winter 2000
Volume 4 Number 3

How to Get Attention!

In the late 1950s there was a growing interest in melding some of the ideas embraced by both the disciplines of psychology and religion. When the eminent preacher and pioneer in the field, Dr. John Sutherland Bonnell of New York’s Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, offered to teach a course titled “The Cure of Souls,” students flocked to the once-a-week, two-hour lectures. Dr. Bonnell scheduled a ten-minute break between the hours. As he announced breaktime one session, he ended by saying, “When we return, I’ll give you some insights into conducting premarital relations!”

There were many smiles, and a few chuckles could be heard as noisy chairs moved across the floor. It was my observation that the students returned to class with unusual promptness, and an air of keen attention and excitement prevailed until Dr. Bonnell uttered his opening remarks about “premarital counseling.”

Early Campaigning

My sincere interest in Bill Bradley goes back to my first pastorate at the Watchung Presbyterian Church in Bloomfield, New Jersey, where in 1963 I had the privilege of introducing the Princeton basketball star as our pulpit speaker. Shortly after, in my second pastorate, in Auburn, New York, a Princeton student and classmate of Bill’s told me of an interesting incident when in a class session the students were invited to share their life ambitions. Bill Bradley plainly stated that he wanted to be the President of the United States.
submitted by John H. Valk, Class of 1960 

Preaching Class Pun

I took this photo during a preaching class in 1952. Stuart Merriam, the student preacher, not seen, has just said, “And Jonah had a whale of a time.”

The students, mostly from the Class of 1953, are: Jake Wilcox (Class of 1954), Ed Carver, Charlie Fredrick, Louie Kereszturi Aday, Gordon Johnson, Roger Beach, Jim Weaver, Gordon Schweitzer, Al Schlorholtz, Neil Munro (Class of 1954), and Bert Rutan. Professor Bryant Kirkland (Class of 1938), in the far right back, is laughing as hard as anyone else!
submitted by Sherwood W. Anderson, Class of 1953

Learning to Speak…

Dean Edward Howell Roberts and speech professor Donald Wheeler “held our feet to the fire.” One of the first days of class Dr. Wheeler, glaring at us with the fierce face of the villain Iago, whom he had played on stage, said, “Gentlemen, I will be very hard on you [in reading Scripture and speaking], that the people of God may not suffer for the next forty years.” After my reading, he asked, “Mr. Burton, would you be willing to work hard in this class?” I assured him that I would do so. He said, “There is a possibility you may learn to speak English instead of Texas.”

and to Follow the Rules!

I received notice one day to report to Dean Roberts’s office. I came in and he, with my course record in hand, said, “Burton, you understand the rule that students here are not to take more than twenty-one hours a semester.” I told him I understood that. “Then,” he said, “how is it that you have completed twenty-two hours this semester?” I replied, “I talked with your secretary, Miss Hatfield, and she said it would be all right.” He said, “Miss Hatfield is not responsible for your following seminary rules.” Then he said, “I notice you had a two-hour credit in Ecumenics with Dr. Mackay. Did you like that course?” On being assured that I liked it, he drew a line through the course and my grade and credit, saying, “I am glad you liked it and got a good grade, for you do not get any credit for it.” To my word, “I do not need the credit for graduation,” he said, “I know, but now and then you must pay attention to the system.”
I thought Dean Roberts and Dr. Wheeler were the absolute best in the interest and help they offered me in seminary.
submitted by John David Burton, Class of 1945


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