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D. Alan Harris, Former Professor Emeritus, Remembered for Passion and Devotion

By Noell Saunders

David Alan Harris, a former Professor Emeritus for the Department of History, died April 7 at the age of 87.

Harris was with Old Dominion University for 34 years before retiring in 1997.

He graduated in 1951 from Auburn University, formerly called Alabama Polytechnic Institute, with a Bachelor of Science degree and in 1957 with a master's in history. Harris then attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received his doctorate and met his wife, Anne Barber. Barber also taught for many years at Old Dominion University before her death in 2006.

During his time at the University, Harris taught a variety of American history courses and was promoted to associate professor in 1973. He also served twice as chair on the History Department's advisory council; served as chair on the dean's advisory council; and was a parliamentarian in the Faculty Senate.

Austin Jersild, chair of the Department of History, remembers Harris for his passion for teaching and devotion to students.

"He was very much appreciated by the students. He had a sense of humor and an easy going presence that was well known along the hallways of BAL (Batten Arts and Letters College)," Jersild said.

Harris is preceded in death by both of his parents and his wife. He is survived by a sister; his daughter; two granddaughters; two great-granddaughters; and a host of other family members.

A memorial service will be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Norfolk on Tuesday, April 18 at 2 p.m.

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