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In Memoriam

UD Grieves Passing of Art Program Pioneer Lyle Novinski

In Memoriam: Friday, April 28

Former professor, designer and artist Lyle Novinski, MFA, a University of Dallas fixture, passed away peacefully on April 28.

Novinski left an indelible signature on the campus and curriculum of the University of Dallas. He founded the university’s art program, designed the interior of the Church of the Incarnation and created the mosaic of Christ’s transfiguration at the Rome campus. Novinski helped build the Irving campus, even planting the oak trees around the property with his wife Sybil in the 1960s. During his tenure as an art and art history professor, Novinski watched them grow with the university he helped establish.

Novinski forged a career in liturgical design that began during his military service in Korea, where an officer commissioned him to transform a Quonset hut into a chapel. Since then, many sacred spaces in addition to the Church of the Incarnation have taken shape under Novinski’s hand, including St. Rita Catholic Church in Dallas, St. Gabriel the Archangel Church in McKinney, Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Plano and SMU’s Neuhoff Chapel.

“Novinski plowed his remarkable talents, warmth, insight, pluck, generosity, artistic vision, body, heart and soul into UD throughout his adult life. His legacy is seen and felt throughout the Irving and Rome campuses, as well as in many churches throughout Dallas, designing and executing countless sacred spaces, works of art, walls, paths and landscaping,” said University President Jonathan J. Sanford, Ph.D.

“Whenever you notice the beautiful peach trees in flower throughout campus, or sit in the Constantin garden, or wind your way along any of our many paths, or pray before the mosaic of the transfiguration on the Rome campus, say a word of thanks and prayer for Novinski.”

He and Sybil have five children, four of whom graduated from UD, and 18 grandchildren, including one UD freshman.

A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated at 1:30 PM on Saturday, May 6, in the Holy Family Chapel of Christus St. Joseph’s Village at 1201 E. Sandy Lake Rd., Coppell, Texas 75019. Following the service, all friends and family are invited from 3-6 p.m. to the Novinski home at 1101 Owenwood, Irving, TX 75061 for a traditional Novinski gathering.

Please consider leaving a memory tribute so that his family can see the many ways in which this man touched lives and institutions. In lieu of flowers, gifts remembering Novinski can be given to the Novinski Art Endowment Fund at the University of Dallas or to the Cistercian Preparatory School Capital Campaign.

Please join the university community in praying for Novinski’s soul and the consolation of his family.

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