Tribute to Terry Herndon, March 1934 – August 2022

We mourn the passing and celebrate the life of our longtime donor and supporter, Terry Herndon, whose initial gift in 2012, launched Apprentice Learning.

An engineer by training, Terry had an insatiable curiosity about the world around him and a deep sense of social justice. Together with his wife, Eva, the Herndons have continued have been our most ardent supporters. Eva and Terry’s belief in the value of early work experience and exposing youth to a wider world of opportunities was at the heart of their generosity.

Terry spent his early years in a small town in western Kansas, where, as he described in his memoir, a “…flat almost treeless land. It was so still and quiet that you wonder if you have become deaf, until the meadowlark’s trill shatters the silence.” There, during the Depression, his father ran the only general store in town. His first work experience was stocking shelves and candling eggs. It was in this storefront that he witnessed the ravages of poverty—and the power of kindness—in his small community.

Terry attended Antioch College, where he and Eva met. During his many years working at Lincoln Labs, he spent his leisure time as car buff and a consummate inventor: he welded large outdoor sculptures, and well into his later years, crafted smaller “busy boxes,” small 3D works of art. He and Eva acquired a unique collection of ‘automobilia’ art.

In addition to he and Eva’s generous support, Terry offered us unfailing positive encouragement. During our calls and visits where I would update him on the program, he often sent me off with an enthusiastic, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.”

To you, Terry, full speed ahead. Apprentice Learning thanks you for your belief in us. It has made us who we are today.

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