SUNY Buffalo State Oral Histories, 1975-1995
Interview with Dr. Katheryne Whittemore


Interview with Dr. Katheryne Whittemore


Sister Martin Joseph Jones

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Dr. Katheryne Thomas Whittemore was born in 1899 in Nebraska. In 1921, Ms. Thomas graduated with a B.A. from Vassar College. After graduating she went on an “around the world” trip where she taught English in Fairbanks, Alaska; Tokyo Japan; and in the YMCA in Manila, Philippines. When she returned to the United States she entered Clark University in Massachusetts. Dr. Thomas earned her Masters of Arts in Geography from that institution in 1925. She received her doctorate from Clark in 1936. In 1925, she joined the staff of what was then the State Normal and Training School in Buffalo as an instructor in Geography. In 1933, she married Charles Wyman Whittemore. In her 37 years at the State University College at Buffalo she rose to full professor, served as chairman of the Geography Department, and in 1957, was appointed to the newly created post of Director of the Division of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Whittemore wrote and presented the Learn and Live television series for WBEN. Even while teaching Dr. Whittemore still traveled to other countries. In 1960, she went to Stockholm, Sweden for the International Geophysical Union. Dr. Whittemore wrote extensively in her field on the United States and Canada. One of her textbooks, The United States and Canada was selected for exhibit at the Brussels World’s Fair. Dr. Whittemore passed away on June 23, 1981.


SUNY Buffalo State Oral History Project, 1975-1995

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Archives & Special Collections Department, E. H. Butler Library

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Oral History

Interview with Dr. Katheryne Whittemore