The Southwestern Scholars Hall of Fame was established in order to honor alumni who have had distinguished careers in higher education and other venues of scholarship. The college is known for producing outstanding alumni worthy of recognition. It is the intent of the college to honor alumni who excel in careers in this realm.
Dr. Tilghman H. Aley ’48 is credited with helping create the Kansas system of community colleges as a strong branch of higher education. After earning graduate degrees from Oklahoma State University and the University of Kansas, he began his efforts to move Kansas community colleges out of high schools into a separate role in higher education. He was in several leadership positions in Kansas community colleges as well as promoting state financial assistance for the schools. When he died in 1983 Dr. Aley was president of Casper (Wyo.) College, a position he had held since 1961. He had held a similar position at Mesa (Colo.) College. Colleagues credit “Tim” for being not only the architect of the Wyoming community college system, but also a driving force in the evolution of higher education.
Dr. Tara J. Gray ’81 is the first director of the Teaching Academy at New Mexico State University (NMSU). The Teaching Academy seeks to improve student learning by providing NMSU educators with professional development in teaching, leadership and mentoring. Tara earned her Ph.D. in economics at Oklahoma State and taught economics at Denison University before joining the Department of Criminal Justice at NMSU where she now is associate professor of criminal justice. She has published dozens of academic articles and three books, including Publish & Flourish: Become a Prolific Scholar. She has been honored at New Mexico State and nationally for teaching or service and has presented faculty development workshops to 10,000 participants at more than 120 venues in 35 states, and several international sites.
Dale B. Sims ’80 has been successful both in industry and in academia, making the transition from a career as a computer technologist/engineer to faculty member at Dallas Baptist University in 1991. At DBU he was an assistant professor of computer science before moving into the College of Business, where he has been dean as well as professor of management information systems. He is the only professor at DBU ever to go directly from assistant to full professor. In 2006 he was a Fulbright Scholar, teaching in Latvia. The following year he helped Lithuania Christian College create an online education program, setting up the needed infrastructure, teaching the first online course, and writing an online education primer for professors.
Philip R. Schmidt was barely older than his students when he joined the faculty at Southwestern College. When he taught his final class just a few weeks before he died in 2014, he was the institution’s most senior faculty member. During the 47 years between those time points, Dr. Schmidt was a respected scholar, a revered teacher, and a beloved friend. Meticulous, conscientious, and caring, he took pride in the achievements of those he taught, and delighted in their post-graduation friendships. Phil was the Southwestern College liaison to the Chicago Center, past social sciences division chair, sponsor of Pi Gamma Mu, and a member of numerous committees and task forces. He received the Kopke Award for Excellence in Teaching from Southwestern College in 2008.
Everett V. Samuelson ’48 oversaw a period of extensive growth as dean of the College of Education at the University of Idaho. During his 26-year tenure in this position (1963-1989), the college constructed its main College of Education building, buildings for industrial education and physical education, and the swim center. Among many programs he helped develop were a doctoral program in education and extensive international programs. Samuelson had been a principal and superintendent in Kansas schools following graduation from Southwestern, but moved on to become director of school accreditation for Kansas State Department of Education. After he earned his doctorate, he served in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, then became director of the Bureau of Educational Research at the University of Colorado before joining the Idaho faculty.
Marilyn Brown Corbin ’70 has devoted over 40 years to extension education, leading community-based programs that address preventive health strategies developed with the latest university research. She has faculty and administrative experience with Cooperative Extension at four land-grant universities—Texas A&M, Kansas State, North Carolina State, and Pennsylvania State. Most recently she has been associate director, extension program leader for family and consumer sciences, and professor with Penn State Cooperative Extension at Pennsylvania State University. She provides statewide leadership to non-formal educational programs offered throughout Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, working closely with extension educators employed at the county level. During her career she has received over $20.5 million in grants and contracts to implement award-winning educational programs for families, emphasizing nutrition, health, and family life education.
Christian E. Downum ’79 is a professor of anthropology and former director of the Anthropology Laboratories at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. He has more than 30 years of field experience and has headed more than 140 field and laboratory projects in the deserts, mountains, and Colorado Plateau regions of Arizona. He is considered an expert on the ancient ceramics of northern Arizona and the prehistoric archaeology of the area surrounding Flagstaff. Recent research projects include an archaeological survey of Sunset Crater National Monument, and investigating the possible cancer-preventive properties of ancient and traditional Southwestern foods. His expertise is utilized by the Museum of Northern Arizona and several government agencies, including the U.S. National Park Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Dr. Downum is author of Hisatsinom: Ancient Peoples in a Land Without Water, which was named one of the 10 best books of 2012 in the Southwest.
J. Jubal Tiner ’88 is an associate professor of English at Brevard College, a small, private, liberal arts school in the Smokey Mountains of Western North Carolina. He is an award-winning and widely published fiction writer, his work often exploring varied approaches to masculinity in contemporary society. . Tiner’s work has appeared in The Baltimore Review, The Florida Review, Oxford Magazine, Puerto del Sol, Jabberwock Review, Dos Passos Review, Weber Studies, and elsewhere. His manuscript, The Waterhouse, was a finalist for the James Jones First Novel Fellowship. He is the founder and editor of Pisgah Review; owner of MIGSC Press; and former editor of both The Cimarron Review and Midland Review. In addition to his own work, Tiner has worked to instill a love of literary arts in others by teaching at Xavier University, University of Indianapolis, University of Dayton, and Western Carolina University.
John “Jim” Ward
John W. “Jim” Ward (1927-2005) ’50 was both a minister and a professor. While still a student, he pastored rural churches in Kansas; after graduation from seminary and ordination in the United Methodist Church, he served churches in Indiana. Later he was summer pastor of Union Methodist Church on Cuttyhunk Island, Mass, for a record 33 years. In 1965 Dr. Ward joined the faculty of at Boston University School of Theology, where he taught homiletics (preaching), oral communication, and the experience of prayer. He also taught lay pastors in the summer study program and Navy chaplains receiving training at the U.S. Navy Chaplains School. During his three decades at Boston University, he taught hundreds of men and women, from various Protestant denominations, who were preparing for ministry.
Randall L. Duncan ’77 discovered his love for research as he completed his doctorate in physiology at Oklahoma State University. A post-doctoral fellowship allowed him to spend three years at the Medical College of Virginia studying renal function. He continued his renal studies at the Washington University at St. Louis (WUSTL), where he became interested in regulation of skeletal architecture and bone mass and discovered a unique channel in osteoblasts that was responsive to mechanical stimulation. Because of its relevance to skeletal health in space due to reduced mechanical loads, NASA funded his research. He moved to Indiana University School of Medicine in 1994, then to the University of Delaware in 2005, where he became chair of the Department of Biological Sciences in 2009. As a senior researcher, he has been especially mindful of his responsibility to mentor younger colleagues, and has promoted the role of women in the sciences and engineering.
Garry D. Hays ’57 is president emeritus of United States International University. During his tenure (1992-2001) USIA enrolled students from more than 90 countries on campuses at San Diego, Nairobi, and Mexico City, and at a graduate center in Irvine, Calif. Hays began his teaching career at Southwestern College before moving into administrative positions at St. Cloud State University (Minnesota), and Virginia Wesleyan College. From 1976 to 1982 he was chancellor of the Minnesota State University System, comprising seven universities and more than 49,000 students. From 1982 until he joined USIU, Hays served in executive positions with the HELP group, which included several interrelated private, non-profit corporations assisting students in gaining access to postsecondary education.
Michael C. Robinson ’65 ( 1943-1998) was a highly respected historian, staff member for the Public Works Historical Society, director of information of the American Public Works Association, and division historian of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The foundation of his work was his belief that history was to be used to help engineers function more effectively, “to provide a living link between the professional generations that would enlighten and ennoble the actions of public works engineers that they and the public had come to take as mundane and commonplace,” one colleague said. He used history as a valuable tool to analyze past mistakes and find ways to avoid future ones. His most important book was History of Public Works in the United States: 1776-1976, a work commissioned for the United States bicentennial that remains the definitive textbook.
Virginia Y. Blanton ’89 is doctoral faculty in both English and religious studies at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. Her research focuses on representations of women in the religious culture of medieval England. Her book, Signs of Devotion: The Cult of St. Æthelthryth in Medieval England, 695-1615, examines female saints’ lives and how the social, historical, and political contexts of these narratives informs our understanding of medieval religious culture and social life. She also is author or co-editor of several other books, and of many articles published in prestigious venues. Blanton spent seven years as organizer of a film festival on medieval studies, held annually at the International Congress on Medieval Studies.
Eldon Dale Dunlap ‘43 earned his Ph.D. from Yale University and joined the religion faculty at Southwestern College in 1951. Four years later he was appointed dean of the college. In 1959 he became one of the original faculty at the new Methodist seminary – Saint Paul School of Theology. In 1970 he was appointed academic dean; he retired in 1987. As part of his service as a United Methodist clergy, Dunlap wrote the initial draft of “By Water & Spirit,” the official United Methodist understanding of baptism. He was an authority on British Methodism, particularly the 18th & 19th centuries, and a well-known Wesleyan Scholar. In his latter years, he was an advocate for the rights of persons of same-gender orientation.
Daniel “Danny” Callison
Daniel “Danny” J. Callison ’70 completed a doctorate at Indiana University in 1983, and joined the graduate faculty there. During his tenure with the School of Library and Information Science, Callison served as professor of the doctoral program and director of school media education. In 2006, he was appointed professor and dean of the IU School of Continuing Studies and Online Education. He administers programs to deliver alternative education to non-traditional learners around the world. During his years at Indiana University he has been a consultant and accreditation evaluator for over 20 universities, and has developed many courses pertaining to management and evaluation of information sources and services. Callison is founding editor of School Library Media Research, and author of Information Age Inquiry.
David A. Nichols ’60 taught and held administrative positions for 11 years at Huron (S.D.) College, earned his Ph.D. in history from the College of William and Mary in 1975, then returned to Southwestern College in 1978 to teach economics. The following year, he was appointed chair of the management division. In 1985, Nichols was appointed vice president for development, and in 1992, he became vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty, a position he held until 2003. Following retirement Nichols wrote A Matter of Justice: Eisenhower and the Beginning of the Civil Rights Revolution. His earlier book, Lincoln and the Indians: Civil War Policy and Politics, is considered the definitive study of Indian policy during the Civil War.
DeWitt Clinton ’68 channeled a lifelong interest in poetry and teaching into a rewarding life in academe. Beginning in 1981 he has taught at various ranks in the Department of Languages and Literatures at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater. Since 1995, he has held the rank of professor of English, teaching a variety of composition, general writing, literature, and a favorite “world of ideas” course. Clinton has published two book-length poetry collections of historical improvisations, six chapbooks of poetry, and numerous essays and poems in a wide variety of magazines in the United States and abroad. In Milwaukee, he has served as a volunteer, and later as a president of a board of directors for a work-oriented day care center for the chronically mentally ill.
Todd A. Diacon ’80 has been a faculty member at the University of Tennessee since 1989, and became head of the history department and full professor in 2004. He is author of two books, including Stringing Together a Nation, which was awarded the Warren Dean Prize for the best book published on Brazilian history in 2003-04. In 1995 he taught at the Federal University of Goiás, Brazil, as a Fulbright Fellow. In 1997 the University of Tennessee awarded him the Thomas Jefferson Prize for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity. He has presented his scholarly work in the United States, Brazil, and Italy.
William D. Brooks ’50 has enjoyed a distinguished career as a scholar and author in the field of communications. He wrote and published 34 books, and his Methods of Research in Communication was selected as the top book in the communication field by the membership of the Speech Communication Association of America. Brooks’s Speech Communication textbook has been used for 35 years, making it among the longest-lived textbooks in the field of communication. Brooks also has been a well-known consultant, evaluator of programs, guest seminar instructor, and public lecturer at prestigious universities including the University of Glasgow, Scotland. He served a decade on the Southwestern College Board of Trustees, beginning in 1996.
Bruce C. Birch ’62 holds graduate degrees from Perkins School of Theology and Yale University. He joined the faculty at Wesley Theological Seminary in 1971 as professor of Old Testament, and in 1999 became the Woodrow W. and Mildred B. Miller Professor of Biblical Theology. He was named dean of the seminary in 1998. Dr. Birch has taught or lectured at institutions in Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Australia, and across the United States. He is author or co-author of 15 books and more than 80 articles. He served as an Old Testament editor for the 12-volume New Interpreter’s Bible, for which he also contributed the commentary on First and Second Samuel. A clergy member in the United Methodist Church, Dr. Birch is widely known for work on the relationship between the Bible and Christian Ethics, the Books of Samuel, the eighth century prophets, the literature out of Israel’s Babylonian exile, and biblical foundations for Christian stewardship.
Gene W. Gruver ’65 is professor of economics at the University of Pittsburgh where he has served on the faculty since 1970. His teaching focuses on economic development, environmental issues, and quantitative economic policy. His research focuses on the impact of new technologies and locations of steel minimills on environmental quality and industry clusters. Dr. Gruver’s interest in international education has led him to become a Fulbright Professor at the University of Nairobi in Kenya in 1976-77, and to sail twice on Semester at Sea—as a faculty member on the fall 1988 voyage and as academic dean in the spring of 2001. He also has lectured in Poland and China. Dr. Gruver has consulted for the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank, the U.S. International Trade Commission, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Rex A. Wade ’58 has devoted his professional career to the history of Russia, specifically the Russian Revolution. He has held tenured positions at Wisconsin State University-LaCrosse, the University of Hawaii, and George Mason University, as well as visiting professorships at the University of Nebraska, Portland State University, and the University of North Carolina. Published in 1969, his first book explored the relationship between foreign policy, the demands of a great war, and internal revolutionary politics. His most recent book, the second edition of The Russian Revolution, 1917, provides a new interpretation of the revolution. Between these two works, Dr. Wade wrote or edited eight other books and approximately 60 scholarly articles, essays, entries for both academic and general encyclopedias and reference works, and other professional writing. Dr. Wade served the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies in capacities including president, and in 2004 was given its Senior Scholar Award.
Emmet G. Smith ’50 is Herndon professor of music emeritus at Texas Christian University. His musical education began at Southwestern College and continued at Texas Christian University where he was hired to teach organ following his first semester of graduate school. Forty-five years and hundreds of students later, he retired from TCU in 1996. He spent a year in Paris on a Fulbright Scholarship, and took his TCU organ class to Europe during summers from 1964 to 1993. He was presented the Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1984 and was Piper Professor of the Year for the state of Texas in 1974. Above all he was a teacher—13 of his organ students won Fulbright Scholarships, and two won Rotary International Scholarships.
Kenneth M. McCaffree ’40 is professor emeritus in economics at the University of Washington – Seattle. He has published more than 60 articles, pamphlets, and research reports, and in the past 25 years has issued nearly 700 grievance arbitration decisions for unions and employees. His early work dealt with labor relations in the construction and atomic energy industries and other labor markets. During the late 1950s and 1960s, he became interested in the delivery and financing of health services as a trustee and president of the Group Health Cooperative, the largest consumer-controlled HMO in the nation. These activities shifted Dr. McCaffree’s career to health economics, where he became the first to demonstrate the economic superiority of psychotherapy treatment over traditional custodial care for the mentally ill.
Sidney DeVere Brown ’47 is professor emeritus of history at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Brown specialized in Japanese history during his 43-year university teaching career, an interest that began when World War II interrupted his Southwestern College education. Research and teaching about Japan became the central focus of Brown’s career, especially Japan in the 19th century. He is known particularly for his three-volume biography and translation of The Diary of Kido Takayoshi, 1868-1877. After completing his Ph.D. in history at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1952, he taught at Oklahoma State University, moving to the University of Oklahoma in 1971 and retiring there in 1995. He is remembered at both universities for his promotion of East Asian Studies, and has been selected at OU as one of 47 scholars to be honored in the niches of the Gothic buildings as “major players in the history of the university.”
William M. Cloud ’47 completed a triple major in physics, mathematics, and chemistry at Southwestern College before completing master’s and doctoral degrees in physics at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Cloud taught at SC for several years before holding professorships at Emporia State University (seven years) and at Eastern Illinois University (27 years). He is author of the physics test used nationally for the TEAMS (Test of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science) competition sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers. While professor of physics at Eastern Illinois University, Dr. Cloud was chairman of the pre-engineering program and was credited with guiding the highly-successful program that helped hundreds of students transfer into prestigious engineering programs.
Richard H. Leftwich ’41 is a noted economist, educator, and author. He joined the Oklahoma State University faculty in 1948, moving through the ranks to Regents’ professor of economics and serving as department chair from 1965 to 1975. From 1979 until his retirement in 1985 he established and was director of the university’s Market Education Center. Dr. Leftwich’s book, The Price System and Resource Allocation, went through 10 editions, was translated into eight other languages, and sold more than half a million copies. Dr. Leftwich has received numerous awards for teaching and service, and was declared one of the most influential economists in A Biographical Dictionary of Major Economists. He has done research, taught, and lectured in Chile, Egypt, and Taiwan, and following retirement was a visiting professor at Paul Quinn University, Trinity University, Southwestern College, and Austin Peay State University.