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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Miss Weter

In response to my posts on women's input to translation a reader emailed me regarding Miss Weter. He wrote,
    Dr. Weter was a language professor at Seattle Pacific University where she taught Greek and Latin for 40 years. Through the years, she taught many Wycliffe translators and also taught Eugene Peterson, best-selling author of "The Message," a contemporary paraphrase of the New Testament translated from Greek. Miss Weter, as she preferred to be called, earned a doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1933, a rare accomplishment for women of that day. She joined the faculty of SPU where she also was the school's first female coach, guiding the women's basketball team and other athletes for 13 years. Miss Weter remained single throughout her long life of 96 years.
I found more information on her here.

    As a former student of Winifred Weter , I’ll always remember that she made a point of having us call her "Miss Weter.” Although she had earned her Ph.D, she told us that she was not a medical doctor and that prefix should be reserved for physicians. Miss Weter was a stickler for “getting it right,” and she would look over those half glasses at us with her piercing eyes, which also were usually filled with a humorous twinkle. Miss Weter was extremely serious about the importance of Greek and Latin, and she was fiercely independent. She would sometimes get exasperated at us for not adequately preparing, but at the same time she understood just how difficult Greek could be. She pushed us, prodded us, encouraged us, and chastised us. Yet, my classmates certainly remember that she had the most marvelous chuckle and laugh.

    Miss Weter also shared her personal beliefs with us. This was an incredible experience for me, and I will always remember how passionate she was. She helped me learn to think about the importance of my life, and how it related to others and to God. We all had great respect for her. She commanded respect.

    Years later, in 1987 when I was a prosecutor, I saw her at the Historical Court House in Pacific County. Instantly, I was 20 years old again and her student in Greek class. She was one of my great mentors in college and that would never change. I thanked her for all she had taught me and how valuable her instruction had been in my life. I’m sure I speak for all of Miss Weter’s students when I say she was a great woman, a brilliant and caring professor, and a magnificent mentor.

    Mike Sullivan ’72
    Superior Court Judge, Pacific and Wahkiakum
    Counties, Wash.

Miss Weter died Jan 3, 2006.


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