Rod Library--Special Collections
William A. Brindley
Professor W. A. Brindley Dies
William A. Brindley, a man who valued the friendship of his students and the benefit of general speech and debate work to those students even greater than he valued the victories won on the forensic platform, died Monday evening, May 1, 1933, at the University Hospital at Iowa City where he had gone for treatment after a period of illness.
Hundreds of students can testify to the human qualities this teacher possessed, and scores of debate coaches in Iowa high schools who had their training under Mr. Brindley can give proof of the excellence of his teaching methods. Professor Brindley was known alike by students, faculty members, and townfolk as a plain, simple, lovable man.
He was born in Boscobel, Wisconsin, August 27, 1881. He received the Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1907, and was awarded the Master of Science Degree from Iowa State College in 1918. During the summer term of 1931 he did post-graduate work at Wisconsin University. He came to the Teachers College in the fall of 1927, after having served as English and speech instructor in the Fort Dodge High School and as dean of the Fort Dodge Junior College.
During his service at Teachers College, Mr. Brindley built up the speech work to a point where his students were actively participating in dozens of debates each year. In one year, his students participated in approximately sixty debates. It was Mr. Brindley's belief that every student in his debate classes should have an opportunity to participate in an actual forensic contest, and instead of selecting a few superior students to represent the College in all intercollegiate contests, he made it a point to see that every student participated sometime during the year. Many a student found himself by this method, and Professor Brindley discovered superior ability in many students who approached their first contest "with fear and trembling." In this way, his teams won many victories, and the contestants won greater victories over the opponents of timidity and ineffectiveness in speech.
Under Mr. Brindley's direction, the first international debate was held at the College. A team from Cambridge University, England, came to Teachers College in 1930, one from Oxford College in 1931, and a team from Trinity College, of Dublin, Ireland, in 1932.
Mr. Brindley was sponsor of Delta Sigma Rho, national honorary speech fraternity, and the Hamilton Club. In addition to his speech work, he taught classes in English composition.
Professor Brindley is survived by his wife, Marie Pauline Albert, whom he married at Holcomb, Wisconsin, in 1905, as well as by his three sons and two daughters. Thomas lives at Moscow, Idaho, and John, Robert. Harriett, and Mary Jane, are living with their mother at Cedar Falls. Harriett received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Teachers College in 1930, and John was graduated with the Bachelor of Arts degree in the Commencement exercises this May.
Adapted from an article in the Alumnus, July 1933, Page 13.