Beloved CCFA Faculty Retire
After four decades of service and dedication, two University of Memphis professors retired-Dr. Carol Crown, professor in the Department of Art, and David Acey, assistant professor in the Department of Communication.
First Tennessee Professor of Art History, Crown celebrated 40 years of distinguished service this year at her retirement. In addition to her years as a professor. she served as department chair from 1982 to 1992. During that time. she established the Dorothy Kayser Hohenberg Chair of Excellence in Art History and founded the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology.
In the field of art history. she achieved the reputation as a leading scholar of contemporary folk art for her publications on Southern self-taught artists and her vision for the exhibition ·coming Home! Self-Taught Artists. the Bible and the American South." which opened in 2004 at the Art Museum of the University of Memphis.
The show traveled to Florida State University and then to New York City, as the opening exhibition for the new Museum of Biblical Art. Equally important were her contributions to the University including chair of the Faculty Senate and to the Department of Art. as undergraduate art history advisor and dedicated teacher.
David L. Acey, Sr., assistant professor of African American Rhetoric and lnterracial Communication. began his teaching career in 1972. During that time, he served as director of African American Studies in the University College. He also designed several African American Communication courses currently taught in the Department of Communication.
Acey dedicated most of his professional life and academic career to improving the status of African Americans in higher education. His focus has been to provide knowledge, information and strategies to encourage participation in public life and improve inter-group communication and race relations from a multicultural perspective.
As a result of his philosophy and personal commitment to race relations and diversity, he developed a curriculum designed to increase appreciation and understanding. as well as encourage mutual/identity between groups. organizations. races and individuals. In keeping with that philosophy, Acey established the non-profit organization Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival, Inc., which sponsors year round activities and a yearly festival in April designed to celebrate the arts, history, culture and diversity of the African Diaspora. The festival will have its 30th anniversary in 2016.
In the community, Acey has been heavily involved in the local civil issues involving blacks. His involvement dates as far back as his days as a student. having started at then Memphis State University in 1965. At that time, his involvement in campus life was minimal because black students weren't allowed to fully participate in campus life. He was determined to make a difference and became a leader of the Black Student Association.
Dedicated to the cause, Acey was part of the Memphis State 109 who staged a sit-in
at President C.C. Humphreys' office. They were peaceably arrested and most later released
after the NAACP provided legal counsel. The efforts of the BSA during that time led
to higher black student enrollment and an increased number of black faculty, as well
as fraternity integration and black
involvement on campus.
As a testament to his distinguished efforts, Acey received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Award in 1976.