My Story: William Radke

William Radke
My Story: Dr. William Radke 

Former Central Provost Dr. William Radke shared his Old North Story with us. Now President of the UCO Emeritus Faculty Association he remembers the day Old North closed and a promise he made. 

In 1975 when I walked for the first time onto the campus of, then, Central State University as a brand new faculty member I can clearly recall being impressed by the stately Old North. For me it quickly came to represent all the institution stood for; its history, its solid reputation, its respect for the past and enthusiasm for the future.

As the rest of campus, I was saddened when the building was closed, now more than 10 years ago, because of unaddressed structural issues that accumulated for more than 100 years. It deeply impacted those who were occupants of the building and those of us who were charged with finding "temporary" space for the displaced so they could continue delivering quality education and services to UCO students and to the community.

Since then, UCO has continued to grow and the facilities available in Old North are needed now more than ever. As well, the thousands of students who have completed programs at UCO prior to the closing deserve to see their Old North once more open and standing tall and proud. I also feel bad for the thousands of students who were never able to enjoy or even enter Old North during their time here.

On the day of the evacuation I saw one of Old North's most esteemed faculty members, Dr. Mike Knight, Chairperson of Psychology, carrying out a box of books. My comment to him was "Don't worry Mike, you will be able to return to Old North soon and I will help you move back."

Well, Mike has since passed away and was never again able to walk the halls of his beloved Old North. It is time to finish Old North for the community, for the students, for the faculty...for Mike.

Dr. Bill Radke
Former UCO Provost and faculty member

(Photo by UCentral Media)

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