William S. Livingston, an educator and scholar who served as acting president for the University of Texas' flagship campus, passed away this morning at the age of 93.
Livingston joined the university in 1949 as a political science instructor. Before retiring from UT nearly 60 years later, he amassed an impressive string of positions on campus, including Chairman of the Government Department, Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs for the UT System, and Chairman of the Comparative Studies Program.
He served as Acting President of the University of Texas at Austin during the 1993 fall semester, before going on to serve as Senior Vice President from 1995 to 2007. Livingston was also instrumental in developing the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and the James A. Michener Center for Writers. You can read a full accounting of Livingston’s career.
To generations of Longhorns, Livingston was best known as the voice of TEX, the university’s Telephone Enrollment Exchange, a touch-tone system that allowed students to add and drop classes – not to mention learn their grades for the semester. Countless nervous students hung on Livingston’s voice, until TEX was retired in 2005. (Here’s a brief clip of what course registration was like pre-Internet.)
In a statement, UT President Bill Powers said “Bill Livingston embodied all the best qualities of a university leader: erudition, eloquence, sweeping vision, warmth and good humor. The University of Texas is a better place for his lifetime of service. He was an inspiration to generations of Longhorns, and we all will miss him.”
Memorial service information has not been released at this time.