Farewell to Retiring Faculty

RetireesDr. Lyn Huxford has left a remarkable legacy of volunteerism, service learning and social justice. In 36 years, the Distinguished Professor of Sociology transformed McKendree’s culture and ensured that its students understand and appreciate the value of serving others.

McKendree students have contributed an estimated half a million community service hours under her tutelage. In 1994, she established the Center for Public Service on campus to integrate service learning opportunities into the curriculum and served continuously as its first and only coordinator. To honor her leadership, it has been renamed the Dr. Lyn Huxford Center for Community Service and relocated to Bothwell Chapel.

Lyn was the driving force behind the Jamaica alternative spring break, leading countless groups of students each year to build and paint houses and deliver much needed supplies. She also coordinated the Into the Streets service-learning program for first-year students, and mentored over 100 Community Service Scholars.

In 1996 she won the United Methodist Church Exemplary Teaching Award, Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Grandy Faculty Award (also in 1988). The 2006 Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award recognized her service to others, particularly those who experience poverty or homelessness and individuals who are HIV positive.

Lyn now plans to volunteer more time at Food Outreach, travel and refine her ceramics skills. “I hope everyone has as great an experience as I have had at McKendree,” she said. “The community here is quite special and it has been a privilege to be a part of it.”

Fred Underwood, assistant professor of computing, joined the McKendree faculty in 1986 and earned tenure in 1992. For many years, he was responsible for nearly all of the lectures and labs of the general education computing class - in other words, he taught nearly every undergraduate student on the Lebanon campus. He chaired the Division of Computer Science and Computer Information Systems in 2001 and 2002. In 1988, he started coaching the men’s golf team and in 1996 was appointed coach of the women’s golf team.

Fred says winning the Grandy Award in 1991 was the proudest moment of his 28- year career. He looks forward to a leisurely retirement with “more time to do what I do best… nothing,” he said with a smile.

Dr. Peter Will, associate professor of management, arrived on campus in 2002 with an impressive collection of Bunsen burners and slide rules acquired during his previous career as a chemist. He soon became a highly engaged and supportive faculty member, attending many Bearcat athletic events and performances at the Hett.

Peter served as the faculty athletic representative since 2007, and helped lead the University’s transition from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics to NCAA Division II. He collaborated with the Division of Health Professions to create and develop McKendree’s sport management program, which has quickly grown to about 60 majors. He also designed and planned the Sigma Beta Delta business honor society’s annual dinner and induction ceremony, which has become a signature event for the School of Business. Respected by his students and colleagues as an excellent teacher, he received the Grandy Award the 2011 and the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award in 2012.

Mary Ann Thompson, associate professor of nursing at the Kentucky campuses, retired after eight years.