Hurt, Wmc Coach And Professor, Dies

February 23, 1992|By Special to The Carroll County Sun

Special to The Carroll County SunLongtime Western Maryland College tennis coach and political science professor Frank Benjamin Hurt died last Sunday in his Ferrum, Va., home of cancer at 92.Hurt spent 31 years as Western Maryland's tennis coach, amassing a record of 243 wins, 172 losses, for a percentage of .629. In 1981, the college courts were named in his honor.

One of the highlights of Hurt's academic career was his participation in 1963 in the American Political ScienceAssociation World Tour Seminar. He talked with President Chiang Kai-Shek of China, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India, President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, and Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia. Hurt was listed in Who's Who in the East.

Hurt earned his degrees from Washington and Lee (Va.) University in 1923, the University of Virginia in 1925 and Princeton (N.J.) University in 1926. He did additional graduate study at Harvard (Mass.) University and the Johns Hopkins University. In 1943 Hurt married MaryAnn Wescott, who survives him. Other survivors include a sister, Mary H. Whitehead of Ferrum, and a niece and nephew-in-law, Rev. and Mrs. Kenn Shirley of Richmond, Va.

Hurt began his academic career in 1927 as an instructor at Ferrum Junior College.

In 1930, he becamean assistant professor of history and political science at Western Maryland College. He was named associate professor in 1948 and department chair in 1949.

He retired from Western Maryland in 1965 and returned to Ferrum, Va., where, during the last 15 years of his life, he published books and magazine articles about the history of the area. He also taught political science and headed the department at Ferrum Junior College, celebrating his second retirement in 1970.

Hurt,who was affectionately called "Pappy" by his Western Maryland students, was regarded as a Southern gentleman who possessed great wit. Until recent years he was a perennial guest at Western Maryland's AlumniWeekend where he delighted in seeing former students.

"As a professor I didn't always have the answer, but I tried to make an analysis, to present a viewpoint, and to make a contribution along the way," he said during one such weekend. "A teacher never knows what good he did on a day-by-day basis.

"Plenty of times I left the class and asked myself, 'What did we really accomplish?' I didn't know what we did until occasions like these.

"It's as Henry Adams said, 'A teacher is someone of whom it may be said his influence never comes to an end.' "

A memorial service is planned at Western Maryland College in the spring.

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