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An Adoption Story 8

Coolin the Furnace 10

Record Enrollm entStrikesAgain 13

Winter 2010

The Magazine of Sterling College

Sterling Staff Director of Marketing Communications Sterling Editor Karin (Lederle) Swihart ’08

Letter from the President

Writer for Marketing Communications Sterling Associate Editor Jennifer Underwood Marketing Communications Assistant Ashley Dowgwillo ’09

Dear Sterling Alumni and Friends, I like to ask questions. I always have. In my inaugural address, I asked the simple but weighty question: “Why is Sterling College important today and tomorrow?” In the address, I gave this answer: “Sterling College is important because, in the midst of the moral confusion that permeates this nation and global society, it is rooted. It is rooted in the belief that: 1) God is real; 2) all humans are created in God’s image; and 3) the Bible is God’s revealed Word, authoritative and infallible in all matters of faith and practice. “The original core purpose of classic liberal arts education in the United States was the shaping of students’ souls. But now, as argued by elite secular educators, colleges and universities throughout our nation have lost the ability to teach the meaning of life. Here at Sterling College, the meaning of life is still taught in 2009, just as it was at the College’s founding in 1887.” The answer to “Why is Sterling College important?” is further developed in the stories of this issue. The article on inauguration gives glory to God for the ways He continues to use Sterling to transform students. “Cool in the Furnace” shares of current students and recent alumni who carried good news to “the least of the least” this past summer, and the adoption piece clearly shows the long-term effects of a Sterling College education. The true meaning of life is still taught at Sterling; these stories reflect that. And as Sterling remains rooted, and as it renews its original purpose, the institution will rise to the future. This is why Sterling College is important, both today and tomorrow. In this past year Sterling has strengthened its financial foundation; clarified its Christian identity; recruited and secured new board members who bring a wealth of experience to the leadership of the College; and continued the five-year trend of growing student enrollment. We are grateful for your partnership in making Sterling a stronger institution for students, alumni, and God’s kingdom. Thank you for your prayers and support of Sterling College. Grace and peace,

M Paul J. Maurer, Ph.D. President

P.S. If you would like to read the full text of the inaugural address, you can find it at 2 • Sterling Magazine

Graphic Designer Erin Thiessen ’09 Student Assistant Annette Ensz ’12 Aly Kumpula ’11 Printer Mennonite Press, Newton, Kansas

College Administration & Staff President Paul J. Maurer Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing Dennis Dutton ’82 Vice President for Student Life Tina Wohler Vice President for Innovation and Technology Ken Brown Vice President for Institutional Advancement Marvin Dewey Chief Financial Officer Scott Rich Athletic Director Andy Lambert Sports Information Director Justin Morris ’99 Director of Gift Planning Don Reed ’68 Director of Alumni Relations David Earle ’88

Board of Trustees Officers Tony Thompson ’69, Chair Tim O’Brien, Vice Chair Randy Henry ’72, Secretary

Alumni Council Amy (Sylvester) Svaty ’02, President Jill (Bleam) Lundgren ’79, Secretary-Treasurer Fran Calderwood ’54, Golden Club Representative View Sterling Online Current and back issues available Sterling is a publication of Sterling College’s Marketing Communications office. It is distributed three times a year at no charge to Sterling College alumni, friends and parents. To remove or change your mailing address, or to submit a classnote, email; call 620-278-4219; or write the Advancement Office at 125 W. Cooper, Sterling, Kansas 67579. Postmaster: Send address changes to Sterling, Sterling College, 125 W. Cooper, Sterling, Kansas 67579

Sterling Winter 2010

The Honorable Josh Svaty ’02 shares greetings from the governor of Kansas. Svaty is currently the secretary of agriculture for the state of Kansas. photo by Art Sundquist

[ Features ]

[ Departments ]

4 8 10

12 15 17 19

Presidential Inauguration An Adoption Story Cool in the Furnace

In the News Alumni News and Notes Where’s the Warrior? Homecoming Review

Winter 2010 • 3



Dr. Paul J. Maurer When Dr. Paul J. Maurer first came to Sterling College, it was clear he was passionate about the academic excellence and insti-

tutional professionalism of Sterling College. In the year since his arrival, Dr. Maurer has also established himself as a president who desires to have relationship with students. He plays Ultimate Frisbee on Campbell Lawn; he has attended football, volleyball, and soccer games; he hosts student get-togethers in his home; and he traveled to Kansas City to hang out with the soccer team during a Kansas City Wizards game. He even communicates with students via Facebook. Student Government Association President Matt Ehresman ’10 referred to this when he represented the student body and officially greeted the president during inauguration: “I think I can even call President Maurer my friend—since he requested me as his friend on Facebook.” The student body has recognized Maurer’s efforts. On Saturday of Homecoming weekend, the Campbell men displayed their support for President Maurer with their parade float. On the float were a desk and chair and a model of Cooper Hall large enough for several of the Campbell men to fit inside. As the float made its way down Broadway Avenue, one at a time Campbell residents, dressed in dark suits and wearing large name tags that identified each one as a former president—Campbell, Spencer, McCreery, Kelsey—came out of “Cooper Hall” and sat at the desk holding a torch. Then a student with a “Maurer” name tag exited “Cooper,” and the president at the desk stood and handed over the torch. The theme: Passing the Glory. The float’s theme connected closely with the inaugural focus; however, there was a major difference. Dr. Maurer’s inaugural ceremony was carefully orchestrated so that all the glory was “passed” to God. This focus revealed yet another passion of Sterling College’s eleventh president: that God is to be praised for the College’s rootedness in the Truth, for its continual renewal, and for its rising to the 4 • Sterling Magazine

[ Feature Story ] future. Dr. Alan Cureton, a 1976 Sterling College graduate, Board member, and president of Northwestern College, testified to this Truth when he delivered the Charge of the ceremony. “Turn North, Mr. President,” he said, “Turn North.” Explaining his statement, he said, “The cornerstone of the curriculum must be Jesus Christ—He is True North,” and to maintain that focus, Dr. Cureton advised, “Be sure that Scripture is interwoven into the very fabric of SC—in every discipline.” Scripture was definitely woven into the inauguration, along with great hymns of the faith. The audience sang the traditional “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” to open the ceremony and then the prayer-like “Be Thou My Vision.” The bagpipers played “Amazing Grace” to close the installation. The ceremony also included a brand-new song written for the occasion: “How Will They Know? (A Festive Proclamation of Hope).” Music Department Chair Dr. Brad Nix, a composer, asked President Maurer if he had a particular Scripture he would like for the text of a musical piece for inauguration. The president suggested Romans 10:15, a verse of great meaning for him: “And how can

they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” This song was an appropriate and beautiful introduction to Dr. Maurer’s speech. He spoke on this question: “Why is Sterling College important today and tomorrow?” and his answers to that question followed Romans 10:15. First he emphasized the Truth the College “preaches” to its students: “Sterling College is important because, in the midst of the moral confusion that permeates our nation and global society, it is rooted… and in turn (it) offers roots to its students.” Dr. Maurer drew on the heritage of Sterling to emphasize this point. “Sterling’s first president, Dr. Francis Marion Spencer, made clear in his inaugural address that Sterling was to be a Christ-centered, liberal arts college. And as Sterling has renewed this commitment in recent years, we have seen enrollment rise and the entire institution strengthened. I believe our rootedness, and this renewal, are at the core of Sterling’s bright future.” Dr. Maurer went on to express how Sterling College prepares its students to be “sent,” to be bearers of the “good news:” “Sterling College is important because it provides a

Rooted. Renewing. Rising.

(Above) Tony Thompson ’69, chairman of the Board of Trustees, presents the medallion to Dr. Maurer during the Inauguration ceremony. (Right) Mrs. Joellen Maurer, along with Hank and Nancy Schichtle of the Prairie Garden Bed and Breakfast, examine the congratulatory certificates sent by other colleges in honor of Dr. Maurer’s Inauguration during the Chamber of Commerce Coffee held prior to the installation ceremony. photos by Ashley Dowgwillo

Winter 2010 • 5

Rooted. Renewing. Rising. 2 • Sterling Magazine

certain kind of education that helps its students become certain kinds of people… We want our graduates to grasp an understanding that they have an eternal purpose to pursue and fulfill.” To illustrate this possibility of transformation, Dr. Maurer shared about a Sterling College chapel service he attended the previous spring. “Thirty graduating seniors each had a piece of cardboard, roughly 2 x 3 feet in size. Using a black marker, they had written something on both sides, large enough for the audience to read. On one side, a few words described a great struggle or pain they possessed when they entered Sterling. And on the other side, they wrote words of healing and redemption. “One student held up a sign that said ‘Bitter and angry’ on one side and ‘Forgiven and able to forgive’ on the other. “Another’s said ‘Longing to be loved’ on the first side, and ‘Fully satisfied’ on the other. “A young woman wrote: ‘Slave to perfectionism.’ And with a proclamation of victory, wrote: ‘Freed! God loves me… even all my imperfections.’ “A young man wrote: ‘Road to destruction.’ ‘Abundant life in Jesus.’ “One after another. Thirty of them. Some were very personal. All were vulnerable. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.” There were tears in many eyes at inauguration as well, for the story Dr. Maurer told was a clear picture of how God continues to use Sterling to transform lives. He continued, “And so it happens every single day, year after year, in the quiet, life-giving community that has been created here. The students that come to Sterling are filled with tremendous potential. Our message is that God loves them and wants great things for them. “Sterling College is important, today and tomorrow, because on the most important questions of the meaning of life, Sterling has something to say. And as we remain rooted, and as we renew our commitment to our core purpose, Sterling College will continue to rise. And as that happens, we will give thanks to God.”

Dr. Maurer stepped back from the podium. Though he had officially become the president of Sterling ten months before, the installation was a ceremonial induction into the Sterling College family. Together with the audience he sang the Alma Mater: Sterling, all hail to you; your name we love, Holding the Word of God all things above. Queen of the Kansas plains, ‘neath skies of blue, Our Alma Mater dear, we sing to you. Teach us to know the good and love the right. Teach us to follow truth thro’ darkest night. May God’s rich blessing fall on all you do. Our loyal hearts we pledge, Sterling, to you.

And the benediction, prayed by Dr. Henry Lederle, served as a final reminder of the inaugural focus: “Gracious and most loving Lord, at the close of our ceremonies we come once more to ask Your blessing. We have gathered today with gratitude to install a new president. Fill him, we pray, with life abundant; grant him wisdom, vision, and foresight; bless him with deep faith, vibrant hope and caring love. Make our beloved college count on these Great Plains, in this land, and even further afield. We have thoughtfully reflected together this morning on the daunting task of shaping the lives and souls of the youth of the future as we strive to hold ‘the Word of God all things above.’ How will they know, if we do not go? Equip our students to live missional lives, to be Your serving hands and feet in this needy world. Heavenly Father, grant that we may be rooted in Your revelation and truth; Gracious Jesus, grant that we be renewed through probing a Christian perspective on all of life; Holy Spirit, grant that we rise toward the future through Your empowering presence, transformed, resilient, and robust in our faith to work in the service of Your kingdom. This we humbly pray, in Christ’s name, Amen.”

Clockwise: The Sterling Chorale sings “How Will They Know (A Festive Proclamation of Hope),” a song written by Associate Professor of Music Dr. Brad Nix. The Maurer family from top: Paul, Joellen, Elizabeth, Sarah, Daniel and Jon. Matt Ehresman ’10, president of the student government association, offers Dr. Maurer words of welcome on behalf of the students. photos by

Ashley Dowgwillo

Winter 2010 • 7

by Jennifer Underwood

An Adoption Story

Near the end of Dr. Maurer’s inaugural address, he said, “We want our graduates to grasp that life is to be lived in community; to know they are loved, and that as they love God and others, they fulfill their highest purpose.” At Sterling this message is taught in classes, chapels and Bible studies. It is most effective, however, when students see it lived out, and one of the ways the College community “lives it out” is through adoption. According to, between 2-4% of all the families in the United States include an adopted child. Among the current staff and faculty at Sterling College, that number is above 8%. Professors Will and Judith Best and Mary Ver Steeg have adopted children. Director of Campus Ministries Jerrod Adair and his wife have as well. There are more, and still others who are trying to adopt. Athletic Director Andy Lambert and his family have been in the process for several years—and though they’ve seen little progress, they’re still pursuing the children God has laid on their hearts. When students see this, they view the full scope of the Good News: people “know(ing) they are loved, … lov(ing) God and others, … fulfill(ing) their highest purpose.” They’ve seen this recently in the life of Chemistry Chair Dr. Curt Beechan. Curt and Cindy Beechan married in 2004. Two years later Cindy miscarried, and they began discussing adoption. “We didn’t think we’d be able to adopt a young child domestically since we would be older parents,” says Cindy. “But then we heard about our little girl, in foster care at the time, and we decided to try.” Their little girl, then three years old, had spent more than half her life in foster care. Now the Beechan family often eats in the College cafeteria, and it’s evident their preschooler feels comfortable with her new mom and dad. “She’s very social,” says Cindy. “She brings lots of smiles whenever she’s around.” Often the students are smiling because of the entire family, not just the child. “It’s obvious they love that little girl,” said one student. “I like seeing them together.” Their togetherness was official when the state finalized their adoption in April 2009. “The court date was actually the anniver8 • Sterling Magazine

sary of our miscarried baby’s due date—three years earlier,” said Cindy. “That was a special blessing for us.” Their adoption story is a blessing for the entire Sterling College community. Families like the Beechans provide students with flesh and blood pictures of God’s grace. It’s the kind of grace that multiplies, touching student after student, so they, too, may go out and share it with others. Many of them have done just that. In 2004 Christian ’02 and Stacy (Coster ’03) Dashiell had been married two years. When the “Wheel of Fortune” television show held local auditions, Christian tried out “just for fun.” He made the show—and won more than $30,000. Christian read a story in a national magazine about the need for international, special-needs orphans to be adopted. He showed the article to Stacy. She voiced what he had been thinking. “Wouldn’t it be cool to consider doing this with the money?” “That started it,” he said, and God used two guest speakers at their church to confirm His leading. The first said, “If you have a dream that seems crazy to others, it just might be from God.” The second actually said, “If anyone in this audience is thinking about adopting internationally, that’s a call from God.” Christian and Stacy contacted an adoption agency. Early in 2006 they were matched with a premature baby girl in Vietnam. Nine-month-old Elliana weighed only ten pounds and couldn’t sit up yet, but she was theirs. “That first evening together, she smiled at Stacy. It was amazing to see her loving her new mom right away,” said Christian. Elli turned four this past December. She has caught up with all her age-appropriate milestones, and she now has a baby brother, Zachary, born in May 2009. The Dashiells will move to Sterling in the summer of 2010, and Stacy will work as a physician at the Sterling Medical Center. Christian says, “We’re excited that Sterling is such a good place to raise a multi-ethnic family.” They say this because there are several multi-ethnic families in town. When Dwayne ’94 and René (Zimmerman ’95) Wilson’s

[ Feature Story ]


bson the ro aryn, tucker, m

, luc, terry


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the wilsons

back: taya, sydney. front : tyus, rené (zimmerm an ’95), cedric, dwayne ’94, kidist and kaleab

the dash iells

eli, stacy (co

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six children are lined up, the first four resemble alternating chess pieces: light/dark/light/dark. “We never planned to adopt,” says René, “but this is what our family is supposed to be.” Three years ago Dwayne and René felt God calling them to do…something. “As we prayed for direction, I read “Fields of the Fatherless,” about God’s heart for orphans,” said René. Dwayne saw the book and said, ‘Maybe we should start praying about adoption.’ That hadn’t entered my mind, but it did then.” By February 2007 they were working with an agency on the adoption of two Ethiopian children—two, said René, “because we didn’t want them to feel overwhelmed by the four already here.” The Wilsons first saw pictures of Kaleab and Kidist on July 3, 2007. René and Dwayne left for Ethiopia later that month. On the last day of the trip, they were able to meet their new children, and less than four months later, with all the paperwork complete, they returned to Ethiopia to bring them home. “God’s faithfulness was clear all through the process,” said René. “We experienced strong spiritual warfare the week before we met Kaleab and Kidist. Dwayne and I kept telling each other, ‘God is faithful.’ When the taxi pulled up after we’d just met them—when we still had so much of the process to complete—we saw a bumper sticker on the back of it.” René grinned. “It read, ‘God is faithful.’ That really helped.” God’s faithfulness was also evident in Terry ’83 and Kristin (Kirby ’82) Robson’s adoption of Luc, now in seventh grade. “Romania made the decision to shut down international adoptions soon after we started Luc’s paperwork,” said Kristin. “His was the last Romanian adoption our agency worked with.” The Robson’s decision to adopt came from pain. “We lost a child. Though grieving lasts a lifetime, after a few years we sensed God directing us to adopt. We wanted more children and believed He was telling us to find a child that wanted parents.” Their Christian adoption agency shared Luc’s profile with them. Nearly five years old, he was given up by his mother at birth and had lived in an orphanage and then a foster home. Terry and Kristin flew in October of 2000 to meet him and begin the in-country paperwork. Then they returned home to start the

ristian ’02 an

d zachary

U.S. process. Seven months later Terry and their oldest son Jordan, 11 at the time, flew to Romania to bring Luc home. “I did not go,” Kristin said, “because I was seven months pregnant—surprise! “We’ve learned so much through the process of adoption— patience and faith as we waited to bring Luc home and more growth as we’ve dealt with the unique issues of raising an adopted child—but it has been and continues to be a great experience.” Jack ’03 and Kim (Reed ’03) Dillard’s experience also includes the blessing of joy after grief. “We lost our daughter Reed after seven months of pregnancy. We went through the actual birth process—and then left the hospital without a baby,” said Jack, who is the track and cross-country coach at the College. “We felt like parents without a child.” The Dillards began talking about adoption. By the next year they had a social worker and a possible match, and just a few months later they got the call: “Your baby girl has been born!” They went to the hospital to see her. “Kim and I just stood there, our eyes wide. She was so little, so beautiful,” said Jack. “As soon as we saw her, we knew she was ours. Nothing could take that ‘I’m a dad!’ feeling away.” They took her home the following day and began life as a family. “We were parents without a child; now we’re just a bigger family. Through all of this, God’s been so faithful.” “When we lost Reed, we found out about so many other people who have gone through similar things, and those people lifted us up. Now we get to do the same thing with adoption. It’s amazing to find out how many people adoption has touched. It’s pretty special to be a part of that.” Many other SC alumni have their own adoption stories. Bill ’57 and Betty (Bott ’59) Calderwood; Kevin fs91 and Jan (Foster ’94) Rich; Dave ’00 and Cheryl (Roberts ’00) Ellis—the list could go on and on. These alumni followed God’s call into adoptive parenthood. Many of them saw this kind of faith lived out in their own families, but they also learned it at Sterling College. As President Maurer said, “And so it happens every single day, year after year, in the quiet, life-giving community that has been created here.” Winter 2010 • 9

early days, a team member wrote about women on the streets calling for men to come into their bars; she wrote about the desperation and hopelessness she saw on these women’s faces. That same day “Pappa” and “Mamma” Swihart read the entry and wrote, “Our hearts are heavy with the evil that abounds around you. But we rejoice that you bear Good News of a loving and gracious Redeemer. We so appreciate the postings that keep us involved as well. Our prayers continue to surround the team and the mission. We checked out the SHE site and are very interested in possibly becoming involved from the States. -Love, Pappa and Mamma Swihart” Pappa and Mamma Swihart, too, had children on this trip. Their daughterin-law Karin (Lederle ’08) Swihart led the team, and their son Ben ’09 was on it as well, both to experience it for himself and to share his new bride’s passion for setting women and girls physically and spiritually free. After just a few days of the team visiting the bars, the Thai girls working in them knew these Americans were there for a very different purpose than the usual one. One of the team members wrote, “Being at the bars with the women tonight was a lot harder than the night before. They were more open and friendly and as a result it made their stories so much harder to hear. Just makes your heart break listening to some of the reasons why these women feel like they need a job with these kinds of descriptions.” Lyle and Joyce Frees, parents of another team member, Leah—a junior at the College—left this comment in response:



furnace by jennifer underwood

“Dear Thailand Team, You all have had experiences those of us at home find hard to imagine, but have no doubt that you have left your mark there. You have planted wonderful seeds and your lives are changed forever because of the work you have done. We’re so proud of you. -With love and great admiration, Mom and Dad Prior” Mom and Dad Prior are the parents of Nate Prior ‘09 and the inlaws of Samantha (Regier ‘09) Prior. Nate and Sam graduated from Sterling College in April 2009, married a month later, and boarded a plane bound for Thailand in July as part of a groundbreaking SC mission team. The team’s blog, “The Thailand Express,” was updated almost daily during the trip, and Mom and Dad Prior consistently left encouraging responses to the updates. The Thailand team, made up of five current SC students, three ’09 SC graduates, and an ’08 SC alumna, worked with SHE (Self Help and Empowerment), a Christian charity committed to helping women trapped in Thailand’s sex industry. At SHE women hear the Good News and find a home, vocational training, and counseling. Before the SC team traveled to Thailand, team members, the three men in particular, received special training for the situtations they would face. They continued this vigilance in Thailand, praying daily for their own protection and monitoring themselves closely. They prayed also for the girls they met each night in the bars, that their hearts would be receptive to the hope of a life outside prostitution, receptive to the hope of the Good News. The team members took turns posting blog entries. On one of their 10 • Sterling Magazine

“Reading about your day and evening is the highlight of ours! Not just so we know you all are okay—that is a big part—but to

[ Feature Story ]

‘hear’ what we have been praying for you during each day. Just remember, you do not have to catch them. Jesus will do that. You just have to fish.” Near the end of the trip, one of the team members changed the title of their blog. “The Thailand Express” was gone. The new name was “Cool in the Furnace.” The next day Ben Swihart posted an entry that was more reflection than narrative, more prayer than update. He wrote: “I have experienced every emotion in the book on this trip. When a couple of girls I had seen several times came and had lunch at SHE on our last day—Utter joy. When girls we had been talking to got the glazed-over-horror look when other guys would come and try to negotiate a price while we were sitting there with them—Utter rip-my-heart-out-of-my-chest futility and depression. I can’t stay in my comfort zone now. A few weeks from now, when I am no longer craving buffalo wings and missing my Play-station—if my life is exactly the same as it was before I left, I will have wasted this time and I will be wasting my life. I can do more. I need to start living my life as if I cannot survive without God.” Back in the Sterling College marketing department, Jennifer Underwood—alone in the office since Marketing Director Karin Swihart was in Thailand—logged onto the blog to check on the team. She saw the new title, read Ben’s post, then opened a new Word document on her computer and began typing: “The furnace is a frightening place. As a child I did not grasp that. When a Sunday School teacher told me the story of Shad-rach, Me-shach, and A-bed-ne-go, the greatest appeal to me was rolling their exotic names off my tongue. The flannel graph board and figures failed to convey to me the terror, the danger, ultimately, the courage involved in this story. I caught a glimpse of the truth today as I read the Team Thailand blog. Its new title is “Cool in the Furnace.” How true. They knew it would be difficult before they left—knew they would be meeting and working with young women whose bodies are sold daily for the pleasure of others. Did they know how difficult it would be? Did fear strike their spirits—especially Ben’s, DJ’s and Nate’s—at what they would face? Did they know a sword would pierce their hearts and they would live with its sting long after their return to the States? Did Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego have nightmares— was that moment of being dropped into the flames still filled with terror despite the miraculous outcome? Will these team members be the same? Perhaps “Cool in the Furnace”—though a beautiful image— is not as appropriate as it first seemed. They will not return “cool” and unchanged.

They will never again be able to hear a statistic about human trafficking without seeing a girl’s face in their minds. They have seen beyond the seductive mask to what lies beneath—horror and shame and the belief that this is all she is worth. They have seen, too, the people who use these girls, and recognized them, apart from God’s amazing grace, as human beings no different from themselves. Perhaps they caught disturbing glimpses of the evil within their own hearts. They certainly felt, like ripples down their spines, the physical presence of evil around them and sensed, perhaps for the first time, Satan’s great desire to destroy our souls. No, they did not feel “cool” in the furnace any more than those three Jewish men thought of their time in it as a “walk in the park.” But is that what our Heavenly Father wants? The One who knows the number of hairs on the heads of the least of the least, the One who loves and gave His life for the worst of the worst—does He want our souls to be unchanged? Does He want our hearts to remain unbroken? These team members felt called into the furnace. They learned it is not a pleasant place—certainly not for those caught in it, not even for those coming in on a rescue mission. On the mission itself any Hollywood gloss is stripped; the romance of the rescue is torn away. There is overwhelming suffering and discouragement. At some point most of them realized that if they had fully known how difficult it would be, they would not have gone. But they also learned something else. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were called into the furnace. They went in, brave and afraid—and were joined by that fourth figure. ‘The fourth looks like a son of the gods,’ said Nebuchadnezzar. Team Thailand was also called. Brave and afraid, they crawled into the furnace to hold out the Truth that sets us free. And they found He was already there.” The Thailand team’s blog is still available at SHE’s website is Check it out. Leave a comment. See what made these nine people from Sterling College enter the furnace last summer.

Top left: Anita Bunney, Nikki Delzeit, “Jenny” and Laurie Easton, a SHE intern. The team built relationships with the Thai women in the bars. Middle: The team spent time playing games and sharing stories with the women working in the bars. Games like “Connect Four” or Jenga were often played. Here Kyla Renfro and “Jill” play as they chat. Bottom: Leah Frees, center, shares a joyful cup of tea at SHE with two women she developed relationships with and invited to come look for employment at SHE. (photos provided by Team Thailand).

Winter 2010 • 11

[ In the News ]

Sterling College Campus News Six Employees Recognized for Years of Service

At the 2009 Kick-off Banquet, Sterling College recognized six employees who have been with the College for twenty years or longer. Dr. Arn Froese has been teaching psychology at Sterling for 35 years. Dr. Froese was recently named the President-Elect of the Southwestern Psychological Association, a regional affiliate of the American Psychological Association. Don Reed has also been employed by the College for 35 years. He is an alumnus of Sterling, graduating in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. Reed worked in the public relations and development offices at Sterling and served as the vice president for institutional advancement. He is now the director of gift planning. Recently Reed received Sterling's Distinguished Service Award. Helen Henry was recognized by the College for her 30 years of service in the financial services office. A long-time mainstay in the community of Sterling, Henry has been associated with the College for much of her life. Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing Dennis Dutton has worked at the College for 25 years. Dutton is a 1982 Sterling graduate, receiving his bachelor's in speech/ theatre with a public relations emphasis. He earned his master's in administration from Goucher College while serving as director of development for Sterling. Dutton has been the vice president of enrollment and marketing for six years and is responsible for the recruiting of students to Sterling. Mary Ver Steeg has been at Sterling for 20 years. She coached softball at SC for five years and volleyball for 17 years. In addition to coaching, Ver Steeg has been an associate professor in the exercise science department and the department chair since 2001. Duane Nuest has served Sterling as a groundskeeper for 20 years. He has been instrumental in landscaping the campus and maintaining the sports fields, Gleason, and the newly renovated track.

Art Professor’s Work Wins Award in Juried Show

David Harmon’s landscape drawing titled “Cavernous” was accepted and award12 • Sterling Magazine

ed third place at the 9th annual American Juried Landscape Exhibition hosted by the Maryland Federation of Art in Annapolis. Harmon’s piece “Primus #3,” a pastel, was accepted at the 30th annual Paper in Particular show at Columbia College’s Larson Gallery in Missouri.

Psychology Department Named “Department of the Year”

Department Chair Dr. Arn Froese accepted the 2009 Department of the Year Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements in recruitment and retention along with improvements in an academic program. The winning department also receives $1000. The goal for the psychology program this year was 14 students. Primarily through the efforts of Froese, the program attracted a total of 19 students this fall.

Dean Accepted as ConsultantEvaluator for the Higher Learning Commission

Dr. Felicia Squires, professor in the language and literature department and associate dean of liberal arts and sciences, has been accepted by the Higher Learning Commission as a consultant-evaluator, a member of an assessment team that visits colleges during their accreditation process and examines their findings.

Professor Completes Ph.D. in Biology

Assistant Professor of Biology Jonathan Conard is now Dr. Conard, having completed his Ph.D. in biology at Kansas State in summer 2009. For his doctorate Conard examined the movement patterns, survival and reproductive rates, and genetic status of elk in the population at Fort Riley, Kan.

New Staff Named Sterling

Sterling College began the new academic year with new staff members across campus. Full time staff: Pamela Holderness is a newcomer to Sterling College’s housekeeping department. She is taking classes at SC to receive her certification in special education. Lesa Plinske joins Sterling as a new member of the housekeeping department.

She and her husband, Vern, live in Geneseo and have three daughters. Crystal Ramirez joined the College as a financial aid assistant in June. She and her husband, Brett, live in Sterling and have three children at Sterling Grade School. Heidi Shantz is the new student accounts coordinator at SC. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo. Shantz lives in Hutchinson, Kan. Amberli Strickland ’09 is the new resident director of Evans Hall. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She and her husband, Matt ’09, married in summer 2009. Ben Swihart ’09 is the new resident director of Campbell Hall. Swihart has a degree in history with a minor in religion and philosophy. His brother, Seth, and sister, Addie, are students at SC. Ben’s wife, Karin, serves as the director of marketing communications at the College. Melissa Yarrow ’09 is the new resident director of McCreery Hall. She holds a dual degree in communications and Christian ministries. In ’08-’09 she was the president of the Student Government Association. Jennifer Underwood is the marketing department writer. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Grace College, Winona Lake, Ind., and a master’s in English from Indiana University. She and her husband, Dave, Sterling’s men’s soccer coach, have four children.

Music Professor Brad Nix has Musical Compositions Performed and Published

Dr. Brad Nix, chair of the music department, has had two musical compositions accepted for publication and several others performed by high school, college, and church choral groups. “Set Me as a Seal Upon Your Heart” was one of two pieces published by internationally known Shawnee Press.

Lady Warrior Volleyball Team Finishes Third in Conference

After a record of 8-25 the previous year and a transition in coaching, not many people were looking for Sterling College to be a threat this season. But, to much surprise, the Lady Warriors have had a very

[ In the News ] successful season. Sterling finished the season in 3rd place with a record of 19-11 (13-5), the best record since the 1997 team. The Lady Warriors advanced to the semifinals of the KCAC tournament before falling to Friends University. “We had a good bit of talent this year and it showed,” Coach Jenny Ellis said. After the votes came in for the All KCAC awards, many of the Lady Warriors were at the top. The following awards were announced: 1st Team All KCAC: Katie Trayser, Kelsey Deerinwater and Ashley Kraft 2nd Team All KCAC: Adriana Gonzalez Honorable Mention All KCAC: Staci Curry and Renee Swisher Freshman of the Year: Kelsey Deerinwater Libero of the Year: Kelsey Deerinwater Coach of the Year: Jenny Ellis “We came in with the mindset that nothing could stop us from climbing to the top and as long as we were willing to do the little things on a consistent basis, then everything will fall into place. As a result, the girls have worked really hard this year and we are reaping a reward. We feel confident that we have laid a great foundation for the future,” Ellis said.

Sterling’s Partnership with Honor Academy Beneficial for Both

Despite having more than 20 four-year colleges in her home state, Lauren Cox of Colby, Kan., was ready to go to a school nearly 1400 miles away. On the day she planned to sign enrollment papers, she heard of Sterling College, 200 miles from Colby, and what she learned made her reconsider her decision. Sterling College interested Cox because it had recently formed a partnership with Teen Mania, a Christian youth organization that is well known for its Battle Cry and Acquire the Fire youth conferences. Teen Mania also runs the Honor Academy, a yearlong internship program for high school graduates that focuses on Christian growth and leadership. Cox was an intern at the Honor Academy when she learned of the new partnership. Now she is a secondyear student at Sterling, and she and the other Sterling students contacted through Teen Mania are proof that this partnership is beneficial for Teen Mania, Sterling, and the students involved. Prior to the partnership, Teen Mania was unable to offer its Honor Academy interns any college credit for the internship experiences. Though Honor Academy interns knew this and willingly entered the program, it put them one year behind if they pursued a college degree. Under the new agreement, some of the Honor Academy courses and experiences count as Sterling College credits, and interns

Record Enrollment Strikes Again It's official. Sterling College has set another new enrollment record — for the second year in a row. Following the official twentieth day enrollment mark, Sterling College posted a total enrollment of 722 for fall 2009, the highest in the school's 122year history. "We have been able to build on the success of the last few years," said Sterling College President Dr. Paul J. Maurer. "Given the state of the economy this year, we are pleased that students and their families recognize the value of attending a four-year, Christ-centered, liberal arts college and that the quality education provided by Sterling is becoming more widely known. "We have a creative and committed faculty — we retained 100% of our faculty this year. In addition to our faculty, our staff and coaches are at the College because they want to have positive impact on young people. The enrollment numbers reflect that." "Everyone worked together to spread the word about Sterling College," said Vice President for Enrollment Dennis Dutton. "Faculty and coaches built relationships with prospective new students. These efforts show students that the community aspect of Sterling College is not just something we talk about, but is a reality." Sterling's enrollment has increased for each of the past five years, from 516 in 2005 to 722 this year. Factors influencing that growth have been the increased efforts of academic departments to recruit and retain students and the development of e.Sterling, an online program that meets the needs of non-traditional students seeking to complete their degrees while working. Of the total enrollment of 722, 254 are new students and 59 are e.Sterling online students. Students come from 32 states and seven international countries. Male students make up 51% of Sterling's student population, with females at 49%. The top five denominations represented at the College are Baptist, non-denominational, Catholic, Methodist and Presbyterian. Minority students make up 18% of the student population. "I came to Sterling because my high school choir teacher's son and daughter graduated from here, and he highly recommended it," said Gary Green, a first-year student from California. "It has lived up to what he said it would be. I went to community college for a semester, and the professors didn't know my name when the semester ended. That's definitely not true at SC. The faculty and staff here really want to provide us with a good education." "SC has a phenomenal education program — which is what I want to go into — and a strong forensics program coached by Ken Troyer, who's done some great things with forensics in this area," said Vance Stegman, a first-year student at SC and the 2009 valedictorian at Lyons High School. "SC is only eight miles from where I grew up, but it's like a whole new world for me, a good one. If high school students are looking for a campus that has great community and a good Christian atmosphere and where students, staff, and faculty hold faith in a place of importance, they should consider Sterling." photo by Melissa Yarrow ’09

Winter 2010 • 13

[ In the News ] who enroll at Sterling enter with those credits without any extra fees. Those who want to attend other four-year schools may pay a credit transfer fee to Sterling and take those credits with them. “It was great to enter Sterling with credits,” said Ashley Barnes, also a former Honor Academy intern. “After going to Honor Academy thinking I would have none, it felt like I was getting a head start on my college education.” Teen Mania benefits in another way. Before the partnership, the organization could not officially recommend a college to its Honor Academy interns and Battle Cry/Acquire the Fire conference attendees. Teen Mania’s mission is to “provoke a young generation to passionately pursue Jesus Christ and take his life giving message to the ends of the earth.” The agreement with Sterling College, a like-minded institution, allows Teen Mania to suggest Sterling to their conference attendees and interns. Of course, Sterling College benefits as well. This year, less than two years after the partnership was formed, eight former Honor Academy interns are enrolled at the College. In addition, five students who learned of Sterling through Acquire the Fire conferences are now enrolled at the College. “This relationship with Teen Mania is a great one for Sterling,” said Dennis Dutton, the College’s vice president of enrollment. “We have students from all across the country learning of Sterling. This year our Teen Mania students come from six different states, one of them from California. An even greater benefit is the mind-set of these students. They believe in Sterling’s mission, and they want to grow into leadership roles.” Barnes and Cox are examples of this. Though only sophomores, both Barnes and Cox serve as a resident assistant responsible for nearly twenty young women on their hall. “The Honor Academy internship prepares students phenomenally well for leadership,” said Tina Wohler, vice president of student life at Sterling. “We are blessed to have them here at Sterling.” 14 • Sterling Magazine

Sterling Receives Legacy Gift to Fund Endowed Theatre Chair

Dr. Colin Bailey and his wife Joan Bailey have committed an irrevocable “legacy gift” in the amount of $1,000,000 to fund an Endowed Chair of Theatre at Sterling College. The endowed chair will bear the names of Gordon Kling and Diane DeFranco-Kling, who have taught in the College’s theatre department for a combined 81 years of service. Though Dr. and Mrs. Bailey were born in England and were both educated at Leeds University, Dr. Bailey served as a gynecologist at the renowned Hertzler Clinic in Halstead, Kan., for 31 years, and the couple’s three children Back row: Gordon Kling, Diane DeFranco Kling, Dr. Marv graduated from Sterling: Michael ’85, Fiona ’87, Dewey Front row: Dr. Colin Bailey, Joan Bailey and President Paul J. Maurer. and Emma ’91. Mrs. Bailey also served on the College’s Board of Trustees from 1992-2002. “(Our children’s) careers have given evidence that they each received a well balanced liberal arts education, giving them the tools to further their education in their chosen fields,” said the Baileys. “We wanted to establish a chair at Sterling College to provide a sustainable salary that would attract top professors.” The Baileys chose the theatre department for the endowed chair because “(w)hile each of our children majored in different subject areas at Sterling, they all had a common experience in theatre and forensics. Their lives were guided and influenced by the teaching and modeling of Professors Gordon Kling and Diane DeFranco-Kling. “By having this endowed chair bear their names, we hope to honor their service to hundreds of students over the years that were blessed like our children were. We also hope that this will continue the high standards and tradition that Gordon and Diane have created for the Sterling College Theatre Department.” “We are surprised, humbled, and honored that the Baileys chose to endow a chair in our names. We were privileged to work with their children-Fiona, Michael, and Emma–during their days at Sterling College and have appreciated the support of Dr. Colin and Joan through the years,” said Professors Gordon Kling and Diane DeFranco Kling. “We are thankful for the love, generosity, and foresight that the Baileys have shown in creating this endowment.” “This is an investment in the theatre program that will impact generations of students,” said Dr. Paul J. Maurer, president of Sterling. “On behalf of the College, I thank Dr. and Mrs. Bailey for their generosity, and I thank Gordon and Diane for their years of dedicated service that inspired such a gift.” The College will receive the gift from Dr. Bailey’s estate. Dr. and Mrs. Bailey signed over ownership on a paid-up life insurance policy on Dr. Bailey. “We encourage other friends of Sterling College to consider making similar gifts like this,” said the Baileys. “We believe that endowing the teaching that takes place at Sterling offers three positives. It strengthens the College financially, it ensures quality instruction, and it ultimately benefits the students of Sterling as was the case with our children.”

The students are also glad to be at the College. “It’s a great partnership,” said Barnes. “Sterling College wants its graduates to impact the world for Christ, and interns from HA are already primed for that focus.” “Sterling College is a great place for me to practice missions,” Cox added. “I learned a lot of truths at HA, and Sterling is a great environment for me to apply them.”

[ Alumni News & Notes ]

Class Notes If you have any updates or class notes you

would like to have included in the next issue of Sterling magazine, please email them to with the words “Class Notes” in the subject line. The Office of Alumni Relations encourages alumni from ALL decades to keep their information up to date and to share class notes with the Sterling College community.


ELSIEFERNE (MENDENHALL ’48) STOUT of Bloomington, Ind., published her first book, “Dundy County Babe” (her autobiography), in 2006. In 2007 she published her second book, “Gitty Up!--Whoa!” about the pioneers of Dundy Co., Neb., and their dependence on horses.


STUART ’50 and Ruth BAXTER of Omaha, Neb., celebrated their 60th year of marriage on August 7, 2009. Stuart served as a Presbyterian pastor for 40 years throughout the Midwest. Dr. CHARLES “CHUCK” OLSEN ’58, recently published his sixth book, “The Wisdom of the Seasons, How the Church Year Helps Us Understand Our Congregational Stories.” The book is published by the Alban Institute of Washington, D.C. For more information visit the website http:// TERRY SWANSON ’58 recently published a book containing his memories of growing up in the 1940s and 1950s. Included are some memories of his days at Sterling College. The book is called “My Childhood Up to Now” and may be obtained by contacting Terry at tejswanson@


RUSSELL IRWIN ’63 retired August 26, 2009, from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality after 36 years of service.


Rev. ROBERTA “ROBBIE” FALL ’73 began serving as pastor to the congregations of the Harper and Argonia United Methodist Churches in July of 2009. Robbie currently lives in Harper, Kan.


LOREN DALTON ’87 returned to the campus of Sterling College on October 16 as the speaker for the Oscar Schmidt Lecture Series. Loren is president of and a corporate officer of Harte-Hanks, Inc. For a fun glimpse into some of what Loren does for PennySaverUSA, visit this website: com/watch?v=bA0WYHGybGM. GREG MCGLYNN ’87 and wife Carrie announce the birth of their first child, James Patrick, on March 29, 2009. Greg teaches theatre and mass media at Campus H.S. in Haysville, Kan. Carrie is an admissions counselor at Sterling College. JOHN STEWART ’87 resides in Stuart, Fla., with wife Addys and sons Jordan (10) and Jake (13). JIM HARTLEY ’87 resides in Port St. Lucie, Fla., with wife Chris, daughter Alex (13) and son Chase (10). Jim is a partner in an accounting firm. TEDDI BRYANT ’88 owns Hot Mamas Exercise in Denver, Colo. She recently produced pre/post-natal workout DVDs

and was reviewed in the January 2010 issue of “Fit Pregnancy.” Teddi lives with her two children, Alessandro (11) and Teadora (7). Her website is


DARREN ABLE ’90 is now assistant principal and athletic director at Smoky Hill High School in Lindsborg, Kan. He has two sons, Zach (9) and Ethan (4). Major HERBERT LORFILS fs’93 recently returned safe and sound from a tour of duty in Iraq. Herbert serves in the U.S. Army as director of department of administration for the Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Herbert and his wife, also a military officer, have seven children. BRENNAN ’95 and CHRISTY (LOVELESS ’95) RIFFEL celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary on August 13, 2009. Brennan is the principal at Sterling Grade School, and Christy teaches science at Sterling Jr. High. Christy also is the newest member of the Sterling College Alumni Council. She began her service in August. The Riffels live in rural Sterling with their four children, Chelsey (12), Brett (8), Abby (7) and Gabe (4). AMY THOMPSON ’96 is the coordinator of international programs and services at Lamar Community College in Lamar, Colo. She spent two years in Africa with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee.

Legacy Walk

Reading the names engraved in the Sterling College Legacy Walk is sure to stimulate memories of your time at SC. Currently 294 bricks have been placed in the walk; 96 of those were added in fall of 2009. Names of past professors, trustees, presidents, alumni, supporting friends, businesses and churches are cemented as permanent reminders of the rich history and heritage of Sterling College. Legacy bricks make wonderful gifts in honor of someone or as meaningful memorials. The cost is $120. If you would like to add your name or the name of someone special to you to the Legacy Walk, please contact Director of Alumni Relations David Earle, either by email at dearle@ or by phone at 620-278-4228. Winter 2010 • 15

CHUCK ’97 and MELANIE (LIGHTNER ’99) HASPELS of Wichita, Kan., announce the birth of their first child. Johnathan Andrew Haspels was born September 20, 2009. DAVE ’99 and CHERYL (ROBERTS ’00) ELLIS of Cherokee, Iowa, recently informed the College of significant changes in their lives. Dave joined the National Guard in September 2009 and is stationed at Ft. Benning, Ga., where he will complete Basic Training and AIT on December 17. While Dave is at Ft. Benning, Cheryl maintains the home front with their daughters, Heather (21-adopted), Elizabeth (6), Heidi (4), Leah (2) and Amelia Bo (1).


SHALOM SANCHEZ ’00 serves as a missionary in south Los Angeles, Calif. She is involved with a church plant and a mentor program that trains at-risk youth for the LA Marathon. SARAH (DETRICH ’01) Burton and husband Josh welcomed daughter Dalya Jean, born December 21, 2009. The Burtons reside in Raleigh, N.C.

class reunions

[ Alumni News & Notes ]

Class of 1959 Reunion:

Back Row Left to Right: Dale Rose, John Meyer, Harold Davidson, David Breckenridge, Marlen Mosier, Willis Wilson, Eugene Loomis, Milton Gilmore, Bruce Adams, Jim North, John Buckley Middle Row: Bill Billings, Dewayne Freshour, Myrt Shuttleworth, Dean Marsh, Kenneth Gardner, Daryl McConnelee, Les Hildebrandt, Larry Oline First Row: Betty Bott Calderwood, Nell Moore Benson, Marilyn Kremer Douglass, Elaine Kenagy Cobb, Joyce Brewer Collins, Joan White Nachtigal, Lillian Johnson Gardner, Rosemary Long Willis, Marge Spaniol Jarrett, Vici Hallberg Hammond, Winnie Andrus Dray, Barbara Wilson Bath, Evie Fraser Elliott, Sharlet Stancliffe McClurkin Not Pictured: Gary Smith, Betty Wirth Prang, Junior Nachtigal, Lillian Ricker

After two years of working all over the country, BEN DICKE ’01 is “finally renting an apartment” in Denver, Colo., where he has been getting regular work as an actor and teacher. DORINDA GATES ’02 and Greg Beeley married in Anthony, Kan., on November 14, 2009. They are stateside missionaries with LightSys, a non-profit organization that provides free-ofcharge computer support for mission organizations. DR. MARK ’02 and ABBY (LANG ’03) REED and big brother Nathan announce the birth of Tyler Steven on November 30, 2009. Mark is stationed at Naval Hospital Beaufort in S.C. as a family physician. KATIE HELLER ’02 has accepted a job as an au pair for a prominent private attorney and his wife, also a lawyer with 16 • Sterling Magazine

Class of 1979 Reunion:

Row 1 (Seated): Craig Sutton, Bob Davis-Mayo, Jim Turner, Claudia (Romero) Jones, Wesley Jones, Mary (Kerr) Topper, Tim Jorgensen, Lyndee (Heck) Orr Row 2: Elston Turner, Christi (Gosselin) Beistline, Brian Bontz, Jill (Bleam) Lundgren, Joce (Bush) Miller, Marsha (Hogue) Smith, Colette (Wilcox) Thomas, Jill (Bontrager) Jacobson, Brent Orr ('80) Row 3: Scott Tillotson, Brad Starnes, Peirce McIntosh, Debbie (Engle) Tillotson, Debbie (Ramsay) Danski, Jerry Thomas, Lyman Bowling

the U.S. District Attorney’s office. Katie will be moving from Omaha, Neb., to Sierra Madre, Calif. SCOTT STINEMETZ ’03 was recently featured in the “Hutchinson News” (October 5, 2009). The article told of how Scott trained a wild Mustang horse named Felio that now has the possibility of becom-

ing the mascot for Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Scott, wife Amy, and their children Daniel (4) and Leah (7 mo) live in Great Bend, Kan., where they own and operate the Healing Hearts Ranch, which uses equine-assisted psychotherapy as a tool to help clients.

[ Alumni News & Notes ]

In Memoriam It is always sad when we receive word of

Matt and Amberli Strickland

Scott Stinemetz and Felio

JACK ’03 and KIM (REED ’03) DILLARD announce the birth and adoption of their daughter. Their little girl joins the Dillard family at home in Sterling where Jack is the head coach for track and cross country at Sterling College. Kim is employed by Hutchinson Clinic in Hutchinson, Kan., as a physical therapist. ANDREW ’03 and JAIME (FAIRCHILD ’04) SCHECHTER and big sister Abigail welcomed Elsie Joy, born November 8, 2009, to their home in Liberty Township, Ohio. Andrew is the defending champion of the Warrior Fellowship Fantasy Football League. ANDY ’05 and MICHELE (CLARK ’04) WOLFE welcomed their first child, Mikaela Noel, on November 21, 2009. The Wolfes live in Lansing, Kan. RYAN ’05 and RACHEL (WISE ’04) MALAY report that in July ’09 they bought a house in Beloit, Kan., where they have been living the last four years. In October, Rachel was appointed the director of the local public Port Library in Beloit. She will graduate with a master’s in Library Science from Emporia State University in December ’09. JILL ALLRED ’05 will be honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps in March after serving four years. MATT ’05 and ELIZABETH (CHEYNEY ’05) ZIEGLER of Sublette, Kan., announce the birth of their son, Maverick Ray Ziegler, on July 23, 2009. Matt teaches middle school English and is the head boys basketball coach at Sublette High, and Elizabeth teaches ESL and theatre at Sublette High.

Josh and Melissa Mesker

JOSH MESKER ’07 reports that in January of 2009 he was hired as the policy analyst for Arkansas Family Council, a conservative research and education organization. Josh also was married June 13, 2009, to Melissa Colter. Josh and Melissa reside in Little Rock, Ark. MATT ’09 and AMBERLI (TODD ’09) STRICKLAND were married in Sterling, Kan., at Sterling Lake on July 11, 2009. Matt is employed with the Ellsworth Correctional Facility in Ellsworth, Kan., and Amberli is the resident director of Evans Hall at Sterling College.

the passing of our alumni. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and we remember their involvement with Sterling College. For the past six years a special memorial presentation has been produced that is shown at the Alumni Banquet during Homecoming and again to our students during the Heritage Convocation. This presentation lists and shows pictures of alumni who passed between October 1 and September 30 of each academic year. Please keep the Office of Alumni Relations informed so we can pay tribute. R. WALDO MCBURNEY fs’26 of Quinter, Kan., passed away July 8, 2009, at the age of 107. ROBERT W. MCCRORY fs’37 of Sterling, Kan., died October 16, 2009. Dr. GEORGE H. BROOKS ’41 of Greeley, Colo., died June 12, 2009. Rev. BENJAMIN B. HINKSON ’41 of Springfield, Mo., died June 14, 2009. CAROL GENE (ENGLISH ’42) BROWNLEE of Sterling, Kan., passed away August 30, 2009.

Where’s the Warrior?

Thanks to Pam (Fischer ’73) Stuewe of Alma, Kan., for sending the picture of herself and husband Ervan in front of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, during their recent trip in September 2009. Pam showed her Sterling pride by wearing a Sterling College t-shirt! Way to go, Pam! If you would like to be featured in “Where’s the Warrior?” send us a picture of yourself wearing a Sterling College article of clothing in front of a landmark such as London’s Big Ben, New York’s Niagara Falls, or Cawker City’s Ball of Twine. Please identify all individuals in the photo and include the date/location of the picture and your reason for being in that location. We will then select one of the submitted pictures for our next magazine publication. We ask that pictures be of high quality, with the SC wording clearly visible. Mail pictures to Sterling College Alumni Relations Office, 125 W. Cooper, Sterling, KS 67579 or email to dearle@ Email is preferred.

Winter 2010 • 17

[ Alumni News & Notes ] MARY E. (MAXFIELD ’46) BRAMMER of Brookfield, Mo., died February 21, 2009. BEULAH M. (REED fs’49) GORDON of Montgomery, Ill., passed away April 9, 2009. RUTH A. (BROOKS ’49) KROTH of Elko, Nev., died June 23, 2009. WALTER DARREL COOPER ’54 of Stafford, Kan., died September 25, 2009. ELIZABETH A. STEPHEN ’56 of Kansas City, Mo., passed away April 9, 2009. Rev. DAVID W. GARLICK ’56 of Bourbonnais, Ill., passed away September 12, 2009.

eNewsletter Sign-up The Sterling College eNewsletter is emailed the first Monday of each month. The newsletter supplements the tri-annual Sterling Magazine with feature articles, campus updates, upcoming events and other general information. Currently the newsletter is emailed to 1,582 alumni and friends. If you would like to receive the eNewsletter, please send your current email address to so you can receive next month’s edition. VALERIA (ORR ’59) DAVIS of Syracuse, Kan., died August 5, 2009.

FREDRIC R. SULLIVAN ’69 of Kankakee, Ill., passed away July 20, 2009.

VADA R. (WAGNER ’61) ROLFS of Ellsworth, Kan., passed away June 22, 2009.

ROBYN A. (FRASER ’75) SETTOON of Baton Rouge, La., died December 23, 2008.

Dr. RONALD D. ROLFS ’63 of Albuquerque, N.M., passed away April, 23, 2009. MABEL J. (WOODKA ’65) SMITH of Salina, Kan., passed away July 5, 2009.

W. DUANE FRITZEMEIER fs’58 of Sterling, Kan., died July 30, 2009.

PHYLLIS J. (ROTH ’65) LEWIS of Yates Center, Kan., died July 25, 2009.

ROBERT G. WARNOCK fs’59 of Providence, R.I., died March 7, 2009.

ROBERT N. KEY fs’68 of Denver, Colo., died July 4, 2009.

AMY GARRETT fs’83 of Lawrenceville, Ga., passed away October 6, 2008. KAREN J. PETRIK ’88 of Highland, Kan., passed away May 28, 2009. RENEE’ L. REECE ’95 of Ottawa, Kan., died March 12, 2009. Rev. MATTHEW A. THOMPSON ’98 of Ketchum, Okla., passed away July 2, 2009.

Carol Gene (English ’42) Brownlee

On August 30, 2009, the greater Sterling College family experienced the passing of an icon. Carol Gene (English ’42) Brownlee will be remembered by hundreds, if not thousands, as a long-standing servant of the Lord on the Sterling campus. After graduating from Sterling College in 1942, she earned a master’s in French from the University of Kansas in 1943. For the next two years she taught Latin, French, Spanish and English at Eureka (Kan.) High School. In 1945 she joined the American Red Cross, serving in Paris and Marseilles, France. Sterling College President Dr. Hugh Kelsey invited her to teach languages at SC beginning the fall of 1946. Carol Gene gave a total of 36 years of service to Sterling College in several different roles. She taught French, Spanish, English, humanities, and art history. She served as the dean of women, academic dean, director of publicity/alumni, and was writer and director of a major federal grant program. She was the president of the Alumni Association and served on the Board of Trustees. At the request of President McCreery she wrote the words for the current Alma Mater. She excelled in these various tasks because of a character trait she was well known for – a desire to serve others. Carol Gene and her husband, George, who served as the business manager of Sterling College before his death in 1972, had five children, all of whom graduated from SC: Front l to r: George, Bob, Phil, Carol Gene. Back: Donna, Larry, Barb Donna Foster ’76, Barbara Chadwell ’77, Larry ’80, Bob ’83 and Phil ’85. At Carol Gene’s funeral, son Phil said, “…the quality that was perhaps the most amazing about my mother is how she focused on others and not herself or her own problems. She spent her life serving God and others, whether at the College, the church, the community or the home.” Upon learning of the passing of Carol Gene, Jim DeVries ’70 shared the following: “This news carries special poignancy for me. Mrs. Brownlee was my advisor for a time, and I am forever grateful for the first assignment she gave me in Freshman Honors English in 1966 -- to interview classmate Lynn Carol Ecklund and introduce her to the rest of our classmates. ( Jim and Lynn later married.) I will be praying for the family and rejoicing in Mrs. Brownlee’s long and distinguished service to SC and the Lord.” Carol Gene Brownlee’s service touched the lives of countless students during her many years at the College. Her family would like to extend that legacy and plans to create a memorial to Carol Gene that continually benefits the students of Sterling College. 18 • Sterling Magazine


[ Homecoming ]

Sterling College welcomed

alumni and friends to campus for the annual Homecoming festivities that took place on Thursday, October 22, through Saturday, October 24, 2009. The weekend was full of activity, kicked off by the Homecoming musical, which ran Thursday through Saturday. Friday boasted the inauguration of Sterling College’s eleventh president, Dr. Paul J. Maurer, a student pep rally and class reunions for the graduates of 1959, 1979 and 2004. Saturday began with the Homecoming parade in downtown Sterling, followed by the Men’s and Lady Warriors’ soccer games versus Tabor and the crowning of the Homecoming royalty. During halftime of the victorious football game (which was played against Kansas Wesleyan), there was a dedication ceremony for the new track and field. Following the game, the weekend concluded with an All-Sports Banquet in Gleason and the Alumni Banquet.



(Top): Senior Matt Ehresman, sophomores Aly Kumpula and Missy Larson, Joellen Maurer and Dr. Paul J. Maurer model the shirts purchased by the Student Government Association in honor of the Inauguration. The shirts depict Dr. Maurer as a superhero and feature the phrase “Maurer Power.” (Right): Sophomore Nathan West, dressed as former President Campbell, waves during the parade. (Far Right): Seamus Pope, son of Wendy (Gibbs) Pope ’99 and James Pope paints a pumpkin at Homecoming Hangout.

PASSING THE glory homecoming 2009

(Left): Married seniors Sam and Paul Kempf were crowned Homecoming King and Queen. (Right):Sophomore Houston Smith plays Al, a parking lot attendant, in the Homecoming musical “Working.” (Far Right): Senior Dustin Johnson gears up to lead the football team onto the field. Photos by Ashley Dogwillo ‘09

Winter 2010 • 19

Legacy 125 W. Cooper, Sterling, KS 67579 (800) 346-1017

Parents: If this is addressed to your daughter or son who has established a separate address, please help us stay connected by contacting us with his/her new address by calling (620) 278-4219 or emailing

A Great Way to Leave a


ere’s a winning combination for the mission of Sterling College in this day of economic uncertainty. You can make a sound investment in the great mission of preparing young people for successful careers and Christian service while at the same time improving your annual income.

How? Through a Charitable Gift Annuity! This is a powerful way to increase your income on a consistent basis. You simply provide cash or securities to Sterling College. The College, in turn, invests these funds which pay you a fixed amount each year – no matter what the economy does. The return rates, which are based on your age, are very attractive:

Age Annual rate of return 65 5.3% 70 5.7% 75 6.3% 80 7.1% 85 8.1% 90 9.5%

You also receive a significant tax deduction, as the remainder of the amount in the annuity goes to the mission work of Sterling College at your death. Sterling College has offered Charitable Gift Annuities since 1922, and a great many alumni and friends have supported Sterling’s Christ-centered education through annuities over the years. The College has never missed a payment to these valuable partners. For more information about planning a gift to Sterling, contact Director of Gift Planning Don Reed at 800-346-1017 or visit our web site at

Winter 2010 Magazine