I credit Elizabeth Cook ’62, affectionately known as “Betty Botany,” with introducing me to all that is plant in the great outdoors. We were out of the classroom more than we were in the classroom observing and collecting specimens from all over southwestern NY (such as Little Rock City in Salamanca and the many visits to her favorite place, Moss Lake Bog near Rushford). Her enthusiasm, energy and plant knowledge were impressive and contagious. I still have my herbarium (collection of pressed plants) and a series of pictures (slides) I took of microscopic algae. Her influence resulted in my preference for the Plant Kingdom, to which any of my former biology students can attest.
Craig Cheeley ’71
I owe my happiness in my teaching career to Dr. Lola Haller ’57. When it came time for scheduling student teaching, I told her that all of my experience with children was with third grade on up. She managed to get me a first-grade experience with a young, excellent teacher. I took the placement because job openings were very few in the mid-seventies, and I did not want to turn down a primary grade opening if I was offered one. That experience was so great that first grade became my grade of choice. I was fortunate to get a first-grade classroom, and I was able to incorporate many things that I learned from my cooperating teacher in the 25 years that I taught first grade. Dr. Haller and I exchanged Christmas cards until she died.
Linda Kay (Lyter ’74) Swartz
Fred Shannon was unique because of the philosophical quotes and sometimes humorous items he inserted on the pages of his exams. I have kept some of these exams for over 40 years, which makes me seem kind of weird. (The grades on the exams were usually the 3rd letter of the alphabet.) Here is one such quote: “There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action. –Goethe.” Maybe Dr. S. had witnessed some inept chemistry student in the lab at some time. Probably me.
Gary Finger ’74
Professor Warren Woolsey’s Life of Christ class and his classes on the Pauline Epistles were amazing. We know that Professor Woolsey spent much time in prayer before his classes, and that clearly came through in the way he taught. He taught “in the Spirit,” and, thus, his classes were taught with wisdom, humility and great insight. He also demonstrated a strong desire to grow in his own walk with Christ. Having grown up in Christian homes, we both knew the Bible fairly well, but taking Professor Woolsey’s classes exposed us to the deep and inexhaustible riches of the Scriptures and greatly enhanced our love for the Lord Jesus and our love for God’s Word. To this day, we still refer to class notes we received from Professor Woolsey.
Larry and Jill (Pape) Rieck ’71
Dr. William Brackney and Dr. Katherine Lindley both gave me a deeper love of history. One of my favorite courses was New York State History taught by Dr. Brackney in which we wrote a paper on the Religious History of a town—in my case, Centerville. I had a great time interviewing old-timers in the town. One lady told of a Wesleyan revival in the town where a man stood on his head on the altar rail in religious ecstasy! I became a CPA but have never lost the love of New York State history, even when I am far away.
Dan Bouw ’79
Dr. Floyd F. McCallum, Psychology professor, prayer warrior, minister, counselor, mentor, friend. After taking General Psych, which was required, I took every course Dr. McCallum taught. All his classes were taught from a clear Biblical perspective and were relevant to daily living. The principles he taught were applicable to his students’ lives. All of his students can tell you some of his nuggets of wisdom aptly referred to as “McCallumisms.” For example, “What you dislike the most in others is probably your own greatest weakness.” His classes were not just book learning but also life learning. He was genuine and really cared about his students, acting as the college counselor. After graduating, I had the privilege of being his teaching assistant for a semester, and he officiated at my wedding. He believed in intercessory prayer, and, over the years, I personally know of many people that he prayed through times of crisis. During a difficult time for me, he called me weekly to pray with me. We stayed in touch after he left Houghton, and, as recently as 2013, when my son had a brain tumor, he prayed for us and kept in touch. I watched him faithfully take care of his wife and visit her daily in the nursing home for many years. When God called him home in 2015 at the age of 95, I lost a dear friend.
Allen Yanda ’74
Although we didn’t have regular conversations or meetings, I took all of Prof. Warren Woolsey’s N.T., Pauline and Missions classes (I was working on an Associates in Christian Education and Missions). Occasionally there were other young women in the classes, but usually, it was me and the pre-seminary young men. Besides being an excellent teacher, I was always impressed by his quiet, encouraging manner. He enjoyed getting the entire class engaged in dialogue about a specific passage of Scripture, specifically drawing out the quietest and dampening the fervor of the non-stop debaters. As I recently read his obituary, I was amazed by his own story but not by the fact that he had never boasted or shared tales of derring-do with his students. Perhaps others have a different picture of him, but I will always remember the gentle man who walked up to me at a 10-year reunion, knowing my name and inquiring about the one-year-old imp I was chasing after!
Colleen (Muckey ’79) Richards
Helen Hirsch was my main professor in Christian Education. Lesson plans, student teaching, curriculum components—we all spent hours preparing these in order to impress her with our creativity and determination. As I have spent the last 25+ years homeschooling my own children, teaching in a homeschool co-op for 15 years, and [spending] 30+ years in children’s ministry in my church, I have called upon the skills, creativity and fortitude learned in Dr. Hirsch’s classes nearly 40 years ago.
Colleen (Muckey ’79) Richards
The most long-lasting impact of Houghton on my life was the scholarship of the Bible professors. I had a triple major—Elementary Education, Spanish and Bible. I was so impressed with how intelligent all of them were, and yet they believed the Bible—every word. That has helped me so much when I have been tempted to intellectually question my faith. Remembering Dr. Shultz and Prof. Reist during times of doubt really assured me that a person could be a thinking person and still be a Christian and believe the Bible. I still chuckle when I think of Prof. Reist’s Introduction to Biblical Literature class. He would always pray before starting to teach. However, he talked so fast that, if we did not have our pencils in our hands ready to take notes when he said “Amen,” we would never catch up. He had a dry sense of humor, and, because we were feverishly taking notes, we would almost miss his funny comments. If we caught them and looked up, he had a sly grin on his face, but he kept on teaching.
Linda Kay Lyter Swartz ’74
I’ll never forget Dave Vandenberg making German fun for me with prayer in German every class and Mr. Barker, the Science Methods teacher, taking us to Rochester to see an outstanding new science program that was just getting off the ground and actually allowed ninth graders to get their hands on equipment every day to “discover” God’s world.
Greg Swenson ’71
The person who impacted my life the most during my four years at Houghton was Dr. Helen Hirsch. I was a Christian Education major and had many classes under her tutelage. Dr. Hirsch taught me everything I know about Sunday school classes, vacation Bible schools, Christian camps, excellent teaching methods and principles (which I have used daily in everything I lead), and evangelism.
Barb Coffan ’71
Dr. Kay Lindsey was a professor who inspired my love for the study of history. Her friendly demeanor and brilliant lectures are still remembered and much appreciated. College for me was a tough journey as I dealt with an inferiority complex and lack of confidence in my abilities. She believed in and encouraged me. I can still see her smile. My Latin and Greek professor, Dr. Gordon Stockin, was also a great inspiration. Although I was never very good at foreign languages, his friendly smile and gentle manner were a great encouragement.
Chaplain (Colonel) Paul Vicalvi ’70
In 1975-76, I found my passion for elementary teaching through Dr. Haller. She was a highly motivated head of the Education Department professor, as I recall. I was super charged in her classes, participated fully in her workshops and became a compassionate educator myself. I just retired from 34 years of teaching as a “Reading Specialist” K-6. I will never forget her!
Cheryl Potts ’70
My young life was focused on a fundamentalist church. By college age, I felt roughed up by the legalism and the anti-women sentiment. I was thrilled by Professor Warren Woolsey’s willingness to move beyond conservative interpretations and look afresh at what it meant to be a Christian. As a student, he pressed me to be more rigorous. He wouldn’t let me rely on scripture alone for a paper. He wanted depth and scholarship. I respected that.
Wendy L Sheffield ’77
The faculty member that has had the greatest influence on my life is Professor Bill Greenway. Though I never actually took a class with him, during my years at HC he became first a competitor on the athletic field (intramural flag football), then a trusted and respected coach (intercollegiate basketball) and, over time, a great friend and mentor. I will forever be grateful for his example of what a Christian man/husband/father should be.… He truly “walked the talk”!
Dave Smith ’73
Prof. Warren Woolsey was particularly influential in my journey as a Christian and in my preparation for Pastoral Ministry. Even after graduating from Asbury Seminary and filling in my library with at least two commentaries on each book of the Bible, I would consult notes I took in the Biblical courses I took from him when preparing a sermon. His notes were particularly helpful in the first church I served. I was there for 11 formative years.
Jeff Crawford ’72
I loved all my Bible professors but was especially touched by Rev. Warren Woolsey. He spoke with wisdom and experience gained from his years as a missionary, and I appreciated the love and respect he had for God’s Word. Oh, that I could teach the Word to others as he was able to do! I took one other class from him, quite by “accident.” During my last semester, it was discovered that I lacked one more course that I would have to do during summer school as an independent study. It turned out to be Introduction to Missions, which I took under Rev. Woolsey. I had no interest or sense of calling to be a missionary, but God knew and was even then preparing me for something I could not imagine. I graduated in 1975, began working as a CE Director in a church in Corry PA and married a Houghton Music Education grad, Jim Vanderhoof, in 1977. I had many opportunities to teach the Bible in church and thought that was God’s good plan.
Alice (Grunge ’75) Vanderhoof