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Memoir

Otto Gotthold Graf
Regents' Proceedings 691

OTTO GOTTHOLD GRAF, Professor of Germanic Languages and Literature, retires from active faculty status on June 30, 1980, after a productive and distinguished career as a teacher, scholar and administrator.

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana on December 22, 1909, Dr. Graf received his B.S. from The University of Michigan in 1931 (Phi Beta Kappa), where he continued his studies and completed the M.A. in 1933 and Ph.D. in 1938.

Recognizing his talents and promise, the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures retained him as an Instructor from 1930 to 1942. His promotion to Assistant Professor followed in 1942, to Associate Professor in 1950 and to Professor in 1956. This loyal service to his alma mater was interrupted only by his service in Military Intelligence as an Officer in the United States Army from 1942 to 1947 and again from 1950 to 1952.

A man of culture, extensive reading and understanding, Otto Graf excelled as a teacher on all levels, including advanced courses on subjects ranging from Lessing, Heine, Storm and Stress and Young Germany to Shakespeare's Influence in Germany. His awareness of all aspects of his profession as well as his personal breadth is likewise documented by his publications, which include language instructional material and scholarly explorations of important literary figures. As impressive as these accomplishments were, they could not match his record as an administrator in variety, lasting results and national recognition. For example, he served as Director of the LSA Honors Council from 1961 to his retirement furlough, as the Chairman of The University of Michigan Society of Fellows from 1970 to 1975 and on the Executive Committee of the National Collegiate Honors Council since 1966. His service to such organizations, in whose founding he had also been instrumental, ran parallel to his many departmental responsibilities, the successful administration of which brought him the respect, confidence and gratitude of his colleagues over the years.

In all of the traditional areas of academic activity, Otto Graf has contributed markedly to the distinction of the University, and for his accomplishments the Regents salute him by naming him Professor Emeritus of Germanic Languages and Literatures.