Baylor Mourns Death of Beloved History Professor

April 9, 2010

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Baylor University is mourning the death of one of its most beloved faculty members, Robert L. Reid, Professor Emeritus of History and Master Teacher. Reid passed away April 8 at the age of 88.

Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 15, at Grace Gardens Funeral Home, 8220 Woodway Dr. in Waco. A public graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, April 16, at Oakwood Cemetery in Waco.

Reid, who retired from full-time instruction in 1992 after a 45-year teaching career at Baylor, was recognized as one of the leading historians on the university.

A native of El Paso, Reid's family had been closely tied to Baylor since its existence at Independence. His great-grandfather taught mathematics on the first campus and was influential in the early development of Waco University. Reid's grandfather was in the first graduating class of Baylor at Waco in 1887, and several other family members also have received their education at Baylor.

In 1982, Reid was designated as a Master Teacher, the most prestigious honor for any Baylor faculty member, based on a survey of graduates who were asked to name professors who had the greatest impact on them. (You can share your favorite memory of Professor Reid through the Baylor Proud web site at

Reid served as chair of the history department from 1977-92, maintaining a regular class schedule and heavy administrative load. He also served as adviser to the Baylor Chamber of Commerce, Baylor's oldest service organization, and was a namesake for one of Baylor's bear mascots. He also was a longtime fixture at the Baylor Ring Ceremony, where he gave a historical review of the ring emblems.

On May 17, 1997, the university honored Reid during commencement with an honorary doctor of letters degree. He also was the namesake of the Robert L. Reid Award for Distinguished Teaching, which recognizes the Baylor professor who makes outstanding contributions in instruction in the humanities.

Reid was born April 1, 1922. After serving in World War II, he completed his undergraduate studies at Texas Western (now the University of Texas at El Paso.) He received a master of arts degree from Baylor in 1947.

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