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RETIRED JUNIATA ENGLISH PROFESSOR RECEIVES HONORARY DEGREE AT COMMENCEMENT

(Posted April 19, 2001)

Dr. Esther Doyle, professor emerita of English at Juniata College, will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree May 13 at 2 p.m. during Juniata's 122nd commencement ceremony.

Doyle, a native of Boston, Mass., joined the Juniata faculty in 1944 as an instructor in English and taught theatre, speech and English for 30 years until her retirement in 1975. Dr. Doyle also performed dramatic readings and coordinated Juniata's theatre program throughout her career,

Dr. Doyle earned a bachelor's degree in literary interpretation from Emerson College in 1935. Prior to that she had earned an elementary education certificate from Boston Teachers College in 1929 and taught at Boston elementary schools from 1929 to 1934 and from 1935 to 1937. From 1937 to 1944, Dr. Doyle taught English at two high schools in New York.

She earned a master's degree in English literature from Boston University in 1940, returning to the university every summer while working as a teacher. In addition she attended various summer courses at the University of Denver, Harvard University, Columbia University and Northwestern University from 1943 to 1961. In 1964, she earned a doctorate degree from Northwestern University.

Dr. Doyle was intricately involved in nurturing the arts at Juniata. She oversaw Juniata's dramatic productions every academic year and sponsored the Masquers theater club until 1958. She directed many plays and gave dramatic readings locally. She also wrote theater criticism for several area newspapers, including the Huntingdon Daily News.

She also worked in professional theaters in Skowhegan, Maine and Cambridge, Mass. in 1941 and 1942 respectively. In 1965, she spent a summer directing plays at a professional theater in Raton, N.M.

In 1970, Dr. Doyle was named a Senior Humanist for the Woodrow Wilson Humanities Series, an arts tour that allowed her to travel throughout the country performing an interpretive reading of "A Man for All Seasons," by Robert Bolt, and other works. For much of her academic career, Dr. Doyle would tour for two weeks as a visiting professor of arts for the American Association of Colleges. She would perform an interpretive reading and teach workshops at various colleges around the country.

Dr. Doyle taught a course on the oral interpretation of literatures at Juniata for five years after her retirement. She received the Beachley Distinguished Teaching Award in 1973. In 1972, she co-edited a book on the oral interpretation of literature, "Studies of Interpretation."

She also continues to serve as a hospice volunteer in Huntingdon for the Home Nursing Agency.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.