Arms Control

One of our dear friends from our days as students at Union Theological Seminary in New York City was Glen Stassen. In case you don't recognize the name Stassen, Glen's father, Harold Stassen, was a mover and shaker in the Republican party in the 1950s and 1960s. He had been responsible for negotiating the creation of the United Nations, had subsequently run for President of the USA on many occasions, was the Governor of Minnesota, and the President of the University of Pennsylvania.

I have already written about Glen in a previous "memory." Glen, and his wife, Dot, were not only friends while we were students, but he also joined the faculty of Kentucky Southern College in Louisville. When the college merged with the University of Louisville, he joined the faculty of Southern Baptist Seminary and later the faculty of Berea College in Kentucky and Fuller Seminary in California.

Glan Stassen
Glen Stassen, 2008

Glen was widely lauded as a professor of ethics and was the co-founder of an arms control group known as Just Peacemaking Commission. I had invited Glen to speak at Stanford Memorial Church which he arranged to coincide with a national meeting of an arms control organization. I picked up Glen and the co-founder (whose name I do not remember) at the San Francisco airport to drive them to the Stanford campus. When Glen introduced me to the co-founder and told him that I was a professor at Stanford, he asked, "Do you teach arms control?" As a professor of conducting, I thought for a moment and answered, "YES, I do." From that time forward, I considered my conducting classes to be ARMS CONTROL.

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