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Driver, Edwin D.

Edwin Douglas Driver joined the Sociology faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the fall 1948 at the same time that Ruby Pernell was hired at the University of Minnesota. The two appear have been the first black faculty members hired by any state flagship university in the twentieth century.[1]

Born in Gloucester, Virginia, Driver received his BA from Temple University and MA from the University of Pennsylvania before being hired as an Instructor in Sociology in 1948 after a brief tenure with Philadelphia's Department of Public Assistance.[2] He completed his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania in 1956 for Administrative Control of Deviant Conduct of Physicians in New York and Massachusetts. One of 64 additions to the faculty in 1948, Driver's appointment at UMass coincided with the massive influx of veterans on campus as the end of the Second World War and the concomitant expansion of the curriculum to meet the changing interests of the students. Driver spent his entire career at UMass Amherst, earning emeritus status when he retired in 1987.

Over his career, his research interests included the sociology of criminality, population, urbanization in India. Among his many publications were The sociology and anthropology of mental illness: a reference guide (1965), W. E. B. Du Bois on sociology and the Black community, edited with his colleague Dan S. Green (1978), and Social class in urban India: essays on cognitions and structures, edited with his wife Aloo E. Driver (1987).

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1. JBHE Chronology of Major Landmarks in the Progress of African Americans in Higher Education, Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. Accessed June 5, 2016. 2. Collegian profile no. 31, Massachusetts Daily Collegian Dec. 8, 1949.

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