H.A. ‘Hal’ Dengerink

Washington State University Vancouver Chancellor Emeritus H.A. “Hal” Dengerink died Sept. 14 after battling glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, for nearly two years. He was 68.

Dengerink retired from WSU Aug. 15 after a remarkable 42-year career. He joined WSU as a faculty member in psychology in 1969. He held various leadership roles on the Pullman campus until 1989 when he moved to Vancouver to establish and lead the regional campus.

In a letter dated Aug. 12 that bestowed Dengerink with the title chancellor emeritus, WSU President Elson S. Floyd wrote, “Your leadership has been visionary and your judgment impeccable. There is no doubt that Washington State University, as it stands today and as it grows in the future, is a lasting tribute to all your efforts. It is an honor to have you as our first chancellor emeritus.”

Dengerink was active in the Vancouver community. He served on the board of directors of the Columbia River Economic Development Council and Southwest Washington Medical Center. He was appointed by Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire to the Washington Technology Center board of directors. Dengerink served as co-chair of the Columbia River Crossing Task Force and co-chair for the Project Sponsors Council for the Columbia River Crossing.


His noteworthy accomplishments include receiving the Council for Advancement and Support of Education District VIII Leadership Award in 2009 in recognition of his achievements as a visionary and successful leader, receiving the 2011 Distinguished Psychologist Award from the Washington State Psychological Association and being selected as Vancouver’s First Citizen in 2011.

Dengerink is survived by his wife of 47 years, Joan, two daughters, Kris Travis of Wenatchee, Wash., and Erin Dengerink of Vancouver, Wash., and five grandchildren: Peter, Dane, Faith, Amelia and Annabel.

Those who wish to honor Dengerink are encouraged to make a contribution to the H.A. “Hal” and Joan Dengerink Endowed Fellowship. To make a contribution, visit www.vancouver.wsu.edu/gocougs and click on the “Dr. H.A. ‘Hal’ and Joan Dengerink Endowed Scholarship Fund.”

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