It was not long before the President’s car was belching smoke

There was a day when President Gage enjoyed an occasional cigarette. One Sunday morning he arrived on campus, parked his old blue Pontiac at the flagpole at the north end of the Main Mall and strode off to the Awards Office in the Buchanan Building without realizing that a live end from a cigarette he had been smoking had found its way into the upholstery of the front seat of his car.

It was not long before the President’s car was belching smoke. A campus patrolman discovered the blaze and called the fire department, which put out the fire.

The patrolman finally located Walter in the Awards Office and reported what had happened. The president, who was marking papers at the time, looked up only long enough to thank the patrolman and calmly went on with his work.

President Gage is such a dedicated teacher that he occasionally puts everything out of his mind in interests of his students. On more than one occasion he has emerged from a 12:30 p.m. lecture in the Buchanan Building and then walked over to the Faculty Club and purchased a cafeteria-style lunch in the downstairs area of the club.

On one occasion when I was lunching with him – and I know the same thing has happened on other occasions – the manager of the club, Dick Hansen, appeared and delicately reminded the president that he was hosting an official University luncheon upstairs in the Social Suite of the club.

Whereupon the president would march upstairs and eat a second luncheon.

Byron Hender
BComm 1968
Former president of the AMS who took over the administration of
UBC’s financial aid program from Walter Gage