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IN MEMORIAM

ERNEST A. SHARPE


Ernest Alonzo Sharpe, or Dr. Sharpe, as we all affectionately called him, was a very special and gifted teacher. The Department of Advertising owes to Dr. Sharpe its existence and its continuous commitment to quality. He was, and always will be, a role model for those who choose advertising as a profession and teaching as an avocation.

Dr. Sharpe loved The University of Texas. He obtained three degrees from our University, a B.J. in 1939, a B.A. in 1940 and a Master's in Journalism in 1941. In addition to his academic education, Dr. Sharpe amassed a rich experience in his field, by serving as a Vice Consul for the Department of State in three foreign posts, and by working in advertising at two major newspapers and a radio station.

In 1946, Dr. Sharpe joined the faculty in the Department of Journalism, and in 1972, when the Department of Advertising was created, Dr. Sharpe held a dual appointment in Journalism and Advertising, until his retirement.

The professional and academic accomplishments of Dr. Sharpe are many, a simple review of his resume indicates how indefatigably he dedicated himself to all those tasks that are so important in a University: a master teacher and a fertile writer, he also spent innumerable hours serving on every academic committee and every administrative assignment he was asked to perform.

It is through his students, however, that we get to know the most important contributions Dr. Sharpe has made to his University and his Departments. His office door was never closed, and his home was a haven to all those who were homesick, somewhat lost, or just hoping for a home-cooked meal. He never forgot a student's name, never forgot a face. Ten, twenty, even thirty years after their graduation, students would receive notes of congratulation from him, as they succeeded in their professional careers. He remembered their questions, understood their weaknesses, and shaped their lives as no other professor had done. He was in fact responsible for the first generation of advertising professionals in Texas, those who built the first advertising agencies in this state. Ernest Sharpe was more than a respected colleague for the members of the advertising faculty. He was our leader and our critic, he inspired us, and made sure that we did not compromise our goals. He was instrumental in building and developing a department, when very few other advertising departments existed in our country. He listened as carefully as he spoke, and his kindness brought together as a team a number of young and driven faculty members who learned to dream of and to work for the excellence that he always demanded of himself.

A unique and gentle master, he could be firm and inflexible. His ethical principles were never compromised. His dedication never wavered. Dr. Ernest Sharpe will always be remembered fondly by all those who knew him as a model, a teacher, and a very special human being.



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Larry R. Faulkner, President
The University of Texas at Austin


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John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty




This Memorial Resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors Isabella C. M. Cunningham (Chair), John Murphy, and Gary Wilcox.