Names and Places of UTSA: James E. Bauerle
This month we resurrect “Names and Places of UTSA,” a blog series on university history, with a post by archives student assistant, Marissa Del Toro.
As you make your way to your first class for the day you drive up Bauerle Road. Since you are already five minutes late, you decide to park in the Bauerle Road Garage. You head to class, quietly repeating the name Bauerle in your mind, trying to figure out its correct pronunciation while you prepare for the upcoming day full of more questions and sometimes less answers. Well, have no fear we can answer one of your unrelenting questions, at least about the pronunciation of Bauerle and the man behind the confounding name.
The road you travel almost on a daily basis and the garage, which opened in August 2012, that you provide awkward directions for was named after James E. Bauerle, D.D.S., possibly pronounced as “bow-er-lee.” Appointed by Governor Preston Smith, he served as a member of the UT System Board of Regents from January 1973 to January 1979. Originally from Travis County, Bauerle received his undergraduate degree at UT Austin and later received his graduate dental degrees in St. Louis and Pittsburgh. In 1952 he established his oral surgery practice here in San Antonio, where he continued to practice until his death in 2007 at the age of 83. In a 2005 Express-News article, Bauerle described his choice for oral surgery: “I decided that I didn’t want to be a surveyor like a regular dentist or orthodontist, but I would take on the heavy construction of oral surgery.”
At his oral surgery practice he treated the severe cases of disease, injuries, and defects to the mouth, jaws and facial regions. Devoted to his profession, he gained numerous awards and accolades within the world of professional dentistry but he also understood the value of education. He was one of the influential and founding members to the University of Texas Health Science Center Dental School in 1969. As mentioned in his obituary, Bauerle taught as a full time professor of oral surgery and dentistry, training and mentoring several generations of dental students here in the San Antonio region and the State of Texas. Bauerle told the Express-News of his interest and passion for his practice: “A lot of people used to die from dental problems not very long ago. Dental conditions and infections can become deadly serious, I like that I help relieve patients from one of the most painful conditions that exists.”
Besides his passion for dentistry, Bauerle was also known for his varied and wide collection of Western memorabilia and Asian décor that littered the walls of his Castle Hills office. According to the Express-News, his interest in all things Western related to his personal history of raising buffalo on his family’s ranch in Johnson City. His eclectic collection of buffalo paintings, jawbones, and taxidermy heads were part of his homage to his favorite livestock that floated throughout his office.
Here at UTSA, Bauerle was an influential figure during the early days. Several photos from the Gil Barrera Photographs Collection show Bauerle’s considerable involvement in the development plans of campus, from reviewing the schematics to visiting the construction site of the then-nascent UTSA with fellow Board of Regents members. His role as a Regent included his attendance at graduations and the conferring of degrees, including the 245 Master’s degrees awarded at the second commencement in August 1975.
The next time your take a drive on Bauerle Road, relish in the fact that you now know how to pronounce Bauerle (remember: “bow-er-lee”) and give a little appreciation to the man who contributed to UTSA’s development.
Doug Lipscomb, “Changing face of UTSA Main Campus: Roundabout to be built at north side,” UTSA Today (http://www.utsa.edu/today/2012/01/roundabout.html), accessed November 20, 2015. Originally published by UTSA Today on January 9, 2012.
Amanda Reimherr Express-News staff writer, “Dentist says age never an obstacle for career,” Former Regents the University of Texas System (http://www.utsystem.edu/bor/former_regents/regents/Bauerle/article.htm), accessed November 17, 2015. Originally published by the San Antonio Express-News online on June 22, 2005.
“James E. Bauerle,” Porter Loring Funeral Home (http://www.porterloring.com/memsol.cgi?user_id=459739), accessed November 17, 2015.
“James E. Bauerle,” Former Regents the University of Texas System (http://www.utsystem.edu/bor/former_regents/regents/Bauerle/), accessed November 17, 2015.
“245 Master’s Degrees Awarded,” UTSA Bulletin: The Discourse Vol. 3, No. 8, originally published by The University of Texas at San Antonio in August, 1975 (http://digital.utsa.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15125coll7/id/2243/rec/1), accessed November 20, 2015.
Gil Barrera Photographs of the University of Texas at San Antonio, 1972-1978, MS 27, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.