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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dr. Judson C. "Jake" Ward 33C 36G, 1912-2009

Dr. Judson C. "Jake" Ward 33C 36G, dean of alumni, passed away this morning, peacefully in his sleep. He was 97 years old.

Ward's positive mark on the Emory community is almost impossible to measure. His accomplishments as a student, teacher, administrator and dean are easy to quantify, but the positive light he brought to Emory with his mere presence will forever burn brightly in the minds and hearts of everyone who met him.

His hands and his heart helped build Emory and our community could not have grown into what it is without him.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dr. Ward's wife, Sue, their four children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

If you would like to leave your own memory of Dr. Ward, please leave a comment below.

--Eric Rangus, director of communications, EAA

Updated: Tuesday, November 3, 12:32 p.m.

A University-wide memorial service will be held for Dr. Ward at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church on Wednesday, November 4, at 2:30 p.m. Parking will be available in visitors lots around campus. A reception will follow at the Miller-Ward Alumni House (at 815 Houston Mill Road). During the reception, guests are welcome to sign a condolence book, which will be presented to the Ward family.

If you are unable to attend the memorial or the reception, EAAvesdropping will be updated with the full story.

Updated: Wednesday, November 4, 8:59 p.m.

Click here to read about Dr. Ward's memorial service

See a slide show of Dr. Ward through the years

-- Eric Rangus, director of communications, EAA


  1. Katherine T. Rohrer '74CNovember 1, 2009 at 10:20 PM

    Jake Ward was a giant of a man. My parents attended and admired his adult Sunday School classes at Glenn Memorial in the 1960s. I'll never forget the beautifully handwritten notes I received from him decades later acknowledging each little gift to Emory, reminding me of his old friendship with my folks, giving me news of his children and grandchildren. He shared his love of Emory with all of us alums and made us pleased and proud to be part of the community that he so prized.

  2. He sounds like a wonderful person. I hope he rests in peace.

  3. Such a sweet man. He will be missed.

  4. He is one of the best men I have ever known. I've always felt safe knowing that Jake was around to save us if Emory should ever falter.

  5. Dr. Ward was one of a kind. Very special and loyal to Emory in all aspects of his life. He will be missed. I am just glad that I got to spend the little time that I did with him. He has touched my life forever.

  6. He was first my History thesis advisor in '78 and then later, when I became a part of Glenn Memorial we crossed paths again, much to my delight and enrichment. Dr. Ward was the kind of person one spends a lifetime growing and hoping to be. I and my children were incredibly blessed and greatly enriched to be around him, as were we all. He was modest and humble, intellectual and thought provoking, challenging and also supportive, devoutly Christian and a loving family man with a marvelous sense of humor. He will be greatly missed but always close in our hearts.

  7. I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Ward at the Miller Ward Alumni house. Recently I came across an issue of Emory Magazine featuring Dr. Ward on the cover, which I had him autograph for me. Just seeing that photo made me smile at the memories of working right outside Dr. Ward's office. Every morning he would come in smiling as he walked down the hall - ready to get to work as the Dean of Alumni for his beloved alma mater. I feel blessed to have known Dr. Ward and will always remember his kind words, warm smile and big heart.

  8. RIP Dr. Ward. I'll miss seeing you around campus. You were very blessed to lead a long life and you brightened the days of many who came in contact with you. You'll be greatly missed.

  9. Whose day was not made better after seeing the twinkle in Dr. Ward's eyes and that wonderful smile? There is another star shining in heaven - shining down on the Ward family, Emory University, and Glenn United Methodist Church.

  10. I'll miss Dr. Ward greatly - at 97 he still came into work when he could - talk about dedication and love for Emory. Dr. Ward always had a smile and a wave, even if he didn't know you. I'll always fondly remember the Jake's Open Houses for Halloween and on his birthday - he always attended, dressed up, and was such an integral part of not only the Emory community, but the Atlanta community. Although this time is a great sorrow, the day of his passing - All Saints Day - seems to be quite fitting for Emory's Dean of Alumni. May he watch over us & this great University always.

  11. He had such charisma and a passion for Emory and the people who are a part of it. May his family be comforted that he will be missed by many, many people.

  12. Though I did not know him personlly, it was always such a pleasure to be in the same room with him. His gentle and strong presence at any dinner or banquet truly made the celebration that much better. He is the epitome of someone who gave their heart back to their Alma Mater which always stirred my heart too. I will miss him and feel blessed to be involved as an alum with the same body of people and university he loved.

  13. God speed, Dr. Ward. I consider myself honored for having the opportunity to work with you at Emory and enjoyed the time we spent together at the Miller-Ward Alumni House and at the Assn. of Emory Alumni.
    Andy Reed

  14. As a phonathon student caller, I remember Dr. Ward telling us about the "good ole days" at Emory, especially the stories about students making bathtub gin during the Depression! I'm sure he told us much more academically-minded information as well, but to a then-20 year-old those were things you don't forget! Fastforward 20+ years and I received his wonderfully personal hand-written notes thanking me for my donations to our beloved alma mater. Dooley may be the spirit of Emory but Dr. Ward was the heart. He will be missed beyond measure.

  15. Dr. Ward was one of a kind. When my father-in-law
    H.Prentice Miller, fell and broke his neck and Jake succeeded him as Dean of Alumni, he was so helpful to my wife, Sherry Miller Gray '63 and me. He always took time to see us when we visited the campus from Pennsylvania the past many decades. We will cherish his contributions to Emory, his church and Sunday School class, as well as Atlanta at large. May he find peace as he passes on to the life everlasting.
    Tyler W Gray '60B

  16. Jo Anne and Wytch StubbsNovember 2, 2009 at 4:51 PM

    Longfellow reminds us that "Lives of great men remind us We can make our lives sublime And, departing,leave behind us Footprints in the sands of time." A few great men like Jake Ward, however, leave not transient footprints in the sands of time subject to the erosion of time, wind and water, but indelible footprints that will endure through the ages. The devotion that Jake had for Emory and its people, past and present; the integrity that consistently permeated his life; the goodwill that he engendered; and the compassion that he demonstrated were unique, immeasurable and lasting gifts to the institution and to all who knew him. Thank you, Jake, for showing us in such a beautiful way the true meaning of a full and good life of service.

  17. Marsh Goodyear Green Clss of 1964November 2, 2009 at 4:53 PM

    I have known Jake Ward all of my life..He and my father were quite close both being at Emory a year apart. I have never known a gentle man as he. He also gave the eulogy at my father's funeral at North Decatur Methodist Church. Emory & all of us are richer for having known him.

  18. Edward A. Holmes, Jr. Ph.D. (ILA)November 2, 2009 at 4:57 PM

    I have always appreciated jake's friendship while I was a graduate student and later when I was Associate Dean of the College. And, of course to the subsequent many years of relationships as an alumnus. He was an inspiring man in his person and love of the University and all its family. He as an unsurpassed champion of Emory's ambitions and accomplishments. I will always feel his presence there.

  19. Dr. Ward was a great influence in my life. His visits to Fernbank brought Georgia history to life. He took Mike and me on our "college hunting" trip in 1967, and he sent great recommendations for college and later for my acceptance into Officer Candidate School. I enjoyed a number of brief visits with him and Sue at Sunrise where my mother lived, and even though his hearing had "diminished" the radiance of his smile did not. The community has lost a great human being.

  20. Janet Atkins '76C; '79GNovember 2, 2009 at 7:06 PM

    Jake Ward was the very "soul" of Emory University. It was my distinct pleasure to work with him in the Alumni and Development offices for many years; every day was a new story and a lesson in service and stewardship. I will cherish his letters through the years and the gift of his friendship.

  21. I never met Jake Ward, and I never knew that he went by the name Jake. I knew him through some of his earliest work, an Emory master's thesis on early transportation history in Georgia. In many ways, the work of Judson C. Ward (which is how I knew him) was the beginning of my work.

  22. Anne Stephens Morgan ('71 Ox, '73 College)November 2, 2009 at 8:31 PM

    Jake Ward - there wasn't a time in my life when I didn't hear that name. My dad was Jack Stephens, Dean of Emory College until 1973, and honestly, I don't remember a week going by when I didn't hear my dad talk about Jake Ward this, or Jake Ward that....always with a sense of utmost respect and admiration. When my mother died in 1996, I got the nicest note from him, reminding me that he always thought highly of my parents and that he would miss seeing my mother from time to time on the Emory Campus. With the passing of Jerry Zeller earlier this year and now Jake Ward, it seems truly like the passing of an era.

  23. Gerry Lowrey said...
    Jake Ward was my friend and a benevolent influence on our beloved Emory for decades. His institutional memory, kindly ways, and graciousness made him an invaluable colleague to generations of Emory community members. Dr Ward's leadership helped shape Emory into the leading university it is today. His warm-hearted good nature made him much beloved, like your favorite grandfather, by all who knew him. Jake Ward was the living embodiment of the best Emory has to offer the world!

  24. I did not know Dr. Ward well personally, but he was always so pleasant and reassuring. I did know his son, Peter, who is my classmate. I'm sure that a lot of the character that Peter showed came from his father. I wish the Ward family well - my husband and I lost three parents at this time of year, and it is hard. Our love and prayers to them all.

  25. Barratt Wilkins ('63 Ox,'65 College) said:
    I knew Jake Ward from his crew-cut hair days in the 50s, his friendly wave and greeting, his notes, and from listening to my uncle and aunt, Henry and Phyllis Quillian. He was an outstanding ambassador of Emory to the world. His good works were legion and we are all he richer for him.

  26. Jennifer Holton, '99CNovember 3, 2009 at 8:04 AM

    I came to know Dr. Ward when I worked for the alumni office after college. He was always warm, genuine, and kind, and his smile was infectious. He had a way of making everyone feel comfortable and special. He was full of good stories and gave sound and wise advice. I am glad to have known him. The Emory community will not be the same without him.

  27. Sara (DeYoung) Devine '04CNovember 3, 2009 at 8:35 AM

    I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Ward while I was in the Student Alumni Association. He was full of life--and full of great stories. A true inspiration, I know he will continue to inspire the Emory community through his enduring legacy.

  28. The Georgia Southern University family is mourning the loss of Dr. Ward. He was our 7th president and was here only a brief time, but was among the most popular campus leaders of all time. I know he will be missed at Emory as he is in Statesboro, but his legacy will live forever across Georgia and beyond.

  29. For the many years of association with our beloved friend Jake Ward , we are thankful. We will surely miss him . Jackie and Clifford Bell

  30. I am saddened by the death of Jake. Jake shared with all of us the richness and fullness of most of his 97 years. His love of life was easy to recognize. As others have said, he always seemed to have a twinkle in his eye, an indication of his enthusiastic and positive personality. He seemed to delight in the accomplishments and happiness of others. His relationship with all he knew exhibited a genuine interest in people. He always had time to sit with me and ask how I was doing and about my family. He provided wise advice and counsel in a quiet, but deeply significant way during my years at Emory. Jake will be missed and long remembered! - CJ Drymon

  31. Suzy Ivey McCrory '85CNovember 3, 2009 at 12:08 PM

    It was truly a blessing to have known and worked with Dr. Ward. His kindness, wisdom, and generosity touched me and my family in so many ways. He will always have a special place in my heart.

  32. Definitely an icon...for many wonderful reasons. His walk and his talk always showed his love of Emory and everything that Emory represents.

    Rich Hoodenpyle...'65 Oxford, '67 College

  33. Working at the Miller-Ward Alumni House with the Emory Alumni Association from 2004 through June 2009, I had the honor and privilege of spending time with Dr. Ward on a regular basis. His Emory history and legacy were immense, but it was his personal presence that left the most lasting impression on me. He always made time for a chat with everyone on his daily walks around the building, keeping up with the latest news at Emory and in the world and sharing it with us. Dr. Ward's office was a calm stop in an otherwise buzzing building - absent of a humming computer and printer, but with a comfortable guest chair for lingering visits, to talk about work, family, or catch a snapshot of Emory history through a story. After a visit with him, followed by his signature parting "SEE ya," I always felt grounded and ready to re-enter a busy work day. He was a living reminder of the value of good old fashioned face to face relationships, and all who worked with him marveled at the effortless grace with which he maintained so many of these relationships over the years. What a blessing to have known him.

    Jennifer Hayward

  34. Bob Pennington '74Ox, '76C, '81MBA, '81LNovember 3, 2009 at 5:50 PM

    He came to Emory for the first time in October 1929 and left for the last time 80 years later, almost to the day. Through those many years, no one witnessed or participated in more change at Emory, much of it profound, than Dr. Ward. And no one has lived the university more than he; I suspect no one ever will. He indeed was the personification of Emory.

    Dr. Ward led a long, rich and full life that was characterized by incessant grace and charity. Those of us who knew him, especially those of us who worked with him, have in Dr. Ward a lifetime gift, an exemplar by which we can lead enriched lives.

    Thank you, dear man.

    See ya.

  35. W. Marvin Hardy, III, 61 Ox, 63C, 66LNovember 3, 2009 at 8:09 PM

    My father, W. Marvin Hardy, Jr., 33 Oxford, 35 Emory College, and my late mother, had the privilege of teaching at Fitzgerald High School when Dr. Ward was an outstanding teacher at Fitzgerald High School. Dr. Ward has greatly enriched the lives of members of our family for over 70 years, beginning in the school year of 1935-36 at Fitzgerald High School.
    Recently, some members of our family were going through some keepsakes of my mother and father at their home in Elberton, Georgia. My mother and father had carefully stored away many heart warming letters that had been sent to them over many years by that gracious and kind and inspiring gentleman, Dr. Judson C. Ward, Jr. Dr. Ward's letters have indeed been very special treasures.
    We are thankful for the life and example of Dr. Jake Ward.
    W. Marvin Hardy, III, 61 Ox, 63C, 66L

  36. Jake Ward was the Sunday School teacher for the Couples Class at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church and my parents were members of that class. My parents, Ben and Sarah Stokes, loved his lessons and never wanted to miss them. I knew Dr. Ward as I grew up in that church and as an undergraduate and alumni of Emory University. I remember him most as the person who gave the Eulogy at both my mother's and my father's funeral. He always kept up with my family even after their passing and we continually appreciated his notes over the years as donations were made to Emory. My husband Ted and I send our condolences to Mrs. Ward and all of the family. He was a wonderful man and much loved and respected by all who knew him.

    Gerry Stokes Wilson (class of '61C)

  37. Bill Newton '75C '76GNovember 4, 2009 at 8:44 AM

    We all knew this was inevitable, but it is hard to believe that Dr. Ward has left this Earth. In spirit, of course, Jake Ward will always be at Emory and especially at the Miller Ward Alumni House. I am confident that everyone who has worked and currently works at the EAA realizes how enriched they are for having been around Dr. Ward. My three years of working around the nurturing environment at Miller Ward Alumni House came when I needed it the most. That Dr. Ward took me in and adopted me as a new sidekick the way he did made it very special indeed. Having the opportunity to work with Ann Borden in the production of the video for Dr. Ward's 90th birthday in 2002 was a joyous project. During the time I was housed at MWAH, Dr. Ward and I ventured out for lunch together at least once a week. He taught me the simple pleasures of just visiting in the office, driving together in the car, sharing a very casual meal, enjoying one another's company, and reaching out to others with a smile or a kind word. When I last saw him at Sunrise back in the summer, he was in bed but recognized me. We had an old joke between us....I would tell him "You're looking good," and he would laugh and reply, "Compared to what?" He told me then, as he had several times before, that it was time for him to go. So, just as I do for my own 94 year old dad, I prayed for him to be at peace. I am going to miss Dr. Ward's presence, but I rejoice at his amazing life and know that through what I learned from him he will always be with me. As Martha Fagan expressed in her email, we are all just so very blessed to have had Jake Ward in our presence for nearly a century.

  38. Pamela C. Pryor 69C 70GNovember 4, 2009 at 9:28 AM

    The news of the passing of Dr. Jake Ward saddened me. It is only surpassed by the joy his living, his presence, and the smiles he brought leave behind. He never met a stranger. He was dynamic, positive, energetic, sincere, sensitive and a gentle man whose legacy is unmatched. "Mr. Emory" was a delight. May he rest in peace.

  39. Robin L. Thomas 99CNovember 4, 2009 at 10:14 AM

    There was nobody I was more delighted to see at an Emory event than Dr. Ward. His smile, handshake, and generous spirit always made you feel welcome. He was genuinely glad to see you, and getting a letter from him was a special treat.

    I remember, in 1999, when I followed him at the podium for the Charter Day celebration. It was very intimidating, and I was very nervous the entire time I spoke. But my nerves finally calmed when I returned to the table and Dr. Ward leaned over and told me that I had done a great job. I was positively glowing after that.

    Later in the evening, I watched him as he sang the alma mater, candle in hand. I always knew he loved Emory, but in that moment, for the first time, I fully understood how deeply. It brought tears to my eyes (as the memory of it does now). A friend later gave me a picture that had been taken of Dr. Ward and I that night. I hold it very dear, and will do so all the more now.

    God bless him, and, God willing, may we all be more like him.

  40. I am deeply saddened to hear news of Jake's passing. During my years at Emory as a public relations administrator, I knew that Jake continued to be one of Emory's most effective advocates--not so much in the grand scheme of PR and media strategy designed to influence thousands; he worked handwritten letter by handwritten letter, person by person, building support for, and correcting misunderstandings. He was to me, as to many, a kind and sympathetic mentor, a true friend.

  41. Dick Colvin 55C 58M 65MRNovember 4, 2009 at 10:47 AM

    Jake Ward signed my Emory Bachelors degree in 1955; at that time he was Dean of the College. I pursued further studies at Emory and finally worked there on the faculty for 40 years. The Miller Ward House stands today as a wonderful symbol of the dedication of Jake and of Prentice Miller. Both were icons in Emory's growth and development. We were all very fortunate to be able to see Jake Ward so often at alumni events; he added a brightness of spirit to every occasion and, in many of us, he evoked a nostalgia that reminded us of how tirelessly he had worked for his beloved Emory. There is no doubt that Emory would not be the university that it is today had it not been for Jake Ward.
    RIP, friend, and thanks so much for staying with us for such a long time.

  42. Brock Matthews:

    I recently found an unsent letter that I wrote to Dr. Ward from June of 2006. Dr. Ward was my "work grandfather", and he will be missed dearly!

    Dr. Ward,

    I wanted to write you a brief note to let you know how much I value the relationship we have developed over nearly four years that I have been working at Emory. It is often true in life that we do not take the proper time to let those important to us know exactly how we feel. So, I wanted to be sure to let you know that you are one of the most extraordinary people I have had the pleasure to meet in my entire life. You constantly inspire me with your patience, upbeat attitude, genuine compassion, wisdom, sense of humor and the list goes on. It seems no matter what kind of day you are having that you always stop by to ask me how I am doing and what’s going on in my life. Those little moments of interaction with you I deeply cherish because it is so nice to work in a place where there are people like you to talk to, people who care, people who listen, in a word- family. I lost my grandfather unexpectedly in 1999 and miss him a great deal as he was truly a great man. When I came to work at Emory in 2002, I felt like I had rediscovered a long lost relative in you.

    My apologies for all the sappy talk, but I wanted you to know that you are treasured and loved more than you may possibly know. Thanks for being such a wonderful role model. It is my hope that we have many more chats in your office from subjects ranging from history to the Carolina Tar Heels!

    Warm Regards,

  43. There are lives that are so whole that when they end, you realize they’ve told the story of all of our lives. Dr. Ward had that kind of life.

    I cannot sum up, in a simple posting or even in a long eloquent one, his life and his impact on those around him. I most certainly cannot tell of his profound effect on me and my life. But I can say that I was incredibly blessed to know him, I honor him, I love him and I shall never, ever forget him!

    Last night I had to say my final “see ya”, and I write this as I am feeling the sadness of the final separation from him as his body is being buried knowing that there is no coffin, no grave, no monument that is big enough to contain his spirit and there is nothing of this earth that could hold fast his ideals.

    He was the oldest man I knew, and he had the most open and inquisitive mind of anyone I've ever known. He was a true gentleman with a gentle soul, and he had his own brand of funny. If you listened to him you found he was a deep thinker with a penetrating and progressive mind. He felt deeply, we all knew that, even though we respected the veil he often tried to put over his feelings. Most amazing of all to me, he didn’t seem the sort of person who simply let life happen to him. He was always an actor in it.

    The last few days I have struggled for something to say to sum up his 97-year life, some eloquent phrase, something of substance that had affected all of us, and while my mind was flooded with so many things I was worried that no one single thing would come to mind. What eventually sprang forth was what had always affected me the most deeply and was the reason I loved him so dearly. Without ever trying to, he taught me a valuable lesson; one that was taught by example, in the way he lived his whole life.

    He taught me that an open mind is not a luxury of youth; it is a trait to be cherished and nourished for all your life. To never close your eyes, to always look, and strive, and learn is to never grow old! Though age claimed his hearing and his body, it never claimed his mind. His acerbic, yet gentle wit was as sharp during the final days of his life as any day of his life.

    I have come to realize when a man has lived this kind of whole life we cannot feel sad for him at his death. We are sad because of what we have lost with Dr. Ward’s death and because we will miss him dearly. However, no man who has lived as good and full a life as Dr. Ward did is ever totally lost to those who knew or who were influenced by him. And that is especially true if we stop and think for a moment about what kind of man he was, what he meant to us and how we can learn from the kind of life he lived.

    This, then, is not an occasion for us to say good-bye to Dr. Ward. This is a moment in time to help us insure that, in the most important ways, we will never say good-bye at all just “see ya”!

  44. We celebrate the life of this wonderful, caring,gentle man who began his distinguished life and career in "Fitzgerald,Ga.", my own home town. When I began college at Emory, Dr. Ward was always there to remind me of his "special place", Fitzgerald, Ga. where he did, indeed, leave his mark of excellence for all to follow.
    Larry Kaminsky
    '61 BBA

  45. By virtue of his eminent kindness and his unusual gift for respecting the singularity of each of us, Jake Ward left the world he entered more than ninety years ago a better place. He was unassuming but perfectly steady; he was modest but authoritative; he entertained the world of doubt, but knew his own mind. And that mind never forgot—a friend, a moment in history, a Biblical passage, or the right turn of phrase at the right time. He attained, early on, a great strength that can, on occasion, turn into a liability: self-possession. But Jake never got carried away by his sturdy cast of mind. Rather, he made you feel that you too could develop, as he had, habits of attentiveness, formal affability, and clear judgment. He let you know that he wanted you to do so, and that he would be your companion as you tried. His gift of stalwart companionship gave him friends, hundreds of them over the years, and they depended on him for straight talk and full engagement. His gift to all of us is his splendid character.
    Bill Chace

  46. Leigh Davis-TurnerNovember 6, 2009 at 5:06 PM

    I was honored to get a chance to work with Dr. Ward during my tenure at AEA. He was such a loving, gentle, calm presence. His dedication to Emory and the Emory family was an inspiration to me and really helped me have pride in my alma mater. He will be missed but his spirit is in all of us who love Emory.

  47. My father, Clarence E Brown, law '33 always spoke very highly of his friend Jake Ward. when I began Emory in '59 I knew I had at least one friend there to look after me. He was a true light and leader for all who knew him. May the Emory community honor him by continuing his work. Tom W. Brown '62

  48. Mary Sue Nunn McDaniel 64CNovember 9, 2009 at 11:39 AM

    I grew up hearing about Jake Ward. He was a great friend of my dad's from their days at Emory in the 1930's, and I was delighted to learn when I arrived at Emory in 1960, that he was our dean of students. It was in my senior year that President Kennedy was assassinated. What I remember most about that tragic week-end was sitting around with classmates staring at a black and white television, and then I recall attending a special memorial service at Glenn Memorial for Emory students. It was absolutely packed. When I went back to Emory for my 25th reunion, Jake came to speak to us on Saturday morning. He honored us by explaining that we had always been a very special class in his heart because our class leaders had come to him requesting some way of bringing us all together to share our grief. He was touched by that and, of course, made it happen. None of us will ever forget that gesture and his support for all of us. What a wonderful man! I will surely miss him!

  49. Jake Ward--as colleagues, alumni and friends, will agree in chorus—embodied the virtues of the place he loved: its high-mindedness and seriousness of purpose, its kindness and good humor, and its devotion to the particular and the individual. I treasure all he taught me about the University (once governed by a “triumvirate” of which he was a member), and about the Candler family and Lullwater House. Perhaps I should say that I treasured what I learned because of him. The power of his memory, the clarity of his perspective, and his gentle humor, made learning about Emory enlightening and pleasurable. He made even the shenanigans of Walter Candler seem significant and worthy of attention. He leaves behind him sustaining memories of his great warmth and sweetness.

  50. Jonathan Ward...

    My father passed away peacefully in his sleep Sunday morning. He had fallen and broken his hip about a month before, had a partial hip replacement, and was at the rehab facility at Wesley Woods. His condition was "up and down," but I fully expected him to be transferred to a nursing facility where I hoped to visit wi...th him at Thanksgiving. When the shock subsided yesterday, we realized that the method and timing of his passing was another blessing in a life filled with them. He was 97-years old. He was the foundation rock of the Ward family.

    His attributes and accomplishments are too many to list - but first among those to me was his loyalty. He and I couldn't have been more different at times, but he stuck by me. Despite the most trying of circumstances when any "normal" person would probably have bolted, my father sacrificed and stayed loyal to his family and the principles he held. He gloriously fulfilled the vows and roles he took on in life. He was also the kindest of gentlemen and a man of humility. Quite simply, he lived a life of service and love for others.

  51. ps - a poem my father loved:

    Abou Ben Adhem
    by Allan Cunningham

    Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
    Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
    And saw within the moonlight in his room,
    Making it rich and like a lily in bloom,
    An angel writing in a book of gold:
    Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
    And to the presence in the room he said,
    “What writest thou?” The vision raised its head,
    And, with a look made of all sweet accord,
    Answered, “The names of those who love the Lord,”
    “And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
    Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
    But cheerly still; and said, “I pray thee, then,
    Write me as one that loves his fellow-men.”

    The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
    It came again, with a great wakening light,
    And showed the names who the love of God had blessed, --
    And, lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest!

  52. That's a great poem, Jonathan, and a perfect description of Dr. Ward - he was truly a friend to all, and will be missed greatly.

  53. Following up on the loyalty issue, Jonathan, I would like to agree with you. I knew your father when I was a graduate student at Emory in the mid-1960s, and he remembered me when I saw him at historical meetings, for example. I pitched my vocational tent where Judson Ward began his college teaching career – Georgia Southern University. Students, faculty, and the community were so fond of "Jakie," as Mae Michael used to call him. When he returned to become our president after World War II, he ushered in an era of progressive leadership. Unfortunately our college was in a political maelstrom, created by a politically motivated Board of Regents. Jake served only seven months as president, when the Chancellor bowed to little men who wielded power (not an unfamiliar story). A few months later he began an unparalleled tenure of leadership at Emory. From 1948 until the 1960s, he often returned to Statesboro to speak at graduation ceremonies, civic club meetings, etc. When I conducted research for the history of our institution five years ago, I often asked old timers to name the top two presidents in our history. Incredibly, those who were here in the 1930s and 1940s always included "Jake Ward" as one of their two. Why? I asked. The answer usually was along the line of "Because he liked people and he was loyal." Exactly! This loyal man, indeed, was one of the great presidents of Georgia Southern: Judson C. Ward. To this day he is my personal model of excellence, and I miss him. (Delma E Presley)

  54. My memory of Dr. Ward will be of his energy and his dedication to Emory. I will always remember how even at great age how he did so much. I was a student worker at the Alumni Association for 3 years and every day there he was. Whether it was typing away on his typewriter or meeting with students, alumni, or administration....Dr. Ward was always there...always telling stories...always smiling. I would say to myself, "I hope I'm that active and that sharp when I'm his age." Now I say to myself, "I hope I can make such a mark on people and a place I love, like Dr. Ward did."

    Most people come to a place and ask "how much can I get from my time here?" Dr. Ward asked "how much can I give back?"

    Emory and all it's alums should ask the same question. For by asking and answering it...we can truly honor Emory's most dedicated son.

    I will miss you Dr. Ward and always remember you.

    Bless you.


    Amit Patel, Esq. 02C