A couple weeks ago, I went for a college visit with my second daughter, Ashley, to my alma mater, Wheaton College in Illinois. Knowing that I tend to act emotionally, in such instances and knowing that when I visited my seminary about 8 years ago, my oldest daughter said to her sisters, "It was a group trip, but our Father got a little bit too emotional and nostalgic," I decided to avoid that possible conclusion by my second daughter.
The college today is much better than when I went there from 1970-1973. They are more selective in the acceptance of students and it is more difficult to be accepted. The endowments have grown tremendously as some of the alumni have given generously. The existing professors have more degrees and are more accepted on the international academic scene. The historic 19th century buildings are still there (some repaired within the last 25 years), but more than half of the campus buildings are new and about three new buildings are being built. When I graduated the football team won one game that season and now they are considered a powerhouse in their division.
One of the presentations was done by the Bible Department. This was one of my majors; the other being History. There was not one professor in the Bible Department that I recognized. Thirty five years is a long time. Steven Barnabas, Merrill Tenney, Herb Wolf, and Bob Webber have gone to be with the Lord. Allan Johnson, Herb Jacobsen, Morris Inch, Gordon Fee, and Donald Lake are retired. I still knew a couple professors in the History Department, but somehow my daughter's schedule did not permit us to attend one of their lectures.
We were winding down our visit to the campus and walking by the administrative building when I saw Dr. David Maas. I greeted him, and as though I was still in his class, he said, "How are you doing George!" That impressed my daughter tremendously! Thirty years later and he still knows your name! I tried to clarify the issue, adding that I have seen him about 20 years ago, but that did not take anything from the impression. David Mass whose exams in three courses of American History were the dread of the History Department, David Mass who was amazed because my roommate and I were able to score 97 and 98 on the exam, David Mass with almost perfect memory created a great impression on my daughter.
I do not know if she will choose Wheaton College, but I think that she had the same answer for her sisters, "It was a good visit, but man, did our Father get emotional and nostalgic."