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

SYMMES CHADWICK OLIVER

Symmes Chadwick Oliver, or Chad Oliver as he was known to colleagues and friends, died August 10, 1993. Chad was an important presence in the Department of Anthropology, the Plan II honors program, and the College of Liberal Arts. His importance also extended beyond that to the U. S. community of science fiction and western writers, and to Texas trout fishing.

Chad, born in 1928, was the Robert D. King Centennial Professor of Liberal Arts. He joined the anthropology department as an assistant professor in 1959. He received a Plan II degree in 1951 and an English and Anthropology degree in 1952, both from The University of Texas. In 1961, he received a doctorate in anthropology from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Twice chair of the Department of Anthropology, Chad pursued intertwining careers as scholar, much-honored and beloved teacher, and professional writer of science and western fiction. His PhD dissertation led to a classic study in American Indian anthropology — Ecology and cultural continuity as contributing factors in the social organization of the Plains Indians (1962). In addition to his research dealing with Native America, Chad carried out research in Africa as a member of his mentor Walter Goldschmidt’s research team. As a professional writer, Chad wrote many stories and novels. Among the best known are Mists of Dawn (1952), The Wolf is My Brother (1967), Giants in the Dust (1976), Unearthly Neighbors (1984), Shadows in the Sun (1985), and Broken Eagle (1989).

There is no question that Chad’s great love was teaching. He was the recipient of many teaching awards, including the UT Austin President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award, the Plan II Teaching Award, and the Harry Ransom Award for Teaching Excellence. He also received the Pro Bene Meritis Award from the Liberal Arts Foundation in 1992. After his death, the College of Liberal Arts established the Chad Oliver Honors Program Scholarship, open to Liberal Arts undergraduates in any honors program in the college.

A reserved person with a wonderful sense of humor, Chad excelled as an athlete, a jazz pianist, a raconteur, a writer, and a teacher. One of his most beloved pursuits was fly fishing for trout, which required great optimism for anyone living in Texas. Chad fished the Guadalupe River of Central Texas during the winter, and spent the last summers of his life living in Lake City, Colorado. His summer days were divided between his dual loves of writing and fishing; his evenings were reserved for long chats with the numerous friends who stopped by his cabin. Fishing served as a metaphor for how Chad Oliver approached his life: the discovery of the trout's silent rise, the fisher's precise presentation of the fly, the setting of the hook that links predator to prey, and the gentle release of the trout so that it can return to fight another day. He will be remembered by us all.



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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 Joel Sherzer (chair) and John Kappelman.





Distributed to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, the Executive Vice President and Provost, and the President on January 21, 2000. 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/ .