In Memoriam: Paul Daum
Paul Daum, 66, a driving force behind establishing the Ohio Valley Regional Section of USITT, died March 4, 2005, of an apparent heart attack.
Mr. Daum was the longest serving active faculty member at The University of Akron (UA). He taught at the school for more than 40 years beginning as a graduate assistant in 1962.
Former USITT President and Ohio Valley Section veteran Bill Byrnes noted, "Paul was instrumental in helping to get the Ohio Valley Section started back in the late 1970s when it was the Cleveland Section.
"He was always a gracious host for the Section meetings, and he played an active role in elected offices in the Section over the years. He will also be remembered for his continued commitment to excellence in teaching and educating designers in his capacity as a faculty member at the University of Akron."
Mr. Daum graduated from Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, with a bachelor's degree in theatre production. After becoming a graduate assistant, he was asked to teach technical theatre courses in the spring of 1964 and to serve as technical director/lighting designer for UA's University Theatre.
He received a master's degree in theatre arts from UA later that year and was hired as an assistant professor of theatre in 1965. In 1973, he earned his Ph.D. in technical theatre and theatre history from Ohio State University. Mr. Daum was also an undergraduate advisor and the graduate coordinator for the School of Dance, Theatre and Arts. He taught a number of classes and participated in university recruitment events. The theatre in UA's Kolbe Hall also bears his name.
He was a published author who wrote about stage lighting and lectured widely about the history of theatre in Akron. Mr. Daum also was active in a number of community organizations, such as the Children's Ballet Theatre, the Torch Club, Weathervane Community Playhouse and Friends of Hower House. He contributed generously to those organizations and to the UA College of Fine and Applied Arts.
Elynmarie Kazle, USITT Vice-President for Membership & Development and Weathervane's Executive Director, said, "Paul joined our theatre board several years ago and, working with him, I found a kindred spirit. His love for the technical side of theatre gave him a special place at Weathervane.
"He and I often spoke fondly of his early days with USITT. He always wanted to return to a conference but due to his professional duties was unable to do so. He is very much missed here in Akron."
A professorship and scholarships were established in his name - the Daum Endowed Scholarship for Theatre Arts (1979), the Paul A. Daum Professorship in Theatre Arts (1996), and the Paul A. Daum University Theatre Endowment (1998). He also established or helped to build a half dozen other scholarship funds in the names of students, friends, and a mentor.
Mr. Daum was preceded in death by his brother, Robert (1978), his father, Forrest (1981), and his mother, Rebecca (1992).
Always one to enjoy a party and to help his friends do the same, Mr. Daum left instructions and funding for a celebration in memory of his life. Friends organizing the event project a summer date to coincide with Akron's growing season.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in his honor may be sent to the Daum Endowed Scholarship or the Paul A. Daum Professorship in Theatre Arts at The University of Akron (Akron, OH 44325-2603), the Gay Community Endowment of the Akron Community Foundation (345 W. Cedar Street, Akron, OH 44308) or Weathervane Community Playhouse (1301 Weathervane Lane, Akron, OH 44313).