I had several courses with Dr Dobney when he taught at Saint Louis University in the early 70's. He was a great prof in the classroom and a good man. He will be missed.
Sent by Matt on 09/12/2016
Fred was Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs when I came to Western Michigan University in 2001 to chair the History Department. Only after I had been here a while did Fred and I put pieces together to recall that we had known one another for nearly 40 years! We had been fellow students at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1962-63, before Fred transferred to Baylor to complete his undergraduate studies. It was great to have a former classmate as my provost! After Fred returned to faculty, we were colleagues for another decade and a half.
Fred made the History Department’s goals his own priorities. He considered the department’s and the students’ needs in arranging his schedule. He took on the responsibility of teaching large classes at crucial times when we needed to boost enrollment. He undertook the initiative to apply, with our colleague Lynne Heasley, for a major National Endowment for the Humanities grant. The application was successful, and the grant provided wonderful professional development to teachers and boosted History’s standing in the university. Fred always recognized the good work of younger faculty and supported them at crucial times. He refused to put up with nonsense from colleagues or administrators. If a department meeting became contentious, one brief, pointed comment from Fred could bring the group back to a productive discussion.
I am very glad to have known Fred, in multiple capacities. I will miss him. Fred left a lasting legacy at Western Michigan University—as an administrator, a teacher and a colleague.
Marion (Buddy) Gray
Sent by Marion (Buddy) on 08/26/2016
Fred was a good friend while in high school at Waco High. Quick wit and always a smile. One phase we had in high school was writing names backwards - Fred was the winner with his name DERF YENBOD! Derf will live on in our hearts and with God's blessing.
Sent by John on 08/26/2016