Former Trustee, Braniff Alumna Leaves Legacy of Art, Education, Literature and Community
This story was adapted from Joanne Stroud Bilby's obituary published by the Dallas Morning News.
Former Trustee Joanne Herbert Stroud Bilby, MA ’72 PhD ’75 MA ’80, passed away on March 7. Among the first doctorate recipients of UD’s Institute of Philosophic Studies, Stroud Bilby taught as an adjunct at the university for 12 years before co-founding the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, and was a 2017 Distinguished Alumna.
"Dr. Stroud was a champion of the beauty of the intellectual life, pursued always with grace and energy," said President Jonathan J. Sanford, Ph.D. "As a trustee and proud alumna, she was a tireless advocate for the University of Dallas and the culture-forming work that is genuine education. She will be greatly missed, even as we continue to benefit from her legacy."
Also a beloved mother, grandmother and aunt, Stroud Bilby died peacefully surrounded by her family, having lived life to the fullest. A resident of Dallas, Texas, she spent her summers in Southampton, New York. From an early age, Stroud Bilby was deeply influenced by the loss of her father during World War II. Raised by a single mother determined to ensure that she had a good education, Stroud Bilby graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and later pursued a double M.A. and a Ph.D. in literature and psychology at UD, where she subsequently taught in the English Department.
In 1980, Stroud Bilby and university professors Louise Cowan, Ph.D., and Donald Cowan, Ph.D., as well as Robert Sardello, Ph.D., Gail Thomas, Ph.D., and James Hillman, became the founding fellows of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. Forty years later, thanks in large part to Stroud Bilby's dedication, the Dallas Institute, situated in the Uptown area of Dallas, is still thriving with a mission to provide educational programs in the humanities, teacher training and community outreach.
Stroud Bilby enjoyed a distinguished career as publisher of writings in the areas of classical literature, archetypal psychology and spiritual psychology. As director of the Dallas Institute Publications, Stroud Bilby was editor of the Gaston Bachelard Translation Series: a project involving seven volumes on elemental imagination written by Bachelard. She received international acclaim for her translations and publications and for making these influential works by the French philosopher available to scholars in the English-speaking world.
Beginning in 2004, in conjunction with Spring Publications and the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, Stroud Bilby oversaw the publication of the Uniform Edition of the Writings of James Hillman. The 11 volumes unite major lectures, occasional writings, scholarly essays, clinical papers and interviews of pioneering psychologist James Hillman (1926-2011). Additionally, she hosted seven annual James Hillman Symposiums in conjunction with the Dallas Institute.
Stroud Bilby wrote eight books: The Bonding of Will and Desire, the four-volume series Choose Your Element, Time Doesn't Tick Anymore, Gaston Bachelard: An Elemental Reverie on the World's Stuff, and Towers 2 Tall. She was co-editor of Images of the Untouched and editor of The Olympians. Married to prominent attorney Ethan Stroud until they divorced in 1974, she subsequently was married to Kenneth Bilby until his death in 1997. She had a passion for travel, art and architecture, which she explored with her close friend Raymond Nasher. In her later years, she formed a profound bond with physician Dr. Bill Vowel, whom she loved deeply.
Stroud Bilby was active in the communities in which she lived and served as an overseer of Harvard University Visiting Committee, Graduate School of Education, and on the boards of the University of Dallas, The C.G. Jung Foundation of New York City, The American Federation of Art, and the Southwestern Medical Foundation. She was awarded the Distinguished Alumna Award by the University of Dallas (2017), Outstanding Alumnae Volunteer Award by Hockaday School (2020), and the Athena Award (2005) bestowed for significant contribution to the field of humanistic endeavor.
Stroud Bilby created enduring friendships that spanned several generations. She was generous, warmhearted and enthusiastically receptive to new ideas and new friends. She clearly understood the value of human connection. She had a pronounced aesthetic sense and transformed her environments into beautiful spaces. She was a gracious and magnificent spirit whose presence will be deeply missed especially by her three children: her son Ethan and his wife, Carol, her son Eric and his wife, Sara, and her daughter, Natasha; as well as her three grandchildren: Ethan, Tatiana and Will Stroud; and her many friends.
If desired, donations in Stroud Bilby's name may be made to The Stroud House at The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, 2719 Routh Street, Dallas, TX 75201.