Allen and Patricia Gardner Martin
Allen and Patricia Gardner"We met in the cafeteria line in 1965.” That is how it began for NC Wesleyan graduates Allen Martin ’66 and Patricia Gardner Martin ’69. Now living in Culpeper, Virginia, the Martins have two adult children, Angela and Kenny, and this past August celebrated 40 years of marriage. Allen enjoys biking – 30 and 40 mile rides, and they both love to travel. The photo was made on one of their Alaskan trips.
After graduating from NC Wesleyan, Allen received his master’s degree from James Madison University. He taught English for 31 years and retired in 1997. Pat taught math for two years, but left the teaching profession to become an insurance agent. Today, Pat owns her own insurance company and was honored as the local Chamber of Commerce Small Business Person of the Year in 2000.
Allen shared, “Both of us enjoyed the small college atmosphere of Wesleyan.” When asked if there were any professors who had left lasting impressions, both were quick to respond. Allen said he remembered Dr. William Sasser because Dr. Sasser brought him into the Wesleyan Singers and gave him a job working in the music library to help with college tuition payments. Allen actually sang with the choir at the very first NC Wesleyan college graduation ceremony.
Pat also had to work her way through college. She began working in the cafeteria but when the new library opened, she worked there. Pat’s favorite professor was Colonel Edward Wiltrakis. He taught math and was always willing to spend time with students and give extra help when needed.
Allen and Pat have made a gift to Wesleyan College faithfully – every year – since 1980. “Both of us remember the close friends we made at Wesleyan. We remember the ritual of ‘walking the wall’ and attending free movies on Friday nights in the student union building. We have given to Wesleyan over the years because we truly enjoyed our years there and understand that all colleges, especially small church-related ones, rely on alumni support to survive and expand.”