OC professor, coach Dobson honored by Edmond Public Schools

OC professor Max Dobson (left) is honored at the Edmond Public Schools board meeting on Monday night for his work with special-needs children.
OC professor Max Dobson (left) is honored at the Edmond Public Schools board meeting on Monday night for his work with special-needs children.

EDMOND, Okla. (April 2, 2013) – Longtime Oklahoma Christian professor and coach Max Dobson has been honored by the Edmond Public Schools for his decades of work with the district’s special-needs children.

Dobson, who will retire from Oklahoma Christian at the end of this school year, received a standing ovation from more than 100 people who attended the Edmond school board meeting on Monday night. It was the latest in a series of honors for Dobson, who also was named as a “Devon Community Hero” by the Oklahoma City Thunder in December.

“Many lives have been changed because of Dr. Dobson’s influence,” said Nancy Goosen, the director of special services for Edmond Public Schools. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. Dr. Dobson spent 47 years at Oklahoma Christian University and dedicated a total of 52 years to teaching students.

“As Helen Keller once stated, ‘The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt in the heart.’ Dr. Dobson, thank you for your many years of selfless service to our students with disabilities, to our Edmond Public Schools personnel and to the college students at OC. You have touched all of our hearts with your hugs, your smile and your love.”

Dobson began teaching at Oklahoma Christian in 1966. He has spent time as baseball coach, women’s basketball coach and athletic director at OC in addition to his duties as a physical education professor. He guided the baseball team to a third-place finish in the 1972 NAIA World Series.

In 1976, he began a class called “Teaching the Exceptional Child” after a parent of a special-needs child, who was searching for opportunities for the child to interact with college students, asked Dobson if OC had such a program.

Dobson created the program and initially recruited his baseball players to play with the students. He worked to raise funds for the program and Edmond school officials noted that the Oklahoma Christian Women’s Association and OC alumni have provided most of the money to purchase equipment for Dobson’s class.

Dobson estimates that at least 3,000 OC students have taken the class and assisted in his efforts to aid special-needs children. Dobson teaches the class in The Barn on OC’s campus every Wednesday and Friday during the academic year.

More than 80 special-needs students currently participate in the program, along with 24 teachers from Edmond Public Schools, allowing the university to partner with a key player in local secondary education. Goosen said the classes at OC are “the highlight of the week” for the district’s special-needs students and teachers.

“Each week, our children with disabilities load the buses with anticipation to meet their friends at OC,” she said. “Upon arrival, each child is met with a smile, a hug and a kind word from one of the college students, including Dr. Dobson, who will tell you one of the greatest blessings he has received is spending time with children who might never make a jump shot, but whose spirits have taught him something about God’s love.”