Emmerich, Walter (1929-2007) | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
Walter Emmerich was born in Bronxville, N.Y., he spent most of his formative years in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. After attending Reed College for two years, he enrolled at the University of Chicago, where he received a bachelor's degree in 1951 and a doctorate in psychology in 1956. He was subsequently a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at the University of Colorado and later in the Department of Child Development at Purdue University, where he taught graduate courses.
He served as visiting professor at Princeton and Stanford Universities. In 1966, he spent a year as NIMH Visiting Scholar at Educational Testing Service before joining the staff as Senior Research Psychologist. He retired from ETS as Principal Measurement Specialist, Emeritus, in 1997, but remained until July 2007 as an active researcher and developer of new assessments.
Mr. Emmerich was author of more than 50 theoretical papers, research articles, monographs, and book chapters. His major theory-based research was on children's social and personality development. He also developed new ways to measure reasoning among college students as well as the personality factors influencing occupational selection, particularly teachers' choices of their specialties. Most recently, he developed new procedures for assessing and strengthening the academic interests and motivation of community college students.
He was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Psychological Association, and Association for Psychological Science. He was a member of Sigma Xi and a long-standing member of the Society for Research in Child Development, serving as an invited participant in its oral history project.
Active as the treasurer of Community Without Walls, he became a vocal advocate for senior housing in Princeton.
He enthusiastically shared his passions for the outdoors, travel, politics, classical music, and the arts with his family and friends.
Emmerich died September 25, 2007 of pancreatic cancer.