Floyd Freeman Graham (aka 'Fessor) (October 15, 1902 – August 18, 1974 in Denton, Texas) was a US collegiate bandleader and music educator who founded and directed the Aces of Collegeland in 1927, the university dance band, pit orchestra and stage band of the University of North Texas College of Music. He also was a violinist. The Aces of Collegeland was the forerunner to the One O'Clock Lab Band. Graham laid the groundwork at North Texas for what became the first college degree in jazz studies.
Many of the Ace's band members and Saturday night participants became a "who's who" in the performing arts – as members of famous big bands, film, and singers.
Notable Saturday Night Performers with the Aces
In 1971, the University of North Texas Student Government Association designated him as "Honor Professor," and upon retirement May 31, 1973, the regents awarded him the lifetime status of Professor Emeritus. He was the university's first professor emeritus.
Floyd Graham was the son of Schyler Colfax Graham (1869–1931), a Denton grocer, and Rockie Virginia Graham née (1879–1954) Freeman. Floyd Graham first exhibited his interest in music by experimenting with a cigar-box violin while in grade school.
Floyd Graham married Doris Patricia Howard in September 2, 1942. They had a daughter, Patricia (Pati) (Graham) Haworth.
'Fessor Graham Award for Faculty
In 1958, the North Texas student body established the 'Fessor Graham Award, the highest honor bestowed by the students to a faculty member. The award recognizes one faculty member each year for outstanding and unselfish service beyond the call of duty to students.
Floyd Graham, Music, 1958
Beulah Harriss, PE & Intercollegiate Women's Athletics, 1959