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Message on Armand J. Galfo

Provost Michael R. Halleran sent the following message from Education Dean Spencer Niles to the campus communiy Feb. 13, 2018 - Ed.

Dear Colleagues,

I write to share the news that Armand J. Galfo, Heritage Professor of Education, Emeritus, died Saturday, February 10, 2018.  Professor Galfo distinguished himself both in the United States military and in academia, becoming a Colonel in the United States Air Force and the first Heritage Professor of Education at William & Mary with 31 years of exemplary service to the university.

Born in Buffalo, New York, in 1924, Professor Galfo was drafted into the US Army in 1943 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he was studying chemical engineering. As an aerial radio operator-gunner, he was assigned to a B-17 crew which was sent to England to join the 401st Bombardment Group stationed in the British Midlands. He and the crew completed 22 missions, including one mission that was part of the greatest bombardment of Berlin in WWII. He was awarded the Air Medal in 1945, “for meritorious achievement while participating in sustained bomber combat operations over Germany and German-occupied territories.”

After the war ended, Professor Galfo took advantage of the GI Bill to pursue a B.A. in chemistry and mathematics, a master’s degree in science teaching, and an Ed.D. in school administration from the University of Buffalo. He joined the W&M faculty in 1958 with a specialty in educational research and applied statistics.

He also continued his military career as a reserve officer beginning with a direct commission in the USAF in 1951, conducting research for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. He was keenly aware of the synergistic relationships between the military and civilian education programs, and throughout his life, he moved easily between the two worlds. 

In addition to his work as an educational researcher and consultant with the US military and his work with the students and fellow faculty at W&M, Professor Galfo wrote several textbooks in the field of educational research and statistics and authored numerous articles, monographs, and reports.

In 1985, the School of Education established the Heritage Professorship in Education to honor a tenured full professor who had demonstrated exemplary contributions in research, writing, and scholarship and whose contributions were recognized not only at W&M, but among colleagues throughout the state and nation. Professor Galfo was named the first Heritage Professor, in recognition of his unquestionably pervasive and extraordinary impact on students and on the graduate curriculum of the School of Education.

Professor Galfo retired from William & Mary in 1989, but continued to pursue research related to peace studies, including how young people in both the U.S. and Europe were educated about the Cold War. As evidence of their abiding commitment and love for William & Mary and the School of Education, Professor Galfo and his wife Mary established the Armand J. Galfo and Mary Faust Education Research Fellowship Endowment and the Mary Faust Galfo Science Teaching Scholarship.

Professor Galfo was predeceased by his wife of 67 years, Mary Faust Galfo, and by his parents and brother, Guy Galfo. He is survived by his sons, Christopher (Tina) Galfo of Auberry, California, and Gregory (Virginia) Galfo of Williamsburg, Virginia, with whom he resided; granddaughters Jessica Grove, and Sarah (Kurtis) Strand, and by three great-grandchildren, Kaitlin Ogden, Aiden Grove, and Emelia Strand.

Visitation will be held from 2:00-4:00 pm and 6:00–8:00 pm on Sunday, February 18, 2018 at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Road, Williamsburg, Virginia. Interment will be held at a later date.

Read complete obituary.

Spencer Niles

Dean and Professor

School of Education

College of William and Mary

Williamsburg, VA 23187