Regent's Proceedings 1148
Orsamus Merrill Pearl, Professor of Greek, has retired from
Retirement active faculty status as of June 1, 1978 after forty years of
service on the faculty of The University of Michigan, during which he
became internationally renowned as a paprologist, and recognized as a
teacher for whom students have unusual respect and affection.
A native of Michigan, he pursued both undergraduate and graduate
studies at The University of Michigan, from which he received the Ph.D. in
1938. He had spent the year 1934-35 at the Institut de Paprologie and Ecole
des Hautes Etudes of the University of Paris and served for a year as
Instructor of Latin at Sweet Briar College 1936-37.
He joined the staff of The University of Michigan as a Research
Assistant in the Institute of Paprology in 1938, and became an Instructor in
Greek and a Research Assistant in the Museum of Art and Archaeology in
1939. Having become a full-time faculty member in Greek, he was promoted
to Assistant Professor in 1945. He was made Associate Professor in 1954
and Professor in 1965.
He has taught a wide variety of courses in Greek from introductory
courses to graduate seminars, and for many years offered in English a
popular course in Greek mythology. Many students will remember him
gratefully as their Honors Counselor, a duty he undertook joyfully for
eighteen years. While he is, on the one hand, especially talented at relating
the field of classics to the general student, on the other hand, his scholarly
publications are in the difficult technical field of documentary paprology.
His studies of the economics and society of Greco-Roman Egypt include an
edition of the tax rolls of Karanis, studies of census documents and business
and legal documents, and studies of irrigation and canal system. He is one of
the very rare experts on Greek music, and co-edited a famous Michigan
papyrus, which contains the largest and most important example of ancient
The Regents now salute this dedicated teacher and distinguished
scholar for his long and faithful service to The University of Michigan by
naming him Professor Emeritus of Greek.