Encyclopedia Brunoniana

Quinn, Alonzo W.

Alonzo Wallace Quinn (1899-1977), professor of geology, was born in Halltown, Missouri, on May 28, 1899. As a child he moved to Colorado with his parents in a covered wagon and grew up in Longmont, Colorado. He graduated from Denison University in 1924, then did graduate work at Kansas University and the State University of Iowa, where he received a master of science degree in 1926. He was instructor at Williams College from 1926 to 1928, when he began study for his Ph.D. degree at Harvard, which he earned in 1931. Meanwhile, he became instructor in geology at Brown in 1929. He was appointed assistant professor in 1936, associate professor in 1942, and professor in 1951. He was chairman of the Department of Geology from 1940 to 1961. He can be credited with keeping geology at Brown alive during the years of the Second World War and for some years thereafter. With the help of a National Science Foundation grant in 1957 the department expanded, and at the time of Quinn’s retirement in 1968 had a staff of ten. He was the chairman of Rhode Island’s Water Resources Board, and the author of Rhode Island Geology for the Non-Geologist and Bedrock Geology of Rhode Island. He died on April 8, 1977.