Vivian Henmon

Credentials: 1877 - 1950

Vivian Henmon portrait

Vivian A. C. Henmon “V. A. C.” earned degrees from Bethany College (B.A. 1895; M. A. 1899) and a Ph. D. from Columbia University (1905); was a distinguished scholar in the field of education psychology. Before he came to the School of Education in 1910, Dr. Henmon had been a school principal and had taught at Bethany College, Columbia University, and the University of Colorado. Dr. Henmon served the University of Wisconsin – Madison for 38 years developing wide research interests into significant contributions to the psychology of learning. He directed the School of Education from 1916-1926, and was professor of psychology at the University from 1927-1948, when he retired. During many of those years he served as director of educational guidance of the Bureau of Guidance and Records which he helped to establish. From 1939 to 1940, he was supervisor of psychological research in the Civil Aeronautics Authority. Dr. Henmon’s best known research studies were those involving reaction time, efficiency of learning, aptitude testing, and prediction of college success. He was co-author of the Henmon-Nelson Test of Mental Ability and the Henmon-Holt prediction formula. Dr. Henmon’s rare knowledge of education, psychology, and related fields buttressed his penetrating research. His insistence on rigorous research standards inspired colleagues and students to pursue the endless search for underlying truths and insights. He set a personal example of kindliness, charm, and modesty. In an active lifetime his research stretched the frontiers of educational and psychological thinking— and will continue to inspire those with keen intellectual curiosity and concern for human values.