Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts HistorySauer, Anne
Wilson, George Grafton, 1863-1951
George Grafton Wilson (1863-1951) was a distinguished scholar of International Law and a member of the Fletcher School faculty from 1933 to 1951.
Wilson started his career as a lecturer at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1900, but gained most of his fame as a professor of international law at Harvard University, where he began in 1910. He served as one of America's delegates to the Naval Conference in London in 1905, and also wrote and co-wrote a series of books detailing the specifics of international law.
In 1925, with the first grant from Austin Fletcher's will, work began at Tufts University to appoint a faculty for the new Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Although a separate school had not yet been established, Tufts hired Wilson as lecturer in international law in the Fletcher School for the 1926-1927 school year. He was unable to return the following year, but was rehired as a professor of public and international law for the school's official opening in 1933. Still a professor at Harvard, Wilson was deeply involved in the early debates about the level of influence Harvard would have at the still-developing Fletcher School.
Wilson became known as a dignified and serious professor, who used current cases to engage his students. After 1938, Wilson was designated Special Lecturer in International Law, and would remain with Fletcher until his death on May 2, 1951.
Wilson left his mark on Tufts University. The men's dormitory at the Fletcher School was named in his honor, and he donated his vast library of over 1,000 documents and 1,400 manuscripts to the Ginn Library, where it remains as the George Grafton Wilson Collection in International Law.
Source: VF, LOH1, IPE
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