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Aug. 8, 2017
This story appears in the fall 2017 edition of the Northwest Alumni Magazine. To view the magazine in its entirety, click here.
A newly established scholarship at Northwest Missouri State University honors the memory of a former faculty member who dedicated his life to teaching and his wife who was active in the Maryville community.
The Dr. Dale J. and Rheva A. Blackwell Business Scholarship is funded by their son, Dr. Roger Blackwell, with a gift of $100,000 to the Northwest Foundation and an additional amount bequeathed from the Roger D. Blackwell Trust.
“The dedication of my dad to his students and the friendship of my mother to everyone and everything at Northwest Missouri State was typical of many academic families that made Northwest the leadership institution that it is today,” Roger said. “My parents are both gone and increasingly there won’t be any students who had my dad in class, so I wanted his legacy to be passed on, partly to inspire other teachers to put students first in their career.”
Dale Blackwell taught accounting and statistics and other business courses at Northwest from 1948 to 1962. Rheva was active in Faculty Wives and the Maryville business community, working at several retail firms, including Montgomery Ward.
Both were members of First Baptist Church and they were among the original incorporators of Maryville’s KNIM radio station, with Dale serving as treasurer during the early 1950s.
Dale began teaching students in all eight grades in a one-room school in Hickory County, Missouri when he was just 18. Later, after 13 years of summer school at Southwest Missouri State, known now as Missouri State, he completed his bachelor’s degree and became a high school business teacher in King City, Missouri.
“My dad was a teacher at heart. He got his first contract to teach at age 17, began teaching at 18,” Roger Blackwell said. “I heard him so many times talk about how pleased he was when a student mastered something that was difficult for the student. I believe that kind of attitude was built early on and lasted throughout his career.”
Dale Blackwell’s dedication and teaching skills became well-known in northwest Missouri as his high school students won many business contests at Northwest. As a result, the University recruited him to its faculty after he received his master’s degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
At Northwest, Dale earned an additional master’s degree and his doctorate at Missouri on his way to achieving the rank of professor of business.
After 40 years of teaching in Missouri, the Blackwells retired to Columbus, Ohio, to be near their grandchildren. Dale continued teaching for several more years at Franklin University and The Ohio State University.
The Blackwells celebrated 73 years of marriage before Rheva’s passing in 2007. Dale passed away in 2011.
Roger Blackwell graduated from Horace Mann High School in 1958 and attended Northwest for three years as a history major before transferring to the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he completed bachelor’s degrees in business and history as well as a master’s degree. After earning his Ph.D. from Northwestern University, he embarked on a long teaching career of his own at The Ohio State University.
He retired in 2005 – though he continues to serve as a guest lecturer, specializing in behavioral economics, and leads executive seminars throughout the country. He also has authored 40 books, his most recent being “Saving America: How Garage Entrepreneurs Grow Small Firms into Large Fortunes.”
Roger Blackwell hopes former students of his father and others who want to honor his dedication to students are inspired to give to the Dr. Dale J. and Rheva A. Blackwell Business Scholarship Fund.
The scholarship is available to students declaring a major in the Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth School of Business. Recipients will be selected based on academic achievement and financial need.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468