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Estate Gift Honors Popular Professor

The late David Groner was so beloved by his students that they coronated him—literally—at his retirement in 1991.

That he relished wearing the makeshift crown like a king came as no surprise to those who knew Groner during his 27 years as a communication assistant professor.

“Students and everyone enjoyed Dave because he was fun and unpredictable and a joy to be around,” says Jean Coulter ’72, who worked in the Communication Department from 1980-2010 and was a student of Groner’s. “He always had a twinkle in his eye and seemed to be looking for a way to bring a smile to your face.”

Groner died in 1996 in Littleton, Colo., where he had lived since retiring. Prior to joining the UT Arlington faculty, he taught at Penn State University and Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. He owned a business that made plastic containers and clips, which he sold at flea markets and retail outlets.

But teaching was his passion.

“Dave thoroughly enjoyed UTA and the relationships he developed with students,” says longtime friend and colleague Elwood Preiss, who served in numerous administrative roles during his 35 years at UTA. “He was truly one of those people who loved what he did.”

To honor his legacy, Groner’s wife, Mary, established the David E. Groner Endowed Scholarship with a bequest from their estate. The scholarship assists students pursuing degrees with a concentration in speech communication. Mary died last year.

“She was very mindful of Dave’s commitment to UTA,” says Preiss, who is executor of the estate. “She thought the endowment would be a fitting tribute to his many years of dedicated service.”