Forrest C. Crawford
Some men are born to be scholars; others are natural athletes. Some are meant to motivate students in the classroom; others are destined to be influential humanitarians. Forrest Crawford is all that — and more. The Oklahoma native came to Weber State College to play football in 1972, and graduated three years later with a degree in sociology. He returned to Weber State in 1977 as a professor of education. It wasn’t long before Crawford used his passion for teaching and his commitment to social equality to launch a campus-wide effort to raise the university’s level of social consciousness.
Crawford was named assistant to the president for diversity in 1992. In this capacity, he encouraged the university to require that every undergraduate take at least one diversity course. Thanks to Crawford, WSU students now graduate with a better appreciation of different cultures.
During his lengthy career at Weber State University, Crawford has influenced hundreds, if not thousands, of students. Spanish major Nick Berg ’13 helped Crawford organize several of the university’s annual diversity conferences. “Dr. Crawford is a professor with a pay-it-forward approach to education,” Berg said. “He goes above and beyond the call of duty in his words and actions. Thanks to him, I have gained a greater awareness of diversity, multiculturalism and social justice.”
As an enthusiastic advisor to Black Scholars United since 1977, Crawford developed lasting relationships with many of the students served by that campus organization.
When selected by colleagues to deliver the prestigious Last Lecture in 2012, Crawford chose the topic of teaching for humanity. “Learning should take place for the purpose of making better global citizens, not making ‘A’ students,” Crawford said at the time. “Diverse learners and ideals are part of the rich dynamics of classroom instruction and discussion. It’s important for faculty and students to respect different perspectives.”
For more than three decades, Crawford’s academic insight, extraordinary teaching and personal integrity have compelled students, faculty and members of the community to first acknowledge difficult social issues — and then take action.
Today, if you happen to see something at Weber State University that looks new or improved, chances are Norm Tarbox had something to do with it. Over the past 12 years, the university has experienced a whirlwind of physical transformation thanks in large part to his vision and leadership.
-As vice president for Administrative Services, Tarbox has supervised $300 million in capital projects, including the construction of three residence halls in Wildcat Village, the expansion of the Wildcat Center, the renovation of Shepherd Union, the acquisition of an indoor playing field, and the installation of an iconic 65,000-pound commemorative boulder in Tracy Plaza. Under Tarbox’s careful watch, the Arbor Day Foundation named WSU a Tree Campus USA for its dedication to trees and its commitment to getting students involved in green service-learning projects.
“I believe very strongly that ‘place’ matters,” said Tarbox, “and the place of Weber State is something to be cherished. The beauty of our campus affects how students, faculty, alumni and visitors feel about Weber State, and encourages them to stay connected.”
Tarbox is also a tireless champion of WSU Athletics. “A strong athletics program unites campus and community,” he said. He takes great pride in helping provide the resources that will prepare WSU scholar-athletes for competition, and for life. “My hope is that our student-athletes have such positive, life-changing experiences at Weber State, that when they become parents, they’ll want nothing more than to send their children back here.”
Despite his administrative dexterity, Tarbox candidly admits that his most enjoyable activity at Weber State University is teaching an introductory business course. “I’ve taught Accounting 2010 every fall semester for the last 11 years,” said Tarbox. “It means so much when students tell me that my class is as fun and entertaining — as accounting can be,” he said with a chuckle.
Tarbox feels privileged to call Weber Sate University home. “The highlight of my professional life has been to contribute to this university’s growth and development.”
Dixon Award History
Each year since 1970, the Alumni Association has honored outstanding members of WSU’s faculty and staff with an award bestowed in memory of President Dixon, who served as the school’s chief administrator from 1919 to 1920, and from 1937 to 1953. Dixon Award recipients have demonstrated careers of excellence and have gone above and beyond the call of duty to support students.
The 45th Annual H. Aldous Dixon Award luncheon is on March 4 at noon in the Hurst Center for Lifelong Learning on WSU’s Ogden campus. The public is invited. Cost is $15 per person. Reservations must be made before Feb. 27 at alumni.weber.edu or call 801-626-7535.
Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.