February 9, 2018 at 11:50 am

Enterline ’68 Recalls Campus Unrest, Epic Flooding

David Enterline, yearbook photo and image of students in boat during campus flooding

David Enterline ’68

From Compass

Compass interviewed David Enterline, M.S., Plant Biology as part of a story on a special anniversary for the Ohio University class of 1968, as these Golden Bobcats celebrate years of success and achievement since waving farewell to Athens 50 years ago.

OHIO’s campus was bustling with activity in the late 1960s: The nation was embroiled in a controversial war in Vietnam. War and civil rights protests erupted across the nation, and Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. College campuses nationwide grew tense and unrestful, eventually culminating in reactions to the 1970 student shootings at Kent State University.

As OHIO students sought to make sense of their surroundings, they also worked hard toward academic and personal achievement.

To get a better idea about what Athens was like in the late ’60s, four Golden Bobcats reflected on their University experience. See all four interviews in Compass.

David Enterline’s Story

Enterline served on Ohio University Student Senate and was involved in ensuring students were safe during Vietnam War protests and the infamous flooding in the spring of ’68. After graduating with his master’s degree from OHIO, he took a teaching position at the nearby Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio.

What was it like being on campus during such a controversial war?

The war left everyone divided. My best high school buddy went to the United States Military Academy at the wrong time. He did not make it back [home]. War is so political, and you do not know who or what to trust.

I was on Graduate Student Senate. It was not a position I thought I would ever have because I wasn’t super political. There were smaller marches and protests on campus, but it got worse after the Kent State shootings in 1970. The University decided to cut the quarter short after that happened.

Any memorable moments at Ohio University?

The Hocking River flooded. I went to Porter Hall and nobody was there. I thought we needed some security. I camped out in the building for a day.

Across the street from Porter Hall, students were jumping out of the dorm windows into the water. At one time, I had to break out a window to get into a building to save equipment from being destroyed by water.

Where did your major take you?

After graduation, I taught at Hocking College with a man named Bill Price, who was the first naturalist in Ohio. At the same time, I was trying to write my master’s thesis.

We started the natural resource department at Hocking College in 1968. Over the years, I taught a whole lot of different courses in natural resources.

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