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Willard McDaniel Scholarship Fund

The following letter was sent to persons on the current physics mailing list regarding a scholarship fund in memory of Dr. McDaniel.

Picture of Dr. McDaniel

On June 29th, 2000, Professor Willard McDaniel passed away after a courageous fight against one of the most virulent forms of cancer-melanoma. His death leaves a void in the hearts of his friends, his professional colleagues, and alumni who were fortunate to know him as a teacher, mentor, or friend. Bill had a long and distinguished career at the university, serving it as a fine teacher in both the Earth Sciences and Physics Departments, in administration as Head of the Earth Sciences Department, by service on diverse committees, and working with in-service science teachers to broaden their knowledge and keep them abreast of their teaching specializations. Texas A&M University-Commerce recognized his achievements by naming him Professor Emeritus on his retirement. Bill truly cared about his students. He strived hard to get to know them, to teach them well and arouse their interest, and to motivate them to learn and achieve. Students who showed an interest in teaching were dear to his heart and he did his best to encourage that interest. For many years in the summer, Bill offered graduate courses for practicing science teachers, which involved extensive fieldwork off campus.

These courses included travel to all parts of the United States, allowing students to see firsthand unique geological and environmental locations. All those who participated in these trips recognized the improvement in their ability to teach and inspire their own students. When Bill retired in 1995 many of his former students, both undergraduate and graduate, attended his reception and many more called or sent cards and notes expressing their appreciation for his help and concern. Many of Bill’s friends and colleagues have suggested that an endowed fund be established in his name to aid students pursuing science teaching. We have agreed to help coordinate this effort. In memory of Bill, we ask you to consider helping achieve this goal. We are pleased to tell you that up to $5000 has been secured from private sources to match all gifts to the endowment. If you would like to participate, please send your gift to the advancement office, P.O. Box 3011, Commerce TX, 75429. It is important that the gift be made out to the "Texas A&M University-Commerce Foundation" for bookkeeping purposes. If you would like more information, you may contact the Office of Advancement or the physics department.

We hope you will choose to help build this continuing memorial to a fine and truly caring teacher.