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Retired professor Burckhardt dies at 64 of cardiac arrest He was first permanent chairman of modern foreign languages

Sept. 10, 1996


By Amy Priour

Lariat Staff Writer

Dr. Jochem Fritz Burckhardt, 64, a German professor and Master Teacher of German, died Saturday at a local hospital of cardiac arrest.

The son of the late Arthur and Ellen Burckhardt was born in Heidelberg, Germany, on June 29, 1932. Burckhardt graduated from the Humanistiches Gymnasium of Heidelberg. He attended the University of Mannheim, from which he received an advanced degree in economics and law, and did further studies at the universities of Cambridge, Heidelberg and Madrid before earning a master's degree in German Language at Southern Methodist University, according to a Waco Tribune-Herald obituary.

Burckhardt held positions in Germany as an economist for several German and U.S. companies before becoming a professor at Baylor.

Burckhardt had recently retired from his tenure of thirty-six years at Baylor, a career in which he held the posts of chair of the German department and the first permanent chairman of the modern foreign language department. He held this title for nine years before being designated a 'Master Teacher' at Baylor.

Burckhardt was a fundamental player in the development of several innovative foreign language programs, including the University's popular intensive summer language program.

Although his major interests were Goethe's Faust and 19th- and 20th-century German literature, he taught a wide variety of courses. For a number of years, he taught in Baylor's study-abroad programs in Austria and Germany, according to the Tribune-Herald.

'We're all saddened by his death,' said Dr. Manuel Ortuno, chairman of the modern foreign language department. 'He made a tremendous contribution to German and modern foreign language while he was a professor and chairman of the department.'

Burckhardt is survived by his wife, Chris, who has taught along with Burckhardt through the years in the modern foreign language department; his son Rolf, daughter-in-law Karen and granddaughter Monica, of Arlington heights, Ill.; his son Marc and daughter-in-law Janice, of Austin; and an extended family in Germany, according to the Tribune-Herald.

Funeral services will be today at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church at 11th Street and Austin Avenue.

Memorials may be made to the Jochem and Chris Burckhardt German Scholarship Fund, care of Baylor University.

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