Richard and Joyce Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship

Zimmerman Scholarship Logo

Endowed Scholarship for WWII Veterans, Electronics Teacher 

The Allentown School District Foundation is pleased to award the first Richard and Joyce Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship in 2021.  This award was established by Jan and Stephen Olinick in memory of Richard E. Zimmerman, former electronics technology teacher at WAHS (1961-1967) and the former Lehigh County Community College (1967-1982), and his wife, Joyce Rickert Zimmerman, to provide a scholarship for a graduating WAHS student enrolling in a two- or four-year program leading to a career in a trade or a STEM-related career.
The recipient will be a graduating William Allen High School senior who is motivated, prepared academically, and has developed skills valuable for career study and self-sustaining employment. The student must have experiential learning related to their field of study and is seeking a trade or a STEM-related career.

Richard (Dick) E. Zimmerman
b. 1924 d. 1999
AHS '42
2nd Lt., U.S. Army Air Forces; WWII
Joyce H. (Rickert) Zimmerman
b. 1925 d. 1961
AHS '44
Cpl. U.S.Marine Corps W.R.; WWII

Dick Zimmerman, Military Portrait It was a passion for all things electronic that kept Dick going through high school. That was in addition to a dream of flying airplanes in the war effort. Stationed in England and North Africa, he flew the Curtiss C-46 Commando and Douglas C-47 Skytrain military transport planes ferrying troops, cargo, wounded and medical personnel, as well as towing gliders. 

Joyce was naturally creative and enjoyed drawing, photography, and swimming in the aquacade in high school. After enlisting in the Marine Corps, she was stationed at Parris Island and worked in the photo lab. 

Returning to Allentown after their service in WWII, DIck and Joyce met, married, and had three children. Dick worked for Allentown's Luckenbach & Johnson, a major Philco dealer, as one of the first television service technicians in the region. Joyce worked as a radiological technician. They set their sites on the American Dream. 

Joyce Zimmerman, typewriterTragedy struck when Joyce was misdiagnosed and died of cancer at the age of 36. Left with three young children, Dick decided to become a teacher so he could be home after school and during the summertime with his kids. Achieving the necessary teaching credentials, he taught 13th-year Electronics at William Allen High SChool for six years. When Lehigh County Community College was created in 1967, he was offered a position as a charter faculty member of the Electronics Technolgy degree program where he instructed and mentored both traditional and seasoned adult students until 1982. 

He was well known for intriguing his students with unusual anecdotes and bold statements leading to thought-provoking debate in class. His lab students would recall his excitement about teaching: 

"You can do anything with electronics!" 
"Attitude, more than anything else, will determine your success in achieving whatever you want." 
"I chose to be called a teacher, not a professor, as my goal is to teach a person how to learn, not simply profess my knowledge." 
"There is nothing wrong with mistakes when you experiment. Learn from them and keep trying."

His best advice to a young 9th-grade student would be to think now about what type of career will fulfill him/her in the future. Get a "skill" which is sought by businesses and industry so that he/she can continue to learn and have the career they seek. 

Biography is submitted by the children: 

Craig D. Zimmerman, WAHS '67, LCC Electronics Technology AAS '69, US AIR FORCE, CCAF, Temple Univ. BS Ed. '87, VA Commonwealth Univ. M.Ed. '88, PhS w/o Dissertation  '91, Dean of Corporate Training, San Jacinto College (ret.) 

Kent B. Zimmerman, WAHS /LCVTS CP / Tech Electronics '71, LCCC Electronics Technology AAS '73, Moravian College BS Management '88, Lehigh Univ. MBA '90, Director, NCCC Center for Business  & Industry, (ret.)

Jan L. (Zimmerman) Olinick, WAHS /LCVTS Architectural Drafting '72, LCCC AA '74, Penn State Univ. BS Arch. '78, President, Jan L. Olinick Architect, LLC.