Malmstadt Memories from the International YWAMer
On July 7, 2003, Howard Malmstadt, the co-founder of YWAM’s University of the Nations, went to be with the Lord. Howard was 81. A scientist of such renown that he was offered the presidency of a large USA university, Howard, at the age of 55, left his position at the University of Illinois to join YWAM. Although many of his friends, and even his wife, thought he was “delirious,” Howard became the main architect of the University of the Nations.
11 thoughts on “Howard Malmstadt”
High Voltage Malmstadt -How a scientist is creating YWAM’s university
By Bryan Bishop
In the late 1970s, Howard Malmstadt went missing. The renowned University of Illinois professor, scientist, inventor and author had mysteriously left everything. Rumors started to fly.
One day, Derek Chignell, a chemistry professor at Wheaton College, USA, was working with a technician to install some equipment. The technician asked Derek if he knew what had happened to Howard Malmstadt. Derek said no, he hadn’t heard from Howard in some time.
"Well," said the technician, "Howard has gone completely crazy and has gone off to Hawaii to be a hippie."
That "hippie" organization Howard joined was YWAM. Specifically, at the age of 55, Howard had left his professorship and turned down a offer to become president of a major USA university to join Loren Cunningham in co-founding YWAM’s university.
At the time, this seemed to many an outlandish and impossible idea. Since then, Howard and Loren have together been the chief visionaries of the university, with Howard its main architect and planner. The university was first known as the Pacific and Asia Christian University and now as University of the Nations.
Lessons from World War II
In September of 2001, after 23 years, Howard stepped aside from his hands-on oversight role as the U of N’s Provost. He has now become its International Chancellor, a position that gives Howard more freedom while continuing his visionary input. It’s a move that has caused several YWAM leaders to reflect upon the lessons we’re learning from this innovative educator and scientist. In a video created for the Global Leadership Team’s September meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, Loren Cunningham says of Howard, "He has been the heart, the core, of the U of N’s development."
Adds Derek Chignell, now himself a frequent U of N lecturer, "He has really masterminded the University of the Nations. It was really his original concepts, I think under the direction of the Holy Spirit, that produced the master plan, produced the curriculum, produced the approach, produced the whole of what we know of the University of the Nations.
"One of these concepts has to do with intensive learning. One reason Howard was able to make his move into YWAM as well as he did is that he brought a passion not only for formal university education but also for nonformal styles of training. It’s a passion that came not from the university but from the war.
At the start of World War II, Howard was just completing his undergraduate university training. Since he had already been involved in some scientific research, he was asked by the US Navy to become a radar officer. Young Howard joined his other classmates in a secretive training program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Howard and the others were given a crash course in radar technology by an assortment of professors brought in from around the country. The schedule was intense. They had four hours of lectures in the morning. In the afternoon, they applied what they had learned on the equipment they would be using.
"There was a very rapid learning curve," recalls Howard. "It was basically a module of intense learning in four or five months time.
"This intensive training was followed by an "outreach" of 18 months aboard a destroyer in the Pacific.After the war, Howard got his doctorate and began to teach in the university. Howard’s energy and his passion for learning were infectious.
He also had another passion, a passion for listening to God’s direction. This passion led him to YWAM and has infused his work with the U of N. It’s another principle of learning that he has championed and modeled.
God Speaks about YWAM
Howard first encountered YWAM at a leadership conference in Saint Louis, USA, in 1974. He met Loren Cunningham the day after Loren had participated in an all-night prayer meeting. Loren was talking about developing educational materials for all types of cultures. By this time, Howard had written several textbooks himself. He remembers being struck by Loren’s idea.
"I knew how many years it would take just to write one book," Howard says. "So I realized this had to be of the Lord, or something really off the wall. One or the other."
Later that year, Howard became ill and had to miss class for the first time in 20 years. During that day, he recalls, "I felt the Lord saying that my wife and I would become involved with YWAM." After hearing this several times, Howard told his wife. "She thought I was delirious," Howard says.
They asked the Lord for confirmations. One of these came in a letter from Loren a few days later. In the letter, Loren was telling Howard that in his prayer times, he kept sensing God asking him to find out if Howard might become involved in some way with YWAM. Already then, after several other confirmations, Howard told his university he would be leaving in three years.
During the next three years, Howard had many opportunities to witness to university administrators and graduate students who thought he had lost his mind. He was also asked by a large USA university if he would consider becoming its president. "I knew that I had been called into YWAM, but I should still pray about it," recalls Howard. "As I prayed, the Lord indicated to me very clearly, in one of those times you sort of hear his voice right there: ‘YWAM is to have a university, and you are to be a part of founding it.’
"Loren had no knowledge of this when he met Howard again in Hawaii in 1977. The two men met at YWAM Kona, which was then a rundown hotel YWAM had just acquired. Howard could tell right away Loren was nervous.
Loren recalls: "There were no carpets on the floor. All Darlene and I had in our apartment were two metal chairs. Howard was sitting on one, I’m sitting on the other and everything else is empty, and I’m saying to this world-famous educator, ‘Howard, God wants us to have a university in YWAM.’ He said, ‘Yes, I know that.’ And I was shocked. I said, ‘You know that?’ Because I knew no one had been told yet. It was a highly secretive thing. He said, ‘Yes, God told me that last spring.’"
Growth of a University
That was one of many confirmations YWAMers received about the university. YWAM’s leadership group, then called the International Council, prayed about the university and felt that this was of the Lord. When Howard and his wife Carolyn moved to Hawaii and began to work on this fledgling idea, they saw these confirmations for themselves. "The Lord brought in people who were very unexpected who made comments that the Lord had indicated to them that YWAM was to start a university," says Howard.
In the formative years that followed, Howard’s background was crucial. He was able to involve an architect who is an expert in campus development. He took on a project to develop equipment for a company and in so doing received enough funds to pay for one of the first buildings. He developed the Project Development Leadership School, in which he mentored many others to pioneer YWAM work using the same principles of innovation while listening to God’s direction.
In 23 years, under Howard’s guidance, the U of N has grown into a unique training program. Howard would like it to stay that way. He likes the flexibility of U of N training. He thinks the availability of degrees is important, but does not want to see degrees emphasized. "We did not believe in trying to push degrees too much and we still don’t believe in pushing degrees at all. But having a degree is an important passport in many cases to get into various nations."
As the U of N has spread to around 100 nations, Howard would like to see more and more schools develop. "I’d like to see more people who are ready to come alongside of those workers who are working so diligently in some of the developing nations, who see the tremendous potential of the University in their nation."
Howard has resisted pressure to make the U of N more like regular universities. "Hopefully, we won’t say, ‘This is the way to really do it, because this is the way this famous university does it over here.’" He says that is a trap. His earnest desire is that the U of N will not start listening to the world but will continue to listen to God. "The potential pitfall is that we won’t be listening to what God has to say."
Even as he has overseen the development of the U of N, Howard’s scientific work has continued. At the U of N Workshop in Africa this September, Howard unveiled a new water purification system he developed with inventor Rolf Englehard. The system removes pathogens, impurities and heavy metals from water and weighs only nine pounds. At the Workshop, representatives of the U of N Kona campus gave away 30 of these units, for which Howard had raised the finances. The UofN will be testing, improving and distributing the units through YWAM locations in the developing world.
One of the people who watched Howard demonstrate the purification equipment was Tom Bloomer, who is taking over Howard’s former role as U of N provost. Tom says, "Interest was high as Howard described his vision of every YWAM team eventually carrying at least one purifier on outreach, first for their own use and then to be able to leave it in a village."
Howard says as he tried to perfect the purification system’s design, God revealed the modifications to make. Once again, he was listening for God’s direction each step of the way.
Our relationship with Howard goes back to pre YWAM days in Urbana
His life impacted us greatly, particularly in his example of humility, generosity and incredible ability to make a person feel valuable. He truly left a legacy behind that enriched our lives. He knew what it meant to be a friend to all.
In 1994/1995, I was at the Kona campus for 9 months. So often, I would see this man with a white hat, sit down at different tables and talk with the students. One day, I had the blessing of having this man sit at my table. He was Howard Malmstadt.
Howard listened to people; no question or thought was unimportant. He had the ability to make you feel as if you had something worthwhile to contribute & that what you said mattered.
Howard taught a week in my Humanities and Science course. I remember learning so much from him that week, than I ever had in all my Science classes back in school. Most of all, Howard modelled humility and he lived out what was in his heart and life.
I count it a real privilege to have met Howard, even briefly. He truly was a humble man of God
i know that he wasn’t perfect — i roomed with him at quite a
few conferences! and i figured out that i worked directly for him for
17 years, and less directly for another 3: that’s 20 total.
and of course, in some ways he was ordinary. like, he had 2
ears, ten fingers, etc. and he couldn’t carry a tune in a basket.
but i want to remind you of the words of the Hasler award.
these were not over-the-top YWAM leaders deciding this award, but
scientists who are not given to hyperbole.
The 1995 Maurice F. Hasler Award is presented to Howard V.
for his seminal contributions to analytical spectroscopy and
He is a modern spectroscopist, futuristic innovator, and
prolific educator. The spectroscopy community and the world at large
have benefitted from his legacy of scientific insight and humanitarian
ideals. An array of academic sons and daughters, grandchildren and
great-grandchildren continue to propagate his concepts to the scientific
world. His singular career has notably enhanced the present and future
well-being of mankind.
wow! “…notably enhanced the present and future well-being of
mankind”??? not even Loren goes that far!
and as i said in the ‘legacy’ paragraph on the memorial website,
Howard’s true greatness was not just what he accomplished in the
scientific world; but that he left it. and that he left it to pay his
own way with YWAM.
i’m thinking more and more that personality type and physical
health have much to do with what we accomplish (or don’t) in life, and
Howard was given many natural gifts: a winsome, extroverted personality,
sharp intelligence (to put it mildly), good health, long life, an
incredible energy level, the capacity for divergent thinking that led to
his creativity, etc. so we must give credit to the Lord, who in His
sovereign plan bestowed on Howard this rare combination of gifts.
but other gifts have to be worked on, including perseverance and
aiming high, as well as the hope, faith and love that enabled Howard to
keep going in YWAM for 25 years. they don’t come naturally to anyone,
at least not at that level.
it’s certainly true that many, many people have labored to build
the UofN. even i came up with some of the key policies and messages and
stuff, and every single one who has served as Dean has paid a price and
contributed much. and i know full well that Howard didn’t plan it all,
or even see it all; none of us has, even yet. but each of us will
receive our recompense when the time comes; and Howard’s vision, melded
with Loren’s, was what got all those thousands of people going, and
still keeps us going.
so, in the end i have to agree with what Shakespeare said about
some king or other: “We shall not see his like again.”
Howard Malmstadt’s Legacy to YWAM:
copyright 2003 by Tom Bloomer
What did Howard leave us? Many things could be said, but here are some
that stand out to me.
— A brilliant example of lifelong learning that is innovative and
— A wide-angled vision of missions defined at its broadest, including
the Arts, the Sciences, in other words all of the Lord’s Creation: it
all fell, so it must all be redeemed. Jesus came for that purpose, and
He calls us to join Him on that path.
— A collaborative way of working that was team-based and committed to
the success of others
— An intense desire to help others learn, every day, at every meal, at
— A restless creativity that wonderfully diverged from the paths others
— A clear-eyed view of the stakes involved in training for missions:
the same as his training in World War II, a matter of life and death for
— A rigorous commitment to excellence that was an example even to the
But above all, Howard was to me an example of excellence
crucified. Like Jesus whom he followed, he was not content to stop with
being excellent; but he turned his back on the recognition, finances and
positions that could have been his at the height of his scientific
career and joined . . . us. YWAM. He turned his back on the
contemporary idol of excellence for the sake of excellence, and laid his
professional life down to come and help clear weeds from the grounds of
a broken-down hotel in order to start building a University that would
become, in the phrase he received from the Lord in prayer, a “multiplier
for missions.” Then he spent the next 25 years working at educating us
toward his vision of this global university that would significantly
advance the Kingdom of God.
So what must we do to receive Howard’s inheritance? It’s
simple, but far from easy: spend a lifetime becoming excellent in one
area, then allow the Lord to break that excellence into pieces, to be
able to use it to feed needy multitudes.
Howard V. Malmstadt: His Ongoing Legacy for Analytical Chemistry
Arranged by Gary M. Hieftje, Indiana University and Gary Horlick,
University of Alberta
This symposium will be presented at PITTCON(r) 2004 to be held at the
McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, Illinois, March 7-12,
Howard V. Malmstadt of the University of the Nations, who passed away
last summer on July 7, 2003, was a true giant of Analytical Chemistry
and clearly one of the most influential analytical chemists of the last
50 years. Howard, through his own work and that of his students (first
generation) and their students (second generation) changed the course of
Analytical Chemistry in the USA and Canada and, indeed, throughout the
world. In this symposium, his ongoing scientific legacy will be
highlighted in research talks presented by first, second and third
generation students. A remarkable diversity of research is currently
underway in these various laboratories, with topics ranging from atomic,
laser, mass, and Raman spectroscopy to detection technologies,
analytical education and micro-fabricated instrumentation
Howard Malmstadt had that hard-to-define component of leadership that
fostered independence, creativity and great enthusiasm in those who
worked with him; as a result, many truly innovative research ideas and
papers emanated from his laboratory at the University of Illinois.
Chris Enke of the University of New Mexico will open the symposium with
a talk highlighting both Howard’s charisma and his chemistry. Gary
Horlick of the University of Alberta will provide some highlights of
Howard’s career and then outline the legacy for Analytical Chemistry
that has been created by the first and ongoing generations that make up
the Malmstadt family of students. Jim Winefordner of the University of
Florida will relate how his own research has evolved from potentiometry
to laser spectroscopy and Ray Barnes from the University Research
Institute for Analytical Chemistry will discuss ” The Industrial-Academic Interface”.
Howard was one of the most innovative and influential educators of our
time. He changed forever the analytical curriculum through his many
books on “Electronics for Scientists”, his strong belief in the
importance of “hands-on” experience in education and the need to move
quickly from the lecture to the laboratory environment. Stan Crouch,
recently retired from Michigan State University, will outline the long
legacy of “Electronics for Scientists”, with emphasis on the teaching
philosophy of Howard Malmstadt. John Walters of St. Olaf College will
outline how his own teaching philosophies have evolved from his days at
Illinois in his talk entitled “40 Years of Development from One
In the mid 1960s few, if any, could have envisioned the central role
mass spectrometry would play in present analytical measurements.
Willard Harrison of the University of Florida was one who helped to spur
this evolution; he will discuss some current work involving laser
desorption and discharge ionization of biomolecules using nanoparticles.
Gary Hieftje, who himself has pioneered many developments in
spectroscopy from his laboratory at Indiana University, will talk about
the requirements for an ideal atomic mass spectrometer and document
progress toward this ideal. In fact, “blue-sky discussions” about the
“ideal.” frequently occurred during Malmstadt research group seminars at
the University of Illinois. In the 1960s the electronic acquisition of
spectra and computers in every instrument were still very much on the
ideal list. However, Howard sensed very early, and with remarkable
perception, the impact that integrated circuits and digital electronics
would have on laboratory measurements. In fact, Howard’s vision in this
area was decades ahead of what was to become the so-called “digital
age”. This primed his students to be early participants in the
developments that were to occur in these areas. Some of those 1960
“ideals” can now be implemented. Gary Horlick of the University of
Alberta will discuss an electronic database, acquired with a Fourier
transform spectrometer, containing complete ICP-AES UV and visible
spectra for 70 elements on two CD ROMs, and Bonner Denton of the
University of Arizona will discuss the revolutionary progress that has
been made in the area of electronic image sensing in a talk entitled
“Advanced Array Detector Technologies in Chemical Analysis”.
The Malmstadt legacy for Analytical Chemistry has been carried forward
by many second-generation students. Some have advanced and developed
new pathways in the atomic spectrometry area favored by many of the
first-generation students. John Olesik of Ohio State University will
show the new insights that can be gained about atomic sources by
utilizing single droplets, single particles and time-resolved
measurements; areas of investigation that were pioneered by Gary Hieftje
and John Walters. Paul Farnsworth of Brigham Young University will
discuss the nuances of an ion’s trip through the ICP-MS vacuum
interface. Sample introduction into plasma systems will be discussed by
Akbar Montaser of George Washington University and Jim Holcombe of the
University of Texas at Austin. Akbar will present results on his
modeling of direct liquid sample introduction for plasma spectrometry
and Jim (a third-generation student) will discuss the utilization of ETV
as a sample-introduction system for ICP-MS. Considerable work on the
utilization of glow discharges in analytical spectroscopy has been
carried out for many years in the laboratories of Willard Harrison. Two
of his students, Ken Marcus of Clemson University and Fred King of West
Virginia University, have established their own legacy in this area and
will describe their research that has furthered the analytical utility
of the glow discharge device.
A number of other second-generation students are now pursuing research
at the forefront of new and emerging areas such as bioanalysis,
microfluidics, and nanoscience. Michael Blades of the University of
British Columbia, whose work has contributed much to our fundamental
understanding of analytical plasmas, has now focused his research on
biophysical measurements; he will discuss the capability of fiber-optic
linked ultraviolet resonance Raman spectroscopy for such measurements.
J. Michael Ramsey of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a pioneer in
the area of microfludics and the so-called “lab-on-a-chip” concept. He
will cover miniaturization of chemical measurement technology as will
Vassili Karanassios of the University of Waterloo in his talk entitled
“Thinking Small in Analytical Instrumentation”. Richard Sacks of the
University of Michigan will follow this same theme with a presentation
on micro-fabricated instruments for vapor analysis. Finally, Jonathan
Sweedler of the University of Illinois, who is making remarkable
analytical measurements on and in small systems, will talk about
adapting techniques to characterize peptide vesicles.
Memorial Services for Howard Malmstadt
As you have no doubt heard, our dear friend and brother Howard Malmstadt
went to be with his Lord on July 7, 2003. He slipped away very
peacefully in his sleep here in Kona, Hawaii.
Howard is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 55 years, Carolyn Gay
Malmstadt, their daughter Cynthia and her husband Tom Bloomer, their
daughter Alice and her husband Phil Magner, their son John, and three
grandchildren: Philip, Paul and Jonathan.
Friends and co-workers are invited to attend the memorial services
planned in celebration of Howard’s life:
Kona Hawaii: July 10, 2003 at 7:00 p.m. U of N Plaza of Nations
Singapore: September 3, 2003 at Synergy (the U of N workshop)
En lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the
Howard V. Malmstadt Water for Life Memorial Fund.* Cards may be sent
to Carolyn Gay Malmstadt, P.O. Box 5, Bridgman, MI 49106.
A YWAMconnect memorial site has been set up in honor of Howard which you
are encouraged to visit: << http://www.ywamconnect.com/sites/hvm_memorial >> Here you may:
Post messages on the message board, sharing how Howard’s life
has touched yours
Make donations to the Howard V. Malmstadt Water for Life
E-mail remembrances to Howard’s family:
E-mail photos with a brief description and date:
Please pray for Howard’s family, friends and colleagues as we all
endeavor to adjust to our great loss, but heaven’s gain.
July 7, 2003
*Donations for the Howard V. Malmstadt Water for Life Memorial Fund may
be made online at:
<<http://www.ywamconnect.com/sites/hvm_memorial>> Or checks made out
to “YWAM” may be sent to: YWAM International/King’s Mansion, P.O. Box
350, Kealakekua, Hawaii 96750 USA. Please be sure to attach a note
designating the gift for the HVM Water for Life Memorial Fund.
The 1995 Maurice F. Hasler Award is presented to Howard V Malmstadt for his seminal contributions to analytical spectroscopy and instrumentation.
He is a modern spectroscopist, futuristic innovator, and prolific educator. The spectroscopy community and the world at large have benefited from the legacy of scientific insight and humanitarian ideals. An array of academic sons and daughters, grandchildren, and great grand-grandchildren continue to propagate his concepts to the scientific world. His singular career has notably enhanced the present and future well-being of mankind.
World-class scientist and educator launched a missions university
EDITOR’S NOTE: This tribute to Dr. Howard Malmstadt is reprinted from a 1994 issue of U of N’s Online Magazine. Dr. Malmstadt died in Kona on July 7, 2003.
By Mary T. Vreeland
Why would a prominent scientist and distinguished educator resign at the height of his career to help found a missionary training university?
Dr. Howard V. Malmstadt didn’t just wake up one day and decide, “I’m going to be a radical Christian.” He has been radical most of his life. In fact, as a young man he prayed about being a missionary. He was advised that he would have more influence as a professor, interacting with students from around the world. So he pursued that goal wholeheartedly.
Professor H.V. Malmstadt was known as “High Voltage Malmstadt” to his chemistry students and colleagues at the University of Illinois (1951-1978), where his prolific ideas and energy were nearly legendary.
Howard applied to chemistry and spectroscopy the new electronics technology he had helped to invent. His involvement in electronics began as a naval radar officer during World War II. He has been on the cutting edge of scientific measurement ever since, winning awards in chemistry and education, teaching innovative courses, and co-authoring a series of important textbooks which are used to teach scientific measurement worldwide.
One momentous day at a seminar in 1974, Howard met Youth With A Mission founder Loren Cunningham. They started giving educational seminars together, and eventually, Loren asked Howard to help expand the training arm of the mission.
Three years later, Howard set aside his distinguished U of I career and moved with his wife Carolyn to Hawaii. His vision and academic experience soon began shaping what was to become Pacific and Asia Christian University, forerunner of the worldwide University of the Nations.
The master planning stage for the Kona campus (1978-1981) involved hundreds of meetings where Howard, Loren, architect Jim Miller, civil engineer David Ross and other leaders prayed and hammered out the vision. “As a mission we are called to form projects and courses under the direction of the Holy Spirit, not just because they are a good idea,” Howard often says.
When major construction started in 1983, the Kona campus consisted of one new building and a few dilapidated ones. About three years later the major roads and four new buildings were completed, along with the flags and fountain at Plaza of the Nations.
Howard’s innovation of the Mission Builders program in 1980 expedited construction, and many of the volunteers were drawn into full time service. The Administration Building, built in 1980, was their first project.
Howard’s role as International Provost and later as International Chancellor has been to help U of N President Loren Cunningham with the overall development of U of N resource campuses internationally. For the last 22 years Howard has been working to pull together resources and form teams of architects, engineers, project managers and academic personnel to make and carry out master plans for U of N resource campuses worldwide.
In addition to developing resource campuses, Howard has coordinated the development of U of N’s worldwide network of about 300 branch locations in 90 nations offering hundreds of different courses.
U of N is founded on educational and spiritual principles that Howard encountered during World War II. He describes a secret class at MIT, where he was trained to be a Navy radar officer:
“The founders of this course condensed several years of university classes into a few months, so we could join the fleet quickly. This immersion training, combined with hands-on projects, was the most effective teaching I’ve ever had. And we found that as we worked closely in unified teams, there were continuous breakthroughs.”
This experience influenced the development of the intensive modular courses, combined with immediate field application, that we have at U of N today. “If the field assignments are done right, we will be using what we learned and seeing what we should be learning,” said Howard.
Fifty years ago the admiral told Howard’s class, “How well you listen–how well you learn–could be a matter of life and death for 1000’s of people.” Howard saw the truth of that during some of the fiercest naval battles of World War II.
Today he asks U of N leaders, “Do we feel that way about our schools? Do we develop our programs and administrate them that way? I believe the Lord wants us to realize that what we are doing in this University of the Nations will be a matter of spiritual life and death for thousands and thousands, and hopefully millions…”
When the war ended, Howard directed a navy radar fundamentals school. When he noticed that there were usually personal reasons why a student was not doing well, as opposed to the commonly assumed lack of ability, Howard changed some policies.
“I told my large staff that we needed a lot of one-on-one contact with the students, so we could help them walk through the difficult times,” said Howard. “We’ve implemented that at U of N. If that ever slips away, we must immediately set up a program to insure that essential one-to-one contact.”
Another aspect of the World War II radar school was a fine creative atmosphere. This was also available at U of I. “It proved again that a creative atmosphere leads to creativity. This is another thing we want to provide at U of N,” said Howard. “Only when you provide academic freedom to responsible people can they develop unique ideas. At U of N, it is also a matter of having spiritual character. We then give those leaders the freedom to develop courses the way they think best.
“The colleges should give that same freedom to the students. It all comes back to giving them freedom to be who God wants them to be, and not a clone of who you are.”
“If we want to stay on the leading edge, U of N can never be static,” Howard continued. “That means we must have people doing things that we have never done ourselves. At U of N we have a long way to go in providing that kind of creative atmosphere. But God has given creativity to everybody, and it is our job to bring out that creativity in people.”
Another principle of U of N is that we are a “multiplier for missions”. This multiplication concept came from Howard’s experience developing the “electronics for scientists” short-course at U of I.
People were saying it would take scientists three years to learn to apply World War II electronics innovations to their research problems. But Howard didn’t believe it. He designed an intensive modular course that was relationship based. The scientists who took it often knew little or nothing about electronics. But by the end of the intensive short course they were improvising new systems that resulted in breakthroughs in their work.
Howard realized many scientists wanted to duplicate the course. So, over 30 years ago, he and Dr. Chris Enke developed a textbook/equipment package that was used internationally. “Because we not only taught a few hundred students, but also facilitated the teaching of over 100,000 students worldwide, there was a multiplication factor,” explained Howard. “The Lord is leading U of N to multiply missions training in this same way.”
Chris Enke, who was Howard’s first lab teaching assistant in the electronics short course, described what it was like to be mentored by Howard: “Howard inspired tremendous loyalty in his students by the way he treated them. Even though I was a student, he always treated me as a colleague. And he shared royalties with me fully right from the start.”
Howard also had a major role in Chris’s spiritual journey. “Howard made me hungry by what he was and what he shared about his faith,” Chris said.
Now, when some colleagues tell Chris that he gives his own students too much credit, he passes on the attitude Howard modeled for him–there’s enough credit to go around.
Many people have commented on Howard’s humility. John Kuhne summed it up well when he said, “Howard doesn’t get caught up in the lie of roles. He just sees his role as another way to get the Gospel out there.”
Barbara Opperman, wife of one of Howard’s colleagues, spoke of Howard’s active faith while he was at U of I: “Howard never hesitated to share his faith with his graduate students. And when he was presenting papers at scientific meetings, he acknowledged the Creator.”
Howard has had numerous affirmations of his work as scientist, educator, and co-founder of University of the Nations. One of his most significant scientific honors came in 1995–the Hasler Award, presented by the Spectroscopy Society of America.
Brian R. Strohmeier, Chairman of the Award Committee, states that “Professor Malmstadt has made immense contributions to analytical chemistry, especially in the areas of atomic and molecular spectroscopy, both as an educator and a researcher…he is well known for his brilliant scientific intellect, nurturing personality, high moral standards, enthusiasm, creativity, and leadership in analytical chemistry.
“The world of atomic spectroscopy today is largely a result of the many generations of students that he has mentored…”
Howard still keeps in touch with his former doctoral students, many of whom are now internationally renowned scientists themselves. He is the author or co-author of more than 150 scientific articles and ten internationally used textbooks.
He has won numerous national teaching and scientific awards (see inset), and is still is called upon to speak at international scientific gatherings. His work with the U of N has continued that quest for excellence.
Loren Cunningham says: “I cannot imagine the University of the Nations without Howard…I admire him as a man of God with sterling character and deep commitment, as well as excellent gifts to help fulfill Christ’s mandate through the U of N.”
Howard vividly remembers the day God called him to work with YWAM. He was sick in bed when he heard God say, “Lay down your university career and go work with YWAM.” At the time, Howard thought his role would be solely to help Loren develop educational packages. Howard said yes to God, and started phasing out his doctoral students in an orderly manner.
During that three-year process, Howard was nominated to be the president of another university. He was about to say “no” when he remembered, “YWAMers pray about everything. I need to ask God about this.” As he was praying, the Lord told him that YWAM would have a university, and he would be part of it.
“Daily during that time,” Howard said, “scientists and students would quiz me at length about reasons for leaving my U of I career. This gave me many opportunities to witness.”
Dr. Derek Chignell of Wheaton College says people still remember a chapel talk Howard gave at that time. The message was, “It’s never too late to be a missionary, even at age 55!”
Howard laughs when he describes Loren picking him up at the Kona airport in 1977. “It was the only time I’ve seen Loren nervous. He told me God had said we were to have a university. Loren was so shocked when I said, ‘Oh, God already told me that!'”
Chris Enke admires Howard’s decision: “Howard did a courageous thing–he left his team of more than 20 doctoral students, excellent labs, research funding support, and a successful career to go work with YWAM.”
This was especially courageous considering the tremendous challenge Howard faced of building a university with little money and an all-volunteer staff.
Howard still loves working with students, and it’s common to see him in earnest conversation with many nationalities in the U of N Kona cafeteria. As new U of N International Provost Tom Bloomer once quoted, “‘Even if you had ten thousand teachers, you’d not have many fathers.’ Howard is the main father of the U of N, and has a father heart for all of us.”
APPLIED SPECTROSCOPY 153A
Alexander Scheeline, Editor
Note from the Editor. It is unusual to review a biography in Applied
Spectroscopy, particularly when a majority of the content is
not focused on technical matters. However, since Howard V.
Malmstadt is a scientific ancestor of at least 5% of the Society’s
membership (including this editor and the book’s reviewer), it
seemed appropriate here.—A. Scheeline
Into the Light: The Academic and Spiritual Legacy of Dr. Howard
Malmstadt. J. Feaver. Youth with a Mission Publishing, Seattle,
WA, 2007. Pp. 128. Price: US$11.99. ISBN 1-57-658411-9.
I found this book an enjoyable read. As the title implies, the book
breaks down into two parts of Dr. Howard Malmstadt’s life, although
it is obvious that these parts make up the whole of the late
Dr. Howard Malmstadt.
While the author of this biography (John Feaver) is more personally familiar with Dr. Malmstadt’s ‘‘spiritual legacy,’’ he does a nice job of recounting Malmstadt’s years as a
cornerstone in modern analytical chemistry while he was a faculty member at the University of Illinois (1951–1977). In addition to Malmstadt’s scientific accomplishments and his pioneering work in teaching electronics and ‘‘modular instrumentation,’’ he is also recognized as the academic father, grandfather, etc., of several generations of leading spectroscopists and instrumentalists in the US analytical chemistry community. In the book, insights into his teaching and mentoring philosophies are smoothly revealed through conversations with former students as well as through anecdotal incidents relayed by these individuals. Judging by the success of his research program, his contributions to modern analytical chemistry and the legacy of scientists that he has sponsored, the book
serves as a subliminal tutorial on people and research management.
I found it interesting that his encouragement of group problem solving and collaborative research preceded by more than two decades what is now considered to be the modern research model. I particularly like the recollection of Camille Bishop, who quotes Howard
as having said, ‘‘I function by identifying what needs to be done, explain why and let the people pick up on it. I make suggestions along the way and see if they pick up on them. That is one of the ways of seeing if you have people who are capable of moving into
leadership; they really pick up on things.’’ After leaving U of I in 1977, he became one of the founders of a Christian-based university in Hawaii that was ultimately named
University of the Nations. Here he served as a faculty member and enabling force for both academic and research activities.
As an example, his recognition of the need for clean water in many underdeveloped
parts of the world is an interesting case in point of engaging others in a humanitarian project with realistic ‘‘ideals’’ such as the need for cost-effective purification. His enthusiasm for the
project served as a catalyst to involve other talented individuals in the project, a genius he displayed throughout his scientific career.
JAMES A. HOLCOMBE
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712
R.I.P. Howard. I first met Howard, as a young 26-year-old at the University of Illinois, in 1985. He was a professor at the UofI and told me to attend the new university he founded along with others in Hawaii. I did so and changed the direction of my life from total tennis to total Christ with the added blessing of tennis added in. My life outlook changed to a world outlook. See you in heaven and I will thank you, Howard.