Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

In memoriam: Dr. Richard McCrary

By Stephanie Ball

When Dr. Richard McCrary walked from building to building on the Brookhaven College campus, he would often stop to personally greet staff and faculty, pausing long enough to make a connection. Even on graduation day, McCrary would shake hands with students and ask about their future plans.

McCrary died Jan. 14 after a long-term illness. He will be remembered as a friendly and approachable administrator who served Brookhaven as interim president from 2009-2011. For more than 39 years, he held several positions in the Dallas County Community College District. McCrary was an instructor, counselor, executive district director of student and international programs, and associate vice chancellor. He served as interim vice president for four of the district’s campuses.

He served on boards of the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce and Farmers Branch Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Carrollton—Farmers Branch Rotary Club.

Carrie Schweitzer, assistant to the president, described him as a genuine and authentic person with a sharp sense of humor. Faculty and students, including Daniel Marold, Student Government Association president, considered McCrary a friend who was always available to talk.

“He helped me to get where I am today and gave me a tremendous amount of experience,” Marold said. “He was serious but had a sense of humor.”

Regardless of which hat McCrary was wearing for the day, he made time to discuss family and personally check in with staff and faculty. Lynne Levesque, college director of athletics, described McCrary as a character with a big heart who was like a second dad.

“You hope everyone has a person like this in their life at some point,” Levesque said.

McCrary, born in Brownwood, Texas, graduated from Bryan Adams High School in Dallas. He obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University — Commerce and received a doctorate in community college leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Rodger Bennett, vice president of academic affairs and student success, said McCrary started to bring the campus together and created trust among those around him. “He was brilliant, sometimes intense and passionate,” Bennett said. “He taught us to think things through instead of just reacting.”

McCrary was a “fanatic supporter” of all Brookhaven athletic events and was in attendance whenever he could be, Schweitzer said. He loved to travel and visited more than 40 countries. He created the Richard D. McCrary International Study-Abroad Scholarship Award.

ESOL instructor Sheri Van Court met McCrary on a trip with students in London. “He was so approachable and friendly,” Van Court said. “He treated a king like a king and a beggar like a king.”

A memorial service was held Feb. 2 in Brookhaven’s Performance Hall. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Richard D. McCrary International Study-Abroad Scholarship Award at the Dallas County Community College District Foundation, 1601 S. Lamar St., Dallas, Texas, 75215.

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