On Feb. 9, Baker University inducted Dr. John English and Dr. Bill Neuenswander into its Faculty Hall of Fame.
“Dr. English and Dr. Neuenswander are more than deserving of this honor,” said Baker University President Lynne Murray. “Whether it is scholarly work or student mentorship, these two esteemed professors represent everything that Baker faculty members aspire to. They have helped to construct Baker’s rich tradition of faculty excellence.”
Established in 1990 and comprising 26 members, induction into the hall of fame is the highest recognition Baker University presents to retired faculty members. Individuals selected for this award served as full-time faculty members for a minimum of 15 years and gained off-campus recognition through service in professional organizations, scholarly publications, or fine arts performances. They demonstrated exceptional teaching, provided constructive citizenship in the community, and exhibited personal character and professional ability that touched and enriched the lives of students.
English served as a professor of history from 1965 to 1997 and was the department chair for many of those years. Nominators all cited his crucial role in the design of the Shaping of Western Thought Program that integrated history, literature, religion, theater, psychology, and philosophy into a two-semester sequence using primary texts that spanned the 5th century through the 20th century.
“I cannot imagine a professor more committed to our students’ being liberally educated in the traditional sense, who lived the exemplary life of the scholar-teacher, or more deserving to be in the Baker University Faculty Hall of Fame,” said Dr. Don Hatcher, professor of philosophy and director of Baker’s Liberal Arts and Critical Thinking Program.
Neuenswander began working at Baker University in 1995 and served 17 years in varied roles, including director of teacher education and dean of the School of Education. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate students, Neuenswander held a key role in developing Baker’s first doctoral program, Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, in 2006. Additionally, he was instrumental in developing the outcomes assessment for the departments within Baker’s School of Education and College of Arts and Sciences that offer teacher licensure programs of study.
“Dr. Neuenswander is one of the most respected educators in Kansas who helped shape K-12 teaching and learning as well as the preparation of building and district leaders,” his hall of fame nominators wrote. “Besides being a person of great influence, Bill is highly respected for his integrity and honesty. He is a spiritual man who has reverence for life, and in his different roles as teacher, advisor, and mentor, he always finds other’s well-being more important than his own.”
Neuenswander was inducted into the Kansas Teacher Hall of Fame in 2004. His scholarly work includes publications, invited lectures, and presentations at state and national professional organization meetings. He also has participated in National Council for Accreditation in Teacher Education and Kansas State Department of Education program reviews for teacher education programs throughout Kansas, and he has held and membership and leadership positions on numerous state teacher education committees.