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Dr. Ronald L. Carlisle Music Enrichment Endowment Fund

Friends and students of Dr. Ron Carlisle, led by Andy Milford ’99, have established the Dr. Ronald L. Carlisle Music Enrichment Endowment Fund to recognize his many contributions to academic and cultural life on the Oglethorpe University campus. Please honor the life of Dr. Carlisle and enrich and support musical activities at Oglethorpe.

For more information, please contact, Director of Development, John Carr at 404-364-8439 or jcarr1@oglethorpe.edu.

Dr. Ronald L. Carlisle (xxxx-2007) was a beloved professor of mathematics and computer science at Oglethorpe University from 1985 to 2007 when he retired. In the course of his academic career, he went from chemistry to religion to math education to mathematics to computer science. He was devoted to the liberal arts and after hours read history, biography, Oriental philosophy and evolutionary psychology. He taught mathematics and computer science and was devoted to the liberal arts. Dr. Carlisle received his BA and Ph.D. degrees from Emory University and earned a Masters degree at Atlanta University. “He was the exemplar of a man living the life of the mind and not of the world,” said Dr. William Shropshire, former OU professor and interim provost and current trustee.

Music and Art
Dr. Carlisle was also trained on the clarinet and oboe and was self-taught on the recorder and the viola da gamba. He directed the Emory Early Music Consort, the Atlanta Early Music Consort and recorder ensembles at Kennesaw College and Oglethorpe University. He was a member of an early music group that performed widely throughout the south. He also appeared with the Atlanta Singers, Schola Cantorum and the Georgia Shakespeare Festival. Dr. and Mrs. Carlisle were frequent performers with the Oglethorpe University Singers and the University Orchestra.
Through his love of the Japanese culture – he spent two weeks on sabbatical in a monastery in Japan and became a disciple of the abbot and practiced Zen meditation daily – Dr. Carlisle was instrumental in bringing Japanese language to the Oglethorpe curriculum as well as an exhibition of the calligraphy of the abbot, Keido Fukushima, to the Oglethorpe Museum of Art where it was seen for the first time anywhere. During a stint as interim provost, Dr. Carlisle was also responsible for the museum.

Boar’s Head
Dr. Carlisle, a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, and his wife, Susan, an adjunct professor, gave generously of their time in directing the Oglethorpe Recorder Ensemble and playing with the University Singers at Boar’s Head. Traditionally, Dr. Carlisle would lead the ODK procession into the Boar’s Head ceremony playing his recorder. He then sat in the first seat of the second row. Since Dr. Carlisle’s death in December, 2007, the first seat of the second row has remained empty except for flowers placed there in his memory.

Dr. Carlisle not only helped students develop skills in reasoning and rigorous thinking but he was pleased when they landed good jobs in mathematics, computer science and other fields and when they started profitable businesses. They also left Oglethorpe with memories of his fondness for haiku, puzzles and wordplay. A few faculty members fondly recall sharing his love for Mel Brooks humor. The multi-talented musician and mathematician built the university harpsichord which is now housed in the museum. Dr. Carlisle was a loving husband and father, to his wife, Susan, and children Benjamin and Elizabeth. In April, 2010, Oglethorpe University named a room in Lupton Hall – his favorite classroom – in memory of Dr. Ronald L. Carlisle as a lasting legacy to his dedication, loyalty, scholarship and teaching.

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