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William Gamwell Moulton ’35

Published in Dec. 6, 2000, issue

An internationally known linguistics scholar, Bill died June 2, 2000, in Exeter N.H. He was 86.

He graduated from Providence [R.I.] Country Day School, and at Princeton, majored in modern languages (German), made Phi Beta Kappa in junior year, and graduated with first group honors. Next came a year at Berlin U. studying German literature and a transfer to Yale, where he taught German and got his PhD in 1941.

In 1944 Bill joined the army. He became a language supervisor, provost marshal general's office in DC, then transferred to "reeducating" German war prisoners. His boss in the latter job was the late Henry Lee Smith Jr. '35. In 1946 Bill returned for another study year at Yale, then joined the Cornell faculty to teach for 12 years, during which he won a 1953-54 Fulbright research study grant to Holland and a 1958-59 American Council of Learned Societies grant to Switzerland to study Swiss-German dialects.

Then, in 1960, Princeton beckoned. Bill returned to teach at his alma mater. He also served as chair of its interdepartmental linguistics program until he retired in 1979. He also received numerous awards, including a McCosh faculty fellowship in 1963 and honorary degrees from Middlebury College and the U. of Munich. Bill is survived by his wife of 62 years, Jenni Karding Moulton, daughters Elizabeth and Susan, four granddaughters, and a brother, David S. '33.

The Class of 1935

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