I was looking for something in the 1916 Campanile this morning when I noticed that the copy I was using had someone’s name stamped on it:
I recognized the name but that’s all. Since I had the book in my hand, though, it seemed reasonably sensible to look him up. I found a fine looking young man, a transfer student from Simmons College in Abilene who belonged to the YMCA and played the flute in the band:
Curious about what kind of doctor he’d become I discovered a sweet story. Otto Watts married after graduation and taught high school chemistry in small town Texas for a few years. In 1920 he was hired by Simmons College (which became Hardin-Simmons in 1934) to teach chemistry there. He took a couple of leaves, first to get a master’s degree from the University of Colorado and then his doctorate from Stanford, where he was appointed an assistant professor in his last year of study. He didn’t stay, though. A devoted Christian and committed teacher who wanted to be close to his students, he went home to Simmons where he spent the rest of his career as chairman of the Chemistry Department and a beloved mentor to generations of students.
I don’t know the date of this picture, which I got from the Hardin-Simmons twitter feed, but I know that it’s Dr. Watts with students in his lab:
It turns out that there’s something else interesting about this particular copy of the 1916 Campanile and I will get to that tomorrow unless something intervenes. (You never know.)
Bonus: As soon as I saw this on the ground the other day I knew that it was bound to escalate.