In Memoriam: Rose Richardson Olver, 1937-2014

olverRose R. Olver, the L. Stanton Williams ’41 Professor of Psychology and Sexuality, Women’s and Gender Studies, Emerita at Amherst College in Massachusetts, died on November 14 at a hospice facility. She was 77 years old and had been battling ovarian cancer for four years.

Amherst College was founded in 1821 but did not admit women until 1975. But 13 years earlier in 1962, Rose Olver became the first woman hired to a tenure-track faculty position at Amherst. She later chaired the psychology department at the college. She retired from teaching in 2012, after a 50-year career at Amherst.

Amherst College President Carolyn “Biddy” Martin said that “in her time at the college, Professor Olver not only established herself as a superb teacher and nationally renowned scholar, but also fought for and helped to enact our women colleagues changes that made Amherst a better institution.”

In 2013 Amherst College unveiled a portrait of Rose Olver in the college’s historic Johnson Chapel. Dr. Olver was the first woman to have her portrait displayed in Amherst’s chapel.

Dr. Olver was a 1958 graduate of Swarthmore College. She earned a Ph.D. at Radcliffe College.

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