Dr. Richard Hunsaker
For nearly fifty years, Richard Hunsaker taught speech and drama, first at Belleville West High School (1960-95) in Belleville, IL, and then at McKendree University in Lebanon, IL. At Belleville West Richard coached speech and debate and directed more than 60 plays and 26 musicals. Moreover, it was largely through his efforts that the district adopted a required speech semester taken by all sophomores as part of the English curriculum in 1971.
Richard is a life member of the Illinois Speech and Theatre Association (past president), Speech Communication Association (where he as honored in 1995 with a special convention program entitled, "Papers in Honor of Richard Hunsaker"), and the International Listening Association. In addition, he is a past president and a life member of the SIU Alumni Association.
Richard's work in and for his professional organizations resulted in countless program and workshop presentations across the country. Additionally, he has authored several articles and monographs for various professional journals, and has written four books: A Guide To Coaching and Judging Contemporary Debate, Understanding and Developing the Skill of Oral Communication: Speaking and Listening, A Guide to Lincoln Douglas Debating, and Classroom Practices in the Teaching of Listening.
Richard's professional recognition and honors include several outstanding coaching awards, including induction into the National Forensic League Coaches' Hall of Fame in 1995. In 1978 Richard received the prestigious Edith Harrod Award from the Illinois Speech and Theatre Association, and in 1993 ISTA presented him with the W. P. Sanford Award. He was the first national recipient of SCA"S Oberle Award in 1987, which was followed by several teaching awards, including the Emerson Award in 1994 and the Golden Apple Award in 1995. Perhaps one of his greatest honors came in 1990 when he received an Illinois Distinguished Educator Award, which carries a $25,000 cash award from the Milkin Foundation.
Since his retirement from teaching, Richard has been seen on several community theater stages in the St. Louis area. Some of his recent and favorite roles include Sidney Bruhl in Deathtrap for the Brass Rail Players in Belleville, Sheridan Whiteside in The Man Who Came To Dinner for the Alton Little Theater, Grandpa in You Can't Take It With You for the Monroe Actors Stage Company in Waterloo, Dr. Chumley in Harvey for the Looking Glass Playhouse in Lebanon, Inspector Hubbard in Dial M For Murder for the Kirkwood Theater Guild, and Cladwell B. Caldwell in Urinetown for the Curtains Up Theater Company in Edwardsville. He also directed two shows for MASC in Lebanon: Morning's At Seven in 2008 and Pippin in 2010.
He and his wife, Patricia, live in Belleville. They have three grown children, Richard K, Benjamin and Rachel, and four grandchildren, Nicholas, Caroline, Bain and Nathan. In addition to their work in theater, Pat and Dick love to travel, having visited at least once all seven continents: North and South America, Africa, Antarctica, Australia, Europe and Asia.