Dick & Karen Hebert

Dick & Karen Hebert

The Dick Hebert UWL Offensive Line Concert Master Music Scholarship is an endowed fund established in 2020 by Karen Hebert as a surprise for Dick’s 60th birthday.

Dick Hebert graduated from UWL in 1983, earning his bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation administration. He was also a member of the football team. After graduating, he hoped to work as a sports program director for a YMCA, but unable to find the right opportunity, he returned home to Chippewa Falls, taking a job as a recreation supervisor with the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department. He went on to have a long and impactful career with the Chippewa Falls Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department. He retired in 2021 after nearly 40 years of service to his hometown. During his tenure, he oversaw the success of dozens of programs, negotiated shared use agreements with the local school district, and hired thousands of seasonal employees — many of whom were high school students working their first job. Under his leadership, the department made countless improvements, big and small, to the city’s parks system. It also raised $13 million in donations and endowments, which was used to construct a welcome center and small mammal zoo building, an aviary and artifact storage building, and a new park with handicap-accessible fishing piers.

Hebert also found an outlet for his passion for sports, officiating high school football, basketball, baseball, softball, and volleyball. When there was a break in a game, he was known to squeeze in a quick recruiting pitch. “You get to know these players when you do enough games, and I encouraged many of them to attend UWL,” he says. “I really enjoyed my time at UWL, and I always encouraged our seasonal employees to attend as well.”

Looking back, Hebert says he was most grateful for the chance to serve and improve the community. “My father passed away when I was young, and I was the oldest of three boys, so my mother couldn’t do it all on our own. There were a lot of people in the community who helped raise us,” Hebert explains. “It’s been great to be able to give back to the community, provide these services and programs, and help families through the same type of situation I dealt with growing up.”

“Before we started dating, most of my free time was spent officiating. My idea of a trip was going to work at the state boys basketball tournament,” Hebert says. “When we got married, she introduced me to arts and traveling — things she enjoys that I enjoy now, too. So she wanted to do something to show that she’s thankful for that.” The scholarship honors one of Dick’s passions (football) and one of Karen’s (music). The $1,000 annual scholarship is reserved for the concertmaster (lead violinist) of the UWL Orchestra.


This is a permanent endowment fund and will support UWL orchestra students for generations to come. UWL is grateful to Dick & Karen Hebert for their generosity.