To Vernon Hektner
Great teacher, scholar, colleague, friend
Peerless, our best historian
A word of thanks before we go
Seems at this moment, apropos:
You were that noble influence
That touched and shaped my innocence,
Broadened my outlook and my scope
Revealed that teaching held much hope,
Wherein I too might find career
To justify my college years.
And later when you hired me on
To English teach at Science School
You opened up my life’s career
Whose span would bridge some forty years.
Now are we both at home, retired
Our teaching time has long expired,
But I wanted you to know how much
Your faith in me has deeply touched
The well springs of my gratitude.
And given to me the attitude
That nothing in life can block our way
If we, determined to succeed,
Make God the supplier of our need,
Who in his love and gentle grace
Sends to us teachers who can place
Our faith in gifts God’s put in us
And confidence in those gifts to trust
That we can make it to the end
And not on fickle luck depend.
So thanks my teacher, dean and friend
Light in my life right to the end,
Vern, may we share much future bliss
When Heaven our cares and burdens lifts.
Vernon Hektner was a longtime dean of Arts and Science division
of NDSCS, A master teacher of history.
©2006, Gene Pinkney, No portions may be copied without attribution