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In 2012, We Will Celebrate Lakeland College's Sesquicentennial. To us, there's no better time to put a spotlight on the achievements and memories of our graduates than right now. You are the celebration, and that is why we are collecting your stories. These individual reminiscences come together to underscore this institution's 150 years of impact. The following story was submitted by Ann De Francis, whose parents are Orville and Leone (Neuhaus) Schroer '43 '40. It's just one of the many we have received in the last few months. To read these stories in their entirety, as well as the many others we have gathered, please visit www.lakeland.edu/story. When you are done reading, please take a few minutes and share your story.
My mother is pictured on the steps in the top left picture of the brochure you sent out. She is in the front on the left in the dark jacket.
Mom was in the first class at Mission House that included women. She had wanted to learn about interior design, but because that was not offered, she worked toward her education degree. She was an outstanding educator, teaching Latin and English at the high school level, third and fifth grade in elementary school, and then substituting in all grade levels and special education classes as well until she was well into her 70s.
She met and married my father, Orville Schroer, while attending Mission House. They married on my father's graduation day from seminary, May 30, 1943. Mom was a wonderful support for my father throughout his ministry, which continued in a variety of capacities until his death just a few months ago in April 2010. Mom passed away in August 2001.
Mom told about having to go to the pond and catch her own frog for biology class when she was a student at Lakeland. I have a notebook where she sketched plants and labeled their parts, as well as a notebook conjugating Latin verbs. She and my father laughed about the times they drove their car onto the lake in the winter time and skated on the river into town. They maintained friendships with classmates throughout their lives, and even though they followed our family to Arizona, they returned to Lakeland whenever they could for class reunions. Our family celebrated my parents' 40th wedding anniversary at Lakeland in 1983. It was wonderful to be with them on the campus and see and hear the love they had for this wonderful school.
My father spent seven years at Mission House, four in his undergraduate years and three more as a seminary student. My father spoke so often about his wonderful years at Mission House.
He worked at the White House Milk Condensory to earn money for school, and he also painted some of the dormitory rooms one summer. Because World War II was going on and he was soon to become a pastor, he was asked to get in touch with the young recruits in the area at the USO and make sure they had a church to attend on Sundays. My father was a member of the men's singing group, The Troubadours, and as their secretary he arranged for new choir robes to be purchased for their performances.