Pick of the week, April 19: Willie Kerr and his classic Packard

Willie Kerr, circa 1974

Long-time members of the Wesleyan community will remember Willie Kerr. He joined the university in 1959 as an assistant professor in the History Department and later served as assistant provost, provost, and secretary of the university. He retired in 1993 and died in 1999. At Professor Kerr’s February 26, 1999, memorial service, former President Colin G. Campbell remarked:

Willie Kerr has left us all with a lot of wonderful memories: of loyal friendship and wise counsel; of legendary eloquence and irreverent wit; of festive evenings at Lutece and the wee hours at O’Rourke’s; of foreign travels and quiet holidays; of exuberant bashes at Psi U and proper soirees at 101 High Street; of stirring lectures; of nostalgic reunion talks; of impeccable meeting minutes recording sometimes less than impeccable meetings; of royals, any royals, past or present; their politics, their progeny, and their peccadillos. Representing so many facets of his rich life, we are here today because of our admiration and respect for his intellect and his humanity, and with feelings of affection that will be with us for the rest of our days.

Shown above is Willie standing next to his classic Packard in 1974.

Leave a Comment