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William Reed Steckel* -- 1997 -- Outstanding Former Faculty
History DepartmentWhen Dr. Steckel's dissertation was named the best in.the western U.S. in 1949, Dr. T.A. Larson recruited him – fresh out of Stanford – for the UW History department. He stayed with the department for 31 years, bringing national prominence to UW through his professional research, publications and teaching in other universities. Recognizing his expertise, the Encyclopedia Britannica named him regional editor. He also coauthored Patterns in American History, read by thousands of undergraduates throughout the country.
Dr. Steckel worked tirelessly to build and develop new programs on campus. He was the first director of the American Studies Program and president of the Rocky Mountain American Studies Association. Dr. Steckel, however, devoted most of his enormous energies to students in his department. Because he lived his belief that good teaching is an academic imperative, he received several awards for teaching excellence. Near his retirement, he served as acting vice president for Academic Affairs. He is, a colleague once said of him, "...a person of enormous integrity and a committed scholar."
*In loving memory.