WILLIAM MOORE, JR.
In our last substantial conversation, Bill Moore said he was “very fortunate” as he had “really never been sick,” always able to do what he wanted to do or what needed to be done. Bill’s perception of his health, hours prior to serious pancreatic surgery, was indicative of the “can do, nothing can hold me back” attitude and accomplishments that describe William Moore, Jr.
Bill was a renaissance man. Remarkably intelligent, he was able to amaze you with his recitation of Shakespeare, make you laugh with his interpretations of Casey at the Bat, pull you into the joy of America’s best jazz music, capture your memory and imagination with his black and white photographs, inspire you to think beyond the obvious with his teaching, prick your conscience with a probing question of your expressed values or attitudes, act with courage and strength for human dignity ignoring danger or consequence, and stand with you or against you to preserve quality in educational organizations. Bill Moore exemplified honesty, courage, fairness, justice, dependability, loyalty, humility, and wit.
Bill Moore, with pride and distinction, was an educator. More than a half century ago, he began as a kindergarten teacher, and he taught at every level of education—public schools, community college, and university. He inspired, encouraged, and challenged his students to read broadly, think openly, question, analyze, and grow continually both personally and professionally. Bill asked for high quality performance and gave no lessening of educational academic standards. He exemplified to many students that a person from economically poor, humble beginnings and educated in segregated schools could achieve the greatest heights of academics and scholarship.
Bill was a superb school administrator. He was a public school principal as well as dean, vice president, and president of community colleges. It was the community college context and his personal life experiences that inspired several of his most important books, for example: The Vertical Ghetto: Everyday Life in a Housing Project, Against the Odds: The High Risk Student in the Community College,and Blind Man on a Freeway: The Community College Administrator. While appointed to the faculty of educational administration at The Ohio State University, Bill coauthored the classic, insightful book, Black Educators in White Colleges: Progress and Prospective. His just recently published book, Behind the Open Door: Racism and Other Contradictions in the Community College, continued his analysis, conclusions, and recommendations for change that are critical for educational organizations in a multicultural society.
Based upon his knowledge and insight, Bill was appointed to some of the most distinguished advisory boards. For example, he was a trustee to the American College Testing Program. His practical, insightful knowledge and wisdom brought requests for consultation to more than 600 colleges and universities. His scholarship resulted in appointments to serve prestigious journals such as the publication board of the Journal of Higher Education.
Bill Moore was recognized as a distinguished scholar at two of the nation’s most prestigious universities. He was appointed as the William G. Fletcher Professor at The Ohio State University. The University of Texas at Austin was able to recruit Bill from The Ohio State University, recognizing his scholarship and leadership, with an appointment to the A.M. Aikin Regents Chair in the Department of Educational Administration. While these distinguished academic appointments reflect recognition of Bill as a scholar, teacher, and leader, the real evidence of long-term contributions must rest with the thousands of his students that have spread the knowledge, skill, and values of Bill Moore throughout this nation and the world.
Bill Moore would say upon occasions of recognition, “There’s not much to me.” But, Bill was wrong, there was much to Bill Moore, and he was the “wind beneath” many wings, and he will be missed by family, friends, colleagues, and former students from around the world. William Moore, Jr. died on September 14, 2006.
William Powers Jr., President
The University of Texas at Austin
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty
This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors James R. Yates (Chair), William Lasher, and John Roueche.