Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches

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Martin T. Todaro, professor of speech communication, died March 15, 2001. He was born September 26, 1923, in Waco, Texas. His association with The University of Texas at Austin began in 1940, when he enrolled as a freshman. He continued his education until 1943, when he was drafted into the United States Army. He served with distinction in World War II, taking part in the Normandy invasion and the drive into Germany.

On his release from the army, Dr. Todaro again entered the University, receiving a BA in history and government in 1947. He earned an MA in 1949. He later returned to the University, receiving a PhD in linguistics in 1970.

Dr. Todaro had a long and distinguished teaching career. He was appointed as instructor of speech from 1949 to 1952. He then left teaching for several years. He served as an instructor of speech at the University of Maryland from 1956 to 1958. He returned to the University as instructor in the Department of Speech Communication from 1956 to 1964. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1964, to associate professor in 1971, and to professor in 1983.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Dr. Todaro held many administrative and consultative posts both inside and outside the University. He was a hands-on director of the University Forensics Program from 1958 to 1961. He was the academic advisor and coordinator, teacher, and program developer for the University International Office. He was especially interested in the transition of foreign students into the academic environment of an English-speaking educational system. He was a consultant in remedial English to Huston-Tillotson College and to the Texas Education Agency in the areas of phonetics and linguistics. Dr. Todaro was a member of the national Speech Communication Association, the Texas Speech Communication Association, and many departmental and University committees. Because of his special commitment to the graduate program, he served twice as graduate advisor in the Department of Speech Communication. He also served as secretary of the graduate faculty.

Dr. Todaro published many articles on phonetics and linguistics, and one book, The Phonetic Alphabet, 1971, which appeared in three editions. This work is still used as a text at many colleges and universities throughout the United States. He also wrote and produced a three-volume series of instructional videotapes, The Written Representation of Speech Communication: An Introduction to Notation and Transcription.

Dr. Todaro was in many ways a Renaissance man. He had a love of the English language and an interest in words, their origins, articulation, and employment. He was a voluminous reader and loved the arts, especially the writings of Shakespeare. He greatly enjoyed drama, particularly the opera. His trips to New York took him to his mecca, The Metropolitan Opera, where he would attend as many performances as possible. Teaching, music, the arts, and reading defined this distinguished colleague and his world.

Upon his retirement in 1985, Professor Todaro was recognized, along with a longtime teaching colleague, Jesse J. Villarreal, by the establishment of an endowed student scholarship in the Department of Speech Communication. The endowment ensured that there would be continued assistance for students long after he was gone. An excerpt from his letter of retirement in 1985 was a quote from William Shakespeare's King Lear, and may be said to be his chosen epitaph:

...tis our fast intent
To shake all cares and business from our age;
Conferring them on younger strengths, while we
Unburden'd crawl toward death.


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 Mr. Robert Risher (chair), and Professors Mark L. Knapp and Thomas Marquardt.