by Mark D. Weinstein, Executive Director of Public Relations
His legacy at Cedarville University is steeped in tradition and student life. Dick Walker worked at Cedarville University for 42 years — from 1970 to 2012 — but his work was more of a mission than a place to earn a paycheck. Dick Walker, 78, is being remembered after he passed away Friday, Feb. 9 at 9:20 pm surrounded by family. Walker is survived by his wife, Linda, and their two children, Scott (Valerie) and Tricia (Greg) Clark.
Funeral Arrangements : Visitation will take place on Thursday, Feb. 15 from 12-2 and 5-7 pm with the funeral on Friday, Feb. 16 at 1 pm. Both will take place at Grace Baptist Church in Cedarville, Ohio.
Walker came to Cedarville University after he completed his undergraduate degree in accounting at Bowling Green State University. He was brought to Cedarville by former president and chancellor Dr. James T. Jeremiah after he visited Camp Patmos where Walker was working. At Cedarville, Walker served many roles, including assistant food director — his first position at Cedarville, intramural director, resident director, dean of men, director of campus activities and director of alumni engagement. The common thread in those positions was the opportunity to influence students, which he did well.
During his tenure, Walker introduced Cedarville to new concepts, many of which remain to this day. He was the creator of the Getting Started Weekend, where first-time students arrive on campus to begin their 1,000 days of being a college student. He had “the rock” delivered to campus from a quarry in the Village of Cedarville. Today, the rock continues to serve as a message board for students and staff to communicate encouraging notes or poignant messages.
Walker was behind the development of a secret organization called “CZ,” which he borrowed from his own college years at Bowling Green. The purpose of CZ was to generate campus spirit through encouraging words or acts of kindness — both trademarks of Walker.
He also surprised many freshmen students when he addressed them by name as he met them for the first time. Walker would memorize the names of up to 500 freshmen and when he would meet them, even in passing on a sidewalk, he would address them by first name. The shock of these students was priceless.
“I saw him walking toward me during my freshman year and as we passed each other, he said, ‘Hi, Jeff,’” recalled Jeff Beste, director of development. “I was confused and stopped in my tracks. For Dick, this may have been a small way to show kindness, but it was a big thing for the new students.”
Throughout his life in the Village of Cedarville, Walker was the biggest cheerleader for the community. He interacted daily with residents at Beans and Cream coffee shop--at the intersection of 72 and 42 — ironically, this location also became the name of his own Cedarville newspaper.
His love for Cedarville University was evident. In 2018, this love was reciprocated when the University surprised Walker by naming a new residence hall in his honor — Walker Hall. Fittingly, the residence hall is located across from Doden Field House and the Fitness Center, locations often used by students.
Walker will be remembered for the many contributions he made to Cedarville University and in the lives of its students. He is a Cedarville icon, a person who loved students and spent his life demonstrating this kindness.
Well done, Dick Walker, good and faithful servant.