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Reflections from the Class of 1959's 50-Year Reunion

The following reflections are from Drs. Morris Weigelt and Gordon Wetmore after their 50-year class reunion in May.

1. The following classmates were present for the reunion:  Gayland and Wilda Aubrey, Odis and Jean Brown, Robert Crabtree, Tom and Charlene Goble, Jim and Mary Ellen Fox, Clarissa Smits—widow of Henry Smits, Morris and Eula-Adine Weigelt, Gordon and A.J. Wetmore.

2. The following classmates have already matriculated to the great Seminary in the skies:  John Carlson, Bob Crew, Neal Dirkse, Frank Elliott, Gene Hansen, Ronald Mosgrove, George Rench, Henry Smits, Charles Stipe, Allen Wiens, and David J. Witt.

3. The following classmates were contacted by phone by either Gordon Wetmore or Morris Weigelt: Glenn Beers (had a grandson graduating from NNU that weekend), Bob Harmon (is quite ill with cancer),  Paul Canen (his wife is struggling with Parkinsons), Gladys Dodd, Marvin Grooms, John Hoff, Phil Kizzee (had a grandson graduating from ONU that weekend), Wendell Poole, Dean Shaw (his wife is struggling with very serious arthritis), Paul Schurman, and Thomas Starnes.

4. We were unable to make contact with the following classmates: David Brown, W. Braker, J. D. Cook, P. Hagemeier, John Hathaway, John Price, F.R. Miller, Wallace Roseboro, and Charles Wakefield.

5. Notes from the weekend together:

a. Morris Weigelt represented the class at the induction of the class of 2009 into the Alumni Association on Friday, May 8.

b. At the final chapel service of the year on Saturday, May 9, the class members present were recognized and Gordon Wetmore and Morris Weigelt brought greetings and challenges to the class of 2009.

c. At the reunion luncheon following the last chapel we each introduced ourselves and reflected a bit on the ministry God had granted to us.  You can see the pictures of those who attended the luncheon on the NTS website at the following link:  http://www.nts.edu/alumni-reunions
i. The names of those who have already died were recognized.

ii. Classmates who were unable to come because of illness or graduation of grandchildren or other responsibilities were recognized.

iii. At one time three of us were serving at NTS at the same time: Gordon Wetmore, Robert Crabtree, and Morris Weigelt.

iv. Areas of service for our classmates included:  pastor, district superintendent, college president, missionary, seminary president, chaplain, college professor, and seminary professor.

v. The records (as far as we know) for the longest continuous service at one place included Wendell Kizzee, who served as pastor for 39 years at Reynoldsburg, OH; Robert Crabtree, who served at NTS in various roles for 37 years; and Glenn Beers who served as pastor for 34 years at Battleground, WA.

vi. In a conservative estimate, our classmates have contributed more than 1500 years of service to the Kingdom. If those years of service were placed end to end they would reach back to the time of Augustine.

vii. President Ron Benefiel spoke to the assembled group—which included the officers of the Alumni Association and members of several other classes in addition to the Class of ’59—about the current state of the Seminary, its vision for the future, and some of the development plans under consideration in the “Journey of Faith” campaign.

viii. President Ron Benefiel, Marsha Sailors—Director of Development at NTS, and Gordon Wetmore spoke to us briefly challenging us as a class to consider the possibility of establishing a class scholarship to assist current students as an extension of our gratitude for the role of the Seminary in our lives and ministries.  Additional details on that possibility will be found at the conclusion of these reflections.
d. Several of us attended the All-Seminary banquet on Saturday evening where we were recognized again.  We enjoyed the banquet address of Dr. Henry Spaulding, currently Professor of Philosophical Theology and Christian Ethics. Dr. Spaulding has recently accepted the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean at Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

e. We also attended the graduation ceremonies at Kansas City First Church of the Nazarene on Sunday afternoon, May 10, where our class was invited to stand as part of the ceremonies.

f. In the process of visiting together several of us recalled that our first children were born during those Seminary days and Dr. Samuel Montello offered us special considerations as gynecologist and obstetrician. Tom and Charlene Goble recalled that Dr. and Mrs. Montello were guests at our Senior banquet.  On Monday morning Morris Weigelt, on behalf of the class, called Dr. Montello’s home to express appreciation for those services. His wife answered the phone and expressed great appreciation on being remembered and promised to relay the appreciation to ‘Sam’. She laughed and said: “Those Nazarene girls were always pregnant.”

6. It was a wonderful weekend together as we reflected upon God’s calling, His goodness and mercy, His sustaining strength and grace—and the role of  NTS in our lives and  ministries. We would have enjoyed having all of you present for the enrichment of our story individually and corporately. Granted the range of resources from a technological point of view, we were blessed and used those resources for the Kingdom with joy.  Looking at the technological resources available to the Class of 2009, we anticipate even a greater range of service from them.

It must be acknowledged that these are complicated and difficult times for all educational institutions—and especially the Seminary. So would you please join us in prayer and giving that God may continue use her to prepare servants for Kingdom service. After all, the resources of God are not limited—and that promises a bright future.

~ Morris Weigelt and Gordon Wetmore

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