Posted on behalf of Rev. Gary Goldacker
I came to SSU in 1971 as one of the first chaplains on campus. An Episcopal priest, I represented the Protestant community. John Franklin was the Catholic priest and there was also a Lutheran and Jewish member of the team. We shared an office in the Student Center and were part time, having other jobs in the community (I was at Christ Church). The interaction between the community and the campus was exciting and challenging, but made SSU/UIS the public affairs university and forum it was designed to be. The first faculty members brought new and diverse visions to the program and students were as diverse as the faculty. I had the privilege of serving on a campus committee to review new faculty applicants and we looked for the new and exciting. It seemed like everybody knew everybody and shared space wherever we could find it. The Quonsets were such a part of the campus that it seemed strange to see so many large new buildings the first time I visited the campus after being away from Springfield almost 20 years. While there I got an MA under the psychology faculty. It was truly a 70s experience and one I'll never forget! Over the years of my ministry I have served on or near many major university campuses and continue to enjoy them as a source of inspiration and joy with faculty, staff and students.
The Rev. Gary Goldacker