A decade of work and service at an institution like McDaniel is a much honored accomplishment. Two decades is even more rare and admired, but only one current professor can claim just over four decades of hard work at McDaniel College.
Dr. Richard Carpenter, Exercise Science, is finishing up his 41st year at McDaniel and has the most years of service out of any active professor on campus.
Dr. Carpenter came to McDaniel College in 1969 after graduating from West Virginia Wesleyan College with a double major in Physical Education and History. He was a graduate student when the job opportunity to teach at McDaniel was presented to him. Dr. Carpenter spent a year teaching at Francis Scott Key High School in Carroll County before accepting a job at then Western Maryland College.
Besides teaching, Dr. Carpenter has a long resume of coaching and administrative roles he has proudly held over his 41 years. He was the head men’s and women’s swimming coach for eight years, assistant football coach for ten years, head track and field coach for 21 years, head cross country coach for four years, served as the Athletic Director for 15 years, and was the Graduate Coordinator of Exercise Science for four years.
When asked about a favorite memory at McDaniel, Dr. Carpenter could not pin point one event out of the many memories he has had over the years. He simply said, “It’s been a great place to work, my favorite part about this place is the people.” And those people, whether students or other professors, feel the same way.
Brock Glotfelty, a senior Exercise Science major, has taken two of Dr. Carpenter’s classes and thinks, “Dr. Carpenter is an excellent teacher because he can relate to his students. Often times he will present a concept within sport and will follow it up with a personal story that allows his students to relate that concept to real life situations.”
Dr. Steve McCole, head of the Exercise Science department, has had the pleasure of working with Dr. Carpenter, and he says that, “the word that comes to mind most immediately is honorable.” He followed that up by saying, “I have found him to be a great resource and mentor since I’ve been here at McDaniel. I always enjoy the conversations whether they are about classes, sports or whatever other topic comes up that day.”
When describing his ideal student, the words curious, interactive and willing to disagree were at the top of his list. Dr. Carpenter’s advice to McDaniel students is simple and a concept all his advisees have heard him preach many times before: “roll the dice, explore and take a chance.”
With such a busy work schedule, it’s hard to imagine that he would have free time for hobbies and family, but he does. With his children grown and succeeding in their professions, Dr. Carpenter likes to spend his time outdoors. He is often seen fishing, hiking or most commonly on the golf course. If the weather doesn’t permit these activities, he can always be found reading a new book.
It is rare to find someone who has been able to spend such a substantial amount of time at one college, and McDaniel is fortunate to have been able to acquire such a respected professor and colleague. While everyone else praises him, Dr. Carpenter compliments the students and his colleagues for having characteristics other schools may not be able to claim, “We have genuinely nice people here, with so many different personalities.” The McDaniel community is lucky to have Dr. Carpenter as a member of the college, as a professor, coach and advisor.