Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Pressure of Culture

I had a great conversation today with Amy R. She works with women at Horizon Community Church and has a great ministry.

We chatted about the pressure we feel in our culture because of the Matrix-like nature of the ungodly aspects of our world. Perhaps it is no worse than in other times but we live in our times.

Another friend in ministry, Mark Lutz of the "Big Vineyard" described it best. He said something like, "It is like wrestling with one of those huge guys in Japan who weigh 300 pounds. All they have to do is lean on me and it wears me out. I get so tired of fighting the weight of the cultural sin."

I thought of that today when I heard that Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett had died. I had just spent most of my day at a Celebration of the Resurrection for Bill Nester. Dr. Nester had been my boss and mentor at the University of Cincinnati during mys six years on the staff. He was a giant among educators. He impacted multiplied thousands of young men and women, many of whom have gone on to be great educators and counselors themselves.

His life and death will not be noticed by many in the Matrix Media at Fox, CNN or ABC. They are obsessed with fame, fortune and notoriety not lives well lived. But Bill Nester did more, much more to elevate the level of thinking, nurture and the common good than all the movie stars and rock stars combined.

Obituary of Dr. William Nester

Dr. William R. Nester, the first chancellor of the University of Nebraska at Kearney and former vice president at the University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University, died Wednesday morning surrounded by his family at Hospice of Cincinnati in Anderson Township, following a long illness.

A longtime resident of Anderson Township, he moved to Bellevue about a year ago. He was 81.

"Dr. Nester was a wonderful teacher and friend," said Bill Keating Jr. of Mount Lookout. They had remained close since Dr. Nester was Mr. Keating's faculty adviser at UC back in the early 1970s. "He led by example and had a positive influence on all of us who had the honor to work with him over the years. Bill's influence will continue to benefit our community for generations to come."

A Cincinnati native, Dr. Nester was born on Feb. 19, 1928, to William Nester Sr. and Evelyn Nester. He grew up in Evanston and graduated from Walnut Hills High School. He held a bachelor's degree in education, a master's in counseling and guidance and a Ph.D. in higher education administration, all from UC. As a student he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and later served as its national president. He was also a member of Sigma Sigma, a service organization.

Dr. Nester also held honorary doctorates from Northern Kentucky University, the University of Nebraska at Kearney and UC. He received the William Howard Taft Medal for Notable Achievement, the highest honor given annually by the UC Alumni.

He had a 26-year career at UC, starting when he became director of the Student Union in 1952. He later served as dean of men, dean of students, and senior vice president for student and academic affairs.

In 1976 he became a founding member and first president of the Metro Six Athletic Conference.

Dr. Nester moved his family to Columbus in 1978 when he became vice president of student services at OSU. In 1983 he became the seventh president of Kearney State College. He led the college's move into the University of Nebraska system and became the first chancellor of UNK.

In September, the university named the newest section of its "Living and Learning" complex after Dr. Nester.

He returned to Greater Cincinnati after retiring in 1993. Since then he has worked in administration and fundraising at Northern Kentucky University and served on the UCATS board.

A lover of jazz, he also hosted two programs on WOBO radio - "Fascinating Rhythm" and "Swing Time."

His wife of 55 years, Mary Jane Grossman Nester, died in 2005.

Survivors include: four sons, William Nester III of Fresh Meadows, N.Y., Mark Nester of Cumming, Ga., Brian Nester of Cincinnati, and Steve Nester of Maineville; and seven grandchildren.

A celebration of his life is 11 a.m. Thursday followed by a lunch and reception at St. Timothy Episcopal Church, 8101 Beechmont Ave. Anderson Township.

Memorial gifts are suggested to Nester Family Scholarship Fund, University of Cincinnati Foundation, P.O. Box 19970, Cincinnati, OH 45219.

Many people call themselves mentors today but few can really pull it off. Bill was able to really mentor yourng men and women and people all over the earth remember him with gratitude today.

Gary Sweeten

No comments: