Dr. Darrell S. Willey Endowed Fund

Dr. Darrell S. Willey

Dr. Darrell S. Willey

Dr. Darrell S. Willey was born on May 9, 1925 to R.C. Willey and Helen Swaner Willey in Farmington, Utah. Darrell served in the Army Air Corps in World War II as a gunner on a B 24 in the China Burma India Theater and proudly remained a member of the Hump Pilots Assn. Darrell returned after the war to his studies and received an AB degree from Denver University in 1948, an MS from Utah State University in 1949, and an EdD from The University of Utah in 1953. He did post-doctoral work at the University of Southern California in 1957. During these years he served as both a teacher and school principal in Wendover, Utah and Littleton, CO.

Darrell served NMSU as an assistant professor, administrator, and professor from 1953 until his retirement in 1989. During these years he worked in educational management as a department head, director of ERIC CRESS and director of the Educational Research Center. He was responsible for beginning the doctoral program in his department. He also directed student teaching for a time and enjoyed being involved with his students and the public schools. He served on the US Dept. of Education Civil Rights Commission, was a consultant to the US Department of Education, and served as a senator’s delegate to the White House Conference on Children in 1970. Darrell’s skillful securing of grants allowed many students to enter the doctoral program. The focus of many of these grants was providing the opportunity for a higher education to minority students interested in educational leadership thereby enriching the educational experience for the children of New Mexico and surrounding areas.

Among many honors received, Darrell cherished highly the Lifetime Achievement Award presented to him by his department and former students after his retirement. He was also proud of his membership in numerous Educational Associations and facilitated the founding of the Phi Delta Kappa Chapter of NMSU. Darrell endeared himself to both family and friends with his sense of humor and appreciation of the arts.

He was loyal to family, friends, students and to his adopted New Mexico home and its
people, especially students of all ages. He loved the scenery and back roads and was in full accord with the title “Land of Enchantment”. His one regret may have been that he never mastered the Spanish language. Darrell and his wife Irene traveled to many parts of the world together exploring their mutual love of the arts, history, and cultural diversity. His impressive vocabulary and memory remained with him throughout his life. Darrell had 3 daughters Randie, Tricia, Jacqui, and one son Roger; he also had 17 grandchildren and 6 great grand-children. Darrell left an inimitable legacy of character and dedication to his family, former students, and many friends.


Financial Need: Not Required
Class Level: Ph.D Ed.D M.A. M.S.
Required Major: ELA
Required Minimum GPA: 3.0