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University of Oregon

In Memoriam

 


Edwin Coleman passed away on January 21, 2017. He was 84 years old. Professor Coleman was a dedicated scholar and mentor and pioneered race and ethnic studies at the University of Oregon. He was also a musician and social critic.

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Gloria Estelle Johnson passed away peacefully on October 14, 2014 surrounded by her husband of 60 years and family. She was just shy of her 92nd birthday. Born and raised in New York City, she attended Barnard College (B.A. English with a French minor), Columbia University (M.A. and Ph.D. English), and won a Fulbright to Oxford University. While in England, she met her husband Gerald; the two later were married in London. After residing in England for several years, they moved to North America and settled in Eugene, Oregon.

During her career as a teacher, Johnson taught at Barnard and Cornell University before joining the UO English Department in 1956, specializing in Shakespeare. She won the University’s two most prestigious teaching awards and the Modern Language Association’s Prize for Outstanding Teacher. Emeritus Professor and former colleague GEORGE WICKES recalls, “as her colleagues we all knew that Gloria worked a kind of magic in the classroom. For generations of students she was the professor they would never forget.” One of her former students, for example, testifies, “Her classroom was an energized, exciting place to be. I know I always did my best and my perception was that other students also did. We often came to realize what our best could be under Dr. Johnson’s guidance.” She leaves behind her husband Gerald; her daughter Frances and son-in-law Bart Anderson, her son David and daughter-in-law Kimber Bishop, her daughter Cecilia and son-inlaw John Lively; grandchildren Andrew Johnson, Haley and Julia Anderson and Casie, Ben and Dan Lively. A beloved wife, mother, and friend, as well as an inspirational teacher, Gloria Johnson will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing and learning from her.

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Roland Bartel died on September 20, 2012 at the age of ninety-three. He was a member of the English department from 1961 to 1986 and department head for eight years, 1968–76. Roland was the mainstay of the department throughout his long tenure as head and particularly during the chaotic period of campus protests against the Vietnam War. It was only fitting that Roland, a lifelong pacifist, should be the one to keep the peace.

When Roland arrived at the UO, the total student enrollment was about 4,000. The English department was small and conservative, and there was no graduate program. The teaching load was four courses per quarter—three sections of composition and one of literature. Roland received the Ersted Award for Distinguished Teaching during his early years at Oregon and was one of the first faculty members to teach a televised course. When the English department began offering teacher training, Roland was put in charge of the program and continued in that position until he retired. He obtained a federal grant to set up Advanced Placement courses in Oregon high schools and played an important role statewide, organizing conferences with administrators and summer institutes for teachers.

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Kingsley Weatherhead died of cancer August 29, 2011. He was 87. He was born in England, served in the Navy there, and then after the war obtained degrees from Cambridge University, University of Edinburgh and, after he came to this country, the University of Washington. His first teaching post was as a professor of English at the then College, now University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. later he taught at the new branch of Louisiana State University in New Orleans. From 1960 until he retired in 1989 he taught at the University of Oregon. In 2005, he was honored with an endowed professorship in his name, a gift from Bob and Gloria Lee. He loved bird watching and he loved history. But his great passion, he said, was “the English language”…words and what could be done with them; what could be done with them in modern slang, the new metaphors that grew overnight from new technology, especially what had been done with them in the works of the great poets and prose writers in English; and the terrible injuries they suffered in the vulgar usages in newspapers, television, and common parlance.

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John Haislip passed away March 13th, 2011, following a sudden windstorm. Born in 1925 in Lancaster PA, he earned a doctorate in English from the University of Washington. From 1966 to 1989 he taught in and, at various times, directed the UO Creative Writing Program, and edited the Northwest Review. He studied under Theodore Roethke and became himself a strong regional Northwest voice, singing especially of the Oregon coast. He was a friend to the region’s most celebrated poets, including Richard Hugo and Carolyn Kizer, and a mentor to many of its younger ones. The author of four books of poems, he won the coveted Oregon Book Award for his collection, Seal Rock (1986), which contains the poem, “After the Storm”:

We wake and listen still for any sound
the house empty silent the storm done
the crows in the crown of the dead pin
cawing we count to six cawing a pause
splashes of noise out of their black throats
their hunger like buckshot scattering
far and down over the vegetation.

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Donald Taylor passed away on July 7th, 2011 of age-related causes. Born August 8, 1924, in Portland, he earned a Ph.D. in 1950 from the University of California, Berkeley. He served in the US Army from 1942 to 1945. He taught at Northwestern University from 1950 to 1954 and was a professor at the University of Washington from 1954 to 1968 and at the University of Oregon from 1968 to 1990. At the UO, he was director of English graduate studies from 1968 to 1970, acting head of the classics department from 1975 to 1978, acting head of the ethnic studies department from 1979 to 1980, and the first Director of the Oregon Humanities Center. A specialist in the English eighteenth century, Don’s publications included, The Works of Thomas Chatterton (2 vols, Oxford 1971) and The Art of Thomas Chatterton (1978). He published fine essays on Ronald Crane, R.G. Collingwood, and the Art of Henry Green. he was for years the Department’s main scholar in the eighteenth century; he loved the works of Jane Austen, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, and Samuel Johnson. Remembrances to the Heifer Project or Mercy Corps.

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