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,
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 Goldschmidts 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
(1984), Shadows in the Sun
(1985), and Broken
There is no question that Chads great
love was teaching. He was the recipient of many teaching awards, including
the UT Austin Presidents 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.
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 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
of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500. This resolution is posted under
"Memorials" at: http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/