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The Man Makes the ClothesRetired theater professor Dr. Darrel Alexander, one of OC’s beloved teachers, has been named to the Master Teacher Hall of Fame.
Alexander joined OC in 1962, hired by Dr. Stafford North to help teach speech classes and direct plays.
Except for two years earning his Ph.D. and two years teaching at Ibaraki Christian College in Japan, Alexander has taught, directed or prepared costumes at OC ever since.
Though Alexander retired from fulltime work in 1996, he did not permanently retire until this spring. That decision made a fitting time to present Alexander with his latest honor.
“I am deeply honored to be recognized for my time teaching at OC,” he said. “In 1996, I wasn’t quite ready to stop working, and I have enjoyed helping with costuming. But now I can say I have done what I wanted to do, both as a teacher and a costumer.”
In 1998, Alexander received the Oklahoma Governor’s Arts Award for Arts and Education. Other accomplishments Alexander is proud of include creating OC’s theater major and starting the Stratford Theater Festival study abroad trip.
“There were no theater courses at OC when I began,” Alexander said. “It has been very satisfying to see the program and major grow, and to see so many students have successful careers.”
Alexander’s ability to connect with students is one reason he was an easy choice for the Master Teacher award.
“Darrel and his wife, Linda, have maintained so many friendships with students from the 60s, 70s and 80s,” said theater professor Phil Reagan, who has worked with Alexander since 1979. “For many years, they hosted a theater retreat at the beginning of the year, and they were always hosting and cooking for students at their home. I have benefited greatly from his skills, advice and counsel.”
Communication professor and department chair Larry Jurney agreed.
“Darrel has always been an exceptional teacher of fine arts,” Jurney said. “He is truly deserving of this honor. It has been a pleasure to spend so much time working alongside him.”
By Josh Watson