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FLEXO Magazine : May 2014
Wake continued: “Page was such a leader in forging partnerships between education and industry. He was always working to build them and he pushed his students the same way. He believed in internships and encouraged us to estab- lish them. I probably had 30 or more student interns—two at a time and three sets a year over the course of my career. It was an important part of his education program. Page didn’t want students watching, he wanted them participating. Real world experience was critical to him. He bridged the gap for students and made them part of the industry. If he wasn’t talking shop, he was talking water skiing.” TRAINING “TIGERS” Berdie Bauer Eubanks, a program coordinator for many years at Clemson, worked side by side with Page in training “Tigers”—members of the Clemson student body. “Page was the ultimate early morning person, notorious for originating field trips at 3 a.m . and water skiing at daybreak whenever he could find a boat driver. Absolutely everything he did, he did it at 100 miles per hour,” she remembered. “He used to say that a car was just transportation and it didn’t matter what you drive, until he bought a BMW. His new driving motto became, ‘Passing most, but being passed by some.’ “ When asked by college students on a field trip, ‘Are we lost?’ He would reply, ‘All roads are connected, we are never lost.’ “Dr. Crouch had more ‘great ideas’ about printing, teaching, training and research about printing than Carter has pills,” Eubanks said, borrowing on an old southern say- ing. “He could keep an army busy buzzing around the labs of Godfrey Hall. ” Chip Tonkin of Clemson University ’s Sonoco Institute quickly admitted, “Page was the reason I came to Clemson. He sold me on the concept of the graphic communications program. He was my faculty advisor in grad school and we kept in touch while I was with International Paper. It’s been a long, long history. “He was brutally challenging as a professor and brutally honest,” Tonkin reported. “His strategy was to have you be creative and have fun. His suggestions often made the project more difficult and challenging. That proved a very effective teaching tool. Page focused on how to make things happen and always took a ‘no compromise’ approach. Being the father figure of the department, he had no shortage of ideas. I, like thousands of others, drew inspiration from his actions. ” PERSONAL PURSUITS “Page has always attacked everything with a passion,” according to his wife, Diane. “As a very young child, he began mowing lawns to earn spending money. He then worked in a gas station to support a 1940 Ford, which he became passion- ate about restoring. “During his years at Clemson, he was very passionate about bettering himself along with his students and became very active in many professional organizations. He formed many close friendships throughout the country. He has always shown a strong interest in different kinds of print.” She fondly recalled, “When the lab needed a dark room, he with some students built one over the weekend—without administration permission! It was needed to help students be- come better trained and educated. He did whatever he could to continue to improve the program. “His love of waterskiing is known by all those he’s encoun- tered. Page could study and talk about skiing for hours,” she observed. “During the skiing season, he spends time each day getting to be the best he can be with the same level of passion he has for everything.” Photography is his new passion. “After taking hundreds of photos on trips we have recently taken—New Zealand, Africa, Peru, Ecuador, The Galapagos Islands—he is working on them on the computer to make them works of interest that will be suitable for framing. “Page also has a passion for his garden. He has been col- lecting and planting a large variety of camellias, azaleas and rhododendron throughout the years. He knows every plant by its name and each plant is pruned to be a work of art,” Diane reported. “ He nurtures them to be the best they can be, just as he did his students. ” Reflecting on Page Crouch’s election to flexography ’s most hallowed group, she says, “induction into FTA’s Hall of Fame will be a great honor for him. Page will appreciate and be humbled by the support and recognition of peers. The day will be very meaningful to him. ” n Dr. J. Page Crouch, 52nd inductee into FTA’s Flexo Hall of Fame, is widely considered the father figure of Clemson University’s Graphic Communications program. The campus is depicted at left, with Godfrey Hall--home to his beloved laboratories at bottom. 28 FLEXO | MAY 2014