Talents, Gifts, and Service:
In Honor of Southwestern's Friends
an inventor and craftsman whose dedication to his family and the
arts led to
one of Southwestern
largest gifts ever, died Christmas Eve in Austin, Texas. He was 96
is survived by a son, Richard, with whom he was living at the time
The Kilmers gave more than $1 million
to Southwestern’s music program
in honor of their wife and mother Mazie Barnett Kilmer ’32. Lauren
and Mazie supported Richard in every way possible as he worked toward his
a professional violinist.
A small-town Kansas farm boy, Lauren Kilmer
was a gifted machinist whose extraordinary talents began to be recognized
he was working for a Tulsa
company. He invented the Dinoseis, a process by which geologic surveys
could be made more economically and ecologically. The Dinoseis revolutionized
exploration and gave Kilmer fame throughout the industry.
Although he had
been inventing for many years, he credits the success of the Dinoseis
for bringing financial backing that would let him explore
other successful inventions: the co-invention of instruments to measure
the eye and manufacture hard contact lenses; the intrastromal ring for
cornea to correct myopia; 12 patents for a string-type lawn edger, later
produced by Black and Decker; and many more. In all he registered more
than 45 American
patents and hundreds of foreign patents.
After his retirement, he continued
to create, building 14 concert-quality violins after Richard bought
him the book How to Build Your Own Stradivarious.
Willard J. Kiser ’26,
who served on Southwestern College’s board of trustees for
more than four decades, died Jan. 10, 2003.
Kiser entered Southwestern
on a football scholarship before his 17th birthday,
majoring in biology and chemistry. Heavily influenced by the faculty at Southwestern,
he decided to enter medical school. He and his bride, Alice, left for Nashville
and Vanderbilt Medical School immediately after they married in 1926.
used their entire savings to build a 40 x 40 hous two blocks from
the Vanderbilt campus. Four years later they sold that house and
used the money
as their printiple
support during Willard’s Chicago residency. In 1934 they arrived in
Wichita ready to establish their home and start a surgery practice with $300.
was in the first class to take and pass the examination for the American
Board of Surgery, and was always proud of the low number on his certificate,
During World War II, Kiser volunteered
for the Army and moved his family to California for his military
service. Because of his board
chief of surgery in three different base hospitals in California.
had a busy surgical practice in Wichita until his 70th birthday,
and continued to see patients in consultation until he was nearly
He and Alice were active in civic and
social activities throughout their lives. She preceded him in death.
Lloyd M. Bertholf '21,
103, died Jan. 20, 2003, in Normal, Ill. He was preceded in death
by his wife of
Bertholf’s Southwestern College
degree was the first step toward a distinguished career as both a
an academician. He earned a master’s degree
and a doctorate from Johns Hopkins University, specializing in research into
honeybees, and then began a quarter of a century teaching at Western Maryland
College. After a stint on the faculty at the University of the Pacific in
Stockton, Calif., Bertholf was named president of Illinois Wesleyan
University at Bloomington.
As the first modern president and principal
architect of its current success,
he is credited with changing and revitalizing the university during his
service from 1958 to 1968.
“He made this a place that did things,” current IWU president Minor
Myers Jr. eulogized Bertholf. “He was one of the creative forces
in structuring this university the way it is today.”
innovations at IWU included canceling athletic scholarships in favor
of academic scholarships; overseeing construction of four major academic
buildings and three residence halls; and beginning the nursing school.
was awarded the key to the City of Bloomington twice, most recently
on his 100th birthday.
Bertholf was one of the first class of
inductees into the Southwestern College Natural Science Hall of Fame