Goshen College Alumni Awards – 2000

  • Florence I. Nafziger ’45
  • H. Royce Saltzman ’50
  • Rosemarie Freeney Harding ’55

In 1945, Florence Nafziger ‘45 left this campus under the maple trees for a clinic in the jungle. She had attended Hesston (Kan.) College and Mennonite School of Nursing (La Junta, Colo.), before earning a degree in natural science at GC. Then Mennonite Board of Missions tapped her to be a missionary nurse in India. Setting sail and arriving in 1946, she taught nursing at Christian Medical Association hospitals, a connection she maintained until retiring in 1984.

Nafziger joined others in 1950 to open a nursing school at the Christian Hospital in Dhamtari. By 1999, the school had awarded diplomas in nursing to 722 students, and in midwifery to 530 students; eight students received bachelor’s degrees through a program that former GC nursing professor Katherine Yutzy helped develop.

In 1967, Nafziger received a master’s degree. She then continued teaching nursing (administration and education) in India.

A Goshen resident since 1985, Nafziger has been active with church and Greencroft retirement groups. Her autobiography, My Walk with God, was published in 1999.

In 1994, the German government recognized H. Royce Saltzman ’50 with the Bundesverdienstkreutz, its highest honor, for establishing connections to that country. Saltzman believes the arts are vital to cultural, economic and emotional health and promotes music as a force for building understanding, cooperation and peace.

In 1970, he founded the Oregon Bach Festival with acclaimed German conductor Helmuth Rilling. Saltzman is executive director of the festival, which attracts musicians and audiences from around the world and is annually recorded.

The festival received the 1994 Dawson Achievement Award, the U.S’s highest honor for arts administration. Saltzman obtained a grant to broadcast festival recordings on 254 radio stations and NPR.

Saltzman earned master’s and doctoral degrees in music. He was an administrator at the University of Oregon School of Music; initiated the International Federation for Choral Music and Institute for Music Critics; and headed the American Choral Director’s Association. He and his wife, Phyllis (Engle) ’53, who live in Eugene, Ore., have four children and seven grandchildren.

Rosemarie Freeney Harding ’55 is a counselor, writer, organizer, healer, advocate and lifelong peace and racial reconciliation activist. She co-chairs the Gandhi-Hamer-King Center for the Study of Religion and Democratic Renewal at Iliff School of Theology.

Freeney Harding served at Bethel Mennonite (Chicago), then in Atlanta with Mennonite Central Committee, starting two interracial schools and monitoring desegregation. She has served as a counselor and schoolteacher in urban settings.

With master’s degrees in history/women’s studies and in clinical social work, she facilitates retreats for religious, community and educational organizations. In 1997, she was awarded a Harvard University Peace Fellowship. She researched the Underground Railroad with a National Geographic team; has worked with Witness for Peace, the Children’s Defense Fund, the National Association of Independent Schools and American Friends Service Committee; and is a member of Church Women United and the International Women’s League for Peace and Freedom. She and her husband, Vincent Harding, have two children.