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Memoir

Edgar E. Willis
Regent's Proceedings

Edgar E. Willis, professor of communication, will retire from active E. E. Willis faculty status as of May 31, 1984, concluding a distinguished career as a teacher, administrator, and scholar at The University of Michigan. Professor Willis received his B.A. and M.A. degrees at what was then Wayne University and his Ph.D. degree at the University of Wisconsin.

After service in the Navy in the Second World War, solid careers both in professional broadcasting and academic life developed in parallel. He began his teaching at San Jose State in 1946 and came to Michigan as an associate professor in 1952, becoming professor in 1957. During that same period, he worked at several broadcasting stations, including a period as a news analyst and anchorman at WWJ-TV in Detroit. He also had various roles in educational broadcasting stations, including WHA and our own WUOM. His skills and experience were the basis of a series of highly successful broadcasting textbooks. Professor Willis became a student of the history of broadcasting and is well known as a major figure in the field. He also has done research on British broadcasting-he was a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Durham in 1963-64-and published several articles in that field.

A sizeable bibliography covering a wide range of topics from speech education to broadcasting techniques testify to his career-long scholarly interests. As an administrator, he became acting chairman of what was then the Department of Speech in 1965, became chairman in 1969 and served with distinction in that post until 1979, at which point he became Professor of Communication. He has served the University well, and has contributed to improving broadcasting not only through teaching students who became distinguished professionals but through his own analytical research and writing. The Regents now salute this distinguished educator for his dedicated service to The University of Michigan by naming him Professor Emeritus of Communication.