Family and Friends of Don Burdick
The Don P. Burdick Memorial Scholarship was established in 2014 by friends, family, colleagues, and former students of Don in acknowledgement of his passion for theatre that began as a child and continued during his entire lifetime. The scholarship is intended to encourage lifelong participation and love of theatre, providing financial support for students whose personal and professional qualities mirror the commitment and passion for the performing arts that Don embodied.
Don Burdick (1933-2013) was a theatre professor and director for 36 years at UW Oshkosh until his retirement in 1998. Don was at UW Oshkosh for the opening of its Frederic March Theatre in 1971. Fitting, as Don Burdick not only met Fredric March but performed with him in a production titled, “The Visit.” He sat at March’s table during opening night. In 1992, Don received the UW Oshkosh Distinguished Teaching Award.
Don graduated with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Northwestern University. He earned his master’s degree in theatre from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He taught at the University of Montana-Billings before moving back to Racine to help with the care of his brother’s family during a lengthy illness. The time that Don spent with his family strengthen their bond, one he carried throughout his life. Don was also a member of many theater stock programs as a director, actor, instructor, and mentor. He was a mentor to many UW Oshkosh students, helping them develop their skills as actors and create their own identities along with instilling the wonders of the well-spoken word.
Don’s passion for people and learning continued throughout his life. Don gave many hours to organizations such as the UW Oshkosh Learning in Retirement program, where he helped organize many trips and dining experiences for others to enjoy along with being a guide for the gardens as a Master Gardener at the Paine Museum in Oshkosh. Don had an insatiable desire for learning and a curiosity for the wonders of people and life.