William L. Cumiford, Associate Professor of History at Chapman University, was born in Oklahoma in 1942 and grew up in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, California. After attending high school at Narbonne High in Harbor City, California, Dr. Cumiford graduated in Social Sciences from Los Angeles Harbor College and took his bachelor's degree in History at Chapman College in Orange, CA. in 1963. Following preliminary study on the master's degree in History at Cal State Fullerton, Prof. Cumiford sailed on the Semester-at-Sea Program (then called the Seven Seas Program) as a teaching assistant in 1965 and in 1966 was drafted into the U.S. Army, later serving as a medic in Pirmasens, Germany.
Upon discharge from the service Dr. Cumiford completed his master's at Cal State and was admitted to the Ph.D. program in Latin American History At Texas Tech University, where he also was employed as a teaching assistant. His dissertation research was conducted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and focused on nineteenth-century Brazilian-United States relations. Prof. Cumiford's fields of study were Latin America, European History, American Diplomatic History, and U.S. Social, Cultural, and Intellectual History, with a minor in Political Science.
Since graduating with his doctorate, Dr. Cumiford, aside from teaching, has worked in a variety of history-related professions, including historical site field investigation, editorial assignments, writing, the preparation of nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, and museum curatorship. In the 1980s Prof. Cumiford was a curator in American History at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. His teaching assignments have included professorships at Western Texas College, Cal State Fullerton, and now Chapman University.
Dr. Cumiford's courses at Chapman include Freshman Foundations, Western Civilization, the Ancient World, Mexican History, Modern Latin America, the History of Spain and Portugal, Colonial Latin America, Technology and Progress in Western Societies, History and Film, and Latin American History through Film. Prof. Cumiford teaches a summer course in Europe, "The Roman Imperium," and is an advisor for the Center for Global Education. He serves on the Liberal Studies Faculty Advisory Committee and the Chapman University Alumni Board.Dr. Cumiford enjoys movies, traveling, bike riding, hiking, and tennis, and has a daughter, Simone attending University of California Santa Cruz.