Bishop Herbert Welch Meritorious Teaching Award (1975)

Interview Excerpt

“Teaching at Ohio Wesleyan has been such a good adventure, such a good life,” Dick says. He envies new faculty and staff who are just beginning the journey. His advice, “Strive to make a contribution, work for your students, serve your profession honestly and help the school in a broad sense.”

These are serious words from a man, who says his wonderful wife of 50 years, Betty Jackson Smith ’52, would say he has “laughed his way through life.” But Dick misses the excitement of the learning process, presenting data, challenging students, getting their responses and witnessing their growth.

To fill the void he and Betty travel-visiting their children who are scattered from coast to coast, they have also been to Europe, Fiji, New Zealand, every state in the Union and Canada.

Dick is also working on a research project about Bishop Charles McIlvaine, an Episcopal Bishop who for health reasons lived in England before the Civil War. During that time he made some important lay as well as clerical contacts, so the Lincoln government sent him back to England during the war to blunt confederate propaganda and see that the Union presentation was made.

This desire to understand the world through prior experiences is what Dick thinks make Ohio Wesleyan history majors such an asset to their professions. “Students erroneously believe that the only way to make money is through economics. They don’t realize that history goes into law, business and medicine. Our alumni are hired because they think, analyze and have depth of knowledge,” Dick says.