The community of alumni, faculty, administrators, staff and students from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma is saddened almost beyond expression by the loss of our dear friend, mentor and inspiration, Dr. Ingrid Shafer, emerita professor of philosophy and religion. We’ve set up this page for everyone to share memories and tributes to Ingrid who gave so much to so many. Please help us capture just a glimpse of the huge impression that one remarkable person can make upon the world with your contribution.


I remember sitting in the amphitheater during a Humanities class and a spider scurried
across the floor. Someone tried to step on it but Ingrid screeched and stopped him. She then got a piece of paper and scooped it up and liberated it out the front door. The class spontaneously applauded her. I also remember visiting her house where she had what looked like a NASA command center with banks of computers in her office. She was truly connected with the whole world. She was a giant intellect and much loved by all who knew her.

I enjoyed all my classes with Dr Shafer, but I will always remember her taking me on for Creative Writing. I was just a bit too late in enrolling, and she had a full class load. I went to her office to ask if I could still get in, and even though she had more than enough to do, she took me on simply because I wanted to exercise the creative side of my brain - it was getting lazy writing nothing but research papers, etc. We had some wonderful conversations in her office about the wonder of and beauty of words, and certain things I know I'll never forget. She had a truly marvelous mind.

I loved Ingrid, respected her deeply, & cherished the time I spent with her, both in the classroom & in her living room. She brought out the best in me...and what higher quality can a teacher or friend possess? I was a scared, naive, ignorant country boy halfway transitioned to long-haired socially experimenting hippie when I first met her 45 years ago at OCLA. 45 years! Right away she saw something in me that I didn't see in myself & she gave me the courage to express it in words. Words on paper & words spoken. Words that now come only haltingly as I reflect on her bright spirit. As wild & crazy as I was, as intimidated & shy as I was, she accepted me the way she accepted all of her students regardless of background or appearance: with eager instruction, endless forbearance, & easy amusement. Her acceptance of me then was as shocking as her death is to me now. The world has lost a soldier of love, a patriot of ideas.

Dr. Shafer was both one of my recurring World Thought and Culture professors, as well as am Senior Seminar advisor. I will always remember her and Dr. Larry Magrath having spirited debates about world religion and politics in the Davis Hall auditorium. It is comforting to know that they will be able to renew their debates in the afterlife. Only now, they won't be debating what the right answer is, but who HAD it right before they both got there!

Rest in Peace, Dr. Shafer. I'm glad to have known you.

Grant H Evans, DO
Staff Urologist
Brooke Army Medical Center
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences
USAO Class of 2003

I will always remember her remarkable stories about growing up as a child. She was such an interesting and amazing women. She will never be forgotten and will always be a part of USAO to me.

I will never forget you. You were a brilliant professor and amazing human being. You challenged me in a way that often frustrated me but also made me grow both intellectually and as a person. Thank you for spending your life teaching others. You have affected so many people and we are all grateful.

She was one of many professor at USAO that shaped who I am today. She was a great teacher and good friend. You will be missed.

Michael French
Class of 2004

I hadn't got Ingrid for classes, but any time I was walking through the campus and passed her, she was always very pleasant and greeted everyone very nicely. She earned a pillar of respect throughout USAO and rightly so. RIP Ingrid... God bless. Oisín

When given the opportunity, I tried to always take a class with Dr. Shafer. I had a handful of roundtable discussion courses with her that deeply changed my thoughts on religion, science, and the world that are still reverberating in my work and life. Thank you for your commitment, time, and guidance.

I love this writing by our Dr. Shafer and would like to share a memorial to her, I read this to my students this morning.

. . . And yet throughout history there were men and women who exemplified pursuit of knowledge and non-judgmental love. In terms of the Holocaust, we call them the Righteous among Nations. In their vision and courage I found hope. They should be our heroes.
This is why I have dedicated my life to building bridges between people, ethnic groups, religions, denominations, philosophies, and academic disciplines. I am convinced that the future of humanity depends on several crucial attitudes:

Maintaining faith that our lives are grounded in a center of meaning and point towards a transcendent focus.
Behaving like guests in the universe instead of parasites.
Being willing to explore disagreements and grow in understanding through dialogue.
Showing respect for the "other" without rejecting our own roots.
Basing human relationships less on visceral reactions than informed, nuanced thinking.
Having the courage to love.
We can do it! I was born one month before World War II began. Stalingrad, London, Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki . . . at least 30 million victims of the Holocaust and Stalin's purges . . . the bomb . . . the Cultural Revolution . . . . And yet, half a century after the end of World War II this Austrian is a U.S. citizen who teaches in the United States, writes this introduction on a computer with parts manufactured in Japan, and has students from all over the world, including Russia, China, and Japan. If this can happen at the University of Science and Arts in Chickasha, Oklahoma, it can happen elsewhere. And that makes all the difference.

Her intensely powerful intellect quite intimidated me, at first. But Senior Seminar gave me the opportunity to sit right at her feet, and I discovered someone who had never lost the ability to delight in the lovely, simple things. Respect thus matured into love.

Dr. Shafer was responsible for helping shape and challenge many of us throughout her tenure. I am thankful to have known her.

Trevor Tindle

I am so grateful that I knew Ingrid Shafer as teacher, mentor and friend. She is the reason I became a counselor because she taught that being kind and loving was the work God had for us here on earth. When it was time for my children to choose a college, they chose USAO because of the helpful person she was and the kindness shown to them by Dr. Magrath and Dr. Shafer. The story of her rescuing the spider was so typical of her. She rescued people in the same way. She made a huge impact on our community and the world. I am honored to have known such a person.

Dr. Shafer taught one of my World Thought Courses with the late and also great Dr. Magrath. Being a psych major I read body language and the first thing I noticed about her was that she had a passion for being a professor, for teaching and especially for teaching those who were willing to learn how to appreciate the little things in life. Dr. Magrath was the same way, so I reckon that is what made them so successful as a team in that class. Rest In Peace Dr. Shafer.

I can't even begin to think of words, any words, that will encompass what Ingrid meant to me. She challenged me, angered me, made me laugh out loud, set me on a path in life I never would have found without her. So if I wrote her a letter, which I might in my personal time, It would include this:
"Thanks so much for bringing these things to the attention of my soul and heart; an idea that we are so much more than we can ever truly imagine, that the world is so much smaller than we think, the universe more vast. The idea that God isn't just without, He is within every one of us, and everything around us, each blade of grass and every breeze that blows across our faces. You looked at abandoned, abused animals and wanted to help every one of them. You looked AT people others looked through. You saw each of us for who we really were, and are, and did your best to help us in the right direction. Thank you for all of that and so much more. You came through for me every time I needed you. Thanks for all the mugs of hot tea on those cold winter days, even more for the talks that accompanied them. Cozy fire and Mooshka on my lap. I love you Ingrid."
So much more...

DR. Shafer was one of the top educators of her time, she was a sterling example of strength and character depicting a true humanitarian outlook on life. Ingrid was more than a professor to many of us, she was a mentor and dear friend. I can hear her now in the great beyond debating life philosophies with Dr. Larry Magrath. I miss them both.

Some 25 years ago she took me in when I needed a place to stay. She always reminded me that I was an intelligent and good person. She was an incredibly tolerant person and compassion was a natural part of her character regardless the circumstance.

While driving across country a few years ago I had the opportunity to see her again. I was humored by her usual brusque greeting she gave when she was in the middle of writing. It was good to see her smile when she recognized me.

She was always in her study writing or editing something. She was working on a new book last we spoke. I never found out if she finished it. I certainly hope she did.

Thanks for being there for me. Rest in peace Ingrid Shafer.


Dr. Shafer really intimidated me at first but it was not long that she put that feeling to rest. She was attentive to my feelings, she helped me to understand that everyone had opinion that were worth listening to. She helped me so much to feel confident about my writing. I was unsure of what I was writing was worth reading but she again put that fear to rest. I am grateful for her guidance in my college years. Ingrid Shafer you will be missed.

Dr. Shafer was one of my favorite professors. I had the hardest time taking notes in her classes because I just wanted to listen to her and make sure I didn't miss a word.

She was a fascinating woman whose unique point of view and inspirational ideas will be greatly missed.

Dr. Shafer was an amazing woman. It has been several years since I attended classes at USAO but of all of the classes that I took I think she made the biggest impression on me. I enjoyed how she made you stop and rethink how you viewed the world around you. You will be missed Dr Shafer.

I had never met anyone quite like Ingrid when I started USAO. She filled the amphitheater. There is no other way to say it. When she lectured we were all inthralled. Her stories of Austria and how she grew up as well as the true meanings behind many Disney movies.....she taught us how to think for our selves and not to just blindly accept what others portray. I have never looked at the Wizard of Oz the same. When I got to know her, I realized that even though she was an intimidatingly intelligent person, she was also a truly kind and caring person.

It is a loss to all of us that Dr. Shafer is gone. She taught my mother when she attended USAO in the 70's and I was lucky enough to have her as a professor when I attended USAO 30 years later. Her intelligence had to be experienced to be believed and she was one of the most amazing people I've ever met. She will be missed.

Dr Shafer was a truly gifted person as well as teacher. We had many conversations while I was attending USAO. We had to write a paper in a Humanities course so I decided to write a travelog. I dropped by her office after giving her plenty of time to read and grade all of the essays. She said, "I'm so happy you stopped by, I was going to call you. I was stunned and almost afraid to ask "Why". I asked her if she had read my paper and if so, what was my grade. She smiled and said oh A plus plus plus. she said that is why I wanted to call you. I wanted to see if you would mind if I kept your paper, I would like to use it in one of my books." Again, I was stunned but said Yes, of course, if you wish. She was a delight to talk to on any subject. She knew that I loved the Humanities almost as much as she did. She will be so missed by so many.

Had You for world thought classes really thought I was not going to make it through some times but you just kept after me to just work harder. Will always remember you and your childhood stories.

This is what I wrote on my facebook today and I wanted to also share it here: This morning I woke up to hear the heatbreaking news about the passing of my favorite teacher, and one of the best people I ever knew, Dr. Ingrid Shafer from USAO. It's hard to put into words how profoundly she affected my life, but I wanted to try and attempt to paint a small picture of all the positive influence that she had on my life, as well as the lives of many others.

I was in her class for Individual in Contemporary Society, all three World Thoughts, Creative Writing, Truth, Goodness, Beauty (the happiest name ever for a class, how could anyone not love it?), and Senior Seminar. As a teacher, Dr. Shafer never simply conveyed information, but she was always fascinated by learning and discovering new things, and that came across in her lectures. Philosophy, history, science, everything seemed to come alive and come together in her classes; one topic would lead to another like multicolored threads held together with silvery ribbons, continually evolving and connecting millions of ideas throughout time and space.

Her lectures and conversations were delightfully random and all over the place and even though I always sensed that overarching patterns, concepts, and ideas were more important than memorizing names and dates, I still memorized everything, even the names and dates, simply because it was all so interesting. Dr. Shafer's love of learning was infectious and everything she taught pointed to something greater - using education to further tolerance, understanding, finding a common sense of humanity, and creating positive change in the world.

There are so many memories crowding my brain, such as the times she helped me when I was going through sad things, how she encouraged my writing and expressing ideas and feelings, and how she was always so caring and compassionate. Even when I felt too intimidated to speak up in class, I always felt like she valued my thoughts and ideas and I remember so many conversations both in and out of class that bounced around between a million different subjects. During Senior Seminar, I wrote about Mendelssohn's life and music for my epic, somewhat rambling fangirl tribute of a Senior Seminar paper. At the end of the semester, Dr. Shafer gave me the music for the flute arrangement of Mendelssohn's violin concerto, which I treasure and play quite often.

Dr. Shafer often talked about making the world a better place. And while I am very sad and all the past tense in the preceding paragraphs feels hollow and empty, I also think that Dr. Shafer succeeded in making the world a better, more beautiful, and more intellectually curious place.

Dr. Shafer, you served me well. I remember that our first meeting was in the hall close to the main offices where you stopped to welcome me to USAO. I later had the privelidge of being your student in five different classes. You understood me so well. Here I was, in my 30's, a 9th grade dropout, from small town Oklahoma, yet you saw the potential in me rather than the imperfections. You invited me to your home to share a poem I wrote with a special group your were working with. That was one of my proudest moments.
I can never say enough about you. I often speak to my students about you. You will always be a part of me, what you instilled still thrives within, what you left behind still teaches those in need.
I thank you for all you gave to me, for without you, I wold not be what I am today.
I bid you a final goodnight. May you rest in peace with the knowledge you have left behind.
Goodnight, Goodnight
You will be missed
Dr. Ingrid Shafer.

I was twenty-nine years old when I took a huge step to enroll in U.S.A.O. I was a single mother with two children at home and was terrified of attending classes with the younger, brighter students. Dr. Shafer encouraged me in all areas of study. She encouraged & supported me on a weekly basis. I was never intimidated by her as she had a humble spirit and delighted in the eagerness of my desire to learn. She was the most brilliant person I have ever been privileged to meet. Without her constant encouragement and support I don't believe I would have graduated. She will be missed by so many. I feel honored to have been her student.

She was a really awesome woman. I loved visiting her home while my friend, Val was living there... Her library was immense, house was warm and full of memories from abroad. I never had her as a teacher, but my colleagues spoke well of her. May her soul and spirit carry on!

the world is a little darker place now with less intelligence, my sincere condolences to family and friends

I wrote this in my personal blog and have copied it here:

For Lent, I decided to write something personal or fictional every day rather than give something up, hence this tag. I’ve succeeded so far, but my idea to write something about the gym was dropped when I found out the my dear professor, Dr. Ingrid Shafer, had passed away today at 74.

I went to a small liberal arts college in a small town. I loved every minute of my time there, and my professors, including Dr. Shafer, were a large part of how much I loved it. They were all influential, but Dr. Shafer always stood out. She had a depth and breadth and intensity of intelligence that was just phenomenal. Her heart was just as large, and she believed intensely in goodness and in humanity and in making the world a better place (which she certainly did).

She taught my poetry teacher, Bryan D. Dietrich. She gave my commencement address, something I considered an honor. She was a child in Nazi-occupied Austria, was in the South during the Civil Rights movement, and worked tirelessly to make USAO the “Harvard of the Prairie” that it is today. The interdisciplinary curriculum that forms the core of USAO’s classes stems partially from her. Her influence and legacy is immeasurable. Everyone is in mourning.

I corresponded with her fairly recently, and she invited me and Zack to visit her if we ever made it out to her son’s home in California. I am so sorry that I will never be able to take her up on that visit. I am heartbroken. I keep thinking about the hours I spent in philosophy classes with her and a few others, classes that were pretty much three hours a week of intense conversation. I remember going to her home, which was mostly library and sweet cats and dogs, and feeling the weight of the years of study in those shelves and the mementos of her travels and just the time she had spent in the world.

If I am able to be half as learned, kind, and intelligent as Dr. Shafer was in her lifetime, I will have succeeded. She used to talk about a passage from the Bhagavad Gita, that talks about lives being like clothes the soul takes on and off and on again. May the next set be the silk and jewels that someone who did so much for the world surely deserves.

The breadth of Ingrid's learning and teaching was boundless and she never ceased growing and cultivating. I remember a lecture she gave about Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. It amazed me. I don't know why that memory surfaces except that the final movement of the piece is a musical description of a design for a gate at Kiev, and Ukraine is now prominent in the news. Perhaps that explains the connection, Ingrid's superlative way of weaving ideas, history, people, and their creations into a a very meaningful story for today.

You all probably know that she could speak and read a ton of languages and that her life was filled at all hours with academia. She barely poked her head out of her office space some weeks and traveled often. But I wanted to share a quirk that you may not know -- she loved soap operas. I'm not sure which one(s). I wish I had asked now. But when she got home from USAO she had her soaps ready to go on the then VCR and would grab a bite to eat and watch them. Then back to work.

At the time I lived at her house she would go days at a time without sleep so she could fit in more work. She always made time for her students. She made time for me to come and talk to her one day and she had a room available so I moved in. I stayed about four or five years.

I don't know where my life would have gone or what would have happened to me without Ingrid. I was in labor with my first baby and she let me borrow her car to go to the hospital, lol. She loved that baby girl who is now 16. I wish I had called her to let her know my life turned out really well. I made it, and to say thank you. Everything about my life was shaped by those philosophical days at USAO. How I raised my kids have been shaped by those lessons.

I love you Ingrid - and never stopped thinking of you. You are always a bright star in the sky.

You mentioned that Ingrid liked soap operas. In her final week, Henry set up a television in her room, so she could watch her soaps, and listen to the classical music station. I was standing there with her when she watched her last soap opera. I asked her what it was -- it was "The Young and the Restless." It looked quite different from the soaps I caught glimpses of in the 70s. The characters looked, well, young, and yes, restless, and Ingrid was just watching with fascination. I think that shortly after that program, she stopped watching television. She was moving on, or "transitioning" in the words of the hospice nurse. That was Monday, March 3rd, two days before she died.

I still think of Dr Shafer's teachings often. When talking politics, her teachings in Logic come into mind. I still love writing, and how she helped me get out of a rut.
I fondly recall the discussions she and Dr Mather had during World Thought, and her smile when she knew she had won us over to her side.
She allowed me to really use my creativity during Senior Seminar, and I felt so good when I finished it.
I loved my time at USAO, but it could not possibly have been as effective, and life changing without Dr. Shafer.
Rest in Peace, beautiful lady.

She was intelligent and comical. I remember the night her house on 13th Street caught fire. She wasn't worried about her house, only the people and the animals mattered to her. I always liked to chide her about her eclectic ways , never knowing how she would react - usually with dry humor. She was a quite sight about town in her old automobile. I know we should not covet, but oh how I wished to have her compassion. I many never fully understand her, but I will never forget her.

She was a very intelligent compassionate professor. She helped me see the world in a new light. I appreciated her free spirit and open minded thinking and am saddened to hear of her passing.

I am so glad to have known her, studied under her, and visited with her. I had Dr. Shafer in World Thought & Culture, her lectures were always so fascinating, engaging, and moving. She was also my Creative Writing teacher during a pivotal period in my life; she was, in a sense, my counselor. Dr. Shafer was a gem! I'm so thankful for the opportunity I had to admire her sparkle, as a rare and precious cut stone, she was multi-faceted, reflecting her beautiful light on everyone she encountered.

I took two classes with my mother while I was a senior at Chickasha High School (1980). I eventually transferred and finished my B.A. at SMU in Dallas. Needless to say it is intimidating to take a class with one's parent. When the parent is Ingrid it is doubly intimidating, I think it is safe to say. I wanted the experience, and she and I discussed the challenge beforehand, and agreed we could do it. It was a long time ago, so I've forgotten quite a bit, but I do remember one thing that continues to make me laugh. I was behind in my reading in the IDS course and asked Mom if she would (please) just give me a brief synopsis of what the book was that I was supposed to discuss in Marble's class that day. She turned me in -- told on me to Dr. Marble. I should have known. Anyway, I learned my lesson: if your Mom is the teacher, don't ask her to help you cheat. I went on to finish my B.A. in History (no more cheating), always with a passion for interdisciplinary studies, then found my calling, which is what I think Ingrid wanted us all to learn, as a massage therapist (now in my 20th year in this field), and along the way gave birth to two amazing young men, Ingrid's first two grandsons, whom I exhorted to do the same thing my Mom taught me -- do what you love -- Victor and Louis Riquelme, Ingrid's 27 and 25 year old grandsons are amazing young men, and they have their roots in Chickasha, in Ingrid, in USAO. I am so grateful to USAO for taking such good care of my mom all those years. You were her life. I was just along for the ride. And a good ride it has been. I love you Mom. I miss you. Thank you for being so real. And to borrow Louis' words (written to me once in a Mother's Day Card) -- and I told Ingrid this a few days before she died, and it made her laugh -- "you were the best Mom I ever had" -- and she was. I love you Mom! Irene

The last long visit I had with Ingrid was after Larry passed over. I'm so thankful you were with her before she died. (BTW, I have a picture of you in your cap & gown that Larry took at your high school graduation. If you see this post & want the picture or a book of pictures she took of his flowers & gave him for Christmas plz msg me on Facebook.). I love your mother, you & Henry although you kids may not remember me.

I am one of many who reflect upon my time at USAO with joy. Classes with Dr. Shafer and Dr. McGrath are a key part of my memories there. I enjoyed many hours listening to her insight and thoughts. Dr. Shafer made a positive impact on everything around her. She was a wonderful person and will be missed.

Ingrid and I had next-door offices for almost ten years until her retirement. We had many interesting (and for me challenging) conversations over the years about history, philosophy, her country which I had visited a number of times, the age of the electronic moment and almost anything that happened to pop into her or my head. She was a delight! Her constant sense of curiosity and delight in the wonders of the world and the world of the mind were awesome to behold. She was a treasured friend and colleague and will be missed. Her legacy of influence on generations of students will continue to make a major contribution to a somewhat more sane world.

I loved learning from Dr. Shafer! Because of her, I fell in love with history and learned to appreciate it in a way that no other individual could have possibly instilled in me. From hearing the stories of her childhood to discovering that history was much more than just names and dates, it made such a huge impact on me. USAO has lost a dear friend, teacher and mentor! I feel truly blessed that my life has been enriched because of her.

It was 1968 and the Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts was our anchor during an exciting, challenging and hopeful time. Then and more than four decades onward, Ingrid, by her teaching and example -- by her very being helped us draw on our reserves of recollection; in a world urging us toward relativism, she reminded us there are timeless values and we can choose to hold them. Ingrid was that rare individual who was touched by the fire of a vocation and we are fortunate to have warmed ourselves with that fire. Joining with all others who knew her, studied with her, loved her and feel her reflection in our lives, I thank her family for sharing her with the extended family of USAO and I thank Ingrid for those many things, tangible and intangible, she brought to her vocation -- and to us.

I was a young Art Major in 1979 at USAO and remember taking classes with Ingrid Shaeffer, Jerry Holt, John Feaver and Dexter Marble. Not ever experiencing the team-teaching classroom before, I was in awe of her passion and knowledge.
Coming from a very protected background, she opened the world up to me through her stories. I loved watching her interact with the other professors and all the pacing and gesturing as she argued her opinion. You could hear a pin drop when she was speaking. Everyone loved her. She had a way of making me feel she was talking directly to me. In my entire life, she ranks as one of my most profound teachers. I was very sad to hear of her passing. Bless her family and friends who knew her closely. I know I was just one of thousands of her students, but what an amazing legacy she leaves. I was honored to know her.

Dr. Shafer was an cornerstone at USAO. As an arrogant freshman, I was bored to tears in the first world thought class, but as time went on and I actually stepped outside myself and listened to Dr. Shafer's stories, I was truly engaged. She was always one of my favorites at USAO. I loved listening to her and I learned so much from her, more than was ever in the curriculum. That was my favorite thing about her, she wasn't there to teach us what was on a syllabus, she was there to teach us about life and how to be better people. My entire world view was turned inside out and I contribute much of that change, a positive one, to Dr. Shafer. She is greatly missed, but I am so glad to have known her.

Classes with Dr. Shafer was the highlight of my time in USAO. Learning about history, religion and philosophy from a genuine scholar of the subject was priceless.

She was one of those rare teachers who would leave a permanent mark in your memory and with her remarkable honestly she would explain the hardest things to us.

When we were discussing second world war, she said now a days Austrians do not enjoy admitting that, they welcomed Hitler's army in Austria ( She was from Austria!) . A genuine scholar with amazing passion could be so straight forward and honest with her students. It moved me.

Her passion, honesty, simplicity was the charm. It has been over 20 years I left USAO but I will give a lot of credit to Dr. Shafer for igniting my love for history and comperative religion.

I still remember her interest in Sufism and my introduction to Dr. Annemarrie Schimmel.

I wish to thank Dr. Shafer and other teachers of USAO for leaving positive impact in my life. Her simplicity and humility still inspires me.

May peace be unto you Dr. Shafer!

While I was shopping at Dunn’s for ice cream one day we struck up a conversation that included her past, my future, and humanities desire to learn. For more than forty five minutes she railed against a system that didn’t encourage a liberal arts approach, she taught me the true meaning of liberal arts. In that short time I went from wandering through an educational institution, disheartened and feeling out of place to knowing that even I failed it meant something to be on the right path for the right reason.

It was that day that I knew my home would be USAO, I didn’t know what my major would be or what I would do when I graduated but I knew I wanted a liberal arts education that encompassed a broad base of knowledge that didn’t prepare me for a vocation but rather something far more important, life.

In one of the last scenes of the once popular kid's program "Boy Meets World" the beloved principle tells a group of students to "do good" one of the students replies, "don't you mean do well" he said, no. I never thought I would meet someone who would encourage her students to do good in society, to love others and seek hapiness. Dr. Shafer didn't want us all to be wealthy lawyers and doctors, business owners and inventors she wanted us to be happy.

In class she proved to be among one of the most ethical people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I will never forget her offering this question: if you are at a yard sale and you see something for $1 that it worth $500 what do you do? She wanted us to think for ourselves and develop skills that would benefit us a whole. She wasn’t pious nor did she tell us to embrace a particular ideology or religion I knew she was a virtuous, woman who stood for the weak, down-trodden, abused, neglected and forgotten.

In 2012, as we gathered for the OCLA reunion she remembered that conservation and encouraged me to tell my story to her while she video tapped. I know I didn’t do it justice, my nerves were high and I couldn’t put into words what that conversation meant. I wanted to ask why she took the time to talk to me, a high school drop out who was lost, but I guess I already knew the answer she was living her philosophy.

I was a student of hers back in the 80's. She was wonderful. She had meetings at her home for the Independent Study groups in the summer time. I remember also being one of the people who helped re-roof her home. It was a fun time. What a wonderful lady, and a great mentor. Such fond memories. Thank you Ms. Shafer, for your time and friendship. You were more than an instructor.