April 21, 2000
Volume XXXIII, No. 16


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Longtime HSC employee retires

Ben Clements, institutional safety coordinator, has retired after 28 years on the job. He joined the fledgling Health Science Center in 1971 as a physical safety officer. Over the years, his job expanded to include developing standards for chemical, biological and radiological safety. One of his principal responsibilities was reviewing grant proposals for adherence to safety standards and making recommendations to the safety committee.

Job satisfaction aside, Clements says he is proudest of the relationships he established with other staff members at the Health Science Center. An ordained minister, Clements has performed more than 30 weddings for HSC staffers, as well as a few funerals. Clements is a prolific poet as well, writing verses for fellow employees, family and friends.

Now that he is retired, he plans to travel, do some carpentry and work seriously on getting his poetry published. Clements and his wife of 45 years, Shirley, have one daughter and two grandchildren.

A retirement reception for Clements will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, in the auditorium foyer.

Here is a sample of his poetry.

Teaching

If a tree falls in a forest
And there is nothing living near,
Does it make any sound at all
If there's nothing there to hear?
 
If a man speaks in wisdom
From the storehouse of his brain,
And no one understands him
Then his words are said in vain.
 
Teaching's more than emptying,
It's also filling up;
It's not just the tipping of the pitcher,
It's the filling of the cup.
 
Heed this word of advice, teacher,
lest your teaching come to naught,
It's not a subject that you're teaching
It's the student that is taught. 

Ben Clements