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Stories Spark Memories

My wife, Georgia, and I really appreciated the latest Response issue, with its coverage of how SPU faculty and alumni are working ’round the world in projects that show the love of Christ. Georgia and I were students at SPC (we still have our class sweaters). Our children are SPU grads, and I served on the faculty 1964–73, founding the four-year engineering science program.

My colleagues on the physics and engineering faculty — Roger Anderson, Jim Crichton, Bob Hughson, Don Kerlee, Karl Krienke, Hugh Nutley — were a most versatile and accomplished bunch of scholars. Besides being very good teachers who challenged and mentored students, they also achieved individually in widespread outside activities such as music, space photography, hiking, fiction writing, aviation, and learned discourse on science and theology.

What a privilege to have spent a decade in professional association with SPU faculty. I am very thankful that SPU continues to be thoroughly Christian, for I believe that, if we are to have a lasting impact following God’s call, the integration of a person’s faith with his or her professional specialty is of paramount importance. The Christian campus is the place where such understanding and purpose best takes place.

Donald M. Anderson ’51
Marysville, Washington

It was nice to see Gary Newbill and Larelle Catherman featured in this most recent issue of Response. They are both very knowledgeable in their fields, but also humble servants of God to others.

Martha Berry Ediger ’68
Bellevue, Washington

Reading the article, “A Physics Community,” in the Summer issue of Response and then the obituary on Esther Hammer ’39 (I knew her and Walter well) in the Autumn issue brought on a little nostalgia that has prompted me to write, wondering whether any other members of the class of ’39 are still here. Our 75th reunion would be next year.

Under Otto Miller, I was Seattle Pacific’s first physics major; also under Burton Beagle, a math major.

Shortly after graduation and marriage to Mary Louise Kimball ’39, I started working on an advanced math degree at UW, but before I could complete it, war clouds were looming and I soon found myself in the U.S. Army. The army saw my physics degree and sent me to Alaska to set up and manage the operation of an early warning radar station. Radar was very new and secret at that time.

After WWII, the Army made me an attractive offer to stay in until retirement age. This resulted first in several assignments in the U.S., then tours of duty in Iran and Korea. Later I taught at MIT for three years (I finally got to use my math degree) followed by 16 years at Caltech/NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

Following retirement, Mary Louise and I moved to Whidbey Island, living there for 17 years. Now we are enjoying our 18th year in our home in Mill Creek, are active and in good health, having celebrated 72 years of marriage last August.

Forest S. Gibson ’39
Mill Creek, Washington

Thinking “Green”

Editor’s Note: We received many, many remembrances of Lydia Green, after including her photo in our “From the Archives” section in the Autumn 2013 issue of Response. Here are just a few:

Entering SPC in the fall of 1961, I expected to graduate with a degree in nursing. Instead I graduated with a degree in English.

Lydia Green was a wonderful model, teacher, and mentor to those of us beginning in the field of medical health. But when Dr. Green gave us an orange and a needle and said she would now teach us to give shots, I felt my nursing future was over. I realized later that I was not called to the clinical side of medical care, but to the chaplaincy — which then I did not know existed. I have now retired as a United Methodist clergyperson. But I always remember with fondness Lydia Green as the model of the perfect nurse and one who trained many of my classmates — just not me, after the first year.

Rev. Marilyn Owen Robb ’65
Portland, Maine

The word was, “Don’t even think about going into Mrs. Green’s office in a pair of jeans!”

I was sitting right in front of that desk several times (luckily, for nothing bad!), and it was a sobering experience. She was a true nurse, and someone that we admired, but someone, who, to a young nursing student, could be very intimidating. She was what we wanted to be, but there was a long road ahead.

Throughout my career of nearly 40 years, I have always been glad that I went to SPC for my first nursing degree. I taught nursing for 35 years, and there wasn’t a day that I didn’t remember what a special “heritage” I had from those wonderful teachers.

Suzanne McMillan Davis ’74
Taylors, South Carolina

Read more remembrances of Lydia Green here.

More Letters for the Web

I enjoy the Response magazine articles immensely and read them from beginning to end. It is so much easier to read than the computer edition. Thank you for keeping me on the mailing list.

Emily Gannaway Willecke ’57
Parker, Colorado

I pulled out an old Response from Autumn 2012, and on page 9 I read “What do you think is the next great opportunity for SPU?” This reminds me of the book The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw. I consider myself to be one of that generation.

1942–45 I attended this Ellensburg High School. I served in the U.S. Marine Corps September 1945–January 1952. I worked in the shipyard on Lake Washington south of Kirland in 1944. In 1941 when Japan sank our fleet in Pearl Harbor, I was 14 years old. We were all very mad. There are things that are one of a kind — the Alamo, the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine, Pearl Harbor, and yes, the Greatest Generation. I have heard some say that some of our kids in school now will be our next “Greatest Generation.” This offends me greatly. WWII was the only war we ever won unconditionally in my lifetime.

I went to SPC in 1950 until I got a notice from the U.S. Marine Corps that I would be going to Korea. I was there most of 1951. While at SPC, I recall Wesley Walls, Professor Dixon, and May Marson. She taught German. Mr. Walls was called back to the army as a chaplain. May Marston sent me many postcards when I was in Korea. I sent SPC this photo and they put it in Response. I enjoy your magazine very much.

James E. Cummings

P.S. My Opal had gone to school with Les Parrott at Olivet Nazarene College.

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