Erwing Winningham Wadsworth, Ph.D.



Dr. Richard D. Howe and Rebecca Pierce-Ebdy, “Erwing Winningham Wadsworth, Ph.D.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed April 21, 2024,

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Erwing Winningham Wadsworth, Ph.D.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Richard D. Howe
Rebecca Pierce-Ebdy




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage



Professor Emeritus

Biographical Text

Professor Emeritus of Education Dr. E.W. Wadsworth (December 3,1917 -) was born in Tallassee, Alabama to Ada Floyd Winningham and Lucious Alonza Wadsworth. He attended Tallassee Public Schools from 1924-1936, where he was editor of his high school newspaper"Talla-Hi News" and valedictorian of his graduating class. Dr. Wadsworth completed his undergraduate work at Troy State University. His extracurricular activities included editing the "Tropolitan" student newspaper and serving as president of the International Relations Club. He was also a member of Pi Kappa Omega Honor Society. He was graduated with honors in 1939, receiving his B.S. degree in Education. Wadsworth continued his education at Auburn University. He taught American History while he completed his M.S. degree in Science and Literature. At Auburn he was a member of Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Societies. His master's thesis was entitled "Tallassee: Some Aspects of Textile and Hydro-Electric Power". Later he returned to Auburn to complete the Ed.M. degree (1947) and the Ph.D. degree (1968). In June of 1941, he married Ann D. Stewart of Auburn, Alabama. Their union produced two daughters, Ann Stewart and Cynthia Hardy, and two grandchildren, Andrew George Reish and Sarah Kathryn Thomason. Upon volunteering for Aviation Cadet Training Airforce, Wadsworth was assigned to writing unit histories of Eastern Technical Training Command. He later transferred to Flight Operations Third Air Force and was honorably discharged in April, 1946. Wadsworth then taught Science and History at Hurt Military School in Montgomery, Alabama for one year before serving as assistant principal and science teacher at Tuskegee High School from 1947-1950. In 1951, he was named principal of Tuskegee's elementary and high schools, a position he maintained throughout the tumultuous period of federally mandated integration, which initiated a 100 percent boycott by white students and, ultimately, led to Governor Wallace's orders to close the school in February, 1964. He resigned from Tuskegee in June, 1964 and moved on to serve as principal of Coffee High School, one of the ten largest high schools in North Alabama. In addition to his professional responsibilities, Wadsworth was deeply involved in community life. He served two terms each as president of the Tuskegee Lions and Rotary Clubs. He was president of the Macon County 195 Historical Association and wrote numerous short histories of Macon County. He was named president of the Macon County Teachers Association twice and also served as president of the District Principals Association. He served as chairman of the Community Christmas Decoration Committee for a number of years and was active in the Tuskegee Methodist Church in the capacities of teacher, administrator, and committee member. In 1968, Wadsworth joined the faculty at Appalachian State University as an associate professor in the College of Education and in 1972 he was promoted to the rank of professor. Dr. Wadsworth received the rank of professor emeritus in 1988. Wadsworth's years at Appalachian have seen him in a number of roles. He served as president of the Appalachian Chapter of NCAE, president and charter member of Phi Kappa Phi, and president of Phi Delta Kappa. He served on the Faculty Senate for two terms and was faculty marshall in 1973. In 1975, he was one of two faculty members from Appalachian chosen to visit Egypt and study that country's education system. In spite of his many involvements, however, the priority spot on the list for his professional attention was always shared by his teaching responsibilities in the departments of Secondary Education and Curriculum and Instruction and his supervision of student teachers in northwestern North Carolina. In his world travels, Wadsworth has explored such diverse countries as the British Isles, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Luxemburg, Egypt, and the Near East. He and his wife Ann now reside in Deep Gap, North Carolina. Sources: Appalachian State University files and long association. -Dr. Richard D. Howe and Ms. Rebecca Pierce-Ebdy

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