In October, Joseph Eugene Bayer became the most recent, and oldest member of the Class of 2014. Joseph was born September 29, 1929 - just a month before Black Monday and the Great Depression. After being orphaned at a young age, Joseph was effectively raised by his older sisters. He enrolled briefly at Elder, but had to drop out to support his sisters and himself. He was not able to return to Elder, but his brief time at Elder left a mark on him.
Joseph received his GED at 20 and with his wife Ruth raised 4 children - 3 sons and a daughter. He spent 40+ years working 5 and a half days a week at GE and pinched pennies along the way to put all three boys through Elder (Jerry '70, Larry '72 and Tom '77) and his daughter (JoAnn) through Seton.
His grandson, A,.J. Arand nominated his grandfather for an Elder honorary diploma because he is “utterly selfless and has incredible patience and love.” A.J. eloquently states “I can't help but feel like my grandpa's selfless dedication to his family is exactly what Elder means when they talk about "Altiora." He may have never had the chance to officially become a member of Panther Nation, but he has lived his life to make him a model alumnus in deed if not in writing.”
Congratulations, Joseph on this well-deserved honor and welcome to the Elder High School Class of 2014. Altiora!