Emma Lou Thayne - Our Namesake

Emma Lou Thayne Bio PicThe Thayne Center for Service & Learning is named for Emma Lou Thayne. She has written 13 books of poetry, fiction, essays and travel stories. She has been widely anthologized and has published internationally concerning kinship and peace among people and nations. She has been active in encouraging public attention to mental health, spirituality, and the advancement of women. Her words to the hymn, "Where Can I Turn for Peace?," have been translated into dozens of languages, recorded on tapes and CDs, as have her poems about war and the environment, "How Much for the Earth?"

She has been married to Mel Thayne for 54 years, has five daughters and sons-in-law, 19 grandchildren, and two "greats." Emma Lou has been a teacher of English and women's tennis coach at the University of Utah, where she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2000. She also received an Honorary Doctorate from Salt Lake Community College in 2003.

Woman of Another

I am with You
You, woman of different tongue,
awaken me. Speak in
the language of light
that flutters between us.
Open my heart to your
give voice to your fears
and celebrations
as you wonder at mine.
Your family becomes
the substance of what
you believe
colors my view.
You take me on. Here,
here is my hand.
Filled with yours
it pulses with new hope
and a fierce longing
to let the light that
guides us both
tell me where to be.

-Emma Lou Thayne

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