Thursday, October 18, 2007

ELKHART UNIVERSITY

Founded in 1882 in Elkhart, Indiana, E U specialized in a curriculum of medical and dental technologies. During its many years of existence it became one of the preeminent proprietary institutions of its kind in the United States, producing graduates to staff clinical and hospital laboratories throughout the Midwest and beyond.
E U was fully accredited by the Indiana Commission for Post Secondary Proprietary Education, and graduates of the medical laboratory technology curriculum were eligible to take the American Medical Technologist Registry examination.
Some of the graduates from the dental technology department, which is a true art form unto itself, went on to develop and perfect revolutionary new procedures that are being used by dental labs across the country.
The main campus building was a large Victorian four storey structure located at 516 S. Main St. in Elkhart, where it remains today. Although it has been lowered to three floors, it retains much of the early character. The laboratories were situated in buildings adjacent to the main, and the largest of those is now non-extant.
Memories of the old lecture rooms that had a charm only time could create, gave the students a feeling of belonging to a fine institution that had always been, and would always be. The laboratories were supplied with the newest apparatus and reagents available, but the rooms themselves had that same old warmth that made you want to delay graduation.
The founder of the University was Dr. H. A. Mumaw. In 1917 Dr. Mumaw sold the school to Mr. Ira Elliot who would serve as its president until 1938. At that time Mr. Harvey B. Elliot assumed the office and his term was from 1938 to 1961. In that year, Mr. J. Richard Miller began a long presidency which lasted until 1985. Subsequent to Mr. Miller's administration, it was under the direction of Mr. D. Letsche when in December of 1986 the students went home for Christmas break, and due to insurmountable financial difficulties, the school never reopened.
After 104 years of graduating well trained young scientific technologists, Elkhart University was no more. The only known existing repository of information regarding the old school remains in the Elkhart Public Library Archives, and in the hearts and minds of some of the known alumni which are listed below; Photos to follow

Mr. Nilas Sanders, dental dept.
Mr. Jeff Bishop, dental dept.
Mr. Clif Chute, dental dept.
Mr. Milton Decker, dental dept.
Mr. James Emmons, dental dept.
Mr. Tom Huesman, dental dept.
Mr. Paul Ollier, dental dept.
Mr. Jerry Plunkett, dental dept.
Mr. Ron Shank, dental dept.
Mrs. Nancy Lutrey Shriver, medical dept.
Mrs. Gloria Jarrett Smith, dental dept.
Dr. Robert Mohr Wyndham, medical dept.
Mr. David Keith Ransdell, medical dept.
Ms. Sandra Blue Christy, medical dept.

13 comments:

Jim Emmons CDT,FNBC said...

I am proud to be a grad of EU, the foundation I received has taken me around the world. I have 6 patents, & have received the harry Hageman award in 1990, & NY Fellow of the National Board for certification in 1994, the best in 2000 Texas advanced ceramics awards. Thank you EU for giving me the start graated dec 10,1962

Jim Emmons CDT,FNBC

nilasdent said...

i attended eu sept 1958 to march 1960 under forest wirt, received cdt 1964,operated a small full service dental lab until 1986.eu was a great school for basics and elkhart was great for its hospitalty. im 75 and still doing dental work, only now i work direct to the public. thanks to elkhart university.
nilas sanders
dec i8 2009

grwatts3 said...

My father, David Keith Ransdell attended EU. I was recently speaking with a friend and somehow the conversation turned to where my dad attended shcool.. when I said Elkhart University, she thought I was mistaken, so I decided to look it up, I had no idea that the school had closed. I'm not sure of his grad date, had to have been in the late 50's. He worked a s a lab tech when I was very young, then moved into medical sales, first with Ames Company which took our family from Illinois to Texas. He later worked for Duponts Nuclear Medicine Division, suppling training, product and support to hospitals in his district. He died in 1990 from esophegeo cancer.

Sandra Blue Christy said...

I graduated from EU as a registered x-ray technician/medical assistant. My first job was at a doctor's office in Defiance, OH. Since then I have worked many places as my husband and I were transferred. I have never had trouble finding a job, thanks to my education. I'm proud to be an EU graduate.

MsRock4Ever said...

I attended Elkhart University's Dental Technician program from October 1963 to April 1964, was young (19) and wasn't as serious about studying as I should have been at the time. Made a lot of friends, but eventually lost touch with them.

We were sitting in the Dental Lab when EU President Carter came in to make the announcement that President Kennedy had been shot, and a short time later, he came in again to announce that the President had died. We closed school and went home immediately. That day is etched on my memory for all time.

I also saw the Beatles for the first time (when they first appeared on the Ed Sullivan show) with some of my EU friends, I'll always remember that too.

I loved my work in the Dental Lab but didn't fare as well with the textbook studies of anatomy. I have fond memories of my Elkhart University experience, but I wish I had paid more attention at the time.

Thank you for posting this.
PS grwatts3, Fred Ransdell was in my class, is he related to you too? He has a page on FB.

MsRock4Ever said...

Correction: Carter Elliott was President of EU when President Kennedy was killed. Sorry I left out his surname on original post.

Howard Ingleston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Howard Ingleston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Howard Ingleston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Howard Ingleston said...

from 1963-64, have owned dental labs in Ohio & Mich. until retiring after 48 yrs in the business. What a wonderful ride, no regrets. Some class mates remembered fondly - Tom Huesman,Nick Whaley,Doug Mills, Pat Jarvis, Ted Keener,Charles Eldrige, Mike Tirmko,Mike Baker. I wish more kids would pik a trade you can actually get a job or own your own Business!

Jim Emmons CDT,FNBC said...

Elkhart was a one of a kind place that did an amazing job with a lot of future techs . After 52 years I am proud to be one of them
Jim Emmons CDT,FNBC
469-412-3629

JP said...

I went to EU, Med Tech program from '66-67, then worked in labs in Mt. Clemens Mi and Lansing, Mi until I went into the Army in '68-71. Was a Med Tech at Reynolds Army Hosp, Ft. Sill, Okla. Later worked for American Monitor Corp as Chemistry Specialist all over the country installing chemistry analyzers: Mayo Clinic, Walter Reed, Bethesda amound dozens of others. American Monitor filed Chapter 7, so I quit the medical field and sold furniture until I retired.

JP said...

I went to EU, Med Tech program from '66-67, then worked in labs in Mt. Clemens Mi and Lansing, Mi until I went into the Army in '68-71. Was a Med Tech at Reynolds Army Hosp, Ft. Sill, Okla. Later worked for American Monitor Corp as Chemistry Specialist all over the country installing chemistry analyzers: Mayo Clinic, Walter Reed, Bethesda amound dozens of others. American Monitor filed Chapter 7, so I quit the medical field and sold furniture until I retired.