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Stories of Impact

Tales from "Shaw's Brick Yard"

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Professor Dick Shaw with his wife, Daffy Shaw

When Professor Dick Shaw retired from Rockhurst University in 2003, friends and family took the opportunity to pay him back for a lifetime of giving. Under the leadership of this three children, Rich, John and Shannon, funds were gathered to endow the Professor Richard D. Shaw Scholarship. Now, future generations of students will continue to benefit from Dick's generous legacy.

"I loved being a teacher," says Dick, "Being able to continue that, even though I'm not there, is just a thrill."

In his 22 years at Rockhurst, Dick, a graduate of the Class of 1960, served in a number of capacities in the MBA and undergraduate programs within the School of Management. He taught marketing courses in the day and evening undergraduate programs, the MBA Program and the Executive Fellows Program. He served as Chair of both the Undergraduate and MBA Programs. In 1993 Dick received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Missouri Governor's Conference on Higher Education. Twice he was voted Teacher of the Year by the undergraduate students and in 2003 he was voted Faculty Member of the Year by the students in the MBA Program.

For more than 15 years, Dick's wife, Adolphine (Daffy), worked in the Admissions Office. In 1997 Rockhurst University awarded Dick and Daffy the Harry B. Kies Award for Service and Dick also received the Rockhurst's Regents Award for Service in 2000. Following retirement, Dick was named professor emeritus in recognition of his excellence in teaching.

Extremely devoted to Rockhurst, the Shaws have always been eager to share their generosity... and zest for life... with the school. When the Shaw children were students at the college and living in the dorms, they brought fellow classmates to "Shaw Manor" for Sunday dinners. Shannon established the record for dinner guests one sunny afternoon when she brought home thirteen friends.

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Dick Shaw ’60

When the Senior Class in 1994 was preparing for graduation, several seniors under the leadership of senior Ryan Eason approached Karen Every, Director of American Humanics, who coordinated campus service projects, to help them put a Senior Service Project together. They named the project "Last Call to Service" and started searching for funding. Since it was the end of the semester and departmental budgets were nearly depleted, Karen looked for a donor. She told Daffy about her problem and Daffy said, "Tell them to start organizing the project. Dick and I will fund it."

Rich and John loved to play sand volleyball on the court they built at "Shaw Manor", but Rockhurst did not have a court. The Dean of Students, the Director of Physical Education Department and the Physical Plant Director all thought it would be a good idea to install one on campus but, naturally, none of their budgets had money to spare. "Hey, Dad, why don't you donate a sand volleyball court?" John asked. Dubbed "The Shaw Sand Volleyball Court" is still located on the south side of Corcoran Hall.

Another visual tribute of their benevolence is the "Shaw Brick Yard" within the "Rockhurst Walk of Fame". Shannon, who lives in Indianapolis-the home of the real "Brick Yard", suggested this name. Dick and Daffy like to honor their family, friends and colleagues by having bricks engraved in their honor and planted in the "Brick Yard" which is located just southwest of the fountain. Dick honors each of his guest speakers with an appropriately engraved brick. Every semester each marketing class also selects and votes on the message it wants inscribed on its special brick. There are approximately 1,250 bricks that grace the "Brick Yard". As a fun, lasting and visible way of supporting Rockhurst, Dick and Daffy encourage friends, former students and colleagues to purchase bricks and to ask that the bricks be placed the "Shaw Brick Yard" section, which currently totals 390.

"We believe that people have to learn to give," Dick says. By being strong examples themselves, they hoped to instill this same spirit in their children and others around them. Truly, they have done just that.

When the Shaws' three children, all Rockhurst graduates themselves, organized Dick's retirement party, hundreds of people gathered to pay tribute to this great professor. The scholarship benefits juniors and seniors of the Helzberg School of Management who have financial needs and who are actively engaged in extracurricular activities-something very important to Dick and Daffy.

Today, the Shaws keep as busy as ever, and their commitment to the future of Rockhurst remains a priority. Dick and Daffy have made a commitment through their trusts to designat the University as one of the beneficiaries of their retirement fund assets. Their support will help ensure that Rockhurst can continue supporting students committed to leadership and service in the Jesuit tradition.

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