In memoriam: Ed Wall
Ed Wall, Amherst’s dean of admission from 1971 to 1982,
died suddenly Nov. 5 at his home on the Governor Dummer Academy campus in Byfield,
Mass. He was 68.
Wall was a literal and figurative giant in the world of admission, both at Amherst
and beyond. Known at Amherst for his personal contacts with tens of thousands
of applicants, he also was respected
nationally for his ability to identify and
mentor promising educators, as well
as his broad service to the admission
“Those who knew Ed will remember him as an outspoken advocate for coeducation
and diversity at Amherst,” said Katie Fretwell ’81, director of admission
and senior associate dean. “During his tenure, he orchestrated dramatic
changes in the composition of the student body.
At the same time, amidst these changes, Ed had the uncanny ability to make each
student feel that he or she had been handpicked to play an important role in
the life of the college.”
A graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale University, Wall started his career
at Exeter as an admission officer before moving to Cornell University’s
admission office. After working for two years at Lawrence University, Wall came
to Amherst, serving as associate dean for three years before being named dean
of admission. In 1984, he started an independent college consulting firm, Gibbs
and Wall, and soon became director of college counseling at Cushing Academy.
At the time of his death, he was a college counselor at Governor Dummer, where
his wife, Janet Adams-Wall, is director of
A member of several admission committees, he spoke frequently at national and
regional conferences, and authored
a number of articles about admission.
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