William H. Benson, biographical sketch.
by Samuel Alston Banks, President (1975-1986)
College, January 2, 1985.
(this document is provided courtesy of the Archives and Special Collections, Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA)
I learned with regret and sadness just prior to the most recent holiday weekend of the death of William H. (Tee) Benson, Associate Professor Emeritus of Mathematics. He was 82. Services for him took place on Monday, December 31 at the Hoffman-Roth Funeral Home here in Carlisle.
Tee joined the Mathematics Department at Dickinson in 1955 with the rank of Assistant Professor. From 1957 to 1966 he served as Registrar, continuing as a faculty member in mathematics during the same period. In 1958 he was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. He moved to emeritus status at the College in 1970.
William H. Benson, at Dickinson College, in 1961
Tee was born in Halethorpe, Maryland, in 1902, and he graduated from the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in 1920. After completing his sophomore year at Johns Hopkins University, he entered the U.S. Naval Academy, from which he graduated with distinction in 1925.
During the next three decades Tee was on active duty with the Navy as a destroyer squadron commander, assistant chief of staff to the Commander of Naval Forces in the Far East, ordnance officer and deputy commanding officer at the U.S. Naval Proving Ground in Dahlgren, Virginia, and in a range of other capacities. During the last phases of the World War II, he was the commanding officer of an attack transport in the Pacific. Just prior to his retirement from the Navy with the rank of Captain, he was the commanding officer at the U.S. Naval Powder Factory at Indian Head, Maryland. He was awarded the Legion of Merit.
While with the Navy, Tee completed three years of study at its postgraduate school in Annapolis (*), one year of study at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and additional graduate work at George Washington University. His particular interests in mathematics were in the areas of probability, statistics, numerical analysis and the theory of sampling. He was considered an expert on magic squares, and in the 1960s coauthored a book entitled Mathematics for Pleasure with Oswald Jacoby. He was a member of the Mathematical Association of America.
In addition to his major responsibilities at the College between 1955 and 1970, Tee handled other duties from time to time, helping to staff the summer school program, editing the catalog, advising students interested in foreign study, and serving on various College committees.
Tee demonstrated a keen interest in the progress and welfare of his students. He was a responsible and dedicated member of our College community. I know that you will join me in extending condolences to his wife Ann, and their son, Robert.
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