Campus remembers professors

Two previous faculty members, former Optometry Dean William R. Baldwin, O.D. and professor emeritus James R. Benbrook, have passed away at the ages of 87 and 75, respectively. The UH flag flew at half-mast last week in memory of Baldwin.

Baldwin, Optometry dean from 1979 to 1990, was inducted to the Optometry Hall of Fame in 2011.

The University of Houston College of Optometry “took critical steps toward becoming a recognized vision research center under Baldwin’s leadership,” according to a UH press release.

He served as the executive director and later chairman for the board of directors of the River Blindness Foundation, an organization established in 1989 in Africa to help fight river blindness. He also assisted in forming optometry schools in Poland, Nigeria, Israel and Sri Lanka.

Benbrook served two terms as chair of the University’s physics department. He conducted research including studying cosmic ray intensity as a member of the UH Space Physics Group, and was the Undergraduate Studies Committee Chair.

He received the UH Provost’s Core Teaching Excellence Award in 2008 before his retirement, “in recognition of his outstanding teaching.”

Benbrook was a UH sports fan and served as faculty representative to the NCAA and chair of the UH Athletic Advisory Board.

Those who wish to make contributions in Baldwin’s honor may donate to the  Dr. William R. Baldwin Scholarship at the UH College of Optometry.

Those wanting to make donations in Benbrook’s honor may contribute to the Alzheimer’s Association, Parkinson’s Society, the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or the UH College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

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