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In Memoriam: Dr. Tony Alley

Dr. Tony Alley
Dr. Tony Allen

Dr. Tony Alley was laid to rest in January 2008. Tony was a key member of the ACM SIGGRAPH Education Committee, and was was instrumental in the development of the Curriculum Knowledge Base project. Curriculum Knowledge Base project pages

The Oklahoma Christian University web page notes:

Tony's family has requested that in lieu of flowers that gifts may be made in Tony’s honor for the "Dr. Tony Alley Computer Design and New Media Library Collection" at the Beam Library at Oklahoma Christian University by either purchasing a book from Tony’s wish list at, or making a gift to the library for that purpose.

The university has created a blog in Tony's memory

Book donations to the "Dr. Tony Alley Computer Design and New Media Library Collection"

may be mailed:

Through US mail:

Tamie Willis
Beam Library
Oklahoma Christian University
Box 11000
Oklahoma City, OK 73136-1100

If you send it by UPS or some other shipping carrier:

Tamie Willis
Beam Library
Oklahoma Christian University
2501 E. Memorial Road
Edmond, OK 73013

SIGGRAPH 2007 Education Forum - Curriculum Knowledge Base team

SIGGRAPH 2007 Education Forum - Curriculum Knowledge Base team: Lew Hitchner, Susan Gold, Joe Geigel, Jenny Orr, Tony Alley, Tereza Flaxman. Background: Peter Weishar, Rick Barry

Jenny Orr:

I was given the wonderful opportunity to meet Tony through work on the Education Committee. Thank-you siggraph! While we generally only met once a year at the conference, I felt he had become a real friend. We could always talk about so many different things from teaching, to family, to life, in general. He was always open to different ideas and was so very generous and nonjudgmental. It seemed impossible not to like him.

He worked tirelessly on the curriculum knowledge base, often doing as much work as the rest of us combined. I know the group meant a lot to him and I am very happy that we were able to recognize him for his contributions at the last conference, when the effects of his illness were already apparent. Of course, to me, he was always more than just a person on a committee. His generosity and warmth came though in everything he did. It was clear that his students loved him as well and that they meant so much to him. I was amazed at the last conference how he was still determined to teach given the extent of his illness. I thought he was crazy but I believe his teaching gave him another reason to live and that is what kept him alive for longer than the doctors may have predicted.

Over the last several years I have lost several friends "before their time" to the various diseases. It never seems fair that the world should lose such amazing people but then, life is not fair. The best we can do now is to keep Tony's memory alive by offering to others what he gave to us, namely friendship and generosity.


Colleen Case:

I don't know what to say about a man who touched my soul and spirit... and so I let others speak.

"The Reaper And The Flowers"

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

There is a Reaper whose name is Death,
And, with his sickle keen,
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
And the flowers that grow between.

``Shall I have nought that is fair?'' saith he;
``Have nought but the bearded grain?
Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,
I will give them all back again.''

He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,
He kissed their drooping leaves;
It was for the Lord of Paradise
He bound them in his sheaves.

``My Lord has need of these flowerets gay,''
The Reaper said, and smiled;
``Dear tokens of the earth are they,
Where he was once a child.

``They shall all bloom in fields of light,
Transplanted by my care,
And saints, upon their garments white,
These sacred blossoms wear.''

And the mother gave, in tears and pain,
The flowers she most did love;
She knew she should find them all again
In the fields of light above.

O, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The Reaper came that day;
'Twas an angel visited the green earth,
And took the flowers away.

Lake Tahoe, November 2005

Some members of the Curriculum Knowledge Base meet in Lake Tahoe to hammer out the taxonomy structure. Standing: Cary laxer, Lew Hitchner, Tony Alley, Susan Gold. Seated: Joe Geigel. Jenny Orr, Tereza Flaxman, Bary Pollack.

Tereza Flaxman:

I am still in shock with the news that Tony passed away. I had hopes that he would beat that disease, and I would see him at SIGGRAPH every year. I was always looking forward to seeing him at SIGGRAPH. He was fun to be with.

I had a chance to know Tony not just a friend but also as a writer. We talked a lot about our writing habits and time management. His confidence in his abilities was very inspiring to me. Everyone who had a chance to spend time with Tony was touched by his warmth and kindness. He was fair and honest. Even when we had hard arguments during our curriculum knowledge base meetings, Tony moderated the discussion with calm and made sure that everyone had a chance to express his or her opinions and be treated with respect.

I will miss Tony very much. Tony will live in the hearts of those who knew him.