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Brunoniana

From Martha Mitchell’s Encyclopedia Brunoniana:

Carmichael, Leonard

Leonard Carmichael (1898-1973), professor of psychology, was born in Philadelphia on November 9, 1898. His early education was at the Germantown Friends School. He received his bachelor of science degree from Tufts College in 1921. He was an assistant in the department of biology at Tufts during his senior year and continued as an instructor while he pursued his graduate education in psychology at Harvard, receiving his Ph.D. degree in 1924. He studied in Berlin with a Sheldon Travelling Fellowship, then taught psychology at Princeton as an instructor from 1924 to 1926 and as assistant professor in 1926-27. He came to Brown from Princeton as assistant professor in 1927 at the invitation of Vice-President Albert D. Mead. Carmichael, still in his 20s, was, in his own words, “amazed and honored when he invited me to become the Director of the Psychological Laboratory.” The new laboratory was to be converted from a dwelling at 89 Waterman Street with, as Mead mentioned, a loss of rental income to the University. Carmichael obligingly moved in with the lab as a tenant and lived there until his marriage. He left Brown in 1936 to become chairman of the Department of Psychology and dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the University of Rochester. In 1938, at the age of 39, he became the seventh president of Tufts College. During the second World War he was director of the National Roster of Scientific and Specialized Personnel, which kept track of scientists who were regarded as prospects for mobilization for wartime projects. Of his 300 nights sleeping in trains between Washington and Tufts during this time he concluded, “the human brain can stand a good deal of shaking.” In 1953 he became the seventh secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, which he guided through eleven years of expansion and renovation which enhanced its image as a modern institution. He retired in 1964. Throughout his life he carried on a correspondence with Professor Josiah Carberry (q.v.). He died on September 16, 1973, in Washington.

The above entry appears in Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell, copyright 1993 by the Brown University Library. It is used here by permission of the author and the University and may not be copied or further distributed without permission.


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