University community mourns faculty member, program director Todd Wilkerson
LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas community is mourning the death of Todd Wilkerson, assistant teaching professor in the Department of Health, Sport & Exercise Sciences. Wilkerson, 38, died Aug. 30.
He was a recent hire, having started at KU in August. In addition to being a faculty member in the School of Education & Human Sciences, he also was director for the undergraduate sport management program.
“I was profoundly saddened to learn of the death of Todd Wilkerson, who had just begun his work with us at KU,” said Chancellor Douglas A. Girod. “On behalf of the entire university, I offer my deepest condolences to his family, his friends and to his new colleagues and students at KU.”
Before coming to KU, Wilkerson was on the faculty at the University of Missouri and at Langston University, where he earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees. He earned a doctorate from the University of Arkansas, where he wrote a dissertation on barriers African American football student-athletes face in seeking mental health services.
Wilkerson touched thousands of lives during his time in academia, said Jordan Bass, associate professor and chair of the Department of Health, Sport & Exercise Sciences.
“When he interviewed at KU, we received numerous unsolicited emails from past students that all said something like ‘Don’t tell Dr. Todd I’m emailing you, but he changed my life,’” Bass said. “I am absolutely devastated our students at KU never had the opportunity to learn from Dr. Wilkerson. We will miss him greatly.”
A celebration of life is planned for 11 a.m. Sept. 10 at Oak Ridge Baptist Church, 9301 Parallel Parkway, in Kansas City, Kansas.