Southern Methodist University Bids Fond Farewell to Marshall Terry
May 1, 2007
After more than fifty years as professor at SMU, Professor Marshall Terry will retire at the age of seventy-six. A three-day symposium and literary festival in March celebrated the tenure of this beloved teacher. The festival attracted many of his previous students, among them Douglas Terry (no relation), Joe Coomer, and Tracy Daugherty, all published novelists. Affectionately branded “Mr. SMU” by his colleagues, Terry has served his alma mater in many capacities over the years.
Tracy Daugherty sums everyone’s feelings about Terry well when he says, “Marshall Terry is that rarest of souls, a citizen-writer. From the beginning, his fiction has focused on the blessings (and responsibilities) of life among others, and his teaching always emphasized the care we must take of each other, as writers engaged together in a common enterprise, as mentors to new generations of writers, as fellow folk beffuddled on the planet who find joy in each other. I treasure Marsh and the gentle voice in all his books.”
Marshall Terry graduated from SMU in 1953, and as a twenty-two-year-old was hired to be a teaching fellow in the English Department. During his time on the campus, Terry has worked as an assistant to then-President Willis Tate, and has been chariman of the English Department and associate provost.