Dr. J. William Asher ’50

“The high quality of academics at DePauw really structured the rest of my life, because I've been an academic one way or another ever since I got out of the Navy.”

Born in Gary, Ind., Bill Asher traces his DePauw connection to his father. Impressed with the University, his father urged him to attend. After a stint in the Navy post-high school, Bill paid most of his own way with the G.I. Bill. He graduated in 1950 with a degree in psychology. Bill’s total commitment to DePauw will endow three separate funds at the University—in the psychological sciences, social sciences and humanities—that support research and scholarship, not only by faculty members but also by students. Among its many applications, the J. William and Katherine C. Asher Endowed Research Fund allows DePauw students to attend the annual Association for Psychological Science convention to present their research posters. Bill’s rigorous education at DePauw paid off when he moved on to graduate school at Purdue University: “I felt like I was at least a full year ahead of the average graduate student there in psychology.” As a professor of education and psychological sciences at Purdue, Bill worked in multiple disciplines, including performing research for civil engineers on human factors in traffic safety: four-lane versus two-lane intersections, railroad crossings and accidents and seat belt evaluations.


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