Teacher for 50 Years – Student for Life
From magazines to books — including fiction, nonfiction, biographies and most recently the entire Jane Austin collection — Wayne Gerber, Ph.D. (’53), says he can read for eight hours without his eyes getting tired.
“One of my main joys is reading and learning. I don’t intend to ever stop reading,” says Gerber.
At 82-years-young the Bethel adjunct faculty member hit 50 years of teaching at Bethel this spring, making him the only faculty to ever reach this mark. Even while Gerber served in administrative roles as Bethel’s academic dean, dean of adult studies and registrar, he’s always taught.
“It’s still as much fun now as it was in the first years,” says Gerber.
Fun because Gerber is just as much a student as he is a teacher. Part of teaching is staying up-to-date and learning new things — even reading things you don’t agree with, says the religion professor.
“You have to keep learning or you just repeat yourself.”
Reading is how he accomplishes this philosophy. Every day he reads a passage of the Bible in Hebrew and Greek and a chapter in the New Testament in German. That’s in addition to the multiple magazines and books he reads. He says he’s always reading several things at the same time.
That’s why it’s no surprise that Gerber has a list of degrees. His academic accomplishments include a bachelor’s degree from Bethel, two seminary degrees and a Ph.D.
“My wife wondered if I was going to be a perpetual student forever.”He admits that he could have been happy living in a library as a student for life. Funny — his office is inside the Otis Bowen Library. You’ll find him on the lower level at the end of the moving stacks. You might even catch him reading a book or two.