Eliot Circular

English Prof. Turns 100

Prof. Couch with colleagues Cecilia Tenney [French 1921–63], Vera Krivoshein [Russian 1949–72], & Alan Logan [German 1953–60].

Prof. William Couch Jr.

Prof. William Couch Jr. [English 1953–55] will be 100 in December! Couch’s wife, Osa Criss Couch, is preparing a retrospective look at his life as part of the birthday celebration, and she enlisted the help of Gay Walker ’69, special collections librarian, to find images from his time at Reed.

Couch was the first African American faculty member to teach at Reed. He earned a BA from Roosevelt College and an MA and PhD from the University of Chicago. He taught in Chicago public schools and at West Virginia State College and Jackson State Teachers College. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was editor of the Jackson College Bulletin in 1948–51. He arrived at Reed after completing a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation. “Dr. Couch has had a full, rewarding, and exciting life,” says Mrs. Couch. “Prior and after his Reed work, he was engaged in numerous educational and cultural activities, which contributed to his meeting outstanding and renowned people in each category.” And, as a side note, she says, Prof. Couch is still driving!