Billy Graham Center Archives

Collection 74 - Ethel Pierce Stien . T76 Transcript

Click here to listen to an audio file of of the unrestricted portion this interview (52 minutes)

This is a complete and accurate transcript of the tape of the oral history interview of Ethel Pierce Stien (CN 74, T76) in the Archives of the Billy Graham Center. No spoken words have been omitted, except for any non-English phrases which could not be understood by the transcribers. Foreign terms are not commonly understood appear in italics. In very few cases words were too unclear to be distinguished. If the transcriber was not completely sure of having gotten what the speaker said, "[?]" was inserted after the word or phrase in question. If the speech was inaudible or indistinguishable, "[unclear]" was inserted. Grunts and verbal hesitations such as "ah" or "um" were usually omitted. The transcribers have not attempted to phonetically replicate English dialects but have instead entered the standard English word the speaker was expressing. Readers should remember that this is a transcript of spoken English, which follows a different rhythm and rule than written English. Foreign terms or phrases which may be unfamiliar appear in italics.
... Three dots indicate an interruption or break in the train of thought within the sentence on the part of the speaker.
.... Four dots indicate what the transcriber believes to be the end of an incomplete sentence.

( ) Words in parentheses are asides made by the speaker.

 [ ] Words in brackets are comments by the transcriber.
 This transcription was made by Bob Shuster, Katherine Graber and Paul Bartow was completed in February 2014.


Collection 74, T76. Interview of Ethel Pierce Stien by Bob Shuster on October 28, 2010.

Note: Mrs. Stien was using a voice captioner on her phone to visually read what the interviewer said, so there was a brief delay between the interviewer's questions and her replies.

STIEN: Here we are.

SHUSTER: Is this Mrs. Ste....

STIEN: I have them now.

SHUSTER: Is this Mrs. Stien

STIEN: And my captioner is telling me that the speaker is too quiet


STIEN: Yes, this is Mrs Stien.

SHUSTER: This is Bob Shuster. I am sorry I got your name wrong in the e-mails


SHUSTER: I am recording this interview. Is that okay?

STIEN: Oh (chuckles). Let’s see, “Got your name in the interviews.” Yes. And it is true.... Yes that is okay.

SHUSTER: It is okay to record it.

STIEN: It is true that people frequently mistake the spelling the pronunciation of our names and we work so hard to be Scandinavian. [Both laugh] No, it is the European spelling and the European pronouncement or pronouncing, so it is Stien.

SHUSTER: Stien. Okay, well, I will endeavor to get that right.

STIEN: Well, that is not critical.

SHUSTER: And it is okay to record this interview?

STIEN: Even the captioner misspells it, so....

SHUSTER: [laughs] And it is okay to record this interview?

Stien: Yes, uh-huh.

SHUSTER: Well, let me just record a brief introduction and then we can start.

STIEN: Surely.

SHUSTER: This is an interview with Mrs. Ethel Pierce Stien by Bob Shuster for the Archives of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. It took place at 9:00 AM Pacific Central...Standard Time on October 28th, 2010 over the phone. And...Mrs. Stien is using a captioner with her telephone so there is a little bit of time delay probably with each question. Well, good morning!


SHUSTER: I appreciate your being willing to do the interview today. Let me start by asking you when and where you were born.

STIEN: I am pleased to do the interview. I was born in Ellendale, North Dakota on May 7th, 1926.

SHUSTER: And what....

STIEN: I....

SHUSTER: Go ahead.

STIEN: I was raised by my grandmother, however because my mother died when I was just a month old. So at that point, I moved to my...I was taken to my grandmother’s farm in Wishek, North Dakota and lived there until I was 16, at which time I came to Wheaton.

SHUSTER: What was your grandmother’s name?

STIEN: Ah...her name was Elizabeth Quatier. Q-U-A-T-I-E-R. She had raised ten children of her own, so there were aunts and uncles still at home when I was a baby in her house and...and grew up there.

SHUSTER: What years were you at Wheaton?

STIEN: I was at Wheaton from 1942 to 1946.

SHUSTER: And why did you choose to go to Wheaton?

STIEN: Oh, well, I was introduced to Wheaton by a lovely lady [Helga Irmgard Bender] who was dean of women at a small teacher’s college in Ellendale, North Dakota where my youngest aunt was attending. She was a Wheaton grad. Soon after I met her, she left that position to go back to Chicago and marry Carl H. Henry. So can you imagine being introduced to Wheaton by people of that caliber? It certainly...Wheaton...I had never even heard of Wheaton. I had never even thought about going to a Christian college. That was not something I knew about.

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

STIEN: I’d been accepted to the University of Minnesota to their school of nursing and then I was rejected because I was too young. So Wheaton seemed to be where God was pointing me, and I guess that’s why [laughs].

SHUSTER: Were you...did you take the nursing program at Wheaton?

STIEN: Well, I began with biology courses with that in mind and then I was captivated by the liberal arts and I majored in speech expression, particularly, and English lit[erature] and loved my time there.

SHUSTER: Now you mentioned...sorry.

STIEN: And I dearly loved Miss [Florence E.] Cobb [laughs].

SHUSTER: Now you mentioned that you were...came to Wheaton because you were influenced by your teacher. Was that Helga Bender, who later married Carl Henry?

STIEN: Helga Bender Henry, yes. Yes. Exactly. She know Carl H. Henry. You certainly know it was he who began Christianity Today magazine and a well known theologian.

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

STIEN: She was a product of...well, she grew up in the Cameroon in Africa. Her parents were missionaries there. And I knew of her before I met her because it was the same denomination

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

STIEN: ...that I was attending in our little Baptist church in Wishek.

SHUSTER: Which denomination was that?

STIEN: It was...North American Baptist denomination. Which is...sometimes known.... You know there are Swedish Baptists and German Baptists? Well, this was largely people from...with German heritage.

SHUSTER: What kind of person was Helga?

STIEN: Let’s see...oh...she was wonderful. And wonderfully helpful to me. She met my train. Here I was, this young kid, kind of a medium sized frog from a very small pond and she met my train in Chicago and got me on the Roaring Elgin, invited me to their home in...when.... Dr. Henry (he probably wasn’t Dr. Henry by then) but he was teaching at Northern Baptist Seminary and we kept in touch through the years. She was always interested in what I was doing. And I can’t remember if she came to my senior recital or not, but she was dear.

SHUSTER: How would you describe her as a teacher?

STIEN: I did not have her as a teacher. She was Dean of Women at this small teachers college in Ellendale, and I did not go to school there. I was simply visiting my youngest aunt who became a teacher who was going to school there at the time. And that’s how I met Helga. She said “Where are you going to college? What do you plan to do?” This was the late spring after my junior year in high school. And I said “Well, I’m not sure.” “Have you heard of Wheaton? This just sounds like such a good fit for you,” and she went on to tell me what Wheaton was like.

SHUSTER: How would you describe her personality? What kind of person was she?

STIEN: She was...well, she was caring. She was personable. She was interested others. I’m not sure I really got to know her well. But I remember my aunt was so impressed by her and loved the influence that she had as dean as Dean of Women at this small teachers college in Ellendale.

SHUSTER: Did you have any contact with Carl Henry?

STIEN: Well, only when I had dinner in their home. And Paul, their son Paul, was a baby...just a tiny baby at that time. And because Helga was...just had this child but had invited me to come, he went out and bought Chinese food for our dinner that day. And I’d never had Chinese food but I wasn’t about to tell them. And she said...or he said probably, “Oh, do you like Chinese food?” And I said “Oh sure.” And then when it came time to know what to do with it, they had to tell me. But they were good hosts. [Shuster chuckles] But that’s connection with them was essentially through Helga and through letters and after...after I graduated from Wheaton.

SHUSTER: Uh-huh. there anything else that you want to mention about her?

STIEN: No, I don’t think so. I know that...I was aware of when.... She is no longer living. But that’s pretty much it.

SHUSTER: When and how did you first meet Billy Graham?

STIEN: Let’s see. You know, I never met him. I saw him only at a distance. And you know, heard about him like you do on a small campus.

SHUSTER: What did you hear?

STIEN: Oh, that he...well, who he was. He was kind of an impressive figure. But we pretty much knew, at least I did...I felt I knew who the various people were. And I don’t know that I ever heard anything specific about him except that he was interested in preaching and...I knew that he and Ruth were an item and that they made an attractive couple. And I knew of her desire to return to China. But I did not know him personally.

SHUSTER: You mentioned in your survey that you had a vivid recollection of hearing him and seeing him practice a sermon. Can you describe that?

STIEN: Let’s see... Exactly. I didn’t realize that he lived on the same street that I did and it probably wouldn’t have made a particle of difference anyway whether I had known or not. But my roommate and I were walking home from campus to the end of Howard Street where the private home...where we lived. There were six college women who lived there. And as we walked past this house, the window was open (it was a nice spring evening). And the window was open and the light was on. And here he was, practicing his sermon in front of a mirror. So that was my first glimpse of...and I knew...we knew who it was. I’m not sure if I knew immediately or my roommate did, but we knew who it was. And that was my first glimpse of him as a preacher [laughs].

SHUSTER: What did he look like as he practiced his sermon?

STIEN: Well, he was practicing his gestures and [laughs] probably a little artificial. And I would say that now knowing what I know about speech and gesturing since that was my field. And I...I’m also aware that my friend Mark Lee used him some. And as he would...he asked Mark to help him with presentation. I got to wondering, and this might not be the time to ask you that, but Mark...whether or not you’ve interviewed Mark Lee. Mark was...Mark and I graduated in the same class. He was a transfer from a school in the east, I’m not sure I can tell you where.

SHUSTER: Yes, he came from Nyack. I actually taped a three hour interview with Dr. Lee.

STIEN: Uh-huh. Yes! Nyack. Exactly. Uh-huh. Oh really? Oh. He’s a good friend. And we taught together at Whitworth.

SHUSTER: Going back to this occasion when you saw Graham practicing in front of a mirror, was he loud enough so you could hear him on the street?

STIEN: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

SHUSTER: And anything else that you recall from that incident?

STIEN: Yes, he was loud enough so we could hear him on the street. But we just know we just kept on walking. You don’t stop and listen [both laugh]. And I...would never had occasion to mention it to him. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have even remembered the incident readily unless people ask me “Oh, so you were at Wheaton? Did you know Billy Graham?” “No, but I saw him practicing in front of his mirror on one occasion.”

SHUSTER: What was his physical appearance? What did he look like?

STIEN: He was tall and slender. And he had a lot of hair [laughs]. He was a handsome, handsome, you know a handsome guy. There was no question about that.

SHUSTER: What did he sound like?

STIEN: I’m not sure I could tell.... Well, of course, the southern accent [laughs]. I’m not sure I could...I’m not sure I could even comment on that because at that...on that occasion, we were a long ways away. We were down on the street, and we didn’t stop. We were just walking by. It was pretty casual.

SHUSTER: Did you ever go to the United Gospel Tabernacle to hear him preach?

STIEN: You know I did. I never heard him preach there. I went on many occ.... Well, I heard Dr. Edman there of course. But we would hear him in chapel every...well, very, very often. If not every day. The person who drew me to the Tabernacle was Dr. Merrill Tenney. Very deep and very thought provoking. I dearly loved Dr. Edman. I even enjoyed his archaic speech and his memorable lines. He always told us “It’s always too soon to quit,” [both laugh]. He had an amazing memory. I can recall being on the campus maybe only a week or two, possibly three, walking on campus and passing him. And he said...called me by name. And I couldn’t believe it.

SHUSTER: What kind of....

STIEN: But you want to talk about Billy Graham, I know.

SHUSTER: No, no, no, that’s fine. What kind of a preacher was Edman?

STIEN: [Long pause] What kind of...what kind of preacher was Edman?

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

STIEN: Well, pretty matter of fact. He gave the appearance of being pretty buttoned up, but what a caring person and that caring came out in his preaching as well. He cared so much about the students and was clear about his...his Christian witness and I read story after story about students he helped. That he was...he was a good preacher.

SHUSTER: What made him a good preacher?

STIEN: His clear love for Christ’s Gospel, reaching people. He was serious, and we took him seriously. At least I did.

SHUSTER: What kind of preacher was Merrill Tenney?

STIEN: Oh, very deep and thought provoking. [Pauses]. I can...I can even see him in my mind’s eye. Compared to preachers that, you know in our current age, these were pretty...oh let’s see if I can come up with the right word.... [Pauses] Not nearly as demonstrative. Not necessarily evangelistic in their preaching. But the kind of thing that...that I sometimes miss in preachers who I know love the Lord but there seems to be more of self than.... [pauses] I don’t mean to be critical here [laughs].

SHUSTER: But you had said that Edman was a buttoned down preacher. Is that what you meant? He was not as emotional or what did you mean by that?

STIEN: Oh, well, by buttoned...yeah. Exactly. Exactly. He was not as emotional and.... That’s exactly what I meant. And that was not a bad thing. He must have surprised other students besides me with his caring because his demeanor seemed to be more rigid.

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

STIEN: That didn’t describe who he was at all. He was not rigid. He was caring. And I think his emotions ran very deep, they just didn’t show.

SHUSTER: You mentioned on your survey form that you remembered the occasion when Ruth and Billy Graham rang the tower bell. Can you describe that?

STIEN: [Laughs]. Yes, I do. I happened to be at the Hub or in that vicinity living off campus. At least the distance that I was living. It was pretty much come to campus for your first class and you stay until whatever...through the meals and whatever is going on through the course of the day and into the evening if there’s something like that. I remember being at the Hub, probably to get mail when the Tower bell rang that evening. And I don’t know how long it took for us to learn that it was Billy and Ruth that it was their engagement. But that news has a way of spreading pretty fast. Do they still do the...ring the Tower bell?

SHUSTER: Yes, they do. Why don’t you describe what that means.

STIEN: [Laughing]. Oh, why don’t I describe what that means?

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

STIEN: Well, simply announcing the engagement to the college campus. That’s what that means.

SHUSTER: What is the Tower bell?

STIEN: [Long pause] That is our...yes. Oh where the Tower bell is? Is that what you’re asking me to talk about?

SHUSTER: Well, for somebody listening to this tape that doesn’t know anything about Wheaton, why don’t you describe what the Tower bell is.

STIEN: Oh, I see. Oh I get it. [Laughs] The Tower bell is up in a tower on the oldest building on campus, which is Blanchard Hall. And there isn’t an easy access to that Tower bell. You have to climb a bunch of stairs, I guess. I was never up there, that.... But I knew where it was. And when couples got engaged, they would climb those stairs and ring the tower bells to announce their engagement to the campus.

SHUSTER: How...on this occasion, how did you find out that it was Ruth and Billy who had rung the bell?

STIEN: [Sighs] I’m not sure. I suppose somebody ran up to find out they came down or.... I did not see them, I just hear the bell. So I’m not sure. I was with friends and we probably hung around and wondered “So, who was that?” And someone said “Oh that was Billy [pauses] Graham and Ruth Bell,” and.... And I think we...we had always...we I say. [Laughs] my friends and I assumed that that was going to happen soon. And it’s a wonderful tradition.

SHUSTER: You mentioned that you lived on Howard Street. Did you know Mrs. Hanson, Billy’s landlady?

STIEN: Uh-huh. You know, I did not. I did not.

SHUSTER: The...let’s see, your freshman year I believe is when they had in the spring there was an awakening, a revival on campus. Do you recall that?

STIEN: Yes. That was very moving, very vivid in my memory. Those were very moving days and nights of confession, was life changing for many of us.

SHUSTER: Do you recall any incidents or stories from the revival?

STIEN: Um...the whole mood on campus...was...subdued and...people were touched [pauses]. It was not a “rah-rah” I’ll spell it: R-A-H-R-A-H kind of time. And there were no strange happenings of any kind. It was just a deep, quiet [pauses] confession time, prayer time, life-changing time. I don’t know how else to describe it. We spent a lot of time on our knees. And people could come and go. Classes were shut down for a couple of days as I remember.

SHUSTER: What kind of effect did the revival have on you personally?

STIEN: know, one of the things that I was prompted to do, not prompted by anybody except, surely, the Holy Spirit, was to write to some of the people who I knew back in my home town who had gone to school with me who I didn’t really like very much and to apologize for behavior if I hurt them.

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

STIEN: That’s...that’s probably...and of course I relayed the experience to my family. But that’s...the prime effect. And it certainly brought me closer in my walk with Christ. It was meaningful.

SHUSTER: After....

STIEN: And I look back on it as a meaningful experience.

SHUSTER: After Billy Graham graduated, he was pastor at Village Green Church [Village Church, also known as Western Springs Baptist Church] in Western Springs, Illinois. He had a radio program called Songs in the Night. I know that sometimes Wheaton students drove out there to be at the broadcast of those programs. Did you ever go to one of those broadcasts?

STIEN: I did not ever go there. I knew that he was preaching at Western Springs. And I also knew he began that broadcasting from that church on Sunday evenings, the Songs in the Night program. And I would hear that program on my little portable radio on occasion. But I didn’t ever go. And I know...I do remember the girls’ quartet called Carollers for Christ.

SHUSTER: What kind of program was it? How would you describe it?

STIEN: Devotional. And...I always thought that what they called that program was especially meaningful: Songs in the Night. And a lot of it was music. He must have spoken as well on that program, but I have an idea that what I listened for was the music, to be honest.

SHUSTER: Is there anything else you wanted to add about Billy Graham at Wheaton? Any stories or any other comments you wanted to make?

STIEN: Well, I remember George Beverly Shea, wonderful memories of hearing him on campus, vivid memories of him singing in chapel, which was always a gift. He was always genuine and remarkably humble. I probably received greater blessings from hearing him sing than most people I heard preach.

SHUSTER: Why was that?

STIEN: Well, his message was singing was just so, so strong. And that has continued, you know, over the years. When one hears him on television or listens to his recordings....

SHUSTER: What did you do after graduation?

STIEN: Well, before we do that, can we talk about Dr. [Alexander] Grigolia?

SHUSTER: Certainly.

STIEN: [Laughs] you’ve mentioned him to me caused me to remember what a terrific experience I had in his class in cultural anthropology. I can’t remember for sure if it was the second semester of my freshman year or my sophomore year that I had him. But he was probably among the most memorable teachers that I had. Very commanding presence. And his Russian accent was just great. I enjoyed his sense of humor and just his...sharing of his personal stories. He was a strong...he was a scholar without question, but a scholar who taught from the heart, I thought. And...I had an eight o’clock in the morning class with him and there were people in the class who apparently were having trouble keeping awake. I could never have slept through one of his classes, he was so commanding. And he slapped the podium with his hand and he said in his Russian accent “Wake up you Bolsheviks or I will knock you all on the heads,” [both laugh]. And of course, I don’t know how much you know about him or whoever might be listening to this recording but he was ambidextrous and that was part of his game, you know. He’d be writing something on the board and then in the middle with a great flourish he would move the chalk to his other hand. He was good. He told us stories about his escape from Russia and how he came to the States. He was quite the guy. Great, great teacher.

SHUSTER: What was his physical appearance?

STIEN: Oh well, he was...he was short and stocky, but every bit the commanding figure that you’d expect of him. Remember his...him telling us soon after his first son was born and he was an MD [medical doctor] as well as a PhD and he said he wanted...initially he wanted to be there and be the doctor in the birth of his child. He said “They wouldn’t let me and it was a good thing” because he was so emotional and so proud, so proud to be a dad.

SHUSTER: What did you do after graduating?

STIEN: Oh yes. What did I do after graduation? Well, I taught one year at the high school level. And then I was married and my husband and I farmed for several years. And he had at the time I met him just come home from the military. I was teaching in Minnesota in a little town by the name of Bird Island. And so I think the fact that I would often talk about my experience at Wheaton, and he was a pretty smart guy, he wanted to go to college too. So we did that. He went to Northwestern College in Minneapolis after which he did a master’s degree at Macalester [College in St. Paul, Minnesota]. And then we had an opportunity to go...for him to teach at Pepperdine University. It wasn’t university then, Pepperdine College in Los Angeles. And they offered me a job in the speech department. And from there we went to Wyoming to the university where he did his doctoral work. And following that, we taught...he taught at Northwestern one year and Whitworth College (University now) was after him to teach in their biology department. And he turned them down the first year and then they asked again. And we came to see Whitworth and were convinced that’s where God wanted us.

SHUSTER: You mentioned that you went...he was a student at Northwestern Schools, Minnesota. Were you there when Graham was president of Northwestern?

STIEN: Yeah, let’s know he...yes. We were not there when Billy Graham was president [1947-1953], no. He had just been there at that time. That was kind of...that was an interesting experience because I think he was...greatly influenced by the former president [William Bell Riley] when he resigned. He wanted Graham as the president because he thought it would give the school status. And our opinion is that he...Billy Graham wasn’t really cut out to be a president. You know he was an evangelist and not much of an administrator. So his time there was short, and I think he made the right decision doing that.

SHUSTER: Is there anything else that you’d like to add?

STIEN: With regard to the Northwestern experience?

SHUSTER: Or anything else.

STIEN: Oh, well, I’d like to tell you that our experience at Whitworth has been just an outstanding experience with a Christian college. I...I was invited...I’ve never applied for a job with the exception of that high school job that I took. And it was nice to be recognized as somebody who could teach these college kids something. And...we both...both my husband and I taught at Whitworth, he in the biology department and I in the speech and drama department. And at that time, Mark Lee was the chair of that department. And I had opportunities what I loved best and what I thought I was best at doing. And I was offered many opportunities to read and record Scripture. And Wheaton...there’s a strong connection between Whitworth and Wheaton. I think I...I just took the time to count up the people through the years who are Wheaton grads who are teaching...have taught or were teaching at Wheaton [Whitworth]. Most illustrious of those are Dr. Clem Simpson who was the dean when we came and of course recently, Bill and Bonnie Robinson. Bill Robinson was our president for seventeen years. Outstanding, just an outstanding president. So, that’s not a plug. That’s just simply to say that Whitworth has been as important in growing me as Wheaton was. And I hope this won’t sound like a boast, but I think it would be accurate to say that my major ministry has been teaching - interpretive reading, reading theater, story telling, but such joy to see the fruits in former students who now are pastors and teachers and homemakers. Of the seven young pastors in the Presbyterian churches here in Spokane, I’ve had them all as students. That’s not a boast, that’s just to say that I’m so proud of them and what I’ve been able to do. And I shall always be grateful for all of the professors at Wheaton. But two in particular who had the greatest influence on me and who taught me well. And those were Ms. Cobb in speech department and Uncle Bill [H. W.] Nordin in the music department who conducted the chapel choir (I sang in the chapel choir for four years). And of course for all the wonderful lifelong friends that I made there 
SHUSTER: And Ms. Cobb, what kind of teacher was she?

STIEN: Um...let’s see. “What kind of teacher was...?” Oh...she was from Boston. And so many people saw her as very proper, very prim, a little buttoned up if you don’t mind my using that expression again.

SHUSTER: Uh-huh.

STIEN: But she was anything but that. She...she was empathic, she was strict, she expected a lot of her students. Just because you were a speech major (and my area was expression particularly with her, there were other speech classes I needed to take). But she was helpful and supportive and spent time with us individually.

SHUSTER: What was her physical appearance?

STIEN: She was even very proper in her dress. She had beautiful white hair and lovely blue eyes. And she always...she nearly always wore blue. But she was very...very proper and very New English...New Englandish.

SHUSTER: Can you think of an example or a story about her teaching?

STIEN: Oh yes. On occasion she would treat us to something...she would treat a class to some piece of literature that she knew. And in those days, in the teaching of oral interpretation which was then called “expression” (and that’s a good word for it, you know, learning to read fiction and poetry and Scripture and Shakespeare correctly and expressively) she something, you know perform something for us. And also in those days, everything that was performed or presented needed to be memorized. And so she had a good many things in her repertoire. And she wanted...I’m not sure she even prepared us for what she was going to present but it was so hilarious. And here she was...I remember the piece extremely well. It was a rhyming piece about the railroad and the engineer. And there was the A. B. and all the various letters. And the person was getting confused. And she was tearing her hair and moving around stage which was so different from her rather prim and proper demeanor. She was not only a gem as a teacher, but she was resourceful in finding material that fit each one of us. And at that time, the seniors in expression did a senior performance. Mine was The Citadel by A. J. Cronin. And we would take the novel and edit it, learn it, and perform it. It was a good experience.

SHUSTER: What kind of teacher was Dr. [Clarence L.] Nystrom?

STIEN: Let’s see, I’m not getting the question. Either my captioner thinks we’re done or...?

SHUSTER: What kind of teacher was Dr. Nystrom?

STIEN: ...oh, oh yes. [laughs] Well, I had to have him for basic...I’m not saying this well. I had him for basic speech class which was okay. And it was helpful in developing me as a speaker. I was not interested in public speaking, not particularly interested in public speaking but...I think...he taught us well. His forte was debate. And we all had to take one year of debate. And...I didn’t particularly like that. Not because he was a bad teacher, it was just not my cup of tea. He was...

SHUSTER: You said he was most influential on you, why was he so influential?

STIEN: “He was most influential.” No. No, no, no. I didn’t...well, I think he was most influential in terms of helping me with public speaking skills. You know you had to do it. It was a required course and you needed to do it. I would much have preferred being able to take all the courses in Interpret. It’s the same...issue that students who were deeply ingrained in one area of interest...probably everybody experiences this on occasion. You have to take courses that you don’ don’t feel is your...your highest interest. But ... I’d like to give him credit for having taught me some good things about public speaking.

SHUSTER: Well, I wanted to thank you very much for being willing to be interviewed this morning. It’s been very good and I’m glad we have your memories for the archives. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

STIEN:’s been enjoyable. I hope this will be fun for someone else to hear. But I kept thinking of it more as an interview with you, not thinking broadly knowing that...others would be hearing this as well. But that’s just fine.

SHUSTER: Well, thank you...

STIEN: I think we covered the waterfront.

SHUSTER: Thank you very much.

STIEN: [Laughs]. I would enjoy an opportunity to meet you. And if we get back to the Wheaton campus, I will do that.

SHUSTER: I look forward to that. Thank you.


Send us a message.

Return to BGC Archives Home Page

Last Revised: 02/20/14

Expiration: indefinite

© 2016 Wheaton College. All rights reserved. This transcript may be reused with the following publication credit: Used by permission of the Billy Graham Center Archives, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL.2015