In 1976, when I was in the second year of the MPA program at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs my wife, Claudia, got very sick and by December she was diagnosed with a lymphoma, a bad cancer. She was 26 years old and we had a 2-year-old daughter. She was at the Princeton Hospital and one evening an imposing man came into the room and presented himself as the Dean of the Chapel of the University, Ernest Gordon. He asked how she felt, where were we from, and if we had any special need. Then asked if he could pray for Claudia’s recovery. He kneeled down next to her bed and prayed. After that, he told us that he has been a prisoner of war and gave that book to me. We thanked him for his visit, the prayer, and the book, and he left. When I opened the book, I found a hundred-dollar bill inside.
Forty-five years later Claudia, who is now 72 years old, is fine and we have had a wonderful life. She had a successful chemotherapy treatment, which was initiated in Princeton and finished in Bogotá. I finished the MPA. Our daughter is a molecular genetics professor with a Ph.D, teaching and researching at Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá where I am also a full professor in economics and government.
Dean Gordon had a powerful impact in our lives! We remember him often and keep his book as a treasure. Thanks for your note about Dean Gordon.