Remembering Bill Dibrell

Updated: Sep 13, 2020

On Feb. 13 Philosophy Professor Dr. William Dibrell passed away and AU’s Human Studies Department lost the best of Humanity.

Interim Provost Beth Ann Dobie says, “Dibrell was one of the backbones of the community, in a quiet way.”

Dr. Dibrell was a very soft spoken man but his big ideas contributed so much to this community. Dibrell devoted thirty years of his life to teaching philosophy at AU. If he was not teaching he was learning, and true scholars never stop. He grew up with a military father in Texas, and moved from state to state until he finally fell in love with San Diego, California.

Though he would rather have been in San Diego, “Where it’s always sunny and where he enjoyed body surfing” says Dobie, Dibrell resided in Alfred where he raised his Daughter and pursued his passion for teaching.

“Oh Dibrell made me want to read more, and think critically about what I read,” says Kristen Beck, Dibrell’s former student.

On his down time, Dibrell continuously studied material to update his lessons throughout his career to make sure his students remained interested. He taught courses like Human Nature and the Cosmos, Equality, and the Introduction into social justice studies. Sometimes his soft voice made it hard to hear, but his passion for social injustices spoke volumes to his students.

“I have so many favorite memories of him...I’m gonna miss him,” says Psychology Professor Nancy Furlong, Dibrell’s colleague at the University and in the Fire Department, where he volunteered as an EMT and served two to three years as Chief of the Alfred Fire Department.

Dibrell was not just impacting the AU students, but the entire Alfred Community and he did not ask for gratification in exchange. He lived an exceptional life and if death is not as cruel, Dibrell is probably soaking up the sun and the waves in the beautiful sun beaches of San Diego, and will forever be missed dearly.

By Balynda Ali


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