Jerry Kent Sailor, February 8, 1954 - May 12, 2014
Jerry was a Bachelor of Arts double-major in Theatre and Mass Communications; Electronic Media. He was slated to graduate in December 2014.
Jerry, from the outset, was our most senior student throughout his journey here at IU South Bend. There is no doubt that he was an invaluable member of the theatre-team in so many ways. He started as a senior-freshman in spring 2009. Since then, he has been a stalwart of all that we have been doing, and any list is but the tip-of-the-iceberg.
Jerry was a 1972 graduate of Penn High School. He was a Navy veteran; a swabby, if I ever met one. He did happen to play a sailor in our spring 2012 production of H.M.S. Pinafore. He also channeled Elvis Presley as an Elvis-impersonator.
Jerry was an adventurous soul. It was not always easy for him to be our most experienced student. However, he handled those unique challenges with class, style, and flair. His commitment was well beyond compare. Jerry often told me that he wished he had followed his heart many years ago relative to being a professional actor.
Jerry, it is never too late to do what it is you need to be doing; you proved that. We deeply thank you for appreciating that while we always knew you were quite unique, that you were first, foremost, and always a student. That is the way of the actor, and the student, particularly of the theatre. The example you provide to each of us, the university, school, department, faculty, staff, and to the students is rich and enduring. Through your generous and self-less efforts you made each of us, and our collective endeavors, ever greater. You touched so many of us that your example and the contributions of them will be felt and appreciated for a very long time.
Jerry had just been hired by the Civil War Museum in Richmond to help create and portray, as "living history," Confederate General, civil engineer, and industrialist Joseph Reid Anderson. Jerry was also in talks with the Carpenter Science Theatre to play Nicola Tesla with his old friend Larry Gard, the artistic director of the Carpenter Science Theatre in Richmond.
Jerry was a recipient of the Greg Petry Memorial Scholarship, the Frank O’Bannon, and the Broadway Theatre League Scholarship awards.
Jerry’s credits with the Theatre Company @ IU South Bend included:
Ensemble Member in Kiss me, Kate, spring 2014
Ensemble Member, and Lear’s most faithful servant & guard in King Lear, fall 2013
Lumpkin in SMASH, fall 2012
Ensemble Member in It's a Wonderful Life in fall 2011, and fall 2012
Sailor in H.M.S. Pinafore, spring 2012
Egeus in A Midsummer Night's Dream, spring 2011
Badger in The Wind in the Willows, spring 2011
Old Major in Animal Farm, fall 2010
Doc in West Side Story, spring 2010
The March Hare in Alice in Wonderland, spring 2010
He was also long-standing member of the scenic shop staff.
Prior to his years at IU South Bend, Jerry also worked with local community theatres, as well as several regional dinner theatres. His stage and musical experiences ranged from, The Importance of Being Ernest, to Norman is That You? and “rock’n’roll cabaret.”