Also Remembering Louise Sather ’61

The obituary for Prof. William Couch Jr. [English 1953-55], interested me because I had a part in his hiring by Reed. I was a graduate student at the University of Chicago from 1951–54 working part time in Harper Library. I became acquainted with Bill Couch, either because he also worked in the library or because he was there for many hours doing his doctoral research in English literature.

He asked many people, including me, where he might apply to teach. I suggested he try Reed with some trepidation because I knew Reed had no black faculty members. Also I remembered the unhappy experience of two students, the only African Americans enrolled; she was in her 20s and he a young 17- or 18-year-old. She said everyone assumed they should date one another, and she was too mature to be interested in him. She stayed only one year; I don’t remember whether he returned.

What I did not know then about Bill Couch was his many other accomplishments and interests. It makes me appreciate him even more.

Annice Mills Alt ’51

Southern Pines, North Carolina