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In Memoriam: Dr. Patricia Van Metre, Irving Burgie

In Memoriam: Dr. Patricia Van Metre

Dr. Patricia Van Metre was a force of nature on the University of Arizona campus. She was a sought-after administrator, who served in leadership roles for the Extended University, College of Academic Affairs, the Graduate College and the College of Fine Arts. Pat died on June 5, 2019. She was 87.

“She was famous on this campus,” said Jory Hancock, Director of the School of Dance. “She was a stunningly brilliant administrator, especially in the eyes of President Henry Koffler and Provost Nils Hasselmo, and certainly was treasured by other administrations that followed.”

As the Acting Dean for College of Fine Arts, Pat inherited a $18 million renovation and expansion project for the Fine Arts facilities in the early 1990s, during a time of budget cuts.

Judy Bassnett, who was hired by Pat as Acting Associate Dean and served as a coordinator on the project, remembers a determined Dean Van Metre fighting for the arts.

“Pat would not allow them to cut one square foot from the design,” Bassnett writes. “When I attend an Arizona Repertory Theatre production in Tornabene or a concert in Holsclaw or Marroney or walk into the Gross Gallery I always look about at the four corners, the ceilings, the space … I remember what a fight Pat Van Metre made for it all … for a college she had no degree in, but for the love she held for the arts, faculty and students.”

>> Pat’s Arizona Daily Star obituary

As noted in the Arizona Daily Star obituary, “Pat was a fiercely independent woman and truly ahead of her time” in the world of academics. She earned three degrees at the University of Arizona.

  • Bachelor of Sciences in Business Administration on May 27, 1953, with Distinction
  • Master of Education in Elementary Education on Sept. 1, 1963
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Elementary Education on Dec. 31, 1972

From 1972-1995, Pat served as an Assistant (then Associate) Professor of Speech Communications, Associate Professor of Drama and finally as an Associate Professor in Theatre Arts. She also was called upon to work on various committees, like the Committee of Graduate Study, and boards; she was a lifetime member of the Dance Advisory Board. Many on campus turned to Pat for her leadership skills to solve problems.

In the late 1980s-early 1990s, Pat served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Acting Dean for the College of Fine Arts and Interim Dean for the Graduate College. She retired in 1995 and was wooed back to lead the University of Arizona Extended University as Interim Dean for 2003-04.

“Pat was a mentor and long-time friend to me,” said Georgia Ehlers, Director of Fellowships and Community Outreach for the Graduate College. “She was appreciated for her ability to keep things moving ahead and was very savvy about the inner workings of the institution.

“Pat was very dedicated to the concept of establishing a development board for the Graduate College. She was very supportive of the development work and extensive grant writing to support students, faculty and underserved students.“

In Memoriam: Irving Burgie

The man who wrote the calypso classic, “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song),” Irving Burgie, died Nov. 29, 2019 at 95. Considered one of the greatest composers of Caribbean music, Burgie attended classes at the Fred Fox School of Music in 1948-49, after serving in World War II in an all-black U.S. Army battalion.

Using the G.I. Bill, Burgie explored music education, initially taking night classes in his hometown at Brooklyn College, then the Julliard School in Manhattan, before venturing west to study at the University of Arizona, majoring in voice.

Burgie composed eight of the 11 songs on Harry Belafonte’s 1956 “Calypso” album, which became the first LP to sell over one million copies and spent 31 weeks atop the Billboard Top Album charts. Burgie-penned classics on the album included “Day-O,” “Jamaica Farewell” (The Banana Boat Song), and “I Do Adore Her.”

From The New York Times obituary published Dec. 1, 2019:

“Mr. Burgie had begun to establish a music career before his association with Mr. Belafonte, performing at clubs like the Blue Angel in Chicago in 1953 and the Village Vanguard in New York in 1954. In the calypso tradition of adopting a flamboyant stage name, he became — at the suggestion of Max Gordon, the Vanguard’s owner — Lord Burgess.

“If there were an aristocracy in the world of calypso,” the critic Robert Shelton wrote in The New York Times in 1968, reviewing a concert by Lord Burgess at Carnegie Hall, where he performed with a six-piece band and a dancing chorus, “Lord Burgess would be one of the reigning figures.”

His songs sold over 100 million records worldwide. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007.

>> Songwriters Hall of Fame bio

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2 days ago
Arizona Arts

Congrats Sadie Shaw (BFA, 2019, Art & Visual Culture Education).

We are proud of you. Good luck with your new role.

Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona
University of Arizona School of Art
Arizona Alumni🌟 Please join us in welcoming Sadie Shaw to the Arts Foundation team as the Community Design Manager!

Sadie will lead SaludArte, a new private public partnership between Pima County Health Department (PCHD) and the Arts Foundation.

Sadie is an artist, art educator, oral historian, community organizer and Governing Board Member of the Tucson Unified School District.

To learn more about Sadie and her new role as the Community Design Manager, click the link below!

artsfoundtucson.org/welcome-to-the-team-sadie-shaw/
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Congrats Sadie Shaw (BFA, 2019,  Art & Visual Culture Education). 

We are proud of you. Good luck with your new role.

Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona
University of Arizona School of Art
Arizona Alumni
2 days ago
Arizona Arts

The world premiere of LUTE, an inspiring documentary of the legendary The University of Arizona basketball coach Lute Olson, is this Friday at 5:30p at Centennial Hall.

Relive the 1997 NCAA title run on its 25th anniversary!

Directed by UA School of Theatre, Film & Television alumnus Brett Rapkin (BA 2000).

azart.fyi/LUTEtix

Presented by Podium Pictures, in association with CBS Sports, this definitive documentary by Emmy Award-winning Director Brett Rapkin celebrates the legendary Coach Lute Olson on the 25th Anniversary of the 1997 National Championship.

“Not long after I showed up in Tucson as a 17-year-old freshman, I got to witness Lute lead the 1997 Cats to the promised land: a National Championship,” said Rapkin, who studied film at TFTV. “It is truly an honor to have the chance to help tell this story.”

“I’m thrilled to be a member of the team making a film celebrating Coach O’s life and legacy,” said Jason Terry, executive producer and member of the 1997 championship team. “This is also a special opportunity to allow the coaches, fans, players and families that he inspired along the way to tell their own stories.”

#lute #BearDown #RiseWithUs

Arizona Men's Basketball | Arizona Alumni | Arizona Athletics | Arizona A-Club Letterwinners | AZ Desert Swarm | Arizona Arts Live
... See MoreSee Less

The world premiere of LUTE, an inspiring documentary of the legendary The University of Arizona basketball coach Lute Olson, is this Friday at 5:30p at Centennial Hall.

Relive the 1997 NCAA title run on its 25th anniversary!

Directed by UA School of Theatre, Film & Television alumnus Brett Rapkin (BA 2000).
 
https://azart.fyi/LUTEtix
 
Presented by Podium Pictures, in association with CBS Sports, this definitive documentary by Emmy Award-winning Director Brett Rapkin celebrates the legendary Coach Lute Olson on the 25th Anniversary of the 1997 National Championship.
 
“Not long after I showed up in Tucson as a 17-year-old freshman, I got to witness Lute lead the 1997 Cats to the promised land: a National Championship,” said Rapkin, who studied film at TFTV. “It is truly an honor to have the chance to help tell this story.”
 
“I’m thrilled to be a member of the team making a film celebrating Coach O’s life and legacy,” said Jason Terry, executive producer and member of the 1997 championship team. “This is also a special opportunity to allow the coaches, fans, players and families that he inspired along the way to tell their own stories.”

#lute #BearDown #RiseWithUs

Arizona Mens Basketball | Arizona Alumni | Arizona Athletics | Arizona A-Club Letterwinners | AZ Desert Swarm | Arizona Arts Live

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Miss you Lute 💙

3 days ago
Arizona Arts

Five students were selected as the inaugural JustArts Fellows, an Arizona Arts equity initiative to advance diversity and inclusion in the arts by asking student leaders to identify challenges and propose creative solutions.

🔗 azart.fyi/JustArts22

The inaugural cohort includes:

Dylan Crites
>> UA School of Theatre, Film & Television
Carlos Garcia Ramirez
>> The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music
Dorthea Stephenson
>> The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music
Ariana Aquino
>> The University of Arizona School of Dance
Joshua Barbre
>> The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music
... See MoreSee Less

Five students were selected as the inaugural JustArts Fellows, an Arizona Arts equity initiative to advance diversity and inclusion in the arts by asking student leaders to identify challenges and propose creative solutions. 

🔗 https://azart.fyi/JustArts22

The inaugural cohort includes: 

Dylan Crites
>> UA School of Theatre, Film & Television
Carlos Garcia Ramirez
>> The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music
Dorthea Stephenson
>> The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music
Ariana Aquino
>> The University of Arizona School of Dance
Joshua Barbre
>> The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music
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