In spring 1978, I was nervous and even a little scared when I first set foot in the classroom of JMU chemistry professor William Voige, now faculty emeritus. I had never taken chemistry before, not even in high school. Chemistry for the Allied Health Sciences was a required course for all those planning a career in the health services field. I was a freshman who was very interested in nursing.
My fears seemed to be justified by each quiz and test I took because not only was Dr. Voige tough, his tests were tough as well. When I began to receive failing and near failing grades, I quickly began to lose confidence and felt an office visit to discuss dropping the class was necessary. Even so, as I stepped into Dr. Voige's office I was determined to be strong and to make a solid argument for dropping chemistry, because at that point, a "D" had been my highest grade. However, I ended up in tears.
Dr. Voige assured me that there was still time and opportunity to bring up my poor grade. He convinced me to hang in there, to keep my chin up and to just do the best I could. Well, things did slowly but surely turn around in chemistry. At the end of exam week, I knew before the final that my grade was hovering between a high "D" and a low "C", and I am sure Dr. Voige knew how important the grade was to me. As I checked my mailbox the last time before summer break, I’ll never forget the short, to-the point, handwritten note waiting there: Becky, you got a "C", Dr. V.
Thank you Dr. Voige for the words of encouragement and for the sincere concern you showed a struggling freshman. I didn’t go into nursing, but I am enjoying a rewarding career as an audiologist and speech therapist.