From 1989-2005, and in the years following his retirement, UT Professor Emeritus and former Vice President for Student Affairs James W. Vick, Ph.D. provided invaluable support to Recreational Sports. As an administrator who placed tremendous value on enriching the student experience, he promoted participation in Recreational Sports among students whenever possible because he recognized the value it had on improving their physical and mental well-being. On a personal level, he set an example by being active himself with regular workouts at Gregory Gym and would often find himself stopped by students who seized the opportunity to spark a friendly conversation with him.
As a supporter of Recreational Sports, Dr. Vick stepped forward to help facilitate the construction of the Recreational Sports Center which opened in 1990 and the renovation of Gregory Gym in 1997. Both projects were highly valued by students who rallied for more recreational activity space and amenities. By supporting both ventures, Dr. Vick enabled the organization to maintain its standard of excellence for the Longhorn community.
Although his duties as vice president for student affairs did not include teaching, Dr. Vick could not stay away from the classroom. During his tenure as VP he jumped at the chance to teach a math class when he learned that an instructor was needed. From that time forward until his retirement as vice president in September 2013, Dr. Vick began teaching full-time and he did so pro-bono, simply for the love of teaching. Once again, he demonstrated why he is such a beloved administrator and faculty member on this campus.
The accolades and awards Dr. Vick earned over the years are many and varied. In 2008, he was awarded the Nowotny Medal in recognition of his contributions to student affairs. He is a member of the Academy of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers and a recipient The University of Texas System Board of Regents Award for undergraduate teaching. In 2012, he received the Friar Centennial Teaching Fellowship, one of the highest prizes for teaching on campus. In 2013, he was one of the inaugural class of inductees to the UT System Academy of Distinguished Teachers. That same year, the School of Undergraduate Studies’ Center for Strategic Advising was renamed and dedicated in his honor as the James W. Vick Center for Strategic Advising & Career Counseling. In past years Dr. Vick received the Jean Holloway Teaching Excellence Award, the William Blunk Professorship, the President’s Associates Teaching Award and Amoco Teaching Excellence Award.
Dr. Vick can be seen on the Intramural Wall of Fame with the champion Student Affairs teams from the Office of the Dean of Students.