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May 21, 2019

In Remembrance: Dr. Paul Berry

Dr. Paul Berry, Professor Emeritus and first faculty member at Roberts to teach for half a century, passed away May 9th. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Dr. Elvera Berry, Professor of Communication; son, Dr. Paul B. Berry, Associate Professor of Music History at Yale School of Music (daughter-in-law, Hollister); grandsons, Quinby (10) and Benjamin (6); relatives and friends.

In Paul’s 51 years at Roberts Wesleyan College (1964-2015), he taught Fine Arts, Introduction to Music, Music History, Voice, Cultural Criticism, and First-Year and Senior Seminars. Long-time colleague, Professor Emeritus Michael Landrum, observed that Paul had one of the finest minds he had encountered in his career. He was an attentive, astute listener and critic whose interests in and sophisticated knowledge of literature, art, and music testified to his commitment to lifelong learning. Paul was also an extraordinary singer. Landrum recalled: “I distinctly remember the first occasion on which I heard Paul sing. I was mesmerized and had the impression that I now knew what angels sounded like!” He added, “Another one of Paul’s most endearing attributes was his spontaneous, mischievous, clever, and infectious sense of humor. I had some of my best laughs on campus at his instigation.” 

Paul grew up east of St. Louis in Granite City, IL, where he worked in the steel mills as a young man. Influenced by a teacher-mentor, he attended Simpson College in Iowa and completed Masters’ degrees in Music History and Voice (Miami of Ohio) and a Ph.D. in philosophy of higher education (University of Buffalo). 

A service of remembrance will be held Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 10:00 AM, Pearce Memorial Church, 4322 Buffalo Rd., North Chili, NY. 

The Dr. Paul Berry Memorial Scholarship has been established to recognize a junior or senior who exemplifies Paul’s love of learning and music. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made at the following link: https://www.roberts.edu/give/make-a-gift/donate-endowed/ or via check made out to Roberts Wesleyan College (memo line - Dr. Paul Berry Memorial Scholarship):

Roberts Wesleyan College
Office of Planned Giving
2301 Westside Drive
Rochester, NY 14624


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