August 22, 2007

Other Notables

Other Notables                         [MAIN STORY]

Besides the 12 heroes of Seventh-day Adventist education mentioned in the main article, the following persons qualify as enduring personalities as well.

Goodloe Harper Bell was the catalyst between Ellen White’s call for educational reform and James White’s fervor for a denominationally sponsored school. A former student of Oberlin College, where reform was an essential part of the learning environment, Bell learned how to mix change with practical applications. In the wake of 15 years of sporadic and unsuccessful attempts to conduct church schools, he was the person who made the Adventist classroom a success in 1868. Four years later he became the teacher of the first denominationally sponsored school, and after two additional years his classroom became Battle Creek College. He wrote the first Adventist textbooks and operated a private correspondence school.
Edward A. Sutherland led Battle Creek College in the “Movement of ‘97,” which saw a bevy of students leave the campus to teach in church schools. Encouraged by the response of the college churches throughout North America, he established scores of elementary schools, the effective beginning of the Adventist elementary education movement. In 1904, recognizing that the organized church was financially unable to establish schools among the states in the American South, which had appropriated little money for education despite rampant illiteracy, Sutherland headed an experiment that produced Madison College and a self-supporting educational movement. After becoming a physician to enhance his role as leader of this program he devoted the remainder of his life to correlate independently financed outreach with church goals.
With mounting global pressures stemming from war and international rivalries, Everett Dick, professor of history at Union College, realized that young Adventist men eligible for military service faced a dilemma of how to remain loyal to civil authority while at the same time honoring the traditional denominational teaching not to take human life. In 1934 he formed the Medical Cadet Corps, a quasi-military organization that combined emergency first aid training with military dress and drill to prepare young men for military service.
As president of Columbia Union College and vice president of academic administration at Andrews University, Charles Hirsch led the debate that changed Adventist perceptions of government financial aid to church-sponsored schools from a moral issue to a practical and legal question. A result of this shift was a less polemical and more pragmatic attitude toward state aid to private education. As General Conference secretary of education from 1967 to 1974 and later as a General Conference vice president, he presided over the nationalization of much of Adventist education. A corollary of this trend was to implement successfully the practice of accreditation of Adventist schools in the world fields in compliance with standards set forth by the Board of Regents.

Milton Murray was the first to apply modern techniques of fund-raising to Adventist education, which had traditionally relied on tuition and denominational subsidies to maintain balanced budgets. Convinced that the rising cost of a progressively complex Adventist education establishment would become an ever-increasing drain on church resources and that schools had not tapped their fund-raising capacity, Murray launched a campaign in the 1980s to establish development offices on Adventist campuses. He originated a new General Conference agency, Philanthropic Service for Institutions, which revolutionized general techniques of raising money with special emphasis on the role that alumni played in financial support of Adventist education.