Mentor, promoter, protector and “father”


By Katherine Robertson Turner ('40)

"Here's Maudie with her bird nest, and Cappy have you finished your doughnut? They are here, we can begin." So began Dr. Henry A. Converse, our beloved mathematics professor and registrar. It was always at 8 a.m. so we would have a clear head, but we never got to breakfast, so it didn't help. He was my mentor, my "father," my friend, my promoter and my protector.

After freshman year, Cappy chose, isn’t that a nice word, me to work in his well-organized registrar’s office during my scholarship time. He checked on my boyfriends and my grades. When I had the mumps, he even called the infirmary to tell me I had made Kappa Delta Pi, and said I’d better or he’d have to give me a good talking to. Dr. Converse gave me both the leadership and the nurturing I needed. With my skimpy allowance and my need to work, Cappy made it a pleasure and a big learning experience as he held the hand of this little country girl who was so eager to learn.

My career as a high-school mathematics and physics teacher was also strengthened by Cappy's inspiration and his confidence in me, and I shall never forget his handsome shock of white hair.

It was the era of pin curls on the forehead and Maude Frances Alexander Morris ('40) was my friend.