Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Wulsin, Frederick R., 1891-1961


Frederick R. Wulsin (1891-1961) was a noted anthropologist and a popular professor at Tufts University.

Wulsin was born on July 8, 1891 in Cincinnati, Ohio. After completing high school in Ohio, Wulsin enrolled at Harvard University, receiving his B.A. in 1913. At his parents' urging, Wulsin returned to Harvard in 1915, and earned a Masters of Civil Engineering. After his graduation, however, Wulsin realized that although he was a trained engineer, he had no desire to work in the engineering field. Instead, he wanted to travel and work as an explorer.

To pursue his desires, Wulsin traveled to Paris as an employee for a machine tool exporter, and worked there until the beginning of World War I. During the war, he remained in Paris, serving as a lieutenant in the Intelligence Sector of the 42nd Division. After the war, Wulsin participated in several sociological expeditions, traveling to Inner Mongolia, China, and Tibet. After his return, Wulsin traveled by Model T and camel caravan through much of Persia and Africa. Having finally found his calling, Wulsin returned to Harvard and received his Ph. D. in anthropology in 1929.

For the next few years, Wulsin worked around Boston, tutoring at Harvard and acting as a teaching assistant at Boston University. He also worked for the Peabody Museum, before going to Washington, D.C., to help with the war effort. In Washington, Wulsin stumbled upon a career in teaching almost by accident. Wulsin was working under the Secretary of War to solve problems maintaining troops under extreme conditions, and met Tufts president Leonard Carmichael, who was also working in Washington. Carmichael offered Wulsin a job, and in 1945 Wulsin came to Tufts as a lecturer in Sociology and Anthropology. In 1947, Wulsin was promoted to professor, and was fast becoming one of the most popular professors on campus. Oftentimes during the spring, Wulsin taught classes outside lying on his stomach with his head in one hand. After he stopped teaching introductory anthropology in order to teach some upper level courses, enrollment in the introductory sessions dropped considerably.

Wulsin continued at Tufts until 1957, when he retired to work on a book about his experiences and theories. Wulsin, a member of various scholarly organizations including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Explorers Club, and the Cosmos Club, died after a long illness on February 26, 1961, in Tucson, Arizona.

Source: VF

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  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
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Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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