More information about "Great Colleges to Work For," including a listing of all institutions on the list, is available at chronicle.com/academicworkplace. --30-- This report is a compilation of news releases from Union, Hardin-Simmons
and Baylor universities. -- End of story -- Twins, 97, honored for teaching careers By Julie McGowan Jul. 27 2011 http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=35830 SHAWNEE, Okla. (BP)--Two 97-year-old twins, retired teachers Sadie Gardner Blanton
of Shawnee, Okla., and Madie Gardner Shaffer of Guymon, Okla., have been named as recipients of the Profile In Excellence Award by Oklahoma Baptist University's alumni association.
As identical twins Sadie
and Madie celebrated their 97th birthday in June, the sisters could look back on lives marked by service and care.
After attending a one-room school for first through eighth grades in the Oklahoma Panhandle, they attended Texhoma High School
It was too far to walk to school, and the Depression made everything more difficult, so the girls lived with separate families in town while cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and caring for children to earn their keep.
and Madie graduated from high school as valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively.
was valedictorian, Sadie
received a two-year scholarship to Oklahoma Baptist University
-- but she
would not go without Madie.
After Sadie completed her degree, she began teaching in Trousdale, Okla., to pay for Madie's tuition.
The sisters graduated together in 1939.
SADIE GARDNER BLANTON During her
10-year tenure at Trousdale, Sadie
taught third and fourth grades, and ninth-grade English and world history.
While there, she
future husband, Fraser Blanton, on a blind date.
They married three years later and eventually had three daughters, Carolyn Barrett, a 1968 OBU
graduate, Peggy Gass and Barbara Glorioso.
"You were always my favorite teacher during my first years at Trousdale," Murry Perkins wrote Sadie
with greetings on her
A retired University of Chicago
engineer, Perkins worked on the Mars "Rover" exploration instrument.
"It's because of you and your sincere and serious approach to teaching that I am what I am today!
I'm sure that things would be entirely different for me otherwise.
In 1947, Sadie
moved with her
husband to New Orleans, where they lived for the next 32 years.
He would become a naval hero, Commander Blanton.
Sadie attended graduate school at Tulane University and taught fourth grade for 30 years at New Orleans Academy, an elite boys' military school.
made a lasting impression on many people with her
sparkling blue eyes and her
just had a peace about her
, a gentleness that was so evident," recalled David Barrett, a member of Oklahoma Baptist University's Class of 1967 who met Sadie
future wife -- her
daughter -- in New Orleans.
was, and still is, the size of a pixie, I sensed a giant of a woman.
When I was around her
made me feel so important and special.
Thirty years later, I realize that she
has the same effect on everyone who knows her
In 1978, Sadie
was named New Orleans Academy's
Outstanding Teacher of the Year and the yearbook was dedicated to her
is a lifetime member of Delta Kappa Gamma and Eastern
While in New Orleans, she
was a Sunday School teacher for adults and teenagers for many years and active in Woman's Missionary Union
also served 20 years as the Vacation Bible School director for Highland Baptist Church
in Metairie, La. After retirement in 1978, Sadie
and Fraser returned to Oklahoma and settled in Shawnee.
They were married for 45 years before his
death in 1985.
Sadie is a member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Shawnee.
Sadie and Madie's family members said Oklahoma Baptist University provided the opportunity for them to prepare for lives of service in their roles as educators, wives, mothers and Christian women -- and to encourage countless others in the same noble pursuits. --30-- Julie McGowan is news and media relations director for Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee.