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Amherst College > News & Events > Amherst Magazine > Archives > Winter 2004 > College Row
College Row
Ed Wall

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 profession.

“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 college counseling.

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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