Although emeritus is a honorary title of respect, it's never been about the accolades for professor Dick Friedrich...But that hasn't stopped a group of his students from trying to get one more for their old teacher.
"I'm a father, I'm a grandfather" says Friedrich.
"He was a brother and a father and an uncle and a friend" says former student Chase Dominick.
"I'm all these things" Friedrich added.
"But above all of those things, in his heart of hearts, he considered himself a teacher" Dominick added.
"I'm a teacher and that's my center, that's who I am, that's my identity" says Friedrich.
That's just a summary of the final speech Chase Dominick heard while sitting in a class taught by Dick Friedrich. Three years after that speech professor Friedrich retired from HCCC. A year later, the professor was denied emeritus status by the college. Now a group of his former students spanning generations have come together, without having met one another, to help get their mentor the recognition they feel he deserves.
Dominick says, "I think in itself says a lot about Mr. Friedrich. Here's two different people from two different generation that, you know went to the same school 15 or 20 years apart that feel the same way and are outraged in the same way."
Friedrich added, "The support and the signers of that petition, the emails that I have got, a couple of people have emailed directly to the president and the dean and copied me that means more than anything."
The college denied our request for an on camera interview, but they did release this statement saying quote, "if everyone was given emeritus status, it wouldn't be an honor." end quote. Professor Friedrich says it would be an honor to receive that status and that his resume speaks for itself.
"The denial of it was an insult and it seems to me a conscience attempt, for no stated reason, to humiliate me" says Friedrich.