category: Faculty Emeriti - In Memory Of

Paul John Stacy

Professor Emeritus of Biology

Paul John Stacy

Paul John Stacy (1907-1991), a native of Cleveland County, N.C., was the son of the late Lucius and Sarah Stacy. He had one sister, Mary Elizabeth Stacy. Upon completion of high school, Stacy attended Duke University. He also did graduate work at Duke in cancer research. Stacy was professor of biology at Gardner-Webb for 40 years.

He was married to the former 
Alice Goode King, and they attended
 Central United Methodist Church in Shelby, N.C.

Stacy was known as Pop Stacy on the campus of Gardner–Webb. He wanted to instill in his students a love for God and biology. He was remembered for leading students through active investigation into the worlds of science and religion, and proposed that the two walk hand-in-hand, not separate from each other.

He was regarded as a first-rate professor with a good sense of humor with a strong ability to remember former students—where they sat in his classes—and he even remembered their final grades. He often invited his students to come back and see him after graduation and put his memory to the test.

Stacy was well known throughout the Town of Boiling Springs, N.C. He spent much of his free time chatting with friends at the local drug store and sharing some of his philosophy of life and his weather predictions.

Stacy retired in 1984 and was elected as professor emeritus of biology. He is remembered for his strong Christian ideals and his genuine interest in people, especially his students.

The late Lansford Jolley, a former student and colleague, presented the eulogy for Stacy’s funeral service. He reminded those present of how Stacy, as a teacher, was the embodiment of Christian education at its best. He was remembered for his genuine concern for his students and for his great love and loyalty to Gardner-Webb and his colleagues.

Jolley noted, “Even though one might forget all about biology, one would never forget Mr. Stacy’s philosophy, his humorous sayings, and his inspiration to others. He was a humble man, respecting the views of others, a good teacher, a good philosopher, a good weather man, but most of all a good Christian man.”

Sharon Case Randall, Class of 1968, after reading about Stacy’s death, wrote an article entitled “Good–bye, Mr. Stacy,” published in the June 1992 edition of “The Webb,” now “Gardner-Webb: The Magazine.”

Randall recounted many impressions of Paul John Stacy and of experiences in his class. She stated, “…there are rare individuals… who seem so much alive, so good at living, that you get fooled into thinking they’ll be around forever.”

She recalls one of those hectic college days when she did not want to be working with starfish in the lab. She was voicing her complaints to her lab partner when suddenly she realized that Stacy was near her. His comment, “Lucky old starfish,” he growled then winked, “came out of the briny deep to be gazed at by a brown-eyed doll.” She stated that Stacy did not hold grudges and that she would still get her B. She further stated, “But I remember, and have kept throughout life, his sense of wonder in seeing things never seen before…What seemed more important to him—even more than our learning what we studied in class—was our understanding how privileged we were to study it.”

Sources: Interviews with Lansford and Cothenia Jolley (Class of 1947) and Sharon Case Randall (Class of 1968), author of an article for the June 1992 issue of “The Webb”

– Eddie Connolly

Updated: Noel T. Manning II, December 2022

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