Three Earn ‘Distinguished Service Professor’ Title at McKendree
Lebanon, Ill. — They have taught, mentored and influenced countless McKendree University
students since 1978 and witnessed profound change on campus during their 35-year careers.
The university bestowed the title of “Distinguished Service Professor” on Dr. Pat
Folk, Dr. Lyn Huxford and David Ottinger during convocation for new students on Aug.
Folk, professor of history, is “a legend on this campus,” said Dr. James Dennis, university president. “Dr. Folk is well known for his rich storytelling—especially around Halloween—and his ability to inspire students to get excited about history,” he said. The Lebanon resident is also the Deneen Memorial Professor of Early American History in recognition of his extensive knowledge, expertise and scholarly accomplishments.
Huxford, also a Lebanon resident, teaches sociology and leads the Center for Public Service, which she launched to coordinate volunteer opportunities for students. “She is especially known for her passion, her energy and her commitment to doing the right thing, particularly in service to our students,” Dennis told the audience.
Ottinger, of St. Louis, is a working artist as well as an instructor. “He has been a role model for both art majors and students who took courses for the sheer joy of learning from such a talented artist,” Dennis said. In 35 years at McKendree, he has worked with faculty colleagues to develop the art curricula and helped many students apply for graduate school or pursue careers in the art world.
“These faculty members have, quite literally, dedicated their lives to this institution, and they continue to provide loyal and dedicated service,” the president said. “Each has touched thousands of students’ lives and had a significant impact on the growth of McKendree University. They have persevered through good times and tough times; through changes in campus facilities, grounds, administrators, policies and procedures; and through students, colleagues and friends coming and going. Through the years, they have never lost sight of what matters most here—the students—and I believe that is what has kept them motivated and engaged for so long.”
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