Dean William Stephens, Climate Control Instructor at NIACC from 1990 until his death in 1999, made a lasting contribution to the College through his dedication to education and his love for people.
In memory of Dean’s service to the College, the NIACC Foundation established a scholarship to be awarded to a full-time student each year. The scholarship is designed first for a climate control technology student, then to other career program students, and then to arts and sciences students.
Stephens, a native of Goldfield, Iowa, served as a Marine from 1967 to 1969 and then attended Dunwoody Institute of Technology in Minneapolis, Minnesota, studying heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). Dean was employed in this field in Ames for 15 years prior to joining the NIACC faculty.
While at NIACC, Dean was instrumental in the construction of an outdoor classroom on campus. He loved nature and bird watching. Dean made nature more accessible to NIACC students though the outdoor brick classroom.
“Dean was very interested in and excited about the outdoor classroom,” said Tammy Hove, Director of Community Relations. “His enthusiasm motivated other people to become excited.”
Kevin Muhlenbruch, Agricultural Instructor, said, “Dean was a real ‘people person.’ He truly cared about people and was very supportive of both students and colleagues.”
Greg Arrowood, Automotive Instructor, said, “The Dean Stephens Memorial Scholarship is a fitting tribute to a respected NIACC instructor, an appreciated colleague, an admired team player, and a valued friend.”
Both of Dean’s daughters were NIACC students. Heather graduated with an associate degree in the spring of 1999, and Genevieve was a freshman in the fall of 1999. Genevieve was the first recipient of the Dean Stephens Memorial Scholarship.
Although Dean will always be fondly remembered by his family, friends, and NIACC co-workers, the Dean Stephens Memorial Scholarship will help him be remembered by NIACC students of the future.