Update from Thomas E. Mullen

Thomas E. Mullen, Ph.D. 1959, has many memories of the Emory History Department from the 1950s.  He had J. Russell Major’s course on early modern Europe as well as his seminar on the Estates General of 1614.  He writes that, “Had I not already chosen to concentrate on a later period with Matthews for both thesis and dissertation, I could have very happily worked with Major.”  (His 1959 dissertation was entitled “The Role of Henri de Blowitz in international affairs, 1871-1903.”)  Dr. Mullen held several assistantships in one or another office in the department for his first three years of graduate school at Emory, then he was off to the army in South Carolina and Germany for 21 months before spending a year in England at the University of London.  From there he returned to Emory as a TA for one year. Remembering Bell Wiley, Dr. Mullen passed along this anecdote: “I think it was during that year that I heard Wiley cussing himself out, literally and loudly, for not sitting down and starting to WRITE.  I had thought my off-color vocabulary had been sufficiently broadened while in the army, but Wiley enriched it a lot more.”

Along with fellow graduate student, Charles Le Guin, he knew Russell Major well, as well as Joseph Mathews, Harvey Young, Jack Rabun, Bell Wiley, Francis Benjamin, George Cuttino, among others. Fellow Emory graduate student—and later associate dean of Emory College—Irwin Hyatt was kind enough to act as best man in Dr. Mullen’s wedding in 1957. Dr. Mullen joined the Wake Forest University History faculty in 1957 and served as dean of the college from 1968 until 1995. In 1995, he was honored with Wake Forest University’s Medallion of Merit.