Baylor Mourns Passing of Dr. Avery Sharp, Retired Dean of University Libraries

July 29, 2019

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-6275
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WACO, Texas (July 29, 2019) - Baylor University is mourning the passing of Avery T. Sharp, Ph.D., who served in several roles at Baylor, including assistant director of Moody Library, dean of University Libraries and reference librarian of Armstrong Browning Library, until his retirement in 2013. Dr. Sharp died July 25.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 30, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home, 6101 Bosque Blvd., with burial at Oakwood Cemetery.

Dr. Sharp earned his B.M.Ed. from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University), a master’s degree from Teacher’s College, Columbia University, while he taught public school music education on Long Island, and a second master’s degree in library science and his Ph.D. in choral and vocal music from the University of Iowa.

He and his wife, Pat Sharp, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Curriculum and Instruction, moved to Waco in 1979, so she could teach at Baylor in the School of Education. He worked at the Waco-McLennan County Library for two years and directed the choir at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit. In 1981, he began his career at Baylor as music librarian in Moody Library before serving in administrative roles in University Libraries and Armstrong Browning Library.

His colleagues in University Libraries shared these remembrances:

    “Dr. Sharp was a kind and compassionate servant leader and ably served the University in various roles. He was also an outstanding music scholar. He will be remembered and missed.” – John S. Wilson, interim dean of University Libraries

    “Avery Sharp’s passion for music and literature was an asset to the Armstrong Browning Library. While serving as reference librarian at the ABL, Avery was responsible for the growth of the library’s sheet music collection. He also produced a beautiful booklet on the ABL, which continues to serve as a guide to the library and its collections.” – Jennifer Borderud, assistant librarian and director of Armstrong Browning Library

    “Avery Sharp contributed significantly to Baylor, the Libraries and the School of Music through his unique perspective as a musician, librarian and researcher. His well-received guides to choral music and to church and worship music reflected his love of both as did his dedicated service as a church choir director.” – Kathy Hillman, associate professor, director of Baptist Collections and Library Advancement and director of the Keston Center for Religion, Politics and Society, University Libraries

The Sharps adopted four children from three countries, beginning in 1973, and loved their family, calling it the “Little United Nations.”

Dr. Sharp was preceded in death by his parents, and his daughter, Tiffany Heather Sharp.

His survivors include his wife, Pat; daughter, Hilary Rachel Sharp, and husband, Dr. Christopher Grant, of Waco, and their children, Patrick and Will; son, Robb Taylor Sharp, and wife, Elizabeth Stanley Sharp, of Dallas; and daughter, Hayley Dilyana Sharp of Waco.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Tiffany Heather Sharp Memorial Scholarship Fund at www.baylor.edu/give or Baylor University Gift Processing, One Bear Place #97050, Waco, Texas 76798-7050.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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