Dr. MaryLee Davis and Dr. Fred Obear
Chancellor Emeritus Frederick Obear recently received the Crystal Apple Award bestowed by the College of Education at Michigan State University, acknowledging him as an outstanding educator and inspirational mentor. Obear was honored at the Crystal Apple Awards Dinner, held at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing, Michigan.
“Frederick has demonstrated a commitment to excellence in research, pedagogy, administration service in higher education. His experience, knowledge, and aid to higher education combined with a diverse and impressive career warrant this honor,” said Dr. MaryLee Davis, professor in the Michigan State University College of Education, who nominated Obear for the award.
Davis met Obear at his son James’ master’s graduation. That’s when she asked him to speak to a graduate leadership in higher education course.
“As a University of Tennessee alum, I honor Dr. Obear for all he symbolizes to me, and for everything he means to the higher education academy,” Davis said.
Davis also asked Obear to participate in several sessions of her advanced policy course.
“Dr. Obear made a wonderful impression on our students, I can say clearly, and has inspired several to think differently about future career options in higher education,” said Dr. Marilyn Amey, Professor and Chairperson, Department of Educational Administration, Michigan State University.
One of the students Obear inspired was Timothy G. Campbell, a doctoral candidate in Higher Education Administration and graduate assistant at Michigan State University. Obear became a mentor for Campbell after the two were introduced in Campbell’s advanced policy development course.
“Dr. Obear’s willingness to converse with me as a fellow colleague – despite my being twice his junior – has been encouraging. He has listened to my questions, provided insight from experience, and opened his knowledge up to my inquiries,” Campbell said. “He exemplifies the principle that leadership is a role not a career. “
Obear served as Chancellor of UTC a total of 17 years. He has been Acting Vice President for Academic and International Programs for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. In 1994-95, he chaired the AASCU Board of Directors and continues to coordinate and teach in that organization’s New Presidents’ Academy.
He has been an American Council on Education Fellow, president of the Council of Fellows, and in 1990 received the program’s 25th Anniversary Service Award. He has also been a mentor in the Fellows program and served on several ACE commissions and committees, including the Commission on Minorities in Higher Education, the Labor/Higher Education Forum, and the Commission on Leadership Development. For the past several years, has been a Leadership Team Facilitator for the ACE Fellows.
A native of Massachusetts, Obear received a B. S. degree with high honors from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of New Hampshire as well as an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from his undergraduate alma mater.