President's Perspective

Faculty Tribute

Words: Dr. Philip Graham Ryken ’88
Photos: Darren Hauck

In this issue, we celebrate the life-transforming spiritual and intellectual influence that our faculty members have on our students through teaching, scholarship, and mentorship. Here I wish to pay tribute to some of my faculty mentors from the 1980s:

To Roger Lundin ’71—who taught me American culture through American literature; and to Beatrice Batson M.A. ’47—who gave me a longing for “the journey home.” To Sharon Coolidge ’72 and Erwin Rudolph—who deepened my love for older English literature. To Joe McClatchey and Rolland Hein ’54—who inspired my passion for romantic literature. And to Alan Jacobs—who showed me how literary theory helps us understand culture in Christian perspective.

To Arthur Holmes ’50, M.A. ’52—who taught me to read and comprehend any difficult text. To David Fletcher HON—who made philosophy fun and calibrated my ethical compass. And to Jay Wood and Gary Larson M.A. ’83—who sharpened my arguments through vigorous debate.

To Kathy Kastner ’71—who taught me how to appreciate and enjoy every concert I have attended since graduating from Wheaton. And to John Walford HON—who awakened my interest in visual art and expanded my vision for truth and beauty.

To Bob Webber HON—whose view of Christianity and culture set my Reformed convictions in a broader evangelical context; and also to Vic Gordon and Andrew Hill—who expanded my understanding of the Old and New Testaments. To Lyle Dorsett HON—who modeled effective mentoring and gave me a stronger appetite for prayer.

To Gerald Haddock ’56—who helped me understand the structure of the earth and prepared me for my own geology majors; and to Joe Spradley HON—who taught me how to understand physics in the context of liberal arts learning.

To Mark Noll ’68—who helped me trace the religious, cultural, and historical roots of contemporary evangelicalism. Just as importantly, to Joe Bean HON—who prepared me for a successful side career as a youth baseball, basketball, and soccer coach.

To Mark Amstutz—who affirmed my call to gospel ministry. To Bud Kellstedt HON—who taught me how to read court cases and legal briefs, which has proved more useful than expected. And to Bruce Howard ’74—who taught Lisa Maxwell Ryken ’88 and me about marriage and family life as well as economics.

To Leland Ryken HON—well, that’s another column . . 

Related Articles