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Hicks, John W. (John William), 1921-



  • Existence: December 2, 1921 - December 20, 2002

Biographical Information

John W. Hicks was born in Sydney, Australia, where his father was an executive with Paramount Pictures. As a preteen he moved with his family to New Rochelle, New York, and in 1939 entered Massachusetts State College (later the University of Massachusetts). His education was interrupted by World War II.

Mr. Hicks served in the Army Air Corps for three years in the Pacific Theater, stationed on the islands of Saipan and Guam. After the war he returned to Massachusetts to finish his bachelor's degree.

John Hicks came to Purdue in 1947 as a student and earned his master's and doctorate degrees in 1948 and 1950, respectively. After completing his degrees, he began teaching agricultural economics. He was so popular with students, his freshman Agricultural Economics course was called "Fun Hour One." In 1955 he was appointed executive assistant to Purdue President Frederick L. Hovde and later served in the same role under Purdue President Arthur Hansen.

Following the retirement of Hansen, Hicks was named acting president in 1982--a position he held until 1983 when Steven Beering became president. Beering appointed Hicks senior vice president, a position he held until his 1987 retirement. He was named an emeritus professor of agricultural economics and senior vice president emeritus. Hicks continued teaching until January 1995.


Fourth meeting of the 2002-2003 Purdue University Senate, pg. 29. UA 8, Purdue University Faculty and Senate records, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

Found in 5 Collections and/or Records:

Hicks, John W., July 5, 1972

 Sub-Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSO 2, Series 1, Sub-Series 15
Scope and Contents One oral history interview with John W. Hicks by Robert B. Eckles.
Dates: July 5, 1972

John W. Hicks papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 543
Scope and Contents This collection consists of the papers of John Hicks, Vice President and Acting President of Purdue University. Types of materials include awards, photographs, scrapbooks, and papers. Please see PDF Finding Aid for collection inventory.
Dates: 1920 - 2005

Purdue University Office of Publications Oral History Program collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSO 2
Scope and Contents The Purdue Office of Publications Oral History Program collection documents Purdue University history through oral history interviews with Purdue University professors and administrators. Types of materials include: printed material, cassette tapes, reel-to-reel tapes, compact discs, and digital materials. Interview topics include Purdue history and changes in administration and academic departments.
Dates: 1969 - 1989; Majority of material found within 1970 - 1972

Purdue University 22nd Annual Dinner Dance , April 28, 1971

 File — Box: 1, Reel: 6
Identifier: MSP 265, File 3
Scope and Contents File consists of one audio reel recording of the 22nd annual dinner dance honoring President Frederick Hovde's retirement on a Scotch 175 reel.
Dates: April 28, 1971

Collection of Purdue University Related audio recordings

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSP 265
Scope and Contents The Collection of Purdue University Related Audio Recordings include audio reel and audio cassette recordings of addresses given by Purdue University professors, administrators, and staff members. Types of materials include: printed material, cassette tapes, reel-to-reel tapes, and digital materials.
Dates: May 7, 1953 - May 12, 1994; Majority of material found within 1971 - 1973