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Ronald M, Ferry, '12 Master of Winthrop House, said today he will retire on July 1, and announced David E. Owen, professor of History, as his successor.
The retiring master, who has headed Winthrop for 26 years, praised Owen enthusiastically. He hastened to add, however, that "a master should not have anything to say in choosing his successor; my enthusiasm does not mean that I am speaking as a member of the council that chose him. I personally feel that I am happy to have him as headmaster."
Ferry has been the Master of Winthrop since the House's establishment in 1931, when he helped form its basic policies. After graduating, he received his M.D. degree at Columbia in 1916, and served in World War I. He then returned to join the Harvard faculty in 1919. He became an associate professor of Biochemistry in 1931, and is now a professor in the department.
Ferry's successor has had previous experience in administration. While studying for his Ph.D at Yale, Owen was "senior tutor" at Davenport, a Yale college which he calls "the equivalent of Winthrop." He has been acting Master of Leverett House several times. At the present, he is chairman of the Committee on General Education, chairman of the History Department, and head of Social Sciences 1 for 1957-'58.
Specializing in English history, the new Master joined the Harvard faculty in 1937, and became a professor of History in 1946. He spent last year in England, where he did research in the History of British philanthropy.
When notified of his new position, Owen said, "I am looking forward to my new job. We are going to find it hard to follow those standards established by the Ferrys."
Ferry is not sure of his plans after his retirement, but he definitely intends to move to a new home in Concord. His retirement was announced first at a House staff meeting, and later before House members at dinner.
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