I was an Art major, and Ma and Pa Ortlip took me under their wing. I spent many hours in their home and was intrigued by the chaos of it all. Ma Ortlip said, “You’ll never be a great artist if you’re too organized.” They were loving and kind and so very supportive. Years later, I was struck by how humble they were when I realized how great their talent was and how well-recognized they were in the art field. To me, they were the Real Deal, what a Christian testimony was all about.
Jan (Taylor ’57) Rhine
Dorah Burnell was an amazing woman who had some never-to-be-forgotten idiosyncrasies. She had an unusual blue dress whose dye acted as a chemical indicator, so she would wear it when teaching about indicators. When she walked into the classroom wearing that particular dress, the blue would change to pink because of the acidity in the air coming from the lab. Miss Burnell was a wonderful Christian woman who never failed to open class with fervent prayer. Each year, she treated her assistants to a delicious dinner, which she had prepared. Much of my 45 years of success as a chemistry teacher to hundreds of nursing students can be attributed to what she modeled for me.
Fay (Hunting ’46) Bennett
I was privileged to take [many] classes from Dr. Katherine Lindley ’43. Her patience, her style and her encouraging us to dig deep into profound issues molded my life. She encouraged me to follow my Houghton experience with law school and, ultimately, a very rewarding career in the law. She pulled out of me thoughts and ideas that I never knew were there. She encouraged me to put those thoughts and ideas into words and to publicly defend them. Our final exam for Modern Political Theory was only one question: “Trace the development of the concept of Equality from Plato to the present.” The three-hour testing period flew by. There was so much to put down on paper! God used her to transform my vision and my life. For that, I am eternally grateful.
Bruce A. Gross ’67, Esq.
Dr. Abraham Davis ’55 was a great teacher! He helped me appreciate the proper use of the English language! He was patient, understanding, and flexible but determined we learn proper English!
Ellen (McCarty ’65) Fawthrop
Dr. Claude Ries ’18 was the genuine article: a scholar of deep, profound faith whose passion for God’s Word and enthusiasm for communicating its truths to his students caused me often to just sit in awe and let his exegetical insights flood over me. There was a Man of God!
Manfred Brauch ’63
Dr. Nolan Huizenga was my piano professor and music history teacher. He was tough and a perfectionist, particularly about technique, and it is his guidance in excellent technique that I pass on to my students at nearly every lesson. He was encouraging, believing in me even when I felt I was not measuring up to his high standards. I was a student at Houghton when he was courting his future bride, organist Gloria. It was so much fun to see the man come to life with the awakening of romantic love. It kind of “tickled” all of us as students, and our support of him and Gloria was a joy. I was so saddened when I learned of his “home-going” as if a part of me was gone, too. However, his teachings, his passion for music and even his kind way of demanding excellence has continued on in my studio.
Sharlene (Azzarelli ’69) Cady
During 20 years of formal education, my favorite teacher was Dr. Robert Luckey. As a student at Houghton College from 1950 to 1954, I majored in Chemistry. However, my minors were Mathematics and Physics. Dr. Luckey, affectionately known as “Doc Bob,” was my professor for every one of my math and physics courses. Doc Bob was an outstanding teacher but also a gentle giant of a man and a truly Christian gentleman. As a teacher, he had a special talent of being able to discern from the expression on a student’s face if he was understanding the lesson. If not, he would pause and clear things up before proceeding. He was also a humble man. One summer, he taught six of us a course in Electricity and Electrical Measurements. The lab for the course consisted of designing and building a new transmitter for the college radio station. He decided that the final exam would be to take the test for obtaining the government Amateur Radio License at the Federal Communications Commission offices in Buffalo. Doc Bob had never obtained his license, so he took the test with his students. Fortunately, we all passed.
George E. Bagley ’54
I was a fairly new Christian when I entered Houghton in the fall of 1950 but was already a convinced Calvinist, thus making my opinions sometimes at odds with things I heard in classes and at church. Nevertheless, I had a deep respect for the piety of the Houghton faculty. Dr. Paine was a great spiritual leader, in my judgment. I took many courses from Dr. Stockin and admired his gentle spirit. Dr. Bert Hall impressed me with the way he reached out to students, for example, by participating in our softball games. The same could be said for Dr. Bob Luckey, who coached our class basketball team.
John H. Van Voorhis ’54
Dr. Kimball was a huge influence on how I dressed in the classroom. At least once a week he wore brightly colored ties or sport coats or both. One Friday, he entered the classroom in his colorful clothing and, without saying even good morning, prostrated himself on the floor and recited the poem “To A Mouse” by Robert Burns. I thought that, if this distinguished professor could do this at the college level, I could do it at the high school level. So, I began collecting colorful and unusual ties, and I would wear one every Friday. Soon, our daughters and my students were adding to my collection. I received ties from students as far away as Italy. Even students who didn’t have me as a teacher opened the door between classes to see what this crazy teacher was wearing. Because of the recitation of that poem, I was not afraid to act out situations in the classroom. When I retired almost 23 years ago, my wife hung 200 ties around the house for students and friends to “appreciate.” I owe all that to Dr. Kimball.
Clinton Newell ’64
I was most impressed by professor of English Ray Hazlett. Prof. Hazlett seemed to break every rule of “effective teaching” taught over the years by our schools of education. He slumped in his chair behind his desk, he used no audio-visual materials, he was not a dynamic speaker, and he seemed to have little interaction with his students. But what he said! He could profoundly analyze his favorite literary figures (James Farrell, for one). He was a master of the English language and showed this when he won a poetry contest for a new De Soto. I remember wishing I could bring a tape recorder to his classes, but they were bulky and expensive, so it was out of the question. But if I somehow could have managed it, just imagine what would have been preserved over the decades!
Dr. Stanley Sandler ’60
Professor Josephine Rickard (“Doc Jo” even to her face) was about the equal of Prof. Hazlett, although she was the more dynamic, her zeal sparked by her profound Christian faith. And whereas Prof. Hazlett was a remote figure (and that was fine with me; I just wanted to learn from him.) Doc Jo was also concerned with students’ spiritual and academic progress (in that order).
Dr. Stanley Sandler ’60
I entered into college shortly after my 17th birthday and graduated shortly before my 21st. During this stage in my life, Dr. Whitney Shea was the most positive thinker that I had encountered. It left such a profound impact on my outlook on life that I have worked on my own positive discipline throughout my life. At this period of time in our nation’s history, a priority was being placed on space exploration as we were “racing” the Russians to the moon. On my birthday, during the summer of 1958, I remember gathering on the Quad with other students and community members to watch Sputnik, a little bright dot, pass over in the night sky. A lot of negative opinions were being discussed surrounding the topic of space exploration. Dr. Shea told us to “watch and wait. Someday, space will be used to spread the Gospel.” Some years later I heard on TV an American astronaut read scripture from the moon, and I thought of Dr. Shea’s prophetic words. Reflecting on my years at Houghton College, I felt my Sociology major professor, Dr. Shea, had been a big influence on my life as his instruction prepared me to work with people—children, parents, co-workers and others—in my career as an elementary teacher.
Jane Roeske ’60
Before coming to Houghton College, Mr. Dwight Riegel had been a public school teacher, principal and superintendent and had worked in the New York State Education Department. Dr. Stephen Paine had convinced him to come and start the college’s Elementary Education Department. My Class of 1960 was the first class to be able to receive an Elementary Education minor. Mr. Riegel’s wealth of knowledge, experience and dedication to spiritual discipline made him qualified to instruct us to compassionately and clearly communicate with children. He was very dedicated to his students, willing to put in extra time and effort to ensure our preparation in becoming “great” teachers. I remember his methods to be very practical and real.
Jane Roeske ’60
When I was a student at Houghton during the 1950s, we were allowed to choose elective courses as part of our education experience. My electives were Bible classes from Dr. Bert Hall. I found Dr. Hall to be very knowledgeable and intelligent in the scriptures. He did not push a personal agenda. He showed us a variety of perspectives on Biblical interpretation. He laid an important foundation in deciphering the truth of God’s word within his students. This method of teaching was new for me; eventually, I understood its wisdom. I learned so much. Dr. Hall was kind, patient and helpful in our learning process.
Jane Roeske ’60
Without a doubt, the professor that most influenced me was Katherine Lindley. Her knowledge of history challenged me to be a student of the past as a guide to the future. She taught me much about critical thinking and not being satisfied with simple solutions to complex problems. She had a dry wit that could be missed if I did not pay close attention to her lectures. Personally, she was humble and did not try to push her ideas so much as get us to think for ourselves. Dr. Lindley has had a profound influence in my life. The second professor of influence was Richard Troutman. He often brought to the history lesson understanding from other disciplines that helped in understanding all the issues of the time. On several occasions, I was asked to babysit the Troutman children and saw the gentle spirit Dr. Troutman had towards his family. He and his wife loved their children, and it was evident in their home.
Mary Morehouse Greene ’68
As a history major, Dr. Kay Lindley was my primary instructor, and I lived for her classes for four years. Three of the four years, I was her grading assistant, which gave me many opportunities to interact with her outside of class. We became what I believed were friends as well as teacher and student. I remember well the first time my heart was broken my freshman year, and she was the one I went to for sympathy and counsel. She always had devotions at the beginning of each class, and a verse that has followed me throughout my life that she once stressed is Psalm 37:25: “I was young and now am old yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” Many times, I have reminded myself of that verse and thought about her. She went with us on our Senior Skip Weekend, and I have a wonderful picture of her and Dr. Stephen Paine playing blindman’s bluff with members of our class. She joined the game with great enthusiasm. We corresponded a number of times after I graduated and shared similar views on the Vietnam War when I was drafted out of grad school. After spending 20 years in health care administration, I finally became a professor of history at a local community college and spent 20 years teaching History of World Civilization. As I taught, I consciously patterned my teaching after her methods and found them to be very effective. Many of my students told me that my class was the first history class they had ever enjoyed, and I have to credit much of that to Kay Lindley’s teaching technique. When she retired from Houghton, she sent me a whole box of history books to add to my library, which I certainly appreciated. Both she and her husband were tremendous assets to Houghton as were their children. I was blessed to have known her and studied in her classes.
Frank Gillet ’69
I came to Houghton sensing a calling into some form of Christian ministry. I majored in History because I loved it and felt it would give me a broad background and minored in Biblical studies and Philosophy as a foundation for graduate study. On that journey of preparation, the most influential professors were Drs. Claude Ries and Richard Troutman. Dr. Ries was the genuine article: a scholar of deep, profound faith whose passion for God’s Word and enthusiasm for communicating its truths to his students caused me often to just sit in awe and let his exegetical insights flood over me. There was a Man of God! Dr. Troutman challenged and probed, shed light on complex issues, and broadened my horizons to help me truly begin to understand this beautiful and also broken human story. In addition to his exciting teaching, Dr. Troutman also served as the faculty advisor to the Houghton College Acapella Choir. We were on tour together my Junior and Senior years, and during those weeks I came to love this gentle Christian man, his joyful presence, his quick wit, his obviously genuine faith and love for his choir charges.
Manfred Brauch ’63
There were several faculty that deeply influenced me, but the one who most immediately comes to mind was Charles Davis, my writing instructor. The second would probably be Gordon Stockin. They both presented their knowledge of the material they taught with authority, kindness and the ability to incite the desire on my part to do my best, I guess you could say. I thrived under each of them in creative writing and Greek! What I learned from them I have used all my life and still do. Greek (and Latin) came in very handily when I taught vocabulary and English at the local community college. And I have been writing most of my life, some of which has been published. (Nothing earthshaking, however!) I still write almost every day.
Sharon Huff Anderson ’64
I graduated in ’66, my parents in ’44. We shared more than one professor, among them Stephan Paine. Though Dr. Paine was President of Houghton, he liked to teach, and I took Greek from him. During my college years, I dealt with some difficult personal issues, had no real goals, spent a lot of time working in order to help pay my way through school and, with all that, didn’t maintain a healthy GPA. But with his gentle and persistent caring, Dr. Paine inspired me to get an A in both first- and second-year Greek. He even wanted me to lead the class during a time he needed to be absent. Though he persisted in asking me to do this, I didn’t feel good enough about myself and the grades I was getting in other courses to accept. I felt I couldn’t do it, and I didn’t. But the fact that he trusted me enough to ask was a big help. On occasion, he spoke with me as if I were his peer, expressing an opinion, seeking mine. I’d not experienced this from any other faculty and felt so shocked that I could only stutter in response. But, again, his approaching me this way was another big help. A brilliant man, Dr. Paine always seemed happy, humble and deeply caring. I carry many fond memories from my Houghton years, but Dr. Paine stands out.
Allen Chase ’66
The professor at Houghton who had the greatest impact on my life was A.B. Rees. I was a History major and believe I only had him for one history course. His influence had little or no direct impact on my spiritual or academic life yet one moment of time I spent with him still impacts me today. A.B., as we called him outside the classroom, owned and flew his own airplane. I wanted to be a pilot from the age of five, when I stood outside with my mom, looked up in the sky at an airplane, and told my mother I wanted to be a pilot. An upper-class friend of mine who himself had aspirations of flying and was a student-friend of A.B., knowing my dream of flying, got me an invite to fly with A.B. from the grass strip where the professor kept his airplane. This, my first flight in an airplane, not only reacquainted me with my dream but also re-inspired me to pursue my dream. The rest, they say, is history. I joined the Air Force, got my pilot wings and flew for 24+ years Active/Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve. I flew as pilot for American Airlines for 23 years. Thirty-eight years flying, then, retirement. Though retired, I am still a pilot—it is who I am; it is what I did. That, friends, is the result of the impact my favorite Houghton professor, Professor A.B. Rees, had on my life.
Jay D. Johnson ’69
I was a sophomore pre-med major at Houghton taking a Quantitative Analysis course from Dr. Stephen Calhoun. In the lab sessions, I became quite vocal in disparaging the denomination to which I belonged and the college I was attending. At one point, I announced my intentions to leave The Wesleyan Church upon graduation and affiliate with some more “uptown” denomination. Dr. Calhoun overheard my rants and one afternoon asked me to stop by his office in the basement of the old Science Building. I sat down with some trepidation, wondering what I had done to occasion this visit to the principal’s office. Dr. Calhoun quietly shared that he had been listening to my complaints with some concern. “Bud,” he finally said, “Let’s imagine The Wesleyan Church and Houghton are like a bottle of milk. Given your family heritage and your intelligence, you have the prospects of becoming the cream of the crop. You view these institutions as being skim milk. But remove the cream, and the skim milk only gets skimmer. Have you ever considered staying with the church of your heritage and making it better?” That was all he said, but those words burned a hole in my soul. A few weeks later, I changed my major to a pre-seminary track. I made a commitment in those weeks to devote my efforts to enriching the denomination and school, which were truly my almae matres. (Thank you, Gordon Stockin!) And more than once I have passed those words of wisdom to students who grumble about the institutions that are contributing much to moral and spiritual development.
Dr. Clarence “Bud” Bence ‘66
I always appreciated “Doc Jo’s” (Dr. Josephine Rickard’s) enthusiasm for the Lord, especially when she opened the class in prayer. She often quoted from John 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” We enjoyed it when she quoted one of the poets, “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be!” Her faith and intelligence were very inspiring.
Joan Trautman ’64
Dr. Claude Ries made a powerful impact on my life and ministry over the past 50+ years. I have always tried to share from the pulpit or podium the passion he demonstrated every time he shared from God’s Word with his students. In my mind’s eye, I can still hear and see the image of him weeping as he many times expounded his lessons. One of the most important lessons I learned from him was his frequent admonition to try to “see the scriptures from the author’s eyeballs.” I still—at 74 years of age and blessed by good health and a reasonably sharp mind—would love it if his lessons could be put in print form. It was a rare privilege to be a student of his!
Richard L. Heers ’65
Professor Robert Cummings had the greatest influence on me during my education at Houghton. He was an excellent German professor, but his concern for me outside the classroom demonstrated his faith in Christ in practical, sacrificial works of love. At the end of my sophomore year, it looked doubtful that I would be able to complete my education at Houghton. My parents were unable to contribute any funds toward college expenses, and commuting to a state college while living at home looked likely for me. Professor Cummings was constructing two rooms in the basement of his home for students to use as their living space, expecting to supplement his salary a bit from the rooming income of four “cellar rats” he could recruit to live there. (He had a great sense of humor!) He offered to let me be one of those rats free of cost for the remaining two years of my education. That was the enabler for me to remain at Houghton through my graduation. I can never repay that debt to this humble, unpretentious servant of students. He represented the best of Houghton.
Bob Lenehan ’67
One other faculty story: Dr. Robert Longacre taught Descriptive Linguistics at Houghton for the year he was on furlough from Wycliffe Bible Translators. His was a grueling class that met for three hours each Monday evening. It was through his anecdote-filled instruction that I learned about the work of Bible translation. While learning about voiceless lingodental fricatives and morphemes, I also learned what life was like living in a village of culturally underdeveloped people who had no written language. The Longacre family learned to speak the language, reduced it to writing, taught people to read and write—all with the ultimate aim of introducing them to the Savior through the written Word that was translated into their language. I have supported the work of WBT for many years as a direct result of studying under Dr. Longacre.
Bob Lenehan ’67
MEMORIES OF DR GEORGE MORELAND
Bob Orr ’62
When the classroom door opened (precisely on the hour), the din of chatter among close friends stopped, and the entire room immediately fell into silence. He stepped to the lectern in his buttoned gray suit and tie and started lecturing in his soft tones exactly at the spot where he had left off in the previous class. Any student who entered even 30 seconds after the hour probably had a bit of the awesome respect in which he was held turn to real fear, though there were no repercussions apart from the incredulous stares of fellow students. It was rare that anyone was late.
He taught in the classical tradition: eloquent detailed lectures with an occasional drawing on the blackboard. Skilled notetaking was a must for students. Lose your notes, and you were sunk. A textbook was required for each course but rarely used by either teacher or student. If anyone discovered a discrepancy between the text and his lecture, no one confronted him. The lecture trumped, and we assumed that the author of the text was less well informed. He was by no means humorless, but he was oh so very serious.
Labs in Dr. Moreland’s courses were busy and long. He always wore a clean buttoned white lab coat. I think he did use teaching assistants, but he was always there. A raised hand brought him over; a question brought a gentle hand on the shoulder, a smile on his face and a clear answer. Slides in Intro to Zoology and in Histology, cultures in Microbiology, dogfish sharks and cats in Vertebrate Anatomy, fruit flies in Genetics (see below).
Scuttlebutt among premed students in the 1960s was that (a) Houghton’s premed program was very highly regarded among medical school admissions committees, and (b) a good letter of reference from Dr. Moreland was a near guarantee of acceptance. Consequently, I saved myself a bundle of money by only applying to two medical schools, unlike today’s students who often apply to 10 or 15.
I have two distinct memories of personal interactions with Dr. Moreland. During our junior year, he arranged a field trip to Roswell Park Cancer Research Institute in Buffalo for several premed students. When the young perky public relations person met us in the lobby to begin our scheduled tour, Dr. Moreland reached out his hand and said, “Hello, I’m George Moreland.” We were dumbfounded! George?!?! He is not George, he is DOCTOR Moreland. This display of humility was very impressive. As a direct result, I have only rarely introduced myself as Dr. Orr, almost always as Bob Orr or Robert Orr. Another direct result of that field trip is that another student and I applied for research fellowships at Roswell for the following summer and had great experiences in different labs.
The second memory is embarrassing—no, it is humiliating. On a warm spring afternoon when I didn’t have a lab, I needed to catch up on some of my fruit fly stuff. I was the only student in the lab. I anesthetized the bottle of flies, gently poured them out on the stage of my dissecting microscope and began to count the number with green eyes and whatever other phenotypic characteristics we were studying. At the edge of my awareness, someone moved behind me and opened a window to let a bit of fresh air into the overheated lab. A brisk breeze came in and blew the flies off my microscope. I indignantly and loudly said, “Judas Priest!” which was the (marginally acceptable) expletive on campus. I turned to see what idiot had done such a thoughtless thing. Yup. It was Dr. Moreland, trying to make my stay in the lab more comfortable. He was, of course, sincerely apologetic…and I believe I crawled under the desk.