In Memoriam: Dr. Douglas Elwood
By: Dr. Betsy Joy B. Tan, Vice President for Academic Affairs
(Delivered during the memorial service for the late Dr. Dougles Elwood on January 8, 2013.)
From Divinity School to school administrator, Dr. Douglas Elwood was one of five – the legend at Silliman University where Divinity School became the training ground for educational managers.
We may have just been back to school after the revelry of our Christmas break; but this assembly this morning here at the Udarbe Chapel is not a new year’s welcome. Rather, given a time for togetherness to commemorate and celebrate a life, this morning is a time for reflection as our new year’s resolution . . . from one who has contributed immensely not only to our campus life here at Silliman University but also to the spirituality of our country.
Well documented in the 1901-1976 book on Silliman University, authors Dr. Edilberto Tiempo, Dr. Crispin Maslog, and Dr. Valentino Sitoy capture the essence of life that Dr. Elwood lived for us: “ . . . liberal education in the highest sense . . . with an education that liberates the whole person, setting him free not merely from ignorance but also from meaninglessness and aimlessness, and from indifference to human need.”
Today then, let us all reflect on the life of one who gave us an innovative academic program on campus at a time when curricular integration was yet unheard of – the integrated curriculum from first grade to second year tertiary education at Silliman University, the Religious Studies Program introduced on campus in 1966 but whose gestation was three years before that as yet.
Today, as we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Douglas Elwood, let us all be the social activist that was Paulo Freire who said: Reflection without action is mere verbalism; action without reflection is mere activism.
Once again, on behalf of the administration, let today be a call for all of us – for solemn thought and reflection about one who dedicated his life not only for Silliman University but also for our country when he co-authored the textbook, Christ in the Philippine Context.