DAA Winner: William H. Richardson, '62
Bill Richardson's love of learning and humanity that began and blossomed at Albion College have influenced countless lives throughout Michigan and around the globe.
After college, he taught Latin and English in the Pontiac School District, at the time one of the finest school systems in Michigan. As the socioeconomic composition of the district evolved, Richardson reworked his courses to address the needs of his students and provide them with the communication and research skills that would serve them well after high school. While at Pontiac Central High School, Richardson also was the facilitator for Japanese and Russian language instruction as well as the coordinator of programs for the talented and gifted. During his 33 years at Pontiac Central, he taught or coached more than 10,000 young people.
In 1988, he was recognized by students and the superintendent of schools as a "Prominent Pontiac Teacher" for the high expectations he always held for his students. Richardson was also honored by the Oakland Community College/Detroit Edison Foundation Summer Program designed for at-risk urban students in 1993. The following year, he was presented the Comcast Cablevision Educator Award for his unique use of cable television programming in the classroom. He was one of only 28 teachers nationwide selected to participate in the Satellite Educational Resources Consortium (SERC) Japanese Project Facilitators' Conference in Omaha, Nebraska.
Richardson currently works at Oakland University as the director of the summer English Language Institute in Guizhou Province, China, educating Chinese English teachers in China's poorest province. Over the past 24 years, he has trained more than 4,000 English teachers from primary schools to university level, most of whom continue to reside in the rural Guizhou province. And he has advanced international understanding through the common medium of literature, as well as his open and accepting manner.
Richardson's wife, Lynne, passed away in 1977. He currently resides in Waterford, Michigan. He has four children—Michael, William, Jennifer, and David, '93.