Dec. 19, 2011
Scholarship named for longtime VP, father of ‘Electronic Campus’
Northwest Missouri State University, the Northwest Foundation and Dr. Jon Rickman recently announced the formation of the Jon Rickman Electronic Campus Scholarship, named for the University’s former vice president of information systems, who retired this month after serving the institution for 35 years.
Beginning in fall 2012, the Jon Rickman Electronic Campus Scholarship will be available to Northwest students of all majors based on financial aid and admissions policies, with academic achievement and financial need serving as the leading criteria.
“I am extremely pleased this scholarship will continue one of the initial guiding principles of the Electronic Campus, that is, ‘students come first,’” Rickman said. “Through this scholarship hopefully more students can experience a quality education enhanced by excellent technology at Northwest.”
Rickman began teaching and became director of computing services at Northwest in 1976. That same year, he programmed a new Altair micro computer, the first commercial personal computer in the world, used by Northwest’s Department of Computer Science. In 1987, Rickman created the first campuswide academic comprehensive computing network and residence hall network in the nation. The network garnered national attention for Northwest through coverage by The Washington Post, USA Today and the Associated Press, and since, Rickman has been known as the father of the University’s “Electronic Campus.”
During the 1990s, Rickman continued to ensure Northwest remained on the cutting edge of the fast-evolving computer technology. In 1991, he helped create MOREnet, the Missouri Research and Educational Network, a data and digital instructional TV network that has saved Missouri schools and tax payers millions of dollars during the last 20 years. Rickman was promoted to vice president of information systems in 1996, and in 2004, Northwest implemented a low cost model to provide residence hall students with laptops. Furthermore, in 2008, Northwest implemented its program to provide laptops to its more than 7,000 students, making the University the first in the nation to provide both a laptop and textbooks to its students as part of their tuition and fees.
“Jon Rickman is a scholar and leader who has epitomized brilliance for more than four decades in higher education,” said Mike Johnson, vice president of university advancement. “This scholarship will award his truest love for students in his name forever, and it clearly links to Northwest’s mission of student success.”
Prior to his work at Northwest, Rickman was a manager for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company and taught at the University of Central Missouri, The Pennsylvania State University and Southern Illinois University.
During his 45-year professional career, Rickman wrote and edited four books and published or presented nearly 70 articles. In 2002, he also helped create the Jean Jennings Bartik Computing Museum at Northwest, in honor of the computing pioneer and Northwest alumna. Rickman also initiated the creation of the Northwest Online Museum.
To support the Jon Rickman Electronic Campus Scholarship, submit a tax-deductible gift to the Northwest Foundation at 800 University Dr., Maryville, MO 64468 or visit www.nwmissouri.edu/GiveOnline. For more information, contact Northwest’s Office of University Advancement at 660.562.1248.
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