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Mr. Greer

June 2016

by Michael O’Brien

A pillar of the architecture community of Texas is being laid to rest this week. Mr. Greer was long established in practice, education, administration, and as the historian of our community of educators at Texas A&M.

I only knew him a few years; I remember him as one of the stern faces in the front row when I interviewd at A&M. I couldn’t read his face, and didn’t know if my talk was doing well or failing.

It turned out well, and a few months after I settled in, he mentioned that he thought hiring more licensed architects to teach was a good thing. As an administrator trying to learn the system there, I could see he had been slowly marginalized by succeeding generations of faculty; we restored his courses, but they weren’t  completely successful. He retired not completely happy but fully committed to the university and its future.

I probably see a bit of myself in his last years and wonder if I will accept the little indignities of aging in the university as well as he did.

I’m a few thousand miles away today trying to update my knowledge, to have some quiet moments in beautiful gardens with the one who holds my heart, so I won’t be at the service to say goodbye, but I have him in my thoughts as he is laid to rest.

Amid cathedrals and palaces that have endured hundreds of years, Mr. Greer stands out as a maker of architects and a shaper of our profession, something harder to take pictures of but maybe more enduring.

Remember your teachers today; they helped make you what you are.