Jack Burke

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Music and Theatre Arts, 1945-2020.

As a master teacher, Jack expected the best from his students. He applied his professionalism to every aspect of theater production, from auditioning to the notes he would give on a play’s final performance. He expected students to work hard, but most importantly, he urged them to care about their work.

He applied the same standards to his classes, including the history of theater and acting for non-majors. He engaged students personally so that they could use theater and acting to understand themselves. He taught them tools for reflecting on their lives that they could use for their lifetime. He showed them how acting offered them many practical ways to better themselves.

Those of us who are teachers know how self-sealed so many college students are and how much difficulty they have in opening up. Students in Jack’s classes were given the great opportunity to learn how to see themselves from the outside and the inside.

Stanton Green is a professor emeritus of anthropology and former dean of humanities and social sciences.