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English Professor

Professor Emeritus



William Godfrey was born in Detroit in November, 1905. He attended University of Detroit High School. He received his undergraduate degree in Latin at the University of Detroit in 1928 and two years later, he received his M. A. in English, also at the University of Detroit.
After completing his A. B., Mr. Godfrey joined the University of Detroit as an instructor of English in 1929. Although he regularly taught undergraduate English and poetry classes, he was particularly charged with the teaching of English and the history of engineering in the School of Engineering in the years from 1936 to 1960.    
Mr. Godfrey was promoted to assistant professor in 1936, associate professor in 1950, and full professor in 1954. In addition to his interests in English and engineering history, Mr. Godfrey was keenly interested in the classics, music, and theatre.
During World War II, Mr. Godfrey took a leave of absence to serve in the Armed Forces from August, 1942 to October, 1945. He achieved the rank of Army corporal and served, among other things, as a medic’s clerk and chaplain’s assistant.
In addition to his duties as a teacher and advisor, Mr. Godfrey found time to write many articles related to engineering, the teaching of English, and education in general. Some of his favorites were “Some Notes on the College Reading Problem,” published in School and Society, August, 1951; “College Quiz on VIP’s,” which appeared in America in September, 1952; and “The Teacher as Humorist,” for the Journal of Higher Education in May, 1953.
Probably his most popular piece was “Seven Deadly Sins of Teaching,” which first appeared in the Journal of Engineering Education in December of 1950. This article was reprinted the following year in Catholic Mind and was selected for the anthology Higher Education in Engineering and Science in 1963.
Mr. Godfrey was a longtime member of the American Society for Engineering Education, the American Association of University Professors, the National Council of Teachers of English, the Society for the Advancement of Education, the Catholic Poetry Society of America, the Detroit Science Museum Society, and Sigma Rho Tau.
Mr. Godfrey retired in 1973 and was named Professor Emeritus by University of Detroit President Malcolm Carron, S.J. on August 7th of that year.

University of Detroit

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