Northwestern State University honored Dr. Bill Dickens, who is retiring after a 49-year career as an educator, scholar, researcher and coach, by naming him Professor Emeritus of the NSU’s Department of Health and Human Performance. Dickens’ colleagues voted unanimously to bestow upon him the title in thanks for contributions to the department, to the university and to the profession at large.
“This is an honor conferred by the university to show respect for a distinguished career,” said Dr. Vickie Gentry, dean of the Gallaspy Family College of Education and Human Development. “It says even though you are no longer a full-time employee of this department, you have shown such merit that we claim you as a continuing part of our professional group.”
Dickens has been on faculty at Northwestern State for 28 years during which time he twice served as department head, as well as on numerous administrative committees. Dickens earned numerous honors from the Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (APHERD) during his career for his advancement of professions related to health and human performance. He was involved in numerous youth, athletic, civic and service organizations. Among his many other noteworthy services, Dickens was the manager of the American Red Cross Disaster Shelter set up in NSU’s Health and Human Performance Building that housed more than 1,200 evacuees for several weeks following Hurricane Katrina.
Dickens’ colleagues lauded him as an encourager, a scholar and a teacher passionate about the field of physical education.
“I like to see our kids outside the classroom competing, coaching or working at their internships,” said Dickens, who plans to enjoy retirement with his wife Sandra. “I’ve taught a little over 9,400 students at four institutions. What they get out of education, what they get out of life is what’s important to me.