On September 16, 2019, Washington State University celebrated Regents Professor Don Dillman’s first 50 years of service to the University. The event was held at the Lewis Alumni Center on the Pullman campus. The large hall was packed with Don’s colleagues, students, friends, and family. Two of his former PhD students and current co-authors traveled long distances specifically to join the celebration. Jolene Smyth came in from Nebraska and Leah Christian made a cross-country trip from Atlanta, and then flew back that evening after the ceremony to return to work the next day.
Guests assembled before the award presentation for food and drinks and enjoyed a slideshow of Don’s career highlights displayed on a large screen while they mingled. The audience was especially intrigued by a photo showing a youthful Don with then-President Richard Nixon. The formal award ceremony was presided over by Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson, chair of the Department of Sociology, who started by emphasizing that this was not a retirement party. Indeed, Monica said she looks forward to another 50 years of Don’s outstanding contributions to the field of sociology.
Mathew Jockers, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, reminisced about how his father’s work with Reader’s Digest connected with Don’s research on survey methodology. Next, WSU President Kirk Schulz presented Don with a certificate of recognition.
Don concluded the ceremony with reflections on WSU, development of the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC), the evolution of survey methodology over the course of his career, his students at WSU, and the importance of his family.
Sociology News and the Department of Sociology thank sociology pioneer and survey expert Don Dillman for 50 years of service! Your efforts are valuable, visible, and appreciated.