Margaret “Hodgie” Bricke, who retired as University of Kansas Assistant Vice Provost for International Programs in 2012, died Sunday, January 19, 2020 in her Lawrence, Kansas, home. She was 80.
Dr. Bricke, who was known by all as “Hodgie,” (a name she selected for herself as a child), had a life-long passion for international education, her family, cooking, reading, gardening, and all things Scotland.
Born July 2, 1939 in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1939, she spent hours in her father John Bennett Shaw’s Tulsa Book and Record Shop reading, working and perusing his extensive Sherlock Holmes collection. Her mother Margaret Shaw had a Master’s degree in petroleum engineering.
Hodgie attended Catholic schools and was valedictorian of her graduating class at Monte Cassino School, Tulsa, in 1959, earning a full scholarship to attend Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana.
As an undergraduate she majored in history combined with an interdisciplinary program incorporating art history, literature, philosophy and religion. She graduated in 1961. After graduation she took her first international trip to Europe. Using a Eurail Pass, she spent three months with two classmates touring 14 countries.
Hodgie saw studying abroad as a critical way for students to broaden their horizons, learn self-reliance and appreciate other cultures and societies. She told one interviewer, “the best way to promote peace is to promote mutual understanding between people of different societies and cultures.”
After her European sojourn, Hodgie attended Fordham University in New York City to study medieval history and graduated with a Master’s Degree in 1963. At that point she moved to Lawrence to attend KU as part of a doctoral program in European history.
Her education was interrupted when she married John “Jack” Bricke in 1964, and moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, where Jack began his graduate studies at the University of Edinburgh.
During the three years Hodgie and Jack were in Scotland, Hodgie taught history, English, gym and religious studies in a secondary school for two years. She then resumed research at the National Archives of Scotland for her Ph.D. focusing on Scottish history.
The couple returned to Kansas in 1968 when Jack accepted a position in the KU Philosophy Department. Hodgie continued work on her dissertation but was interrupted in that effort by various temporary teaching positions at Baker University and at KU. In 1972, she received her Ph.D. in Modern European History.
In 1975, the couple returned to Scotland so Jack could continue his research on philosopher David Hume. That year their son, Ian, was born in Edinburgh.
Hodgie claimed her career as a professional in international education was accidental. “I was a stay at home mom, doing some occasional work for a publishing firm in Kansas City, when I received a call from [a KU administrator] asking if I might be interested in a part-time job in the Office of International Studies. I was actually mopping the kitchen floor when the phone rang… so, with little hesitation I agreed.”
While Hodgie began as a program assistant for International Programs in 1989, her role steadily increased, first to Assistant Dean in 1991, and then to Interim Co-Associate Vice Provost in 2007, and finally to Assistant Vice Provost in 2009. International Programs is the head office for the three offices that make up international education at KU–Study Abroad, International Student Services, and the Applied English Center.
During those years she assisted in making KU one of the nation’s leaders in student participation in study abroad programs. She did that, in part, by leading the British Summer Institute (a 4-5 week summer program) for seven years, encouraging and training others to develop and lead study abroad programs of their own, and teaching an Honors Tutorial in international education for several years.
Nearly 16 years ago, she was chair of the committee that developed the KU Global Awareness Program, which allows undergraduates at KU to earn special notations on their final transcripts showing “global awareness.” She called the program one of her crowning achievements.
Hodgie eventually focused on the Fulbright program. She worked with 20 to 30 students annually as they applied for Fulbright scholarships to go abroad. She also directed the KU graduate direct exchange program working with Fulbright-nominated educators in diverse countries including the former Soviet Union, Russia, Ukraine, Azirbaijan, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Albania. In all, Hodgie estimated she helped bring nearly 100 foreign educators to KU.
She was also awarded two Fulbright grants herself for International Education Administrators, first to Germany in 1993 and then to Japan in 2000. She received the “Outstanding Service to the Fulbright Program Award” from the Institute of International Education in 2010.
“I was [the Fulbright] coordinator, which was a very rich experience.” she said. “I learned from these folks information about a part of the world about which I knew nothing.”
Hodgie also received Certificates of Appreciation from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State, and awards for outstanding service to the Junior Faculty Development Program since 1994. She served as President of Middle American Universities International from 2009 to 2011, and as National Vice-President for Phi Beta Delta, the Honor Society for International Scholars, from 1997 to 1999.
Up until her death, Hodgie swam several miles three times a week, was a regular parishioner at St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center, and was a weekly volunteer at Small World, a program for international women living in Lawrence, where she first worked with children and then their mothers helping them to learn English and other skills.
She was a life-long Democratic activist and supporter, beginning her involvement in politics as a high school student putting up posters for Democratic candidates in then solidly-Republican Tulsa.
Hodgie is survived by, among others, her husband, Jack; her son and daughter-in-law Ian and Jessica Bricke and granddaughter Pilar Bricke, all of Los Angeles, California; her brother and sister-in-law Pat and Georgia Shaw of Bethesda, Maryland; her sister Barbara Shaw of Minneapolis, Minnesota; her sister and brother-in-law Mary Shaw and Michael Mahar, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; nephews J. Brendan Shaw, of Dayton, Ohio, Mickey Mahar of Berlin, Germany; and nieces Brigid Shaw of Boston, Massachusetts, and Nicole Merrill of Eugene, Oregon. Her parents John Bennett Shaw and Margaret Fitzgerald Shaw and her sister Catherine Shaw are deceased.
A memorial service will be held at St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center (1631 Crescent Rd, Lawrence, KS 66044) at 2pm on Saturday, February 1st. A subsequent celebration of life will be announced at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Small World and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.(http://smallworldlawrence.blogspot.com/p/contact.html).