NATCHITOCHES – The family of the late Dr. Hurst M. Hall Sr., a long-time member of the Northwestern State University faculty, created a scholarship in his memory to benefit a student pursuing a master’s degree in education for a period of three years.
The family chose to award the scholarship at the master’s level or higher because there are fewer scholarship options for those students.
“Most people at the master’s level and beyond have more financial constraints because they have families and other responsibilities,” said Jane Hall, Dr. Hall’s wife. “Hurst believed in education and always continuing to learn no matter what your age.”
Dr. Hall, 88, passed away Aug. 6 in Natchitoches. He was born in Mt. Pleasant, Mississippi, and was the oldest son of Callie and Lewis Hall. He graduated from Toccopola High School and then earned Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in health and physical education from the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi where he ran track. He also earned the Advanced Master of Arts in education degree in guidance and counseling from Ole Miss before earning the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Psychology and Counseling at the University of Alabama in 1969.
After earning his bachelor’s degree, he entered the U. S. Air Force and served from 1951-1955. He then served as director of special services and as a guidance counselor for Union Public Schools in Union, Missouri.
Dr. Hall married the love of his life, the former Jane Elizabeth Kean, in 1954, and together they raised two children, Kimberly Jane and Hurst Jr. (Landy).
Hall joined the Northwestern State University faculty in 1959 as a psychologist and educational consultant on special evaluation teams. During his 40-year tenure he taught countless students serving as a professor, department head and division chairman for special education, human services and educational psychology. Hall was the author and co-author of numerous publications and grants, and he devoted a significant part of his career as a consultant for several state and federal agencies. He was president of Phi Delta Kappa and was an active officer and member of the American and Louisiana Psychological Associations, the National Association of School Psychologists, Psi Chi, the Council for Exceptional Children, the Louisiana Personnel and Guidance Association, and the Natchitoches Mental Health Association. He held lifetime teacher and counselor certificates in several states; he proudly served as a Licensed Professional Counselor for the National Board of Certified Counselors. He was named Professor Emeritus in the College of Education at Northwestern State following his retirement in 2001.
“Dr. Hall was my adviser when I was working on my Masters of Education,” said Brooke Williams, a former student. “I delayed receiving my Master’s because I didn’t want to write a thesis. Dr. Hall called me one day and told me that I had to have my first revision on his desk by the weekend. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Of course, because I had great respect for him, I busted my behind and had my first revision on his desk. When I brought it to him, he smiled at me and said, ‘I knew you could do it.’ He always was supportive and encouraging. He also had a great sense of humor. I am pleased so see that NSU is honoring his name with a scholarship.”
Hall was active in the community, and a member of the Natchitoches Rotary Club, where he was named a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a member of the Grand Masonic Lodge of Louisiana, Phoenix Lodge No. 38 in Natchitoches; a member of the El Karubah Shriners, and a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. His family were active members of Trinity Episcopal Church, where he served as a reader, choir member and Senior Warden. He was a founding member of the Back Porch Band in Natchitoches, and was named to the Louisiana State Hall of Master Folk Artists in 2002.
“Thank you for continuing Dr. Hall’s tradition of working to help students,” said Dr. Kimberly McAlister, dean of the College of Education and Human Development. “He was such an advocate for students and his genuine care and interest was evident in all his interactions with faculty and students.”
“Dr. Hurst Hall made a difference in my life,” said Dr. Vickie Gentry, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. “Always supportive to the College of Education and Department of Psychology. Always seeking ways to support students and his colleagues. A generous, kind-hearted man. I miss him so much; this scholarship will carry on the traits he best represented.”
To make memorial contributions to the Dr. Hurst M. Hall Memorial Scholarship in Education, visit northwesternalumni.com or call (318) 357-4414.