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Martin Acker

"During the war, my job was to interrogate enemy soldiers," says Brooklyn native Martin Acker, who served in military intelligence in Europe. "When I came back, I got a job as a veterans' counselor, talking to American soldiers." Taking classes part-time at NYU, Acker earned a PhD in counseling psychology and moved west to work at the Stanford Medical School. In 1961 he came to the UO to train counselors for work with disabled people. He retired as a professor in '86, but taught part-time 'til '95. Always politically engaged, he chaired a UO committee against the war in Viet Nam and started a Congress Of Racial Equality chapter in Eugene. "During elections I'm out ringing doorbells," he adds. Currently, at age 85, Acker volunteers as a counselor in PeaceHealth's Volunteers in Medicine program and teaches classes in communication for men at OASIS. "I've organized five different men's groups," he says. "Four of them are still going on." Acker is one of six inspirational older Americans to be honored in a public reception at the Willamalane Adult Activity Center in Springfield on May 17, 4-5:30 pm.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 10 May 2007

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