Elegance in action: Dorothy Alcorn


Gracious, decent, noble, caring.

Many adjectives describe Dorothy Alcorn, who died Feb. 26 after giving so much throughout her life to Victoria and, in particular, the University of Houston-Victoria. Her obituary captured many of her accomplishments, including serving as a University of Houston board of regent, as president of the Victoria Junior League, as chairwoman of the Victoria Courthouse Renovation Project and so much more.

Her special passion, though, was education. A third-grade teacher early in her life, Alcorn continued to devour education throughout her life. After earning her master's degree at the University of Houston-Victoria in 1986, she became an even stronger supporter of higher education.

She was a leader in helping UHV expand from an upper-level institution to a full-fledged destination university in 2010. She fought graciously but tenaciously behind the scenes to make this happen, even when a few of her friends opposed the effort.

She also helped UHV in countless ways, including the establishment and growth of the American Book Review reading series. Her contributions to the reading series are many.

Almost 100 authors have spoken at UHV - all in the Alcorn Auditorium named in her honor in 1993. Her home in Hidden Meadows also became a popular place for author receptions.

Although her home was elegant, the gracious hostess was the quiet star of each evening. She never sought the limelight, but she encouraged others to shine. She had a gentle way of motivating those around her to be creative, and she believed in their abilities, said her friend, Polly Lou Livingston, of San Antonio.

Alcorn will live on in the hearts of all who knew her, and her generosity will continue to reach those who didn't have the good fortune of meeting her.

Upon her death, she donated her elegant home to UHV, where it will serve as the residence of the university president. At future functions in the home, Alcorn's spirit surely will fill the home with kindness.

This opinion reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

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