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Memoir

Warner Grenelle Rice
Regents' Proceedings 93

Warner Grenelle Rice, for twenty-one years Chairman of the Department of English Language and Literature and for thirteen years Director of the General Library, has completed his retirement furlough and is formally joining the emeritus faculty.

A native of Aurora, Illinois, Professor Rice earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Illinois in 1920 and 1922 respectively. Proceeding then to Harvard, he earned a doctorate in 1927 and instructed in English for two additional years. He came to Michigan as Associate Professor in 1929 and was advanced to Professor in 1936. From 1941 to 1954, he served as Director of the General Library, and from 1947 until he commenced his retirement furlough, as Chairman of the English Department.

Professor Rice's primary scholarly interest was John Milton, whose works he taught with eloquence and upon whom he has written interpretive essays, which are standing admirably the test of time.

Himself setting an example of thoughtful and rigorous pedagogy, he became deeply concerned with the doctrine and discipline of education and of teacher training at all levels from the secondary school through the university. Like his philosophical mentor, Matthew Arnold, he traversed the area on school visitations.

On campus he served on committees treating of teacher education, adult education, vocational education, University services to state schools, and teaching fellowships. Through his offices for the National Council of Teachers of English, the Commission on Trends in Education of the Modern Language Association, the Association of Departments of English, and numbers of other agencies, and through formal and informal consultation with makers of policy at many individual universities and colleges, he exerted as well an incisive influence on learning and teaching nationally.

His voice was heard in an astonishing variety of other executive and advisory committees of his College and of the University. As Director of the General Library, he oversaw a vast proliferation of services and became, as in every interest, which he pursued, an active and respected member of professional councils. In the English Department, he proved a sensitive, sympathetic, and meditative chairman, with a concurrent capacity for infinite pains. His obligations in that office were regularly equivalent to those of the president of a sizable liberal arts college.

On the occasion of his retirement, the Regents of the University salute Professor Rice with warm admiration, deep gratitude, and a kind of wonder at all he has accomplished. They trust that, as Professor Emeritus of English from henceforward, he will continue to share with his colleagues the wisdom and conviction, which have earned him a universal esteem.