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Fame and Responsibility At Winford College

Fame and Responsibility At Winford College

Автором John J.W. Rogers

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Fame and Responsibility At Winford College

Автором John J.W. Rogers

256 pages
3 hours
Jul 14, 2014


A look at how some universities pursue fame instead of taking care of students. Describes how college students, when treated properly, can grow into productive adults. Also describes the consequences of improper, including lack of, treatment.
Jul 14, 2014

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Fame and Responsibility At Winford College - John J.W. Rogers

Fame and Responsibility at Winford College


Copyright © 2014 John J.W. Rogers.

Illustrations by Sylvia A. Lauterborn.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted by any means—whether auditory, graphic, mechanical, or electronic—without written permission of both publisher and author, except in the case of brief excerpts used in critical articles and reviews. Unauthorized reproduction of any part of this work is illegal and is punishable by law.

ISBN: 978-1-4834-1327-3 (e)

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.

Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only.

Certain stock imagery © Thinkstock.

Lulu Publishing Services rev. date: 7/3/2014



Winford College

Sue and Randy – 1947

Interlude 1952

Interlude 1956

David 1958–1959

Marianne 1959–1961

Interlude 1962

Interlude 1963–1964

Interlude 1967

Lily – 1969–1970

Interlude 1976

Interlude 1977

David, Randy, and Sue – 1981

Interlude 1983–1984

Randy – 1990

Marianne, David, and Lily 1990–1993

Sue 1993–1995


During nearly 50 years as a Professor of Geology I developed a strong feeling that colleges and universities care too much about their reputations and not enough about their students. I wanted to write something about this feeling, and this book is it. Let me start by telling you what is real and what is fictional.

All places mentioned in this book are real except for the towns of Hannah and Carrington and the Noamee River.

Winford College is fictional, as are also the briefly mentioned Pagan Tech and Western Kentucky Institute of Technology (Wicket).

Every character in this book is a loose amalgam of people I have known throughout my academic career, but each individual character is fictional and cannot be identified with any individual person, either living or dead. Because there are a large number of characters, some of whom appear only briefly, I provide a list of characters and the chapters that they occupy. I also make explanatory comments about a few of the characters.

The bible is quoted at several places, and I list the source of each quotation.

My thanks go particularly to Erika M. Wilson, who advised me throughout the preparation of the manuscript.

Cast of Characters

People who appear throughout the book:

Sue (Macdonald) Miller; from Prineville, Oregon

Sue is a woman whose love for her husband and children is so intense that she can care for her family at the same time that she has an independent career.

Randy Miller; from Prineville, Oregon

Randy is an extreme example of men who bang around the world intending to do good works. They are often successful, and the world needs them. Because they are so concentrated on their good intentions, however, they overlook reality. This makes them fearful, and they can be successful only if someone – usually a girlfriend or wife – gives them the type of unconditional love and support that is required by children.

David Thomas; from Hannah, Kansas

Marianne (Moncrief) Thomas; from New Orleans

David and Marianne are typical of many students. They are bright, hopeful, and naïve. They will make wonderful contributions to society if they do not destroy themselves when they are young.

Lily Carter; wealthy woman in Carrington, Tennessee

Gene Roberts; Dean of Students, then Dean of College, then President of Winford

Tony Grant; Marianne’s Counselor, then Dean of College, then Interim President of Winford

Gene and Tony are the type of faculty that keep universities from exploding. They pursue their careers while providing extraordinary care for the students whose lives are entrusted to them.

Minor characters in their approximate order of appearance (with chapter numbers for each one):

Cliff Macdonald; Sue’s father (2)

Rose Macdonald; Sue’s mother (2)

Grandma; Sue’s grandmother (2)

Randy’s father (2)

Professor Karlson; Professor of English (2, 3, 5)

Professor Karlson has not been given a first name because he wants to be addressed by his title. Dr. Karlson is acceptable in more informal moments.

David’s mother and father (3)

Carrie; girl in Hannah (3)

Martin Fowler; President of Winford, 1955–1975 (3, 4, 5)

Bart Klunkski; football coach (3)

Beth; Gene Robert’s secretary (3, 4)

Beth has not been given a last name because nobody uses it. Although poorly paid, she is basically a Deputy Dean. When Gene isn’t around, she says yes or no, soothes or scolds, and signs Gene’s name to documents requiring the Dean’s approval.

Sam; David’s roommate (3, 4)

Sam is from New York City. He is smart and street-wise but has no experience in the natural world.

Matilda Kittleton; prostitute in Carrington (3)

Louis Moncrief; Marianne’s father (4)

Caroline Moncrief; Marianne’s mother (4)

Harriett Bateson; Director of Women’s Housing (4)

Juan Rocas; Associate Professor of Mathematics (4)

Willie Simpson; wealthy man in Carrington; Lily Carter’s uncle (5)

Alan Sinclair; President of Student Action Committee, 1969 (5)

Alex Thumpovich; football coach (5)

Cornelius; President of Student Action Committee, 1970 (5)

Beauregard (Bo) Carter; Lily’s husband, Professor of History (5)

Professor Dietrich; Professor of Philosophy (5)

Rose Miller; daughter of Sue and Randy (6)

Laura Carpenter; Professor of History (6)

Phil Sample; Rose’s counselor (6)

Chuck; student, Annie’s boyfriend (7)

Annie; student, Chuck’s girlfriend (7)

Richard Bookman; President of Winford, 1988–1992 (7, 8, 9)

Richard Bookman is typical of people who either hold high administrative positions in universities or aspire to them. They are primarily interested in themselves and are capable of destroying universities in order to advance their own careers.

Mangler Bonemeal; football coach (7, 8)

Frank; student (8)

Harvey Niemann, lawyer in Carrington (8)

Sources of biblical quotations (King James version)

p. 5, Malachi 4:1,2; Joel 3:14

p. 6, Ecclesiastes 2:11

p. 7, Romans 6:23; Luke 12 20

p. 20, I Corinthians 3:

p. 21, Luke 17: 20–21

p. 92, Timothy 2:11–12

p. 93. Matthew 10:23; Mark 10: 25; Acts 4:32; 1 Corinthians 13:1, 13:13

p.118, Matthew 5: 3; Matthew 1: 14.

p.120. Ecclesiastes: 12

p. 141, James 2:18, 20

p. 144, I Thessalonians 4:16–17


Winford College

Most people think that Horace Winford ponied up the money to establish Winford College, but that is only indirectly true. Back in the late 1800s, a group of people sold Horace a sizable tract of land, neglecting – purely by accident – to tell him that it was under water. So Horace rallied the forces of the law to put those nasty folks in the hoosegow and, not incidentally, to remove his chief rival in chicanery from the local scene. Before the trial began, the group struck a deal with Winford – one that appealed to his colossal vanity. If Horace called off the law, the group would build a college in his honor, a continuing memorial to the principles of truth and decency that had ruled all of their lives.

Most people also think that Winford College is in Carrington, Tennessee, but that, too, is only approximately true. It is actually three miles north of Carrington on the west bank of the Noamee River. The Noamee wanders through the center of the town of Carrington and then cuts northward through steep banks. Perched above the river on the west bank is Winford College, where the students – with scant acknowledgment of Longfellow – chant On the bank of the Noamee, by its stinking, fetid water, stands the campus of our Winford, Harvard of the jungle, Winford.

Many people also think that the college in its present form is the same as it was when it was established in 1890, but that is incorrect. The original purpose of Winford was to provide a higher education for young men (and also to get them out of their families’ homes when they were old enough to be ungovernable). The college continued placidly until the end of the Second World War, when some of the faculty realized that the Allies would not have won the war without the help of women in vital jobs. They, in turn, convinced some of the trustees, and discussions were held about making Winford coeducational. These discussions involved a lot of roaring and screaming, plus threats of lawsuits and countersuits. Shocking! said some people.

Overdue! said others. God help us! said the President. Ultimately the college decided to be coeducational, and the first group of girls arrived in 1947.

People who have not been to the Winford campus envision an architectural gem, with lovely buildings arranged in a pleasing pattern around a central quadrangle, but reality is very different. The quadrangle is surrounded by buildings of every size, shape, and architecture. Anybody who ever had enough money to donate a building for the college was allowed to specify its design, and most of the buildings seem to have been randomly parachuted in from high-flying planes.

Myths are also told about many of the people who arrived at Winford at various times in the past half century. One is about Randy Miller, who came to the college in 1947 from a ranch near Prineville, Oregon. Because of his numerous contributions to Winford, people think he is one of the college’s most accomplished graduates. but that is false. Randy actually left school before the end of his first semester and maintained an affection for the college only because of the support of a friendly dean.

Other myths swirl around Sue Macdonald Miller, also from Prineville. People cannot imagine she would have done so much for the college if she hadn’t received her degree. The reality is that Sue was never a student but merely came to Winford in December of 1947 to help Randy get home to Oregon.

People who know about the extraordinary accomplishments of David Thomas and Marianne Moncrief Thomas assume they sailed smoothly through their undergraduate years at Winford. It is true that David arrived in 1958 from Hannah, Kansas, and Marianne in 1959 from New Orleans, Louisiana. It is also true that they both received bachelor’s degrees from Winford and later were awarded Ph.D. degrees by a major university. But their undergraduate years were marked by a near disaster from which they were rescued only by the extraordinary efforts of two members of the faculty.

Lily Carter generates even more myths. Because she was born and raised in Carrington, some people forget that Winford didn’t accept girls when she went to college in the 1930s. It does not occur to these people that Lily was a part of the Winford community only because her husband was a member of the faculty.

Perhaps the greatest myth is the reason why the changes at Winford in the latter half of the 1900s came to an abrupt halt in the 1990s. People know that the college was being converted into a university and was gradually becoming more of a corporation than an educational institution. It was also clear that the Board of Trustees wanted to make the college famous and reduce the traditional sense of responsibility the school owed to its students. Many people also think that the college stopped this attempt to renounce its traditional values because the Board of Trustees, the administration, and the faculty realized their errors. This idea is completely false.

Winford College was rescued from its follies by Sue, and Randy, and David, and Marianne, and Lily. This is their story.



Sue and Randy – 1947


Bumper exploded out of the starting chute. Sue guided him slightly to the right, brushing her left leg against the first barrel. Then slightly left, brushing her right leg against the next barrel. Right. Left. Right. Left. Finally dashing past the finish line.

Five judges clicked their stop watches and compared results. They settled on 14.8 seconds. Sue Macdonald was pleased. The time would have won the girl’s division of the barrel race, but now that Sue was headed into her senior year of high school, she had entered the women’s division. The time wasn’t good enough to win that division, but Sue was sure that people had noticed her.

Noticed was fine. That’s what all of the contestants wanted at the Crooked River Roundup, now in its second year in Prineville, Oregon. A few had come from west of the Cascades, where the moisture-laden wind from the Pacific Ocean drops a continual rain that nourishes, and often annoys, the people of western Oregon. Some had come from the wheat lands of Washington, to the north, or the deserts of Nevada, to the south.

Most. however, were from around Prineville and other parts of eastern Oregpn, where the wind that crosses the Cascades has been wrung out like a wash rag after a bath.

Some of the competitors from this thirsty land lived on prosperous ranches in lush valleys where paved roads run beside streams that shrink when there is no rain and overflow their banks when rainfall is heavy. Some of the contestants came from poor ranches on the valley sides and on the scrublands above the valleys, where a mixture of sparse grass and brush produces less hay and feeds fewer cattle than the ranches in the valley bottoms. These higher ranches can only be reached by dirt roads from the paved road in the valley centers.

After the barrel race, Sue waited for the dressage, the final event before the dance. While she waited, she watched other events. She particularly liked bull riding, which was the most exciting because it was the most dangerous.


Sue wanted excitement, and she would have been the first to sign up if women had been allowed to ride bulls.

As the afternoon wore on, Sue had to get ready for the dressage. She had chosen her costume carefully to emphasize how rapidly she was becoming a fully developed woman. Her bright green skirt would just barely cover her knees, and her yellow blouse would accentuate her long black hair and her bright green eyes.

The blouse had been a problem. When Sue tried on her outfit at the Macdonald house that morning, she had left the top two buttons unfastened. Her mother, Rose, wanted the blouse buttoned all the way to the top and asked Sue’s father, Cliff, for his opinion. He said he didn’t care and went outside, but Sue’s grandmother, who had lived with the Macdonalds since her husband died, settled the issue.

Sue’s got good knockers, said grandma, and she oughtta use ’em. I wasn’t as pretty as Sue when I was her age, but I could make men look at me when I went to town. If I saw a man who looked interesting coming down the street, I bent down to tie my shoelaces whether they were loose or not. One day, she said to Sue’s mother, I saw your father coming toward me. I leaned way over and tied both laces. When he stopped in front of me, I knew I had him."

For the dressage and dance, the top two buttons of Sue’s blouse were unfastened.

After the dressage, which Sue won easily, she waited in the rodeo area as most of the others headed toward the dance. She savored her victory as she leaned back against the grandstand and put her elbows behind her against the bottom railing. Sue’s skirt blew around her legs in the gentle breeze.

Then Sue noticed two boys by the livestock pens. She knew them slightly from high school and decided to walk toward them.

When she was a few yards from them, she stopped and looked over the side of a pen that held a few goats. Now her skirt hung flat against the backs of her legs, and her blouse billowed out in the wind. The boys began poking each other and then fighting ineffectively with their fists. Neither was strong enough to do much damage, and both of them soon gave up and walked dejectedly away in different directions. Sue smiled and went to the dance.

She danced with Bert

She danced with Kurt

She danced with Carl

She danced with Earl

She danced with Jim and Bill and Ted

She danced with Sam and Will and Ned

She danced with Tom and Phil and Ed

She danced with Tim and Gil and Fred

She danced in squares

She danced in lines

She sat on chairs

She sipped some wines

She danced by two

She danced by four

She wondered who

Was not a bore.

Go find an exciting boy, Sue!

As her father drove the family home from the dance, Sue thought about the boys she had seen. She knew she could attract almost any boy she wanted, but she wasn’t interested in any of them. As soon as they graduated they would start working on their father’s ranches, driving trucks, or doing other agricultural jobs. If she married any of these boys, she would live on a ranch or in a small house in town, raise a family, and … what?. … probably nothing. No, thought

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