Gary Freeman

With classes beginning Wednesday, the UT campus will continue to mourn the death of former University President William Livingston.

Livingston died Aug. 15 at the age of 93. He began his career at UT as a government professor in 1949 and worked in various teaching and administrative roles in the following 60 years. His positions included chair of the government department, vice chancellor of academic programs and vice president and dean of graduate studies. He held the position of acting president of the University in 1992. More anecdotally, he is known as the voice of TEX — the 1990s telephone registration system. 

Livingston’s memorial service will be held Sept. 4. Steve Livingston, Bill’s son, said the University offered the use of the LBJ Auditorium for which the family was grateful. President William Powers Jr. is one of the scheduled speakers at the service. 

“Bill Livingston embodied all the best qualities of a university leader: erudition, eloquence, sweeping vision, warmth and good humor,” Powers said in a statement. “The University of Texas is a better place for his lifetime of service. He was an inspiration to generations of Longhorns, and we all will miss him.”

Livingston served in World War II in the U.S. Artillery and was injured in the Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944. He earned the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his service, according to Steve. 

Government professor Gary Freeman said he had known Livingston as a colleague and a friend since 1976 when Freeman first joined the department at UT. In his first interactions with Livingston, Freeman said he noticed his colleague’s friendliness, frankness and plainspoken manner.

“He was always trying to get on the same wavelength as his students,” Freeman said. “He could be a little goofy, a little funny and even a little outrageous.”

Freeman said Livingston had a remarkable mastery of the English language and would often impress his students with his broad vocabulary. Encouraging his students to be better writers proved to be a central part of Livingston’s teaching philosophy, and he would give many writing assignments to his students. He enjoyed reading his students’ works and would write detailed and thoughtful notes on their essays.

“[Livingston] had beautiful handwriting,” Freeman said. “He would write these exquisite comments on his students papers.”

In a 2009 article written to graduates of the government department, Freeman spoke of Livingston’s legacy.

“Livingston has been an exemplar of loyalty and an unwavering proponent of research and education, while insisting that all involved in higher education strive for and attain excellence,” Freeman wrote. “He lived these principles, instilling them in this department and this University, and we like to think that you, graduates of this department, are the better for it.” 

Gary Freeman, Chair of the Government Department, speaks during a forum on immigration reform hosted by the College Republicans and University Democrats on Tuesday evening. Freeman and other panelists gave their opinions on reform and answered student’s questions about the future of immigration in the US. 

Photo Credit: Mikhaela Locklear | Daily Texan Staff

At a bipartisan policy forum on immigration, Gary Freeman, government department chair, said the U.S. legal immigration system is in need of re-evaluation.

UT faculty led the forum on immigration in an event Tuesday co-hosted by the College Republicans and the University Democrats. Along with Freeman, Barbara Hines, co-director of the immigration clinic at the UT School of Law and Madeline Hsu, director of the Center for Asian American Studies, explored and discussed the economic issues, historical aspects and proposals toward immigration in the U.S. Sherri Greenberg, director of the Center for Politics and Governance, served as the moderator.

Freeman was the first to voice his opinion on the immigration system that is used in the U.S. today. 

“Illegal immigration is a problem, it needs work, it needs to be addressed,” Freeman said. “But the legal program, which is often ignored in these discussions, is in my opinion, very badly designed.”

Freeman evaluated the effects that population growth, because of legal immigration of families, has had on the economy. 

“Growth is good. The more the merrier, but each time a person is added to the U.S. population, taxes go up, prices go up and we don’t have a population policy in the U.S., well not since the Nixon administration, that has discussed what might be a reasonable growth rate in the U.S.,” Freeman said.

Hsu said she has come from two generations of immigrants, and her parents and grandparents faced the issue of limits to Chinese immigration in the U.S. 

Government senior Tariq Adediran said issues, like Hsu’s family’s struggle with coming into the U.S., should be addressed in immigration policies today.

Classics junior Alenis Leon said she attended the forum to hear Hines’ discussion on proposals, but one of the overall points that stuck out to her was Freeman’s opinion on the immigration system implemented today.

“I think Dr. Freeman brought up a really interesting point that we do have to think about our economy and about who we admit,” Leon said. “The legal immigration system needs to be fixed sometime soon, because it’s not enough to just fix the illegal system.”

Published on March 6, 2013 as "Immigration forum talks reform".