Campus News

June 7, 2010

Campaign Emory

Glenn Church class honors Jake Ward

Glenn Memorial Church

Members of the Emory community have made a gift to Emory’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) in honor of their longtime friend, the late Judson C. Ward Jr. ’33C -’36G.

On behalf of the Judson C. Ward Class at Glenn Memorial Church on Emory’s campus, retired Emory librarian Achilla Imlong Erdican and her husband, Albert Erdican, have donated Ward’s church papers to MARBL. The collection includes photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings and speeches.

“I am sure he would be so happy to see that his work lives on,” says Achilla Erdican. “We thought the best thing was to give the class records to the Emory University Library. I think it was a wise move.”

Rick Luce, vice provost and director of Emory Libraries, called the gift “a wonderful addition” and said MARBL’s continued excellence depends “more than ever upon individuals like you, who share our commitment to being one of the world’s great special collections libraries.”

Naomi Nelson, interim director of MARBL, says, “Jake Ward was such an important member of the Emory community, and we are very pleased to be able to add these records of his long tenure teaching at Glenn Memorial Church to his papers.”

Ward, who passed away in November 2009 at age 97, spent more than 80 years at Emory as a student, teacher, administrator and spiritual leader. In 1953, he began teaching the “Couples Class,” a Bible study group for married couples at Glenn Memorial Church that was formed in 1938. In 1983, it was renamed the Judson C. Ward Class to honor its teacher after three decades of service.

One of the most influential teachers at Glenn, Ward published more than 30 of his lessons to the class in 1994. In the preface to the book, “Walking the Road of Faith” (Scholars Press, 1994), he wrote, “Understanding the appropriate role of a teacher, I have sought to avoid appearing to be an authority proclaiming the Word, but have tried as a searcher to relate religious faith to life.”

Members of the Ward Class, who at one time numbered nearly 450, are among Glenn Church’s most active leaders. Achilla and Albert Erdican are the current class president and vice president, respectively. She retired from her job at Pitts Theology Library in 1997.

Glenn Memorial Church and Emory University have a long history together. The church dates to January 1920, soon after Emory’s Druid Hills campus was established. Its original location was in the chapel at Candler School of Theology. Built in 1931, its current home on campus is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The gift from the Ward class at Glenn is part of Campaign Emory, a $1.6 billion fundraising endeavor that combines private support and the University’s people, places and programs to make a powerful contribution to the world. Investments through Campaign Emory fuel efforts to address fundamental challenges: improving health, gaining ground in science and technology, resolving conflict, harnessing the power of the arts and educating the heart and mind.

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