Thoughts on the Centennial celebrations
What a send off for the second century! The array of events, publication, speakers, concerts, and souvenirs left those of use who were merely observers hardly able to keep up the pace. Institutional officers and organizers covered every angle possible and connected all the dots. I was overwhelmed by the attention given to structure and details. The investment of time and resources should pay off in years to come.
As one of those who was merely a speck in the historical sequence, 12 years at the mid-century (1949 to 1960), I am grateful to Loma Linda for having provided me with a launching pad for my professional career. That opportunity gave me an ant’s view…I was working at the lowest rung on the ladder, of the institution’s affairs. I really had a challenge figuring out what to do day by day as form was given to the public relations function.
That experience gave me opportunity to work with and be exposed to a number of people who virtually made the institution function. I fully realize that the 100 years being celebrated could in no way put its arms around all those who had given talent and time to contribute to the institution’s mission which is mandated by God Himself. May I just list a few people of the 40s and 50s who made a difference? Here are nine that come to mind:
Elder O.R. Staines who for years managed the “co-op” program for medical students making it possible for them to attend. They worked a month and then went to school for a month to pay their tuition.
Chester Fink, beloved registrar who “managed” the details of classroom assignments, grades, and provided student couples having a baby with canned milk supplies.
Sanford Hulse who kept the administrative offices clean and well-kept. He was additionally important to me because he took a desk top of a VIP who rated a larger desk and put four legs on it to provide me with a table for my office without having to persuade the powers that be to give me a table!
Ada Turner is the professional who really brought quality printed materials to the Loma Linda campus. Before she came on the scene, faculty members and diverse administrative offices, with the help of the printers, designed their own publications disallowing consistency and unity in providing class to the institutional image.
Merlyn Penney, the chief accountant who helped so many departments stay within their budgets with a smile.
Dr. Bruce Halstead whose passion for poisonous marine life helped to inspire a passion for basic research. I’ll never forget the day he received $1,400 from the American Philosophical Society to study some aspect of ichthyology.
Dean Mentzel, the purchasing agent who was always helpful in getting things done!
Frank Robinson, the first personnel officer, of whom I was jealous because administration gave him six weeks to visit other institutions to help him plan his work (that was a plus I had never been given!) I got over that streak of jealousy long ago.
Vivian Raitz, a secretary (one of many) who got things done before there were Xerox machines and the convenience of e-mail!
Just think of the hundreds more men and women like those listed who have given time and talent to making Loma Linda the Adventist science center that it is today. We all stand in debt to them for having “made bricks without straw” in many instances. God bless the inspiration they provide to those who stand on their shoulders today to do the work at hand.
The climax of the events came when LLU officers brought on stage the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church which vividly and accurately demonstrated that LLU needs the Church and the Church needs LLU. That event confirmed and assured us the future of LLU is in good hands.
I pray the young men and women who work and study at LLU today will continue to be inspired by the work and accomplishments of LLU’s first 100 years to ensure its continued success as a beacon of light in a world full of darkness.
By Milton Murray Editor’s note: This letter was received by the office of public affairs at the conclusion of the centennial celebrations for LLU and LLUMC.