I remember the marches on campus in 1998 to support two gay students who had been verbally assaulted. A lot of people came out to say that we don’t tolerate discrimination against gay people at NWU. I was proud to be there then, and I’m still proud of it now.
My first year (1992) was eventful as my class was the first class to be called First Year Students and no longer Freshmen. It was a big story for us as there was a lot of media attention including, the CBS Sunday morning show. Hard to believe that was 20 years ago... and then we were still the Plainsmen.
When I was a freshman the Girls Glee Club took a bus tour to the edges of western Nebraska in March. Those of you who are natives to the area know that March in Nebraska is a bad time for snowstorms. By the time we got half way across the state we were piled in snow with the bus inching along, yet we never missed a concert.
Wesleyan had a flying club and there were about 10 of us who chose to participate. When my wife, Barb, and I got married we couldn’t afford the $7.25 per hour that lessons cost so we flipped a coin to see who would be able to take the lessons first. I called heads and when the coin turned she told me it was tails. She learned how to fly first. It wasn’t until years later that I found out the coin had actually landed on heads.
During Thanksgiving break of 1952 I headed down to Mayo Drug Store to find the bus stop to purchase a ticket from Lincoln to Sioux City so I could be dropped off in my hometown of Fremont. The bus never came and finally the pharmacist, Mr. Mayo, told us there was no bus being sent that day. After refunding my money, I fought to Union Station to purchase a railroad ticket. The trains barely went out that day due to snow. I sat on a suitcase in the vestibule and after arriving in Fremont had to take a taxi through the snow. I will never forget my determination to get home!
I spent my first year in Pioneer Hall before joining Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority. We had lots of rules that we lived by during my time on campus, though I don’t know why we obeyed them. We had to be in by a certain hour and we weren’t allowed to wear jeans anywhere on campus, especially not the library or any place like that. Sometimes if you were studying or needed a book fast you would just throw on a trench coat and roll your jeans up so they wouldn’t show underneath.
I remember during my time at Wesleyan we lived on demerit records. As a dorm counselor I had a nice clean record from my freshman year into my sophomore year and then I met Rex who was a football player. Every semester after that I managed to have just under the top limit of demerits. Thankfully he later became my husband.
When I was in the women’s Glee club we were lucky enough to have quite the character for a director. Any time we started a song poorly she would kindly remind us that children could do it better. One year for April Fools Day we decided to play a prank on her. Any time she hit a down beat conducting we would fall silent. It took her a few tries before it dawned on her what we were doing. That was truly fun.
I fondly recall inviting the seniors in my department to my house to present their senior thesis’ orally to all of the other students and faculty in the department. It just requires smaller numbers to have that personal relationship. I had great relationships with my theatre students too. I directed multiple plays, and also took students on a summer trip to England to see theatre productions in London. One of my greatest accomplishments came in 1969 when the Nebraska Wesleyan Press published my book, “Preparing Speeches of Substance; the analysis method.” This was a great honor because the University was not known for publishing many books.
Professor Emeritus of Speech
Through my class work I hoped to share openness and tolerance with my students. The two things I am especially proud of during my time at Nebraska Wesleyan is the connection I started to the Omaha and Winnebago Indian Reservations, as well as helping the Social Work Program triple in size. These are very heartening to me.
Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work
Before taking the job with the philosophy department, I had never heard of Nebraska Wesleyan, but immediately upon starting I knew it was a special place. The community and family-like feeling I was part of in Old Main during the 1980s was a rewarding experience. My relationship with the faculty, staff and students was rare and beautiful. Nebraska Wesleyan is a little treasure in the heartland and I continue to enjoy the impression Nebraska Wesleyan left on me. I did not realize how special all of that was until I look back now.
Professor Emeritus of Philosophy
In January of my senior year of high school I came home to find all of my things packed in suitcases and placed in the hallway accompanying a letter from my Aunt Maude, a member of the Board of Governors at Nebraska Wesleyan, inviting me to come to Nebraska Wesleyan where she would pay for my tuition. I was thrilled with the idea and visited NWU in June 1963. I loved everything about the place and immediately felt at home. My first Thanksgiving at Nebraska Wesleyan was spent with my Aunt Maude in Holdrege, Neb. She announced we wanted to fix a big dinner and invite the local “young people,” who turned out to be six college-aged men. I sat at one end of her dining table while she was at the other chatting away with the “young folk.” My four years at Nebraska Wesleyan were influenced by the generosity, grace, and faith of this truly wonderful lady.
My four years were priceless. They were a special era in my life highlighted by the intellectual stimulation of the liberal arts experience, lasting relationships with faculty and fellow students, and the freedom to become involved in many activities that enabled wonderful growth and development of leadership skills and latent talent. I grew to see the bigger world and its opportunities in a new perspective for the first time. From Greeno’s competitive inspiration, Hall’s English, the Greek experience, Dr. Rogers’ leadership, Old Main nostalgia, Laursen’s chemistry, Richard Smith’s mentoring, attributes of Lincoln, and the bur oak, the value proposition is immense!
I have a very clear memory of sitting on a bench under a large tree north of Old Main grieving because it would be my last day at Nebraska Wesleyan. In a very real sense, Wesleyan had become “home” for me. I had been there longer than I had lived in some towns prior to enrolling. I had found friends, acceptance, challenge and success. The campus was beautiful on that early spring day, and I knew how much I would miss it. But Nebraska Wesleyan had equipped me well for the future. My dormitory experience with a wonderful roommate helped me learn much about relationships. The academic background was sound and the self-esteem I had gained all contributed positively to a future that was much richer.