Being There for People

I graduated from CUA in 1985 with a master’s in psychology. Being Jewish often makes me a spectator of the endeavors at CUA as I read about the events in the magazine. However, the Summer 2009 issue’s report on the presence of “older adults” [serving as public safety assistants] in the residence halls manifested an immediate desire in me to connect with CUA’s leadership.

I have been a registered nurse since 1994 when I completed my third college degree while raising two young boys by myself. I became a nurse because of a deep-seated belief that a person “being there” makes the difference in whether one heals quickly, slowly or not at all. Whether that healing comes from the presence of a kind adult in the residence hall, at the bedside or over the phone — it makes a difference.

I am proud to be delivering health care at one of the nonprofits making a difference for the poor and underserved. Community Care of North Carolina provides case management to Medicaid patients with chronic disease and has begun to serve the uninsured. I work solely with uninsured adults, many of them homeless. I have seen and heard, repeatedly, that my voice encouraging people to seek care and coaching them on how to present their issues has made the difference in their lives. Being an advocate, educator and knowledgeable professional has given me the opportunity to serve others in a profound way that has undoubtedly helped me heal and renews my spirit.

I am thrilled to see that CUA is using resources to provide a living, breathing presence to youth on campus. In this world of instant messaging I find many people not being able to connect. In this day when many bare it all on Facebook, the need to feel cared about by another has never been greater.

Annette E. “Libby” Libner
Candler, N.C.

P.S. I work for an independent nonprofit organization, Access II Care of Western North Carolina, that is one of the 14 statewide Medicaid networks that makeup the agency Community Care of North Carolina. Access II Care is able to service the uninsured using grant money from a variety of sources. My particular project to service the uninsured in Buncombe County is funded locally through a grant from the Community Benefit Program of Mission Hospital, Asheville, N.C.

Passing of a Third Compadre

Three of the four handball partners  Schmitt, Wildermuth and Twiddy  in front of Gibbons Hall in 1941.
Three of the four handball partners — Schmitt, Wildermuth and Twiddy — in front of Gibbons Hall in 1941.

In your Fall 2009 issue, you note the death of Rev. Paul T. Twiddy, B.A. 1948. Paul’s passing means I’m the last survivor of a unique foursome from the freshman class of 1940. Therein hangs a tale.

I met Paul during registration in September 1940 while we were scrambling to buy textbooks, used if we could find them. He came across a good deal for our Western Civilization course, but having spent all his funds he asked me to lend him $4 (at that time a goodly sum). With hesitation and anxiety I doled out four singles. But I need not have worried. The next day, bright and early, he repaid me.

The next time I remember meeting Paul was in the gymnasium where we freshmen had gathered to be assigned to the required physical education class. For some reason, Paul and I had conflicts for all of the P.E. classes. We also discovered that there were two other freshmen with similar difficulty. One was Karl Hansen from Iowa and the other was Egon Wildermuth, whose father was a political officer in the German Embassy. The assistant coach in charge of organizing the P.E. classes hit upon an ingenious solution. He gave us a handball, directed us to the outdoor handball courts and instructed us to play an hour each week at a time available to all four.

I had played a little handball as a boy but never on a formal court. I believe none of the others had ever played at all. Within a short time all of us became quite proficient. We had a marvelous time all year and at times played more handball than was required to fulfill our P.E. requirement.

Paul and I remained close personally. When the war came, I enlisted in the Army and Paul enlisted in the Navy. After the war and after we graduated from Catholic University, Paul went off to seminary while I continued my studies. Some years ago I discovered Paul had retired and was living in Charlotte Hall, Md. I visited him, but sadly I found we had little in common except for our experience at Catholic University. Despite this separation, I was saddened to read of the passing of Paul on July 2, 2009, the last of my handball partners during our freshman year at Catholic University, 1940–41.

Karl M. Schmitt
B.A. 1947, M.A. 1949
Austin, Texas