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Obituary/Memoir

Dewitt H. Parker
Regents' Proceedings 427

Robert D. H. Parker: Mark Wenley University Professor of Philosophy, on June 21. The following memoir was approved for inclusion in the minutes of this meeting:

DeWitt Henry Parker joined the faculty of the University of Michigan forty-one years ago, and with the exception of the year 1909-10, when he served as an instructor at the University of California, remained a member of the instructional staff until his sudden death on Tuesday, June 21, 1949.

When he came to Ann Arbor as a young man, upon the completion of his undergraduate and graduate studies at Harvard University, he entered a department already distinguished by the presence of two great teachers, Robert Mark Wenley and Alfred Henry Lloyd. It was soon evident that these elder philosophers had gained a worthy colleague and successor, a scholar capable of profound thought and of both graceful and lucid expression, an inspiring teacher, and a personality whose human sympathy gave warmth to his great learning and broad intellectual interests.

Dr. Parker's abilities were promptly recognized both at this University and elsewhere. He was promoted through the several grades, reaching the full professorship in 1925 and becoming Chairman of the Department of Philosophy in 1929. Later, in June 1947, he was chosen as one of a group of nine distinguished professors, and his title became Robert Mark Wenley University Professor of Philosophy; as a further honor, he was selected as Henry Russel Lecturer for the year 1946-47.

The universities of California, Wisconsin, and Chicago, Harvard University, Columbia University, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art at various times invited him as guest lecturer, and the Western Division of the American Philosophical Association elected him its president for the year 1929-30. His books, chiefly in the fields of aesthetics and metaphysics, brought him into still greater prominence. The death, at the height of his powers, of one who possessed a combination, so rarely found, of constructive thinking and clear interpretation constitutes a loss of major magnitude to the University of Michigan and to all those who came under his widespread influence.

The Regents of the University, therefore, by this memoir record their own sorrow for the loss of one who has so eminently contributed to the institution's prestige and express their heartfelt sympathy to Professor Parker's surviving family.