2018 Service Award - Dr. Wilfred Dietrich
Known throughout the Brenham area for his commitment to education, historical preservation, and service, Wilfred Dietrich has long been dedicated to helping his community equip future generations with the work ethic and compassion he models in his life.
Dietrich earned an Associate of Arts degree in 1943 from Blinn College; a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1946 and a Master of Arts degree in 1948, both in history and English, from Sam Houston State; and a Ph.D. in English and curriculum instruction in 1978 from East Texas State University, now Texas A&M-Commerce. He took post-graduate classes in drama at SHSU, as well.
He spent 42 years as a professor and department chair at Blinn and was recognized for his accomplishments by being named to Blinn’s Hall of Honor in 2004.
Dietrich has actively supported the preservation of history in Washington County by founding the Brenham Heritage Museum and serving as chair of the Texas Historical Commission, Washington County Historical Commission, and Washington Historical Park Association.
He has demonstrated his commitment to education by establishing scholarship endowments at Kaufman High School, Burton High School, Sam Houston State University, Texas A&M University-Commerce, Howard Payne University, Texas Lutheran University, and the University of Texas.
He is president of the Washington County Arts Council, and his commitment to the arts was recognized with the naming of the Dr. Bobbie Morrow Dietrich Memorial Amphitheater in Brenham, honoring his late wife. During the Washington County Sesquicentennial and Bicentennial Celebrations, the Dietrichs hosted more than 1,000 guests at their home.
Since 1997, Dietrich has served as a volunteer every Wednesday morning and Sunday afternoon at the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station.
He is a significant financial sponsor of the Brenham Children’s Chorus, Simon Theater Project, Senior Citizen Center, University of Texas Communications Building, and he personally funded markers for all unmarked graves at St. John’s United Church of Christ cemetery and other marker projects.
He contributed more than 25 years to scouting and has attended two International Jamboree events, including the one held in Valley Forge in 1950, where then-future President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered the address on the Fourth of July.
Dietrich lives in Brenham, where he and Bobbie made their home together for over 40 years.