Picture of Kauffman Placard


Each Spring the Academy for Lifelong Learning honors group or individual that has made significant contributions to the Academy.  This award is given in memory of Dr. Earl F. Kauffman who was one of the individuals most responsible for the creation of the Academy for Lifelong Learning back in 1989. 

To learn more about Dr. Kauffman and the founding of the Academy for Lifelong Learning, please see our Early History document. 

By Larry Peyser, Academy Past President

Each year since 1992 the Academy has presented the Earl Kauffman Award to recognize laudable individual contribution to the organization.

You know this year’s honoree, Doug Wilson, as Editor since 2008 of the Academy's newsletter, The Spiral.

Do you also know that Doug served on the 2007 Nominating Committee and contributes articles on the Academy to the Aiken Standard Mature Times?   During his spare time this academic year he has coordinated and documented updates to the Academy By-Laws and Policies and Procedures.

These contributions plus his untiring willingness to help whenever and wherever he is asked to support the Academy and its efforts have all driven the Board’s decision to recognize Doug this year.

After graduating from Purdue University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Doug joined and served Dow Chemical Corporation for the next 32 years. He spent his entire career in the production, development, and technical support of foam plastic products. He worked to become a globally recognized expert in the field of cushioned packaging utilizing Dow's polyethylene foam products.  As such he was called upon to develop and implement in-house and industry training programs, speak to Government, Industry and Education organizations, solve customer technical problems, and develop computer software to ease the burden of designing packaging using Dow's products.

Doug met his wife Sherry while he and she were students at Purdue.  His work assignments with Dow caused them to live in Michigan and Ohio where Sherry served as a school teacher over a period of twenty-five years.

After retirement they purchased a fifth wheel trailer and toured several areas of the country. They spent one summer working at Yellowstone National Park where they put together a photo album and narrative you can view at members.toast.net/fdw/ynp.   They moved to Aiken in 2004 partly on the strength of the fact that the University offered programs in continuing education.

Doug enjoys photography as you will see by visiting the web site cited above, as well as music of many genres. Over the years he and Sherry have traveled and hiked extensively in the Rockies.   As for golf, he readily admits to a ‘pathetically high handicap’.

It is just that quality of open honest self deprecation, which endears Doug to all he meets.   He is truly a wonderful, genuine, and untiring servant to the Academy for Lifelong Learning.  And for his presence among us, the Members of the Academy can be thankful and pleased to recognize him as the Kauffman Award Honoree for the year 2009-10.

Academy Past President Larry Peyser
presents the 2010 Kauffman Award to Doug Wilson