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Encyclopedia of Baldwin Wallace University History: Personnel - D

An Index of Historical Content and Their Sources

Davis, Arlene

CitationBette Lou Higgins, The Past We Inherit: A history of Baldwin-Wallace College 1835 - 1974 (printed by the author, 1974), 94.

But the stars weren’t the only things that B-Wites looked up to. In 1952, on June 28, the Women’s National Aeronautical Association, Inc. presented a plaque with the inscription: “A pilot with her wealth of experience, clear vision, and undimmed enthusiasm has contributed many years to the promotion of aviation, through airmarking, civil air patrol, model plane building, and shown magnificent leadership with the youth of America in the development of aviation” to Arlene Davis, B-W student.

After a 20 year career of aviation accomplishment, Mrs. Arlene Davis’ desire for a college education with a religious background led her to enroll as a freshman at Baldwin- Wallace. Arlene’s goal was an engineering degree.

Besides her flying fame, Arlene is an accomplished golfer, horsewoman, ballerina, and artist, but these activities (not to mention her classes) did not prevent her from making about fifty speaking engagements each year. She also served as international vice-president of The 99’s – international organization of licensed women pilots; associate chairman of the National Model Plane Contest; membership on the Board of Directors of the National Aeronautic Association, national advisor for the Wing Scouts; chairman of Operation Sky-Watch for Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky; and Eisenhower’s Aviation Chairman for Ohio.

Arlene’s career in aviation started in 1931 when her husband took an interest in flying. At that time, she “didn’t know a spark plug from a monkey wrench.” Though her husband’s interest never became more than a past-time, Arlene took to the High Life. Three years after she took to the sky, she won the world’s first all-woman’s air race in 1934. Three years after that, she became the first woman in the world to receive a multi-rating from the U.S. government and the first private pilot to receive an instrument rating to fly blind. In 1939, she was the highest rated woman pilot in America capable of flying all types of land and sea planes. She also taught instrument flying to army trainees at Baldwin-Wallace before she became a B-W student.

Some other firsts for Arlene include participation in the first Miami-Havana International Air Race where the Cuban president “pinned his wings on her”; the first woman in the world to receive a 4-M rating authorizing her to fly the largest land and water planes; she was the only woman pilot in the MacFadden Race from New York to Miami; the only woman to finish “in the money” in the Bendix Race from Los Angeles to New York; first woman to receive the Veteran’s Pilot Award; and only woman to be elected to the National Aeronautic Association Board of Directors. Of course her top aviation honor was her 1952 election as “Woman of the Year in Aviation”.
Arlene and her husband lived in Lakewood, Ohio in a home that was considered a showplace of spring when their 10,000 tulips were in bloom.

Dean, Donald

Citation: Frances F. Mills, ed., “Donald Dean returns to Alma Mater,” Baldwin-Wallace Alumnus 26, no. 1 (1948): p. 6.

Donald S. Dean, M.S. Source: 1950 Grindstone, page 47. Click on image to enlarge.

At the opening of the January term, 1948, Baldwin-Wallace College welcomed as a new member of the faculty, Mr. Donald Stewart Dean of the class of 1938 who comes to the department of biology and botany as instructor in botany, filling the vacancy left by Dr. William Eyster.

An honor graduate, Mr. Dean started teaching general science in the Alexander Hamilton Junior High School, Cleveland, the following fall after graduation, and continued until 1942 when he entered the United States service as a midshipman, later becoming a Lieutenant (j. g.) on the U. S. S. Schroeder. Two summer terms prior to the War were spent in graduate study at Western Reserve University, and one term following his release, at the University of Michigan Biological Station. For three summers before the War he served as resident naturalist at the Trailside Museum in Brecksville Metropolitan Park, where, among other activities, he conducted tours through the park, introducing children and grown-ups to a myriad of interesting objects in plant and animal life, and where he often gave nature talks on Sunday afternoon.

Upon returning to his Alma Mater, Mr. Dean notes a fresh and vigorous atmosphere about the campus and says, "There are so many evidences that the college has been growing in the past ten years-growing not only in numbers, but in stature, and, more important to me, I believe the college is continuing to grow. Of course," he says, "to one changing jobs, this is an important factor. It seems to me that opportunities for making real contribution here are very great. Our greenhouse is a case in point. We hope to use it to put across the idea that biology is the study of living things, not pressed flowers and pickled earthworms. It seems to me an important part of the work of an instructor is to make the subject real and alive."

It is Mr. Dean's hope that the greenhouse may be stocked with a variety of plants and various cultures and aquaria to illustrate first hand the biological principles which are taught, and he adds, "It will also lend itself to various experiments and projects in plant anatomy, plant physiology and genetics. In short," he says, "it is to be a teaching device. "

Mr. and Mrs. Dean and their two young daughters, Nancy, two and a half years, and Cathy, about seven months, reside at 284 Beech Street.

Dustheimer, O.L.

Citation: Deane R. White, ed., Grindstone (Berea, OH: Baldwin-Wallace College, 1922-23), p. 29.

Oscar L. Dustheimer, B. S., A. M. Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy. Source: 1922-23 Grindstone, page 29. Click on image to enlarge.

Which professor shows the greatest interest in athletics? The answer is not far to seek. It would be granted by anyone on the campus that Professor Dustheimer would fill the description. This interest in athletics supplements but does not supplant interest in all the other activities that are going on. At the present time he is working until all hours to get the new observatory in good working order. In addition to these interests he has the capacity of presenting the subject of mathematics in a very interesting and clear way.

Citation: Frances F. Mills, ed.,  “Athletics,” Baldwin-Wallace Alumnus 13, no. 1 (1935): p. 31.

Dr. Oscar L. Dustheimer is taking a half year's leave of absence to do some research work at Mt. Wilson Observatory in California. During the summer, he was one of the lecturers in the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. His work at the College is being carried by Miss Esther Eckhardt of Cleveland, a graduate of Baldwin-Wallace, with a major in Dr. Dustheimer's department, and by Professor Paul E. Baur, associate professor of mathematics, drawing, and surveying.

Citation: “Dr. Dustheimer Leaves Baldwin-Wallace,” Baldwin-Wallace College News Letter 8, no. 6 (1942): p. 2.

Dr. O. L. Dustheimer, head of the department of Mathematics and Astronomy, has accepted a position on the staff of Penn State College. He left Berea on May 19 in order immediately to take up the work assigned to him in connection with government training at Penn.

Dr. Dustheimer came to Baldwin-Wallace in 1924 and quickly popularized the courses in Astronomy here. He has been a familiar figure on the radio with his talks on Astronomy and the organization in connection therewith of the ''Star Gazer's" Club. It was through his efforts in this field that the Astronomy department at Baldwin-Wallace grew to such dimensions that it demanded a building of its own with outstanding equipment. This eventually led to the fine gift of Mrs. E. P. Burrell, by which she became responsible for the erection of the Burrell Memorial Astronomical Observatory. Hundreds of persons young and old have visited this building on its open nights during the last few years.

Alumni who studied astronomy with Dr. Dustheimer will recall him as an inspiring teacher and will wish for him everything good in his new work at Penn State.

Durst, Richard

Citation: "President Richard Durst to retire after 2011-2012 Academic Year." Baldwin Wallace University,, News & Events. (January 1, 2011)

President Richard Durst. Source:, "President Richard Durst to retire after 2011-2012 Academic Year." Click on image to enlarge.

Baldwin Wallace University President Richard W. Durst has informed the school's board of trustees of his intention to retire at the end of the 2011-2012 academic year.

Durst, 65, also told the BW employees via email, "I know as soon as I say the words 'I'm retiring' out loud, there will be moments of apprehension and regret. But, I truly believe that this is the right time to begin the transition of leadership for the College."

Durst became the eighth president of Baldwin Wallace in 2006. During his tenure, BW successfully concluded the most ambitious comprehensive funds campaign in school history in December, which produced more than $97 million and substantially passed its $82 million goal.

  • Included in that effort were the Thomas Family Center for Science and Innovation, which was dedicated last fall, and the expansion and renovation of the Conservatory of Music, which is scheduled for completion this August. The campaign also provided $21 million for scholarships, $16 million for academic support and $11 million for current operations.
  • On the academic side, the College has added nine innovative new programs, such as the first Ohio major in Sustainability and the Leadership in Higher Education graduate degree.
  • BW also is currently completing an update for its Campus Master Plan that will guide campus development during the coming decade.

A results oriented leader, Durst has received high marks across the BW campus for a personal warmth, presence and stature that enabled him to connect with all portions of the College community.

Durst came to Berea after six years as dean of the College of Arts and Architecture and executive director of University Arts Services at the Pennsylvania State University, a position he described as "a small college within a large university."

An international authority in theatre set design and the role of the arts in academic training, the president also maintains his research interests in digital technology, electronic communication and the incorporation of technology into the classroom.   

Although administrative duties limited his creative activity in recent years, his work has been featured in group exhibitions in Beijing and Seoul and he was invited to design the world premiere of The Belltower for the Paris Opera.  He also was the co-designer of the United States' exhibit for the 1999 Prague Quadrennial, the world's largest and most prestigious exhibition of theatre design and theatre architecture. All told, he has designed scenery for more than 120 professional operas and regional theatre productions.

Prior to moving to Penn State, Durst was dean of the College of Fine and Performing Arts and special assistant to the chancellor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (1996-2000) and dean of the School of Fine Arts (1989-1996) at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.  He was a faculty member and department head at the University of Minnesota, Duluth (1977-1996).

Durst is a graduate of Missouri Western State College and holds an MFA from the University of Oklahoma. He also provided national leadership for several fine arts professional organizations, most recently as executive director of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans. He is a past president of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) and the International Organization of Designers, Theatre Architects and Technicians (OISTAT) with world headquarters in Amsterdam.

"Baldwin Wallace has been blessed with strong leadership for many years," said Paul Carleton, chair of the BW Board of Trustees. "Dick Durst has been an outstanding president and an outstanding human being. We are deeply grateful for the dynamic leadership that he has provided and all that he has meant to our students and this College."

Carleton indicated that the BW Board intends to conduct a national search during the coming months for the College's ninth president.

Dwight, Holden

Citation: "Guide to the Holden Dwight Diary, 1837-1843; Biographical Note," Wesleyan, Library,

Reverend Holden Dwight, son of Daniel and Susan Lippiett Dwight was born on August 28, 1810. After graduating from Wesleyan University in 1835, Dwight moved to Georgia where he opened a private school and became a school teacher. After a year of teaching, he was forced to shut down his school in Columbus, Georgia due to improper facilities and as he states, because the city was "entirely destitute of literary character." Dwight then departed Columbus, Georgia, on December 30, 1837, and moved to his new home of New Orleans, Louisiana. With the help of a Mr. Hamilton, a leader of the local Methodist Church, Dwight was able to establish another school. Unfortunately, Dwight was forced to close his school on May 29, 1838, whereupon he was appointed as a missionary in the third municipality of New Orleans. Dwight did successfully open a Sunday school in this area, but then left after two months in order to tutor Judge McGehee's children in Woodville, Mississippi. After two months of working in Woodville, Dwight took his leave from the family and traveled to Jackson, Louisiana, where he was appointed to the Preparatory Department in the College of Louisiana on October 15, 1838.

On June 13th, 1839 Dwight married Almena Marietta Pelton in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In the latter half of 1839, he was appointed a deacon of the Methodist Church. Around January 1, 1840, Dwight left the College of Louisiana and took up residence in Clinton, Mississippi where he and his wife opened a private academy. Unfortunately, both Dwight and his wife were struck with serious illnesses leaving no one else to run the school. On December 13, 1840 Dwight's first son, Edward Champion Dwight, was born. Other children were Wilbur Fisk (born February 6, 1843), Susan Eliza (September 13, 1844), and Dwight (July 9, 1847) On January 1, 1841, Dwight was the elected principal of the Preparatory Department of Centenary College in Jackson, Mississippi, but this position eventually fell through. Dwight was then forced to travel north in search of employment. After a month of searching, Dwight was able to find a position in the department of natural science of Norwalk Seminary in Ohio. After three years at Norwalk as a teacher of languages, Dwight was appointed principal of Baldwin Institute at Berea, Ohio. Holden Dwight passed away on November 24, 1846 at the age of 36.