Davidson professor hit by car in critical condition
by Staff Writer
DAVIDSON – A Davidson College math professor remains in critical condition at a Charlotte hospital after being hit by a Jeep last week while crossing the street.
Dr. Robert Whitton, a longtime professor at the college, was walking home
Nov. 3 when a Jeep failed to yield to Whitton as he crossed on a pedestrian walkway on Concord Road, according to Davidson police.
A helicopter took Whitton to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte with serious injuries and as of Wednesday morning, Nov. 9, he was still listed in critical condition.
Davidson police cited 39-year-old Ricky Lamar Stacks of 1484 Haverford Road NW, Concord, with failing to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
Tom Shandley, vice president for student life and dean of students sent a message to all students and faculty on Saturday, Nov. 5, informing them of the wreck and of Whitton’s status.
“There is no more-beloved person or member of the faculty in the Davidson
community than Robert Whitton,” Shandley said in his email. “His full engagement in the lives of our students, in and outside of the classroom, is legendary.”
Whitton sustained serious head injuries but no broken bones, Shandley said in the email.
As of Saturday, Whitton had yet to regain consciousness, but his vital signs were strong, Shandley said.
On Sunday, Nov. 6, hundreds of students, faculty and town residents gathered on the college’s quad to hold a candlelight vigil for the 67-year-old professor, who has been a teacher for 30 years. Teachers and students took turns speaking about Whitton’s inspiring teaching style, and the school’s a capella groups performed.
Whitton graduated from Davidson College in 1966 and has been teaching at the school off and on since 1979.
Last year, students voted Whitton their favorite professor at the school.
“You can tell he’s a wonderful person and very passionate about what he does,” James Cobb, a freshman in Whitton’s calculus II class, said.
Whitton was famous among students for holding his office hours in the college’s busy student union and supporting his students in their extracurricular activities, from athletes to musicians.