Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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IN MEMORIAM

E. WILLIAM DOTY

Ezra William Doty ("Bill" to his colleagues) was born in 1907 in Michigan and had his early schooling there. Because his father was a Methodist minister, the family moved several times. After attending Western Michigan University for three years, he entered the University of Michigan, from which he received four degrees during the period 1927-36: Bachelor of Arts, Master of Music, Master of Arts in Philosophy, and Doctor of Philosophy in Aesthetics. In 1932-33 he studied at the University of Leipzig and the Conservatory there. At Michigan, he was a star pupil of the eminent organist Palmer Christian. And it was at Ann Arbor that he met his future wife, Elinor Wortley, herself an accomplished organist. They were married in 1934 and are the parents of three children, Ruth Joan Doty, now Mrs. Allen Killam of Durham, North Carolina; William Wortley Doty of Colorado Springs; and Martha Elinor Doty, now married to Austin architect Joe Freeman.

Before coming to Texas, Dr. Doty taught at the University of Illinois and at the University of Michigan, where he substituted for Palmer Christian, as both teacher and weekly concert organist, during Christian's absences from the campus.

In the spring of 1938, Dr. Doty, still young enough in appearance to be mistaken for a student on occasion, came to Austin to prepare for the founding of a College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas. (There had been a Department of Music earlier, but it had been "terminated" by Governor "Ma" Ferguson, who apparently felt that there was no place for such folderol at The University.) The new arrival held a triple title: Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Chairman of the Music Department, and Professor of Music. By fall, a small faculty had been assembled (nine, altogether) and classes were offered in art, drama, and music, leading to degrees at the bachelor's, master's and, later, the doctoral levels. The faculties of all three departments continued to grow each year. Currently (1994), that of the Music Department numbers 86; with Art and Drama departments added, the total is 191.

Dr. Doty seemed to have a special talent for selecting faculty members who not only were skilled in their fields but whose outlooks and personal qualities augured well for cordial relations with their colleagues and for a shared sense of values. As a result, there was a remarkable degree of friendliness and camaraderie not only within the departments but among members of the three departments. In summer, musicians, artists, and drama people often gathered at a cool spot on the green banks beside Barton Springs pool; these associations were enriching as well as pleasurable.

A retrospective look at the young College of Fine Arts reveals a faculty of uncommonly high quality. For example, in Art, there were painters Everett Spruce, William Lester, Ralph White, Loren Mozley, and Kelly Fearing, all acknowledged as important Texas artists, and sculptor Charles Umlauf, whose reputation is now international. In Drama, there was the famed Shakespearean director B. Iden Payne, as well as the younger but gifted directors Francis Hodge and James Moll, and the successful playwright Ellsworth P. Conkle. In Music, there were Chase Baromeo and Josephine Antoine, who had sung at the Metropolitan opera; Dalies Frantz, a superb pianist who had appeared as soloist with major orchestras and been heard in solo recitals throughout the country under Community Concerts management; Horace Britt, one of the world's great cellists; and Otto Kinkeldey, Donald Grout, and Paul Pisk, musicologists of international renown. Less visible to the public but no less important in terms of their contributions were the many other expert teachers in all three departments; some of these later came to national prominence through books, creative work, or professional activities. Dean Doty had obviously expended much effort and selective judgment in assembling this faculty. Those of us who were members of it found the experience of being pioneers in a fresh new venture an exhilarating — if sometimes demanding — one.

In addition to fulfilling the heavy obligations connected with the deanship and the chairmanship, Dr. Doty managed to teach classes in form and analysis, music literature, American music, aesthetics, philosophy, and fine arts administration; he also taught a number of organ students. Among the more distinguished of these are: Gerre Hancock, concert organist and organist at St. Thomas Episcopal Church Fifth Avenue in New York City; Joyce Jones, concert organist and the only organist to win the Dealy Award; John Huston, organist at First Presbyterian Church and at Temple Emanu-El in New York City; Everett Hilty, head of the organ department at the University of Colorado; Jack Ossewarde, organist-choirmaster at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in New York City; and James Moeser, who, while continuing his activities as a concert organist, is currently Provost and Chief Executive Officer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

For a number of years, Dr. Doty also taught classes in church music at the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in Austin. He served as organist at several Austin churches, performed many solo organ recitals throughout the country, and appeared frequently as lecturer or consultant. His text, The Analysis of Form in Music, was published by D. Appleton Crofts, and he was the composer of several works, one of which, Mist (for organ), was published by J. Fischer.

It would be hard to imagine a person more actively involved in professional organizations than Dr. Doty. From 1955 to 1958, he served as president of the preeminent accrediting organization in the field of music, the National Association of Schools of Music; for six years, he was NASM's representative to the American Council on Education. His considerable and varied service to NASM over the years resulted in his being made an honorary life member. In 1947-1949, he was president of the Texas Music Teachers Association, and between 1949 and 1955 he also served two terms as president of the Texas Association of Schools of Music. He was active in the Music Teachers National Association, the Music Educators National Conference, the Texas Federation of Music Clubs, and the National Federation of Music Clubs, of which he was also an honorary life member.

But music organizations were not the only ones that drew his time and interest; he was also a leader in arts advocacy groups. He was a board member of the Texas Fine Arts Association and the Greater New York Chapter of the American National Theatre and Academy, and he was a charter member of the National Council of the Arts in Education. In 1964, he organized the first national conference of fine arts deans, which led to a new professional organization, the International Council of Fine Arts Deans. He was also instrumental in founding the American Association of the Arts in Higher Education. One of his most vital professional interests was in accreditation standards and procedures, and through such organizations as NASM and the National Accrediting Council in the Arts he was an examiner/consultant for numerous schools throughout the country. Such was his national reputation as an arts administrator and consultant that he was appointed Executive Director of the Office of Cultural Affairs in New York City in 1964-1965 and took leave from The University to serve in this position, one unthinkable for a non-New Yorker in today's world. Among his listings in biographical dictionaries are those in Who's Who in America and Leaders in American Education. His memberships in honorary societies include Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda (music), Phi Delta Kappa (education), the Philosophical Society of Texas, and the Bohemians (in New York City).

Despite so many impressive activities at the national level, Dr. Doty's contributions locally were no less important. He was keenly aware of the importance of interaction between arts groups and the community. For over forty years, he was an active Rotarian; he was instrumental in organizing and meeting with the Fine Arts Advisory Council, a group of prominent arts patrons from around the state; he helped in planning music programs currently used in public schools; he worked with the Interscholastic League, with private music teachers in Austin, with the Austin Symphony, and with the Junior League of Austin, which has helped for many years to finance The University's String Project.

A major accomplishment during Dr. Doty's tenure as Chairman/Dean and one for which he deserves great credit was the construction of a Music Building on 21st Street next to Littlefield Fountain in 1941-1942. Before that, music classes had been scattered in a number of different locations: the Littlefield Home, Battle Hall, the ground floor of the Main Building, and two old homes on Whitis Avenue that served as annexes. The new building at last provided sufficient space for all the department's activities. Thanks to meticulous planning by the architects and the acoustician (Dr. Paul Boner) in consultation with Dr. Doty, the sound conditions in the studios, practice rooms and auditorium were ideal; walls had been angled, floors "floated," curtains provided along walls to vary the liveness of the sound, and so on. In addition to all this largesse, the building was air-conditioned! It was the only one on campus so equipped at the time; not surprisingly, the Music Library attracted many students from other disciplines who came there to study. Although this handsome structure served admirably for many years, enrollment in the Music Department eventually burgeoned to the point that a larger building was needed. This need was met by Music Recital Hall, a building added to Music Building East in 1980 as part of the Performing Arts Center. Happily, the acoustically superb Jessen Auditorium in the original Music Building, scene of so many memorable concerts over the years, continues to be used for solo and chamber-music concerts.

Tall, spare in body, energetic (despite serious and constant problems with allergies), youthful-looking until his late years, Dr. Doty is remembered as being cordial in manner, if sometimes understandably harried by the multiple pressures of his academic life. Persons visiting his office for the first time tended to find the penetrating gaze from his intense blue eyes a bit intimidating, but further acquaintance would reveal the kindly human qualities that endeared him to so many. Former students frequently mention instances in which he took a deep personal interest in them. When they brought him problems — academic or personal — he dealt with these in a sympathetic and helpful manner. As one example, he gave special attention to a blind organ student, waiving certain required courses such as art, and allowing her to substitute others; his guidance and encouragement helped her to become a successful music teacher. He was equally attentive to the many problems brought to him by faculty members, even though not all of these could be easily solved.

Despite the many demands on his time from all the activities mentioned, William Doty was very much a home-and-family man, devoted to his wife, children, and grandchildren. The Dotys entertained faculty and other friends frequently in their attractive house high in West Lake Hills, from which there is a spectacular view of the city. (Incidentally, during the building of this house, Dr. Doty obtained journeyman's licenses to do some of the work himself, including the installation of a solar water-heating system! — further testimony to the amazing breadth of his interests and abilities.) At these social functions, Mrs. Doty was always a gracious hostess. A woman of great charm and character, she played an important role throughout her husband's career. During summer vacations, the two escaped heat and allergies at a mountain retreat in Colorado.

Religion was an important element for both of them. Ardent Episcopalians, they attended services at All Saints' Church faithfully; each filled in as organist on occasion, when the regular organist could not be present (surely a unique situation!).

In 1965, Dr. Doty retired as Chairman of the Music Department, but retained the titles of Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Professor of Music. In 1966, Dr. Bryce Jordan, then Chairman of the Music Department at the University of Maryland, was appointed Chairman at Austin, and in 1972 Peter Garvie assumed the Deanship. Dr. Doty continued to teach for a time but retired completely in 1974.

In retirement, he devoted much time to writing a history of the College of Fine Arts. This is a detailed and valuable record (now in The University's archive) of a memorable era in Austin's artistic life, an era that obviously owes an enormous debt to William Doty's own vision and pioneering efforts.

Declining health forced him to withdraw from active musical life in Austin during his last years. He died at the age of 87 on June 16, 1994. His funeral, attended by a host of former students, faculty, and other friends, was held at All Saints' Church, and he was entombed at Memorial Hill Park Mausoleum in Austin.


<signed>

Robert M. Berdahl, President
The University of Texas at Austin


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H. Paul Kelley, Secretary
The General Faculty



This Memorial Resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professor Emeritus Kent Kennan (Chair), Professor Rebecca Baltzer, Professor Richard Blair, and Professor Emeritus Janet McGaughey.