Scholarship honoring late faculty member encourages future teacher in home stretch to graduation
Spring Term was always Dan Sweet’s favorite at WOU because he liked being around about-to-graduate student teachers. That’s why when he died, his family set up a scholarship in his name to be awarded spring term.
Peggy Sweet, Dan’s wife and fellow WOU alumn, said WOU has always meant a lot to the family. Dan and Peggy both graduated from WOU (then the “Oregon College of Education”) in 1969 and both went on to earn master’s degrees at WOU. Peggy and her sister both ran track for WOU and Peggy and Dan’s duaghter played volleyball.
“That school is near and dear to our hearts,” said Peggy. “When Dan retired from public education, he went to work there in the education department supervising student teachers.”
This year’s recipient of the scholarship is Shaylyn Crowston, an early childhood education/elementary education student graduating in June. Crowston, who already has a job lined up as an elementary teacher in McMinnville, said it was a blessing for her to get the scholarship.
“(It was) definitely a relief to have that support in my last term at WOU and absolutely a mental encouragement in the final stretch,” she said.
Crowston, who said she has wanted to be a teacher since she was in elementary school, added that Dan’s reputation for kindness makes receiving the scholarship in his name more meaningful.
I was honored to have been awarded a scholarship that represents exhibiting kindness towards others. I think it was affirmation for me that I am headed toward doing what I was meant to do and a reminder of my belief that I should step into the field of education with the desire to show students and others kindness and love in everything that I do.
Peggy said her late husband always encouraged his students to spread kindness in the world.
“He always advised his students to ‘Speak kind words, hear the echo,’” she said.