Virginia Glee Club Wiki

Francis Harris Abbot (November 3, 1877 in Bellevue, Virginia – January 26, 1933)[1][2] was a student conductor of the Virginia Glee Club in the 1898-1899 season,[3] and assisted as conductor during the Glee Club 1921-1922 season.[4] He graduated from Virginia in 1899 with a bachelors and masters degree and was a member of Alpha Tau Omega, Lambda Pi, the Bellevue High School Club, and was an editor of College Topics. He lived in 6 East Range[5] from 1898 to 1899.

Abbot went on to take a masters degree and to study singing in Paris and, after teaching at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and the University of Chicago,[6] returned to the University as a professor of French.[7] He was remembered as an eccentric and artistic instructor, occasionally performing an aria in class. He remained interested in music, collecting and publishing spirituals.[8] He also had a sense of humor, noting in a complaint about his basement classroom in Peabody Hall that

Three hours a week I teach in P.H.B. 2, not a classroom at all, but a cellar, of which the ceiling is supported by pillars that shut off the students' view of the blackboard (one blackboard). . . . Part of this room has been enclosed to make somebody an office (a beaverboard office), and this professor has the privilege of passing in and out during my class. You enter this room through a dark limbo, stacked with old desks and chairs and lumber piled in confusion. . . . I can neither leave a book, nor hang a map nor send a student to the board in this room. Why they learn what they do is a mystery.[9]

Vaughan notes that he told colleagues, "If I don't arrive in class some morning, you just come over to my house and you will probably find me dead." One morning in 1933, he felt faint while teaching his French class, went to lay down in his office and quietly passed away.[8]