Friday, December 5, 2014

Remembering Jack Carlson


The Austin College community is saddened to learn of the death of Dr. Jack Carlson, professor emeritus of history and extends sympathy to his family.

He joined the Austin College faculty in 1962 and served in many capacities, including dean of Humanities and director of the Heritage of Western Culture program, before his retirement in 1994. He regularly led January Term classes to England, exploring the history and architecture of the city or social problems related to the emergency of early England.

Dr. Carlson received many honors during his career, including the College’s Homer P. Rainey Award for outstanding achievement and service. His achievements went far beyond Austin College to leadership in several professional organizations.

Share your memories and condolences.

6 comments:

  1. We send sincere sympathy to the Carlson family during their loss at this time. It was a joy and privilege to serve on the faculty/staff with Jack Carlson during the 70's and 80's when Austin College was expanding not only in size but in the academic world. Jack was a team player, with the love of academic excellence and a passion for imparting knowledge to his students. Stan and Carolynn Cobbs, Kerrville, TX

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  2. Offering sincere condolences to all the Carlson family at this time. Jack was an amazing person and one with whom I have been privileged to work. He seemed the perfect physical representation of a college professor--and I've seen many comments from his students who found him to be the perfect professor in the classroom as well. -- Vickie Kirby, Austin College

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  3. Jack Carlson was a member of the History Department that hired me back in 1991. He was, in addition, the other of two Europeanists in the department, so his good opinion was essential. I have always been grateful to him for his role in bringing me to Austin College. All the department members were helpful as mentors, but Jack was the most senior member of the department, the former dean, etc. He might have taken quite a different approach. But he uniformly encouraged my input, my creativity, and my suggestions for change, especially as we reworked the European history offerings. He was an excellent mentor, never invasive, always courteous and rational. In two other areas, especially, Jack influenced my life substantially. Before I had even met my first class at the college, Jack—a trumpet player and bandsman himself as a student at the University of Michigan—had encouraged me to talk to Cecil Isaac, the conductor of the Sherman Symphony. In fact, at pre-registration, Jack quite intentionally took me over to introduce me to Cecil. Cecil set up an audition, and I became a member of the SSO, which I have been for over twenty-two years now. It was also Jack whom I first talked to about doing my first Janterm abroad, twenty years ago. Typically, this veteran of travel Janterms was encouraging and helpful. On a broader level, it is important to note that Jack was one of the generation of faculty members who shook up the college pedagogically, introducing a curriculum and teaching approaches which some institutions of higher education have only recently caught up to. As such, he really was one of the intellectual architects of the Austin College we know today. He was an excellent colleague, a respected teacher, and a good historian. Requiescat in pace! -- Dr. Hunt Tooley, Austin College professor of history

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  4. It was January of 1986 myself and AJC at the National Portrait Gallery in London, that was a great day. AJC was the best teacher I ever had. He was a good historian and a very kind and patient man. I bet AJC will get his wings right away.

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  5. I cannot begin to describe the immediate acceptance I felt upon arriving at Austin College in the fall of 1970, due in no small part to Dr. A J Carlson. As my advisor for 4 1/2 years, he and his family welcomed me into their home. It was not only a home away from home, but a second family for me. I believe I was more afraid of disappointing Dr. Carlson than my own father! I feel much of what I know of who I am came directly from Dr. Carlson's guidance and thoughtful influence. He was of the opinion my parents had not sent me to such a fine institution to just learn how to shoot pool. (A course I "audited" my first semester in the old SUB.) His simple act of kindness in bringing me into his family's world made my world that much richer. My deepest condolences to the extended Carlson family. Please know that he is in a better, gentler place. -- Nancy Williams ('74)

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  6. Hello John. I'm so sorry about the loss of your father. I have a fond memory of him. He joined the Austin College faculty in 1962 but in 1963 he came to our 1st grade classroom at Jefferson where I sat behind you (LaJuana) and I was captivated at his wisdom. I am offering my sincere condolences John.

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