My Interesting Finnish at Emory University

I’ve heard several stories with an unpleasant ring about faculty and students in the 53 years since I graduated from Emory. The stories involved conflicts between students and the faculty that were major.

Near the point of my graduation one of the Emory faculty called me to his office. He said that when due to infectious mononucleosis in the spring quarter of 1966, I chose to drop philosophy, I was at risk to graduate without the requisite number of basic humanities courses. No one, of course, mentioned that to me at the time or at any other time until this meeting.

My heart rate quickened. I realized in the fall I had to begin medical school. I breathed in deeply in what seemed a lengthy pause.

Then he voiced some fragrant words. He said as I had taken history through the first year graduate level as well as a pre-med curriculum, the faculty had waived the requirement to take a basic course on the established list. By the grace of God I had fallen backwards into good fortune.


My last two weeks at Emory were filled with noteworthy events besides the graduation itself. Two of them I will never forget.

On the Monday morning of the 30th of May, 1967, I was fast asleep in my apartment. It was early, quite early.

The phone rang loudly on my nightstand. I picked it up and a voice proclaimed, “It’s a girl.” I said, “Who is this?” My late brother-in–law said, “It’s Dick.”

I gave him my hardiest congratulations. My charming niece to this day loves that story.

Later that week major hostilities broke out in the in the Middle East. From June fifth through the tenth the Israeli Defense Force fought valiantly through the Six Day War.

The television in our Jewish fraternity house was surrounded by students and the families of my fellow seniors about to graduate. I never felt closer to my people than during those hectic days of war. It could have been the end of the nation of Israel, every man, woman and child. Fortunately it had the opposite effect. Thank God for unforgettable, inspiring favors.

H. Robert Rubin, a best-selling, Amazon writer and author of Look Backward Angel, How Did I Get Through This? Please Save the Third Dance for Me (memoirs) and The Bloom is on the Rose (novelette), all available on Amazon.