Richard "Dick" Dechert '54 will receive an Alumni Loyalty award in recognition of his outstanding commitment and service to Millikin and his community.
A member of Millikin’s Alumni Board from 2004 through 2007, Dechert is a devoted fan of the Big Blue and attends many athletic events on campus. He has also provided research assistance in verifying scores and records of Athletic Hall of Fame nominees. He serves as a volunteer assistant coach for the women’s golf team, where he assists his wife, Marilyn Trainer Dechert ’55, the team’s coach, in recruiting.
Dechert is a loyal and cheerful ambassador for Millikin, assisting with many phonathons over the years. He served as the first class agent for the class of 1954. He was an active member of the Millikin Quarterback Club for many years. Each year, he can be found assisting and participating in the annual Big Blue golf outing for the Millikin Big Blue Club. He is currently serving on the SAE chapter house corporation and chapter alumni boards and plays annually in the SAE alumni golf outing.
Over nearly 50 years of giving, Dechert has provided generous support for Millikin through the annual fund, the Big Blue Club and women’s golf. He has also contributed to the “New Horizon” and “Advancing the Vision” capital campaigns.
Retired from a diverse career in sales, marketing, sports programs, restaurant and public service activity, he is currently a certified drug and alcohol counselor and since 1986, a partner and co-owner of D.U.I. Services. The company provides remedial education and counseling for DUI offenders. Dechert is a recovering alcoholic, active in self help groups as well as community education and treatment programs.
A former president of the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Illinois (BBBS), Dechert initiated the Festival of Church Choirs as a fundraiser for BBBS; the event has been held annually at Kirkland Fine Arts Center since 2008. The organization honored him in October 2009 at its fundraiser, “Roast for Kids’ Sake.” Proceeds from the fundraiser were used to start an endowment with the Community Foundation of Decatur/Macon County: the Richard and Marilyn Dechert Endowment Fund for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Illinois.
An active member of First United Methodist Church, Dechert plays trumpet in the church’s brass band and has taught the Covenant adult Sunday School class for more than 30 years. He has also been a member of the Sertoma Club of Decatur since 1956.
As a Millikin student, he was president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, lettered in track and baseball, played with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the Decaturian sports staff. His Millikin career was interrupted from 1953 to 1955, when he served in the U.S. Army.
Dechert and his wife, Marilyn, live in Decatur. Between them, they have five children and 11 grandchildren.