Dale Ernest Heinrich was born February 26, 1961, at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. As a young child, Dale exhibited characteristics he carried throughout his life: he was extremely attentive to detail, he loved animals, and at the age of 13, he gave his first solo piano recital. At the bottom of the program his teacher noted, "For only four years of piano study, he is well on his way as a virtuoso. He has a tremendous repertoire for his young age." Dale could sit at the piano with headphones, listening to a song and simultaneously playing it, in the same key or transposed.
After graduating from Chisholm Trail Academy in 1979, Dale went to California and attended a school for travel agents. In 1982, he returned to Keene to work at Keene Travel and to attend Southwestern as a communication major. In the fall of 1985, Dale began playing for services at the First United Methodist Church in Joshua. He felt his ministry was music. He could share his love of God with all people and grow to be their friend through his musical ability.
One Sunday evening, Dale rode his motorcycle to a chili supper given by his friends at the Methodist church. On his way home, he was hit by a car. On Monday, February 17, 1986, Dale died. Dale Heinrich was a friend to everyone he met. Before the funeral, his family requested donations for a scholarship in his memory instead of sending flowers. Although the church was filled with bouquets, The Dale Heinrich Music Scholarship has one of the longest lists of individual donors of any Southwestern scholarship.
Scholarship award requirements
This scholarship is awarded to students based on academic achievement and financial need who are talented on the keyboard and are sharing that talent to bless others.