Summarized by Gregor McHardy
G. Homer U.'s noted political scientist remembered with scholarship
Deseret News 10Jan00 P2
By Dennis Lythgoe: Deseret News staff writer
The University of Utah is seeking funds to create a new endowment for
graduate students in political science. The endowment will be created in
honor of the late G. Homer Durham. This article is a short biography of a
Elder Durham, pointing out such interesting tidbits as:
- Although he did not start public school until age seven, he was placed
in the first grade on his first day of school. By the end of the day,
however, he was in the third grade.
- He played Hoagy Charmichael tunes in a band while in high school, and
earned all the money for his mission by being a "trimmer of cabbages" at
- While serving his mission in England he met the daughter of the mission
President (Apostle Widtsoe), fell instantly in love (as she with him), but
never spoke with her directly. Only after her family returned home did he
take up correspondence.
- He earned the first PhD. from UCLA in political science (and indeed the
second PhD ever awarded from UCLA).
- He served as a venerated and beloved professor at the U of U for many
years. The article looks at these years in depth, noting many of his
famous students and their opinions and memories of his teaching.
- While serving as professor, he would give pop quizzes in the first few
days of the course covering the authors and tables of contents of the
texts for the class. He thought that understanding the framework and
background of a text was foremost in understanding the content.
- He served as the first academic vice president of the U of U.
- He also served as president of Arizona State University where he built
50 new structures and established the colleges of law and fine
arts and a graduate school of social work.
- He served as the state of Utah's first commissioner of higher education.
- He was called to spend the the final years of his life as a member of
the First Quorum of the Seventy of the Church.