I Am Here because of You Pt. 3: Dr. Long's Living Legacy

written by Dr. Elizabeth Ruleman

 

Building on these foundations, Dr. Knowles and Dr. Grant Willhite, in conjunction with now President Kang Sang-jung and Lee Flake of the Department of Foreign Languages at NWU, facilitated a transfer exchange program in 2020 allowing TWU and NWU students to study at the other school while paying tuition to the home institution. COVID prevented any transfer until this year, but with the help of TWU’s Hayley Moser, Johny navigated the challenges of the international admissions process and arrived in early August to study Special Education, a field of study he is deeply committed to. He is now preparing a document that will outline all the requirements and procedures for his classmates at NWU to undertake this opportunity to study at TWU.

 

Johny arrived at TWU with the mission to help facilitate this exchange. His classes are going well, and he has made many friends. Johny tutors in the Language Café several hours a week, teaching Japanese to two current TWU students, who are beginning their applications to study at Nagasaki Wesleyan next year. Ana Barrios, coordinator of the Study Abroad Program here at Tennessee Wesleyan, is working with Lee Flake and Yuka Ikeda to make this happen, and Dr. Tyler Forrest has vowed to do anything he can to make our relationship with our Japanese “sisters” stronger.

 

Tennessee is part of my identity

Johny Carroll Catley

Some days, he says, he likes to sit on one of the rocking chairs on the porch of Old College and listen to Dolly Parton. Johny has already planned a Christmastime visit to Dollywood in the company of former Chinzei Gakuin-TWU Language and Culture Program staff members Sydney Varajon, Ethel Ding, and Elizabeth Ruleman.

 

In a recent Instagram post with a picture of the grave of the Reverend Dr. Carroll Summerfield Long, Johny stated, "I am here because of you!”

Johny, Josie, and Chloe cleaning Rev. Dr. Long's tombstone

On October 23, Nagasaki Wesleyan University’s founding date, Johny, joined by two friends Josie Mitchell and Chloe Pitts, as well as TWU’s Cody Bandy and Elizabeth Ruleman, met at Cedar Grove Cemetery to clean the Reverend Dr. Carroll Summerfield Long’s grave. With water, cloths, scissors, a brush, and a broom, the group removed the dirt and moss. In the process, they discovered what others have failed to find. On the book, presumably the Bible, carved into the headstone, the blurred words, when uncovered, revealed the following scripture from Isaiah 25:8 (KJV): He will swallow up death in victory.

 

Reverend Dr. Long's Tombstone

This poignant epitaph speaks volumes about a man who devoted his life to the work of the Methodist church but died at age 40, leaving his wife and four young daughters. After the grave was clean, Johny read Christ’s words about good and faithful servants and gave a prayer of thanksgiving for Dr. Long’s missionary work in Japan, the work that ultimately led to his coming to TWU. The motto of his high school, Chinzei Gakuin, is “Revere Heaven, Love People”—and this just about sums up both Dr. Long and Johny. 

 

This nineteenth-century alumnus of our institution devoted his life to educating others, and his legacy lives on. Johny calls TWU the “mother school” of his own institution, a relationship closer than that of sisters, and he has taken a new middle name. He is now Johny Carroll Catley, in honor of Carroll Summerfield Long. It is indeed time for this story to be told.