June 4, 2014
Where are they now? Reflections from Professors Emeriti
Hello from the deep south where winters are mild, the sun shines most of the time and the people wear shorts all year long.
John and I have been here almost a year and have enjoyed all four seasons. We are doing some volunteering at our church, Highland Park Church of the Nazarene, some at our home owners association and some at area churches. I have had the opportunity to give a short seminar on the topic of my book "When the Pastor is Your Husband" and John has been filling in for local pastors who are on vacation or in transition.
It has been my pleasure to enroll in a couple of on-line courses, one from MIT and one from Harvard. They are both free and I can be involved on any one of several levels. The biology course from MIT was a great way to keep up with some of the latest information on cancer and heart disease. The course from Harvard is on the letters of Paul and the teacher is bringing a very interesting perspective to some of the Biblical texts. The web site for these is edx.org. Check it out if you are curious.
My son, daughter and grandchildren have come to visit, and are duly impressed with the beauty of Florida and the change of weather. This summer we spent 5 weeks at our cabin near Ithaca where we served at our church camp, helping in the kitchen and in various capacities. It was delightful to reconnect with our northeastern family and friends.
There are many things I miss about teaching at Roberts, most involve the students and my colleagues. I miss all the conveniences of being involved in an academic community, but there are three area colleges that I can investigate when time allows. One is a Christian college, Southeastern College and I may find a place of service there.
Blessings on all of you. Know you are often in my thoughts and prayers.
Donna Bordelon Alder
I used to chuckle when I heard retired people say “I don’t know how I ever found time to work.” Now I know what they mean! Since moving to Michigan in the summer of 2009, I am busy helping my mother and stepfather (ages 94 and 101), enjoying involvement with three of our six grandchildren (twin boys turning 16 and granddaughter turning 13), serving in the church pastored by one of my brothers, teaching the thesis-embedded research sequence in the Masters of Education at Spring Arbor University, serving as VP and coordinator of Visiting Faculty for Friends of Hope Africa University, and quilting in the open spaces!
One of the highlights of my year is teaching every January at Hope Africa University in Bujumbura, Burundi. It is a joy each year not only to teach new students (I taught two courses this year), but to reunite with many former students. This year I also enjoyed being a guest speaker in 11 English classes during the new students’ 5-week intensive instruction before the start of the new academic year beginning in February (picture shown of one of these classes). English is the 4th language for most of these students! Quilting friends in MI donated sewing items to share with three Burundi projects, one of which is shown here. The ladies in Sister Connection welcomed me as I brought them sewing supplies. A great benefit of retirement is the flexibility it brings.
I thank God for the blessings of health and opportunities to serve. I cherish the years spent at RWC and enjoy contacts with former colleagues, students, and friends. As the years pass, I continue to marvel at God’s timing and faithfulness. “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
In August of 2013, Judy and I sold our home in the College Greene senior community in North Chili and moved to a home we purchased near Tucson, Arizona. We are in a very nice community that is not strictly a senior community, but is primarily occupied by retirees. We have a community center with a swimming pool, spa, tennis courts, and other amenities. The warm, dry climate appears to be a good change for Judy’s health, as she has been suffering quite severely with asthma for several years.
My brother, Milton, and his wife, Karolyn, live here six months of the year, so we are enjoying a number of activities with them. Our other brother, Frank, and his wife, Carol, also spend about 6-8 weeks here every winter. We are missing our children and grandchildren, but 13 family members visited us during the holidays.
There are many opportunities for involvement here in our community. Milt and I have joined two hiking groups, so are taking advantage of some of the very extensive hiking opportunities in this area every Tuesday and Thursday. I belong to a men’s exercise group that meets three mornings a week, while Judy is part of a ladies’ water exercise group. Judy is enjoying a Ladies Bible Study and a Ladies Book Club in our community center. She also participates in a monthly Ladies-Out-To-Lunch group, and I belong to ROMEO’s (Retired Old Men Eating Out), going out for breakfast once a month. Judy has already been elected secretary of the Social Club for our community.
Tucson has a rich variety of educational and cultural opportunities. We are about 10 miles from the University of Arizona and are enjoying concerts and lectures there. Because of the clear skies and mountains, this is a prime area for astronomy. There are 3 mountain-top observatories within about 50 miles of Tucson, with Kitt Peak being the most famous.
It has been a bit difficult for us to find a church home here, so we have settled on two. Most Sunday mornings we drive about 40 minutes to the Grace to the Nations Foursquare Church, a very healthy, large, vibrant, multi-cultural church on the east side of Tucson. During the week and for evening events, we attend an evangelical Lutheran church quite close to where we live. Former RWC Academic Dean, Oscar Lenning, and his wife, Renie, are very active in the Lutheran Church. That church has very good community outreach for our neighborhood.
God has truly blessed us with many rich and rewarding experiences during our years of service at Roberts Wesleyan College, and he is continuing to bless us in this new chapter in our lives.