James Allan ’39

amesAllanJames will celebrate his 100th birthday next month on March 16. James majored in sociology at K, earned a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and studied at the Chicago Theological Seminary. He retired as a minister in the United Church of Christ. Not long ago his daughter Joan called Lisa Murphy ’98, the College archivist, seeking information on her father’s time at K so that she could put together a book to give him at Christmas. “I found tennis and Glee Club photos of him as well as a bunch of newspaper articles from The Index that she was able to put into the book,” says Lisa.  “The family also purchased a 1938 yearbook for him on eBay, which he is holding in the photo.” Joan was kind enough to ask her father some questions for Lisa. Turns out that James was a Hornet tennis player for legendary coach Allen Stowe. Lisa wondered if he had any special memories of Coach Stowe or the team. “Yes,” says James. “One afternoon the coach asked me to warm up with a female tennis player.  The rest of the team sat on the bleachers and watched.  I served the ball gently to her and it came back hard and forceful.  I knew I was in trouble.  We played a few sets, all of which she won.  After the sets I found out she was the United States female tennis champion, and I had been set up.  My teammates and coach were laughing, so did I.  She played well.” What James recalls most about his coach was his extraordinary kindness. “He taught chemistry. It was odd that he never played tennis, just coached it.” His favorite class and professor? “Dr. Dunsmore [Religious Studies] was my favorite professor,” says James.  “He was my counselor as well and guided me through graduation.  My favorite class was sociology.” K sends James a early happy-100th-birthday wish.

One thought on “James Allan ’39

  1. Virginia (Ginger) Macintosh

    The article for my father is great! Thank you for all the research and work you did to give us the information you have on his time at Kalamazoo. I drove him and my mother up to the college a few years ago for his 60th reunion. He has very fond memories of his experiences there.
    Again, thank you for the time you put into all the information.

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