Known for his passion of
Robert’s Rules of Order,
Professor Emeritus of
Communication Al Albrecht
Professor Emeritus of Communication Al
Albrecht ’50 died June 23 in the hospital after
a lengthy illness at the age of 84. He taught at
the college for 23 years — 1964 to 1987.
Upon hearing the news, former Professor
of Communication Stuart Showalter,
who was a colleague of Albrecht, said, “Al
Albrecht was one of the faculty founders
of the Communication Department at Goshen College, helping to
broaden its focus from speech and oratory to include the many modes of
communication that we associate with the field today. He provided steady
leadership for the department during a time of unprecedented enrollment
growth and ferment in the field.
“Al’s kind manner and academic interests in debate, persuasion, oral
interpretation, parliamentary procedure and politics encouraged many
students to consider graduate programs and careers in law, ministry,
education and business. Years later, his former students continue to serve
church and society effectively in many different professional roles.”
A 1950 graduate of Goshen College, he received a master’s degree at
Purdue University in 1958 and a doctorate degree at Indiana University in
1965. Besides teaching at Goshen, he taught for four years previously at
Indiana University and three years at the University of Vermont.
In his role at Goshen as professor of communication, he directed
forensics, chaired the department and was executive secretary for
the Intercollegiate Peace Speech Association. He taught speech and
parliamentary procedure in AFL-CIO leadership training institutes, United
Steel Workers institutes and local unions. And he was a member of the
National Speech Communications Association, the Central States Speech
Association and the Indiana State Speech Association.
Chair of the Communication Department and Associate Professor of
Communication Duane Stoltzfus had Albrecht as a professor while he
was a student at the college between 1977 and 1981. “He was a master at
instilling confidence, and giving students the tools they needed to finish
the job,” said Stoltzfus. “I wish that we would have had a chance to teach as
colleagues, but when I arrived in Goshen in 2000, Al was retired. Still, he
remained eager to contribute ... his legacy lives on.”
Albrecht was the first president of Aux Chandelles (ADEC) in 1964.
He was a former board member of Elcose Credit Union, Elkhart, and he
co-founded the Pennsylvania Deitsch Society. He was a parliamentarian for
many years for Mennonite General Assembly sessions.
Recently Albrecht completed a book, A Preacher’s Preacher: The Life and
Preaching of John Henry Mosemann (1907-1989) (Evangel Press, 2008),
which is a biography with description of Mosemann’s personal style and
analysis of his sermons, plus sermon texts.
Albrecht was born Jan. 22, 1924, in Middlebury, Ind., and on June 10,
1951, he married Miriam Sutter ’50. They had two children Trish Yoder,
of Goshen, and Jamie Albrecht, of Goshen, as well as four grandchildren.
Albrecht was a member of College Mennonite Church in Goshen.
"An expert of the drosophila,
Research Professor Emeritus
of Biology Merle E. Jacobs
Research Professor Emeritus of Biology Merle
E. Jacobs ’48 passed away on April 9 from
pneumonia at the age of 89, though he had
multiple myeloma since 2002. He taught at
Goshen from 1953 to 54 and 1964-85.
Jacobs served in Civilian Public Service
at Jasper Pulaski Game Preserve near
Medaryville, Ind., and at Howard, R.I. He
received a doctorate in zoology, and did
postdoctoral studies and teaching at Duke University from 1954 until
1957. He then taught at Bethany College in West Virginia, Eastern
Mennonite College in Harrisonburg, Va., before returning to Goshen.
During this time span of 30 years, Jacobs was also doing research
sponsored by the National Institutes of Health in the area of biochemical
genetics of melanin pigmentation relative to adaptation, which had
implications for aging and other health related issues. Students helped with
research as he received grants from the National Institutes of Health.
Jacobs’ research began as he studied the relationships between living
things such as insects, birds, fish and the natural world. He was an avid
researcher in animal behavior. He particularly studied dragonflies, fruit flies
(drosophila), fish and birds.
With the help of his video photography, he spent many years teaching
in environmental education, both in the community and in camp settings.
He always had a deep concern for the wise use and conservation of natural
The objective of his research for the National Institutes of Health and
for environmental education was to help promote quality of life for all
living things. In 1999, Naturebooks published his book, Mr. Darwin
Misread Miss Peacock’s Mind, which critiqued Charles Darwin’s idea that
female animals select mates on the basis of beauty for the sake of beauty.
Professor Emeritus of Biology Jonathan Roth worked with Jacobs
throughout his career at Goshen, and remembers him fondly. “Merle
always made sure that the confines of Science Hall were liberally stocked
with fruit flies. So that if you left the remains of fruit in your trash, you
would soon have visitors,” he said. “He was a very bright guy. In his
research, he was searching for new insights and information that might
contribute to the overall body of science, and I think he contributed very
well in that way.”
Jacobs was born Nov. 30, 1918, in Johnstown, Pa., and married
Elizabeth Beyeler on June 7, 1959. They resided in Smithville, Ohio, since
2001, and prior lived in Goshen.