Robert C. Ayers ’47 penned the preface in a new publication that celebrates the life of Roanoke College Dean Edward Delos Myers ’27.
In his life, Myers read and wrote extensively, spoke in hundreds of venues, affected multiple educational institutions and befriended some of the most influential intellectuals in the world.
“As the years went by, I came to realize how much I owed to Dean Myers,” Ayers said. “In the spirit of this debt, I thought there ought to be acknowledgement of Myers’s contribution to Roanoke College at a time of post-war transition, and a recognition of the gifts he exercised then, and in his continuing work with Arnold Toynbee and the U.S. Department of State.” Toynbee, a famous British historian and philosopher, was a close personal friend of Myers and inspired him greatly.
Ayers acted as project sponsor for the research begun by Benjamin P. Pullen ’16. Sandra Brown Kelly, who was previously an adjunct faculty member at Roanoke, continued the research where Pullen left off and wrote the book. Mark F. Miller, David F. Bittle College Historian Emeritus at Roanoke College, served as the research supervisor.
“As the years went by, I came to realize how much I owed to Dean Myers... ”
~ Robert C. Ayers ’47
Robert D. Benne, Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion Emeritus and research associate and founder of the Roanoke College Benne Center for Religion and Society, contributed the theological postscript.
“Myers was an extraordinary intellectual and academic activist,” Benne said. “Certainly, Myers used the time he had to great effect...he did much to inject a rich and deep Christian humanism into the higher education of his day.”
Other notable contributors to this project include copy editor Stephanie M. Spector ’16, graphic designer Charissa Newell of Two Line Studio and Roanoke College Archivist Linda Miller. Photos were provided by the Myers family, Stephen Bast ’75, Roanoke College Archives and Washington and Lee University Archives. Ann Elizabeth Myers, Deborah Louise Myers Fluss and Catharine Myers Billey were given special thanks.
“Dr. Edward Delos Myers: Professor, Dean, Author, Speaker, Diplomat” will be available for purchase at the Roanoke College bookstore later in September.