Remembering William 'Doc' Dickerman
William 'Doc' Dickerman passed away in his home on January 14, 2020, quietly and privately, in the same way he liked to live. Doc spent 49 years as a faculty member and administrator at Hampshire Country School, including 13 years as the Headmaster (1996–2009) followed by 10 years as the Director of Admissions (2009–2020).
He received his B.A. from Oberlin College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin (Madison). Doc’s legacy is visible in the lives and careers of the hundreds of students he helped to shape and direct into their futures, many of whom kept in touch with him and sought his counsel even into their adulthood.
Students, parents, and faculty remember Doc for his love of the natural world: hiking, camping, and canoeing on the school’s property. Another part of his legacy in his work as Headmaster was securing the easement for 1,400 acres of our land with the Northeast Wilderness Trust and, in this, creating the Wapack Wilderness.
He was a brass instructor to generations of students who started their calling as musicians at HCS. He loved having students seek his attention in his office and home for down time tinkering with his typewriter, musical instruments, books, antique toys, photos, and anything that sparked their interest.
Doc had a unique ability to listen in a way that made those he spoke to feel as if they were the only important matter in that moment. His advice, while often difficult, always transcended easy suggestions but included profound truth and deep thought.
The school benefited for many decades from his unrivaled ability to find the right students to make Hampshire Country School the unique and successful place it is.