Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches
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LENNART LAURI KOPRA
Lennart Lauri Kopra, professor emeritus of communication sciences and disorders, died on December 8, 1998. Len Kopra was truly a gentle man and gained the highest respect and affection from colleagues and students with whom he had contact.
Dr. Kopra was born in Minnesota on January 12, 1924, to Finnish immigrant parents, and his first language was Finnish. Soon after graduating from Butte (Montana) High School in 1942, he entered the United States Army and served as an Air Corps pilot and aircraft commander in Burma and China, where he flew over the Himalayan Mountains (the Hump) during World War II. After being discharged from the army in 1946, he enrolled at Wittenberg College in Springfield, Ohio, and received a baccalaureate degree in 1951. He then entered Northwestern University and earned an MA degree in 1952 and a PhD in 1954.
Dr. Kopra joined the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin as an assistant professor of speech communication in 1954. During his early years at the University, he developed the first academic audiology program in the State of Texas. He served as director of the University of Texas Speech and Hearing Clinic from 1961 to 1972. He was a founding member of the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association and after serving the organization in many capacities, including president, he was awarded honors in 1976. Dr. Kopra was also active in the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and was elected Fellow in 1964.
Dr. Kopra was successful in obtaining numerous grants and contracts during his tenure at the University of Texas. Some of these were training grants which supported graduate students in audiology and speech pathology. He also received outside funding for a variety of research endeavors. Dr. Kopra's research and writing included areas such as the effects of noise on hearing, hearing and aging, and the use of varied technologies in lip reading.
Along with his other accomplishments, Len Kopra was an outstanding family man. He is survived by his wife Martha (Marty) Witthoft Kopra; sons Andrew, Daniel, and Timothy (and Timothy's wife, Dawn Lehman Kopra); daughter Lauri; two grandchildren; and a sister, Esther Kopra Reynolds.
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 Gene R. Powers (chair), Mark L. Knapp, and Thomas P. Marquardt.
Distributed to the Dean of the College of Communication, the Executive Vice President and Provost, and the President on December 7, 1999. Copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500. This resolution is posted under "Memorials" at: http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/ .