Former Dean and Professor Emeritus
Dr. John Archibald White was born on July 17, 1901. He enrolled at The University of Texas in 1919 and after successfully completing his first year, he worked for the railroad and later for De Leon Auto Sales. He returned to the The University in the fall of 1921 for a second year of collegiate study. From 1922 to 1928 he taught, coached basketball, and served as the principal of Sanderson High School in west Texas.
Dr. White married Gazelle Williams on August 10, 1925. In 1928 he returned to The University of Texas and earned a BBA with Highest Honors in 1929. He immediately entered graduate school and earned his MBA in 1930 and his Ph.D. in 1937.
From 1938 until his retirement in 1968, Dr. White held a long and distinguished series of academic appointments. Beginning as an instructor and advancing through the ranks of assistant and associated professor, he was promoted to full professor and member of the Graduate Faculty in 1945. He served as the first Chairman of the Accounting Department from 1946 through 1954 and as Associate Dean of the College of Business Administration from 1954 to 1957. He was made Acting Dean of the College in 1957 and served as Dean of the College of Business Administration from 1958 to 1966. From 1963 to 1966 Dr. White also served as Dean of the Graduate School of Business. He was appointed Professor Emeritus in 1967.
During his tenure as Dean, Dr. White made many lasting contributions to collegiate business education. He was deeply involved in planning for the first College of Business Administration building on the UT campus, and skillfully led a reorganization in graduate business education that culminated in the creation of a separate Graduate School of Business and greatly improved the MBA and MPA curricula. He was also recognized and honored at the time of his retirement, by having the first endowed professorship in the College of Business named in his honor.
White was a prolific author of accounting textbooks. His first text, Elementary Accounting, co-authored with Professors Newlove and Haynes, was published in 1938 by Heath and Company. Dr. White was also a co-author of three additional accounting texts: Intermediate Accounting (Heath), Fundamental Accounting Principles (Irwin), and Intermediate Accounting (Irwin).
Although teaching, writing, and administrative duties kept John Arch White very busy, he always found time to help others. On his retirement, hundreds of former students and academic colleagues paused to reflect upon this truly amazing man. Although his professional accomplishments were legion, those who knew him well loved him not for what he had done but for the compassion and concern that he demonstrated in his own life. No student’s problem was ever too small or too unimportant of John Arch White. No faculty member ever hesitated to seek his wise counsel on any problem, personal or professional.
John Arch White died on May 9, 1980. His wife Gazelle preceded him in death on July 2, 1970. He was survived by two brothers, Goen and William, and one sister, Mrs. Doris Roe of Beaumont.