The Recorder - ‘What would D. L. say?’

Published: 12/22/2020 4:22:10 PM In 1895, my grandfather’s sister, Jessie Adams, came to Northfield to be the athletic director of ...


Published: 12/22/2020 4:22:10 PM

In 1895, my grandfather’s sister, Jessie Adams, came to Northfield to be the athletic director of the Northfield Seminary. Having recently graduated from Wellesley College, she was drawn to Northfield by D. L. Moody and his vision of a Christian school for young women. She taught in the new Skinner Gymnasium (now Tracy) and supervised “her girls” in the dormitory until 1899, when Moody died.

Our family came to Northfield 49 years ago, when I accepted a job teaching math at Pioneer Valley Regional School. After 10 years, my wife and I joined the NMH faculty, where we worked for more than 20 years.

Over the years, the Northfield School and Mount Hermon moved away from some of the Moody traditions, but it was not unusual, a century after his tenure, for teachers and administrators to wonder, when contemplating another change, “What would D. L. say?”

I have studied the life of the man who has attracted so many to Northfield: the conferences, the schools, and the vision which endures. Alone, but at the same time with other neighbors, I walked the deserted campus at sunrise in meditation. I feel Moody’s presence and his legacy when I stand on Round Top.

Now a developer is proposing an ill-fitting, outsized structure next to the Moody birthplace — unbelievably in his name! Many of us are shaking our head — and wondering, “What would D. L. say?”

Samuel Adams Richardson

Northfield



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