ROBERT E. LEE HIGH SCHOOL
HALL OF FAME
WILLARD FLYNN "BUDDY" MURPHY, JR. was a member of the faculty at Robert E. Lee High School from 1978 until 2003. While on the faculty at Lee, he directed and taught theatre. He was also the Fine Arts Chairperson and and English teacher in summer school. He also sponsored the theatre club, which at one time was the largest in Alabama with more then 200 students. He was instrumental in the developement of the successful alumni program, which brought former graduates back to Lee High School to serve as role models and to encourage students. It was this program that was instrumental in the start of the Hall of Fame. He was a very important part of producing school spirit. He helped plan, produce and even emceed some outstanding pep rallies while at Lee. He distinquished himself in the Alabama Conference of Theatre, serving as Distric IV Chairperson for six consecutive years. In 1980 he and his students won five "top threes" at state competition. In 1986 they won every single category in theatre at the district competition.
After Graduation from Robert E. Lee High School Buddy Murphy attended the University of Alabama, graduating in 1972 with a major in Theatre and a minor in English. While there, he was active in the university theatre both as actor and as a director. Flynn attended the University of Alabama Graduate school where he earned a Masters in Theatre in 1974. While there he acted in 25 plays and was allowed to direct in the University Lab Theatre.
Flynn Murphy began his teaching career at McGill Toolen High in Mobile, Alabama from 1974 - 1976 and The Montgomery Academy from 1976 - 1978. He developed theatre programs in both of these schools. He then returned to his alma mater and taught there for 25 years. While at Lee he directed more then 30 plays. Four of his plays were full length Shakespearean plays. In 1983 his students performed the very difficult West Side Story. Some of the other difficult plays undertaken were Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, Shaw's Saint Joan, Euripides' The Trojan Women, Beckett's Waiting For Godo and Wilson's The Piano Lesson. He is currently an adjunct instructor in speech at both Auburn Montgomery and Alabama State University. Flynn has been honored by WSFA's Class Act Award in 2001 and the Alabama Conference of Theatre's highest award, the Dorothy Schwartz Award for Outstanding Theatre Teacher in 2003.
Flynn is an active member of Frazer United Methodist Church, where he teaches ad adult Sunday School class. He recently stage managed The Nutcracker for The Montgomery Ballet.
He is married to the former Heidi Ewell and they have two children: Sean, age 4 and Lily, age 3.
Willard Flynn Murphy, JR. epitomizes the commitment of an educator who understands the meaning of the words for whom Robert E. Lee High School was named, who himself an educator and college president said: "The thourough education of all... the people is the most efficacious means...of promoting the prosperity of the South." He exemplifies the sort of selfless commitment to others in education and in every aspect of his professional life that made the school's namesake the uniquely revered man he is.
Accordingly, Willard Flynn Murphy, JR. was inducted into the Robert E. Lee High School Hall of Fame.