Mississippi College

School of Education Dean Don Locke Wins Award

May 6, 2008

Don Locke's four decades of service as an educator, counselor, mentor and advocate is bringing a national honor to the Mississippi College School of Education dean.

At its 2008 convention in Honolulu, Hawaii, the American Counseling Association recently recognized Locke with its Presidential Award. The 56-year-old educational organization is dedicated to the growth and enhancement of the counseling profession.

"When you work for an organization you care a lot about, peer recognition is always heartwarming," Locke said this week at his office at Lowery Hall. The Texas native has served in various leadership roles with the group, including service on its governing council and with its team dealing with accreditation. The American Counseling Organization is the world's largest organization of its type.

Serving ten years as MC education dean, Locke has stayed busy. He and other professors worked in recent years to create MC's first doctoral program. Nineteen students enrolled in early January to begin classes on their way to a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. The new students range from principals and teachers to curriculum coordinators. Some aspire to be superintendents; others hope to become college professors. Most in the new program will finish their courses in the summer of 2009.

Building the doctoral program on the Clinton campus was among the chief reasons the former counselor education professor at Mississippi State University and University of Louisiana-Monroe returned to his alma mater as education dean.

With the addition of the first doctoral program thanks to support from President Lee Royce, education professors like Tom Williams and other colleagues, Locke said 4,600-student MC is now "a university in the truest sense."

His push for the new program, and his steady service as an education leader at the Christian university got the attention of the American Counseling Association. "I like to joke with folks and say I got this award because I've just been around for so long," Locke said.

Locke's lengthy career in education also included service as an counselor and tennis coach at Murrah High in Jackson, back in the mid-1960s. A Murrah graduate, Locke received his bachelor's and master's degrees at Mississippi College and doctorate from the University of Mississippi. He and his wife, Judy, a former teacher and MC professor, have two children, Laura Crowder and Mark Locke, and two grandchildren.

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