Campus Highlights


Terry Dibble, CAS ’80, SHS ’93, couldn’t stay away from OU’s campus

Terry Dibble leaning against weight

Photography by Robert Hall

Human Movement Science

icon of a calendarApril 15, 2022

icon of a pencilBy Michael Downes

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After graduating high school, Terry Dibble, CAS '89 and SHS '93, had a tough decision to make. 

“I joined the Army,” explains Dibble. “I didn’t really want to, but I needed the money so that I could get into college.” After two years in the military, Dibble returned home with his Veteran Affairs benefits and just one college on his mind: Oakland University.

“I didn’t really look anywhere else,” says Dibble. “It was close, just 20 minutes down the road and seemed to be the right spot for me.”

Dibble arrived at OU in 1976. He ran on OU’s cross country team in ’78 and ’79 and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in public administration with a concentration in health behavioral sciences in 1980, thoroughly enjoying every second on campus. “It was a great learning experience,” says Dibble.

Dibble returned to campus to earn his master’s degree in exercise science in 1993 and taught a class as a graduate assistant. In his years away from Oakland, Dibble worked as an exercise physiologist at a spinal rehabilitation center and later on at an adult living community running exercise programs, but didn’t feel like he was reaching his full potential.

“I really liked doing what I was doing,” says Dibble, “but I thought there had to be more. I sat down and thought about what skills I have and teaching people was at the core of what I did. Working in rehab and with the older community it really was just teaching people how to do things.”

In 2001, while Dibble was going through this self-reflection, he was offered a position to teach at OU, responsible for teaching the first half of HS 201 Introduction to Health and Health Behaviors, which is now HS 2000. In what seemed like overnight, though, he went from instructing a patient one-on-one course to having over 200 students in a lecture hall.

“To see the students progress through the process, from freshman to graduation, it’s incredibly rewarding,” says Dibble. “They have taught me so much, they all have different perspectives and understandings on topics and classroom exercises, they keep making me better. I enjoy being in the room and being able to help students.”

Dibble, now a special instructor and the coordinator of internships for the exercise science program, is always looking for ways to improve himself as an educator and has even returned to the classroom as a student. He is currently working on a thesis to earn his master’s in psychology. He has shown no signs of stopping anytime soon. 

“I’m probably never going to retire. They’ll have to carry me off of campus.”

Dibble is also a member of the Oakland University Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Photo of Terry Dibble

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