Story By Paul Strobel('43)
There probably are not many folks around who knew Dr. Ward. Certain of those still with us may have known him better than I knew him. Regardless, I would like to share a few of my memories of him with those of you who, unfortunately, did not know him.
Dr. Ward was barely less than six feet tall and relatively thick in build. He had a rather large head and a thatch of blondish-brown hair which he parted in the middle, distributing the mantle equally between east and west. His voice was of moderate timbre, projecting a tone neither deep nor high-pitched. He was not particularly handsome and his countenance most often expressed both calmness and intellectual curiosity. His physique imparted an image of formidableness and his bearing and gait, despite his girth, gave one the impression that he not only knew where he was going, but also specifically how to get there, and no one should attempt to persuade him otherwise.
Considering his goals, he certainly was in many ways, an idealist. Yet, considering his achievements, he charted courses which demanded an abundance of practicality. In an era when money was not plentiful, he resolved that a building was required for his school for the benefit of students. Determined that it would be done, the State of Alabama was confronted by Dr. Ward and thus was born the beautiful Tallapoosa Hall. Not all students could afford even the small cost of SII schooling, yet few were turned away. People who had previously been confronted by Dr. Ward for donations reached for their checkbooks when they saw him coming. (Surrender is not necessarily inglorious.) Not adversarial was he, but so convincing! No convoluted, articulated arguments, just straight to the point.
His love of the classics, his readings to us at assembly, the inscription on his wife's grave stone, and so many more gifts and talents characterize a gentle man and provide clues about a man who will never be forgotten.
Dr. Ward was not a simple person. Rather, a complicated individual with thoughts of great depth and a passion for humanity. Much has been written about him; he was listed in Who's Who in America among other publications.
Aware of my lack of literary talent, I apologize for the absence of skills to adequately portray the greatness of Dr. Ward. Nevertheless, my recollections are expressed with humility, respect and a deep appreciation for having known him.
I just wanted you to know who's footsteps you hear in Tallapoosa Hall. When you hear them, pause and say "Hello" to your friend, Dr. Lyman Ward, and wish him a HAPPY CENTENNIAL!