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Encyclopedia of Baldwin Wallace University History: Personnel - D

An Index of Historical Content and Their Sources

Davis, Arlene

CitationBette Lou Higgins, The Past We Inherit: A history of Baldwin-Wallace College 1835 - 1974 (printed by the author, 1974), 94.

But the stars weren’t the only things that B-Wites looked up to. In 1952, on June 28, the Women’s National Aeronautical Association, Inc. presented a plaque with the inscription: “A pilot with her wealth of experience, clear vision, and undimmed enthusiasm has contributed many years to the promotion of aviation, through airmarking, civil air patrol, model plane building, and shown magnificent leadership with the youth of America in the development of aviation” to Arlene Davis, B-W student.

After a 20 year career of aviation accomplishment, Mrs. Arlene Davis’ desire for a college education with a religious background led her to enroll as a freshman at Baldwin- Wallace. Arlene’s goal was an engineering degree.

Besides her flying fame, Arlene is an accomplished golfer, horsewoman, ballerina, and artist, but these activities (not to mention her classes) did not prevent her from making about fifty speaking engagements each year. She also served as international vice-president of The 99’s – international organization of licensed women pilots; associate chairman of the National Model Plane Contest; membership on the Board of Directors of the National Aeronautic Association, national advisor for the Wing Scouts; chairman of Operation Sky-Watch for Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky; and Eisenhower’s Aviation Chairman for Ohio.

Arlene’s career in aviation started in 1931 when her husband took an interest in flying. At that time, she “didn’t know a spark plug from a monkey wrench.” Though her husband’s interest never became more than a past-time, Arlene took to the High Life. Three years after she took to the sky, she won the world’s first all-woman’s air race in 1934. Three years after that, she became the first woman in the world to receive a multi-rating from the U.S. government and the first private pilot to receive an instrument rating to fly blind. In 1939, she was the highest rated woman pilot in America capable of flying all types of land and sea planes. She also taught instrument flying to army trainees at Baldwin-Wallace before she became a B-W student.

Some other firsts for Arlene include participation in the first Miami-Havana International Air Race where the Cuban president “pinned his wings on her”; the first woman in the world to receive a 4-M rating authorizing her to fly the largest land and water planes; she was the only woman pilot in the MacFadden Race from New York to Miami; the only woman to finish “in the money” in the Bendix Race from Los Angeles to New York; first woman to receive the Veteran’s Pilot Award; and only woman to be elected to the National Aeronautic Association Board of Directors. Of course her top aviation honor was her 1952 election as “Woman of the Year in Aviation”.
Arlene and her husband lived in Lakewood, Ohio in a home that was considered a showplace of spring when their 10,000 tulips were in bloom.

Dean, Donald

Citation: Frances F. Mills, ed., “Donald Dean returns to Alma Mater,” Baldwin-Wallace Alumnus 26, no. 1 (1948): p. 6.

At the opening of the January term, 1948, Baldwin-Wallace College welcomed as a new member of the faculty, Mr. Donald Stewart Dean of the class of 1938 who comes to the department of biology and botany as instructor in botany, filling the vacancy left by Dr. William Eyster.

An honor graduate, Mr. Dean started teaching general science in the Alexander Hamilton Junior High School, Cleveland, the following fall after graduation, and continued until 1942 when he entered the United States service as a midshipman, later becoming a Lieutenant (j. g.) on the U. S. S. Schroeder. Two summer terms prior to the War were spent in graduate study at Western Reserve University, and one term following his release, at the University of Michigan Biological Station. For three summers before the War he served as resident naturalist at the Trailside Museum in Brecksville Metropolitan Park, where, among other activities, he conducted tours through the park, introducing children and grown-ups to a myriad of interesting objects in plant and animal life, and where he often gave nature talks on Sunday afternoon.

Upon returning to his Alma Mater, Mr. Dean notes a fresh and vigorous atmosphere about the campus and says, "There are so many evidences that the college has been growing in the past ten years-growing not only in numbers, but in stature, and, more important to me, I believe the college is continuing to grow. Of course," he says, "to one changing jobs, this is an important factor. It seems to me that opportunities for making real contribution here are very great. Our greenhouse is a case in point. We hope to use it to put across the idea that biology is the study of living things, not pressed flowers and pickled earthworms. It seems to me an important part of the work of an instructor is to make the subject real and alive."

It is Mr. Dean's hope that the greenhouse may be stocked with a variety of plants and various cultures and aquaria to illustrate first hand the biological principles which are taught, and he adds, "It will also lend itself to various experiments and projects in plant anatomy, plant physiology and genetics. In short," he says, "it is to be a teaching device. "

Mr. and Mrs. Dean and their two young daughters, Nancy, two and a half years, and Cathy, about seven months, reside at 284 Beech Street.

Dustheimer, O.L.

Citation: Frances F. Mills, ed.,  “Athletics,” Baldwin-Wallace Alumnus 13, no. 1 (1935): p. 31.

Dr. Oscar L. Dustheimer is taking a half year's leave of absence to do some research work at Mt. Wilson Observatory in California. During the summer, he was one of the lecturers in the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. His work at the College is being carried by Miss Esther Eckhardt of Cleveland, a graduate of Baldwin-Wallace, with a major in Dr. Dustheimer's department, and by Professor Paul E. Baur, associate professor of mathematics, drawing, and surveying.

Citation: “Dr. Dustheimer Leaves Baldwin-Wallace,” Baldwin-Wallace College News Letter 8, no. 6 (1942): p. 2.

Dr. O. L. Dustheimer, head of the department of Mathematics and Astronomy, has accepted a position on the staff of Penn State College. He left Berea on May 19 in order immediately to take up the work assigned to him in connection with government training at Penn.

Dr. Dustheimer came to Baldwin-Wallace in 1924 and quickly popularized the courses in Astronomy here. He has been a familiar figure on the radio with his talks on Astronomy and the organization in connection therewith of the ''Star Gazer's" Club. It was through his efforts in this field that the Astronomy department at Baldwin-Wallace grew to such dimensions that it demanded a building of its own with outstanding equipment. This eventually led to the fine gift of Mrs. E. P. Burrell, by which she became responsible for the erection of the Burrell Memorial Astronomical Observatory. Hundreds of persons young and old have visited this building on its open nights during the last few years.

Alumni who studied astronomy with Dr. Dustheimer will recall him as an inspiring teacher and will wish for him everything good in his new work at Penn State.