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William Samuel Carlson
was a 20th Century academic administrator who served as President of four universities.
Carlson was born in Ironwood, Michigan
Ironwood is a city in Gogebic County in the U.S. state of Michigan, about south of Lake Superior. The population was 6,293 at the 2000 census. The city is on US 2 and is situated opposite the Montreal River from Hurley, Wisconsin. It is the westernmost city in Michigan, situated on the same line...
and earned bachelor's (1930), master's (1932) and Ph.D. (1938) degrees from the University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan...
. Carlson participated in the University of Michigan Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...
Expedition of 1928–1929 and led the fourth University of Michigan Greenland Expedition in 1930–1931. After completing his education, he joined the University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 52,557...
as an Assistant Professor of Education, eventually becoming a full Professor and Dean of Admissions and Records.
He served in the Air Force during the Second World War, building air bases in Canada, Greenland, and Iceland for transport to Britain.
After the war, he assumed the Presidencies of the University of Delaware
The university is organized into seven colleges:* College of Agriculture and Natural Resources* College of Arts and Sciences* Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics* College of Earth, Ocean and Environment* College of Education and Human Development...
, the University of Vermont
The University of Vermont comprises seven undergraduate schools, an honors college, a graduate college, and a college of medicine. The Honors College does not offer its own degrees; students in the Honors College concurrently enroll in one of the university's seven undergraduate colleges or...
, and the State University of New York
The State University of New York, abbreviated SUNY , is a system of public institutions of higher education in New York, United States. It is the largest comprehensive system of universities, colleges, and community colleges in the United States, with a total enrollment of 465,000 students, plus...
in rapid succession.
He undertook his longest Presidency at the University of Toledo
The University of Toledo is a public university in Toledo, Ohio, United States. The Carnegie Foundation classified the university as "Doctoral/Research Extensive."-National recognition:...
, from which he retired after 14 years.
Carlson succumbed to lung cancer in Belleair Bluffs, Florida
Belleair Bluffs is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. The population was 2,243 at the 2000 census. According to the U.S Census estimates of 2005, the city had a population of 2,224. -Geography:Belleair Bluffs is located at ....
. The main library on the University of Toledo campus is named after him.