Dick and Barb at the University

   We're Richard Ward ('50) and Barbara Oaks Ward ('53).
When I looked at Bradley University's Internet site, there were no Home Pages from any alumni of our vintage, so here goes.

   We finished up our undergraduate careers in June of 1950. Barb left an incomplete course or two and didn't actually get her BA until 1953. Our years at Bradley were intellectually stimulating, unnecessarily intense and pretty carefree. It was a good place to spend those years: I can't imagine having a richer and more varied undergraduate experience. Barbara studied foreign languages; Dick history and philosophy. 

   Barbara, who's more scholarly than I, has a master's degree, and taught high school math for 20-odd years. Once in a while she taught French or Spanish. She was an officer of the Detroit Federation of Teachers and is still active with Union retirees. She does computer databases for them and for other organizations.
   Barb's father, Orville A. Oaks, graduated from Bradley in 1915

Wedding dinner at the Pere Marquette Hotel.
January 1949

    After leaving Peoria, I got a Master's degree and then a PhD in geology, although I hadn't studied geology as an undergraduate. I did research at the University of Delaware from 1954 to 1958 and taught for one year at the University of New York at Plattsburg. Much of my life has been spent teaching mineralogy, petrology, field geology and other courses to undergraduate and graduate students at Wayne State University in Detroit. I did summer field work in the western US, Mexico, Brazil and Canada 
   I moonlighted as an environmental commentator for Detroit's WJR, and WXYZ-TV. For 14 years I was the host of a weekly interview program for the Mutual Network

   Sadly, we haven't been active Bradley University alumni. Perhaps that's because we live too far away and have been associated with several colleges.

We have, over the years, acquired three children and five grandchildren. Our youngest grandchild is 11 years old. The oldest is 29; that's much older than either of us was when that picture was taken.

We both gave up working in 1986 and now enjoy traveling in the States and abroad. Our son lived in England for more than 20 years, so we have visited his family a couple of times a year and used that a jumping-off place for trips to the Continent.  A daughter lives in Manhattan: we stay with her as often as our conscience will allow.
Our near-by family, a daughter and two grandsons, have dinner with us every Monday night that we, and they, are in town. It's a family tradition of very long standing.

Our Children:
Lyra (PhD, Adelphi) is a clinical psychologist at a large medical Center in New York. 
Willow (BS, RN) is a medical administrator in Michigan.
Jeff (PhD, Surrey) is now (2007) vice president of the aerospace company SpaceX in California. He was previously Managing Director of Surrey Satellite Technology.

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