Richard Dodge '54 sets up scholarship for his Shocker Family

The gift will benefit students studying the physical sciences 

Richard Dodge

Richard Dodge

It’s been nearly 60 years since Richard Dodge graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from what was then the University of Wichita. In those six decades, he hasn’t lived even remotely close to Wichita, Kan.

   But neither the years nor the geography has diminished his affection for all things Shocker. In fact, during most seasons of the year he can be found in front of his home computer in Stockton, Calif., watching or listening to live streaming of WSU basketball, volleyball and baseball games.

   “Thank goodness for the Internet,” Dodge said with a laugh. “I used to have my mother send me the newspaper sports sections regularly so I could follow what Wichita State was doing. She passed away in 1985. When the Internet came along, that was just fantastic.”

   When he retired from his professorship at the University of the Pacific in 1997, Dodge knew that he wanted to include Wichita State in his estate plans. He has bequeathed one-third of his estate to his Shocker family.

"I never married or had children of my own, so this is a way for me to help someone else's children."

- Richard Dodge

   But it wasn’t until earlier this year that he considered a more immediate way to benefit the university and its students. He made a gift of $25,000 to establish the Richard P. Dodge Physical Sciences Scholarship for students majoring in chemistry, math or physics.

   “I made a lot of friends when I was a student, with other students and with faculty,” Dodge said. “I never married or had children of my own, so this is a way for me to help someone else’s children, at a school for which I have great fondness.”

   David Eichhorn, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry, praised Dodge for “giving back to WSU in such a meaningful way.”

   “College education continues to become more expensive and many of our funding sources are diminished, so this kind of assistance makes a real difference in the ability of our students to effectively pursue their studies,” he said.

   Dodge grew up in Wichita but he fell in love with the American West when he went on an extended vacation with his parents as a teenager. After getting his bachelor’s degree at the University of Wichita in 1954, graduating summa cum laude, he attended the University of California-Berkeley and earned a doctorate in physical chemistry. Though he worked in industry for about six years in New York City, he decided his true calling was in education. He returned to California and taught at the University of the Pacific until he retired.


circle arrow If you would like to establish a scholarship to help deserving students, please contact Terre Johnson, WSU Foundation vice president for major gifts, at (316) 978-3808 or at

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