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Pat Hingle Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Theatre and Dance

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The Pat Hingle Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Theatre and Dance was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System on April 1, 1993, for the benefit of the College of Fine Arts.

The Pat Hingle Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Theatre and Dance was funded by friends and colleagues to honor the iconic character actor who graduated with a degree from the College of Fine Arts in 1949. He entered UT Austin on a tuba scholarship and joined the Navy when World War II broke out. He returned to campus after his service and according to his recollection decided to study acting because he saw all the pretty girls head into the theater department. Over the next three years he mastered his craft, performing in 35 plays. He appeared on Broadway, in movies, on television, at the White House. He would be cast as a villain, a lawman, a working man, a tycoon; the characters could be terrifying, powerful, comic, bumbling, gracious, kindly or every combination thereof. Watching actors like Hume Cronyn, he told an interviewer that he "saw that it was possible to play a wide variety of roles where there was no connection between one and the other", and escape being put into a slot. Pat Hingle’s remarkable career lasted almost 60 years.

His friends and fellow actors remember his discipline, ethics, sense of fair play, and professionalism. "You don't score a touchdown by yourself," Hingle told an interviewer in 2008. "There's this discipline that is very important for an actor or anyone to have. To keep people waiting on the set, or people who are standing sometimes out in the cold – you just couldn't do that." Actor James Morrison knew him for over twenty years and remembers that "You were the most important thing when you worked opposite him. He was present, right there, in his life and in his work."

Hingle acknowledged that he had been raised “very, very poor,” and understood the value of hard work. He knew that a teacher could change the life of a young person. Imagining his high school English teacher in the audience would, he said, bring out the best in him. When he and his wife moved to North Carolina he supported local theater groups and film and theater programs at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, occasionally making an appearance in campus productions and funding a guest artist program at that university.

It was at The University of Texas at Austin that Pat Hingle discovered that acting was “where I was meant to be.” Through this gift, he will be honored and remembered by students like him, as they explore where they belong.

October 11, 2017

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