Bethel Says Goodbye to Stanley M. Taylor
Three weeks before Bethel College opened its doors in 1947, Stanley Taylor, Ed.D., and his family moved on campus. Taylor worked in various roles at the college for 57 years. He was known as dean, registrar, director of teacher education and also as Bethel’s first contracted faculty member. The log chapel located on the southwest corner of campus is dedicated and named after Stanley and his father, Albert Taylor. After retiring, Stanley continued part time as curator of the Otis Bowen Museum on the Bethel campus, and as one of the founders and board chairman of the Hubbard Hill Retirement Community in Elkhart, Ind. Since 2004 he has resided at The Harbor and the Bridge at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community in Hendersonville, N.C. where he recently passed away. He was 94 years old.
In 2003, his daughter, Marilyn (Taylor ’65) Yoder, interviewed him by video about his early days at Bethel College. That interview is now inside Bethel’s archives. Here is a small portion of that dialogue.
MY: What were your first official roles?
ST: I was the first registrar and that was one reason I was on duty three weeks before the school opened. I also taught full time, and was the chairman of the psychology department.
MY: Tell us about those first few weeks of school in 1947.
ST: We only had about two, maybe three classrooms, and we didn’t have any bell system. So the first few days, I would watch and go outside and blow the whistle. I guess I blew the whistle on some of the teachers. Then we’d go to the next class. It was pretty, I don’t like the word primitive, but honestly that’s what it was.
MY: What was your first salary in 1947 with a bachelor’s degree and a seminary degree?
ST: I was on duty 10 months being registrar. My first salary for 10 months was $1900. I have to kind of keep in mind that my first year of teaching in a one-room school house in 1936-37 for nine months was $810. So I did do a little bit better.
MY: Where did the students study and how did they get resources?
ST: There was a tall steep pitched roof building right close to the old barn. It was a clubhouse, recreational house. That was the first library and that was there for three years. Mrs. Shupe was the librarian.
MY: Where did Bethel raise its funds?
ST: I should just say that the first year that Bethel opened, if I recall right, they had just a little thin catalog. The tuition per semester per course was $5, but if you were a ministerial student you got a break and it was either $3 or $3.50.
MY: Tell us about the college’s spiritual emphasis.
ST: We would be remiss if we didn’t say something about the spiritual life at Bethel College. We had chapel every day. It was required.