Happy 100th Birthday Willard Aldrich!

11 comments Written on December 31st, 2008 by
Categories: Alumni, Faculty, General

Dr. Willard M. Aldrich will celebrate his 100th birthday on Sunday, January 4, 2008!  Willard (as he's known by many around here) was with Multnomah since its founding. His leadership and hard work with fellow founders laid the foundation for the principled, Biblical education we strive to give to this day.

  • Founder
  • Founding Trustee (until retirement in 2004!)
  • President
  • First Registrar
  • Faculty Member
  • AABC Accreditation Overseer
  • Campus Mover (literally)
  • Builder of 5 Campus Buildings
  • All these above and many more

Won't You Tell Him What He Meant To You?

We're asking everyone to send us stories and well-wishes that we can present, on behalf of the entire Multnomah family, to Willard and the Aldrich family. Your words will be set and bound in a book that we hope will be a blessing to a family and man that has done so much for the Kingdom of God through Multnomah.

2 Ways To Say It

  1. Comment below this post
  2. Send a private email to willard@multnomah.edu

Examples Already Sent In

"...I’ll always remember our special time together with you and Mimi out at the cabin, when I brought my dorm section up to stay the weekend in the A-frame.  …Oh how we enjoyed sitting at your feet and hearing old stories while learning about your love for trains and your deep passion for the Word of God..."

"...We have many happy memories of Multnomah when we were there. One of the fun times was when we came to your place and made apple cider.  We'd never had homemade cider before and it was very good, even though you told us afterwards that you just threw in the whole apple. worms and all..."

"...One of my favorite memories of you when I was a student was seeing you on the "campus days," wearing your flannel plaid shirt and driving your tractor around campus.  For me you exemplified down-to-earth faith as well as a scholarly and godly professor..."

There are so many well-wishes already, but we'd really like to get more from you. Comment or send them to willard@multnomah.edu

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11 comments “Happy 100th Birthday Willard Aldrich!”


I recall sitting in your 8:00 am Theology class back in 1979. I am not a morning person, so I made it my habit to sit in the very front row.

Yes, at time I succumbed to slumber and probably drooled a few times. But as I would open my eyes, yours would meet mine with a warm smile filled with grace.

I learned a great deal under your teaching and will always cherish your warmth and love for Multnomah, her students and for Christ.

Many Blessings on your 100th milestone birthday!

Eric F. Rice
VP – Advancement
Multnomah University

Congratulations Dr. Aldrich on reaching a century. Your faithfulness and leadership inspire us. I vividly remember one of your chapel sermons in 1977 on 1 Timohty 1:3 and was amazed how much stuff you dug out of that verse! Your example of sustained leadership influence challenges us all. I am from Colombo, Sri Lanka in South Asia and was at MSB in 1976/77. blessings and grace to you, Ranjit
Dr. Ranjit DeSilva, Executive Director, Empowered Leaders, Sri Lanka.

Congratulations hardly says it all! Our family knew Dr. Aldrich as “Uncle Willard” since before the time that our Dad was Dean of Men at MSB (1944-45). We spent many a day and night at the “farm” in Vancouver when us four kids played with their nine. Our years at Multnomah [all four of us attended] enabled us to continue the relationship. One of my last memories of Uncle Willard was the privilege to share in a memorial service of one of our family members just a few years ago. He is truly a great man and indeed has lived a long life.

Dr. Aldrich and his first wife, Doris, powerfully impacted my life, even
though they really did not know me. I spent only a brief time at MSB
but my experiences there, along with my long deceased husband, George
Littman, have influenced my outlook and attitude in serving as a missionary
with Far East Broadcasting Co. from 1960 to 1974. “Out of the MIxing Bowl”
devotions written by Doris encouraged me as a young mother. Thank you,
Dr. Aldrich, and Multnomah for better preparing me to walk obediently
and joyfully as a believer in Christ Jesus our Lord.
May our gracious God hold you closer to Himself each day.

It looks as though Dr. Aldrich will be 101!!
Well, my memory is as a young girl from California feeling quite alone and lost at Multnomah in the early 70’s timeframe and leaving class early, wandering in the cafeteria. All of a sudden, there was Dr. Aldrich in front of me. Instead of scholding me about not being in class, he offered me a donut and we talked. I was so taken with his humble attitude and friendliness. It was that kind of spirit I will never forget about Dr. Aldrich, even though I never really spoke with him again.

Several things come to mind when I think of you, Dr. Aldrich. I remember hearing you speak in chapel. One time, the microphone went out. You were able to speak loud enough for everyone to hear. That impressed me. Another time, you joked about speaking in such a monotone that you put yourself to sleep when you listened to your own sermon. You always had good things to say in your sermons, though. Another thing I remember is going to the A-Frame at your home. I don’t remember too much about the occasion, but I remember beating Ed Goodrich at chess, which surprised me. I also remember having a good time there and the hospitality of you and your wife. You’ve exemplified all that you taught, and I admire you greatly. May the Lord continue to bless you in your retirement years.

I think it was the fall of 1980. Dr. Aldrich had invited about 15 to 20 students to his mountain cabin for a weekend retreat. We were all on a wilderness walk and sunset was upon us. Would we make it back to the cabin before dark? Yes…barely…thanks to Dr. Aldrich. Having had polio as a child, I had to walk with a cane. This obviously had slowed the group down. Between Dr. Aldrich and my friend, Vickie, I was hoisted onto a human chair and yes, we made it back to the cabin. I often think of this little memory when I encounter days of wanting to sit down and never take another step. Thank you Dr. Aldrich for your ongoing testimony of God’s faithfulness.

Happy Birthday mien freunden, well actually, i probably shouldn’t do this in another language, especsally sense truth be told: I can’t even speak another language, any more anyway. Well any whoo, I just wanted to tell you to have a happy, happy, happy birthday. Many happy returns! And I’ll see you on the flip side.

As a grandmother of 7, I just re-read for the millionth time Musings of a Mother and also a book by Joe with his own comments on his mom’s delightful stories. I have always felt as part of your family. I decided to Google you and find out when you went to Glory. Boy, was I ever surprised! May God’s hand just continue to be tight around your soul, hugging you tightly! Can’t someone write a book telling us what each of the nine children are doing now? Since I feel like the 10th child, I need to know what my “siblings” are doing!
Happy Birthday,
Jane Bateman

Cheers to Dr. Willard Aldrich happy birthday! wish you all the best! god bless. I and will keep my self updated with the post! thanks