Farewell, Professor Lence

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The Chronicle runs a story about the recent passing of Professor Ross Lence of the University of Houston. Lence was a master teacher and a true gentleman-scholar who profoundly influenced thousands of students over the years, including local blogger/attorney Tom Kirkendall, former Councilmember Orlando Sanchez, current Councilmember Michael Berry, and this humble blogger.

Here is an excerpt from the story:

In addition to the numerous teaching awards he received at UH, Lence was recognized in 1987 by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation for teaching excellence in the state of Texas.

He also taught for more than 20 years at the Women’s Institute of Houston.

The Good Doctor, Ross Lence

“Teaching was so important to him,” said Lawrence Curry, professor emeritus in UH’s Department of History.


Some former students said Lence was also known for his generosity, helping young people get money for their educations and attending funerals of their relatives.

Jim Tyler recalled that when his mother was ill with pancreatic cancer in 1975, Lence visited her in the hospital and taught her ancient Greek political thought. After she died, he said, Lence delivered a Socratic dialogue at her funeral.

“He was just a man who always cared about everyone and would give even when he didn’t have more to give, whether of his time or his money,” said Tyler, who took classes from Lence from 1972-75. “When there was somebody in need, Ross would be there.”

Professor Lence will not soon be forgotten. Farewell, Good Doctor.

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Kevin Whited is co-founder and publisher of blogHOUSTON. Follow him on twitter: @PubliusTX