Dr. Middleton

Dr. George Middleton

Guest Book Entries

We invite you to share your thoughts, stories, and remembrances of Dr. Middleton.
 September 2, 2009
         Peter Raish    (GPGC Student)
 March 16, 2009
  "How many angels can sit on the head of a pin?" were the first words uttered to me by Dr. Middleton. Wow! at that point I knew what would have been expected of me as a prospective faculty member. Indeed it was Dr. Middleton with his unique technique of "molding" individuals into the faculty member of which today I am still part of and extremely thankful for. I will miss the challenges put before the faculty in one way or another. His smile, somewhat suspicious, but warming, never led us astray. I don?t know too much about his personal life, but as the leader of GPGC, good luck to the individual chosen to fill this great mans shoes. Eternal Rest unto him O Lord. 
         Joseph Feucht    (GPGC Staff)
 July 27, 2008
  He loved us in the best way you can love a gifted child - by offering a safe place to grow and learn. How much that's meant to how many lives is very evident in this guestbook. Thank you, Uncle Middy, and have a slice of Bilbo's birthday cake for me. 
         Metta Tanielu    (GPGC Student)
 July 22, 2008
  To "Uncle Middy," Our kind, highly intelligent benefactor with the quiet smile...He never let on to his "giftie" students all the wonderful things he accomplished for so many. Today's world often champions cleverness that includes meanness and even outright cruelty. Thank you, Dr. Middleton, for using your very creative mind for so many good works! Michelle Borel Reisel Sr. '73  
         Michelle Reisel    (GPGC Student)
 July 8, 2008
  Uncle Middy took a troubled teen and taught him an appreciation of life and art that changed his life. Rest in peace good doctor. May we all be so great as to inspire a positive change in the lives of those around us. 
         Nic Lerma    (GPGC Student)
 June 28, 2008
  There's nothing better than Dr. George Middleton and The Governor's Program! 
         Fred Rolfes    (GPGC Student)
 June 10, 2008
  George Middleton was one of those brilliant people who believed in the fundamental goodness and potential of children. He knew, long before many other experts, that children who are intellectually supported and challenged become better and more useful adults. He encouraged all of us to never forget that each moment of life is precious and filled with possibility. I treasure my friendship with Dr. Middleton as one of the transformational elements of my own life. 
         BJ Zamora    (GPGC Staff)
 May 24, 2008
  This man has done such in a lifetime, he will be remembered for many more. I can't express what this man meant to me, but I can truly say that I will never forget him. 
         anonymous     (GPGC Student)
 May 23, 2008
  Memorial Remarks Delivered in Lake Charles, Louisiana On May 1, 2008 By Joshua Brown.

Good afternoon, and thank you all for coming. I think Dr. Middleton would be slightly embarrassed at the large numbers of people here today -- he never liked being the center of attention, but I also think that he would, inside, be extremely touched and pleased.

I would like to say a few words today first about the man we all loved, Dr. Middleton, and then about the legacy he has left us, the Governor's Program for Gifted Children.

Dr. Middleton was my teacher, my mentor, sometimes my gadfly, and most importantly, one of my dearest friends. Dr. Middleton taught me many important lessons, some directly, but most by example. I think all of us who knew Dr. Middleton would agree that one of his greatest strengths was his kindness and tolerance for others. I will always keep close in mind, not only the memory of his many acts of kindness, but more importantly, the very great impact that these acts had on others. Another lesson I learned from Dr. Middleton is to truly listen to people. Dr. Middleton was a master at hearing people out, even if he didn't agree with them, and giving their words and ideas serious consideration, no matter what a person's station, gifts, or especially, age. I cannot express to you how much it can change a child's life to have a respected adult really listen to your opinion and, if not act on it, at least engage you in a serious discussion on the matter.

I went to a Jesuit high school and one of the values stressed there was to be a "Man for Others." Dr. Middleton was the first person I met in life that was always clearly striving towards that goal and without a doubt he was truly a man for others.

Dr. Middleton had many joys in his life, and many intellectual pursuits. In founding the Governor's Program he gave hundreds and hundreds of gifted children a place to come to learn about the scientific method and the Great Ideas -- especially Truth, Justice, and the Good. Most importantly, he gave us a place to come where we could be ourselves and belong to a community that shared not only certain gifts but also, thanks to Dr. Middleton's vision, certain values, values which guide us through out our lives.

Perhaps Dr. Middleton's greatest joy was in the fine arts and especially music. He loved to listen to fine music and he endeavored to learn to play the music he so adored. He even began to dabble in composing, and he touched my wife Nikki and my hearts when he sent a small piece he composed for our newborn daughter almost two years ago.

This is why I would like us today to consider the Governor's Program as Dr. Middleton's greatest composition. He has written the score for us to play throughout our lives, and on whatever instrument or voice our gifts have made available to us. Our conductor will change from time to time, and our ensemble will grow larger and larger but the music, those values and lessons that the Governor's Program has given to us will remain and be a constant theme that unites us and reminds us every day of the legacy that our Uncle Middy has left us.

Lastly, I will remind you of the charge that Dr. Middleton has imparted to us:
     ab illo cui multum datur multum requiritur
Roughly translated this means from he to whom much is given, much is required. All of us should remember this, not only to live up to the natural gifts that we have been given, but also to the gift that Dr. Middleton has given us and will continue to give to generations of gifted children. I can not think of anything else that would make this wonderful and great man happier or more fulfilled.  
         Joshua Brown    (GPGC Student)
 May 22, 2008
  I second Paul Honsinger's sentiments: Dr. Middleton's life was one worth celebrating. The blessings of being one of Middie's Kiddies are too wonderful to describe, too deep to be fathomed, and too great to be forgotten. As a side note, and not a surprising one, whenever we drew mungs (something we did from time to time in summers of the early 70's), the depiction of "Dr. Middlemung" was always smiling and friendly. Farewell, Uncle Middy, and thank you - I hope to see you again, someday, on the other side of the pearly gates. 
         Kelly Hyndman    (GPGC Student)
 May 21, 2008
  I am so sad to read of Dr. Middleton's passing. He was such a kind and gentle man. He spoke to us like adults but in a way you still felt you could run up and hug him like your Grandpa. You will be missed Uncle Middy. The world is a better place and I am a better person because of you.  
         Melissa Cotner    (GPGC Student)
 May 21, 2008
  Two stories.

First. Last year I was reading an on old Encyclopedia Brown book that I had bought at a Friends of the Library sale for like a quarter, aloud with my son, Collin, when we came across the word ambergris. I smiled, nodded with what I'm sure was a distant expression, and said, "Oh." My wife, a giftie through and through herself, though from a different state, asked what my action had meant. I told her that some three decades earlier, in an office in Lake Charles, Lousiana, amid my many explications of how to build a watch when the kindly Doctor George Middleton had asked me the time (or other similar metaphorically similar test/interview questions), Uncle Middy had asked me to define the word ambergris, and I had immediately responded, "whale vomit," though I couldn't figure out where I had gotten that definition (which is close to correct, but not entirely thorough or accurate). These many years later, I finally remembered that it had been from the context of the Encyclopedia Brown book, which I had read myself during elementary school. But I realize now that, in telling the story to my wife (who has heard many tales of the Program and will not be surprised whatsoever about this addendum), I left out what truly is the most important part of the tale: Dr. Middleton's next words in that conversation had been, "Don't worry, Robert. You'll remember when it matters more."

Second. A couple of months ago, Collin and I checked out some CDs at the local library. One was the soundtrack to Man of La Mancha. Collin, nine years old, sat on the couch and listened to the disk in its entirety, reading the liner notes as he hummed, and asking me questions to verify that he was getting the story just right. Finally came The Impossible Dream. Sad, poignant, simple, beautiful, huge. Collin wept. Wept and wept and wept. From the heart, the soul. Gentle yet passionate sobs. And as I hugged him, I quietly said, "Thank you." Collin asked, "For what, Dad?" And even though I responded meaningfully to my beautiful boy in that moment, I knew then as I know know that my expression of gratitude really had been offered distantly to George Middleton. 
         Robert Ulmer    (GPGC Student)
 May 21, 2008
  What more can you say of a man - than he made the World a much "Better Place" to live in - by his time spent upon this earth?

For Dr. George Middleton, this is unquestionably true and is undoubtably a part of his special legacy. He is a man who has 'thousands' of loving GPGC 'summer Grandchildren' who honor his efforts and his memory.

As a member of the first two years of Dr. Middleton's "Experimental Program" - I have such fond memories of him, and of what he taught us as 6th and 7th Graders.

"Dr. George" monitored us on a pretty "short rope" - in those early years, but that was OK. This program ('his' program) was considered to still be Experimental - the GPGC designation was yet to be recognized.

He guided and mentored us and nurtured us as well. He taught us that we had responsibilites as the result of a 'gift.' It was our responsibility to always do the very best that we could possibly do. He also taught us that we had a responsiblity to do good things, and to share the benefits of our 'gifts' with those around us. He instilled a special pride in us - such that we could accomplish very special things with our lives. He made us believe in ourselves - like no one else had ever done.

Now, in looking back at it all - the GPGC was one of the cardinal 'Foci' of my life, and to Dr. Middleton's dream.

I thank Dr. George Middleton for his unparalled foresight in establishing this program & in continuing in for future generations. We are all 'better people' - as a result of knowing "Dr. George."

Dave Landers / David B. Landers, MD GPGC - Class 1 & 2  
         David B. Landers, MD    (GPGC Student)
 May 15, 2008
  In gratitude and respect. 
         Ed Kelly    (GPGC Student)
 May 13, 2008
  My life was blessed when I was given the opportunity to meet this man who was able to wear so many hats successfully. Dr. Middleton, GPGC Director, hired my husband, Dr. Richard Ardoin to teach science and serve as principal from 1968 to 1980 and 2001-present; hired me as the GPGC secretary, office manager, recruiting officer, and office assistant from 1980-2005 - a boss for 30 years+. Soon to follow, our family began to think of Dr. and Mrs. Middleton as family -- always there for my children with their presence at family cookouts (crawfish!!), holidays, birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries. My grandchildren respectfully call them Uncle Middy and Aunt Jackie -- our dearest family friends. Dr. Middleton taught me much about life as I worked with him daily at the GPGC: love, truth, justice, and responsibility were my special lessons with many memories attached -- my mentor and teacher. I loved the GPGC families and working with former students who joined the GPGC staff as teachers, counselors, and administrative officers, and made lifelong friends with many of the students I met during this special time in my life. When I retired, I had the awesome privilege of joining the GPGC Seniors 2000 at Graduation to receive an honorary diploma and a personal invitation from Dr. Middleton to walk on stage with him and sing our alma mater, The Impossible Dream -- his "IMPOSSIBLE DREAM" come true -- and the ALUMNI will make sure this dream lives forever to serve as many gifties as possible, and hopefully, give to others what has been given to us from an extremely loving, kind, patient, truthful servant of GOD and mankind!  
         Joan Ardoin    (Friend/Colleague)
 May 12, 2008
  All I ever did was attend the program as a student, and I selfishly feel as though I have suffered a great loss with the passing of Dr. Middleton - when in reality, the weight of this loss falls apon the many people who interacted with him closely and the future generations of gifties who will never have the gift of his remarkable wisdom and kindess. I am sorry that I never got to thank him or repay him for everything I learned and experienced through the program. I always felt a nervous energy whenever he was around. I would see him talking with students and alumni and faculty and realize that he treated everyone with the utmost respect. I have heard many people say the Uncle Middy was the noblest of men, and he was. When he talked, he made you feel as though you really could be as good as you could be, and that he expected you to be able to do just that. The few times I spoke with him were times I remember feeling as though I were capable of great things. I am sorry that I never got to thank him for the program, for making me the person I am today, and for giving me the gift of wanting to do something for myself and the world. 
         Kristen Gremillion    (GPGC Student)
 May 12, 2008
  "Swooping Down"

At some point early on in each session, usually preceding or following the campaign speeches for the government, Dr. Middleton would give a little talk about the GPGC government and the necessity to take it seriously. He would remind the students that they have been given great power through the government to affect their daily lives at the Program, and indeed, the daily lives of students years in the future if they governed well enough and passed good laws. This talk would end with a warning that there is always a dictator waiting in the wings to swoop down and take power if democracy failed. He would remind them that he, as a benign dictator that had granted the government its powers, would not hesitate to himself "swoop down" and revoke those powers if he felt the government was not doing (or trying) its best or was engaging in silliness.

In later years at least he would do a very good impression of a vulture spreading his wings and swooping to put a point of exclamation on the phrase. The speech, and phrase, became quite popular with the kids, especially after he had swooped a few times. 
 May 9, 2008
  Thank you for all you have done for so many of us! 
         Zart Dombourian-Eby    (GPGC Student)
 May 8, 2008
  Dr. Middleton is very near the top of my list of "world's most powerful people." He never appeared on the cover of "Time," but of course, he didn't need to. We knew about him. I look forward to seeing him again. 
         Lee Lacy    (GPGC Student)
 May 7, 2008
         David Duhon    (GPGC Student)
 May 6, 2008
  Thank you Dr. Middleton for providing the best part of my young life. The program was your gift to us, for which I don't think we could ever thank you enough. 
         Chrissy Low    (GPGC Student)
 May 6, 2008
  So sad. Great men never live long enough; but, Dr. Middleton lived long enough to have enriched our lives and our world. 
         Chris Tracy    (GPGC Student)
 May 6, 2008
  The world truly is a better place for having had Dr. Middleton in it. 
         James Runnels    (GPGC Student)
 May 5, 2008
  I'm so sad to hear of Dr. M's passing. He not only impacted my life (I swear I could feel my mind physically stretching each summer, and certainly absorbed values and a view of the world that led me to strive further and question more deeply than I would have otherwise), but even my childrens'...I may have been fortunate enough to qualify as "gifted" but I was certainly not well-rounded, and it was at GPGC that I first learned of music and performance, met musical people, saw this whole other way of enjoying and participating in life. So, my kids all are required to play some sort of musical instrument purely due to my GPGC experiences, and I hope this will be a boon to them all their lives. The entire structure of the GPGC program was fabulous, and being able to meet other people who were interesting and challenging and understanding of my nerdy qualities, in short, feeling like I fit in, was wonderful. Thank you, Dr. Middleton!  
         Janice Dodson Teske    (GPGC Student)
 May 5, 2008
  One can hardly think what to say, except possibly to add that the next best way to remember him is to work to preserve the Program that was his gift to all of us. Requiescat in pace, Dr. Middleton 
         John Netardus    (GPGC Student)

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