Nurturing Minds and Expanding Knowledge: Dale Vidmar Establishes Library Scholarship
Dale Vidmar’s engagement with SOU spans forty years—first as a student and then as a long-time faculty member in Hannon Library. His early experiences at SOU were pivotal in shaping his worldview and played an important role during his career. “SOU fosters a sense of belonging and community within the university and makes students feel valued and supported,” he said.
Dale ’87 BA, MA ’95 grew up in Cleveland where his parents ran two “mom and pop” grocery stores. He attended Cuyahoga Community College before transferring to Kent State, where he participated in a May 4 Commemoration event. Dale listened to influential figures like Daniel Ellsberg and Jane Fonda speak about the tragic events that occurred on the Kent campus in 1970 when members of the Ohio National Guard fired into a crowd of demonstrators opposing the Vietnam War, killing four and wounding nine students.
After leaving Ohio, Dale eventually settled in Ashland where he began exploring libraries and information as a potential career path. In the mid-1980s, Dale enrolled at SOU to pursue an English degree. A non-traditional student at the age of 29, he faced challenges, but he also found support from faculty.
“It was like being part of family right away,” remembered Dale. These encounters made Dale feel like he belonged, boosting his confidence and allowing him to pursue his passion for teaching and literature.
As a graduate assistant in the library, Dale discovered a passion for searching and organizing information, becoming adept at using databases and search tools. His enthusiasm for research and teaching translated into effective interactions with students. He found that helping them find and utilize resources to be a fulfilling process and one that would lead to a long career.
The decision to pursue a second master’s degree, this time in library science from Kent State, solidified his future. He focused on instruction and teaching in the library, with the goal of reducing students’ anxiety and improving their experiences when using library resources.
Dale is driven by a passion for teaching and research, and he praises SOU faculty and teachers, emphasizing that they often devote more time to students than at larger universities. He appreciated the supportive environment at SOU and was where he was provided every opportunityto excel in his academic journey.
Dale’s motivation to establish a scholarship fund stemmed from a desire to give back to the community that had nurtured his own growth and development. The Dale Vidmar Scholarship Fund helps students who work in the library, and it is a powerful way to create a legacy that benefits future generations. Recognizing that students can face many challenges during their academic journey, Dale hoped to help students stay motivated and engaged. By easing financial burdens, the scholarship acts as a catalyst, encouraging students to persevere and continue their educational pursuits.
“Though the scholarship amount might be considered a drop in the bucket compared to the overall costs of education, its impact on the recipients is immeasurable. A seemingly small scholarship can make a substantial difference in the life of a student.” This scholarship serves as a symbolic gesture of belief and encouragement, instilling confidence and affirming the value of the recipient.