Kennedy's 'Postcards from
the Nanty Glo in My
Stanford memoir II
entry 976 | Friday, April 28, 2006
Continuing the memoir begun
here on Wednesday about my years at Stanford University.
opened in 1891 and former Governor Leland Stanford died two years later. Mrs.
Stanford, who had stayed in the background up until then, had to take the reins
of the fledgling institution, which faced a financial crisis with the death of
its benefactor, his estate in escrow and not available for the widow's use for
months later. She rose to the occasion and though there was a time of struggle,
the university survived and thrived. Her best known contribution to the campus
is its architectural gem, the Stanford Memorial Church, a cathedral-style nondenominational
facility in the Spanish Mediterranean pattern seen throughout the campus. Though
the university had no affiliation with any church, it did pay the salary of a
fulltime "Dean of the Chapel" who was also a university vice president
when I arrived there, and Stanford encouraged all types of religious organizations
by providing office space and co-ordinating programs. This proved greatly beneficial
to my Christian studies program when I moved it from the less accepting state-run
University of California Santa Barbara.
Memorial Church, the gem of the campus and its main tourist attraction, was destroyed
by both the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and again in the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake.
Now completely restored, it is the site of weddings throughout the year. It was
given to the university by Mrs. Jane Lathrop Stanford after her husband's death.|
arrived before school started in September 1972. We had to find a student to be
our "member" so our organization would be official, though we were not
really a membership-type of ministry (publishing and teaching Christian studies
courses and apologetic literature). Finding a student "member" proved
to be no great hurdle (I asked of friends on campus I met through Peninsula Bible
Church; they suggested a name or several, and I believe the first one I asked
was willing to associate with us in that capacity). We also found a faculty sponsor
Bube, the best known evangelical professor there at the time (and one of the
leaders in his field, materials science). Within a few months our Christian studies
program had developed its first courses, on Minorities in the Media and Pluralism
for Social Change, which were adopted within an accredited extra-curricular adjunct
to the regular university course catalog. Dr. Bube and Dr.
Lewis Spitz, a well-known Lutheran historian on the Stanford faculty, sponsored
that and other courses I developed. Though they were officially responsible for
my course content, there was never a call on them to back me up from the widely
diverse student base my courses drew.
The house that was "miraculously"
provided (I use the quotation marks because I am loathe to use that word loosely...but
to this day I have no "rational" explanation of how we got it), close
to campus in a tree-shaded Palo Alto Street, had five bedrooms and three bathrooms
for our then three-member family, so we quickly filled the extra rooms with students
from Christian campuses across the country (notably Calvin College, Grand Rapids,
Mich.; Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, and Geneva College, Beaver Falls, Pa.).
greatest dreams were being realized, and I hoped to stay at Stanford until retirement
time. But though our family also added two more members in our first three years
there (sons Michael and Kevin), the marriage was always shaky and eventually my
wife left it. Though these days there are divorced ministers even in evangelical
circles, I wouldn't consider continuing ministry in that state, so I resigned
Religion at Stanford in 1983 after the best 11 years of my life.
the Nanty Glo Home Page
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Ceria: The Loss of Our Moral Compass
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In the '60's, people took
"acid" to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take
Prozac to make it normal.
Sent by Trudy Myers
Thought for today
is a great profession. There is the satisfaction of watching a figment of the
imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves
to realisation in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings homes to men or women.
Then it elevates the standard of living and adds to the comforts of life. This
is the engineer's high privilege.
Hoover (1874-1964; engineer, 31st President; alumnus of Stanford University)
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