Family ties

Sometimes one person can make all the difference in a student’s life. For Terry Hensle, M.D. ’60, that person was Assistant Headmaster Dr. Benjamin Roman. Hensle credited his former teacher with helping him realize his potential. “He was my teacher, mentor and friend — he changed my ethic and my work style,” Hensle said.

An outstanding student-athlete during his time at Peddie, Hensle served as captain of the 1959 football team and co-captain of the baseball team. Following graduation, Hensle attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a degree in economics in 1964. He also served as captain of Penn’s football team and received the Maxwell Club of Philadelphia’s Unsung Hero Award in 1963. In 1968 he graduated from Cornell University Medical College (now Weill Medical College of Cornell University). Hensle completed his post-graduate work at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University. Now retired, Hensle is an internationally recognized and widely published pediatric urologist.

“Peddie was the launching pad for my career,” emphasized Hensle. “If I hadn’t gone to Peddie, I wouldn’t have gone to Penn, and I wouldn’t have become a surgeon. Peddie certainly gave me the confidence and academic background to attempt all of these things.”

The Peddie experience was so powerful for him that two more generations of Hensles — his daughter, Laura-Lee Hensle Radtke ’92, and his grandson, Jake Radtke ’22 — are part of the Peddie family. Hensle Radtke returned to Peddie in 2014 and currently serves as
director of special events. Like his grandfather was, Radtke is a member of the Peddie football team.

“Peddie will always hold a special place in my heart. It is home to me,” Hensle Radtke said. “My dad inspired me to come to Peddie; he knew it was the right place for me, and I am so happy to be able to share this time with my dad and son at a place that means so much to all of us.”

“I certainly am extremely proud of Laura-Lee,” Hensle said.

The Peddie campus is dramatically changed from the one Hensle left in 1960. But he noted, “What hasn’t changed is what happens when you get there: the sudden maturity, becoming someone who quite quickly understands where the boundaries are and what you need to do to succeed.”

Hensle’s busy life as a physician rarely afforded him a lot of free time, but he still made a point to give back and pay it forward through service to Peddie as class reunion chair, member of the Science Advisory Committee, trustee (1990-2010) and advisory trustee (2010-present). In 2000 he received the Peddie Alumnus of the Year award and was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

A member of the Bell Society since 1999, Hensle directed that his gift be used to name Peddie’s health center in honor of his father, Otto S. Hensle, M.D. “My dad always tried to improve the lives of his family, friends and patients. Naming an upgraded Peddie health center for him made sense to me,” he said.

Recently Hensle visited campus to mentor a group of Peddie students in the Future Doctors of America Club. “Those kids were energized,” Hensle marveled. “They have so much energy, intellect and talent. I know a couple of people in that room are going to be stars.”