The University mourns the passing of Spanish professor emeritus Manuel Jato Macias, who died on Sunday, March 19, just shy of his 87th birthday. A 1951 alumnus of the University, Manuel was a man of tremendous loyalty, influence, affability, scholarship, and love of language, easily one of the most beloved professors to teach on The Bluff. His funeral will be held on Monday, March 28, at 11 a.m., at Holy Cross Catholic Church, near the UP campus.
Macias began his tenure when the Engineering building was the newest structure on campus, and went on to a career that spanned 40 years. He served as department chair, president of the Faculty Association (where he famously announced “I now assume the presidency of the Faculty Association, and promise to raise it to new heights of mediocrity!”), and as advisor, mentor, friend, and confidante to countless students.
In 1963 Macias received the Culligan Award, the highest honor bestowed by the University on its faculty members, for outstanding teaching. In 1959-60 Macias traveled to England as a Fulbright exchange professor; he was given a Shell Grant Research Award in 1965; he was listed in the Directory of American Scholars; he was appointed a member of the Madrid Advisory Council of Central College in 1969; he served as president of the Oregon chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese from 1967 to 1969. Later in his career he was named Teacher of the Year by that association, in 1986 and 1987; in 1994 he received the Alexander Christie award from the University of Portland, and that same year he was named Outstanding Foreign Language Teacher by the Confederation of Oregon Foreign Language Teachers. He retired finally, a beloved, sometimes beleaguered language scholar, in 1995. Among his many gifts to the University he loved: nine full scholarships, named for his parents and brother and friends.
Our prayers and condolences to Manolo’s many friends, colleagues, and family.