See What the Training Industry Has Said About Don Kirkpatrick (Part 2)

August 20, 2014

Last week, we shared several articles written by members of the training community in response to Don Kirkpatrick’s passing. 

This week, we would like to share a few more of these tributes, along with some personal sentiments that our friends and colleagues sent to us from around the world.

Kirkpatrick Community member Jeanne Farrington offered a short and sweet blog post about Don’s passing, in which she noted the widespread use of the Kirkpatrick Model

Calling Don an “industry pioneer,” Mike Prokopeak from Chief Learning Officer noted that when Don’s four articles, each representing one of the levels of his model, first appeared in the ASTD journal, “the reaction was swift and the effect long-lasting.”

Writing in tribute of economist Gary Becker, who also passed away earlier this year, Richard Griffin from Training Journal compared the importance of Becker’s work to the field of economics to that of Don Kirkpatrick’s work to the field of training. He noted that both men “did that rare thing – actually change the way people think and act.”

LMI-UK reflected on Don’s legacy as “the man who almost singlehandedly made the industry aware of the critical importance of measuring training effectiveness.”

Our friend Stanislav Tichý, the Managing Director at DEVELOR Czech, sent the following personal correspondence:

I was sad to read that Donald passed away. His work that you are carrying on has become both the cornerstone of the strategy for success of my company as well as a foundation of my personal belief that learning and development should and can deliver measurable business value and contribution.

It’s a nice perspective to reflect on the fact that the work an individual needs to do simply for the sake of study and development in the area of his or her honest and humble personal interest, realized without the intention to do something great, can in the end influence generations all over the world. And that’s what Donald’s work did.

David Dewhurst, a Kirkpatrick Certified Facilitator from our Australasian affiliate GMD Partnerships, wrote to Jim and Wendy:

I am so sorry to learn of Don’s passing. I imagine it gives you comfort that he is back with Fern. My heartfelt condolences to you both and to your family.

I remember hearing Don speak at the ASTD ICE in Orlando a few years ago. It was to be Don’s final presentation at ICE, and I was wanting to understand the Kirkpatrick Model, so I thought I’d better be there! I was so glad I did because I listened to Don and I got to hear you both present, too. At the time, Fern was doing very poorly, and I remember well Don speaking so movingly about her and asking us to pray for her. It was very touching. The photo you shared of Don and Fern is a delight.

I know the coming days and weeks will not be easy….I hope you are able to take time to enjoy and reflect on your times with Don and Fern.

Atieh Sabbar from our affiliate Learnactive expressed:

My deepest condolences to you and your family for the loss of your great father. I remember your wonderful anecdotes about him, and am proud to have been a recipient of the legacy he left behind to be further nurtured by your family and, in part, the rest of us.

May his memories continue to shine, and his soul rest in peace.

And while countless other condolences poured in from around the world, the final one we will share with our community was from Pat Leonard, Divisional Vice President of Global Business Development for Laureate Online Education:

It has been an eon since we’ve spoken, but just wanted to share my condolences to you and your family.  Your dad is (not was) a giant, and always will be to so many in our industry and forever framed and changed how we focus on making sure that the developmental good we are doing for others actually has the desired impact. And he was a Badger through and through just to add another feature to his wonderfulness :).

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