“This is a man who represents ideals, attitudes and integrity that everyone should try to fashion themselves after,” said Wesley Holley, assistant dean of CASNR.
Holley said it would be a great compliment if someone told him he had integrity like Hummer’s. Holley is only one of many who admire Hummer and the integrity he has displayed throughout his 17 years as associate dean at OSU.
C.B. Browning is one of these admirers.
Browning, retired dean and director of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, said Hummer would never compromise his integrity or that of the college. Browning said Hummer always tried his best to satisfy the needs of students, yet retaining the ability to do what is right so far as the university was concerned.
“He could do that in a way most students and others were willing to accept,” Browning said.
Louann Waldner, director of student career services for the college, said it has been a pleasure working with Hummer recruiting and retaining students.
“He has an incredible integrity in everything he does,” Waldner said.
When told that integrity is something many admire about him, Hummer sat humbly, looked across his desk and shook his head. Instead of finding ways to jump into the spotlight, he said with a thoughtful expression upon his face: “Integrity, I hope I’ve got it.”
There seems to be no end to the people willing to assure Paul Hummer that he indeed does “have it.”
“Dr. Hummer is particularly known for his genuine sense of caring about students and their welfare. He has left his mark on the academic programs of the college. He has truly been an excellent leader, particularly with respect to the enhancement of our teaching and academic advisement programs,” said Sam Curl, dean and director of the division. “He is a great person and we wish for him the very best of everything in his retirement.”
Chris Stephens of Chickasha and Shannon Ferrell of Leedey.
(Photo by Todd Johnson)
Shannon Ferrell, an OSU graduate now working on his master’s at OSU, said he misses the way Hummer would walk around the halls with a ready smile and a “Hello.”
“It always sounded like he meant it — he is full of cheerfulness. He is all about students,” Ferrell said.
While sitting in his office one day, Hummer reflected upon his many years of service to students.
“My greatest of memories will always be interaction with students,” he said.
Many students, former and current, chuckle when recalling the famous slumber parties Hummer and his wife, Mary, hosted for the Ag Ambassadors of the college.
Waldner, current Ag Ambassador adviser, said she always gave up and had to go home before the evening was finished.
Sarah Fogleman, a 1997 agricultural economics graduate and currently a master’s student at Cornell, said she was impressed at the way he would join in at the gatherings.
“He was up with us until we dozed off, even if it was three or four in the morning,” she said.
Fogleman said an example of Hummer’s personality, his feelings toward students and his accessibility to students occurred prior to his leaving OSU. Before time to move, the Hummers were where else — but among students. To fill their housing need, until time to leave for Colorado where they now live, the couple moved into married student housing on campus.
“This tells you an immense amount about his character,” Fogleman said.
held at Hummer’s home.
(Photo by Christy Couch)
As he does many times with students, Hummer has kept in touch with Fogleman throughout her time at Cornell. She continues to learn from him even though she is no longer studying on the OSU campus.
“He’s taught me to value everyone around me. Everyone in the department or the college is important,” she said. “I’m sure they’ll find a qualified person to fill his position, but nobody will ever replace Dr. Hummer in my eyes,” she said.
When setting examples for students, faculty and staff to follow, Hummer is one of the best.
“Students helped keep me young with freshness and enthusiasm,” Hummer said. “I hope the students feel I had their best interests at heart, “ he said.
He said his fondest memories are those when he was honored by students themselves, such as last spring at the college banquet and at the department of agricultural education, communications and 4-H youth development banquet. He also has done his part to honor students. In 1998, he established the Paul and Mary Hummer Outstanding Senior Award. Mrs. Hummer said the couple plans on traveling to Stillwater to present the award each spring.
“He has always said he is going to miss the students,” Mrs. Hummer said. “I don’t know which quality about him attracts students so readily. He’s just a good guy and he’s honest. I think he was able to get on their level.”
Many students agree. He was their associate dean, but they didn’t feel inferior when they talked with him about life situations.
“I’ll always refer to him as my friend, Dr. Hummer,” Fogleman said.
Toward the end of the Fall 1998 semester, Hummer was honored again by students, faculty, staff and administration. A reception was held in Hummer’s honor to provide opportunity for students and staff to give him best wishes and to say farewell. An endowment of more than $16,000 was established in he and Mary’s honor, and presented along with several gifts at the banquet honoring Hummer.
The entire agricultural industry has benefited from Paul Hummer being associate dean at the college, said Holley. He has helped, whether it be by producing the best academic programs, encouraging students to further their education or conducting research.
Hummer said spending time with his family is what he looks forward to most, now that he has retired.
“Mary has been a rock at home, and I don’t think I would have been able to handle this job in this fashion, be it good or bad, without her support.”
In particular, he is looking forward to renewing his “daddy-daughter dates” and spending more time with his son and grandchildren. s
By Janna Ogden
Good luck, Dr. Hummer. May your integrity, kindness and genuine care continue as a tradition for the students of the College of
Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University to follow.