That’s student Bill Placher, left, giving his Commencement address at graduation in 1970. If you haven’t read his address, I heartily recommend you do that (click here).

You’ll be astounded at the clarity of thought, the uniqueness, and the ability to see things on a different level than most human beings. To my thinking, we could have saved several years and just given him a PhD right then and there.

The other photo is Bill in the classroom some 35 years later. I think you can see in the photos the ability to grasp more, observe more, and then carefully communicate exactly what he wanted one to know.

The pessimist will say his voice has fallen silent. The optimist will say his voice is now amplified by the many who came to know him.

As Bill said in 1970: “But perhaps we’ll learn that there are more things to admire in men than to despise;…we will act more honorably than we expected we would; perhaps we’ll have a lot more fun along the way. It wouldn’t be a bad life.”

It wasn’t.