In Memoriam – Dr. Coleen Crissom

Apr 30, 2024 | Margaret's Musings

I recently returned to San Antonio, Texas to attend the memorial service of Dr. Coleen Grissom. She was a legend at Trinity University in her capacities as English professor and university administrator. I took every English class that she offered in my four years at Trinity, from Continental Novel to Women in Fiction. Dr. Grissom required us to read a novel a week and write a paper on it. Fortunately, I entered the university in the second half of her 60 years of service because her previous students were required to read a novel a week and take a test on the book the following week.

Dean Grissom was the rare combination of inspiration, wisdom, wit, energy, veracity, love and rigor and she inspired all of us to give our best. Our best was seldom good enough. This past Christmas, just before her 90th birthday, I assured her that she would receive a signed copy of House of Honor. Sadly, her contribution to our world ended before the novel landed on her book stacked nightstand.

Thank you Coleen Grissom for crafting me into a writer and a writing teacher. Your legacy lives on in the words of your students, their students and your own. Rest assured, in this latest effort I’ve tried to “eschew obfuscation” and embrace “simplicity, lucidity and euphony.” I’m forever grateful to you, dear mentor and friend.