Barden Award


Hamilton Holt Student Government Association

Walter E. Barden Distinguished Teaching Award

Who is Walter E. Barden?

Since 1984, the Holt School has recognized excellence in teaching through the Distinguished Teaching Award, presented during Commencement to an outstanding faculty member selected by Holt School students. In 1988, the award was renamed the Walter E. Barden Distinguished Teaching Award to honor an exceptionally dedicated and talented instructor for his service to the School and its students.Walter E. Barden’s affiliation with the Hamilton Holt School goes back to its first years as the School of Continuing Education in the early sixties, when he taught mathematics. A person of many accomplishments, Barden served for nearly thirty years as head of Customer Service of Orlando Utilities and was also a musician who hosted a Sunday classical music show on the College’s radio station WPRK. But it was his teaching style that commanded the respect of students, fellow instructors, and administrators. Dr. Rick Bommelje, former Acting Dean of the Holt School, stated that Barden “was universally recognized as an outstanding teacher, a caring teacher who always viewed his role as that of helping the student succeed.” Barden exemplified the spirit of placing the student at the center of the educational process.
Barden’s contributions as an instructor were recognized during the 1979 Commencement exercises, when President Thaddeus Seymour presented him with the George Morgan Ward medal and read a citation honoring his contributions to the Holt School.

The Walter E. Barden Award is presented to an outstanding faculty member at the annual Commencement ceremony. Holt seniors nominate the instructor who best exemplifies the following criteria:

  • Motivation and commitment to adult student instruction
  • Innovative instruction
  • Creativity in course development
  • Ability to challenge intellectually and encourage independent thought
  • Sensitivity to needs of adult students
  • Concern and respect for adult students
  • Availability and helpfulness
  • Receptiveness to diversity

List of prior recipients.