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out two Iowa State University distinguished professors-to-be in just four years.

But that's only the beginning. Not only are Richard Warren and Gordon Bivens both Milford Township grads and professors at Iowa State, last month they were named as two of 1983's Iowa State's seven distinguished professors. Distinguished professor is one of the most prestigious awards an educator can receive.

"I guess you could call it a unique situation," said Warren, Milford Township salutatorian in 1948 and director for Studies in Education at Iowa State since 1979, Warren is currently a nationally recognized leader in educational research and statistics.

"I was really surprised when I heard we both were (distinguished professors)," Warren said. "The first thing I thought when the names were announced was how strange it was. And when I returned to my office, there was a message on my desk to call Gordon Bivens. We had a good talk about it."

Bivens said he also thinks the situation is quite unusual. "It immediately ran through my mind that it was unusual for both of us to be (distinguished professors) in the same year," Bivens said.

There were only 11 Milford Twp graduates in 1944, Gordon was both the President of his class and the valedictorian. Richard was the salutatorian for the class of seven in 1948. The only other boy in his class was President, Bill Allen, who owns Allen Construction in Ames.

Although Warren said most high school graduates in the 1940s didn't attend college, he said there was a strong feeling from both parents and students at Milford that education was very important. "For me, it wasn't a question of whether to go to college, it was where."

Bivens also said the quality of education at Milford was exceptional. "The teachers had a tremendous personal interest in the students," he said. "I would like to think that has rubbed off on me, making me a better teacher."

Both men received their B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from Iowa State.

Warren is a nationally recognized leader in educational research and statistics. He has written more than 70 publications and has presented more than 50 papers in sociology and education. Prior to joining the College of Education as professor and director of the Research for Studies in Education in 1979, He served as professor of statistics and sociology at ISU. He has been a member of the ISU faculty since 1963. ISC became ISU in 1959.

Bivens is a nationally known consumer/family economist. He has served as member of the policy board for the Journal of Consumer Research and is co-author of a textbook on "Consumer Choice; The Economics of Personal Living". He is also a board member for Consumer Union, the publisher of "Consumer Reports". He served as head of the Department of Family Environ- ment for four years.

Edit: The Bivens family lived one and a half mile west of Milford Twp School on the north side of the road. The Warren family lived two miles north and about one and a half miles west of Milford School or about half a a mile east of the Pleasant Grove Church on the north side of the road.

Gordon is a co-author of the book "Consumer Choice" by Harcourt and Bruce and has had columns in two papers- "The Nevada Journal" and "O'Brian Co Belle" of Primghar Iowa.

Related incident:

In July 1939, just after the family had moved to Milford Twp from North Grant, the Bivens family suffered the loss of one of their sons, Gordon's only brother, Mark, who died of a ruptured appendix at the age of 17. Mark had continued at North Grant with the expectation of graduating in that community. Gordon still mockingly speaks the words of one of the doctors when he says--"Son, quit your bellyachin' about your belly aching." And so, too much time was lost and thus a youth was lost. See other youth deaths page 71+.

From Juanita Warren `50 Behm in May of 2001:

I started Milford School at the age of 5 along with two cousins, Lois Warren and Joan Cooper, and we all 3 graduated in the same class in 1950. I believe the interest of sports kept my grades up. I was on the honorable mention in 1949 and 1950 for the County Basketball team I belonged to M.M.M. and Milford Hustlers 4-H clubs.

Going back to Milford brings back many happy monmories and since being related to so many almost like a big familly Reunion! a Milford Fan. Juanita

Edit: She was the Mother of 4 boys and 2 girls and had moved to Southern Illinois and operated a A-W Root Beer Stand. She died in 2004 after a 50 year marriage.

Ol' Milford Farmer learn: Words that soak into folks' ears are whispered..... not yelled.
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© 2012 Mark Christian
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