The measles outbreak at Principia College in 1985 was awful. Two students, one of whom I knew and took a class with, and another, the child of a faculty member, died. At one point, more than a hundred students were sick.
I shared a dorm room with two guys who remained my best friends for years, and we had to pretty much order one of our roommates out to Cox Cottage, the on-campus Christian Science nursing facility, because he was that sick. I was sitting next to a student who almost collapsed during the meeting announcing students could get vaccinated. Many had never been to a doctor. I had been vaccinated as a kid, although I ended up getting the shot again so I could leave Prin for spring break, because the entire college campus had been quarantined.
I remember hearing about Scott Shadrick’s death as if it were yesterday. Things were pretty rough around campus, with 100+ students sick with measles. We left the dining room after dinner that night, returning to Brooks North with friends. As we climbed the stairs to the main floor, we saw a notice announcing Scott’s death. His was the second student death. We were very upset. Before that, we were thinking that perhaps things were getting better on campus. But that news was a real downer. I wasn’t close friends with him, but it was sad to see someone I knew die so young from a preventable disease. I’d never checked before today, but neither student is listed in the Principia College directory.
So many deaths at Prin. Early, unnecessary deaths of fellow classmates, and parents, teachers & professors from both campuses dying way too young. My doubts about Christian Science started during the measles outbreak. What I find bewildering is how many hardcore Christian Scientists are still at Prin, especially with all the premature deaths.These memories are wedged in my mind forever. I always wonder how those lives would have turned out.