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Memorial set for longtime Towson educator

Friday - 8/17/2012, 12:34pm  ET

hauserman2.jpg
Dr. Billy D. Hauserman was known for his storytelling. He is survived by two former wives, five children and a host of grandchildren. (Courtesy of Hauserman family)

Colleen Kelleher, wtop.com

TOWSON, Md. - A memorial service will be held Saturday night for a well-loved educator who spent 33 years at Towson University, including a decade as the dean of the College of Education.

Dr. Billy D. "Doc" Hauserman died May 26 of complications from dementia at Gilchrist Hospice Center in Towson. He was 82.

Hauserman, a full-time professor, served as Towson's dean of education between 1969 and 1979, and retired as professor emeritus, dean of education in 1998.

Hauserman, a world traveler with an infectious laugh and a steadfast nature, touched the lives of many students as Towson State College grew into Towson State University. (The school would later change its name to Towson University.) It was during his time at Towson that the university, known back then for its teaching college, saw enrollment rates dramatically increase. Many who pursued education degrees at Towson would become public school teachers across Maryland.

A blog about Hauserman's life and career put together by his youngest son, Jesse, tells how Hauserman was "enticed" in 1965 to move to Baltimore to join Project Mission, a program where Baltimore-area colleges worked in the city's school system to "improve race relations and encourage educational growth in Baltimore's inner city schools."

While dean, Hauserman - whose home sat across the street from the university - helped design Hawkins Hall, which houses Towson's education department. Built in 1977, the hall is named for Earle Taylor Hawkins, the school's eighth president who oversaw Towson's transition from a teachers college to a liberal arts institution.

Adjunct graduate professor Tana L. Hill, who teaches at Towson 26 years after sitting in Hauserman's classroom, describes Hauserman as "a man who reached out to students while pushing them beyond the limits they imposed upon themselves."

"I recall entering his class as an undergraduate seeking dual certification in both elementary and early childhood education. The focus of the class outcome was to have us reach outside of ourselves and enter the life of the child through understanding their learning styles. My peers at the time reacted, for the most part, negatively. It was the beginning of a change in our practice and there were many who fought the challenge," she writes on the family's blog.

"Dr. Hauserman proceeded undaunted and steadfast with both kindness and humor. He was devoted and encouraging which worked to the benefit of those who remained in the class with him. The course content was delivered sensitively and provided a true epiphany for me."

The memorial for Hauserman will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, at the university's Auburn House off Osler Drive.

"We hope those who knew Dr. Hauserman will attend to celebrate his life with his family and friends," writes Susan Turnbaugh with Towson University in an announcement to the community.

A memorial fund in Hauserman's honor has been established with the Towson University Foundation.

Contributions may be made to the Dr. Billy D. Hauserman Memorial Fund on the Towson University Foundation's website by choosing "other" from the drop-down menu of "I'd like to support" and indicating "Dr. Billy D. Hauserman Memorial Fund" in the comments box.

Contributions by check may be made to the Towson University Foundation, with "Dr. Billy D. Hauserman Memorial Fund" written on the check's memo line. They may be sent to the following address:

Towson University Foundation
P.O. Box 17165
Baltimore, Md. 21297-0219.

Editor's Note: Colleen Kelleher knew Dr. Hauserman for more than 30 years.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)