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Louis A. Strauss
LSA Minutes

Louis Abraham Strauss, who was born in Chicago in 1872, died the evening of September 27, 1938, after an illness of only a few hours.

Professor Strauss spent forty-five years of his life as a member of the English Department at the University, and was known for his deep and unobtrusive loyalty to his Alma Mater and to his friends. At the time of his death he was one of the most esteemed men on the faculty.

Entering the University as a student in the fall of 1890, Professor Strauss received his Bachelor of Literature in 1893. He received his Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy from Michigan in 1894 and 1900, and later spent a year in further study at the University of Munich.

He began his teaching career the year following his undergraduate work. After serving a year as Assistant in English, he was appointed Instructor of English in 1895. In 1904 he was promoted to Assistant Professor, and in 1906 to Junior Professor.

In 1911 he was advanced to Professor of English, and, following the retirement of Professor Isaac Newton Demmon in 1920, he was appointed Chairman of the English Department. This position he held until a year before his death, when he resigned the chairmanship to devote his entire time to teaching.

Professor Strauss served many years on the committee of Student Affairs and on the Board in Control of Student Publications. His keen sense of justice, combined with an equally keen sense of the obligations of students to the University, made him a valuable member of these committees.

As a teacher he was known for his warm, liberal and humane outlook. He held a civilized point of view towards everything. Inevitably he was a liberal in politics. Neither by training nor be nature was he an advocate in scholarship of Teutonic specialization. He followed rather the older, more liberal, humane tradition of the Renaissance. By long study of the best that had been thought and said, he was able to influence his students to form for themselves sound critical standards.

In literature, as in life, Professor Strauss loved the beautiful and the true, and his pupils recognized in his exposition of the poems of Browning, his favorite poet, the sympathy he shared with the author of "Abt Vogler," "Saul," and "Rabbi Ben Ezra." Great poetry and great music were the inspirations of his life and he was able by his sincerity and deep feeling to share with his classes his appreciation of both.

The Honors Course in English was especially close to his heart. Since its introduction he had devoted himself untiringly to its success. In the intimate discussions of this group he was at his best. Under his guidance students in it were led to range beyond the literature of their own tongue and to compare the best of their own culture with the best in foreign lands.

His colleagues in the English Department recognized in Professor Strauss a Chairman who was unselfishly interested in the good of the Department and of the University. He always thought of himself last. It was characteristic of him that he gave freely of his strength and time to counsel with the younger men of the Department. As Chairman it fell to him to work out the union of the Rhetoric with the English Department, a difficult task which he accomplished with success.

In Professor Strauss' death the Faculty of this College has lost a member of its staff who was wholly devoted to the interests of the University. He was wise and patient and serene, with a wisdom born of the conviction that,

There shall never be one lost good: What was shall live as before.

Respectfully submitted,

Campbell Bonner
Bennett Weaver
Morris P. Tilley,Chairman