The Black River Technical College (BRTC) Foundation announced Saturday during the BRTC Foundation/RiverBank Spring Fling, formerly known as the BRTC Foundation Gala, that the BRTC Machine Tool Lab will now be named “The Dave Statler Machine Tool Lab.”
Statler built the BRTC tool and die program from the ground up as the founding machine tool instructor, hired in 1972.
BRTC founding President Richard Gaines said that, “Dave was the most generous, hardworking team player I’ve ever known without a doubt and he loved to show off his tool and die program,” Gaines said, “I’m proud of Dave. He turned out the best tool and die workers this state had ever seen.”
Statler spent 30 years dedicated to the BRTC Machine Tool program and to his students, before retiring in 2002.
BRTC Dean of General Studies Donna Statler and Dave Statler’s daughter-in-law said, “he loved to serve others in all capacities. One of his favorite things to do was grill and feed others. He grilled for many BRTC potlucks and golf tournaments as well as his students. Dave could often be seen with a grill on the ramp to his shop, cooking for his students.”
When he passed in 2015, his family was in awe of the amount of people from all over the state of Arkansas as well as Missouri and Tennessee who made the trip to pay their respects. “He was loved and respected by his students, co-workers, and others in the machine tool world. He was a caring man that was dedicated to his students and BRTC,” Donna added.
Dave’s former student Steve Johnson said via Facebook, “Took a Trig night class [taught by Dave Statler] way back when. That man could teach more in one session than most could in a weeks worth. Great man.”
The Statler family have made “a significant contribution to the college” in order to honor their beloved family member, said BRTC President Martin Eggensperger, “The entire family is teachers and machinists. Their legacy is embedded in Black River and we cannot thank them enough.”
For more information about the BRTC Foundation, visit https://blackrivertech.org/brtc-foundation.