Saturday, December 08, 2001

Obituary: Aldrich Kossuth Paul, led department at UC

WWII vet, university president was a lifelong educator

By Rebecca Billman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LOVELAND — Aldrich Kossuth “Al” Paul, retired president of Upper Iowa University and former head of the speech and theater arts department at the University of Cincinnati, died of cancer Dec. 1.

        Dr. Paul, 79, held a Ph.D. in speech communication and education from the University of Denver. UC hired him in 1964 to head its new speech and theater department.

        During his tenure Showboat Majestic Theater, which presented its first summer season in 1968, was brought to UC.

        F. Paul Rutledge, director of the theater from 1964 to 1984, applied Oscar Hammerstein's description of a successful producer as a “rare, paradoxical genius” to Dr. Paul.

        Born in Dallas County, Iowa, he grew up on a farm and graduated from Waukee High School.

        He earned a debate scholarship to the University of Iowa, but left school to serve in the Army Infantry during World War II. He received three Bronze Stars and a unit citation. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1947 and received a master's degree from Drake University in Des Moines in 1951 and a doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Denver in 1954.

        Dr. Paul taught English and speech at Eldora (Iowa) High School and speech and drama at Ames (Iowa) High School before entering the doctoral program and becoming a teaching assistant at the University of Denver.

        While there, he served as production manager of KLZ television in Denver and was director of the Denver Production Co. during the summers of 1952-54.

        Before coming to UC, he was assistant professor and director of forensics at Iowa State University and professor and chair of the speech department at Municipal University of Omaha, Neb.

        Dr. Paul also wrote Speech Management, published by Brown Publishing Co. in 1961, as well as many articles dealing with speech communication, management and higher education.

        He left UC in 1970 to become president of Upper Iowa University, fulfilling a lifelong goal. He retired in 1977.

        Survivors include Mary Ellen Gaedke Paul, his wife of 55 years; two sons, Michael Aldrich Paul and Jeffrey John Paul, both of Mason; a sister, Betty Dieken of Grundy Center, Iowa; five grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

        A graveside service is 9 a.m. today at Hill Cemetery, Mason-Montgomery Road in Mason, followed by a reception from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Anne Episcopal Church, 6461 Tylersville Road in West Chester.

        Memorials: Vitas Hospice Care, c/o Vitas Health Care Corp., 11500 Northlake Park Drive, Cincinnati 45249.


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