(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) – The UCM Student Government Association will honor former Mules football coach and Board of Governors member Walter Hicklin with the James C. Kirkpatrick Excellence in Governance Award on Friday, March 8.
Hicklin is the 28th recipient of the annual award. The ceremony is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the first floor reading area of UCM’s James C. Kirkpatrick Library. The public is invited to attend.
Hicklin, of Gravois Mills, formerly of Warrensburg, retired from UCM in 2006 after 31 years of service. He received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Missouri Valley College, where he was an Academic All-American football player, and earned his master’s and specialist degrees in education from UCM.
He came to UCM from Lee’s Summit High School, where he taught mathematics and served as head football coach. He was named head coach of the UCM Mules football team in 1975, and he also taught mathematics in the department of academic enrichment. He then was named assistant vice president for student affairs, serving as interim vice president for student affairs from 2004 to 2006.
During his tenure in student affairs at UCM, Hicklin received the Noel Levitz National Award for a student retention program he designed and implemented. He also was named the first recipient of UCM’s annual J.P. Mees Award for Outstanding Professional Staff in 2003.
Following his retirement from UCM, he was appointed to the UCM Board of Governors by Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt in 2007. He served two, one-year terms as president of the board from 2010 to 2012.
Throughout his career in education, Hicklin was involved with the American Legion Missouri Boys State at UCM, serving as director of campus programs and facilities. He was named to the Missouri Boys State board of directors in 1991. He also was named to the Missouri Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.
The SGA Internal Issues Committee selects the award recipient from nominees who promote good governmental procedures, efficiency and economy in government, and policies that are in the public’s best interest.
The award is named for the late James C. Kirkpatrick, a UCM alumnus who served 20 years as Missouri’s secretary of state. Past recipients of the award include Gov. Mel Carnahan, Gov. Matt Blunt, State Rep. Deleta Williams, Sen. Claire McCaskill, Gov. Jay Nixon, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan and State Sen. David Pearce.