Thursday, February 07, 2002
Carl Kreider remembered for a quarter-century of academic leadership at Goshen College
GOSHEN, Ind. – In an address to Mennonite businesspeople in 1979, Carl Kreider, Goshen College, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Economics Emeritus, quoted from 1 Corinthians 12:4-7: “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one.” Christian entrepreneurs, he said, take their place “along with other Christians in the work of the body of Christ.”
Kreider, who died at 12:48 p.m. Feb. 7 at Greencroft Healthcare in Goshen, was always concerned to elicit the gifts of others, primarily through advancing Christian scholarship and education at Goshen College, with which he was associated for almost half a century. He also made significant contributions to a number of church and academic organizations.
Born Sept. 26, 1914, in Wadsworth, Ohio, to Lloyd and Adelia (Stover) Kreider, Carl Kreider first came to Goshen College as a student, graduating in 1936. His wife, Evelyn (Burkholder) Kreider, whom he married June 8, 1939, in London, England, also graduated from Goshen College; the couple celebrated their 62nd anniversary in June 2001. The Kreiders’ four children all graduated from Goshen College; they are Alan (and Eleanor) Kreider of Elkhart, Ind.; Rebecca (and Weldon Pries) of Cambridge, Mass.; Stephen (and Gretchen) Kreider of Kula, Maui, Hawaii; and Thomas (and Marilyn) Kreider of Indianapolis, Ind. Two brothers and a sister also survive, J. Robert Kreider of Goshen; Don Kreider of Seymour, Ind.; and Ruth Heatwole of Harrisonburg, Va. Carl and Evelyn have seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Carl Kreider earned both a master’s degree and a doctorate in economics from Princeton University; he also studied at the London School of Economics, and was a post-doctoral research fellow of the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.
In 1940 Kreider returned to Goshen College as a faculty member in the economics department. He expressed his lifelong engagement in issues of global economics in four books, including The Anglo-American Trade Agreement (Princeton University Press, 1943) and The Rich and the Poor (Herald Press, 1987). He published articles in many academic journals in both economics and higher education, but to many he was especially known for his monthly column in Christian Living in which he interpreted world affairs to a generation of Mennonites. For many years Kreider also served as managing editor of Mennonite Quarterly Review, which is housed on the Goshen College campus.
In his fourth year on the GC faculty, Kreider, at age 29, was named Dean of the college. In over a quarter of a century as dean, he demonstrated his gifts of administration, intellect and relationship and acquired a national reputation for expertise in liberal arts education. Kreider was dean of Goshen College from 1944 to 1970; he also served in 1950-51 and in 1970-71 as acting president of the college, and in 1971-72 he was the college’s first provost. Kreider’s reputation as an expert in liberal arts led the newly founded International Christian University, in Tokyo Japan, to appoint him as the first Dean of its College of Liberal Arts. His four years in that position (1952-1956) left a lasting legacy in Japanese higher education; that university’s liberal arts program, unique in Japan, resembles that of Goshen College. Interest in other cultures also led him to serve in 1963-64 as a Fulbright Lecturer in economics at Haile Selassie I University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and to travel to many countries on behalf of Mennonite church agencies.
Kreider’s primary life work was his contribution to Goshen College. Throughout his 26 years in the post, the title of “Dean Kreider” almost became a proper name.
In an April 7, 1972 article in the Goshen College Record, the student newspaper, Stanley Shenk, then professor of Bible, described Kreider as a “man of integrity and total Christian compassion”; another colleague, retired poet-in-residence Nick Lindsay, saw in Kreider “a radical level of courage.”
President Emeritus J. Lawrence Burkholder paid tribute to Kreider’s proverbial administrative gifts; he “turns out an amazing amount of work in a day.” Burkholder also noted Kreider’s role in forming GC as an institution: he “built up the faculty [and] kept the school going academically during World War II.”
Generations of students recognized Kreider as a gifted teacher and mentor. Colleagues and guests of the college recall Carl and Evelyn’s generous welcome and exquisite hospitality.
In addition to his contributions to GC, Kreider also served as an extension lecturer at Indiana University; an administrator and teacher for Mennonite Central Committee’s Relief Training School; chairman, Committee on Liberal Arts Education of the North Central Association of Colleges; chairman of the Overseas Committee of Mennonite Board of Missions; and chairman of the Mennonite Church General Board. Kreider also was a board member of the Danforth Foundation, Mennonite Mutual Aid and Oaklawn Psychiatric Center.
Since his retirement, Kreider, despite ill health, was involved in founding Seniors for Peace; he also served on the subcommittee for publications when Goshen College planned its centennial celebration five years ago. In November 1999, he was inducted into the Wadsworth (Ohio) High School Alumni Hall of Fame.
A member of College Mennonite Church, Kreider taught Sunday school class and shared his love of the Bible for more than 40 years.
Visitation is from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, in the Koinonia Room at College Mennonite Church. The funeral service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, at College Mennonite, with pastors Firman Gingerich and Klaudia Smucker officiating. On Monday, Feb. 11, a prayer service will be held in the Koinonia Room; burial will follow at Violett Cemetery. Memorial gifts may be made to Goshen College, the College Mennonite Church, Mennonite Mission Network or Mennonite Central Committee.