I am a 1974 graduate of Evergreen in what might have been the first four year graduating class – four years for some perhaps – I was a off again on again student of various other colleges and not terribly excited about giving higher education another try. However Evergreen in the early 70’s was an interesting place filled with people like me and lots of GI bill vets. None of us were too willing to put up with much in the way of directive behavior from others but willing to try out this “new” education. For many of us it worked. Dave was the first facility member to ask me to join his seminar and it turned out to be a great deal for me – uncertain how it worked out for Dave. For me Dave was an inspiration – a teller of tales, coach, and occasional deliverer of a swift kick to the head to jump start creative thinking. I owe Dave a whole lot.
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David Hitchens, I was in your Faulkner and Friends Program in the spring of my freshman year and your all-level US History program for the entirety of my senior year at Evergreen, 2007-2008. I was the opinionated New York Jew who (I felt) dominated many conversations in the mostly freshman class. You encouraged me, during my final evaluation at evergreen, to apply to graduate school and pursue a career in teaching. This is still a moment and a goal which I hold dear.
I wanted to share with you, and the world, that you were my favorite professor in college. I began and ended my college career with you and you were the most encouraging and momentous figure in my entire higher education experience. I am sure that I am only one of many who would say the same thing. Thank you so much for all that you have done. I am not a religious person, but I know you are a great fan of dogs, as am I, so I will say Dog bless you!
Dave was faculty for Great Books and an American history class I took back in the late 80′s and I have never forgotten what a surprising amount of fun both these classes were. Dave’s lectures were fabulous. I had no idea a lecture could be anything but boring at the time, but Dave proved otherwise. His humor and wit were marvelous, making for an entertaining and informative lecture. Miss you, Dave!
I will never forget one partly cloudy day during Spring ’08. Dave’s Looking Backward seminar was exploring “The Fifties.” After a bit of the usual hum-drum dribble, the conversation turned to Dave’s memories of the time period. He is always full of witty tidbits, and that day he was a teaching comedian.
After a few stories, I asked Dave: “What was your favorite part of the fifties?” Without missing a beat Dave quipped: “Well, does losing my virginity in the back of a ’55, four door Ford count?”
Of course a seminar filled with awkward young adults fell to laughter. That is how Dave operates. Every chance to gain a bit of laughter, and learn from it, is a must. His “go get ‘em” attitude is not only one of his many extraordinary attributes; it is a tool he uses to inspire the achievement of one’s potential.
Thank you for everything Dave! You have built a legacy founded in the pursuit of knowledge. You have left a legacy of cheerfulness, sincerity, and integrity. Anyone who has known Dave, has been truly blessed with a precious gift!
Dave Hitchens represented all that was innovative, impressive about faculty at ESC.
I never studied with him. In fact, at my first Academic Fair, Dave talked me out taking his program…because he didn’t think I really wanted to study history. He was right — I went on to get a concentrated degree in Fiction and Literary Criticism.
It was the early ’90s. I had heard the stories about Dave holding court in the back of the Lab building at the picnic benches and smoking. (Before they put a placard there).
I’m writing this remembrance because even though I didn’t study directly with Dave, I KNOW his contributions made Evergreen the college that made me a student of life.
Dave, I’m with you and send you love and good vibes.