In recognition of his longtime commitment to the University of Central Missouri and his role in the governance of the university, the UCM Student Government Association recently recognized Walter Hicklin as the 28th recipient of the James C. Kirkpatrick Excellence in Governance Award.
Hicklin received the award at a ceremony March 8 in the James C. Kirkpatrick Library. He was recognized by the SGA for his service to the community and UCM, most recently as a member of the university’s Board of Governors, serving as president of the board from 2010 to 2012. Prior to his service on the Board of Governors, he retired from UCM as vice president emeritus of student affairs in 2006 following a career in higher education that spanned 31 years.
“This is an honor to receive an award that was established by people who work for the good of many,” Hicklin said. He noted that his family has been in instrumental in helping him achieve his goals, and he recognized the many people who influenced him throughout his professional career.
“I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a community where I’ve had an opportunity to serve, from United Way to the Warrensburg R-6 Board of Education to Missouri Boys State,” he said. “The opportunity to serve on the UCM Board of Governors is a privilege that allows me give back to the university that has offered me so much.”
Hicklin 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. Hicklin was named head coach of the UCM Mules football team in 1975, and also taught mathematics in the Department of Academic Enrichment. He 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.
Throughout his career in education, Hicklin has been 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 and was named to the Missouri Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.