After featuring one of Behrend’s first students, Robert Betts ’57, in the last issue of Behrend Magazine, we heard from other Behrend pioneers who shared their stories and memories.
Elwin Orton ’52 (Behrend 1948-49)
“I grew up in nearby North East and never thought of going to college until my best friend, John Spacht, told me he was filling out an application to attend Behrend Center. Had I not had that conversation with him, I may have had a very different life! “I went to Behrend for one year, then completed my degree in Horticulture at University Park. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for a living. One of my professors suggested that I continue my education. He helped me get into a master’s program at Ohio State University. Later, he assisted me in getting into the University of Wisconsin, where I earned my doctorate. “I spent the next forty-four years as a professor in the Department of Horticulture and Forestry at Rutgers University. While there, I spent my time as a plant breeder, hybridizing plants of many species of hollies and three species of dogwoods.”
Virginia Liebowitz ’63 (Behrend 1959-60)
“I was at Behrend for one year before I went to University Park to finish my degree in Elementary and Special Education. I taught in elementary schools before obtaining my master’s in Social Work and eventually becoming a school social worker in New York. I had various roles in the system until I retired at 65. I live in New York City now. “When I was at Behrend, I lived in Glenhill Farmhouse with five other girls. College was very different then. There were no clubs, few lectures or events outside of classes, and no organized social activities. Also, none of the girls living there had a car, so it was a quiet life.”
Elizabeth (Lou) Dahlinger ’52 (Behrend 1948-49)
“My husband, George, and I met at Behrend and have many fond memories of our time there. I lived in Glenhill Farmhouse, upstairs over the kitchen with three roommates. I recall waking each morning to the delicious smells wafting up the back stairs. The pool was just out the side door, and we would clean leaves from the water daily. One winter day, George came down the sledding hill behind the farmhouse on his toboggan and broke through the ice-covered pool! “I recall playing tennis, picking sweet cherries from a tree on campus and going to dances where George played the trumpet in the band. We also loved to hike in the gorge. All our classes were held in what is now Turnbull Building. “We went to University Park to finish our degrees. I worked as a registered dietician all my life. After being drafted and serving in Korea in the medical corps, George changed his plan to work in physical education. He went to graduate school to be a physical therapist and later accepted a position to develop the School of Physical Therapy at East Carolina University. He worked there until his retirement in 1995. We had four children. “George was athletic and became very involved in the Senior Games at the state and national levels, medaling in skiing, swimming, basketball, and badminton, before his death, surrounded by his family, on Thanksgiving Day in 2017.”