Chi Psi mourns the death of Dr. Eric W. Naylor, T∆ ’64

Today, Chi Psi Fraternity mourns the passing of Dr. Eric W. Naylor, T∆ ’64. A beloved Brother, professor at Sewanee, and advisor to Alpha Tau Delta at the University of the South since the Alpha’s founding in 1964, Dr. Naylor was a recipient of multiple awards from both Chi Psi and the University of the South. Please read the full obituary of Dr. Naylor, as written by Br. Harold G. Arnwine II, T∆ ’86, N∆ ’02:

Clearly, it is the end of the beginning.

Eric Woodfin Naylor, T∆ ’64, was the cornerstone of Alpha Tau Delta. From the Alpha’s birth at the University of the South in 1964 and for the next 55 years he was its guide, rock, and strength. His death clearly marks the end of the beginning chapter of Tau Delta’s history. Tau Delta has a new guardian angel and Tau Deltans have a powerful old friend to greet when they enter or leave the Domain of the University of the South.

Dr. Naylor reflected the best traditions of Chi Psi Fraternity by being a gentleman and a scholar but even more so by being a Brother and mentor to so many generations of Chi Psi Brothers.

Many Chi Psi Brothers, and others, from near and far will never forget the afternoons and evenings spent at his lovely home chatting about things important or things trivial. Few will forget his stories, tales even, of days long past. None will forget his devotion to the Fraternity and to the Lodge. From his presence at weekly Alpha meetings, to his overwhelming presence at the annual Corporation meetings, and to his care for the physical Lodge, he was the heart and soul of Alpha Tau Delta. In 2004, Dr. Naylor was awarded Chi Psi Fraternity’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Award. His extremely short acceptance speech was profound in the depth of meaning found in a paucity of words.

In his professional life, Dr. Naylor was a major authority on medieval Spanish literature authoring major studies in the field. Dr. Naylor was Phi Beta Kappa and a Fulbright Scholar, as well as the holder of the prestigious Keenan Endowed Professorship in the Spanish Department at the University of the South (active 1962 to 2004). He was actively involved in University matters and was a recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award.  

Dr. Naylor led a very active existence and was socially engaged at all times. He will be remembered for his professional knowledge and accomplishments, as well as his fraternal loyalty and leadership. Most of all, he will be remembered as a friend, mentor, and a true Brother of Chi Psi.

Dr. Eric W. Naylor, T∆ ’64

Dec. 6, 1936 – Sept. 16, 2019