Doctor of Science. Stearns died unexpectedly in his hometown on September 24, 1959.
One of Stearns's sons, Charles Edward, was a professor of geology and dean of Tufts College of Liberal Arts from 1954-1967 and 1968-1969. The Stearns Building, located at 120 Harrison Avenue on the Boston Campus and formerly known as the Eclipse Building, was named in his memory in 1963.