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The Start of A New Year Student leaders welcome the incoming freshman class and their families to New Student Orientation and the beginning of the Fall semester.


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DONALD K. EGLE Executive Editor

LEAH GORMAN Managing Editor

Jenna Pace Jenna Pace, Assistant Director for Content Marketing, has been with LeTourneau University Marketing & Communications since 2013 and enjoys getting to know students and sharing their stories.

JEREMIAH SHEPHERD Creative Director / Photographer

JANET RAGLAND Editor & Senior Contributing Writer




NOW EDITORIAL CONTACT INFORMATION: WEB: Email: ADMISSIONS OFFICE PHONE: 800-759-8811 ALUMNI OFFICE PHONE: 800-259-5388 DEVELOPMENT OFFICE PHONE: 800-259-LETU LeTourneau University is the Christian polytechnic university in the nation offering more than 140 undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a range of academic disciplines and delivery models. Students are enrolled in programs on ground at LETU’s residential campus in Longview, Texas, as well as fully online and hybrid options at educational centers in the Dallas and Houston areas. Academic majors include aviation, business, communication, computer science, criminal justice, education, engineering, health care administration, human services, kinesiology, the liberal arts, nursing, psychology, the sciences and theology. LeTourneau NOW is published by LeTourneau University, 2100 South Mobberly, Longview, Texas 75602. Sent free upon request to Editor, P.O. Box 8001, Longview, Texas 75607. Postmaster: Send address changes to LeTourneau NOW, P.O. Box 8001, Longview, Texas 75607. Email us at



Jonathan Lett, Ph.D. Dr. Jonathan Lett is an Associate Professor of Theology who received his Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School and his Ph.D. from the University of St. Andrews. Before coming to LeTourneau, he was a campus minister, a hospital chaplain and served in several pastoral ministry settings. Kimberly Quiett, RN, DNS Dr. Kimberly Quiett is the dean of the School of Nursing and a member of the nursing faculty at LeTourneau University. She has been at LeTourneau since 2013.

Bill Peel, D.Min. Dr. Bill Peel is the founding Executive Director of The Center for Faith & Work at LeTourneau University, established to revolutionize the way Christians think about work and to help them experience Christ’s transforming presence and power in their workplace. For 30 years, Bill has coached thousands of men and women to discover their calling, grasp their significance to God’s kingdom, and become a spiritual influence in their workplace. He is an award-winning author and leader in the global faith-at-work movement. Jim McCurdy Jim McCurdy is the Sports Information Director at LeTourneau University. He oversees all aspects of the athletic communications, media relations, video and digital media components for the YellowJackets. He spent 2018-19 assisting at Houston Baptist University, Texas Southern University, Rice University, the University of Houston and the University of St. Thomas in different capacities. From 2011-18, he served as the Assistant Sports Information Director/Athletic Communications Specialist at Barry University. From 2009-11, he was the Assistant Sports Information Director at Texas Southern. From 2007-09, McCurdy held the role of SID at Grand Canyon University.



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Built to Code LeTourneau unveiled a state-of-the-art computer science and cybersecurity lab this Fall.

Faithful Giving The service of faithful giving to LeTourneau for 40 years or more.

Snapshots LETU faculty are seekers, inventors, creators, researchers and dreamers.

“Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold now is the day of our salvation� - 2 Cor. 6:2

Apollo - The LeTourneau Connection Alums share a connection to past, present and future space exploration.


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12 22 30 32 34 41 42

Achieving a Milestone


Service to Others

Inspiration In Oxford Making a Difference Worldwide Getting to Carnegie Hall Leading the Pack Biblically Based Nursing Excellence

In Every Issue 6 From the President 26 News & Notes

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Class Notes Faith & Work

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NOW EDITORIAL CONTACT INFORMATION: WEB: Email: ADMISSIONS OFFICE PHONE: 800-759-8811 ALUMNI OFFICE PHONE: 800-259-5388 DEVELOPMENT OFFICE PHONE: 800-259-LETU LeTourneau University is the Christian polytechnic university in the nation offering more than 140 undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a range of academic disciplines and delivery models. Students are enrolled in programs on ground at LETU’s residential campus in Longview, Texas, as well as fully online and hybrid options at educational centers in the Dallas and Houston areas. Academic majors include aviation, business, communication, computer science, criminal justice, education, engineering, health care administration, human services, kinesiology, the liberal arts, nursing, psychology, the sciences and theology. LeTourneau NOW is published by LeTourneau University, 2100 South Mobberly, Longview, Texas 75602. Sent free upon request to Editor, P.O. Box 8001, Longview, Texas 75607. Postmaster: Send address changes to LeTourneau NOW, P.O. Box 8001, Longview, Texas 75607. Email us at



As the semester draws to a close, it is a joy to share with you all the university community accomplishments. It’s been a great fall term for LeTourneau University! We began the academic year by welcoming one of the largest incoming freshman classes in LeTourneau’s history, which included a record number of international students. This is a testament to the hard work of our admissions and global initiatives teams and the entire university. It truly was a team effort, and many across campus were involved in helping to foster the warm, welcoming atmosphere we enjoy here at LeTourneau. Our students are experiencing success at the national and even international level and truly living out the vision of Every Workplace and Every Nation. LeTourneau’s School of Aviation celebrated the Sting Precision Flight team’s 3rd-place finish at the National Intercollegiate Flying Association SAFECON flight competition. Also, LeTourneau engineering students earned 1st place in the Engineering World Health competition for their biomedical device designed to help diagnose iron deficiency in patients in developing countries. Other competitors included teams from Clemson and the University of Minnesota. Once again, LeTourneau University was recognized in the top tier of the national 2020 U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings of “America’s Best Colleges.” LeTourneau University ranked 25th on their list of “Best Regional Universities in the Western Region.” We were also included among “Great Schools Great Prices” ranking of schools as a “Best Value” for regional universities in the West. For more than a quarter of a century we have ranked in the top tier of the Western region and that speaks to the quality of the faculty, staff, and Christ-centered educational experience at LeTourneau. This is just a small representation of the good and God-honoring work that is happening throughout our campus. We consider it a privilege and an honor to continue to uphold the legacy of Christian educational excellence set by R.G. and Evelyn LeTourneau almost 75 years ago. The future is very bright for LeTourneau University, the Christian Polytechnic University! May God bless each of you and your families this Christmas season. Let earth receive King Jesus, our Savior!

Dale A. Lunsford President, LeTourneau University


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code by Janet Ragland


lot of construction in one of the metal buildings along Glaske Drive this summer signaled some exciting news. The university ripped out sheetrock walls; made electrical upgrades including floor-mounted receptacles; upgraded flooring, carpet, and ceiling tiles; installed new dimmable LED smart lighting and more to create a new, 1,036-square-foot, high-tech cybersecurity lab for

LETU’s computer science department. With 21 computer stations in a sleek, glassed-in lab, the space is a visually appealing and functional teaching space made for the kinds of projects and programs that CS students and faculty need.


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“It’s like sitting down behind the wheel of a sports car,” said LETU Dean of the College of Education, Arts and Sciences Dr. Larry Frazier, about the new facility. “The high-powered computer equipment is the kind of quality that a prospective CS student would notice, and our CS facilities need to match the top quality of our faculty and computer science program.” Computer science is one of the largest majors on the LETU residential campus with almost 100 students, Frazier said. “It’s a big department, and it didn’t have a space to grow,” he said. “This new lab allows us to grow and do things in class that the computer science students and faculty couldn’t do before.” Dr. Glyn Gowing, associate professor of computer science, teaches cybersecurity classes in the new cyber lab this semester. “The students love it! They absolutely love it!” said Gowing, who also chairs LETU’s online computer science program. “They think the computers are cool, and they are excited to come here to work in it.” The cyber lab computers run faster and have more memory than regular lab computers. Gowing plans to add some virtual machines for multiple operating systems running at the same time so students can practice hacking and attacking those machines to learn “white hat” (ethical) hacking. “The two big screens at the front make things much more visible for students,” he said. “The openness of the layout is good, and the computers are faster and more capable for the exercises that we will use with newer software. Another feature is the interactivity and how students can share their screens up on the front screens so everyone can see what’s happening.” Cybersecurity classes are not the only beneficiaries of the new lab space. “The entire computer science department is benefitting from this lab,” Gowing said. “We have a game development concentration, so it has use for computer graphics classes to give students exposure to leading edge equipment, and civil engineering students can do some of their simulations on these computers because they are powerful enough to do them quickly.” Gowing said students have talked about starting up an e-sports club in competitive computer gaming. “Since we have



game development, it makes sense our students would get into that competition.” Dr. Brent Baas, LETU’s computer science chair, said the new cyber lab is a great addition to the computer science department, which began back in 1976 when Dr. Larry Anderson announced a computer science minor as part of the mathematics department offerings. “From that point to today, we have grown from one CS minor to offering seven residential majors, two online majors, and an associate degree and certificate in cybersecurity, both available online,” Baas said. “Computer science works closely with departments across campus, including engineering, aviation, business, mathematics and criminal justice—CS is the polytechnic program touching many fields and has the potential to take advantage of all the university’s programs,” Baas said. “Our game development students depend on the offerings in the humanities for developing their creativity, and psychology allows majors to focus on the human element of colleagues and end-users.” Baas said students who do well in computer science are usually those who know what they know about math and are open to learning more, have an interest in problem solving and an excitement about the future of computer science and its incredible potential. “It’s one of the most exciting, dynamic and demanding fields out there,” Baas said. “The employment opportunities for our graduates continues to be strong. Computing professions offer challenging yet rewarding careers in this field of the future. Our main concern is to provide men and women of integrity with a foundation in computer science to allow them to be the builders of the future.”

Wherever you are in your life’s story,

there’s an LETU degree for you.

Continue building your story at the Christian Polytechnic University. With over 120 programs—on campus, online or a combination of both—there’s an LETU degree that will help you invest in your life’s calling.

Degree programs available: Certificate Associate Bachelor Graduate

(no GMAT or GRE required)

“My LETU education has allowed me to take on more of an effective leadership role in my workplace and to transition into a more strategic role at a new company. After 16 years at Dell in various roles, my degrees helped me transition into an information technology role—Business Risk and Internal Controls Senior Staff.” –Nichole Williams, ‘19 “The value of my LETU education has been priceless. I strongly feel that my LETU education provided me the platform needed to elevate myself. This, in turn, has improved my life 100%. I’ve taken my skills and moved forward in serving professionally in the workplace and in the community.” –Katina White, ‘10 “My life has improved by lasting friendships, limitless resources, and community.” – Shan Bauer,’18 “I couldn’t have chosen a better university to attend for gaining knowledge in my desired field, as well as my Christian faith.” `–Shamir Davis, ‘19

Explore your options today. Talk to an enrollment officer at 903-833-3012 or

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APOLLO T H E L E TO U R N E AU CO N N E C T I O N by Leah Gorman & Janet Ragland


hen the first man walked on the moon in 1969, Richard M. Nixon was president, the Vietnam War and Woodstock music festival were making headlines, gasoline sold for $0.35 per gallon, a loaf of bread cost $0.23 and a postage stamp was $0.06.

That was also the year LETU alumnus Nelson Bates, a 1964 electrical technology graduate, was part of the famed moon-walk mission when astronaut Neil Armstrong said those immortal words, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” That was 28 years before a future LETU graduate, Keith Splawn, would begin his career that would lead him to work on the development of 21st century spacesuits. Fast forward to 2019 with our $2.70 gallon of gasoline, $2.50 loaf of bread and $0.55 postage stamps, as LeTourneau University celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moonwalk, and these two graduates meet during an Apollo Mission commemorative event in the LETU Belcher Center to share their contributions to space exploration, past and present.


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Nelson Bates talks with students about his experience with the Apollo Missions



Bates, 81, was part of the mission as a reliability engineer in the Apollo Support Department/Missile and Space Division of General Electric. “I was part of the team that would research and find answers when something went wrong or find answers to problems onboard a spacecraft,” he said. Bates used the guidelines crafted by GE regarding reliability and quality assurance for the many switches and electronics onboard various spacecrafts. Bates credits his parents for setting him on his path to LeTourneau. “My dad encouraged my mother to go hear Mr. LeTourneau speak, and she ended up seeing him several times,” he said. After learning about LeTourneau College, his mother suggested that Nelson attend the school. “My mother told me that attending LeTourneau would give me the chance to work while I earned my degree and keep me from having to borrow money to attend school,” he said. Like many others, Bates worked in the LeTourneau plant as a student—and learned even more lessons than were taught in the classroom. “I learned a lot about working in industry—lessons I carried with me the rest of my life,” he said. Before graduating in 1964, Bates began work as an electrical engineer with Chance-Vought in Grand Prairie, Texas. Eventually, he found himself at NASA and a part of the Apollo missions. “One of the most interesting experiences working on Project Apollo was the opportunity to work on the spacecraft’s guidance and navigation systems at MIT,” he said. Bates was also a part of what has been referred to as NASA’s successful failure, the Apollo 13 mission, which never landed on the moon due to an explosion aboard the spacecraft’s service module which placed the lives of the crew in peril. “I was among those working at the space center to determine how to bring the crew back home,” he said. Bates was later presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom from the commander of the Apollo 13 mission, Jim Lovell. Reflecting on his time at LeTourneau and how it impacted his life, Bates said, “LeTourneau provided me with a foundation for real-life experiences and gave me a lifetime of friendships and memories.” Splawn, a 1997 Business Administration with Design Technology option graduate, agrees. “I have a lot of great memories of my time at LeTourneau,” Splawn said, adding that some of his

Keith Splawn discusses improvements to space suit design favorite memories are spring break mission trips into Mexico to build churches and do village outreach. “The relationships I built at LeTourneau have continued—probably because we shared carp-head soup caught in the local river, the same river that also served as the local washing machine and community bath.” Splawn said he learned about LeTourneau University from LETU alumnus Todd DeGroot, who attended the same church and worked with Splawn’s dad in the Air Force. “He spoke very highly of the Christ-centered education he received,” Splawn said. “I knew I wanted to attend a Christian university where I could thrive and not be just a number.” During his college years, Splawn learned LETU would challenge him. “At LeTourneau, I learned that I would have to work hard to be successful,” Splawn said. “High school did not take much effort for me, and I quickly found out LeTourneau was different. Getting hands-on experience starting in my freshman year and being challenged to learn new computer design programs fostered my passion for mechanical design and for learning new 3-D modeling programs. My professor, Joe Gaiser, challenged me to get out of my comfort zone by having me help teach evening continuing education classes, which prepared me to teach and mentor in my current job. “After graduating, I accepted a production manager/designer job with a small business that I had interned with the previous summer. The experience I gained from professor, Joe Gaiser, and his insistence on perfecting the details led to me becoming a manager, reviewing everyone’s work before it left our shop. After a couple of years, I accepted a new job in the semiconductor


industry. Three months into this new job, I was laid off—along with most of the engineers—due to a flooded market of semiconductor chips.” Then the door opened for Splawn to join ILC Dover LP, the company that designed and manufactured the Apollo spacesuit and every NASA spacesuit since then. “I jumped on the opportunity!” he said. “I started at ILC Dover in 2001 as a design engineer using Pro/E to design spacesuit hardware. I designed various spacesuit components and performed a lot of spacesuit testing to verify that the spacesuits functioned properly. “In addition to spacesuit design I was able to work on other space programs. The hands-on experience I received at LeTourneau made packing the landing airbags for the Mars Exploration Rovers—Spirit and Opportunity—a natural extension to doing computer-aided design,” Splawn said. “Eventually, I became the engineering manager overseeing the engineers working on the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) spacesuit that astronauts used to build the International Space Station. I am currently the Business Manager for our Space Systems division, pursuing commercial spacesuit opportunities and overseeing the program managers leading our Inflatable Space Habitat and Spacesuit programs.” Splawn says his most interesting experience with the space program was testing the spacesuits on the edge of Meteor Crater near Flagstaff, Arizona. “Getting to wear and test spacesuits that I helped design is incredibly fun,” Splawn said. “There is no better way to make sure your design works than to put it on and test it out.”

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by Janet Ragland


Steve and Glenda





ince he graduated from LeTourneau in 1967, Steve and Glenda Holm of Louisville, Kentucky, have given to LeTourneau University every year for 52 years. Steve Holm was born and raised in India, the son of missionary parents. Most of his schooling was in boarding schools overseas, but his family came back to Minneapolis during his senior year. He attended Bethel College in Minnesota where he said he “majored in girls and cars” while he worked as a mechanic in a garage. He decided not to continue pursuing college, but instead enlisted in the U.S. Army and served three years, from 1957-1960, as a U.S. Army mechanic, with a 13-month tour in South Korea. When he was discharged and returned stateside, he went back to attend Bethel in 1960 for about six months, but a friend who knew him well told him that wasn’t the school for him. Steve and his family had heard of LeTourneau College through the NOW magazine, and his friend told him that was the school he should attend. The friend wrote a recommendation letter for Steve and sent it to LeTourneau. Steve and Glenda married in 1962 and lived in Minnesota for a year before Steve decided to come to LeTourneau in 1964 as a freshman. He worked year-round at LeTourneau’s steel mill every other day and took classes every other day in what was known as the old “alter-day” program. Glenda worked on the campus for the administrative assistant to the head of the school’s fundraising department. R.G. and Evelyn LeTourneau’s son, Richard LeTourneau, was the school president at that time. “I knew Pop,” Steve said. “We used to travel to speaking engagements with Pop and Mom on weekends. Glenda would sing, and I would talk about the school. Pop was a giant of a man with a great work ethic. He had a powerful voice and didn’t mind sharing his testimony.” Steve said he remembered working in the steel mill and grinding slag, working on the legs for the offshore drilling rig that Pop

would eventually sell to a young George. H.W. Bush, president of Zapata Oil, long before Bush became the 41st President of the United States. Glenda said that while she wasn’t a student, she was involved in campus life because of her work in one of the metal buildings on campus. “I opened letters and made notations for someone else to type up thank you notes,” she said. It was before computers. She used a typewriter. She also remembered running off long lists of names and addresses on reams of paper, then working to proofread those lists. Living on campus in one of the barracks, the Holms were active in student life through various clubs. Glenda was in the Student Wives Club that used to meet to host fashion shows, swap cooking recipes and even to learn to sew. “It was a fun time,” Glenda said. “We always loved missions conferences—they made a big impact on our lives. We loved to hear the speakers and wanted to serve the Lord.” Steve said during February of 1967, they attended a missions conference when Trans World Radio was looking for a diesel mechanic. He and Glenda were willing to go, and Steve applied for it. But when another student took the job, they followed the next door the Lord opened for them.

“I had the opportunity to stay with Pop and work at the plant,” Steve said. “We knew to be ready to go wherever God was leading us.” When the offer came from Ford Motor Company, they felt that wherever they were could be a mission for the world. Steve worked 32 years with Ford. About their faithful giving to LeTourneau for so many years, Steve and Glenda both agreed. “My dad believed in tithing, and it was always something that we did,” Glenda said. “We wouldn’t have ever thought not to tithe.” Steve grew up the same way in a household that faithfully gave. “My dad tithed, and he taught us the 1010-80 principle,” Steve said, “10% goes to the Lord, 10% goes to you, and you learn to live on 80% of your income.” The lesson has served them well. “Two things that Pop LeTourneau used to say made a big impression on me,” Steve said. “He would say, ‘I shovel out and God shovels back with a bigger shovel’ and the other was ‘You can’t out give God.’” “Giving gives you a blessing,” Glenda said. “You trust and believe the Lord will supply what you need, and He blesses you for doing it.” “We aren’t rich, but we share what we can,” Steve said.

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by Janet Ragland


Tom and Jeri




om and Jeri Schrag of Hesston, Kansas, have supported LeTourneau University for more than 40 years. Tom came to LeTourneau College in the fall of 1965 and graduated in the summer of 1969 with a degree in mechanical engineering. “I remember when Pop LeTourneau passed away,” Tom said. “I went to his funeral.” Tom said he went to a 3-room grade school. When he was in the 7th or 8th grade, he had an idea what he wanted to do. “I wanted to design things,” he said. “It came naturally to me. I didn’t know it was called ‘engineering’ back then, I just knew what I wanted to do.” Tom was a first-generation college student—the first member of his immediate family to go to college. Both his mother and father had grade school educations. Neither went to high school. “I grew up in Kansas, out in the country,” he said. “We lived between four little towns.” Tom described himself as the “caboose” of his family, the youngest of four children. After a year at community college, he came to LeTourneau. “I was a poor student, and I even had an English teacher once tell me I would be a ditch digger,” he said. “If I had gone to a state school, it probably would be true, but LeTourneau’s teachers and staff were encouraging and helped me to do better.” “My mom told me about LeTourneau College and that R.G. LeTourneau was speaking at a church near our home in Kansas, so we went to hear him. About six months later, I was a student at LeTourneau College. “I used to run the ambulance service when it was on campus,” Tom said. “It worked out because I could sleep and study on the job if there weren’t any calls. I did that for about two years after it started my sophomore year. “I remember at LeTourneau, Dr. Kenneth McKinley’s Old Testament class, ‘Scanning the Plan,’ was an overview of Scripture that really helped me understand the Bible,” Tom said. “I was already a Christian, because when I came to LeTourneau, it sure wasn’t for the girls!”

Tom remembered when the ratio of men to women on campus was about 50:1. After graduation, Tom worked for a few years for the Eaton Corporation as an engineer designing hoists in Arkansas. It was in Arkansas where he met Jeri, who was then a schoolteacher at a local Christian school. Having grown up in upstate New York, Jeri came to know the Lord through the Bible Club Movement when she was 11, attending a missionary event with a friend. She later earned her bachelor’s degree in Bible education from Columbia University before teaching in Panama City, Florida, then completed her master’s degree in elementary education before teaching in Arkansas. Tom and Jeri married in 1971. Their two daughters came along in 1975 (Sharon) and 1977 (Rachel). Today, Sharon is the principal of the Christian school in Kansas where Jeri taught for 18 years. Rachel has her doctorate in piano and teaches at Concordia University in Irvine, California. Tom and Jeri are the proud grandparents of five grandkids. Looking back in time, Jeri said, “Having grown up on a farm, Tom always wanted to design farm equipment, so he found a job with Hesston Corporation, and we moved to Kansas, where he worked for the next 41 years.” Tom said that he felt it was better to work on farm equipment than on hoists because working on farm equipment is how you feed people. “I’m not a social activist, but I can say we can raise the crops to feed people,” he said. “No child should ever go hungry. If they do, that’s because of politics, not the inability to raise enough food.” Tom said he is grateful for the contributions God has allowed him to make in the farming industry. “I worked on the large baler for over 30 years,” he said, adding that he has over two dozen patents to his name. Hesston baler makes large square bales that measure about 4’x4’x8’; and are transported by tractor-trailer. Hesston’s website states that it introduced the first large square baler in 1978, and that it quickly became the industry’s leading baler brand.

“I did over half my patents on the baler,” Tom said. “Hesston developed it, and I helped advance it. I’m the first person to have over 20 patents at AGCO.” Tom said he retired at the end of 2014 after 41 years, but he still has a key to give tours at the plant about once a week. “I love meeting with farmers and high school groups to talk about what we do at the Hesston plant,” he said. “One of the things I love about farm equipment design is that it is as much an art as a science.” Tom says he is grateful for the life that his education prepared him to do. “I would not have had the opportunity to do what I really love—designing farm equipment, especially large square balers—if I had not gone to LeTourneau,” he said. “I’ve been reading in Genesis about Joseph and the number of times it says of Joseph, ‘God gave him the ability.’ I am not Joseph, but my testimony is similar in that God gave me the ability to do what I do. What I have done is strictly what God allowed me to do. “When I was at LeTourneau, I was told that about 60 percent of our schooling was paid for by someone else,” Tom said. “I felt like I ought to give back.”

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by Janet Ragland


Charles and Mary





eing a “Techo” at LeTourneau Technical Institute led Charles Lucas to graduate with his bachelor’s degree in industrial and mechanical science in 1959. Serving in the Air Force at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, Charles remembers hearing “Pop” LeTourneau speak and tell of starting a school for engineers. “He had the right philosophy of an engineering education,” Charles said. “I was determined to go to college after I heard R.G. speak. I wanted to be an engineer.” Charles said he was grateful to go to a Christian school after an early Air Force release after the Korean War was over. “I served 16 days less than four years in the U.S. military service,” Charles said. A doctor he knew in the Air Force recommended to him that he go to the University of Texas to become a psychologist since he was good at giving psychological tests in the service. The doctor told him he could get him into UT— and that he would make a great psychologist. “I wanted to get my hands on stuff,” he said. “I didn’t want to work with people’s brains.” Charles and Mary were already married when they came to LeTourneau in 1955. They arrived at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning in Longview with their belongings and their two-week-old baby. They lived off campus and made Longview their home. Charles remembers he worked in the LeTourneau Technical Institute “alter-day” program, with three days in school, two days at work in the LeTourneau plant on one week, then three days at work in the plant and two days in school the next week. That program allowed him to make enough money to support his family and still get the engineering education he needed. “When I went to work, I went to work to do my job and do the best I could, even on a Saturday,” Charles said. “A good work ethic covers a lot of deficiencies in the academic area.” He said 75% of his classmates in school were ex-GIs like he was.

“They were good guys, mostly out of the Korean War,” he said. “We had seniors graduating ahead of us who were younger than we were, but those seniors learned early not to hassle the battle-weary ex-GIs. They learned you didn’t mess with us.” Charles worked fulltime from his sophomore through senior year and was one of the first two honor graduates when he graduated from LeTourneau in 1959. He said he was proud to serve later as the first alumni member of the school’s Board of Trustees, a role he filled for 10 years. When he graduated, he became a fulltime engineer for the Lebus Manufacturing Company. Charles worked at the Lebus plant in Longview until 1970 when he went to work in Houston for Waste Control Systems. At that time, the Environmental Protection Agency was becoming more stringent about its requirements on smoke stack effluent released into the atmosphere. Charles said he didn’t really want to take the job in Houston working on pollution-free incinerators because he and his wife had just bought a colonial home in White Oak, Texas, near Longview. “I told them they’d have to double my salary for me to make the move to Houston,” he said. “They said the truck is on the way to come move you.” Then he had to go tell his wife. “She had been to Houston before, but it rained every time she went there,” he said. “And it was during a time in the early to mid-1970s when dozens of teenage boys had turned up missing. She wasn’t keen on us going there.” The missing teenagers turned out to be victims of serial killer Dean Arnold Corll. After only 13 months in Houston, Charles and Mary were happy when the Crosby-Lebus group called with an offer to move them to Tulsa. His first job there was to buy all the equipment and install a chain plant for the Crosby Group. Charles stayed loyal to CrosbyLebus throughout the years. He said that while he never got his Professional Engineer (PE) license, he had several PE licensed engineers work for him. The PE license, he said, is one

that engineers usually seek after about four years of fulltime work as an engineer. Through the years, their family grew to include six kids, two of whom attended LETU. Their son Charlie earned a mechanical engineering degree, then worked for Schlumberger for 15 years before God called him to attend seminary. He is a fulltime church pastor in South Carolina today. Their son David earned a welding engineering degree and worked for WKM Valve in Houston for a few years, but he and his wife today live on their working farm in Pennsylvania. “Today three of our kids have master’s degrees, two have bachelor’s degrees and one owns their own business.” Their families have added grandchildren and great grandchildren over the years. “With spouses, there are 76 of us!” he said. Charles retired as the vice president of engineering after 45 years with the company. He said he tried to retire in 2001 but continued serving on national safety committees because of his experience as an ASME crane safety engineer. He has provided expert testimony in several legal court cases over the years. He ended up working another 15 years on safety committees for the company before retirement “stuck” in 2016. About their faithful giving to LeTourneau throughout the past 40-plus years, Charles said he just felt he should give back. “I appreciate the education I got at LeTourneau,” Charles said. “LeTourneau taught me how to study. The hands-on education was good—so good that now some other schools have gone to adding more lab work like LeTourneau has always done. Over the years, I have worked with engineering graduates from all universities, and I never found that I was ever held back in my abilities because of attending LeTourneau.” This past June, Charles and Mary celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary by taking their six kids and their spouses on an Alaska cruise for a family reunion. “Through the years, the Lord has always provided,” Charles said.

FALL 2019



by Janet Ragland


elcoming a record-setting 125 international

students, LeTourneau University’s Office of Global Initiatives (OGI), under the direction of Dr. Alan Clipperton, is seeing sweet success that is a result of the past five years of building strategic relationships across the globe.




“We live in a global economy, and it doesn’t matter if you are working in an office in Longview or Tokyo, you’ll be working with people from other places,” Clipperton said. “Having multiple perspectives in the classroom and the opportunity to interact with others from all over the world is absolutely a great value to all of our students. We are intentionally bringing this kind of excellence into our LETU classrooms.” By focusing first on like-minded, faith-based high schools and colleges, LETU has found international students who are drawn to attend a Christian school so far from home. Students attending Christian international schools have always been drawn to LETU, but over the last several years the Office of Global Initiatives has made these schools a recruitment priority. “Around 4.5 million students globally study outside of their home country,” Clipperton said. “The United States hosts just over a million of those. The U.S. is the largest destination for higher education worldwide. Our opportunity to build those networks, those connections that build funnels of students from other countries, is really necessary from a growth mindset and sustainability so that LETU can continue to operate and provide the level of educational excellence and services we have always offered.” Building relationships with schools abroad that place a high value on specific programs LETU offers has also led to increased international enrollments. Ider University students in Mongolia come for LETU’s business program. Students from Shanghai Civil Aviation College in China come for the aviation maintenance program and sent 19 students this fall to study at LETU. Jilin-Normal University in China and LETU have participated in a cooperative electrical engineering program over the past few years that has led to numerous faculty exchange opportunities and the prospect to bring transfer students to LETU in Fall 2020. “These are all good fits for LETU,” Clipperton said. He added that the Spring 2020 intake will also include many international students that will push the total number of international students on campus to over 14% of the residential student body. “Our international students—and their families—place a tremendous amount of trust in us,” Clipperton said. “They trust us to help usher

them through life transitions like getting a driver’s license and social security card or buying a car, then getting it registered and inspected. Those things are not intuitive.” Clipperton said his office differs from traditional admissions offices in the amount of time they spend with these students. Where admissions recruit then hand students off to student life and recruit another class, OGI spends seven to eight years with each student. “We walk with them from day one, through their college experience and into their employment experience, which can be an additional three years after they graduate from LETU.”

FALL 2019


MBA The Engineer’s Choice of

by Jenna Pace

A well-rounded graduate business education can take you far. According to U.S. News & World Report, 93% of MBA-holders say their graduate degree was professionally rewarding and 83% report that their MBA has helped them earn a higher salary. At LETU, our Master of Business Administration program is 100% online, no GMAT required and centered on biblical values that matter to you. You’ll have the opportunity to be mentored by industry-experienced professionals from the convenience of your own home, in your own time, while building a networking system with like-minded peers. LETU business graduates have gone on to become CEOs, Executive VPs, Executive Directors, senior leaders, entrepreneurs and more. Join their ranks, and invest in yourself and your faith. An MBA from an established Christian university is more accessible than you may think.

Learn more at

“I significantly benefited from courses that helped me crystallize my life purpose and the values I live by. The self-confidence I gained from completing this MBA helped me not only advance in my chosen profession, but has helped me have better and more purposeful relationships with others including taking a more holistic approach to life as part of my vocational calling.”

– Harold Cobb, P.E., MBA 2019 Houston Engineer of the Year



Become A LeTourneau Alumni Agent: The dictionary defines an agent as a person who acts on behalf of another person or group. As an Alumni Agent, we are inviting you to join us by acting on behalf of LeTourneau in three ways:


romote LeTourneau University! As you can and when you have opportunity, share about LeTourneau. Do you know a high school student on your block

or in your church? Or a professional looking to complete a degree? How about a local high school or homeschool co-op? Is there a business in your area looking for highly educated and qualified graduates? Maybe a college fair? Promoting LeTourneau means making YOUR University known to those within your reach. We can/will send materials directly to you to distribute to those you want to introduce to LeTourneau University.


ray for LeTourneau University. The University covets your prayers. If you provide an email address to us, the University’s development office will

send you prayer requests every two weeks allowing you to pray in specific ways for LeTourneau University.


rovide at least one gift a year supporting LeTourneau University. This is not about a specific gift amount. This is about supporting YOUR University at a

gift level that makes sense to you. For more information, visit or email

FALL 2019


LETU Featured on ‘The Daytripper’ Television Show


ETU was featured this fall on the PBS-televised program “The DayTripper” when host Chet Garner and his crew came through Longview on their continuing mission to produce fun, entertaining and informative programs that explore places throughout Texas.

Former U.S. President to Speak on Campus


he 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush will speak as a special guest at an inaugural East Texas Speakers Forum event on Tuesday, Dec. 3, in LeTourneau University’s Belcher Center. Bush will share stories from his life in business and politics in a questionand-answer format. “An Evening with President George W. Bush” is brought by the East Texas Speakers Forum, a new nonprofit organization seeking to increase civic engagement and community education by “providing a platform for interesting people to talk about topics that inspire, challenge and concern our communities.” Sponsors are Christus Health, LeTourneau University, Longview News-Journal, Texas Bank and Trust, Tyler Morning Telegraph and the University of Texas at Tyler.



LETU Hosts Award-Winning Texas Poet John Poch, Free Literary Exhibits


exas author and award-winning poet John Poch was featured in a lecture and poetry reading on campus Oct. 17. He read from his 2019 publication, “Texases,” which offers readers a kaleidoscope view of his home state, its geography and people, past and present. Poch’s lecture opened a month of free exhibits on Texas and East Texas writers and poets, provided by Humanities Texas.


LETU Student Wins $3,000 UPS Scholarship


eTourneau University freshman mathematics and applied statistics major Ti’Erra Lee of Montgomery, Alabama, has been selected to receive a $3,000 United Parcel Service Foundation scholarship provided by the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT) Foundation and its national partner, the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC). At the national level, CIC teams up with the UPS Foundation to distribute funding of the UPS Scholarship. Through this program this year, the ICUT Foundation awarded $120,000 in UPS Scholarships to 40 low-income students at private institutions across Texas.

LETU English Professor Randy Compton Pens New Poetry Book


ETU English professor Dr. Randall Compton published a new book of poetry titled “The Sky’s Larger Frame,” published by Resource Press, an imprint of Wipf and Stock publishers. The book is a three-part volume that delights in creation, despairs over evil and longs for restoration. Compton won the Creative Writing Award for Poetry earlier this year at the Conference of College Teachers of English in Kingsville, Texas. Compton has taught English at LeTourneau University since 2007 and is one of the faculty members teaching in LETU’s new Liberal Arts Guild, a vibrant community of critical thinkers who view the earliest years of college as an opportunity to build a strong foundation for life.

LETU’s Engineering Program Ranked 38th in the Nation LETU’s engineering program ranked 38th in the nation among all undergraduate engineering programs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology with programs whose highest degree is a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The ranking puts LETU among the top engineering schools in the state of Texas.

Flight Team Wins 2nd at Regionals, Qualifies for Nationals


he LETU “Sting” Precision Flight Team won 2nd place overall at the recent Region IV NIFA SAFECON flight competition at the University of Oklahoma, ranking first place in Ground Events and 4th place in Flight Events. LETU took first place in the Competition Safety Award. The SAFECON Championship first place overall team was from Oklahoma State University. Both teams qualify for national competition in May 2020.

FALL 2019


LETU To Celebrate Longview 150th Anniversary

LETU Names Dr. Bob Roller The Calvin Howe Chair of Finance


he City of Longview will celebrate its sesquicentennial in 2020, and LeTourneau University is participating in the celebration with exhibits and events on campus. LETU Registrar Texas Ruegg is leading the coordination of activities to herald the city’s history and LeTourneau University’s significant impact on the city’s growth over the past 70-plus years. LETU will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2021.

LETU Presents Forbis Staff Excellence Award to Debbie McGinness

r. Robert H. “Bob” Roller is LETU’s new Calvin Howe Professor of Finance. Roller had served eight years at LETU as a business professor, with six years as LETU’s dean of the School of Business. Roller also oversaw the LETU’s accreditation with the IACBE. When he left LETU he served as an IACBE commissioner and was asked to succeed the founding IACBE president. Since then, he has served as the business dean of Azusa Pacific University in California and Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Ohio. At LETU, Roller will be teaching undergraduate and graduate classes in finance, business ethics and strategy during this fall semester. “Whenever we played school as children, I was always the teacher, and my younger sister was my reluctant student.”

LETU Names Dr. Dana Medlin the New Kielhorn Chair for Materials Joining Engineering



ETU President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford awarded the Gerrie Forbis Staff Excellence Award to LETU Assistant Director for Academic Support Debbie McGinness during a back-to-school assembly of faculty and staff in the Belcher Center. McGinness manages the tutoring program at LETU, including the math lab and special instruction programs on campus to assist students in accomplishing their academic goals. The award is presented “in recognition of effectiveness in mentoring, dedication to LeTourneau University and Christian education, helpfulness to students, spiritual leadership, service and continuous improvement.”



r. Dana J. Medlin is LETU’s first-ever Kielhorn Professor of Welding and Materials Joining Engineering. Medlin earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering with metallurgy option, and his doctorate in material science engineering, all from the University of Nebraska. Medlin has more than 30 years of experience leading multidisciplinary failure analysis and design projects in metallurgical and materials science engineering, corrosion engineering, materials joining and welding, and biomedical engineering for a variety of companies. Medlin also has taught five years as a graduate research and teaching assistant at University of Nebraska, four years as a research assistant professor at Colorado School of Mines and six years at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where he was also the director of the biomedical engineering graduate program.


U.S. News Ranks LETU 25th In Top Tier of 2020 College Rankings


eTourneau University ranked 25th in the top tier of the national 2020 U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings of “America’s Best Colleges” in its category of “Best Regional Universities in the Western Region.” Among “Great Schools Great Prices” ranking of schools that provide a “Best Value” for regional universities in the West, LETU was ranked 14th. The methodology looks at ratio of quality to price, need-based aid and average discount. Among “Best Colleges for Veterans,” LETU was ranked 14th. LETU was also recognized among “A-plus Schools for B-students.” Universities ranked in this category provide opportunity for students accepted for their spirit and hard work. LETU was also ranked in a new category this year. New this year in the 2020 U.S. News and World Reports rankings is a “Social Mobility” category that identifies the top schools in each geographic area that provide upward social mobility for students, many of whom may be the first-generation of students in their families to attain a college degree. The social mobility ranking measures how well schools graduated students who received federal Pell Grants. These students typically come from households with incomes that are less than $50,000 annually, though most Pell Grants go to students with income below $20,000. U.S. News ranks colleges and universities among other schools with similar programs and degree offerings. Indicators used to determine the rankings include academic reputation, retention, faculty, class sizes, SAT and ACT scores of incoming freshmen, average graduation rates and assessments by administrators at other peer universities. U.S. News rankings are released each fall and are considered the most notable of the annual published college rankings.

LETU to Graduate Six Ovilla Christian School Seniors in May


ix high school seniors from Ovilla Christian School near Waxahachie, Texas, are on track to complete 63 credit hours to become the first dual-credit students to earn an associate degree in interdisciplinary studies in May from LETU—even before they get their high school diplomas. LETU and Ovilla signed a partnership agreement announced in 2017 that enabled the students to begin taking dual-credit courses when the students were sophomores. Some of their courses have been offered in their classrooms on ground, taught by LETU-credentialled Ovilla faculty members; some of their courses have been offered online, through LETU’s Canvas educational portal.

LETU Celebrates 50th Anniversary of the Apollo Missions


n celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, LETU history professor organized a free exhibit featuring items from NASA’s Johnson Space Center that included the history of the manned space flight, the Apollo project, space food, a helmet and a space shuttle tire from the actual Endeavor shuttle. The exhibit also included interactive opportunities to experience the Apollo missions through video, audio recordings and photos.

LETU Marketing Team Earns Awards


he LeTourneau University’s Marketing and Communications team has won numerous awards for new recruitment materials, website and NOW magazine in the past few years, including platinum and gold Hermes Creative, Marcom, DotCom, Communicator and Davey awards.

FALL 2019




ver the course of two summers at the University of Oxford, I heard more than 50 lectures from the world’s leading physicists, chemists, philosophers, evolutionary biologists, psychologists, biblical scholars and historians. The lectures stimulated deeply enriching interdisciplinary conversation between professors from the often siloed fields of the humanities and sciences. Inevitably these conversations would continue over lunch or carry on into afternoon coffee. Even dinner became another opportunity to ask the cell biologist or the geneticist another question. Many of our conversations centered on who God is, how God works in the world, and the nature of the human person. Discussions were continuously injected with new life by access to the Bodleian Libraries, a collection of historic libraries that serves the University of Oxford, with almost 13 million printed items in its holdings. I used this unparalleled library access, together with cross-disciplinary discussion with other fellows and brilliant lectures by eminent scholars, to hone my research question: How can the doctrine of creation provide a moral framework for developing and deploying technology? To put it another way, how can understanding the human person as a limited creature guide our use of technology to promote, rather than hinder, human flourishing?

Why We Don’t Like Limits We tend to see human limits and vulnerability as obstacles to overcome rather than as opportunities for flourishing because we have a deficient understanding of what it means to be a creature. We don’t like limits because they make us dependent and vulnerable to suffering. However, the Bible radically affirms creaturely limits and vulnerability as opportunities for human flourishing. There is a historical reason for why we rarely praise human finitude. In The Fall of Man and the Foundations of Science, Peter Harrison, one of the leading historians of early modern science, shows that the biblical story of creation and fall provides the foundational framework for science, and by extension, technological development. For example, Francis Bacon (1561-1626), who founded the Royal Academy of Science, believed that the goal of scientific study was to manage, control and manipulate nature in order to eliminate suffering in the world. He based this view explicitly on his reading of the creation and fall of humanity. He attributed human weakness and fallibility to the existence of human sin alone.


But Bacon’s legacy was not what he imagined it would be. As the Royal Academy of Science quickly distanced itself from Christianity, the Christian framework of Bacon’s thought rapidly eroded. As a result, the need to master nature lost the balancing belief that there was indeed an inviolable, given order of nature. As a result, applied science has a pseudo-theological view of the human driving its work to overcome human limits rather than celebrate them God’s good gift.

In Praise of Limits What we need is a true reading of the story of creation and fall to guide as Christians working in a technological age. If we look closely at Genesis 1-3, we see that the Bible unapologetically celebrates God’s creation of a world ordered by constraints and limits. It is precisely these limits and constraints that God calls “Good” in Genesis 1. They are good because God has gifted the world with these constraints and limits as the means by which humans will enjoy communion with God, other humans, and the world. The order of nature is the means that allows humans to flourish in communion with God, other humans, and the world. This end is impossible without the means God has given. The Fall is the rejection of being a dependent, vulnerable creature. They want to be “like God”: independent, autonomous, selfgrounded, self-willing. What sin does is exploit our creaturely limits and vulnerability. That which God intended for good, sin intends for evil and abuse.

The Fall and the Future of Humanity What about the future? Will we be delivered from our limited, dependent nature and transformed into independent creatures? All signs point to “No!” Dependence is a central feature of being human. Consider the future according to its prototype, Jesus, and

its setting, a garden and a feast. Jesus has a body that eats and drinks. He also has a body with scars. Both are important for people recognizing Jesus when he encounters them. The setting of the new heavens and earth is this world--the heavenly city in the garden. And the future is described as a feast and wedding banquet, where the creaturely act of eating is presumed. Might there even be a deepening of creaturely dependence? If dependence and vulnerability are the basis for human flourishing given in creation, and if the fall is the rejection of that dependence and vulnerability, new creation is a deepening of dependence. For this reason, C.S. Lewis suggested that we will not have elbows in heaven. As a result, we will be dependent on one another for food.

LeTourneau’s Mission Our culture’s desire to abolish limits and dependence is at odds with the Christian story. This desire is based on a bad reading of the biblical story of the creation and fall. When we view our God-given limits such as time, body, and place as impediments to flourishing, we also deny the very way in which God has designed humans to flourish. So we need to reorient ourselves according to the true story of God’s good creation and humanity’s rejection of it. LeTourneau University is uniquely positioned as a Christian STEM-oriented university to be devoted to working out the most pressing questions facing the church and world today—namely, what does it mean to be human and how do humans flourish today? Whereas most, if not all, Christian Universities approach these major technological questions within a liberal arts setting, LeTourneau addresses these challenges from within its native polytechnic habitat. Our graduates will be the ones driving technological development from within the STEM field. While these profound questions—what does it mean to be human and how do humans flourish today?—are raised in a polytechnic environment, they cannot be answered from within it.

Answers to these questions will only arise from robust theological and biblical engagement with scientific and technological fields of study. Therefore, LeTourneau seeks to foster conversation between the distinct academic fields of theology, ethics, engineering and science to cultivate Christian wisdom in a technological age.

Wisdom in our Technological Age Wisdom denotes not merely theoretical knowledge but the knowhow to respond to Christ’s call to love according to the ways in which the world has been created. Christian wisdom requires a clear picture of how human nature corresponds to God’s purpose and the skills necessary to conform our lives to this picture amidst the complexities and particularities of a broken world. Wisdom says that life is about conforming the soul to the reality of nature, to the limits of time, body and place. Technology offers not wisdom but a technique—a way to bend the reality of the world to conform to the order of the human will. This technique is a substitute for wisdom, a shortcut to virtue. Wisdom is a knowledge is cultivated by the study of the Bible in a Christian community that helps students think critically and analytically about their discipline from a theological perspective. Wisdom requires that students integrate their field of study with Christian reflection on the nature and order of the world and on the reality of the human person as created, that is, as being designed for fellowship with God and neighbor. FALL 2019



by Janet Ragland



ron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide, according to the Center for Disease Control, which states it can cause children to have developmental delays and behavioral disturbances. It can increase the risks of low-birthweight and preterm babies for pregnant women. Low iron causes fatigue and other symptoms and can be like a “warning light” to look for a host of other serious ailments. LeTourneau University engineering students researched, designed and developed a non-invasive, handheld, rugged, low-cost device designed to diagnose iron deficiency in patients in developing countries without requiring any puncture in the skin. The device clips onto the fingertip like a portable pulse oximeter (for measuring oxygen), but unlike an oximeter it detects iron deficiency by measuring hemoglobin. Their work resulted in a first-place win in the Engineering World Health international competition. “Low iron levels in the blood can be an indicator of several illnesses,” said LETU senior biomedical engineering major Jacob Landreth of Yucaipa, California, who was the only junior student on the team last year. The EWH senior design team of biomedical, electrical, computer and mechanical engineering students who worked on the project and

graduated in May of 2019 included the team leader Mikalah Iverson, who now works at Thermo Fisher Scientific; Brooke Hayley, who is in graduate school at Johns Hopkins University; Jacob Frankenfield, who works at the Department of Veterans Affairs; Ben Ellis, who works at Pico Technology; Kyle

gratitude for the blessings we have in this country and gained a perspective of life in developing countries that I don’t necessarily see every day.” The cost of producing one unit was estimated to be under $175 with no waste, because it does not require strips needed for

“I gained a stronger sense of gratitude for the blessings we have in this country and gained a perspective of life in developing countries that I don’t necessarily see every day.” Bryant, who is an engineer at Eastman; Isaac Orao who is in graduate school at University of Central Florida; and Cole Ironside, who begins work with Salt River Project in Tempe, Arizona in January 2020. “The device we designed was to enable a Christian humanitarian group, the Free Burma Rangers, to read iron levels in the blood of patients without requiring a finger stick that could later become infected,” Landreth said. FBR provides medical care and other relief to people living in conflict zones. “Through the project, we learned to do research about hemoglobin levels and their impact on health,” Landreth said. “We applied our electrical skills and the wiring of the prototype gave us hands-on practical experience. “It helped me see the medical needs of people outside of the U.S. where it is not as easy to get your hemoglobin tested to find out if you have anemia,” Landreth said. “I gained a stronger sense of

reading iron levels, like the strips diabetics use to check their blood sugar with a finger stick. LETU engineering professor and faculty advisor Dr. Paul Leiffer said the team’s first-place win in the EWH competition was especially notable considering it was the first year LETU students competed. Winners in the past five years included top-rated universities including Purdue University, which won first place in the previous two years. The LETU “Noninvasive Hemoglobin Screening Device” took first place in the 2019 competition, with Clemson University taking 2nd place and the University of Minnesota Twin Cities taking 3rd for their entries, which included a breast pump to reduce mother-tochild HIV infections and a low-cost infusion pump, respectively. Engineering World Health is a U.S.-based non-profit organization that engages the skills and passions of students and professionals from around the globe to improve healthcare delivery in low-income countries.

FALL 2019


by Leah Gorman


“what made my decision for me was not only the educational opportunities, but the spiritual depth and the quality of the people here.�

FALL 2019



GREGORY FREDERICK, Ph.D. Chair of Biology & Kinesiology Professor of Biology


he faculty of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Kinesiology are a diverse community of individuals who are united by the commitment to the ongoing pursuit of understanding God’s world. Each of these faculty share what excites them about their academic field and advice they share with students. To learn more visit:

“This world is immensely complex. God has given each of us an innate curiosity. He wants us to seek Him and to understand His being and His character. Never lose that God-given curiosity. Continually cultivate that curiosity into your adulthood and beyond, and allow the curiosity to flow through you throughout everyday of life God allows.” Dr. Greg Frederick has taught at LeTourneau since the Fall of 2014. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas Medical School Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics. “In Biology we are blessed to dig deeply into God’s creation of life. We discover life-forms that none have ever seen previously. The exciting part is, as we dig deeper, we gain glimpses to just how incredible and creative our God actually is. We also have the ability to make discoveries which can ultimately save human lives.”






Assistant Professor of Biology

Assistant Professor of Biology

“Know what you want, trust God and stay focused

“A professional always must be learning—so,

on your dream. Do not be discouraged by

make it a lifetime goal and don’t be afraid to

challenges, because they will come. Do not waste

ask questions! Some of my closest friends and

time on things that do not contribute towards your

colleagues were developed initially by asking



Dr. Baliraine started at LeTourneau in August of

Dr. Scott Dyer has taught at LeTourneau since July

2012. He holds a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine

of 2018. He received his Bachelor of Science in

(equivalent of DVM) from Makerere University in

Biology and Master of Science in Toxicology both

Uganda, a Master of Science and Ph. D. both in

from Iowa State University. His Ph. D. in Biology

Biochemistry from the University of Nairobi in

was received from the University of North Texas.


“I am an ecotoxicologist and environmental

“My field enables me to peek into the miracle

scientist. I need to know a lot about many

and complexities of life and God’s handiwork

disciplines and how they interact with each

in it all, understand disease processes and why

other to solve difficult real-world environmental

some specific signs and symptoms occur, why

and health issues. I love this because I get to

‘bugs’ develop resistance to medications, what

integrate with chemists, biologists, engineers,

techniques can be used to diagnose diseases and

mathematicians, computer scientists, businesses

how to prevent and control diseases.”

and politicians.”

FALL 2019




Professor of Physics

Professor of Kinesiology

“It is good to pursue an area of learning that you

“Put the Lord first. All of the other issues of life

are passionate about, and that this can be done

can be dealt with if the priority of spending time

serving God full-time.”

with God daily is met. He is our direction and our

Dr. Steve Ball began his career at LeTourneau in

strength through all of life’s challenges.”

2001. He received a Bachelor of Science in both

Dr. Wayne Jacobs started at LeTourneau in the

Math and Science from Baker University and his Ph.

Fall of 2001. He holds a Bachelor of Science in

D. in High Energy Physics from the University of

Biology and Kinesiology and Master of Science in


Kinesiology and Business both from Stephen F.

“I find that teaching physics in a distinctively Christian setting is actually more fulfilling than my previous work in particle physics research. It allows

Austin State University. He received his Ph. D. in Health Education and Promotion from Texas A&M University.

me to broaden the perspective, revealing both

“Kinesiology is one of the fastest growing fields in

the beauty of the physics as well as how it can be

higher education because we prepare professionals

meaningful for a Christian who is interested in the

in a wide range of allied health fields—physical

order and elegance of the universe.”

therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, chiropractic and many other areas. But it does not end there. We prepare students for the field of sports management, sports communication, sports ministry and teaching/coaching.”






Associate Professor of Chemistry

Associate Professor of Physics

“Be open to learning new things from your peers and from people you wouldn’t necessarily have a reason to chat with on the LeTourneau campus. You never know which person has what you need to do well in one moment—or over a lifetime.”

“Stand out and be memorable to others. Don’t worry about being safe or conventional. Instead, try to stand out from the crowd. Do something that no one else does and throw yourself into that identity with enthusiasm. You want people to remember something about you in 20 years, even if they’ve forgotten your name.”

Dr. Jennifer Jamison began her career at LeTourneau in August of 2019. She received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Arlington. She holds a Master of Art and Ph. D. both in Chemistry from Rice University. “I love chemistry because atoms make up everything. Phones, circuits, food, cosmetics, personal care products, textiles, home remedies, advanced medicines—these are all chemistry! I like being able to use what I know about chemistry to propose potential solutions to a variety of problems.”

Dr. Edward Hamilton has been at LeTourneau since 2011. He received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics from Calvin College. He holds a Ph. D. in Physics from the University of Colorado—Boulder. “I love physics because it explores the most universal and fundamental laws in nature and discovers connections between ideas that might have initially appeared to be unrelated. Getting this big-picture view of nature and how everything fits together so beautifully is much more exciting than knowing only isolated details.”

FALL 2019




Professor of Chemistry

Chair of Chemistry and Physics Professor of Chemistry

“Don’t be a spectator ion, be a part of the net ion equation.”

“Don’t confuse your calling with your vocation or your abilities. Ultimately, we are called to glorify God in all ways, not just through what we think we can do.”

Dr. Gary DeBoer began his career at LeTourneau in 1998. He received his Ph. D. in Chemistry from the University of Iowa. “Everything is chemistry and chemistry is everything.”

Dr. Bruce Hathaway began his career at LeTourneau in 2010 as a professor of Chemistry. He received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas at Austin and his Ph. D. in Medicinal Chemistry from Purdue. “Chemistry applies to any and all areas of life. I am particularly interested in how the chemical structure of a molecule influences its biological activity, such as its ability to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. Trying to design new chemical compounds to treat infectious diseases is a challenge but could be rewarding to a large segment of the population.”




Leading the Pack

by Jim McCurdy Sports Information Director

Kathleen Raske didn’t have time to talk, and she likes to talk. She didn’t have time because she’s too busy scouring Texas in search of a gem or two who will help her build the track and field program at LeTourneau University. A year removed from an NCAA Division I coaching job at her alma mater, Southern Illinois University, Raske was hired by LETU Director of Athletics Terri Deike in the summer to take over a three-year old program. Roughly three months into the position— one that has afforded her and her right-hand man and husband, Terry VanLaningham, the opportunity to live closer to family—Raske has hit the recruiting trail running, all to build a winner in Longview. Raske has built winners before. At SIU, she directed them to place 14th at the NCAA Indoor Championships— the school’s highest placing in 33 years. Her teams finished in the Top 25 at the NCAA Championships twice. At Sacramento State, she was named Big Sky Coach of the Year 16 times and produced 15 NCAA All-Americans and 128 NCAA Championships participants. She coached three All-Americans at Central Michigan, guiding them to the 2002 MidAmerican Conference championship. She was named the MAC Coach of the Year, Great Lakes NCAA Coach of the Year and Central Collegiate Coach of the Year.

“I’ve had a warm welcome to campus and am grateful for the opportunity to work at LeTourneau,” Raske said. “I’ve been interviewing all the head coaches here to get a better handle on things and how to both effectively and efficiently recruit studentathletes to our program. I’m grateful for the family-like feel within the athletic department. Terri Deike is a great match for me, in style and philosophy. I believe it was God’s plan for us to partner with her here. I have a lot to learn, but my husband and I are excited to continue to learn and grow the LETU way.” For Raske, the LETU Way is about building something. At the Polytechnic Christian University, building means joining forces with the right combination of student-athletes who can succeed academically and help a competitive coach produce a winner. It’s a process that takes time—but one Raske would like to hasten. “I’m very competitive, so it will be difficult to be patient in the process as we plug away at recruiting to rebuild the team,” Raske said. “We have much work ahead of us, and it will take some time.” But if there’s one thing to know about Raske, she doesn’t waste time. Days after being publicly introduced as LeTourneau’s new Director of Track and Field and Cross Country, she ventured East to recruit. In late

October, she and VanLaningham were in Houston in search of student-athletes to build her team. “Student-athletes here are wonderful to work with and have talent we can develop,” Raske said. “We will continue to seek out those who show a passion for our sport, work hard and are the right match for LeTourneau. My overall style and philosophy are much more team focused for the sport of track and field, which is unique, and I think the athletes are excited about the team-building focus. When we work hard in the trenches together, help each other out, and rely on God, we will accomplish what He has set out for us.”

FALL 2019



NURSING EXCELLENCE by Kimberly Quiett, Ph.D.


s we began our sixth year in the LETU School of Nursing in August, we chose a scripture verse to guide us for this year. In past years, verses included Colossians 3:23-24 and 1 Peter 4:10–11, both of which have helped us to focus on our work and service to others as worship of our Heavenly Father. This year, our verse comes from Psalm 119:66 which reads, “Teach me knowledge and good judgement, for I believe in your commands.” This verse is part of a passage that speaks of God’s goodness and delighting in His laws. As Christian nurses, we know the importance of our role in sharing the gospel through our work is incredibly profound. Nurses interact with people in their lowest and highest moments in life. The news of a terminal diagnosis, the birth of a healthy baby, the death of a lifelong best friend, the report of clear scans after treatment for cancer—these are the worst and the best of times. Nurses support patients and families through these circumstances and more. As our nursing



students learn and apply God’s word to our practice of nursing, we consistently point others to Christ through our work. All nurses should be compassionate, caring and honest. To become nurses, all students are taught clinical skills, how to make sound clinical judgments and how to use researchedbased evidence to guide practice. Regardless of religious beliefs, all nurses are taught these foundational proficiencies. In addition, at LETU, our faith guides our teaching and practice. Christian nurses work for the glory of God and to build His kingdom. Christian nurses understand that all people are made in the image of God. Loving people, being kind and showing compassion are ways we honor God and His image-bearers through our daily work. Exhibiting God’s love by being skillful practitioners, conscientious coworkers, honest employees and benevolent caregivers is a nurse’s worship through work.


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It takes a special family to open their hearts and their home to a stranger, but that’s what LETU 2005 alumni Rebecca and Eric Minelga have done, not just once, but 10 times, all for the benefit of others. In the past dozen years, the Minelgas, with their sons Oliver, 7, and Sebastian, 2, have opened their Snohomish, Washington, home (near Seattle) to 10 strangers—Sarita, Nuance, Roxanne, Star, Rubina, Joy, Primrose, Joanne, Tucson and now, Winnipeg—all soft, cuddly, Labrador Retriever puppies they have raised for Guide Dogs for the Blind. “We prefer blondes,” she said, laughing, since all the puppies they have trained have been yellow Labs. “Service, sacrifice, and loving others with our actions, these values were supported, shaped and clarified by our education at LETU,” Rebecca said. “I loved it! I felt it did so much to prepare us to go out into the world.” Rebecca and Eric met as students at LETU. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Rebecca had chosen LETU as her “backup plan” that God used when her first choice fell through. Eric, originally from Soldotna, Alaska, always had an LETU engineering education in mind. They married in May 2004. Rebecca grins when she says that getting a dog might have been an unwritten pre-nuptial agreement, since Eric knew she had wanted a dog for 20 years. “As soon as we can get a dog, we’re getting a dog,” she said, and Eric agreed. After the couple graduated in December of 2005, they moved to Washington for Eric to work as an engineer for Boeing, and in February 2006,

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they got a dog of their own—an Australian Cattle Dog they named “Tag.” “The dog we got was a basket case,” Rebecca said. “He was incredibly smart, high-strung, prey-motivated and he snapped at anything that moved. We couldn’t take him anywhere out in public. We adopted him because I fell in love with him. I didn’t know what to do with him. I read every dog book out there to try to train this dog. We finally got him to a point that he was livable and could go backpacking and hiking with us.” But despite Tag’s behaviors, Rebecca was hooked as a dog lover. The desire to raise a guide dog puppy became a “bucket list” item for Rebecca when she was in middle school after she read the book “Follow My Leader” about a boy blinded by fireworks. The boy’s life changes dramatically when he gains independence after being given a trained guide dog of his own. After seeing a guide dog demonstration at a 4H county fair in Washington state, Eric encouraged her to pursue puppy raising. “Our puppy raising started out as my project, but over the years, it’s become our project,” Rebecca said. “Eric knows it’s important. He stays home with our kids so I can attend meetings, and he is a part of their training, even taking the dogs to work with him to become socialized in an office environment.” Eric, an engineer at Boeing since 2006, today is responsible for overseeing the interior designs on new Boeing aircraft. Rebecca makes it clear that the work she does raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind is very much a ministry, not a business. Guide Dogs for the Blind owns all the dogs. The Minelgas volunteer and cover the cost of food, toys and supplies. “We believe Jesus cares for everybody, and He wants us to serve others,” she said. “Matthew 5:16 says we are to ‘Let your light shine before men that they may see your work and glorify your God in heaven.’ I very much see it as a ministry.” In May of 2015, the Minelgas were invited to participate in a documentary project that followed a litter of five puppies from their birth through the entire training process. The story

provides a heartwarming, insider’s look at the training of five sibling puppies: Patriot, Phil, Poppet, Potomac and Primrose. “We raised one of the puppies (Primrose) and were featured as one of the more experienced raising families,” she said. “That film, ‘Pick of the Litter,’ premiered in Park City, Utah in January 2018 and has since won multiple international film festival awards.” Today the movie is available on Amazon Prime. Rebecca said the experience of having a film crew come visit for a couple of days every few months was a little unnerving, but worth it. She attended the movie’s national theater release, describing the experience as surreal when she saw herself and her family up on the big screen, but added that what really surprised her was seeing a photo of her son, Oliver, and dog, Primrose, splashed all over the side of a city bus in San Jose, California, promoting the release of the movie. “We love having the opportunity to tell our story and share more about our passion for this organization,” she said. Rebecca speaks and teaches on the spiritual aspects of raising guide dogs and has written a memoir about their experiences. “We don’t yank them by the collar, we do positive reinforcement,” she said. “It is a process like being perfected in your faith. We are teaching the dogs to be perfected in their training. There are so many parallels between training the dogs and my own faith journey.”

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joy to the

work by Bill Peel, D.Min.


ost Christians in the English-speaking world will sing Isaac Watt’s hymn, “Joy to the World” this Christmas season. Although Watts intended it as a celebration of Christ’s second coming, we’ve adopted it as one of our favorite Christmas hymns for obvious reasons. Christ’s first coming offers the promise of redemption and a world made new. It’s my favorite hymn for that reason, as well as the hope that it offers for the workplace. Christ’s reign brings healing for mankind and creation—and also our work. Thorns point to the curse that Adam brought on our work and

no more let sins and sorrows grow nor thorns infest the ground; he comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found. all creation by his rebellion against God, recounted in Genesis 3. When our relationship with God was severed, every part of life came unraveled. C. S. Lewis opined that all of creation now rebels against the rebels (that’s us). Animals growl, instead of bowing, because they know that we have a problem with their Maker. We also see the effects of our world unraveling when: Thorns choke out crops. Machines break down. Businesses fail. We all experience the thorns of the curse on work. It’s inescapable. But this is not the end of the story. Two thousand years ago, God Himself invaded planet Earth to rescue us from our willful rebellion and from Satan’s dominion.



Jesus worked and lived the life we should have lived, and He died the death we deserved to die, to restore our relationship with God—and with it, our work. According to God’s Word, each of us has an important work to do in this great story of redemption before Christ returns “to make

no matter how insignificant you may feel, you are more important than you ever dared to dream. you are more loved than you ever dared to hope. And you are more influential than you ever dared to imagine. His blessings flow far as the curse is found.” God has designed us, gifted us and empowered us to do work that no one else can do and to accomplish things vital to His kingdom. The reality that Christmas brings is this: Though the world remains badly broken, God expects us to fix broken things, develop new things, resist evil and bring grace to our domain—no matter how large or small—for His glory. So what does it look like to do God’s work in a broken world? It looks like an engineer asking for wisdom—puzzling over the design of a five-level-stack highway interchange to relieve traffic congestion. It looks like a researcher hunched over a microscope, peering deeply into God’s creation, asking for the discovery of a cure for cancer. It looks like the satisfied smile of an accountant who just discovered the inaccurate entry that has thrown off the balance sheet. It looks like a caring third-grade teacher who stays after class to help a struggling student. It looks like the prayerful attentiveness of an air traffic controller landing planes on a snowy day. It looks like a mother who sends her children off to school with a prayer and lovingly packed lunch.

It looks like a student digging deep late at night to understand a concept or develop a skill that could one day blossom into a future breakthrough. It looks like the smooth finish of a crafted table built by a skilled carpenter from Nazareth where a family will gather for meals to celebrate for years to come. Ordinary tasks done in faith, done with excellence, done in love, done for God’s glory, become extraordinary opportunities to see God at work. It’s at times like these—when thorns are pulled and the curse is held at bay, if only for a moment—that we experience what we pray for, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” And one day, the frustrations of work will be gone, and the joys will be ours in full, because the rightful King will return to earth to dwell among men and restore His dominion over our planet. The final mending of the great rupture between God and man will bring healing to all other fractured relationships and will heal our work. If you know Christ, this is your story, too. Until He returns, we can do our work in light of Christmas. We can reclaim whatever small part of the planet God entrusts to our care. We can bring His love and truth to those who don’t know Him. And when we do, we participate in God’s work as we wait for that day when Watts’ words become a reality and “blessings flow far as the curse is found.” When you sing these words this Christmas, remember Christ’s promise to your work: Joy replaces sorrow. Blessing replaces thorns. And, the wonders of His love replace the curse.

We help Christians close the gap between Sunday worship and Monday work.

When the Lord has a job for you to do, He’ll give you the strength and the ability to do it. — R.G. LETOURNEAU

Find resources to help you replace thorns with God’s blessings at

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He and his wife, Judy, announce the birth of twin granddaughters, Rebekah and Rachel, born October 10, who join older brothers, Josiah and Joseph. They are the children of their son, James Ramsay, a captain in the U.S. Army.


Ruth McIntosh (’78 BYBS) submitted her handmade paper artwork portrait of herself and her late sister Dr. Alice McIntosh (’76 BI) in their Air Force Dress Blue uniforms to the U.S. Library of Congress, and her artwork is now a permanent acquisition in the Library’s archives. Alice McIntosh died in 2009. The photo was part of a collection on display in 2015 and was on exhibit twice in 2019. Ruth has been invited to speak on a panel discussion at the LOC about the role of the arts in the transition from military to civilian life. Ruth has been selected as an extra in the movie “No Time to Run” which premieres in 2020.


Daniel Perkins (’80 Aviation) is a field director of Hispanic Ministry Operations, a project of Interlink Ministries, Inc. located in Ohio. He and his wife, Jill, are teaching the indigenous Christian church to reach for Christ people with disabilities—the last vestige of “hidden people” living within their communities. They teach biblical approach of addressing physical needs, then addressing spiritual needs, working through Mexican churches. He and Jill, and their three children Mickelle, Marcella, and Monica, live in Morelos, Mexico.


Victor D’Ettorre (’84 ATBS) returned to the United States from teaching many years overseas in Slovakia. He is now a science teacher at Cincinnati Christian High School in Fairfield, Ohio.


John Ramsay (’84 ME) has completed 14 years at Turnkey Control Solutions, Inc. Endicott, New York.




Desolyn Hicks (’00 BBM) has selfpublished a Christian book titled “A Few Steps Away from Victory, Choosing


Dr. John Ramsay II (‘08 BME) is a research scientist for the U.S. Army at Natick Laboratory in Massachusetts. He and his wife have two sons, John and Liam.


Jason Campbell (’15 MBA) works in operations at Trendsetter in Monahans, Texas. He and his wife, Buffie, and two children Liam (12) and Mady (10) live in Flower Mound, Texas.


Douglas Potter (’15 BBM) has been promoted to Mechanical Specialist Supervisor at Shell Oil Company in Deer Park, Texas.

to Walk in Divine Purpose.”


Heather Goodgion (’05 MABA) began her new job as the Algebra 1 teacher at Sabine High School, in Gladewater, Texas. She just finished 13 years of teaching at Hallsville High School, Hallsville, Texas, where she taught 7th and 8th grade math.


Michael Fine (’06 MGHR) was promoted to Director of Online Technologies at Lone Star College in Houston, Texas. He and his wife, Shaynee, have one daughter, Elise (4).


Courtney Lemmond (’08 PSYA) is a therapist at Child and Family Guidance Center in Sherman, Texas. She is engaged to be married Nov. 16 in Gunter, Texas, to Spencer Brewer, who teaches 6th grade in Bells, Texas.


Jared Tompkins (’15 BSME) is an account manager at National Instruments in Austin, Texas. He and his wife, Jamie, have a daughter, Rebecca, and live in Hutto, Texas.


Jillian Maxcy (’19 CVE) married Azrael Brown (’18 CSE) in May and moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for Jillian to go to graduate school at the University of Alabama. Jillian Maxcy-Brown is studying wastewater solutions for low-resourced communities. Azrael is working remotely for StarCo, based in Longview, Texas.


Christian Von Qualen (’19 MJE) is an associate welding engineer for H+M Industrial EPC in Pasadena, Texas. Kristina, are the parents

Please share your Class





Andy Carter (’03 ASAE) and his wife, Andrea Carter welcomed their new son, Silas Daniel Carter, on December 28, 2018. He joins his sisters Avery (11), Macie (8), Jaylah (6), and Adaline (2).


Tommy Gober (’10 BUE2) and his wife, Jennifer (Hampton) Gober (’04 ISEL), welcomed their first son, Tommy “TJ” Gober, Jr., on September 24, 2019. They live in the Woodlands, Texas, and Tommy will be defending his doctoral dissertation with the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley, later this year.


Ben Schultz (’11 AAET) and his wife, Kristen, welcomed their new daughter, Naomi Lynne, on August 21, 2019. She was 7 pounds, 7 ounces and 19.5 inches long. She joins brother Henry (3), and sister Olivia (2).



Gabriel Johnson (’15 MJE, ’18 MSME) and Amber (Keith) Johnson (’15 ME, ’18 MSME) married May 25, 2019 at Frontier Camp in in Grapeland, Texas.


Logan Tennis (’18 MJE) and Jessanne (Lichtenberg) Tennis (’17 BME) were married June 1, 2019. They live in Williamsburg, Virginia.


Timothy Martin (’19 AFFP) and Marissa Supanich (’17 BSN) were married August 4, 2019. They are now living in Puyallup, Washington.

Notes & Photos with us on the Alumni Association web page, or by

Ruth (Montgomery) Shafer (’66’67) died following an extended illness on October 14, 2019 in Valdosta, Georgia. She is survived by her husband, Darryl Shafer (’69 ME); sons, Darryl and wife Esther; Daniel and wife Deborah and daughter, Shawn and husband Park; 16 grandchildren; two great grandchildren; her siblings; nieces and nephews.

emailing Gail Ritchey at


while providing family and

Wayne Alvarez (’72 EE) died June 20, 2019, at the age of 70, in Georgetown, Texas, after complications from open heart surgery. He was known for his humor and love of music. He is survived by his wife, Nan, four children and eight grandchildren.


Daniel Schaller (’89 DT, ’91 BSBM) died March 30, 2019 in Montrose, Colorado, from his 11-year battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Michelle, and three adult children, Jilian, Landan and Zachary. .

The loss of a loved one, friend or colleague often inspires us to ensure that their memory lives on. Many people find that supporting LETU is an ideal way to honor someone who has passed away. Gifts made “in memoriam” offer a lasting honor to a loved one friends with the satisfaction of knowing they have helped others. If you would like to give a memoriam to LETU, please call 1-800-259-5388 or donate online at give. The family will be notified of your generosity when a memoriam is made.

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New Pavilion Becomes Popular Place for Gathering LETU’s new 7,500-square-foot outdoor basketball pavilion has been a popular addition to campus for the Fall 2019 semester.

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Join Us for Homecoming & Family Weekend 2020 All LETU alumni, families & friends are invited to join us! A full brochure of all the activities will be arriving after the first of the year. Contact the Office of Alumni at with any questions. SEE YOU IN APRIL!

We are blessed to have you in our LETU family! t h e




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LeTourneau University NOW! Fall 2019  

LeTourneau University NOW! Fall 2019