Former associate vice president honored

Shauna Stottsberry

Dale Richards, former associate vice president for employee relations and development, was honored yesterday for his 29-year career with Kent State.

Commitment and loyalty were two common themes several former colleagues and friends used to describe Richards as they stood at the podium to say goodbye.

President Carol Cartwright was unable to attend the reception due to prior engagements, but a letter conveying her gratitude for Richards’ service kicked off the evening.

The letter thanked Richards for all the work he had done for the human resources department and encouraged him to take pride in his active involvement with Kent State.

John Peach, director of public safety and long-time friend of Richards, described him as kind and caring with a great sense of humor.

“Dale always had the willingness to take the time to listen to other people’s problems and make sure they knew someone cared,” he said.

“A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter,” Peach said. “And certainly you are to many people.”

David England, dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services, took a different approach to showing his appreciation for Richards. He talked about his interaction with Richards outside the office and on the racquetball court.

“Many people know Dale as a mild-mannered, polite man, but on the racquetball court . I can assure you that Dale Richards is a cold-hearted assassin,” England joked.

Throughout the evening, Richards got a great deal of praise from his peers about his charity work.

“In my time with the United Way . I’ve not seen a person so dedicated to this community,” said Steven Kleiber, president of the United Way of Portage County. “He’s been very committed to the organization through some very hard times.”

As the reception ended, Richards thanked everyone for attending.

“My heart is overflowing with gratitude,” he said. “I’d like to have 30 seconds of silence so you can all feel whatever is in your heart, whatever that may be.”

The room fell silent, and thirty seconds later came the final applause.

Though Richards has retired from his position as associate vice president, he still will be serving Kent State for one year as a senior consultant on several major projects. After his one year of service, he plans to become a K-12 teacher.

“I want to help children lead meaningful, compassionate lives,” he said.

Contact College of Architecture and Environmental Design and School of Art reporter Shauna Stottsberry at [email protected].