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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Late UA professor remembered through park dedicated in his name

Kaite Fletcher
People sit during the dedication ceremony of Christopher Franklin Carroll Centenniel Park on Feb 12. Carroll was an english professor and Chaucer scholar at the UA.

On Friday, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will join the City of Tucson Department of Transportation, Parks and Recreation and the El Presidio Neighborhood Association to dedicate the Centennial Park in honor of the late Christopher Franklin Carroll.

Carroll was a distinguished professor of English at the UA and a scholar of medieval literature. He taught at the university from 1965 until his retirement in 2006.

Throughout his years as a professor, Carroll touched many lives of those at the university with his teaching. UA Distinguished Professor of English Jerrold Hogle remembers Carroll and the legacy he left the school.

“He was a colleague for many years. We were assigned the same office together and we became very good friends,” Hogle said. “He was quite generous with his time and support. He was a great teacher. He really devoted himself to his students’ welfare.”

Carroll was a legendary teacher to many students in his time at the university. Susan Aiken, distinguished professor of English and Carroll’s wife , recalls his character while teaching at the UA.

“In a file compiled when he was named distinguished professor in the mid-1990s, students attested to his brilliance in the classroom,” Aiken said. “He could dramatize Chaucer’s Middle English poetry so vividly that some students declared he might well be channeling Chaucer.”

In his personal time, Carroll was a part of the historic preservation in El Presidio and a leader of the revitalization of downtown Tucson.

UA English professor Lawrence Evers said that Carroll was heavily involved in promoting Tucson’s artists and bringing forth the Dinnerware building, which became home to the Dinnerware Artists Cooperative .

Renaming a park is a selective process that had to be approved by the Parks and Recreation Commission. Sierra Davenport, Tucson Parks and Recreation community promotions and marketing manager, said that Carroll’s close ties to the community helped the approval process go smoothly.

“The city has a process to go through to rename parks and Centennial Park was approved by the Parks and Recreation Commission due to Christopher Carroll’s close involvement in that community and with the development of the park,” Davenport said.

The dedication of Centennial Park to Carroll is a memorable event that honors a beloved member of the Tucson and UA community.

“I am overjoyed about the park dedication. [Carroll] cared deeply about Tucson and worked hard to help the downtown thrive while preserving its history,” said Alison Deming, a UA English professor. “Having a place in town at which to remember and thank him is fitting. He beamed with joy in living. I am grateful for this park.”

Follow Laurel Reisch on Twitter.

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