Sadler to Present ‘Pathway to Excellence’ in Last Lecture Series


STEPHENVILLE — Retired kinesiology Professor Wendell Sadler will present “The Pathway to Excellence” as part of Tarleton State University’s Last Lecture Series at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, in the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center Auditorium. The public is invited and a live stream also will be available.

Dr. Sadler retired in 2022 after 29 years at Tarleton State within a 45-year career in education. A committee of faculty, staff and students selected him for the honor.

“The pathway to excellence is paved with a myriad of choices faced in our daily and professional lives,” he said. “Along the way we are confronted with choices leading to decisions that ultimately define our nature. Educators — including teachers, coaches and mentors — are charged with the daunting prospect of enhancing decision-making that leads students to a fulfilled experience. 

“It is said that life is a long, winding road with an infinite number of lanes branching away from the main path. Unfortunately, life is too short to explore every road. Therefore, we must all choose our own routes.”

Like many other colleges and universities, Tarleton State hosts an annual event modeled after the well-known “The Last Lecture” by Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch. Last Lecture topics often address individuals’ professional, personal and cultural experiences that have impacted the trajectory of their life and career.

Dr. Sadler joined Tarleton State’s kinesiology faculty in 1993 as Professor of Motor Behavior. In addition to his long career in higher education, he taught junior high and high school students.

Prior to joining Tarleton State, he taught at the University of South Dakota, Temple Junior College and Texas A&M University, and he coached tennis at all competitive levels. He received Tarleton’s Barry B. Thompson Service Award and O.A. Grant Teaching Award, and the Distinguished Scholars Series is named in his honor.

A colonel in the Texas State Guard, Dr. Sadler was inducted into The Texas A&M University System Chancellor’s Academy of Teacher Educators in 2017, the Texas Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Campbellsville University (Kentucky) Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997. 

He holds a doctorate of education in kinesiology/educational administration from Texas A&M, a master’s in education from Baylor University and a bachelor’s in physical education from Campbellsville University.

He has given more than 45 scholarly research presentations and published 20 articles pertaining to health, physical education and sport. He is known to be passionate about teaching and preparing students as educators.

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