The Messenger - Northwest Nazarene University



The Messenger - Northwest Nazarene University
Vol. 102, Num. 2
Early every fall semester I speak in chapel. Each time I teach the new students “the
President’s cheesy song” (actually I learned it from Earl Lee). It goes like this:
Did anybody tell you I love you today?
Did anybody tell you I love you today?
Did anybody tell you I love you today?
Put me on your list, let me be the first, I love you today.
God loves you, and I love you, and that’s how it should be.
God loves you, and I love you, and that’s how it should be.
God loves you, and I love you, and that’s how it should be.
Put me on your list, let me be the first, I love you today.
As you might imagine, I’m teased a lot about leading the students in “the
President’s cheesy song.” The poetry is syrupy, and the melody is sentimental. I’ve
been mimicked in student variety shows and faculty retreat skits, and rightly so. But
there’s a reason I keep sharing the song.
It’s about loving relationships.
These young people come to college to prepare to go out into a highly specialized
world that expects them to have gained tools to be of use to society: education as a
utilitarian end. Ultimately I believe their NNU education and their life should not be
ordered around what they do.
I teach them the song, not to be syrupy and sentimental, but to introduce them
to the bedrock of who we are. The very nature and fabric of Northwest Nazarene
University is ordered around God and God’s love. Our students do not merely come
to us to learn to do something; no, to come to NNU is to be invited to walk with
someone—that Someone is God. Life is more than the things we do; the core of life is
centered in our relationships with God and with each other.
Isn’t that the essence of the two great commandments? God calls us into
relationship to learn the joy of loving God, loving ourselves and loving others.
Back in May, I stood again on the stage of the Ford Idaho Center. The NNU
Commencement exercises had just concluded. Five hundred twenty-eight degrees
had been awarded. As the benediction was pronounced, something magical
happened. Students, faculty and family moved forward to find one another. Across
a sea of graduates I witnessed: an embrace with a friend, a picture with a mentor, a
family standing around their graduate. On display was the essence of NNU and the
Christian community. Life is meant to be lived in loving relationship.
Now, like 97 graduating classes before them, these graduates leave us. I pray
they go out sharing the love of God that has been shared with them. Next fall, I’ll sing
once again:
Did anybody tell you I love you today?
David Alexander, NNU President
The Messenger is published three times a
year by the Office of Enrollment & Marketing
at Northwest Nazarene University and sent
to alumni and friends.
Postmaster, send address changes to
The Messenger, c/o Northwest Nazarene
University, 623 S. University Boulevard,
Nampa, ID 83686-5897.
The value of
Northwest Nazarene University, a
comprehensive Christian university, offers
over 60 areas of study, 19 master’s degrees
in seven different disciplines and two
doctoral degrees. In addition to its 85-acre
campus located in Nampa, Idaho, the
University also offers programs online as well
as in Boise, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, and in
cooperation with programs in 10 countries.
2014 graduates reflect on the
single most transformative aspect
of their NNU education
Founded in 1913, the University now serves
over 2,000 undergraduate and graduate
students, more than 6,000 continuing
education students, and 2,300 high school
students through the concurrent
credit program.
Restorative hope
within community
Dr. David Alexander
Vice President, Enrollment & Marketing
Stacey Berggren
Director, Marketing & Media
Hollie Lindner
Jared and Stephanie Trygg find space
for emotional and spiritual healing
back on campus after a two-year battle
with cancer
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Anna Lee
Editorial Assistants
Barbara LeBaron, Tami Ponsford
Brad Elsberg
Jenny Fultz, Fultz Design
Contact Us:
623 S. University Blvd.
Nampa, ID 83686-5897
Relationship matters
in the church
Office of Alumni Relations
800-654-2411 / 208-467-8841
Office of Enrollment & Marketing
Dr. Mike Kipp addresses the alarming
issue of youth leaving the church and
how building intergenerational
relationships can help
Office of Admissions
877-NNU-4-YOU / 208-467-8000
Office of University Advancement
866-467-8987 / 208-467-8772
Center for Professional Development
800-349-6938 / 208-467-8439
Cover image:
Brad Elsberg
10 On Campus
12 Snapshot
14 Athletic News
16 Homecoming Preview
18 Alumni Awards
21 Alumni News
23 Closing Thoughts
Opposite page: President Alexander with his granddaughter, Noelle. Noelle and her parents, Andy and
Amy, spend their days investing in the lives of students as the resident directors in Sutherland Hall.
the value
2014 graduates agree that their
greatest growth happens in community
do people attend college? To learn a skill, to prepare
for a vocation, to increase their lifetime earning
potential? These are all good aims, but the educational mission
at Northwest Nazarene University addresses life goals so much
broader than what one eventually does for a living. NNU is in
the business of transforming lives, so fostering an environment
to build healthy, authentic relationships is the primary tool in
her toolbox.
Quality relationships form the foundation for success in life
both professionally and personally. Most importantly, they
imitate the most significant relationship possible to develop—a
relationship with Jesus Christ.
As the 2014 graduating class reflected on their NNU
experience, most cited relationships built in a Christ-centered
community as the most valuable aspect of their education.
Whether impacted by significant faculty mentorship,
strengthened by sustaining friendships or reconnected to
Christ and the church through authentic discipleship, NNU
students from the undergraduate to doctoral level share a
conviction that the often intangible concept of Christian
community yields the most tangible change in lives.
“The ways the professors invested in me and the authentic
relationships I formed with other students have really shaped
the man I have become.” JOSHUA GODFREY (WASH.), B.A. IN PHILOSOPHY
“The small-school atmosphere has allowed me to develop
relationships with people I hope to maintain the rest of my life.
Each one has helped me view the world in a slightly different
“As a student, both undergraduate and graduate, I valued
and cherished the lifelong friendships developed, the
investment of professors towards my personal and professional
development and the invaluable education I gained.”
“There could never be enough said about the community at
NNU. From the goofy, random things that happen like latenight coffee runs and weird conversations that crop up during
an all-nighter to the serious and life-changing relationships that
are developed, this community is amazing and rare.” MEGAN
“The greatest blessings in my life come in the form of
relationships, which is the main reason I work at NNU. NNU
continues to teach me that relationships are valuable and rich.”
“The community aspect of NNU is one that I never thought
I could find in a university. The relationships I have made, with
both students and professors, are beautiful, and I wouldn’t
dream of trading them for anything. I have had support
emotionally, academically and spiritually throughout my four
years and have learned lessons that I will take with me for the
rest of my life.” DARCY CURTIN (WASH.), B.S. IN ACCOUNTING
“I was drawn to NNU because of its small size and
community feel. Now, as a senior, I see how those
characteristics have provided me with rich opportunities.
At NNU, I have had the opportunity to engage actively in
a community that is Christ-centered. My professors have
challenged me to think critically and ask questions about
matters I once considered set in stone. Though this perspective
makes life more complicated, it has helped me be more
understanding and respectful of others. It has also increased
my dependence on Christ and reminded me of my constant
“NNU not only told me what I should do to be a better
person, Christian and professional, but also took me by the
hand and showed me by example how to do it.” PAULO SALVADOR
(’13) and Stephanie (Rotter, ’14) Trygg have
had a unique journey through their college
years, but faith and relationships have kept them grounded and
sustained them.
In November 2010, Jared, then a junior, and Stephanie, a
freshman, were a dating couple visiting Jared’s mom. A lump in
Jared’s neck had grown large and uncomfortable enough to take
him to the local emergency room. The prognosis was unclear, but
a successive string of rapid-fire appointments followed, confirming
bad news: Jared’s cancerous tumor was a sign of Hodgkins’
lymphoma, and he needed to begin treatment right away.
Jared registered incompletes in his classes and went home to
Kirkland, Wash., to begin aggressive chemotherapy treatment.
Progress seemed to be good, and his energy levels were
high, so he returned to NNU for spring semester, continuing
his treatments in Nampa. Life seemed to return to normal.
Stephanie applied for and was accepted as an RA, and Jared was
elected to serve as SGA president for the 2011-12 year. That
summer, Jared’s health seemed much better, and he proposed to
Stephanie, planning to marry her the following summer.
The fall, however, brought devastating news: A scan in
November showed that the cancer cells had survived the year’s
chemotherapy treatments and had spread into Jared’s chest.
His now Stage IV condition urgently required more drastic
“This was a crushing reality,” recalls Kenton Lee, the SGA
advisor, who had a close relationship with Jared. He recalls that
Jared told the SGA the most recent news about his condition,
“He shared the most meaningful words I have ever heard from a
student about this university. What Jared said that night about the
power of community—it is one of my top memories at NNU.”
Once again, Jared withdrew from classes after the semester
and headed back to the Seattle area to begin preparations for a
stem cell transplant, while Stephanie stayed in Nampa to finish
her time as an RA in Ford Hall.
He stayed in touch with friends and the community at NNU.
Jared recalls, “Overall, NNU produced so many anonymous
letters, gift cards, support—at any other school, I would have
felt lost.” Student Senate even voted to use a budget surplus to
fly Stephanie to Seattle to spend Easter with her fiancé.
That spring, an unexpected loss of insurance meant that
Jared’s surgery had to be postponed indefinitely, leaving him
dealing with round after round of intense chemotherapy just to
keep the cancer at bay. Stephanie attempted to stay focused on
her studies and work, but worry about Jared and efforts to plan
a wedding that had to be rescheduled constantly according to
Jared’s treatment burdened her.
Stephanie chose not to return to NNU in Fall 2012, opting to
stay with Jared. New healthcare laws allowed Jared to procure
health coverage; he obtained his stem cell transplant in
The Tryggs experience emotional and spiritual healing
back on campus after winning a battle with cancer
By Grant Miller, Class of 2010
November, followed by weeks in the hospital, since his brand
new cells were especially vulnerable to sickness. Stephanie
continually sat beside his hospital bed, stuffing wedding
invitations into envelopes. Jared, still weak but growing
healthy, married Stephanie on Dec. 28, 2012.
The weary newlyweds returned to Nampa to resume progress
on their degrees in the spring of 2013. Jared, unable to be around
large groups due to a period of increased risk of infection, took
classes offsite and via independent study for his last semester.
Stephanie, responding to a growing call that had begun in the
hospital, changed her major to Christian ministry. Jared proudly
walked across the stage in
May to receive his diploma
from Dr. Alexander. “Being
around that many people was
still not an advisable decision,”
recalls Jared, “but we had just
been through too much to skip
that moment.”
Throughout that semester,
the Tryggs lived off-campus.
Students gather at the
Brick House to share life—
and a coffee—together.
When the summer arrived, Jared began looking for work, and
Stephanie planned to finish her last year at NNU. Then those
relational connections, so vital throughout their journey, brought
them an opportunity to stay on campus working for the school.
“I had had both Jared and Stephanie work as RA’s when they
were in school. Jared and Stephanie are positive, joyful and
responsible, and they have a wisdom that comes from a strong
relationship and from enduring trials,” says Karen Pearson, the
director of residential life at NNU. “When I heard they might
be interested in living in the Brick House during Stephanie’s
senior year, I knew that they would be perfect for the role!”
“Living in the Brick House has been a great healing opportunity
for us,” says Jared, who has begun an online Master of Arts in
pastoral ministries. “Living on campus has helped us recover some
of those college experiences that we lost to cancer treatment.”
“It’s also been great for our marriage,” says Stephanie. “In
the beginning, our relationship was so focused on taking care of
Jared and making sure he was getting better. Now, we’re able to
grow a little more, both as individuals and as team directors of
the Brick House.”
The couple will now move on to the next stage of life together.
Stephanie accepted a job on the pastoral staff of Puyallup Church
of the Nazarene, and Jared continues his online studies. Their
relationships, strengthened by trials, will now provide a model for
the new communities they will build in their ministry together.
the church
High school graduates are leaving the church at an alarming rate.
What the church can—and must—do about it.
By Dr. Mike Kipp
Fuller Youth Institute reports that about 50 percent
of church-attending youth leave the Church upon
graduating from high school. These are young people who
attended regularly and whose names and lives were known. To
say it another way, one of every two of the students who were
celebrated at your church’s graduation service will not be involved
in any church in the coming year.
A 2011 book by David Kinnaman entitled, “You Lost Me.
Why Young Christians are Leaving Church. . . and Rethinking
Faith,” lays out six issues these twenty-somethings have with
the American Church. These issues are that the church is 1)
overprotective—unwilling to engage the culture, 2) shallow—
filled with proof-texting and platitudes, 3) anti-science—kind of
speaks for itself, 4) repressive—particularly with respect to its
teaching on sexuality, 5) exclusive—not truly open to others’ ideas
and version of the meaning
of life, and 6) doubtless—
... IN THE CHURCH’S not a safe place to express
QUEST TO BE RELEVANT doubts. These are the
TO THE CULTURE, WE essential problems the
millennial generation has
HAVE BECOME AN with the Church.
In an article titled,
Younger Evangelicals
are Leaving the Church”
IRRELEVANT. Rob Schwarzwalder seeks
to debunk some of the
conventional wisdom for the exodus of young adults. He argues
that, in the Church’s quest to be relevant to the culture, we have
become an “entertainment-driven” enterprise that is, ironically,
completely irrelevant. Instead of preaching that “faithfully,
accurately and clearly” lifts up the Word of God, we’ve become
over-wrought with legalism, no longer focusing on the truth of sin,
death, redemption and resurrection.
Fuller Youth Institute offers some guidance as to how to
move forward. And guess what? It’s the same old answer that
will always work—relationships. The Fuller folk call them
“sticky relationships,” meaning they become sticking points
for young people to remain a part of the Church long after
they are involved in the youth group. I call them intentional
intergenerational connections. Whatever they are called, these
relationships serve as the relational Velcro that helps a young
person navigate the transition from the youth group into the
wider body of Christ. How does this occur? Simply through
ongoing relationships and contact.
At the same time a young person graduates from the youth
group, there is another group of 7th (or 6th) graders entering.
The youth director or pastor likely has her or his hands full
orienting the new students and their families to the ministry.
Graduates can get lost in this transition, and about half do. It
seems to me a simple but profoundly significant solution is to
connect young people to older people in the congregation so that
the job of following up with youth as they enter their twenties
is on the shoulders of the many rather than on those of the one
youth leader. It’s even better if these intentional intergenerational
connections begin at the earliest time possible—think nursery—
and that the culture of a church is really to do what we say we will
when babies are baptized or dedicated—help to nurture and form
them as followers of Jesus.
How are intentional intergenerational connections formed?
By creating a new vision and model of youth and children’s
ministry. I teach my students that the purpose of youth, children
and family ministry is to integrate young people into the Body
of Christ and the Mission of Christ. In this paradigm, instead of
running programs, these folks become facilitators of relationship.
The job of the youth and children’s directors and pastors is to
connect younger folks intentionally with older folks in meaningful
situations of conversation and relationship building.
Because of Northwest Nazarene University’s commitment to
this concept, we are taking concrete steps to educate in this
direction. This fall our current online Master of Arts and Master
of Divinity programs in youth, church & culture, along with our
Christian education programs, will be combined into a new Youth,
Children & Family Ministry Program. (See The
goal here is to broaden our focus in order to better address the
current realities of the local church. Together—churches, pastors
and university—we can reverse the trend and retain young
Christians as they mature into adulthood.
DR. MIKE KIPP is associate professor of youth and
family ministry. He holds a D.Min. in this field from Fuller
Theological Seminary and has a forthcoming publication from
Nazarene Publishing House entitled “Youth Ministry and the
Body of Christ.”
Great generosity from
a lifelong harvest
Couple returns to
guide and encourage
New Ph.D. advances
academic rigor
On March 7, NNU announced the receipt
of a $10M unrestricted gift from the late
Howard and Mary Conrad. The Conrads
lived and served in Kimberly, Idaho as
farmers, ranchers and faithful members of
their local Church of the Nazarene. Their
daughter, Julie (Conrad) Sievers (’81),
serves on the NNU Board of Trustees.
She presented a check to NNU from her
parents’ estate.
“The Howard and Mary Conrad story
is a transformation story and an example
of lives well lived and lives well given.
We do well to remember the Conrads’
careful and wise investment of a lifetime
of resources harvested from diligently
working the land. We are thankful for the
Conrads’ commitment to their church
and their church’s university, NNU,” said
President David Alexander.
President David Alexander has named
Reverends Olivia (Craker, ’00) and Dustin
(’99) Metcalf as joint directors of the
Office of Spiritual Formation, and they
will also serve as chaplains, succeeding
Rev. Gene Schandorff.
The Metcalfs have distinguished
themselves as exceptional preachers,
teachers, writers and administrators
in the Church of the Nazarene. Their
unique, dual-leadership style will bring an
exciting new direction to the chaplaincy
and campus spiritual development
Dustin and Olivia are excited to return
to the NNU community, stating, “We
plan to work hard to broaden and deepen
relationships, which we believe has always
been a goal of NNU’s chaplaincy.”
“I am delighted that Olivia and Dustin
Metcalf are returning to their alma mater
to join the Wesley Center and to lead the
Office of Spiritual Formation. They are
both skilled communicators of the gospel
and have a track record of putting feet to
their faith, doing compassionate ministry
across the span of their service to the
church,” said Dr. Alexander.
NNU announces the launching of the first
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program
fall 2014 as approved by the Northwest
Commission on Colleges and Universities.
This new Ph.D. program will be in
educational leadership.
NNU’s existing Doctor of Education
(Ed.D.) program graduated its first class
of students in the spring of 2013 and its
second class at the 2014 Commencement.
The Ed.D. is geared towards research
applicable to immediate professional
practice. The new Ph.D. will require
additional research components beyond
those of the Ed.D., and that research will
be larger in scale, focusing on national and
international trends and practices
in education.
The establishment of a scholarly,
research-based degree at the Ph.D. level is
an exciting advancement of the university’s
offerings. It speaks to the research
capabilities and expertise of the NNU
faculty as a whole.
Subscribe to the NNU News e-newsletter at to receive current articles and updates.
Coming soon will be mission trip stories, profiles of incoming students and updates on the progress
of the new Leah Peterson Learning Commons.
Honoring new grads
and faithful alumni
Next generation
Celebrating inaugural
education—NNU Online class of engineers
On Saturday, May 10, NNU awarded
528 degrees—260 undergraduate and
268 graduate. Students from 18 foreign
countries—Australia, Barbados, Brazil,
Canada, Czech Republic, China, Ethiopia,
Ghana, Guatemala, India, Jamaica,
Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines,
Romania, South Africa and Zambia—were
represented at the Baccalaureate and
Commencement exercises as well as those
from all across the United States.
Graduates enjoyed the remarks of
President David Alexander as the featured
speaker at the Baccalaureate service and
Rev. Gene Schandorff, retiring chaplain
and honorary degree recipient, as the
Commencement keynote speaker.
In addition, 44 members of NNU’s
class of 1964 were inducted into the
university’s “Golden Grad” club.
Participating members donned caps and
gowns and formed an honor guard for
the class of 2014. The Golden Graduates
were recognized in the ceremony by the
presentation of a pin by a 2014 graduate.
For years NNU has offered courses and
degrees for adult and graduate students
through an online platform. Today, that
virtual segment of the university has a new
name, NNU Online.
Found in the College of Adult and
Graduate Studies (CAGS), NNU Online
includes College Core, several degrees
from the Graduate, Adult and Professional
Programs (GAPP) and the doctoral
degrees in education. It also includes a
new fully online 4-year Bachelor of Arts
in liberal studies program for traditionally
aged students that is set to begin this fall.
It offers emphases in humanities or social
sciences and a special discounted percredit tuition rate.
The new degree comes in part due to a
$2.25M grant from the U.S. Department
of Education for increasing educational
access to students by means of online
education. For more information about
NNU Online and its programs, visit
NNU has boasted a small, high-quality
engineering physics program for the
past 60 years, producing more than 300
distinguished graduates who have become
national leaders within their industries. In
2009, NNU opened the Thomas Family
Health & Science Center, which allowed
the university to begin offering a Bachelor
of Science in engineering.
The program started in August 2010
with 11 students and three faculty
members and, since that time, has grown
to 62 students and six faculty members.
It includes concentrations in electrical
engineering, mechanical engineering and
engineering physics.
The first five graduates of this new
program received their degrees on May
10. These accomplished students are Ben
Gordon (Ore.), Mark Horton (Ore.), Seth
Leija (Idaho), Paulo Salvador (Brazil) and
David Vinson (Wash.)
The program’s ABET accreditation
review is in October, and the graduation
of its first class is an important step in that
process. Once accreditation is confirmed,
it will include this first graduating class
and those to follow.
While it’s been a banner year for NNU
student-athletes on the courts and playing
fields and in the classroom, the Crusaders
have also excelled in another area: being a
caring and generous part of the community.
This year, NNU student-athletes have
done it all—from raising money to fight
cancer to reading to kids in public schools.
“One of the things that makes me
proudest to be part of the NNU athletic
department is that our student-athletes
not only focus on competitive and academic success, but are just as driven to be
role models and to exemplify the Christian
ideals that are the heart and soul of Northwest Nazarene University,” NNU Athletic
Director Bill Rapp said.
The Crusader track & field and cross
country programs hosted the Roger Curran race, raising funds for Health Education and Leadership Program scholarships.
They also hosted Autism Awareness Day
in April.
NNU baseball hosted a cancer awareness day and raised $700 through
donations. They also held a free camp for
Nampa Babe Ruth players.
Like baseball, the Crusader women’s
basketball team also battled cancer, raising $250 in donations at their “Play4Kay”
night, and the Crusader volleyball team
hosted a breast cancer awareness night.
The NNU women’s soccer team did its
part, serving meals to hungry families in
Nampa with the “Come to the Table” program and plans to volunteer at the “Malibu
Camp” this summer.
The Crusader men’s basketball team
put on a camp at the Nampa Rec Center and worked as volunteers for Upward
Basketball. They did cleanup work at
Trinity Pines camp and the Park Place
Assisted Living Community. They also
worked as referees for Nampa Youth
Football and read to elementary school
students this year.
All of these efforts were part of the Crusader student-athletes’ devotion to their
MEN’S GOLF team won program’s
first GNAC Championship; Craig
Stensgaard named GNAC Men’s
Golf Coach of the Year; Nick Hardy
and Connor Magnuson earn AllGNAC men’s golf honors
SOFTBALL won third-most games
in single season in program’s
history (13); Justine Callen, Noelle
Wright and Gatalina Schuster
earned All-GNAC honors
BASEBALL gave coach Rocke
Musgraves career victory No. 600;
pitcher Aaron Vaughn became
program’s all-time leader in career
wins (18)
champions: Alison Silva (pole
vault), Vessie Umu (shot put),
Rimar Christie (100 meters) and
David Harris, Cody Henderson,
Andrew Curtis and Rimar Christie
(4x100 relay)
Stay on top of Crusader scores
by visiting
The NNU volleyball team had a once-in-alifetime opportunity June 7-18 when they
traveled to China for a cultural exchange
tour that included playing more than a
half-dozen matches against Chinese collegiate teams.
“It’s something we wanted to immerse
ourselves in, and it gave us a different outlook on the world,” NNU Volleyball Head
Coach Doug English said of the trip.
The unique opportunity to play in a
country so different from the United
States, along with the chance to visit historical sights and to see a vastly different
culture, drove the Crusaders’ desire to
make this exchange possible.
The trip also provided on-court benefits.
First, the Crusaders got two extra weeks of
playing time during the summer that their
opponents did not.
“I think the benefit has been immediate. Because we had opportunity to play
volleyball in the summer, we have a head
start on next season,” English said.
Second, the tour was an incredible
chance for girls to bond as a team because,
being in a foreign land, they depended on
each other more than ever. That bonding
experience began in advance as the team
completed two months of intense Chinese
language classes and fundraised together
to raise the travel expenses.
The tour is the first of what Dr. Ben
Earwicker, chair of NNU’s Department of
Psychology, Sociology and Criminal Justice
and chair of the Department of Language,
Literature and Culture, expects will be
many exchanges between NNU and China
in future years.
Homecoming Highlights
REUNION – Calling all those who have
participated in track and cross country
for NNC and NNU! Don’t miss this
opportunity to reconnect with the team!
In addition to a reception, a parade
will honor both athletes and coaches at
halftime of the Homecoming game, and
there will also be a brunch and fun run
on Saturday.
AWARDS BANQUET – Following the
presentation of the 2014 Alumni Awards
at Chapel, the luncheon is a great way
to acknowledge this year’s recipients
and hear more of their stories.
All are welcome!
PEP RALLY DINNER – This is the first chance
to connect with classmates! Start the
evening off right with sliders and sodas
at this all-campus pep rally and dinner
reminiscent of the “Bean” (the campus
coffee shop in the ’50s). Go ’Saders!
CLASS REUNIONS – If you are connected
to a class that ends with a “4“ or a “9,” this
is your year! Call your roommates. Call
your classmates. Call your friends. Keep
an eye on your class-specific webpage at to see what your
class has planned for the weekend, and be
sure the Alumni Office has your correct
contact information.
Homecoming &
Family Weekend 2014
Schedule of Events
Thursday, November 6
7:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
Fall Play
Nursing Alumni
Gala & Dinner
Friday, November 7
8:00 a.m.
8:00 a.m. 10:30 p.m.
10:00 a.m.
2:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:00 p.m.
5:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
Legacy Breakfast
8:00 p.m.
9:30 p.m.
Alumni Awards Chapel
Awards Banquet
Theology Panel
Tours of Leah Peterson
Learning Commons
Fall Play
Pep Rally Dinner
Reception Honoring
Track and XC Alumni
Men’s Basketball Game
Parade of Track/XC
’80s Slick
Saturday, November 8
Department of Music will pull out all the
stops for this fabulous concert showcasing
NNU’s musical talent. The concert will
also revive a beloved Homecoming
tradition by featuring selections from
Handel’s “Messiah.”
KIDZONE – Child care is available at no
cost for all attending Homecoming &
Family Weekend activities. This service
is provided by KidZone Pre-School at
College Church of the Nazarene and
funded by the Office of Alumni Relations
for children through age 11. There will
be crafts and age-appropriate activities
both Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m.
to 10:30 p.m.
See more homecoming highlight photos at
8:00 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.
8:30 a.m.- 10:30 a.m.
8:30 a.m.- 10:30 a.m. KidZone
Academic Brunches
Leah Peterson Learning
Commons Brunch (by
8:30 a.m. Track/XC Reunion
11:00 a.m. - Tours of Leah Peterson
3:30 p.m. Learning Commons
11:30 a.m. - Reunion Lunches
2:30 p.m.
2:00 p.m. Fall Play
2:30 p.m. 5K/10K Run/Walk
3:00 p.m. Ladies’ Tea
3:00 p.m. Men’s Recreation Event
5:00 p.m. Fall Play
7:30 p.m.
NNU Music Department
9:30 p.m. Dessert Reception
Alumnus of the Year Randy Newcomb
Pursuing peace and justice around the globe
Randy Newcomb came to NNU from
Los Angeles in his 1963 VW bug to study
Christian ministry. His decision to go to
NNU was heavily influenced by retired
missionary Mrs. Louise Robinson Chapman
who had advised Randy that NNU was one
of the finest colleges to attend.
Early in his freshman year, Randy
met Dr. Irving (Doc) Laird. Doc invited
him to join his Covenant Group and be
discipled along with other young men.
This began a relationship that would
heavily influence Randy’s future.
Randy remembers that time with
fondness. “Those years together left
lasting and enduring impressions.
The instinct to seek honest and open
relationships, the benefit of accountability
and the understanding that we are better
together are all values that have followed
from those brief years.”
During Randy’s time in the Covenant
Group, Doc took several students to San
Francisco to minister to social needs in
the community. For Randy and many
of the other young men, this was the
beginning of a life of service. Randy
would later return there and serve for
14 years as the leader of a community
development agency.
After graduating from NNU, Randy
married Pamela (Belzer) and shortly
thereafter left for Fuller Theological
Seminary where he completed an
M.A. In his final year at Fuller, Randy
was awarded a scholarship to pursue a
M.Sc. in development economics at the
University of Bath in England.
In 1990 Randy and Pam returned to
the U.S. and moved to San Francisco
where he served as the executive
director of Golden Gate Community,
Inc. During that time he completed
an Ed.D. from the University of San
Francisco. Following his service at
Golden Gate Community, Inc., Randy
served as vice president of Omidyar
Foundation and Omidyar Network, the
philanthropic investment firms founded
by Pierre and Pam Omidyar. Pierre is
the founder and chairman of eBay.
Randy is currently president and CEO
of Humanity United, also established by
Pam Omidyar. Humanity United is one
of the largest private donors in the field
of international human rights where it
funds efforts globally to achieve a more
peaceful and less violent world.
Doc remains in contact with Randy
to this day and speaks with great love
and excitement about him and all he has
accomplished. “It is a total joy to
see Randy fulfilling his passion—placed
in his heart when he was young—for
ministering to those in need. Randy
continues to have opportunities to serve,
and to pursue peace and seek justice
globally. It’s been an amazing journey.”
Influencing U.S. foreign policy
Leon Doane Young
Alumna Jodi Lindley
Jodi (Peterson) Lindley came to NNU
in 1996 to study history and English
education. She was involved on and off
campus; this included serving on the SGA
Senate for three years, working as an RA,
volunteering at Hope House and interning
with Idaho’s U.S. senator, Larry E. Craig.
After graduation, Jodi and her husband,
Jonathan, moved to Virginia where she
worked on Capitol Hill for Senator Craig
for four years and then for a public
relations firm.
After two years in public relations, Jodi
began looking for the next challenge.
“I wanted to make sure I was working
somewhere I could make a difference
and do work that was important,” she
remembers. That desire ultimately
brought her to the Office of the Secretary
of Defense (OSD) for Policy.
Since beginning at OSD in 2007,
Jodi has served in many areas. For two
years she was the country director for
Kyrgyzstan, earning recognition for
her work with the Kyrgyz and U.S.
government agencies. Subsequently she
was assigned as the country director for
New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
Changes proposed to the
NNU Alumni Association
In that role she drafted the Washington
Declaration, an agreement that initiated
efforts toward normalizing the defense
relationship between the U.S. and
New Zealand.
“It’s a privilege to get to influence and
shape U.S. policy, in both small and large
ways.” Jodi shares. “In the Office of the
Secretary of Defense, I view a large part
of my job as paving the way to allow the
U.S. military forces to do the work our
political leadership has determined they
need to do, with all the necessary tools,
access and support required.”
Jodi’s latest assignment was in the
National Defense University’s National
War College. In June she graduated with
a master’s of national security strategy,
which will serve her in her new post
as Southeast Asian regional advisor for
Cooperative Threat Reduction.
Dr. Brent Peterson, Jodi’s brother and
NNU professor of theology, could not be
more proud. “Her ability to create and
foster good relations has been one of her
greatest assets. Jodi is a credit to her alma
mater as she engages in the world as a
transforming and redemptive agent.”
At its spring meeting, the Alumni
Association Board of Directors proposed
changes to its constitution. In order for
this guiding document to be amended,
the full membership of the Alumni
Association must have opportunity
to vote. A two-thirds majority vote of
ballots returned by the full NNUAA
membership constitutes approval for
amendment. All ballots returned within
60 days of this mailing will be tabulated;
balloting will go offline on Sept. 1, 2014.
Questions or concerns may
be directed to the NNU Office of
Alumni Relations at 208-467-8841 or
Go to to
read about the proposed changes
and to cast your vote.
Mark Kasinger
Distinguished Service
Kathy Johnson &
JoAnn Willis
A 1984 graduate in mathematics, Mark
Kasinger built a foundation for his future
education and career at NNU. Mark
remembers his professors fondly and
shares that the classes he took taught him
not just the material, but also how to learn.
“They equipped me for a career where
new challenges can be met, and they
taught me a willingness and desire
for discovery.”
Mark has held a variety of positions in
the aerospace industry, including time
spent at the National Security Agency
and Boeing Co. He is currently working
for NASA at the Johnson Space Center as
group lead for the Production, Integration
and Control Office in the Mission
Operations Directorate (MOD). MOD
provides real-time planning and operation
support for the International Space
Station (ISS). Mark’s group is responsible
for planning and integrating all softwarerelated changes on the ISS and working
with the flight crew to implement them.
“You don’t have to be an astronaut to
realize you’re part of an industry that is
unique, and that you’re one of those who
actually gets to participate in making
history,” Mark shares.
NNU alumnus and planetary geologist
Jim Zimbelman (’76) has followed
Mark’s career and speaks highly of his
achievements. “Mark is never one to selfpromote, but the numerous awards he has
received during his career speak to the
recognition of his contributions by NASA
and the Johnson Space Center.”
NNU’s Centennial was a year of
remembering, honoring and celebrating.
It took the entire university community to
make it possible, but there are a few key
individuals without whose efforts it would
not have been so incredible. Kathy Johnson
and Dr. JoAnn Willis worked tirelessly
before, after and during the Centennial
Celebration as co-coordinators to ensure
that the vision for the year was fulfilled.
Kathy (Slonaker, ’75) has a strong fourgeneration family legacy at NNU and
has served in many roles on campus. She
founded and directed the Career Planning
and Placement Center, taught as an adjunct
professor and served as program manager
for the Murdock Grant. “Of all the places I
have worked in my life, I keep returning to
NNU; it is my favorite place,” she shares.
JoAnn (Williams, ’65) first visited NNU
in the spring of 1962 for Prospective
Student Weekend. After graduation, she
returned to campus when her husband
Jim joined the music faculty. JoAnn
served over 30 years as a psychology
faculty member and retired while holding
positions as chair of that department
and dean of the School of Academic
Resources. She reflects on her time at
NNU with joy, “I have considered my
work at NNU as a gift from God. I loved
the students; I loved my colleagues; and
I loved my subject matter.”
“The success of the NNU Centennial
Celebration can be linked directly to the
creativity, hard work and diligence of Kathy
and JoAnn,” President David Alexander
affirms. “From the Gala’s custom truffles
to a sold-out Michael W. Smith concert
with orchestra and alumni choir, JoAnn and
Kathy made NNU shine!”
Heritage Award
Finkbeiner Family
You don’t have to look far to find an NNU
alumnus or alumna who is living a life
worthy of recognition. In fact, we’re often
overwhelmed by the incredible ways
alumni are achieving, serving, giving and
modeling Spirit-filled lives.
Take the Finkbeiner family, originally
from a farm in Connell, Wash., who began
a relationship with NNU in 1942 when
A.J. Finkbeiner and his wife Ella (Hessel)
came to school following a call to ministry.
He graduated, began preaching and was
soon asked to start an art department
at NNU because of artistic skills he
demonstrated as illustrations with his
sermons. From that moment on, A.J.’s
family would be entwined with Northwest
Nazarene University.
In total, four generations of the original
Connell Finkbeiners have attended NNU.
In their midst are men and women who
today are world missionaries, coaches,
educators, ministers, lawyers, musicians,
social workers, business persons and
farmers, to name a few.
Thankfully, as lengthy as the Finkbeiner
lineage has become, and as diverse as
their roles in the world are, they have
maintained a heritage of laboring for God’s
Kingdom and caring for the well-being of
His creation.
It is for these reasons the Alumni
Association was privileged to have honored
the Finkbeiner family with its Heritage
Award—a recognition given to an alumni
family who throughout generations has
brought honor and distinction to the
university and who has advanced the cause
of Christ through their lives and service.
The Finkbeiner family was presented with
this award during Alumni Weekend in May.
Read full articles about all of the 2014 Alumni Award honorees at All honorees, except the
Finkbeiner family who was celebrated at Commencement, will be awarded during Homecoming & Family Weekend.
Submit updates, announcements and photos to [email protected]
Alumni News
Sven Olson (85) is retiring after 27 years in the Army National
Guard and is returning to the United States after five years overseas
in Germany and Ukraine. Sven has opened a Farm Bureau
Financial Services agency in Oro Valley, Ariz.
Harold Nevin -59- and other members of the class of 1959
have started a Facebook page for alumni of the late 1950s to the
mid-1960s. More than 60 people have joined the group sharing
memories, essays, photos and comments. The page has proved a
great touch-point for reconnection, and class members from those
years are invited to join. Search “NNU Class of 1959.”
Darcy Armstrong -86- has been named to the NNU Alumni
Association Board of Directors representing the Northwest District.
Darcy and her family live in Yakima, Wash.
Floyd (Bud) Kinzler -64- completed 40 years as a high school and
middle school counselor. Kinzler did his graduate work in guidance
counseling at the University of Kansas. He
and his wife Kay spend as much time in
McCall as possible and love spending time
with their grandkids.
Rev. Douglas (61) and Marlene
(Bjaaland) (58) Kugler celebrated their
50th wedding anniversary in February
2014. The Kuglers
live in Nampa.
Jere Dick -73was recently
appointed associate
of the Animal
and Plant Health Inspection Service
(APHIS) for the U.S. Department of
Agriculture in Washington, D.C. As
associate administrator, Dr. Dick will
focus on leading APHIS’ business process
improvement efforts, supporting the
agency’s emergency response community.
He will also focus on supporting the work
of Veterinary Services, Wildlife Services and International Services.
Dr. Mary Sweatt McGuire -78- and her research partner Dr.
Lori Conlon Khan have published their research findings in an
article titled “Reading with Rhythm,” which explores the use of
Orff Schulwerk strategies as a reading intervention option. Mary is
currently a reading specialist for the Boise School District.
Susan Borrego -80- will begin duties in August as chancellor
of University of Michigan’s Flint Campus. Susan most recently
served as vice president for enrollment management, planning, and
student affairs at California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Melissa (Scott) Walker -82- was recently named chief financial
officer for St. Rose Dominican Hospital’s San Martin Campus in
Las Vegas where she resides with her husband Ty -85- and their
two children.
Debbie Wheeler -95- has been named executive director of
Hands of Hope Northwest. This nonprofit organization collects
medical equipment
and supplies and
donates them to
people in need.
Wheeler has
been with the
since 2006.
Suzanne Mondell
-96- has completed
a master’s degree
(her second) in
social work at
the University
of Southern
California. Over
the past decade she has been an ordained Salvation Army minister,
serving in various appointments throughout California. In addition
to pastoral responsibilities, Suzanne has worked to connect the
church with other social services, especially focusing on human
trafficking. She is currently a therapist with a Middle Eastern
immigrant agency working with victims of domestic violence and
immigration concerns. Suzanne now resides in San Diego, Calif.
Ray Gibler -97- was awarded tenure at Northwestern College
where he has been on faculty since 2008.
Shemia Fagan -03- has been included in the 2014 “40 Under
40” list produced by the Portland Business Journal. Each year the
Business Journal selects 40 Oregon professionals who have excelled
in their field, have shown tremendous leadership and have been
committed to the community. Shemia was elected from District 51
to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2012, serving on the
Business/Labor Committee and as the vice-chair of the Veterans
Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. Following NNU,
Shemia earned a Juris Doctor from Lewis & Clark Law School.
Tyler Gilmore -06- has been named to the NNU Alumni
Association Board of Directors representing the Oregon Pacific
District. Tyler and his family live in Salem, Ore.
In Memorium
Ian Eastman -MA 08- was recently
awarded a certificate in youth theology
from the Institute for Youth Ministry at
Princeton Theological Seminary. The
certificate was the culmination of almost
three years’ work integrating the tools of
practical theology and best practices in
adolescent development. His final project,
“A Promising Model for Faith Formation,”
describes how congregations and families
can integrate youth ministry into the total
rhythm of life.
Erik Valenti -08- has accepted a
pediatric residency with Cincinnati
Children’s Hospital with the goal of
practicing pediatric neurology. He has
recently completed studies at Loma
Linda University.
Cally (Bekkedahl) Younger -08- has
been appointed by Idaho Gov. Butch Otter
as a public records ombudsman to review
how state agencies handle record requests
and to examine ways to improve Idaho’s
public record laws.
Heather White -12- recently graduated
from Tufts University School of Medicine
with an M.S. in health communication.
Derek Sepe -12- is enrolled in the
School of Cinematic Arts at the University
of Southern California. He is producing
multiple projects, collaborating on
screenplays and networking through
Chelsie (Collins) Kaschmitter -12- is the
marketing and communications coordinator
for Mission Aviation Fellowship’s (MAF)
Learning Technologies Department in
Nampa, Idaho. She previously worked as a
marketing and social media assistant for a
local advertising agency also in Nampa.
Criselda DeLaCruz-Valdez -MSW 12has been selected by the city of Nampa as
executive director of the Family Justice
Center. She has worked for the Center
since 2008 in various capacities. Previously,
she was at Northern Virginia Family
Services in Alexandria, Va.
Brynn Louise on July 15, 2013, to RaChelle
(Lundy) -01- and Paul Hendricks, joining big
sister Claire 1
Adrian Christopher on Aug. 22, 2013, to Jenny
(Kung) -99- and Jean-Philippe Stoldt 2
Macy June on Sept. 18, 2013, to Robin
(McConkey) -08- and Edwin Wheeler -07- 3
Owen Lawrence on Sept. 25, 2013, to Danielle
and Ben Pearson -10- 4
Riker Alan on Nov. 2, 2013, to Jen (Revels) -00and Jaden Perry -02-, joining brother Orion 5
Noah Daniel on Nov. 16, 2013, to Sarah
(Arendt) -05- and Jesse Maddux -05-, joining
brothers Jesse Jay and Toby 6
William Kellen Cunningham and Jackson Brian
Davis on Dec. 27, 2013, to Amanda (Spies)
-04- and Brian Loosli -04- 7
Maxwell Jon on Jan. 19, 2014, to Sydney
(Mitchell) -07- and Mike Drinkwater. The
Drinkwaters are missionaries with Extreme
Nazarene Missions serving in Quito, Ecuador. 8
Anthony David on Jan. 19, 2014, to Andrea
(Hall) -08- and Nathan Gallion 9
Henry Gene on Feb. 2, 2014, to Allison
(Colbo) -09- and Kevin Lambert -08-, joining
sister Bethany 10
Alan Andres born Feb. 21, 2014, to Kimberly
(Slonaker) -11- and Jerry Mangeac -11- 11
Katie Simpson -07- and Brandon Gulley on
Sept. 21, 2013, in Boise, Idaho 12
Roland Tedder -09- and Ashley Hall on Dec.
27, 2013, in Kansas City, where Roland is youth
pastor. Roland graduated from NTS in May
2013 and is also working as a 365m program
administrator for the Seminary. 13
Michael Wheatley -08- and Cailyn Stevens on
Feb. 15, 2014, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The couple
is serving with Extreme Nazarene Missions to
plant at least two churches in Argentina in the
next three years. 14
Dr. John Sutherland -41- on April 20, 2014,
Nampa, Idaho
Paul Gray -43- on March 22, 2012,
Lubbock, Texas
Marjorie Carter -44- on April 6, 2014,
Phoenix, Arizona
Rev. Edward Hurn -45- on Feb. 5, 2014,
Nampa, Idaho
Rev. Floyd Pounds -45- on March 17, 2014,
Blue Springs, Mo.
Agnes Roberts Coit -47- on March, 2010,
Seattle, Wash.
Luceal (Miller) Lenker -47- on Feb. 6, 2014,
Grants Pass, Ore.
George McUne -51- on Dec. 22, 2013,
Medford, Ore.
Marvin Blough -52- on March 7, 2014,
Melba, Idaho
C. Orville Irish -52- on Dec. 8, 2013,
Richland, Wash.
Evelyn Gray -53- on Feb. 12, 2014,
Lubbock, Texas
George “Bud” Baska -58- on Jan. 29, 2014,
Sun City, Ariz.
Ruth (Burkhart) Crawford -58- on Feb. 27,
2014, Federal Way, Wash.
Charles Whitney -58- on Feb. 2, 2014,
Nampa, Idaho
Donald Lee Shea (58) on March 19, 2013,
Tuscon, Ariz.
Olive Aycock -62- on Dec. 23, 2013,
Nampa, Idaho
Lydia (Jennings) Windom -65- on March 19,
2014, Newburg, Ore.
Ann Kiemel Anderson -67- on March 1, 2014,
Stockton, Calif.
Charlie Schmelzenbach -67- on Feb. 21,
2014, Soldotna, Alaska
June Lowber -68- on April 14, 2014,
Nampa, Idaho
Hideo Hishida -70- on Nov. 7, 2013,
Beaverton, Ore.
Nancy Engman -72- on Feb. 11, 2014,
Nampa, Idaho
Carolyn (Carlson) Pitts (74) on Jan. 18, 2014,
Olivia, Minn.
Judy (Smith) Davis (77) on Feb. 27, 2014,
Salem, Ore.
Rev. Noel Sullivan -84- on Feb. 3, 2014,
Wray, Colo.
-year- indicates graduation year
(year) indicates matriculation year
“When we think of the Bible or
religious faith, we usually think first
of rules and regulations, but to do
so completely misses the very essence of the Bible. The
Bible is effectively an rWorld [relational world] textbook.
It tells us the story of a relational God who has made men
and women in His image for the purpose of relating. Cover
to cover, Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is primarily
about one thing: relationship. It is about the creation
of relationship, the destruction of relationship, and the
redemption of relationship. When taken as a whole, these
concepts are antithetical to the iWorld [individualistic
world]. Whereas the iWorld focuses on self-fulfillment,
the Bible teaches that self-fulfillment is an oxymoron,
an impossibility, because it is a denial of our nature. We
were created to relate to God and one another, and our
personal fulfillment and happiness depends on the health
of those two fundamental relationships. Indeed, it is only in
these twin relationships that we can understand ourselves.
Christianity is not about deciding who we want to be and
what makes us happy, it is about learning who we are and
how to find not just happiness but fulfillment, in relating to
God and one another.”
Excerpted with permission from “Sex and the iWorld:
Rethinking Relationship beyond an Age of Individualism,”
by Dale S. Kuehne.
Dr. Kuehne is professor of politics and founding director
of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm
College and also serves as interim pastor of Christ’s Church
of Amherst, N.H. He guest lectured on campus for the
second time on February 5 and 6. His chapel address, Time
Out talk, and conversations with faculty and staff focused
on the topic of restoring relational hope in an age of
Listen to the full message online at
623 S. University Boulevard • Nampa, ID 83686-5897
“If I was still somewhere else I would never be finishing. I would have gotten discouraged
long ago. At NNU, I get emotional support, financial support and academic support.
That is worth every penny.”
—Janie Weaver, mom of eight and junior nursing student
Hear her story at
Help support students like Janie by contributing
to the University Fund. You’ll find that every dollar
you give provides transformation
opportunities for students.
Give to the University Fund today • 866.467.8987