Yadah Alden (class of ‘44) graduated from Bryn Athyn College the same year as her oldest son, Daniel. How did that happen?
Yadah was one of 9 children brought up in a New Church family. She arrived in Bryn Athyn for school, she says she was so young and idealistic. Within three years, part way through college, she met and married Bob Alden, who became a respected child psychiatrist. They had four children when tragedy struck and Bob was diagnosed with cancer. Yadah was left a widow to bring up three sons and a daughter.
Fortunately, Yadah believed in life after death and was able to actively keep Dr. Bob’s philosophy of child rearing active as she brought up her young family. She felt he was not so far away and always grateful to know that he would not be worrying about his family. She is looking forward to reuniting with her husband Bob in the other world and has complete trust in the marriage of their minds.
After raising her family Yadah proceeded to go back to college at Bryn Athyn. In classes with her son and other of her children’s friends, she persisted and graduated with a degree in education. She chose to become a special education teacher. She loved being able to meet the needs of her students and experience their active minds and learning styles. If this weren’t enough, she later studied library science and became the school librarian.
Yadah, now one of our elder alumni, lives in Cairnwood Village in Bryn Athyn. She continues to be very active: helping to keep the BAC alumni office open once a week, works in the surgery office at Holy Redeemer Hospital, the Bryn Athyn thrift shop, and on the Manor care visitors team. She also gives rides to fellow residents and is ready to help where needed. What useful alumni we have!
Raquel Martin (class of ‘53) has spent her life trying to follow the lead of Divine Providence and the teachings of the Doctrine of Use instilled in her by her parents.
She has come a long way from her school days when she learned French from her beloved grandfather, Professor Camille Vinet, who had studied medicine in France and taught philosophy, chemistry, geometry, physics and French at the Academy for many years.
After Raquel spent two years at Bryn Athyn College, she went on to graduate from the Pierce School of Business and then decided to see the country by traveling west. Living in Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Tucson and other areas, she found work as an administrative assistant for a variety of employers (even, as it happened, the controversial Margaret Sanger, “mother of birth control”) and had the privilege of being a part of the local New Church societies. Upon moving back east to work in Philadelphia and later in Washington, D.C. at the International Monetary Fund, she met and eventually married Jack. They were blessed with a daughter and a son. Raising these innocent little ones was one of the happiest times of her life; and meanwhile, Jack’s career with IBM kept the family on the move.
Their longest sojourn was in Georgia, where they were active in the Atlanta Society. Her husband was the treasurer for 17 years, and they both enjoyed hosting special festivities such as the “Christmas Sing” and children’s tableaux in their home. Raquel had acquired a love for music from her family and her New Church environment. She later satisfied that love by joining a barbershop chorus . Singing in harmony in a quartet with the Sweet Adelines and performing at retirement/ nursing homes, childrens hospitals and other benefits was a rewarding part of her life. Later she directed a benefit concert to help a school for children with learning disabilities. The program consisted of her 60-member chorus; and she was able to draft a comical men’s barbeshop quartet along with others that brought a lot of laughter to both parents and children. The show was hugely successful. Beyond the money raised, however, it brought a great deal of satisfaction to all the performers as they used their talents to not only entertain and benefit the educational experience of children, but also receive the satisfaction of employing the gifts God gives in serving others.
However, an incident that had occurred after the birth of their son may have helped to influence Raquel’s life direction. One side of her body became paralyzed from a blood clot in the brain, puzzling her doctors because she was too young for a stroke. Miraculously, after months of physical therapy, her motor skills slowly returned and she finally learned to walk and even play tennis again. But this trauma had affected her memory, so from that day to the present she has made it a practice to put in writing what she has learned from experience and study about natural healing options, each time she has suffered a health crisis. She draws constant inspiration from Swedenborg’s words, “A person should take every care of his body…not for the sake of the body, but in order that the soul in a sound body may act…rightly, and may have the body as an organ perfectly obedient to it.” (A.C. 5949:2)
However, looking back to an earlier time, an incident that had occurred after the birth of their son may have helped to influence Raquel’s life direction. One side of her body became paralyzed from a blood clot in the brain, puzzling her doctors because she was too young for a stroke. Miraculously, after months of physical therapy, her motor skills slowly returned and she finally learned to walk and even play tennis again. But this trauma had affected her memory, so from that day to the present she has made it a practice to put in writing what she has learned from experience and study about natural healing options, each time she has suffered a health crisis. She draws constant inspiration from Swedenborg’s words, “A person should take every care of his body…not for the sake of the body, but in order that the soul in a sound body may act…rightly, and may have the body as an organ perfectly obedient to it.” (A.C. 5949:2)
Wanting urgently to share this message and her new found and research-based knowledge with the thousands of others who are searching and in need, Raquel was ultimately led to what became her major life’s work at the time: the publication, with collaborative assistance, of a trilogy of healing manuals that stress the importance of neurological, hormonal and nutritional balance. Her three books, written from the perspective of the patient but backed by science, are Today’s Health Alternative (Back Pain Link to Disease); The Estrogen Alternative: Natural Hormone Therapy with Botanical Progesterone (published in four editions and translated into several languages); and Preventing and Reversing Arthritis Naturally: The Untold Story. Her greatest reward in this endeavor is hearing from people around the world who have been helped by the affirmation, “The quality of our life depends upon the choices we make.”
Raquel’s life has changed since Jack suffered a stroke in 2005, leaving him hemiplegic. They moved from their home of 37 years in Atlanta, GA to Warminster, PA to be near family, including five of their seven delightful and talented grandchildren. She is grateful for having achieved a degree of health and energy she once never thought possible, now especially when growing older and taking on the role of caregiver. Through difficult times, this inner force has guided her to focus on the intimate correspondence between the physical and spiritual planes. Her new challenges are learning patience, being content under the permissions of Providence, and trying to put to use the lessons she has learned about care, compassion, comfort and love.
Dylan Hendricks (BAC ’07) leads the video and animation efforts of Institute for the Future, which helps predict emerging trends and social change.
Alum Dylan Hendricks (BAC ’07, Valedictorian) was hired by Bryn Athyn College and the Secondary Schools right after graduation to produce promotional videos. A year into the job, Dylan was offered a job with a video production company in San Francisco and jumped at the opportunity. It wasn’t long before he and a few of his coworkers decided to start their own production company, Material Artifact, which has been creating media for California Bay Area tech companies and non-profits for the past three years.In December, 2011, Dylan married his wife and best friend, Talis Apud. They met through fellow classmates who had also moved to the San Fran area. Talis and Dylan currently live in Palo Alto, CA.
Shortly after getting married, Dylan was offered a position by one of his company’s clients, the Institute for the Future, to help lead their video and animation efforts around emerging innovation trends and societal disruption. Here’s a piece Dylan recently produced. See his work here.
Chad Odhner (BAC ’11) is in his third year at Villanova University School of Law.
As an undergrad, Chad was co-editor of the Bryn Athyn BEACON. His article on procedural conflicts in wage & hour class action suits was recently selected for publication by the Villanova Law Review.Chad has accepted an offer to join the 2013 summer associate program at Duane Morris LLP, a global law firm with its main office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Chad and his wife Lizzy live in Bryn Athyn with their three children, Ainsley, Dag and Cole.
Know of an alumnus we could feature? Email us at [email protected].