A Man Called "Dutch": The Lasting Impact Of Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen On Carroll College
In August 1939, Raymond Hunthausen, or “Dutch,” as his friends knew him,* sat on the front porch of his home in Anaconda, a small copper-smelting town nestled in the southwest comer of Montana, as his father finished loading the family automobile.1 For Raymond, this marked the end of a summer filled with great uncertainty and indecision. He had been a star athlete at St. Peter’s Catholic High School and a strong student, but when Raymond received his high school diploma on May 29, 1939, he did so with only a vague notion of what his life journey might entail. He had spoken with his father about the possibility of studying chemistry at Montana State College in Bozeman, as that could allow him to take over his grandfather’s Rocky Mountain Brewery. Or, he could follow the lead of the friends who had spoken with him about the prospect of attending school at nearby Carroll College, but Raymond could not make up his mind.2 There was one certainty, however, floating amidst this sea of confusion on that May afternoon: Raymond would be starting his freshman year of college in roughly three months. Despite his family’s middle-class status, his father, who owned and operated a grocery store in Anaconda, was determined that his son would one day become a college graduate. With this in mind, Raymond traveled to San Francisco in the summer of 1939 to experience the World’s Fair, visit local universities, and chart a course for his future. When the trip came to a close, however, Raymond still had not made up his mind. He then returned to Anaconda, where he was surprised to learn that he had received a $100 scholarship from Carroll College. Later that month, Carroll football coach Ed Simonich, a legend among the Anaconda boys because of his football career under Knute Rockne at the University of Notre Dame, drove to Anaconda and asked Raymond to play on the gridiron for the Fighting Saints.3 Raymond was now sitting on the porch of his house in Anaconda, waiting to make the trip to Helena and begin his academic career at Carroll College. He was filled with relief, for his decision had been made, and he was anxious to begin classes. As he ventured forth from his hometown, however, there was no way for him to fully understand the significance of the journey on which he was embarking. His future interaction with Carroll College would last over thirty-two years. Along the way, he would win football championships as a player and coach at that institution, become a professor of chemistry, and eventually lead Carroll College through a period of great expansion after becoming the president of the college at the age of thirty-five. In doing so, he would become one of the most important figures in the history of Carroll College.4 But on that summer day in August of 1939, he was merely an 18-year-old kid from Anaconda, anxiously awaiting his destiny.