#49: Back and forth (1928)

"Work in America held me as long as possible in the spring of 1928, but I reached Thessaloniki and the College campus again on the morning of June 17, which was Baccalaureate Sunday, and I preached that day to our College audience from the words, "As Jesus passed by, he saw a man".

The condition of the College looked good, with Dean Compton in chief charge and a class of 13 to graduate creditably that week with the motto "Argonauts". A good record in interschool athletics during the year was a fact cheering to the students. Government officials and other friends, whom I met as soon as possible, were cordial and appreciative. The Girls' School was soon officially recognized as carrying on under the College permit, and was gaining a highly worthwhile constituency. An item not unimportant, was the report that farm crops for the year 1927 were good, "very good". We moved forward soon to complete the purchase and occupation of twelve acres of bench land for our athletic field on the upper campus and another small piece on the slope leading down to it to fill out the upper campus. Three rooms were built during the summer as a cheap addition to London Lodge, enlarging by a little the provision required immediately for the school in Charilaos.


In July, our son, George, and his wife had finished their work with the Near East Relief on the island of Syra, and accepted the invitation of College authorities to join in the effort to build and administer the College. Mrs. White and I started to leave our college campus again, October 29th, with fresh enthusiasm for work beyond the Atlantic Ocean. The Self-Help Shop was nearly finished, and they arranged to live in it during the months while the first house on the new campus was in process of construction. On our way to the train, which left late in the evening, they asked us to stop in at the Shop, and there served us a cup of coffee and the first light refreshments ever served on our upper campus.


Work in Thessaloniki was essentially set up for the academic year. There were 208 students registered for the six College classes and 92 in the Girls' School, which was already recognized as included under the College permit, while still supported by the fine women of the American Board. The College budget was right around $40,000.


During this season, on the invitation and arrangement of friends, I made my first trip to the North Pacific Coast. Some persons in that region were already among our contributors, especially the Coleman Brothers of Seattle. Mr. A. L. Tertsagian, at home both in Seattle and in Cashmere of the apple country, had taken a creditable place in the state of Washington. He gave a significant luncheon in Seattle for our work, but he had located his home and business amid Wenatchee apple orchards where he was building up an extensive business in apples and "aplets", this latter being a delightful confection which he had invented, somewhat on the model of "Turkish Delight". Another time when I was visiting Cashmere our former student invited me to a luncheon of the Chamber of Commerce where I was asked to say a few words of greeting. When a banker, who was the chief speaker, rose, he began by addressing me personally and saying that our Anatolia graduate was what he said he wanted to be: he was one of the best *citizens* in that part of the State of Washington. It is significant in this connection to recall that, whereas a good many young men of those earlier College years left the Near East because it was all so uncertain for the future, there is now good hope that our young graduates can go out to render such service for their own communities and countries as some of their earlier brothers and predecessors had done in America."

NEXT: Commerce and agriculture (1929)