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alumni profile Mr. G. by Pamela Carder


his passion for soccer, a sport he had loved as a child in Paraguay, but had not played since arriv- ing in the u.s.Carlos enjoyed great success with soccer at lc, playing all four years of his college career. (He was inducted into the lc Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.) Two of his brothers, Ruben Noguera ’73, and Alcides “Rey” Noguera ’91, also received degrees from Lynchburg College. After graduating from lc in 1970, Carlos


journey that would alter the course of his life. He boarded an airplane in his native Asuncion, Paraguay, carrying one change of clothing, a toothbrush, a Bible, two dollars, and a photo- graph. He was fourteen years old. After bravely making it through two plane changes, he finally arrived in Miami, where a Spanish-speaking flight attendant assisted him in finding the man he would be staying with in Florida, the man in the photograph. Now, fifty years later, Carlos frequently


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encounters former Spanish students around Lynchburg. Affectionately known as Mr. G., he taught Spanish to scores of students at E.C. Glass High in Lynchburg and Liberty High in Bedford County over the course of his thirty-two-year career. He retired from Glass in 2010; he has also been an instructor of Spanish at Lynchburg College since 1986, a position he retains. “I have always enjoyed awakening curiosity in my students — to see the spark in their eyes when they get it; when they understand that learning itself is the reward,” he says. Carlos’ journey to Lynchburg College began


with the publication of an article about him in the June 1959 issue of World Call, a Chris- tian Church (Disciples of Christ) magazine (pictured above). At the time, he was living with his mother, stepfather, and siblings in Chacarita, an impoverished area of Asuncion. The article featured Carlos’ quest to attend a


n a February day in 1961, Carlos Gorostiaga ’70, ’77 M.Ed., began a


Disciples’ private school there; the missionary head of the school eventually offered him a full scholarship to the exclusive school, where he flourished. The article in World Callwas seen by Merrill


Ruggles, a philanthropist living in Punta Gorda, Florida. He was deeply touched by Carlos’ story and generously offered to sponsor his secondary education in the United States. This, of course, meant that Carlos would have to leave home, family, and life in Paraguay. “I have always been a curious person; I was excited about the opportunity,” Carlos said. He flew to Florida, and lived at the Ruggles’ residence. There he faced yet another challenge: he had six months to learn enough English to make it into the local high school. He ac- complished this feat, graduating in 1966. His younger brother, Ruben, also moved from Paraguay to join them in Florida. Since his initial plan was to become a


minister, Carlos spent time during his high school years researching Christian Church colleges; Lynchburg College was one of the schools under consideration. Fortuitously, he received a letter from Dr. Allen Stanger, then chair of the lc Religious Studies Department, asking if he could visit Carlos in Florida to talk with him about the College. After the meeting, Dr. Stanger offered Carlos a work- study program and a place to live in his home at 349 College Street. That sealed the deal. Upon arriving in Lynchburg, Carlos met Coach Bill Shellenberger and happily rediscovered


returned with Rueben to Paraguay, where he became reacquainted with family and the native Paraguayan language of Guarani. The language had become much more widely accepted and spoken. In 1974, he was selected for Paraguay’s Olympic chess team, and he still plays at the expert level. While in Paraguay, he worked with the u.s. embassy, assisting others with obtaining visas. The political climate in Paraguay at that time was difficult, and it became unsafe for Carlos and his family to remain there. After six years, he returned once again to Lynchburg College for graduate study. Carlos has consistently demonstrated a


willingness to assist others using his talents and knowledge. In the summer after his freshman year at lc, the Disciples of Christ headquarters offered him a summer job in La Mesa, Texas, acting as an advocate for the children of migrant workers. Carlos success- fully developed relationships with multiple churches in the area and created a consortium and cooperative school. As a result, he was made an honorary citizen of La Mesa, an ac- complishment he cherishes. Throughout his college years, he also served as a traveling minis- ter to churches in rural communities in Louisa County and Wytheville, Virginia, and was a minister in Rocky Mount for one year after graduating from lc with a degree in Spanish and philosophy. Carlos continues to enrich the lives of his


students and is well-regarded by many others he has helped throughout the years. He has received numerous accolades for his achieve- ments and contributions; in 2008, he was honored by the Lynchburg Police Department for his volunteer services as a translator. Today, Carlos enjoys a view of Shellenberger


Field from his office in Carnegie Hall, formerly the men’s dormitory. He laughs, remembering that he helped paint the inside of the building in 1966. He says, “This is my home. I love Lynchburg College.”


Spring 2012 LC MAGAZINE 47


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