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WILLIAM A. BENNIE
Dr. William Andrew Bennie, Professor Emeritus of Curriculum and Instruction at The University of Texas at Austin, died Tuesday, December 3, 1996, after a long struggle with Parkinson's Disease. Bill, as his friends called him, was a soft-spoken gentleman with a resolute message. He was thoroughly respected and admired by students and faculty alike.
Dr. Bennie, a Hoosier by birth, entered the world October 9, 1921, in Linton, Indiana, the eldest son of Sylvia Vanmeter Bennie and Andrew Rockliffe Bennie. The family moved to nearby Bloomfield, where young Bill received his early education and graduated valedictorian of his high school. From there he went to Indiana State University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Business and English degree and was listed in Who's Who in American Colleges.
Following graduation, Bill Bennie was called to active duty in the U.S. Army, where he served three years. During his initial service he trained in the Army Specialized Training Program at College of Mines in El Paso. After that he served in the European Theater of Operations in Headquarters, 12th Armored Division. Subsequently, he served in G-2 Intelligence Section of the 6th Corps Headquarters.
Re-entering civilian life, he taught high school in Bloomfield and earned his M.S. degree from Indiana State. From there he took a position in the William McGuffey School at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Subsequently, he received his doctorate from Indiana University in 1955 and was appointed Director of Student Teaching at Miami University (Oxford). In this capacity he was involved in one of the earliest programs for full-time internships for teachers-in-training.
Dr. Bennie joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in 1961 and directed the student teaching program for the next 12 years, bringing several innovations to this experience. He authored two books on supervising student teachers, contributed many articles to professional journals, and served as a consultant to colleges and professional organizations. He held membership in many professional organizations.
Dr. Bennie earned numerous awards during his service at The University of Texas at Austin. He was awarded a Certificate of Merit by Phi Delta Kappa and the Ben Coody Distinguished Service Award by Texas State Teachers Association, and he was designated a Distinguished Member of the National Association of Teacher Educators.
In 1973 Dr. Bennie became the chairman of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and served in that position until 1978. The department experienced rapid growth and development during that period, and Dr. Bennie's leadership was clearly evident. Always a popular leader because of his honesty and candor, Bill Bennie earned the respect of those in this diverse department.
After leaving the chairmanship of the department, Dr. Bennie brought his organizational, managerial, and personal skills to the Education Placement Service as its director. His efforts were responsible for enhancing the positive relationships of the Education Placement Service and The University of Texas at Austin with school districts throughout the state and nation. It was in this role that he ended his professional career at the University in 1989.
Dr. Bennie is survived by his wife, Betty Burks Bennie; daughter Carol Shay and husband, Jim, grandchildren, Brenna and Mack Shay, all of Austin; son, James Andrew Bennie of San Benito, Texas; brother, Dr. Donald E. Bennie and wife, Nancy, of Nashville, Tennessee; and several nieces and nephews.
Larry R. Faulkner, President
The University of Texas at Austin
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
This Memorial Resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors Frank J. Guszak (Chair), Stuart Reifel, and Earl A. Koile.