Sally Rodgers Award for Lifelong Achievement
The Sally Rodgers Award for Lifelong Achievement, created in 1999 to honor Sally Rodgers, long time director of alumni relations, is given to an individual who graduated from Whitman College over 50 years ago and whose life exemplifies the qualities of a liberal arts education.
The 2018 Sally Rodgers Award winner is Dick Neher ’53
Dick Neher has spent his life in service – to others and to his community. After Whitman, he earned Master’s degree in education, then spent two years in the U.S. Army. Neher returned to Walla Walla, spending 34 years in secondary education in Walla Walla as a teacher, coach and administrator.
He was the principal of Walla Walla High School, his alma mater, for 20 years. Twice in that time, he received the Outstanding Educator Award from the Washington Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. In 1984, Neher was named Secondary Principal of the Year for Washington State by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
He served on countless boards and associations, for both secondary education and the greater Walla Walla community. After retiring in 1990, Neher spent two years in Olympia as state representative from the 16 th legislative district.
His family is of utmost importance: Neher lives side-by-side both of his sons on property less than half a mile from Walla Walla High School. And after retiring a second time, he opted to lend a hand at Clay in Motion, the local pottery business established by one of his sons. His wife of 56 years, Marilyn, joined him there until her passing in 2012.
Additionally, he served Whitman as co-chair of the 15th, 25 th and currently 65th reunion of the Class of 1953. A life-long commitment to education, spent in service to others, has earned him recognition as the 2018 Sally Rodgers Award winner.