Dr. Wilbert E. LocklinMarch 16, 2006
SPRINGFIELD - Dr. Wilbert E. Locklin, who served as president of Springfield College for 20 years, died Saturday, March 4, in Longmeadow. He was 85 years of age.
Dr. Locklin was born April 2, 1920, and raised in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University, Class of 1942. During World War II, he served on bomber crews as a navigator, flying scores of missions in the European, African and Pacific theaters. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross among other decorations.
After his World War II service, Dr. Locklin returned to Johns Hopkins and worked in admissions and development positions before becoming Assistant to the President, Milton Eisenhower. He was later named Vice President of the University. During his tenure at Johns Hopkins, he was instrumental in the transformation of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington into an internationally acclaimed institution. He carried out many major fund-raising initiatives for new programs and buildings on the Johns Hopkins campus, including the Newton H. White Athletic Center and the Milton S. Eisenhower Library.
Dr. Locklin was named President of Springfield College in 1965, at the age of 45. Over the ensuing 20 years, he would have a long lasting positive impact on the college. He was responsible for raising the funds, developing strategic plans, and completing the construction of most of the college's physical plant at the time - including Babson Library, Cheney Dining Hall, Fuller Arts Center, Gulick Hall, the Physical Education Complex, Linkletter Natatorium, and the Towne Health Center. He also introduced new academic programs in business, physical therapy, and YMCA studies. And he was the driving force in expanding the international scope of Springfield College, with programs in China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Saudi Arabia, among other countries.
In announcing Dr. Locklin’s passing to faculty and staff, Springfield College President Richard B. Flynn noted that "Bill Locklin served as president from June 1965 until his retirement in June 1985 -- the 100th anniversary of the college's founding. Except for the legendary Laurence Doggett (who was president for 40 years), Bill served as Springfield College president longer than anyone before or since."
In a remarkable coincidence, Dr. Flynn noted, "At the presidential inauguration in the old field House in April 1966, one of the distinguished guests to shake the new president's hand was the Mayor of the City of Springfield - Charles V. Ryan, who is the city's mayor again today.” Mayor Ryan is expected to speak at Dr. Locklin’s memorial service.
Following his retirement from Springfield College in 1985, Dr. Locklin founded Locklin Management Services, which employed his long-standing fund raising knowledge and expertise to help other non¬profit organizations, including the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Clarke School for the Deaf, Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, Business Friends of the Arts, Loomis Communities and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. For the MSPCA, Dr. Locklin was instrumental in the site selection and fund raising for the new animal hospital in Springfield.
Dr. Locklin leaves his wife of 58 years, Maria (Osterwald) Locklin. He also leaves three children and three grandchildren: son Kenneth R. Locklin, his wife Helene Weiland, and grandchildren Kayla and Connor; daughter Patricia L. Bauman, her husband Ron, and granddaughter Kelsea Marie; and son Randall W. Locklin, his partner Susan Byrum, and Susan‘s children, Sarah and Russ.
A memorial service is planned in the Appleton Auditorium of the Fuller Arts Center on the Springfield College campus, March 16th at 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Dr. Locklin’s memory to the Dr. Wilbert E. Locklin Scholarship Fund, Springfield College, Office of Advancement Services, 263 Alden Street, Springfield, MA 01109. Funeral Arrangements are private, with final inurnment in Arlington National Cemetery.