Hello and welcome. This is the LCU podcast, a podcast that will bring stories, insights and people from Lubbock Christian University. I'm your host, Keegan Stewart, and I'm excited to be with you for another episode. Today's episode, Storytime with Doc The, lovingly known as Doc, Dr. Don Williams has as decorated of a history with LCU as anybody, if you have come through LCU.
You know who Doc is? He first started working at LCC in 1969 as a faculty member, and he has been here ever since. He is at least one course at LCU every year from 1969 to present day. He has served as dean of the college. He has served as assistant to the president with Dr. Pruitt back in the seventies.
He has left a remarkable impact that will live on forever. So story time with Doc. We're going to sit down with him, have a conversation, learn from him and his perspective on LCU. Today, we talked about how he has seen all seven LCU presidents and he has worked with each and every one of them. He also gives us a fun insight into the time when LCU had a football team.
It was a great conversation. I hope you enjoy it. Here is the first episode of Storytime with Doc. Doc, thanks for joining us today.
Don Williams: Oh, you're welcome. Nice to have an invitation to join you.
Keegan Stewart: Is this is this your first podcast?
Don Williams: Yes.
Keegan Stewart: So what do you what do you think about the podcast medium Doc? are you a are you a podcast listener yourself or you downloaded episodes on your phone or are you still you still feeling it out?
Don Williams: I'm still checking it. Shawn got me started because he did that podcast and interview and got me to thinking maybe I need to do some with some of our alums from the times past. So we have a record historically of what, for instance, KLCC was like when I came in 69 and we were a little bit of an outlier station.
Then we went carrier current and I had some really fine station manager, so I think I would be fun to do.
Keegan Stewart: Yeah, you should. You should check it out. It's growing and growing. So it's a growing industry. You just mentioned 69 when you came back as a faculty member, doc, you have taught at least one class at LCU or LCC every year from that point 1969 to 2022 present day, what's the biggest difference in the classroom from that first year to just earlier this year in the spring semester?
22 What's the biggest difference in the classroom?
Don Williams: Well, I think one of the things is the change in the students who are used to more of a visual approach rather than taking notes. Cause I know when I started in 69, I made a lot of transparencies for overhead projection. I even did some slides shows because I felt it was important for them to see some things rather than just take the notes.
And and in fact, I found some of my old slick sheets there from the transparencies days of the transparencies. And I was looking at those now. Well, that's that's interesting the change because it's it's so much easier now to create on the computer and to create a PowerPoint to move photos over which I was thinking back to when I did those slide shows, I had to make 35 millimeters slides.
I had those separated from the outline that I would put with the transparency. So yeah, it's a whole lot simpler and I think this group expects it.
Keegan Stewart: Yeah.
Don Williams: At this point I know the last time I taught persuasion, I thought, this is unbelievable that I can bring in all of this material of current events. We were tracking the presidential election. We were discussing fact versus fiction and some of the events of that campaign and of the election. And it was just marvelous because I look back to when I first started teaching, I would make a lot of a ton of Xerox copies of articles that I might share with the class, or at least give them highlights.
And now I can send that to them via the email, and they actually see the whole not just bits that I selected. So that to me is a great advantage that they and I remind my students that I get a little upset when they're lazy because they have at their fingertips so much information. All they have to do is go online, put the title subject or whatever in.
They have an unending they don't have to go to the library like I made the students do when I came in 69. That that's a major advantage for them. And I'm afraid they get a little lazy sometimes not. Well, they're happy for me to give it to them. Sure. And they're not necessarily as energized to go out and find it.
Keegan Stewart: With the increase of technology in the classroom. Now you have to worry about that technology serving as a distraction, don't you? You got to get off your phone. And anyway, what are you doing on your computer? Are you taking notes or surfing the web?
Don Williams: Yes, that's that's always one. I guess what irritates me Keegan, is the fact that they think I don't see things. I know I'm old, but I am seeing the fact that they're not taking notes, that they're they're surfing, fishing, doing something, playing games. So I have a tendency to call that to their attention.
Keegan Stewart: Good for you. Can't let it slide off me. So it's been here since 1969, as we've mentioned. And what that means is you have seen all seven LCU LCC presidents.
Don Williams: Thats correct.
Keegan Stewart: You've seen them all.
Don Williams: I've worked with all of them.
Keegan Stewart: You've worked with all seven. When somebody asks you about that, what are some of the first thoughts that come to your mind about that?
Don Williams: Well, I see that each president played a significant role in a specific time period. Dr. Maddox, who was first, really had to do a lot of work to lay the foundation. When I came here, for instance, as a freshman in 1960, we had the administration building in Katie Rogers, were the two permanent buildings, everything else barracks. And there he had he had put together a really solid group of faculty, which demonstrated to me that you've got to have that as the core.
You've got a great faculty, the buildings, you have to have certain equipment, science labs, etc.. But he was diligent in maintaining this idea that he could see into the future that he had a dream. And I got to we were we were in fact, so caught up with that that that's why I wanted to come back to teach, because I wanted to be a part of fulfilling that dream that Dr. Maddox had.
Dr. Hacker came in after Dr. Maddox bit. He was here two years, but he played a significant role, in my opinion, in expanding some of the areas and in getting people to think about continuing to think about the future that we had. Dr. Pruitt came following. Dr. Hacker and I worked as his assistant when he was Dean and when he was president.
And we put we put together the first ten year self-study with SACs in 1976, Dr. Pruitt had a dream, and he was also very, very oriented to getting things properly done. We we wanted to have a clear cut picture of the board's role and of the administration's role. That 76 self-study helped us establish that. And solve some issues that we had had in the past concerning the board and their involvement, the daily activities.
Dr. Pruitt also was a jokester, and sometime we'll talk about a lesson that we learned when we tricked the faculty. Oh, yeah. With our guest who came to campus, who happened to be Dr. Pruitt. But we'll save that one for all right. For another time.
Keegan Stewart: In my notes.
Don Williams: But when when he envisioned the Flint Water Project and he got Representative Mahan on to support us, and we received one of the largest federal grants ever given out for a study in effluent in the use of effluent water. And of course Brother Hancock secured some land for us near Wilson, so we had a large project going with that.
Dr. Pruitt kept us moving again toward that dream when he decided in the after six years to step down. Then we invited him, Dr. Lemley, to come back. Well, Dr. Lemley those years, as Dean, and I should have said that earlier. He came as Dean during Dr. Pruitt's time, and Dr. Lemley served for a decade as president.
And in my opinion, based on that decade, it was a time for us, in a sense, I call it the Roman peace, because we tried to solidify, and to stabilize the university financially and to grow the student body with that. And I did fail to mention one thing, and that was during Dr. Pruitt's presidency. And we'll talk about some other time.
But he did have a goal and we established football for three years and played in in the non scholarship intercollegiate. And there's some interesting stories there that we can look at some time.
Keegan Stewart: So the joke that LCU's students make on occasion saying that LCU football is undefeated. And so since.
Don Williams: 84.
Keegan Stewart: Since 84. So that is true, but not undefeated all the time. Assuming that that football team.
Don Williams: If you started in 84, we only had one win in those three years.
Keegan Stewart: Oh, no. Yeah. Also, it's really bad.
Don Williams: So it 84 was a year, we dropped it. So we're undefeated since we dropped.
Keegan Stewart: But since 84.
Don Williams: We defeated a team from Monterrey, Mexico.
Keegan Stewart: Really?
Don Williams: Yeah. How about that was a big victory.
Keegan Stewart: Was it? Was it in Lubbock or was it.
Don Williams: Yeah, we played it. We played the first game at Lowry Field.
Keegan Stewart: Okay.
Don Williams: And the then we came over here to LCS's Lena Stevens football field and played there.
Keegan Stewart: So did you witness the only victory in LCU football history?
Don Williams: Yes
Keegan Stewart: How about that.
Don Williams: I did the announcing.
Keegan Stewart: You announced it.
Don Williams: You know, Charles Stephenson was a spotter. We had we had a fun time. That's great there was great up in the booth. And in fact, we got in trouble a time or two, you know, because we said some things over the air maybe we shouldn't have comment or two about the coaching decisions on a fourth and one.
Keegan Stewart: Yeah.
Don Williams: When we, we had a lead over McMurry.
Keegan Stewart: Uh huh.
Don Williams: And we had not made one, one running play all day, maybe had made a yard and we had a fourth and one and the coach decided to go for it and we didn't make it. And McMurry got the ball, kicked the field goal and won the game. Yeah. And we made a comment that shouldn't have been on the air.
Well, but it was just why are we going for it?
Keegan Stewart: Well nowadays, Doc, I think some of the most liked broadcasters are the ones that are the most candid. So maybe that would go really well these days.
Don Williams: Or I think we were way ahead of our time.
Keegan Stewart: I think so. I think so.
Don Williams: We had a we had a good experience and and that was an interesting time starting from scratch.
Keegan Stewart: No kidding.
Don Williams: With football, we hired graduate from Tech had been a field goal kicker. He came out. Now the interesting thing is that he was followed by Coach Carthell and Coach Carthell had been at Eastern and he came over to as an assistant, came over here and coached and actually we each we were improving even in a non scholarship league everybody had been playing.
And so you had experienced teams that you just can't start a program except we did in softball women's softball first year national championship.
Keegan Stewart: That.
Don Williams: But in that sense with Carthell he coached and went to Eastern and then went to WT after a break, he stopped coaching for a time and he was very successful a WT So part of the issue here was trying to start from scratch is a tough thing and we had three years and then decided that we'd better hang it up.
So and that happened with Dr. Pruitt.
Keegan Stewart: With Pruitt. You're working very closely with him as his assistant. You're in the you're in the thick of it. You're learning a lot. I'm assuming.
Don Williams: Oh I did. Yes. And sothener association rules and regulations and and of course, we were also working diligently, continuing to add things to the campus sidewalks, benches, swing sets. So a lot to try to beautify and and make the students feel comfortable. Then Dr. Pruitt resigned, as I said, and Dr. Lemley came on board. He invited me to be dean and we had ten years there of stability that was very important for the university.
And I think is the reason that we that in the nineties we began to grow. When Dr. Jones came on board, Dr. Jones really sold the idea that we were first rate institution and he taught leadership and we began to grow. And when you look at enrollment charts, that period of the nineties into the 2000 was very significant.
And so we we had an extended period with Dr. Jones. Thank you for 20 years. Of course, do it. And then we brought Dr. Perrin in and that was that was a fun time simply because his mom and dad had been so important in the development. And I should mention that his uncle Jerry Perrin, had been a vice president, had actually come here as chair of the Education Department and then became a vice president, and Jerry was big into projects.
He's the one that got us to do sidewalks and he wanted to beautify the campus. And Jerry was very important during this during that period of the of the eighties and nineties till he retired. And of course, I saw Dr. Perrin and did a super job for us, really stimulating alumni. And each of these presidents has always reminded us of Dr. Maddox's words that he actually delivered in 92 here in a chapel when he said, you know, you've got to hold on to that dream, don't lose it.
And I've seen that through all the leadership, and I've seen it also through the faculty because we've had such long tenured faculty members. In fact, in 76, when we had that first self-study for ten year accreditation, when the visiting team came to campus and they had read our report, which was about 400 pages, and they pointed out to me one day because I was coordinating with them, the that they were highly impressed that we had such longevity among the faculty that when they were looking through your people weren't here for two years or three years and then leave.
They had been here for ten years, had been here 15 years, and they thought that was a very big positive for the for their college at that time. So we had Mr. Perrin and of course now we have a new president of two years.
Keegan Stewart: Yes, right. It's 2020. That's right.
Don Williams: Dr. McDowell. And and that's been I think a very interesting time. And again, I'm kind of a observer now, still teaching some, but at least I'm not going to meetings that, you know, I spent half of my life in meetings as a dean, as director of Grad Studies, and I should throw that in. I'm sorry I got out.
You know, go out. Forgive me for chronologically skipping.
Keegan Stewart: Not a problem.
Don Williams: But when I stepped down as the dean, I became director of graduate studies and we had a period there of really trying to grow online. And of course, everybody was kind of getting on board and we had some some success, but the mindset was still we needed them here and that we transitioned out of that. Although now, as you know, nursing is going to go back into online.
And that I think is important because we have we were early participants in the online and it's just grown exponentially by because everybody now is trying to make some type of contribution. And these the online studies where you don't have to go, you don't have to move, you can do your work. You can continue to to maintain your job.
And so that all occurred with Dr. Jones before he left. And then Dr. Perrin helped us and we got, I think, a real stability again, because you have the ups and downs, the ebb and flow of the university and we needed again a period to kind of take a breath, get everything excited because the culture is changing so radically.
And the idea of whether everybody needs to go to school, to college or not, yeah, has become very important. And the push for vocational or then the push for the folks who are already out and are looking for a second career. And we experimented with that with our management degree back in the late eighties nineties. There. And that is an area we might look at some time.
Keegan Stewart: So you see, you know, all the six previous LCU presidents and then President McDowell is coming in here and there's a pandemic going on. It's just a crazy time to start. What was your advice for President McDowell, someone new to the LCU community after after seeing the first six presidents here?
Don Williams: Well, my advice again is he's our president and he needs, as he's pointed out, a vision and he has a clear vision. That's what impressed me. He's been pushing for that. And you have to whether that transition because you know, older people like me don't change as easily and but I think, again, he has such a drive and he's so spirited and so desirous to make this university grow.
It affects the whole environment of the campus. And his desire to it to make changes where they're needed. We've got new facilities coming up, facilities that we've needed, particularly the dorm. That's going to be a major adjustment for us to have a new facility. Because you have Katie Rogers, as I said, was here when I came in 60, the Johnson Hall.
I graduated. I think they got Johnson Hall 64. But I love the barracks because we had so much fun. There is never any danger of a fire in our barracks because everything was waterlogged. So now we had too many water fights. But but again, I think it's it it Dr. McDowell has insights and he is surrounding himself, which again, is, in my opinion, is what you have to do as a leader.
You need to get people who have the current temperature of our environment. And I think we have a new provost coming in. I think he I was impressed with his interview because he has such a knowledge of where higher Ed is going. And I think we have to have that. I think you have to step out side your own comfort zone often in order to find those people that can come in and help you.
And I believe he will. And I see that as a major step in the right direction by President McDowell.
Keegan Stewart: LCU in 2022. It's still a great place to be, isn't it?
Don Williams: Oh, I love it. I, you know, I'm still sitting out here in the summer. Yeah.
Keegan Stewart: I know. I bumped into him. Doc, you ever take a vacation? I mean. Well, I'm talking. It's June 23rd, and you're still out here just grinding away.
Don Williams: Yeah, well, I'm trying to write a book.
Keegan Stewart: Oh, good for you. What's the. What's the book?
Don Williams: It's about the back yard, commander. It's a story of growing up in the fifties.
Keegan Stewart: Wow. That's awesome.
Don Williams: Thank you. I think it'll be fun. Ward Lane, who is one of the trustees?
Keegan Stewart: Yes, sir.
Don Williams: He and I have a little competition going. He's been writing books, and he brought this by and said, you know, here's my latest book, but I don't see yours. So I told.
Keegan Stewart: Challenge huh.
Don Williams: I'm going to have to do this and get it done. So I've been working on it and I may have you help me because I'm thinking that I might read this book.
Keegan Stewart: Yeah, let's get it on.
Don Williams: Boarded and put the.
Keegan Stewart: Audio. Let's get it on. Let's get it on every audio book distribution place we can Doc.
Don Williams: Well and I think that way a good head of Ward.
Keegan Stewart: Yeah you know is he on audio.
Don Williams: He's he's print. Okay so I'm going to audio.
Keegan Stewart: I want to be able to read your book while mowing the lawn.
Don Williams: Or you could.
Keegan Stewart: Which it, which I can do with audio.
Don Williams: Yeah.
Keegan Stewart: So there we go, doc. This will this will conclude our very first edition of Story Time with Doc on the LCU podcast. Thanks for the time today.
Don Williams: Thank you. I enjoyed it very much.
Keegan Stewart: Thank you all for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, go ahead. Send it to somebody that you know. Please leave us a rating and review. Give us a follow. Give us a hit the subscribe button for us. And look on LCU.edu and all of our social media for more content coming. I'm your host, Keegan Stewart. Thank you so much for listening to the LCU podcast. God bless.
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