Ethan A. H. Shepley Oral History


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Ethan A. H. Shepley Oral History


  • 10/23/1969 (Creation)


0.05 Linear Feet

Name of creator


Biographical history

Ethan A.H. Shepley was the first native St. Louisan and the first Washington University alumnus to hold the position of chancellor. Born in 1896, he was a third generation Washingtonian, his grandfather having been a member of the corporation during the William Greenleaf Eliot era and his father an 1882 graduate of the law school. He was educated at Smith Academy in St. Louis and a private school in Pennsylvania before entering Yale and earning his undergraduate degree. He entered Harvard Law School but completed his law studies at Washington University, graduating in 1922.

From 1921 until 1954, Shepley practiced law in St. Louis and began his lifelong involvement in the city's cultural and civic affairs. He was a member of Washington University's Board of Directors from 1940 until his appointment as chancellor in 1954. Staunch in his defense of academic freedom in the midst of the McCarthy era, he received the prestigious Alexander Meiklejohn Award for Academic Freedom from the American Association of University Professors in 1959.

Name of creator

Biographical history

Scope and content

Shepley recounts the reorganization of the Washington University School of Medicine and its affiliated hospitals into WUMSAH (Washington University Medical School and Affiliated Hospitals). He discusses the conflict between the School of Medicine and the board of Barnes Hospitals, and the roles of the individuals involved in the formation of WUMSAH, including Edgar M. Queeny, Edward W. Dempsey, James S. McDonnell, and William H. Danforth. The audio quality of the interview is poor. Interviewed by Walter W. Walker on October 23, 1969. OH003. Approximate Length 30 minutes.

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The collection is open and accessible for research.

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Preferred Citation:

Item description, Reference Code, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

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"Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (DACS), 2013."

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© Copyright 2019 Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives. All rights reserved.

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