OGDEN, Utah – In an age when the average twenty-something entering the work force will hold nine to 13 different jobs, the 2009 H. Aldous Dixon Award winners, Don Spainhower and Richard Sadler, whose professional careers are synonymous with Weber State University, are examples of longevity and loyalty.
Both men will be formally recognized at a luncheon in their honor March 31.
Don Spainhower first arrived at Weber State College in May of 1963, six months before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and nearly a year before the Beatles arrival on U.S. soil.
Spainhower was an established radio and television sportscaster before he became the sports information director for the Weber State Wildcats. Twice named as Utah Sportscaster of the Year (1962 and 1972), Spainhower was the voice of Wildcat Athletics for nearly 20 years, which led to his 2006 induction into the WSU Athletics Hall of Fame.
In 1973, Spainhower became the Director of College Relations, a position he held for five years, before leaving Weber State to pursue a career in the private sector with Mr. Mac clothiers.
Spainhower returned to Weber State College in 1981 as a development officer and began raising funds for scholarships and other student needs, as well as assisting with special events and building dedications. He went on to become Executive Director of Development and directed the Centennial Gift Campaign, the first major fundraising campaign in school history, which raised more than $16 million. In 1992 he was recognized as the Utah Fundraiser of the Year.
Perhaps Spainhower’s dedication to WSU is best demonstrated by his willingness to come out of partial retirement in September 2006 and resume his role as Executive Director of Development. What originally was expected to be an assignment lasting a few months has lasted nearly three years.
Whether entertaining Wildcat athletics fans over the radio or working to create scholarships and endowments that benefit WSU students and programs, Spainhower has enriched the Weber State experience for more than 43 years.
Dean Richard Sadler, dean of the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
, is celebrating 40 years at Weber State. He first joined the faculty as a history professor in 1969, during Richard Nixon’s first year in office—the year Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon and roughly a year before the Beatles officially announced their break up.
Above all else, Sadler views himself as a teacher. It’s estimated that hundreds, if not thousands of students have benefited from his work in the classroom. He has received several awards for his teaching skills, including the Presidential Teaching Award. To this day, he continues to teach, in addition to his administrative duties as dean.
An active historian, Sadler has co-authored books on Ogden City, Weber County, The Weber Basin water history, and has written several articles published in academic journals, including the Utah Historical Quarterly. He also served as editor of The Journal of Mormon History. Closer to campus, Sadler is the author and editor of “Weber State College…A Centennial History,” published in 1989, which chronicles WSU’s first 100 years. In an interesting side note, his co-honoree, Spainhower, is actually mentioned on page 131 of the publication.
Sadler’s legacy also includes outstanding leadership throughout his years at Weber State. From 1974-1979 he served as chair of the faculty senate. In 1985 he was named to his current role—dean of the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences. In that role he has grown the academic offerings of WSU and mentored scores of faculty and students. Sadler has served on the Weber County School Board and the Utah State Board of Education, chairing the latter in 2008. He was president of the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, & Letters from 1979-81.
In addition to teaching generations of Weber State students about history, Sadler has lived it, and in the process, added to the institution’s story.
While administrations have come and gone at the White House and musical styles have changed, these two men have continued to make significant contributions to Weber State and the region. In recognizing Dr. Sadler and Don Spainhower, the H. Aldous Dixon Awards salute two WSU icons.
Named in memory of the former Weber College president, the H. Aldous Dixon Awards have been presented annually since 1970 to honor WSU faculty and staff members who have demonstrated careers of excellence and gone above and beyond the call of duty to support students. Dixon served as president of Weber College from 1919 to 1920, and again from 1937 to 1953.
Anyone interested in attending the Dixon Awards luncheon should call 801-626-7535. Seats at the luncheon are $15 each.
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