Red Poppies

Celebrity Forum

Meet Founder Dick Henning

Dick Hennng with MicRichard L. Henning retired as vice-president at Foothill College in June 1997. He received his undergraduate degree in 1957 from San Jose State University in Speech & Public Relations and a master’s in Secondary Administration in 1964; he received a second master’s at Santa Clara University in Counseling & Guidance in 1969, and a doctorate in Higher Education & Administration from the University of Southern California in 1971.

He began his career in 1960 at Sunnyvale High School as a teacher of English and public speaking, and was the drama and swimming coach. He was later promoted to counselor, director of student activities and vice-principal.

He was a Foothill College administrator for 31 years, beginning in 1967 as director of student activities. In 1968, he founded the Foothill College Celebrity Forum, which is a speakers series recognized by the prestigious International Platform Association as the best in the nation. In 1995 and 1996, he created and presented the Silicon Valley Business & Leadership Conference at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, which featured nationally famous speakers and entertainers.

Dr. Henning is active in the community and has served as president of several international organizations including the Rotary Club, United Way and Phi Delta Kappa. He served for 11 years on the board of directors for the Chamber of Commerce of Los Altos; is a founding board member of the Los Altos Sister Cities, Inc.; and is a founder on the Los Altos Community Foundation. Prior to his retirement, he was a widely booked public speaker and a consultant in interpersonal relations for business and industry.

In 1996, he was named “Los Alton of the Year,” an award given annually to a member of the community for bolstering the distinguished reputation of the town of Los Altos, California.

He was also named one of the top 50 citizens of Los Altos during the past 50 years.

He has traveled widely and has led groups to Japan, China, Pakistan, India, Tahiti, Fiji, Australia and Russia. Since 1978, he has led groups on annual safaris to Africa in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. His most frequent foreign-travel destination, however, is France where his wife, Paulette, was born and raised. He and Paulette have lived in Mountain View since 1978 and in Los Altos prior to that.

His hobbies include travel, photography, scuba diving, trout fishing, poker, and French and California wine collecting.

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