Dr. Paul Boller was once called an obscure professor by the Chicago Tribune, but to many of his friends and colleagues, his legacy itself was anything but obscure.
Mr. Boller, former history professor at TCU, died last Sunday at the age of 97.
Although he began teaching at Southern Methodist University in 1948, Mr. Boller later became a well-respected member of the TCU community as a professor, researcher and friend.
“Even after his retirement, he remained active in the department, providing substantial financial support for our graduate students, presenting his books, as he continued to publish, even into his 90s, and being a beloved member of the community,” said Jodi Campbell, director of Undergraduate Studies and an associate professor in the TCU history department.
Other TCU faculty marveled at Mr. Boller’s commitment to TCU after his retirement.
“He lived close to campus and attended history department events, such as lectures by outside speakers,” said Kenneth Stevens, a professor in the history department. “He enjoyed the company of TCU faculty and students and spent a good deal of time with us.”
Mr. Boller also served as TCU’s first Lyndon Baines Johnson Chair of U.S. History, an endowed position designed for a professor who also takes time to devote to research. He also worked closely with doctoral students in the department.
He helped establish what is now called the Boller Symposium, a symposium on the american presidency, and a prize during Honors Week now called the Boller Prize.
“He supported and encouraged hundreds of students,” said Stevens.
Not only did he support students, but he made an impression on his colleagues as well.
“He was, to put it simply, one of the best human beings ever,” said Stevens. “He had hundreds of friends and admirers. He was generous, kind and one of the least pretentious persons one could ever meet.”
Mr. Boller wrote several books including, “Memoirs of an Obscure Professor”, “Presidential Campaigns”, “Presidential Anecdotes” and “Presidential Wives.”