Goshen College Alumni Awards – 1989

  • Albert Buckwalter ’44
  • Lois Litwiller Buckwalter ’44
  • Melvin J. Loewen ’49
  • Dorothy Snapp McCammon ’44
  • Arthur Weaver ’47

Albert and Lois Buckwalter have spent almost their entire adult lives among several Argentine Indian groups. After graduation from Goshen College they embarked on their own journey as missionaries to Argentina, arriving there in 1950. Several years later, they helped Toba Indian Christians form their own church – United Evangelical Church. Later, Mocovi, Pilaga and Wichi groups joined and today more than 4,000 members are part of 100 congregations.

In the early years, they had a fairly traditional approach to mission work, but living among the Indians, they discovered they were learning from them as well. They began intensive efforts to learn the language of the people, rather than speaking only Spanish.

They eventually learned a number of local languages and have translated portions of the Bible into the Toba, Mocovi and Pilaga languages. They say that their translation efforts have helped them to understand the Scriptures better.

The Buckwalters are the parents of four children, all of whom graduated from GC.

Although they are officially retired, the Buckwalters still have work to do. They will return to Argentina in October for a special one-year assignment to complete editing work on the Pilaga New Testament and portions of the Mocovi Old Testament.

Melvin J. Loewen came to Goshen College in 1946 from Steinbach, Manitoba. He received the B.A. in natural science in 1949. His other degrees include the B.S. in secondary education from Mankato (Minn.) State College and the M.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1952.

He attended Hartford (Conn.) Seminary, received a license in public administration from the University of Brussels in 1960 and the Ph.D. from that institution in 1961. His doctoral degree was in political science with specialization in African studies.

After his Hartford studies, he and his wife Elfrieda joined the Congo Inland Mission (now Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission) in Kasai Province of what is now known as Zaire. Later he taught in the pre-university tutoring center, the Congo Polytechnic Institute, Leopoldville. From 1964 to 1970 he served as academic dean and then as president of the Protestant University in Stanleyville.

From 1967 to 1970 the Loewen family lived in the U.S. Mel was dean of academic affairs at Pacific College, Fresno, Calif., initiating a new emphasis on international studies. In 1970, the World Bank asked him to become educational representative for West Africa, working out of Ivory Coast. Since 1973, Mel has had various assignments for the World Bank dealing with Latin America and Asia.

Since 1986 the Loewens have lived in Kigali, Rwanda as World Bank representatives in that country.

Mel and Elfrieda have six children, four of whom attended GC.

A year after graduating from Goshen College in 1944, Dorothy Snapp married Don McCammon. After Don’s graduation they studied linguistics under the Wycliffe Bible Translators in Norman, Okla., and Chinese at Cornell University.

From 1947 to 1951 they were missionaries in China. Along with three other GC grads, they experienced the last two years of the nationalist government and the first two years of the communist “liberation.”

Although they tried to stay in China, they eventually realized that they were a threat to their friends. Don was arrested in late 1950 and deported in early 1951. Their first child, Julia ’73, was born that summer while Dorothy was still in China. She wrote a book, We Tried to Stay, based on their experiences in China.

From 1952 to 1958 they lived in Tokyo. Their home served as a business base for the Mennonite mission in Hokkaido and as a student center for the Hokkaido Mennonites who came to Tokyo for college. Upon returning to Goshen, Dorothy was executive secretary of WMSA for seven years and taught high-school English for 18 years.

In 1981 she was part of a group of women who began to have a Sunday worship service with the female inmates at the Elkhart County jail. When Dorothy realized that few of the women had finished high school, she offered to help them in their studies. Soon it was clear that others, too, wished for an opportunity to come out of the ward and sit in quiet with a compassionate friend.

She quit her teaching job and began to go to the jail each day. She goes to court when they do, and visits them if they go on to prison and upon their return home.

Dorothy continues her daily visits to the county jail where she is lovingly known as one of the “Jail-House Grandmas.”

Art Weaver started at GC in 1941, but did not finish until 1947 because of three years in Civilian Public Service. After college he took a job as a clerk at American Home Foods, a division of American Home Products, Elkhart, Ind.

Soon after he arrived, Whitehall Laboratories, another affiliate of American Home Products, took over the Elkhart plant, and Art began a long career with Whitehall, the company that made Anacin. He moved from cost accountant to office manager to packaging manager and assistant plant manager. From 1959 to 1965 he was plant manager and assistant vice president.

During those years in Elkhart he served on the boards of the YMCA, the Mental Health Association and the United HealthFoundation. He also chaired the congregation at Eighth Street Mennonite Church, Goshen, and served on the advisory board of the First National Bank, Elkhart

In 1966 Art, his wife Joan Yoder ’45 and their three sons moved to New York City where he became vice president of operations for Whitehall with responsibilities for manufacturing, inventory control, distribution and management information systems. Over the course of 23 years in the New York office he took over quality control, research and development, finance, the medical department, medical sales and regulatory affairs. In 1984 he became executive vice president of operations, retiring in February 1989 to Scottsdale, Ariz.

During his 40 years with Whitehall Laboratories, its sales grew 40 fold to become the largest non-prescription drug company in the country. Two of its best-know products are Dristan and Advil, both of which Art was involved in producing. He also served on the government-industry committee that set present-day standards for child-safe packaging.