Walter G. Whitman was born in in Norway, Maine on May 4, 1874. Whitman was a man of science and had a passion for teaching and learning. As Salem Normal School's head of the science department from 1915 to 1944, Whitman was an active member of the school’s community. He taught at a variety of schools and colleges throughout the Northeast, and was a writer of several textbooks, including Household Physics. In addition to teaching, he also spent much of his time as the editor of his General Science Quarterly, now Science Education. He was respected in the field of science education and in 1925 he got the opportunity to teach at Nanking University in Nanking, China. He spent a year at the university in addition to traveling around the country and parts of Asia. During his time there he collected a large amount of local postcards, took photographs, and kept a journal of his experiences. These collections are now a part of the Salem State University Archives collection. After his return to the United States in 1926, he continued to teach and take part in club activities until his eventual retirement. Whitman passed away on November 2, 1952.