Celebrities in their own right

by Chuck Luce

Each year the university prints a new campus phone directory. Browsing through the 2007–08 edition after it hit the streets in late September, we were surprised to find that Steven Colbert, Tom Landry, Mark Martin, Roger Miller, John Stewart, Robert Taylor, and Ann Wilson all are employed by the university.

Upon further scrutiny, we were relieved to find that our Steven, with a “v,” Colbert is not the wise-cracking TV show host for whom humility seems to be a foreign concept. He is instead a quite reserved visiting assistant professor in the geology department who teaches oceanography, physical geology, and environmental hydrology.

Our Mark Martin is a microbiology assistant prof, not the NASCAR driver. In fact our Mark doesn’t even drive Detroit iron. But he does admit to owning a genuine Mark Martin NASCAR memorabilia street sign, which is hanging in his lab. And he once spoke at a conference where the other presenter on the bill was a microbiologist from Washington University in St. Louis named Jeff Gordon. Scientists, start your engines.

The UPS Tom Landry is not the old Dallas Cowboys football coach, but one of our favorite people in facilities services.

Mr. Miller, you probably guessed by now, doesn’t go around singing, “Trailers for sale or rent.” He works in the admission office, although he does admit to having owned several Roger Miller record albums and could recite without prompting “You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd.”

Our John Stewart bears no relation to Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, although as a supervisor in facilities services he does on a daily basis perform miracles.

Neither is our Robert Taylor the Ivanhoe of Hollywood movie fame. That guy’s long dead, after all. Our RT is an assistant professor in the School of Music who is, by the way, the author of the top-10 rock albums article on page 8.

Speaking of rock and roll, our Ann Wilson isn’t one of the Wilson sisters from the enduring Seattle rock band Heart. Our Ann is a clinical associate professor in physical therapy.