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Frank O’Laughlin

Professor of History
1949-1988

One of the architects of the Western Civilization program, O'Laughlin was dedicated to the idea that a liberal arts education should expose every student to the major texts and intellectual movements of representative cultures. Devoted to the life of the mind, he was a champion of general education curricula. Frank O'Laughlin was a ferocious proponent of these Colleges, caring deeply about delivering an education that would both enrich the lives of students and allow them to contribute to the public good. He imparted his near-encyclopedic knowledge of Western Civilization at the Colleges for 39 years, retiring in 1988. O'Laughlin passed away in 1999, but his legacy lives on through his book collection, located in the Warren Hunting Smith Library and containing nearly 10,000 volumes on subjects as varied as his interests.