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Institute of Oral History gives McCall transcripts

Jan. 30, 1997

Jennifer Paschal/ The Baylor LariatFriends look on as Mary McCall, widow of former University president Abner McCall, accepts historic transcripts given in her husband's honor by the Institute of Oral History.

By Tamara Waite and

Lori Lenarduzzi

Lariat Reporters

The University Institute for Oral History presented transcripts of a series of interviews with the late Judge Abner McCall to his widow, Mary McCall, Wednesday afternoon. Rebecca Sharpless, director of the Institute for Oral History, introduced the memoirs at the presentation.

'We are extremely pleased to have this series for the Texas Collection and to present it to the family of Abner McCall,' Sharpless said.

The interviews with the University's 10th president were conducted between 1972 and 1994. They filled 36 hours of tape and 924 pages of text.

Sharpless said the interviews were organized sporadically throughout this 22 year period, with the majority of them conducted after McCall assumed the role of University chancellor in 1981.

The interviews with the University administrator explore a variety of topics related to his personal life and professional duties as the University's president, chancellor and president emeritus.

At the presentation, Dr. Donald Schmeltekopf, University provost and vice president for academic affairs, expressed his appreciation for McCall's accomplishments.

'This series reflects the many years of the public service of Abner McCall,' Schmeltekopf said.

Subjects discussed include McCall's childhood as an orphan living in the Fort Worth Masonic Home, his experiences as a special agent with the FBI, his thoughts on the University football program and various other topics.

'Judge McCall had a marvelous ability to tell stories and had a wonderful memory,'

Sharpless said.

The interviews also include candid discussions with McCall about University-related controversies such as fundamentalist attacks on the University, the resignation of former University theater director Paul Baker and the Playboy magazine controversy in the early 1980s.

The McCall interviews can be found in the reading room of The Texas Collection in Carroll Library.

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