Remembering Fannie Hicklin

Kaylee Pryble, Arts & Rec Editor

Fannie Hicklin, a much-loved theater professor and department chair, passed away on Oct. 18 at age 101.

Hicklin has made many contributions to UW-Whitewater, both over her time as a professor on campus as well into her retirement. Hicklin came to the campus in 1964 as a professor of theater and the first African-American faculty member on campus. She also served as the chair of the Department of Theatre/Dance, director of affirmative action, and associate dean of faculties.   “She was a force of nature, very strong willed in the best sense of the word, was not deterred by anything, would just go for things, in many ways was the strongest supporter of the campus and the department,” said Marshall Anderson, Department Chair of the Theater and Dance Department.

Hicklin was well-loved by her students, many of them remaining in contact with her during the years after her retirement.

“She demanded respect and we wanted to give it to her, she was firm but you learned so much. Everyone respected her,” said Leslie LaMuro, a student of Hicklin’s who earned a B.A. in theater. “She spoke with perfect diction and instilled those type of things in her students.”

Hicklin remained active with the university even after her retirement. One was she did so was serving as a member of the Dean’s advisory board. She celebrated her hundredth birthday last year at the university.   “Everyone loved her, she always made strong contributions, she never hesitated to speak up and participate,” Eileen M. Hayes, Dean of the College of Arts and Communication. “She has always been a strong supporter of the university.”

“She liked and would follow what was happening with the department faculty and would go to every opening night up until the past year or so,” said Anderson.

Hicklin’s memory will live on at UW-Whitewater through the Hicklin Studio Theatre and the Fannie Hicklin Theatre Education Scholarship.