Gerald L. Hughes ’54 has spent his life working to educate the young and to teach all ages about diversity.
One of Goshen College’s early African-American students from eastern Pennsylvania, Hughes graduated with a music education degree and moved to Cleveland, Ohio, for a voluntary service term. He stayed there, becoming a Cleveland Public Schools teacher and administrator and a charter member of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus. At one point, Hughes directed the Trainers of Teacher Trainers Program, sponsored by the school system and Cleveland State University, to prepare teachers for urban schools. He earned a master’s degree in administration and supervision from the University of Pittsburgh in 1970.
A former vice president of the Mennonite Board of Education, Hughes also chaired the advisory committee for High Aim, a program that encouraged and provided financial help to minority students attending Mennonite high schools.
Hughes served as president of Goshen’s Alumni Association from 1993 to 1997. Other memberships include the Mennonite Central Committee Bi-National Board, the Mennonite Church/General Conference Mennonite Church vision and goals committee, Mennonite General Assembly Nominating Committee and Urban Racial Council. Hughes also was minister of music at Lee Heights Community Church.
He and his wife, Annabelle Conrad Hughes ’54 have four children.
In 1951, Stanley ’48 and Arlie Hershberger Weaver ’50 followed a call to the desert in the American Southwest. Fifty years later, following a quarter-century of working with the Navajo people, as well as pastoral assignments in Arizona, Iowa and Nebraska, they returned to the region to which they were called.
The Weavers led voluntary service units among the Navajos for three years in the 1950s before becoming missionaries and church planters in New Mexico and Arizona. Part of their service was at a reservation homeless shelter – Stanley worked with men and Arlie with women. Arlie also taught pre-school children for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Chinle, Ariz.
Stanley served as Southwest Mennonite Conference Overseer from 1973 to 1985 while pastoring Sunnyslope Mennonite Church, Phoenix, Ariz., from 1975 to 1985; Arlie taught disabled children in the Phoenix area, earning a master’s degree in special education from Northern Arizona University in 1975.
Stanley accepted interim pastorates in Milford, Neb. and Wellman, Iowa, and both worked to plant a church at Burlington, Iowa, while working as adult literacy tutors.
Having returned to Phoenix in 1994, Stanley is an active administrative secretary at Sunnyslope. Arlie chairs the church life commission. Both continue as literacy tutors while Arlie also volunteers at a homeless shelter and works with developmentally disabled children and at the House of Refuge Shelter for homeless.
Roger N. Beachy ’66, president and director of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, Mo., spends many of his days infecting plants with viruses to make them stronger. His research led to the first genetically engineered food crop – a viral-resistant strand of tomato – in 1987. Further research, leading to 10 biological patents, has created rice and cassava crops with improved disease resistance used in developing nations.
Beachy’s commitment to teaching Christ’s command to love your neighbors and his devotion to researching sustainable food production and agriculture led him to found the International Laboratory for Tropical Agricultural Biotechnology where he and scientists from more than 20 developing nations have shared biotechnologies to lessen Third World hunger.
After Beachy earned a doctorate degree in plant pathology from Michigan State University in 1973, he did post-doctoral work at the University of Arizona and Cornell University. He taught at Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., from 1978 to 1991 and 1999 to the present, also spending eight years heading the division of plant biology at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., in the interim. He also was an adjunct professor of biology at Peking University in China and the University of California. He is editor of the Journal of Virology and won the R&D Magazine 1999 Scientist of the Year award.
Beachy served with Mennonite Central Committee in 1967-1968 and has volunteered for the St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis RCGA and the St. Louis Academy of Science.
Beachy and his wife, Teresa S. Brown Beachy ’68, have two adult children. They attend Ladue Chapel in St. Louis.