Perspectives on English: Essays to Honor W. Wilbur Hatfield

Perspectives on English: Essays to Honor W. Wilbur Hatfield

Perspectives on English: Essays to Honor W. Wilbur Hatfield

Perspectives on English: Essays to Honor W. Wilbur Hatfield

Excerpt

Not often does one man encompass in his lifetime the foundation, the development, and the flowering of a professional organization of teachers. It was the opportunity and privilege of W. Wilbur Hatfield to be associated with the handful of English teachers who founded the National Council of Teachers of English, to serve for thirty-three years as its secretary-treasurer, and to see it attain a membership exceeding 60,000. When he retired from office but not from active interest in the Council, it had become the largest and most influential subject-matter association of teachers. This organization offered Wilbur opportunity, but it was his ability, his wisdom, and his personality which made the opportunity a privilege and a career.

"If I were to choose a single word to describe Wilbur Hatfield, it would be dedicated," Professor J. N. Hook, successor to Hatfield as secretary-treasurer of the NCTE, wrote me recently. "And whenever I think that the working capacity of a man is limited, I recall Wilbur and wonder whether we do not underestimate human capacity. How did one man accomplish so much? He edited two magazines, part of the time with almost no assistance . . . he simultaneously managed an office with a steadily increasing business staff, and helped in various ways with two other magazines. He served as secretarytreasurer of the NCTE and treasurer of the CCCC. He kept informed about what was going on in the Council's many affiliates, and encouraged their formation, activities, and growth. He attended countless conferences . . . he wrote extensively . . . He carried heavy personal responsibilities known to very few. How did he accomplish so much? I come back to the word dedicated. Wilbur Hatfield makes . . .

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