Hal Dengerink: A man of vision. A true collaborator. A leader.
Chancellor Emeritus H. A. “Hal” Dengerink led campus growth at WSU Vancouver from 1989 –2011. He also served as special assistant to the president of WSU. In that capacity he examined and recommended policy strategies to the evolving WSU multi-campus system.
Dengerink retired from Washington State University Aug. 15 after a remarkable 42-year career. He joined WSU as a faculty member in psychology in 1969. Dengerink held various leadership roles on the Pullman campus until 1989 when he came to Vancouver to establish and lead the new WSU Vancouver branch campus. Upon Dengerink’s retirement, the Administration building on campus was renamed the Harold A. Dengerink Administration building and he was bestowed with the title Chancellor Emeritus, the first in WSU’s history.
Dengerink was active in the Vancouver community. He served on the board of directors of the Columbia River Economic Development Council and Southwest Washington Medical Center. He was appointed by Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire to the Washington Technology Center board of directors. Dengerink previously served as co-chair of the Columbia River Crossing Task Force and later co-chair for the Project Sponsors Council for the Columbia River Crossing.
Dengerink’s noteworthy accomplishments include receiving the Council for Advancement and Support of Education District VIII Leadership Award in 2009 in recognition of his many achievements as a visionary and successful leader, receiving the 2011 Distinguished Psychologist Award from the Washington State Psychological Association and being selected as Vancouver’s First Citizen in 2011.
Dengerink died Sept. 14, 2011 after battling glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, for nearly two years.
“It has been a great pleasure and a real education for me to work with Hal, in various roles, over the last 30 years. His leadership has been visionary and his judgment impeccable. There is no doubt that Washington State University Vancouver, as it stands today, is a lasting tribute to his efforts. The high regard in which he is held in the Vancouver community is matched only by the great admiration felt for Hal by his colleagues across Washington State University.”
Elson S. Floyd
Washington State University
“As a faculty member, I know Hal Dengerink’s achievements from the inside of the university. We have attracted and retained truly worldclass faculty in more than three dozen fields; my colleagues are known for their cutting-edge research (whether mechanical engineering, neuroscience or history) from Taiwan to Washington D.C. to Paris. But Hal is not content with promoting top-notch research; he holds his faculty to the highest standards of teaching: courses must be interesting, challenging and relevant to students. Even so, there is no town-gown division here: faculty and students alike are encouraged to engage in projects that are meaningful and useful to the wider community. We proudly (and enthusiastically) serve students in all stages of life, many of whom are the first in their families to graduate from college.”
Edward G. Meyer Professor of Liberal Arts;
Professor and Associate Chair of History
“Hal has taken a once fledgling idea to increase opportunities for higher learning for the residents of Southwest Washington to a full-fledged campus university complete with many accredited academic departments. For this he has given his time, energy and a personal desire to help many who could not afford the costs associated with leaving their home community and moving elsewhere to attend college.”
Clark County Administrator
“Under Hal’s leadership, faculty, staff and students at WSU Vancouver are broadly engaged throughout our community. Their time and talents are brought to service in virtually every aspect of the region. Seventy-five percent of our graduates stay in our community to live and work. They excel in a variety of roles in private sector, non-profit, politics, government, K-12 and community advocacy.”
“Community leaders acknowledge Chancellor Dengerink’s work in building Washington State University Vancouver. The path from shared quarters with Clark College in the early 90s to the ever-expanding, beautiful Salmon Creek Campus is tribute to his management skill, but even more important are the quality education programs incorporated in the university to meet the needs of citizens of all ages.”
Dr. Twyla Barnes
Superintendent, Educational Service District #112
Member, WSU Vancouver Advisory Council
“In my view, Hal Dengerink is the embodiment of the spirit of WSU Vancouver. When I first interviewed with him he talked to me about the history of the campus and then about his vision for the campus. I knew then that this was a place that would offer me the challenges and adventure I was seeking. Over the years I have come to appreciate how he is known and respected throughout the community and throughout the state. His work has made a huge difference in Southwest Washington’s culture and economy. He has created a campus that is a model, and I am proud to be part of the team.”
Academic Director, Education