The Life & Legacy of William Allan Neilson

Centennial celebration: lecture by Peter I. Rose, on Smith's 3rd president, "A King o' Men [and Women!] for a' That." Neilson Browsing Room.

William Allan Neilson

Thursday, February 18, 2010
7:30 pm   William Allan Neilson: "A King o' Men [and Women!] for a' That"
Neilson Library Browing Room

As part of the ongoing Neilson centennial celebration, the lecture on the life and legacy of Smith’s third president was be given by Peter I. Rose, Sophia Smith Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropology. Read the text or listen to a recording of the talk.

William Allan Neilson - A legend in his own lifetime, William Allan Neilson was widely known as renaissance scholar, teacher, college administrator, advocate for human rights and scintillating wit.  The New York Herald Tribune described him as "one of the most interesting personalities in American education," someone who gave "intellectual life at Smith a tone and vitality unsurpassed upon any campus in America." Beyond the Grécourt Gates Neilson helped found an organization that brought endangered and refugee academics, artists and writers to the U.S. from Europe in the 1930’s.

Peter I. Rose - A specialist on race, ethnicity and refugee policy, Peter Rose joined the Smith faculty in 1960, and quickly came to admire President Neilson’s work with the NAACP and the Emergency Rescue Committee (ERC.) He served for 30 years as director of the American Studies Diploma Program for international graduate students and is a Senior Fellow of the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute. Rose’s work led him to spend considerable time at other institutions, serving as a visiting professor at Clark, Wesleyan, the University of Colorado, UCLA, Yale and Harvard, and as a Fulbright professor in the UK, Japan, Australia, Austria and the Netherlands.

Rose is the editor of The Dispossessed: An Anatomy of Exile (2005), dedicated to the memory of William Allan Neilson. He is the author, most recently, of Tempest-Tost (1997), Guest Appearances (2003), They and We 6th ed. (2006), and With Few Reservations (2010). Rose continues to lecture extensively in the U.S. and overseas.  He also enjoys a secondary career as a free-lance writer and travel journalist and photographer.

Search the Five College Library Catalog by author for <Rose, Peter Isaac> for more books written and edited by Peter I. Rose.

See more SC Libraries' Centennial Events.


Peter Rose standing by W.A. Neilson's portrait with Dr. Marianne Simmel '43,
a refugee who Neilson brought to Smith in the 1930s.