In Memoriam: Doug Holt


No one who visited Doug's office forgot it. It was a small, crowded, and windowless cubicle on the second floor of Allen Hall, but Doug had transformed it into something attractive and comfortable. On the floor was an Oriental rug, and against the north wall sat a leather couch. Above that couch hung a large framed color photograph of Doug dressed as a Roman Catholic cardinal. In the photograph, his right hand was open and extended, as if he were making the sign of the cross and blessing all who looked at the photograph.


All along the room, above the wainscot, Doug had glued a strip of wallpaper depicting old bound books, which gave the impression that the office was a library as well.


Doug loved Mexico and bullfights. There were posters advertising bullfights on the walls and a stuffed head of a fighting bull—horns and all—mounted above his bookcase.


Doug Holt earned his MA and PhD at the University of Mississippi, where he was Academic Advisor for Athletics. He joined the LSU faculty in 1983. One of Doug's specializations was technical writing, and for a while he coordinated the many sections of ENGL 3002 that the Department of English offered every semester.


Doug had a sharp intellect and a wonderful sense of humor. But he did not suffer fools—he had the reputation as one of the toughest graders in the Department. While his high standards were not appreciated by all of his students, the bright ones who worked hard liked him. One of these students, who is now a prominent bank examiner, told me that Doug Holt had been his favorite professor.


Doug's health deteriorated during his last years in the Department. When he retired in 2008, he moved back home to Arkansas, to be with his family. He remained there until his death on August 3, 2011.


I will always remember Doug Holt. He was one of the most interesting "characters" in the Department of English.


– Joe Abraham