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Martin Memory Book

Wade Martin - Memory Book

If you would like to contribute memories or condolences to the family of Wade Martin, use the Memory Book Submission form, or email Nancy Wilson at

There are also two opportunities to give in Wade’s name. 

The first way you can give is to the Wade Martin Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund exists in partnership with Badgerdog writing program. The donations collected will directly benefit young writers who may not otherwise have had the resources to attend a writing camp. Learn more about donating here

The second way you can give is with a memorial donation to JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), the leading organization funding type 1 diabetes research. You’ll need next of kin information, as JDRF will send out a letter acknowledging your donation. Please reach out for this information should you need it. To make a memorial donation to JDRF, visit them here.

University Star Tribute to Wade Martin by Brianna Benitez


During my campus visit to Texas State (when I had not yet decided on attending), Wade was one of the two MFA students who made time to speak with me. I told him I was worried about teaching, but he assured me—having recently been a first-time teacher himself—that if I treated my students with honesty, understanding, and compassion, I would be met with the same. He was right, of course, and—though I didn’t know him well—I imagine he strove to embody those virtues beyond the classroom also. In other words, he seemed to be one of the rare people who knows that compassion is always called for.

Such a loss isn't possible to measure. ~Asa Johnson

I want to express my condolences on the passing of Wade Martin. I enjoyed his class very much, and enjoyed writing for his class. I always looked forward for him to read my essays and receive his comments; this news has definitely been a shock. Please pass on my condolences to his family. I really enjoyed his class, and I am saddened by his loss. 

Sincerely, Allan 

I am so sad to be receiving this news. Mr. Martin was a great man and an outstanding teacher. He is the reason for my passing in English class. I am going to miss talking to him so much. He came to class always with a smile on his face and a great attitude no matter what the day looked like and gave learning a whole new excitement. I’m glad that I had a chance to have him as my professor, I will never forget how much he helped me and what he has done for me.



Wade Martin’s work as a Writing Assessment Specialist for OnRamps at the University of Texas at Austin stemmed from his passion for supporting high school students in expressing selfhood during the pivotal transformation from teenager to adult.  In Wade’s words: “I write because it gives meaning to my life.”  Wade’s insightful feedback on essays was used by students to deeply engage in substantive revision projects and grow in college level research, writing, and critical thinking skills. Colleagues and mentors described his interactions with students as productive, positive, supportive, empowering, and encouraging.  On behalf of the students he served, “Team Rhetoric” offers gratitude for the time Wade spent spreading the twin gifts of writing and meaning.

Although I did not know Wade personally, his students were frequent visitors to the University Writing Center where I worked. I remember seeing his name multiple times as we signed them in, and wondering how he knew about us and if he worked at the UWC before. For someone who believed in the work we did as consultants, believed in helping his students grow steadily, whether directly through his professorship or indirectly through us, he was no doubt an excellent professor. It was an honor to assist his students under his reference. ~ Chisom

Wade had always been an inspiring classmate and colleague, being considerate and compassionate to many others. When I first got here, still puzzled about so many things, he had taken his time to answer my doubts patiently, drove me to the readings when I didn’t have a car, and invited me to the library reading he had organized.

Wade also loved poetry dearly. He was one of the few students in the MFA program who had asked me about Chinese poetry and told me his understanding of them. It’s such a great loss for the art world to lose his words that had come from the bottom of his heart. I love all the poems he had submitted to Naomi’s workshops and he had tried hard to make sure we can have her workshops frequently here. It has been such a blessing to have such a caring person in the program.

Once, we talked about love as the source of inspiration, and he told me that his grandpa once held him in his grandpa's arms and read poems for him when he was little, and maybe that sweet memory was where his love for poetry had come from. We all need a certain degree of love to keep us human, but I know Wade had given others more love than what he had received. I hope he is safe and sound in heaven with his grandpa now, with fewer pains and more love.

I still remember one of the poems he had written: “I want a pair of shoes for the apocalypse/Blue as the ocean before the fire fell/Laces long and black as nooses/buckles bright as puritan prayers/Suede that shimmers in sunlit sluices/Give me shoes or give me hell”. This is one of the best poems I've read here and I remember when we went to teach as volunteer writers for an elementary school in Austin, I painted a shoe with his poem beside it in case he might need to teach the kids—a thank-you gift for his driving me there. He was so happy to receive that and I knew he loved to spread his love for poetry passionately. Unfortunately, I didn't take a photo of him holding that painting. So I repainted a pair of shoes for his apocalypse, and hopefully, they can take him anywhere he wants in another dimension.   ~ Rui Ma

So sorry to hear of your loss. Praying for God's peace for the family. ~Mary Temple and Gene Smith

I’m in Professor Martin's class. I’m sorry to hear about his passing . He was honestly the best English professor I had. ~Alexae

Wade Martin was a guest on Bookmarked about 2 years ago—his reading and his conversation were an absolute delight.  Here is a link to a podcast of the broadcast:

I thought his colleagues, friends, and family might like to hear it.  I’m also attaching a couple of photos that our station manager Gene Randall took that day. 

Best, ~Priscilla

Image Gallery

Wade had a generosity of spirit, compassion, and an adventurousness you don’t see in many people. He believed in you.

It’s a small thing, but I keep thinking about the time Wade taught me how to climb a tree. I have a deep fear of heights; as a result, I’d made it to thirty without ever having tried. Once he heard this, Wade scouted campus until he found the perfect tree for beginners: a live oak that split nearly at the base, with the trunk extending low to the ground. I fell within minutes, of course, but without him, I wouldn’t have tried at all. Wade was just full of so much joy, and his loss is hard to fathom. ~Heather Lefebvre