This is the fifth installment in my Mentors Blog Series. Today I honor Westin Noble. I met Westin Noble during a trip to New York to compete in a chorale competition at the Lincoln Center and I’ve only had one email conversation with him since then to thank him for his mentorship. The total sum of his mentoring was in the form of encouragement. He was conducting us and doing a workshop with our choir and he stopped the song in the middle. He walked over to me and he said, “You’re a beautiful man.” I don’t know why, but that stuck with me. Something about the way he noticed me in a crowd of people, stopped everything and chose to recognize me was powerful. It gave me great courage in a time when I was trying to figure some things out.
Later I learned some other interesting tidbits about him. The most notable was his involvement in WWII. This is an excerpt from Wikipedia:
Due largely to the intense patriotism of World War II, and anticipating an eventual call-up, Noble volunteered for military service and was called to active duty in February 1943, in the spring of his senior year. Nevertheless, arrangements were made for him and others to accelerate their studies and complete their final semester prior to commencement. He graduated magna cum laude. Trained as a tank driver, he saw action in the Battle of the Bulge in 1944 and was part of the main Allied thrust into the heart of Nazi Germany in 1945. Noble “liberated” some items from Berlin during the initial stages of the Allied occupation, including a marble bust of Beethoven previously owned by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, which he mailed home among several items.
Pretty amazing right?