Hardin Northern Announces Hall of Distinction Recipients for 2015
Hardin Northern is proud to announce the 2015 Hall of Distinction Inductees. They are, Dr. Lawrence Stager, class of 1961 and Dr. Eldon Nelson, class of 1953. Both will be formally inducted into the Hall at the 2015 Commencement Ceremonies in the school auditorium on Sunday, May 24 at 2 pm. The Hall of Distinction is designed to recognize graduates of Dola, Dunkirk, and Hardin Northern that have gone on to make significant contributions in their chosen field and communities.
Lawrence (Larry) Stager
Lawrence (Larry) Stager received his B.A. (magna cum laude) from Harvard University in 1965. He continued his studies of the Archaeology and History of the Ancient Near East there, earning his Ph.D. (‘with distinction”) in 1975, with a dissertation dealing with desert farming. He went on to teach Syro-Palestinian Archaeology and Biblical Archaeology at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago from 1973-1985, before returning to an endowed chair at Harvard, as the inaugural Dorot Professor of the Archaeology of Israel, and Director of the Semitic Museum. His field research and writing have focused on Canaanites, Phoenicians, Philistines, and Israelites. For the past 50 years he has been active in archaeological fieldwork in the Levant and the Mediterranean. He directed excavations at Idalion, Cyprus; at Carthage, Tunisia; and since 1985 he has directed the Leon Levy Expedition to the great seaport of Ashkelon, Israel. Over the years, 2,000 students from around the world have participated in the Ashkelon Field School, several of them to go on to lead their own excavations. In 1999 Stager teamed up with Robert Ballard on a seaborne excursion that discovered by remote sensing and robotics two Phoenician shipwrecks, swamped in the deep-sea ca. 750 B.C., carrying cargo of over 800 wine amphoras being shipped from Tyre to Egypt. This amazing discovery appears as a National Geographic Society video entitled Lost Ships of the Mediterranean. In his synthesis of Israelite society, he studied this land-locked culture in its physical setting in the highlands in a pioneering article entitled “The Archaeology of the Family in Ancient Israel,” the most frequently cited and downloaded article published by the premier ancient Near Eastern journal founded a century ago, the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. Stager was elected to the Austrian Academy of Sciences. On his 65th birthday he was honored with a Festchrift of 50 essays, Exploring the Longue Durée (ed. J. David Schloen), contributed by scholars from North America and Europe and by several of his former Ph.D’s. The essays cover a rich array of topics reflecting the range of Stager’s intellectual interests, especially ancient economies, religions and societies. Dr. Stager retired in 2012, after 40 years of teaching, as Dorot Professor Emeritus. He served as primary director of over fifty doctoral students and their Ph.D. dissertations.
Upon graduation from Hardin Northern High School in 1953, Eldon Nelson enrolled at The Ohio State University. He majored in animal science and agricultural education and received a B.Sc. in 1957. During that time, he was an officer in Alpha Zeta Fraternity. After teaching Vo-Ag at Belle Center High School for one year, he returned to Columbus to pursue graduate school in animal science. He received a M.Sc. in l960 and Ph.D. in 1963 whereupon he accepted a position (25% teaching and 75% research) in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Research (partially supported by the NIH) focused on the isolation and identification of metabolites of vitamin A, synthetic analogs, and related retinoids. Graduates and post-doctorates were major contributors, along with over 150 undergraduates who gained real- life research experience. He rose through the ranks as professor and professor emeritus. From 1991-1993, he served as professor and head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Oklahoma State University. His tenure and dedication brought him many awards, including Outstanding Professor, Outstanding Adviser, Outstanding Mentor, and the Ag Alumni Association Exemplary Faculty Award. Eldon served as a member of the Stillwater Board of Education for nine years, President of the Stillwater PTA Council and a member of the State PTA Board.