S. Richey Kamm

Dr. S. Richey Kamm was a Wheaton College Professor of History, Political Science, and Social Science. For over thirty years, Professor Kamm had a remarkable impact on the lives of many undergraduates. As a teacher of political theory and constitutional history, he stimulated interest in public affairs and encouraged the study and practice of the law. To honor the legacy of this outstanding professor, friends and former students created the Kamm Memorial Fund to support lectures and law-related symposia on campus. Each year the endowed lecture is given on a subject related to jurisprudence by a prominent scholar or practitioner in the legal field. The first annual Kamm Memorial Symposium was held on May 1-2, 1975. 

Samuel Richey Kamm was born in Whitewater, Wisconsin, on July 12, 1903, and grew up in Montfort. He graduated cum laude from Greenville College in 1925 with a major in History and minors in Biology and Greek. Upon graduating, he embarked on his teaching career which would last until he died in 1973. The institutions at which he taught before going to Wheaton were Wessington Springs Junior College (South Dakota), Seattle Pacific College (Washington), Monmouth Junior College (New Jersey), and Haddon Heights High School (New Jersey). While teaching, Dr. Kamm earned an M.A. in History from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Pennsylvania, receiving that honor in 1939. His dissertation entitled, "The Civil War Career of Thomas A. Scott, Vice-President of the Pennsylvania Railroad," is one illustration of his lifelong interest in railroads.

In 1940, Dr. Kamm began teaching at Wheaton College. By 1943, he had advanced from Assistant Professor to full Professor. His major interest was teaching, especially in Constitutional and Diplomatic American history, but he also found time for numerous other involvements both on and off campus. He was an active member of the Commission on Social Action of the National Association of Evangelicals, and he served as Public School Board President. On campus he served on many committees, among them Educational Policies and Curriculum, and Centennial Historical Projects.

During the 1959-1960 year, Dr. Kamm had the opportunity to be a Fulbright lecturer in Dacca, East Pakistan (Bangladesh). He had the distinguished honor of inaugurating a course in American History at Whitworth College, Seattle Pacific College, and Greenville College. His recognition beyond Wheaton was evidenced by honorary degrees from Greenvile, Seattle Pacific and Whitworth Colleges. He retired from the Wheaton College faculty in May 1973 after thirty-four years of teaching. He was in route to Westmont College (California) to take up duties as a guest professor when he died of a heart attack on August 29, 1973