Archive for Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bible collection to salute Quayle

August 16, 2007

One of Baker's most famous sons will be celebrated in September.

The estate of Bishop William A. Quayle, the first Baker alumnus to serve as president of the university, provided in 1925 his personal collection of rare and unusual Bibles. The collection has received national attention and will be featured in "The Quayle Bible Collection Salutes Baker's Sesquicentennial: Bishop Quayle, the Early Years" at 2 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Spencer Library Wing at Collins Library.

Quayle, who graduated from Baker in 1885 and five years later became the university's president, was well known for his preaching skills and was in demand as a speaker and orator on inspirational subjects.

"We will have Bibles and hymn books published around the time Baker was founded in 1858 on display," said John Forbes, curator of the Quayle Bible Collection. "We also have a textbook he used as a student and a Bible used when he was president of Baker."

Quayle's writings on nature and philosophy also will be on display.

"He was a very popular writer," Forbes said. "We will read excerpts from his religious and nonreligious works."

Kirby Hayes, a former minister at First United Methodist Church in Baldwin City, and Ralph Tanner, president of Baker from 1980 to 1987, will participate in the readings, Forbes said.

One of the readings will focus on Quayle's letters about interscholastic sports and how a resolution forbid institutions from interscholastic competition.

"They thought it was too dangerous, took time away from studies and thought travel on Sunday was a sin," Forbes said of the resolution.

Quayle wrote letters to various higher education institutions to find out how they were approaching the ban of interscholastic sports.

Brenda Day, university archivist, and Hal Sears, who did comprehensive research on Quayle while obtaining his master's degree from Baker in the early 1990s, have assisted Forbes with the Quayle project.

Forbes also hopes to create a short video on Quayle sites around Baldwin City, including his retirement home Dream Haven, on Sixth Street just north of U.S. Highway 56, and his grave site.

"It is not ostentatious," Forbes said of the grave marker. "It fits the humble person Quayle conceived himself to be."

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