Boston University Faculty Members Remembered
Harry H. Crosby
A College of General Studies professor of rhetoric, on July 28, 2010, at 91.
For more than 25 years, Crosby called the CGS department of rhetoric home. The department chair for 20 years and coauthor of several textbooks, Crosby loved to share his knowledge of words with students.
Born in New England, N.D., in 1919, Crosby earned a bachelor’s in chemistry in 1941 and a master’s in American literature and language in 1947, both at State University of Iowa, and a doctorate in American literature and language at Stanford University, in 1953.
He was a decorated World War II Air Force lieutenant colonel, who flew 37 missions overseas. Among his decorations were the Croix de Guerre from France, the Bronze Star, and the Distinguished Flying Cross, according to the Boston Globe. He later wrote A Wing and a Prayer (Harper-Collins, 1993), a book about the Eighth Army Air Force, for whom he was the lead navigator, during World War II.
Despite his military achievements, Crosby never mentioned his work to his colleagues. “His contemporaries among the faculty might have been aware of it, but younger faculty were not,” says Robert Wexelblatt, a CGS professor of humanities. “In fact, I only discovered his exploits around the time of his retirement.”
Crosby joined CGS in 1958 as an associate professor and later became chair of the division of rhetoric. In 1960, he took a two-year leave from BU to work as director of studies at the Pakistan Air Force College. He returned to BU in 1962 and continued to teach until his retirement in 1982.
Throughout his years of teaching, Crosby got to know many of his students. “Harry always had a lot to say about the students,” says Wexelblatt. “He required them to keep journals, which he read regularly. As a result, he was always thoroughly informed about the lives of his students.”
Crosby also was a political strategist, working on the congressional campaigns of Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and the late Rev. Robert F. Drinan and in the gubernatorial campaigns of Michael S. Dukakis, according to the Globe.
“Harry was a major factor in my being able to win,” Frank told the paper. “He was not only universally respected, but he was a very smart political strategist and a great gentleman. There was a quality of stability and respect about him.” ~Nicole Rojas (COM’12)
School of Management assistant dean of graduate admissions, on October 12, 2010, at 51.
Coworkers remember Estrada as not just a colleague, but a friend. John Chalykoff, an SMG professor and associate dean, says Estrada “was a beloved man in the halls of the School of Management—a professional, a friend, a self-deprecating person who was young at heart, with a broad sense of humor.” Chalykoff recalls Estrada’s infectious laugh and his smile, saying he was “an advocate for high achievement and diversity in the classes he admitted.”
Estrada, who is credited with working closely with MBA applicants to make sure that each student was a good fit, once said he looked for applicants “who have passion and fire in their bellies.” He encouraged prospective students to write about “what makes them different from other applicants, from a very personal point of view,” in their admission essays.
“One of his particularly important admissions initiatives,” says Chalykoff, “was an enhanced level of personal communications with applicants.”
“We have lost a very important member of our school leadership and community,” says Kenneth Freeman, SMG’s Allen Questrom Professor and Dean. “Hayden’s strategic thinking, his values, and his positive attitude were invaluable to our mission.”
Freeman says Estrada enhanced SMG’s graduate programs by “bringing ever more accomplished students” to the University.
Before coming to BU in 2004 as assistant dean of graduate admissions, Estrada was director of academic consulting at Productivity Management, a technology and consulting firm based in South Bend, Ind. Previously, he was director of MBA admissions at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, and Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Business.
After earning a BS in management from Johnson & Wales, Estrada went on to get an MBA from Babson College. At the time of his death, he was vice president, education, for the National Society of Hispanic MBAs. ~John O’Rourke
Burleigh H. Shibles (SED’69)
School of Education professor emeritus of education, on August 23, 2010, at 79.
Shibles was born in Bangor, Maine, in 1931 and knew from a young age that he wanted to be a teacher. He achieved that goal after graduating from high school, landing a teaching job at Clewleyville Rural School in Holden, Maine.
He graduated from Farmington State Teachers College in 1954, and, after serving in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956, he earned a Master of Science at the University of Maine, Orono.
Shibles started teaching in the Mallett Laboratory School at Farmington State Teachers College in fall 1957, where he was principal for a year. He later became an assistant professor of reading and language arts at the college.
After earning a doctorate at BU’s School of Education, Shibles joined the faculty, in 1969, and taught at SED for 26 years.
Throughout his career, Shibles was involved in various professional and academic organizations. He served as vice president of the Pi Lambda Theta International Honor Society and as president and vice president of the Alpha Gamma Chapter of Pi Lambda Theta at Boston University. He was also a member of the New England Reading Association, the International Reading Association, and the National Council of Teachers of English, among other organizations. ~Brittany Rehmer (COM’11)