The summer issue of Archways arrived yesterday and, as usual, that is the first mail I read. I started with Kent Haruf ’s praise for “The Old Guard” (Letters). I nodded my head in agreement as I read through his appreciation of Harold Hall, Leon Satterfield, Bill Kloefkorn (and I would have added Mary Smith). I leaned back in the rocker and thought how appropriate Kent’s words were to the commitment these fine folks made to those lucky enough to be at Nebraska Wesleyan in the mid-60s.
Then I saw the title of the next letter, “In Memory of W. C. Kloefkorn.” How very, very thoughtful of you to include that humble bit of poetry to our gentle, intellectual poet of the Great Plains. That means so very much.
|Nebraska Wesleyan was not just a place where we lucky few got an education…. It was a home where, if we were mindful, we grew and changed and embraced the world with wiser, gentler minds.|
Nebraska Wesleyan was not just a place where we lucky few got an education. It was an education way beyond writing technique or historical facts or a foreign language. It was a home where, if we were mindful, we grew and changed and embraced the world with wiser, gentler minds.
I have two other universities that request contributions: WSU where I got my Master of Arts in American 20th century theatre and K-State where I got my Ph.D. in American 20th century fiction. I had great professors, committed to excellence and generally available for individual help. I find no fault with any of them. But Nebraska Wesleyan was “The Whole Package.”
When I arrived there, I was about as unlikely a potential success story as the place had seen: I was a displaced homemaker, starting over; the first person in the family to go to high school, much less college; the only child of really poor immigrants (from Germany and Czechoslovakia).
In exactly 26 months, I had completed courses for my B.A. with an English major and minors in philosophy/religion and German, I had earned membership in Phi Kappa Phi, been accepted into Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop, had been the English Department secretary for the two years where I learned as much as I did in class about how a university functions.
My gratitude to Nebraska Wesleyan truly has no limits.