John (Jack) W. Haas, Jr., Ph.D.
Years at Gordon: 1961-1995
Robert Crippen, class of 1966
I sincerely value the education that Dr. John Haas provided me. Most of what I have done has involved technology that was not available when I graduated, but Dr Haas provided the tools needed for me to be able to function and succeed in this field with the tremendous advances in technology. He taught us how to dig into and learn what we needed to accomplish our goals. I also saw the benefits of the Gordon education when I worked with individuals from Technical Schools that had trouble in many areas since they memorized a lot but couldn't use what they learned.
James Wood, class of 1970
I remember a certain lab when a classmate nearly blew up the lab. You asked some pertinent questions, and instructed the student to try again. They did and we had another memorable explosion. You didn't appear upset, but gently suggested to clean what was left of the lab and call it a day.
Donna (Andrews) Cullen, class of 1971
Always approachable, Dr. Haas made advanced chemistry a joy to learn. The experiments he designed were well founded in principle as well as in practical application. It was obvious he knew and loved chemistry. It was even more apparent Dr. Haas was using his God-given talents as a teacher and mentor to further His kingdom on earth through the students at Gordon.
David Hall, class of 1977
Happy Jack! I still don't understand how one can have so much fun, so consistently in a chemistry lab. It must be the great sense of humor, and the kind loving heart. I'll take more of that any day.
Vicki (Johnson) Beauchemin, class of 1979
Dr. Haas was famous for his "fudge factor", which we all used liberally in our lab reports! I remember one morning (8:00 AM, OF COURSE!!!) in organic chemistry Dr. Haas was really on a roll. He was writing this huge equation on the board, going fast and furious. In fact he filled the entire board with it, and got to the end, and got the wrong answer. He turned around to the class with the most sheepish expression I've ever seen. Of course, we got a kick out of it, and then Smitty pointed out an error in the first or second step of the equation. Anyone who can be so happy about chemistry has to be a special person!
David Smith, class of 1979
My favorite memory, though, was one of the few days when the "Jack of Lights" had his perpetual happy glow dimmed a bit--the day you lit the swamp on fire. Let's see, you'd been, ahem, encouraged, I believe, for a good while by your peers, to clean up that metal storage shed behind Emery. Deciding that we had more than enough of that touchy elemental sodium, you opted to dispose it in the "parking lot swamp," (most of which the college has now wisely ceded to its original wetlands state). Several fire trucks and a large charred area later, I'd bet your only excuse was that the fudge factor must have been off that day. Perhaps the only time when the word "crestfallen" was truly applicable to you.
Kathy (Harriman) Platz, class of 1982
I remember a spring field trip with Paul Elzinga and Ron Kay to the home of Dr. and Mrs. Haas for some organic chemistry experiments, much to the chagrine of Mrs. Haas. I think the experiments went well, and we didn't spill reagents on the floor!
Kelly (Mahaffy) Story, class of 1988
I'd like to recognize Dr. and Mrs. Haas for their dedication to students and for teaching in the natural sciences for so many years. I never intended to be a chemistry major when I came to Gordon, but with Dr. Haas' convincing and encouragement, I declared a double major of chemistry and English. Dr. Haas gave me the opportunity to do research (as a freshman!) and Mrs. Haas had me TA some of her Natural Science labs. I want to thank them for their hospitality, their transparent Christian faith, and their model of patience with students who have so much to sort out in their lives. I know I am better equipped to serve at Gordon and elsewhere because of their encouragement and example.