Wager in White

During my freshman year at Ohio Wesleyan, I lived in East Selby, in the now-closed dorm under the stands of the football stadium. There were 30 or 40 freshmen living in East Selby, and we had access to the field through a laundry room on the first floor of the stadium.

One snowy evening in December 1963, two of my dormmates made a bet, and the two of them, accompanied by a group of spectators that included me, went out onto the field to settle the matter. One of them had taken on the challenge of running 10 lengths of the football field in snow that was probably a half-inch deep, while wearing only sneakers, shorts and a T-shirt. According to the bet, if he ran the entire 10 lengths, the other guy would have to hand in 10 chapel cards for him the next term (at that time, chapel attendance was taken via the handing in of computer cards at the door). I’ve forgotten the details of the bet in the other direction, although it also involved chapel cards, but it’s a moot point because the runner did the full 10 lengths and won the bet.

Roger Allaway ’67, Warminster, Pa.

Alumnus Cherishes Larger Lessons

I recently got a call from a classmate about our 55th reunion in 2018. It got me thinking. I haven’t been the most involved alumnus, but I wanted to say how much l appreciate the way the magazine keeps me aware of the University and how well I think the magazine staff portrays the life and liveliness of the school. I was impressed with the campus and its vitality when I visited for my 50th reunion in 2013 and continue to feel the same. I treasure my liberal arts education. It made it possible for me to be a physician but, more importantly, it made me culturally aware and taught me that giving is as important as receiving. I think that OWU is truly teaching students how to be citizens. I applaud the Board of Trustees, President Jones, faculty and staff for continuing and enhancing an experience that truly lasts for a lifetime.

Robert Prentice ’63, Cheyenne, Wyo.

A SLU of Memories

I thoroughly enjoy reading each issue of your magazine.

Your article on Dittrick House, the new “Small Living Unit,” mentioned that SLUs have a history of nearly 50 years. In fact, I resided in the French House in 1964-65 and the Honors House in 1965-66, making the tradition more than 50 years old.

Suzanne DeVoe Pettit ’66, Endwell, N.Y.

Remembering a Classmate

Many of you know that Dick Shaffer ’56 (who died in 2012) had a distinguished career as an admiral in the U.S. Navy medical and dental service. In retirement, he was active in his church and made regular visits to the Navy Medical Facility in Bethesda, Md. One Saturday morning, I joined him. The sailors and Marines we visited were recovering from illness or severe battle wounds suffered in Afghanistan and Iraq. During the following hour I was mesmerized by the effect Dick had on these men as he moved from bed to bed offering encouragement, and pinning Purple Heart medals to the surgical gowns of two wounded Marines. The atmosphere was electric, in part due to the fact that Dick was in uniform, wearing the heavily braided, wide gold stripes of his rank. I am sure that these young enlisted men were pleasantly shocked by a visit by an admiral on the weekend.

As Dick and I left the hospital, we talked about my time in the Marine Corps as a sergeant in a communications unit, prior to my attending Ohio Wesleyan. He smiled and with a wink said that probably he outranked me. I said that was certainly true as there were about a dozen pay grades between us. I walked him to his car, and as he was about to drive away he rolled down his window and said: “You know this rank and status stuff doesn’t amount to a hill of Navy beans especially at our stage of life, and I thank the Lord that what matters is our precious friendship.”

Thank you Dick and thank you Ohio Wesleyan.

Carl Harris ’56, Arlington, Va.

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