NEWS AND NOTES 12
SPORTS UPDATE 20
L E TO U R N E A U U N I V E R S I T Y
CLASS NOTES 24
SUMMER 2009 VOLUME 64
a message from the president “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” —Benjamin Franklin
DR. DALE A. LUNSFORD President
n an uncertain economy, sometimes it’s hard to know what to invest in. Our returns on financial investments are not what we hoped they would be, as the stock market bounces up and down.
With an eye on effective stewardship and a recent restructuring, LeTourneau University is working to keep the budget balanced and provide more financial aid for students, while we expand programs in aeronautical science and engineering. New scholarships include those from a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) grant beginning in the fall. Also this fall, the new LeTourneau Vision Internships will provide students with career experience and additional funds from working while on campus. LETU’s new air traffic control program comes at a time when the Federal Aviation Administration has announced it will hire 17,000 new air traffic controllers over the next decade. At the same time, we’re beginning the new civil engineering program as many leaders talk about rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure. At LeTourneau University, some truths about investing in the future have not changed. Our students develop godly character, integrity and professional skills to make a difference in the world for Christ. These attributes are more important now than ever. LeTourneau University students graduate with a keen sense of how the world works, with solid professional skills and with Christ-like character. In this issue of the NOW magazine, we visit with a few of our “investments,” some recent graduates, to see where they are, what they are doing and how they are using their God-given talents to pursue the careers to which they have been called. While we focus on bringing the world to campus, we are equally focused on reaching out into the world. What better way can we do that than through our graduates who see their work as a holy calling with eternal impact? n
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DALE A. LUNSFORD, Ph.D. PUBLISHER MARILA PALMER EXECUTIVE EDITOR JANET RAGLAND EDITOR IN CHIEF KATE GRONEWALD WRITER / EDITOR TOM BARNARD CREATIVE DIRECTOR / GRAPHIC DESIGNER KENDALL HARPER CLASS NOTES NIEMAN PRINTING PRINTING firstname.lastname@example.org
Board of Trustees Paul Abbott Bill Anderson Sheila M. Bailey Patrick A. Bertsche Dr. Joel Carpenter IV * Dr. O.J. (Jay) Chastain Dr. Richard C. Chewning * Mike Childress Sheree Cosa David Cottrill H.D. (Doug) Douglas, Jr. Dr. Kenneth L. Hall Dr. Billy J. Harris * Don Harrison Loren Leman Dr. Dale A. Lunsford Dr. James E. Mauldin L.V. (Bud) McGuire
Nancy Mendez Paul Montgomery Kenneth Moore Joe Nowiczewski ** Earl Roberts, Jr. * John Solheim Billy Spain * Major General B. Fred Starr * Merle Stoltzfus Dr. David R. Treviño Wayne Trull Steve Voelzke Mary S. Whelchel Donald H. Wolgemuth * * Emeritus ** Alumni Representative
Executive Administration Dr. Dale A. Lunsford President
Dr. Robert W. Hudson
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officer
Dr. William R. McDowell
Where Are They Now?
Believe To Achieve
From the Alumni Office
Friends of LeTourneau University
“BEHOLD, NOW IS THE ACCEPTABLE TIME; BEHOLD NOW IS THE DAY OF OUR SALVATION.” II Cor. 6:2 LeTourneau University is an interdenominational Christian university located in Longview, Texas, offering academic majors in the aeronautical sciences, business, education, engineering, the humanities and sciences. LeTourneau University also offers business degrees and teacher certification programs online and at five educational centers around Texas in Austin, Bedford, Dallas, Houston and Tyler. “NOW” (USPS #307-200) is published four times per year by LeTourneau University, 2100 South Mobberly, Longview, Texas 75607 w Sent free upon request to Editor, P.O. Box 8001, Longview, Texas 75607. w Periodical postage paid at Longview, Texas, and additional mailing offices. w Postmaster: Send address changes to: NOW, P.O. Box 8001, Longview, Texas 75607.
Executive Vice President for Business and Administration
Ms. Marila D. Palmer
Executive Vice President for External Relations
Cabinet Officers Ms. Linda H. Fitzhugh, Vice President for Enrollment Services Dr. Carol C. Green, Vice President for the School of Graduate and Professional Studies Mr. Mike S. Hood, Vice President for Financial Affairs Mr. Ben March, Vice President for University Development
On The Cover and This Page: LeTourneau University commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 2, 2009. Photographed by Tom Barnard.
FAITH BRINGS US TOGETHER. INGENUITY SETS US APART.
CONTACT INFORMATION: PHONE: 903-233-3000 WEB: www.letu.edu ADMISSIONS: PHONE: 903-233-3400 TOLL FREE: 800-759-8811
ADULT AND GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAMS: PHONE: 903-233-3250 TOLL FREE: 800-388-5327 DEVELOPMENT: PHONE: 903-233-3810 TOLL FREE: 800-259-LETU
ALUMNI OFFICE: PHONE: 903-233-3803 E-MAIL: email@example.com
Stephen Casey, 2003 | Clerk, Texas Supreme Court | Austin, Texas
Stephen Casey held up his right hand to be sworn in, just like any other judicial clerk. He placed his left hand on the Bible, like all those before him. But to Stephen Casey, it was more than a book, more than a symbol, more than pages of empty promises. It was why he stood there. He started out as a kid who dreamed of being a doctor, who morphed into an unmotivated teenager who joined the Navy… but Stephen Casey placed his hand on the Bible because he has not only found his calling, he’s living it—right next to the Texas State Capitol. As a 2008-2009 judicial clerk for Texas Supreme Court Justice Scott A. Brister, Casey is putting his undergraduate LETU education and his legal knowledge to good use in a coveted post-law school position. But to Casey, it’s more than that. “It’s a significant part of my journey,” Casey said. “My
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heart’s desire is to work diligently as unto the Lord, glorifying Him.” Casey graduated from LeTourneau University in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in history/political science and biblical studies. He went on to Regent University and earned a master’s in divinity, as well as a law degree. While attending LeTourneau, Casey read R.G. LeTourneau’s autobiography, “Mover of Men & Mountains.” The founder’s words stuck with him, especially those expressing his desire to be a “businessman for God” and use his natural skill set as a catalyst for God’s work. “God needs Christian lawyers, like he needs Christian businessmen,” Casey said. “By doing our jobs well, we’re really ministering.” Casey refers to his vocation as a “ministry of reconciliation.”
Recent LETU alumni share where God has led them since they walked across the stage at commencement to receive their degrees.
“God has always drawn me to public service. My heart’s really into getting out in the secular world and being a good lawyer.” — Stephen Casey
At the Supreme Court of Texas, the last stop for civil matters in the state, he serves as an editor, but he also functions as a gateway to the court, with a significant role in shaping the law through interaction with the judge. As a clerk, Casey summarizes the briefs of parties who want the court to hear their case and then submits those summaries to the judges with a recommendation on whether or not he thinks the court should hear the case. The judges take his recommendations into consideration when deciding which cases they will hear. “This is a very humbling and important role,” Casey said. “What could be a better environment in which to do God’s work?” Last summer, as a prosecutor for the Biloxi, Miss., Municipal Court, Casey quickly recognized the brokenness of humanity. He saw it on the faces in the courtroom. “I saw that I was just a few short decisions away from where they are,” Casey said. He must mediate and understand. For Casey, the duality of Christianity and law readily overlap. “A lot of people see Christian lawyers as an oxymo-
ron,” Casey said. “I knew it was fundamental that for me to be a good lawyer, I would have to know God’s Law just as well, if not better, than man’s.” In fact, faith should only heighten excellence. Mediocrity isn’t acceptable when a believer is working for the glory of the Creator. “There’s no excuse as a Christian to be sloppy about your work,” Casey said. “We have a burden on us to do our work excellently, and that carries over into every area. LeTourneau laid that great learning foundation for me of doing excellent work.” While he could make more money in the private sector, this lawyer wants to give back some of the blessings he has received and recognizes the importance for Christians to occupy the land and impact the world in a positive way. “God has always drawn me to public service,” Casey said. “My heart’s really into getting out in the secular world and being a good lawyer.” Imagine a world where all Christians recognize their God-given gifts and passionately use them for His glory. Casey calls LeTourneau graduates and Christians worldwide to do just that. It’s a matter of asking, he says. “Whenever I submitted to doing whatever God wanted me to do, He opened up the door,” Casey said. Casey was competing against graduates from the nine law schools in Texas, as well as Ivy Leaguers, for one of 18 clerkships at the Supreme Court of Texas. Some might say the odds weren’t in his favor, but Casey readily recognizes God’s divine direction in his journey. “I knew that if God wanted this interview to happen and the job to be open for me, then nothing could prevent it; but, if it was only a lesson for me about personal striving and not God’s will, then no power on Earth could grant it,” Casey said. “I saw God’s providence in putting His hand on this job and holding the spot for me.” Casey is clearly living beyond himself. His calling motivates him beyond measure—now and perhaps as he runs for a governmental office in the future. “When I realized God’s calling on my life, I felt like a horse at the racetrack, behind the gate. I want to run the race as fast as I can.” Learn more about Casey’s recognition as LETU Alumnus of the Year on page 22. Written by Kate Gronewald. Photographed by Ben Sklar.
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Joy Haugh, 2006 | Director of Sales and Marketing Aerosmith Aviation, Inc. | Longview, Texas
Driven by her love of airplanes and love for the Lord, Joy (Cofer) Haugh is making a professional and personal difference in the world as director of sales and marketing at Aerosmith Aviation in Longview, Texas. The 2006 LeTourneau University graduate earned her Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical science, with a design technology concentration. She’s living proof that LeTourneau University leaves a legacy through its students – and three years out, you may say she is just getting started. Haugh grew up in Warrenton, Mo., in a small farm town outside St. Louis. LeTourneau University’s strong Christian heritage, aviation program and academics drew her here. “My experience at LETU was life-shaping,” Haugh said. “I grew academically, spiritually and as a leader through the IMPACT program at LeTourneau.” Haugh made lasting friendships and still considers herself loved by faculty and staff. Knowledge of how to connect and communicate with people is just one of the tools LeTourneau University gave Haugh that helps make her successful in her work today. Working internships were other important opportunities she took advantage of while still a student. “I began working in the aviation field during my last semesters at LeTourneau,” Haugh said. “I worked for American Airlines as a maintenance scheduler for MD80 aircraft, as an apprentice mechanic at a small general aviation repair shop, and now I serve as the director of sales and marketing and project coordinator at Aerosmith Aviation’s Completion Center.” After three years with Aerosmith Aviation, Haugh continues to love her job. “I get to be around airplanes every day!” she said. Not only that, she thoroughly enjoys corporate aviation and its unique culture. Haugh describes her position as multifaceted.
“It draws together many aspects of refurbishing aircraft in corporate, military and general aviation,” she said. She planned to be an airplane mechanic, and her background in maintenance, design and flight is vital in planning refurbishing projects for clients of Aerosmith Aviation. And she gets to use her creativity in managing the sales and marketing for the company. Aerosmith Aviation was recently featured on the Discovery Science Channel’s program, “How It’s Made” (Episode 15, Season 5) which showed how aircraft are prepared for repainting. Haugh was seen in several clips during the segment. In spite of the current depressed economy, LeTourneau University graduates continue to thrive. Haugh believes the education she received at LETU gave her the ability to succeed. “Because of that, I am confident that despite difficult economic times, my skills and character are attractive to any employer,” Haugh said. Life since LeTourneau has packed in some unexpected and painful lessons, Haugh said. Within a year after marrying her college sweetheart, Briggs Haugh, he was tragically killed in an airplane accident. “When your life is turned upside down, trust [God] because He is faithful and mighty to save,” Haugh said. “Trust Him in life. We are placed here for a time and season to accomplish great things for the Kingdom of God – in our homes, workplaces and communities.” As for her future plans, Haugh desires to continue growing in her knowledge and experience in the field of aviation. Written and photographed by Janet Ragland.
“I am confident that despite difficult economic times, my skills and character are attractive to any employer.” — Joy Haugh 6 | NOW Magazine | Summer 2009
Andrew “Sugar” Steiger, 2003 | Test Engineer, John Deere, Inc. | Waterloo, Iowa
“I realized God had me here at John Deere for a specific plan and purpose.” — Andrew Steiger
Andrew Steiger – or “Sugar,” as he was known around LeTourneau University – grew up on a small farm in rural Illinois. He always wanted to have his own farm someday. “When reality hit that I would not be able to pursue that goal, my dad suggested I look into engineering,” Steiger said. In high school, Steiger thought about being a test engineer for John Deere. “I worked for neighbor farmers, so I was able to drive all different color tractors,” he said. “John Deere is definitely the best. When I knew mechanical engineering was definitely what I was cut out for, I was interested in working for only one company...John Deere.” Steiger chose LETU because it was an accredited
engineering school with a Christ-centered focus. He picked up his nickname as a freshman on the Flooder floor, where he was known for his energetic behavior, which floor-mates found amusingly like a “sugar-high.” Steiger said it might not have stuck “…except I would turn beet red every time the girls on our sister floor would say ‘Hey Sugar.’” At LeTourneau, Steiger’s most significant experience was working on Senior Design. “Those projects teach so much about real life in the workplace,” Steiger said. “Communication is most important. The problem solving and communication skills I learned at LETU helped me tremendously as a rookie engineer in the corporate world.” God gave Steiger the opportunity to work in a summer co-op program with John Deere following his sophomore and junior years at LETU. During that time, he met the head of all college recruiting for John Deere. When she asked where he went to school, she was surprised to hear “LeTourneau.” “Well, what are you doing here?” she asked. “We don’t recruit from LeTourneau – you shouldn’t be working here.” “I had to smile,” Steiger said, “because it was then that I realized God had me here at John Deere for a specific plan and purpose.” John Deere hired Steiger fresh out of college in 2003, without an interview. Although his primary interest was in the Agriculture division, he accepted the job as a design engineer in the Construction and Forestry division hoping to have opportunity to change divisions in the future. His chance came two years later when he was asked to move to Waterloo, Iowa, to work as a test engineer on tractors. He knew it was God leading him into new and exciting opportunities. After a year, he became the new John Deere Nebraska Test Engineer. As a result of 18 months of experience at that testing facility, Steiger was asked to start a brand new field test site in Southwest Georgia. He now manages two people at one of only four field test sites in North America. At his 15,000-acre site, the company averages about 30,000 total test hours on approximately 8-10 test tractors every year. “It has really been a dream come true,” Steiger said. “I am able to use my engineering skills I learned at LETU, I am able to utilize my farming background, and I am developing new management skills as I oversee the dayto-day operations here at the test site.” Written by Linda Owen. Photographed by Sara Diane Photography. LeTourneau University | 7
Britney Prince, 2006 | Third-year medical student, Texas A&M College of Medicine | Temple, Texas
Britney Prince used to pass out every time she saw blood. Now, as a third-year medical student at Texas A&M College of Medicine in Temple, Texas, she has delivered babies and held a beating heart in her hands. From an early age, Prince knew two things about what she wanted to do when she grew up: she wanted to do something hard and something that changed lives. A Longview, Texas, native, Prince spent some high school downtime volunteering at a local hospital, where she fell in love with the land of lab coats and X-rays. While Prince was a pre-med biology student at LETU, clinical classes helped her get a grip on the skills and knowledge she needed to thrive in medical school (and get over the blood phobia). Sure, she has a knack for science, but for Prince, who was also a peer advisor on campus, there is an unswerving correlation between her fervor for medicine and her passion for people. “I’m so interested in peoples’ lives and stories,” Prince said. “That’s what I loved about LETU – everything was about connections with people. LETU’s about making a difference. Med school’s the same way. I can make a difference in peoples’ lives.” Despite her serious excitement about medicine, Prince is the first to admit that medical school is a marathon, not a sprint. After graduating from LeTourneau in 2006, Prince’s first two years in medical school were filled with frustrations. Not only did she face supremely tough academic experiences, but she was also deeply lonely. She missed the close supportive relationships with her Christian friends at LETU. But she kept running. Not for the money. Nor the white coat. Nor the esteem. “I feel so strongly God’s calling on me to be a medical 8 | NOW Magazine | Summer 2009
“There’s nothing better than allowing God’s will for your life.” — Britney Prince doctor,” Prince said. “That’s what got me through.” Prince credits her time at LETU for further strengthening her relationship with the Lord and emphasizing His faithfulness. “I’ve never depended on the Lord so much,” Prince said. “He’ll carry you through the hardest times in your life.” Prince strongly feels that many Christian young people don’t put enough importance on seeking God’s calling for their life in finding their vocation. She’s been on a mission to find hers, and she’s found joy in the journey. “There’s nothing better than allowing God’s will for your life,” Prince said. “He always provides.” Medical students at Texas A&M College of Medicine learn from a variety of clinical experiences that enables them to identify their specialty area in medicine. In her third year, Prince has gotten to experience more contact with patients while participating in different clinical rotations, from psychology to pediatrics and emergency to internal medicine. That’s how Prince discovered the future of her own specialization: surgery. “I love being in the operating room,” Prince said. “The more I did it, the more I loved it. Sometimes you don’t get a direct voice from God, but He really works through your talents and the desires of your heart.” For Prince, knowing that God holds her heart gives her the strength to hold someone else’s. Written by Kate Gronewald. Photo courtesy of Brittney Prince.
Aaron Bearden, 2008 | Production Assistant, ESPN Sports Center | Bristol, Conn.
“Only God could have taken a small town kid... to the Worldwide Leader in Sports.” — Aaron Bearden
Aaron Bearden may not be courtside every night in Bristol, Conn., but he comes surprisingly close. As a recent hire at ESPN, the worldwide leaders in sports entertainment, he’s starting to log some serious studio time, helping to produce some of the 5,100 hours of sports programming the network broadcasts every year. Headquartered in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company, and is 20 percent owned by the Hearst Corporation. It reaches more than 90 million households worldwide, through domestic and international networks and syndications. Bearden graduated from LETU last May with a bachelor’s degree in digital writing. Since September, he has lived every sports fanatic’s dream as a participant in ESPN’s Production Assistant Training Program— a competitive post-college position coveted by recent grads everywhere. “Getting this job was definitely a God thing,” Bearden said. “Lots of people apply for a job here every day, but not many actually get an interview.” Bearden scored one after discovering the power of networking with a fellow LETU alumnus (plus a lot of praying and hoping). “The interview was much easier than I anticipated,” Bearden said. “I basically sat and talked sports for about
an hour – Talk about a dream job interview!” He soon landed a spot on the fast track to a permanent gig at the mecca of televised sports. The production assistant training program is designed to evaluate and identify bright futures in potential producer and management level employees. As a PA trainee, Bearden has worked in the screening department, where he watches game, after game, after game. He logs plays, develops highlight videos and writes scripts for the anchor to read on air during SportsCenter and other ESPN studio-based programming. Life at ESPN isn’t all fun and games, of course. There are approximately 11,000 highlights shown every year on SportsCenter alone, so Bearden’s days are filled with continual teamwork and deadlines in a fast-paced environment. Not to mention, the hours on the job include mostly late nights, as well as some weekends and holidays. But apparently Bearden’s love of sports and hard work are paying off. Bearden was promoted this March after his final trainee evaluation – He is now a production assistant and ESPN’s first LETU alumnus. ESPN producer Mike Cambareri gave Bearden major kudos in a companywide e-mail announcing his promotion. “Aaron’s work ethic, preparation for success and his ability to always push the creative envelope are qualities that will serve him well in his future at ESPN,” Cambareri said. Bearden attributes his success to more than just a flair for sports stats. He sees a clear connection between his dream job and his college experiences. “Writing for the school yearbook, Web site and newspaper, interning at the Longview News-Journal, completing various projects for Dr. Olson’s digital writing classes and competing on the baseball team all helped strengthen my work ethic and drive to succeed,” Bearden said. He also admits the move from Texas to Connecticut has been an adjustment, in more than just the winter wardrobe department. While East Coast life is different, Bearden is learning a lot about faith and finds that a little passion can go a long way. “I’ve been amazed at how God has prepared the way for me and allowed things to fall into place,” Bearden said. “He’s in control of everything – only God could have taken a small town kid from Whitewright, Texas, to the Worldwide Leader in Sports. I’m loving every minute of it – I don’t even feel like I’m going to work every day!” Written by Kate Gronewald. Photo by Maria Kulianin. LeTourneau University | 9
Timothy Markley, 2007 | Ensign, U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine School | Charleston, S.C.
Life as an officer on a nuclear submarine is in the near future for one 2007 LETU graduate—Ensign Timothy D. Markley, U.S. Navy. Markley graduated cum laude from LETU with a bachelor’s degree in engineering with a materials joining concentration in December 2007, before attending Navy Officer Candidate School (NOCS) in Newport, R.I. There, he graduated and was commissioned an Ensign in May 2008. The following December, he graduated from Naval Nuclear Power Training Command (NNPTC) before entering additional prototype training. He anticipates being stationed off the East coast as an officer on a nuclear submarine within the next six months. Markley, who was valedictorian of his high school class at High Point Baptist Academy in Geigertown, Penn., originally planned to go into the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Instead, God used circumstances to lead him, sight unseen, to LETU to study engineering. Foregoing the typical college visit to the main campus in Longview, Texas, Markley attended an annual meeting of LETU alumni at Willow Valley, Penn., and was impressed by what he saw. “One thing at Willow Valley that impressed me was that before every meeting the first thing they did was pray,” Markley said. “I’d looked at a couple of schools, but none of them ever offered to pray for safety or a good day or even to offer thanks before lunch.” Markley was attracted to LETU for its Christ-centered worldview and highly rated engineering programs. After taking a few basic engineering classes, he discovered his greatest interest was in materials joining engineering. Recruited by LETU’s soccer coach, Markley played varsity soccer for only one semester before deciding he needed more free time for study and friendships, so he played intramurals. “I loved living in the dorms,” Markley said. “The best thing was the close brotherhood you develop—getting to know guys from all over the country and all different majors.” While in college, Markley
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worked on two senior design projects: the robotic arm and stud welding. He became interested in the U.S. Navy during an LETU career fair. A Navy recruiter offered him a trip to Seattle, Wash., to tour a submarine and aircraft carrier during spring break of his junior year. He came back knowing that was what he wanted to do. He finished his paperwork and flew to Washington, D.C., to interview with a four-star admiral, which Markley called “the most nerve-wracking moment of my life.” Markley was accepted and was sworn into the Navy at age 21 and was placed in the Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate (NUPOC) program. For the next two years, he was compensated by the Navy as he completed his degree. After receiving his diploma from LETU, Markley attended NOCS, describing it as “16 weeks of nonstop yelling.” He said his strong faith in Christ and in Christian principles helped him through officer candidate school, where top Marine drill instructors in the country train future naval officers. “It doesn’t matter how fit you are,” he said, “the physical training is extremely tough, extremely physically demanding.” Markley said that while his undergraduate education at LETU prepared him well to pursue God’s plan for his future, the jump educationally was huge. “I had a couple of advantages,” Markley said. “I was required to do a lot of homework at LETU, and God has taught me humility, and that I’m not as smart as I thought I was. “My professors at LETU taught me to think for myself, and they modeled true Christianity,” he said. “It wasn’t what I heard, but how the professors lived. They acted out their faith. They gave you their time if you needed to talk.” That lesson Markley
learned to emulate as he has shared his faith with his new roommate at NOCS, an atheist. Markley knows God’s hand has guided him, opening doors and overcoming obstacles throughout his application processes and trainings. He appreciates the prayers of others as he serves his God and his country. “Today I’m happy because I know this is where God wants me,” he said. “I’d be happy doing whatever God wanted me to do, but I know He wants me here for a reason. “ n Written by Janet Ragland. Photos courtesy of Tim Markley.
“My professors at LETU taught me to think for myself, and they modeled true Christianity,” — Timothy Markley
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newsandnotes SPRING ENROLLMENT SETS 2009 RECORD
LETU’s Spring 2009 traditional enrollment marks the university’s all-time highest record for a spring semester, with 1,275 students enrolled at the Longview campus. This spring marks the sixth year of consecutive spring enrollment growth, with a record number of returning students from the fall semester. Math Team wins 1st place at College Calculus Bowl
The LeTourneau University Mathematics Team won first place for the second consecutive year at the annual College Calculus Bowl, sponsored by the Texas section of the Mathematical Association of America. The team traveled to the University of North Texas in Denton April 16th to compete against seven other Texas university teams, including Texas A&M Commerce, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, University of Texas at Arlington and Stephen F. Austin University. LETU TO OFFER CIVIL ENGINEERING DEGREE
LETU will begin a new engineering program in the fall, offering a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering with a concentration in civil engineering. LETU’s program will focus on structural and water resources engineering. Civil engineering is currently one of the top careers in the U.S. and around the world. For more information on this program, go to www.letucivil.com. DR. WAYNE JACOBS NAMED EDUCATION DEAN
LeTourneau University has named Wayne Jacobs, Ph.D., the new dean of the School of Education. Jacobs
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STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN SPRING BREAK UNTRIP
Many LETU students who planned to take Spring Break mission trips to Mexico found new opportunities to serve after the university cancelled the trips following concerns for safety. A group of students stayed in Longview to spend their spring breaks serving the local community alongside organizations including the Hi-way 80 Rescue Mission, Buckner Family Services, Longview Police Department/City of Longview and Maude Cobb Convention Center. They also helped the university make the move into its new cafeteria. has taught at LETU since 2001, serving as a professor of kinesiology, chair of the Department of Kinesiology and most recently as the interim dean of LETU’s School of Education. He will lead the school in program development and new initiatives. Students Awarded AWS Scholarships
The American Welding Society Foundation has awarded two LeTourneau University materials joining engineering technology majors with prestigious National Scholarships of $2,500 each for the 2009-2010 school year. The recipients include senior Kenneth Bean, Jr., of Quarryville, Penn., who received the Donald and Shirley Hastings Scholarship, and sophomore Reuben Brooks of Lone Pine, Calif., who received the Matsuo Bridge Company Ltd. of Japan Scholarship.
DICK JOHNSON RETIRES
Dr. Richard (Dick) Johnson, professor of chemistry, celebrated his retirement after 40 years of teaching with a party complete with some of his favorite foods: candy and donuts. More than 100 friends and family gathered to tell stories about him and wish him well. FIRST STEM GRANT SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED
LeTourneau University has identified the first 18 recipients of scholarships made possible by a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant is designed to encourage incoming freshman students to study in the areas
of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 each will be awarded to recipients over the next four years. ARTS AND SCIENCES DEAN TESTIFIES BEFORE SBOE
Dr. Amiel Jarstfer, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, testified before the Texas State Board of Education to encourage the continuation of critical thinking in Texas high schools, specifically in regard to science and teaching the weaknesses of the theory of evolution. Jarstfer was quoted on the topic in the April issue of Christianity Today. VETERANS GAIN NEW TUITION BENEFITS
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has approved a new federal GI Bill for post 9/11 military members. In addition, the VA offers a matching grant program, called the “Yellow Ribbon” program for the difference in tuition and fees for public
and private institutions. Beginning in Fall 2009, LeTourneau University is pleased to participate in the “Yellow Ribbon” program, which will make a Christ-centered degree very affordable for our veterans. Veterans can learn more by contacting GingerMoore@letu.edu or going to the VA’s website at: www.gibill2.va.gov.
Planning & Management Magazine in an article about the acoustics of performing arts venues. Author Charles R. Bonner, president of BAI, LLC, consultants in acoustics and audio-video technologies, highlighted the Belcher Center’s entirely “natural acoustic” environment, purposefully designed to adjust reverberation time to support various types of events, from symphonies to speakers. BAI served as acoustical consultants in the building of the Belcher Center.
NEW OFFICER SWORN IN
LeTourneau University has upgraded its Campus Security Department into a University Police Department led by new Chief of Police Terry Turner (pictured above at right.) Turner administered the oath of office to new police officer Van Burr (at left) on Friday, March 6. MAGAZINE HIGHLIGHTS BELCHER CENTER
LeTourneau University’s S. E. Belcher Jr. Chapel and Performance Center was featured in the February issue of College
BOOK GIVEAWAY AT SOUTH WARD ELEMENTARY
LETU students who volunteer weekly as “Reading Buddies” at South Ward Elementary School gave out free books to students in first through fifth grade on Thursday, Feb. 12, to encourage the love of reading and provide each child with a new book of his or her very own.
CORNER CAFÉ OPENS
LeTourneau University opened its new “Corner Café” dining facility for students, faculty and staff on Monday, March 23. Bon Appetit, one of the premier restaurantquality food service providers to private colleges across the nation, is the university’s food service provider and was integrally involved in design and construction of the new facility. The new “Corner Café,” located in the southeast corner of campus, seats 600 and features multi-level seating, two conference rooms for small group lunch meetings, colorful interior décor, outdoor dining and flexible space to allow students to use the facility as a gathering place during hours when food service is not in operation.
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newsandnotes LETU PROFESSOR NAMED EDUCATION CHAIR
LETU education professor Dr. Kathy Stephens was recently named the new chair of LETU’s School of Education. She has taught at LETU as an assistant professor of elementary education since 2001. She has previously served at Region VII Education Service Center in Kilgore and has extensive classroom experience. Stephens earned her Master’s of Education in Elementary Education in 1989 from Stephen F. Austin State University and her Doctorate in Education from Texas A&M-Commerce in 2007. Stephens was one of only nine distinguished finalists worldwide selected to receive the 2009 International Reading Association Outstanding Dissertation Award. She presented her research dur-
ing the Reading Research Conference May 2 in Minneapolis, Minn.
AT&T Real Yellow Pages directory serving Longview. The cover, which features a photo taken by University Graphic Designer and Photographer Tom Barnard, was unveiled in a Jan. 15 ceremony in the Belcher Center’s Grand Lobby.
PROFESSOR TRANSLATES BIBLES IN NIGERIA
LEATHERWOOD WINS SECOND PLACE FOR LEGS POSTER
LeTourneau University Associate Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries Pat Mays spent 21 days outside a Nigerian village working on Bible translation. He hopes to encourage LETU students to pursue missionary service. YELLOWPAGES FEATURES BELCHER CENTER
The S.E. Belcher, Jr. Chapel and Performance Center at LeTourneau University is featured on the cover of the new 2010
LETU student Katie Leatherwood was awarded second place in the statewide Undergraduate Research Poster competition in Tyler, Texas, on Feb. 27, as she represented LETU’s LEGS team.
LETU MOURNS DEATH OF TRUSTEE EMERITUS CALVIN E. HOWE
LeTourneau University Trustee Emeritus Calvin Eugene Howe, 72, of Franklin, Tenn., died February 13, 2009. Howe was an executive in the hospitality industry, having served several leadership roles including as vice chairman on the Board of Directors of Best Western International. Howe served 15 years on the LETU Board of Trustees from 1984 to 1999 and was elected as trustee emeritus in May 2000. He was also generous with his fiancial giving to LETU over the past four decades, and about two dozen current LETU students live in the residence facility known as “Howe House,” named in his honor. Besides his personal giving, he led other foundations to give to several LETU causes.
14 | NOW Magazine | Summer 2009
Commencement 2009 Photographed by: Tom Barnard and Sharon Steinmann
eTourneau University commencement exercises included two ceremonies Saturday, May 2, at the S. E. Belcher Jr. Chapel and Performance Center in Longview. Traditional-age college students graduated at 9 a.m. and working adult students graduated at 2 p.m. Keynote speaker at both May 2 ceremonies was pastor of Fellowship Bible Church, Dallas, Gary Brandenburg, pictured top right. LETU hosted a 10:30 a.m. commencement ceremony Saturday, May 9, at Houston First Baptist Church for students from Houston and Austin educational centers. Keynote speaker was Dr. Ralph Douglas West, pastor/founder of the Brookhollow Baptist Church of Houston, pictured in second photo at right. LETU professor and chair of the engineering department, Dr. Paul Leiffer, was honored with the Robert H. Selby Award for Excellence in Teaching by Dr. Steven Ball, president of the Teaching Faculty Organization, third photo at right. More than 350 students participated in all three ceremonies receiving bachelorâ€™s degrees (pictured below) and masterâ€™s hoods (pictured fourth photo at right.) n
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Steve Mason Written and photographed by Janet Ragland
16 | NOW Magazine | Summer 2009
“Research makes us better teachers. It enhances our writing, reading, and critical thinking. And it keeps me energized.” — Steve Mason
hen Steve Mason was an all-city high school quarterback throwing the ball to his identical twin brother, a wide receiver at Church Hill High School in San Antonio, he never dreamed he’d someday become a university professor or a book author. Instead, Mason thought he’d follow in the footsteps of his dad, a successful investment and mortgage banker, and pursue a business career. With that in mind, Mason entered Baylor University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business finance in 1998 and where he met his wife, Bonnie, who was a religion major. He planned to pursue a career in hospital administration. After graduation, he and his young bride moved to Dallas where his first job out of college was working at the internationally recognized Cooper Clinic, a world leader in aerobics and preventive medicine. Mason began taking seminary classes at Dallas Theological Seminary while working at the Cooper Clinic. His interest in biblical studies and theology had previously been piqued during his junior year at Baylor in Dr. Richard Chewning’s Christian ethics in business class. “Chewning opened the Bible in class and talked about what business leaders should do based on the Bible,” Mason said. “None of my other professors at Baylor had done that.” (Chewning has served more than a decade on the LETU Board of Trustees). As Mason attended classes at DTS, he realized God was pushing him in a new direction. “Before then, it was never on my horizon to get a Ph.D. in biblical studies or teach on a college campus,” he said. “I just loved school and learning. But I quickly realized God was calling me to the classroom and a life of academic ministry.” While working his way through seminary, Mason began working on staff with Young Life and began coaching baseball and football at a Christian high school in Dallas. He and his wife earned master’s degrees in theology in 2002 before moving to Scotland for four years where he earned his doctorate in Old Testament at the University of St. Andrews. In 2006, Mason came to teach at LETU. He has since
published a wide range of essays, articles and book reviews, including 34 dictionary articles for Abingdon Press and Baker Academic’s new Bible dictionaries. Last summer, Mason wrote an essay on the biblical concept of work for a project sponsored by GordonConwell Seminary. Mason’s latest work is his first book, “Eternal Covenant” in the Pentateuch: The Contours of an Elusive Phrase, published as part of a series in the Library of Hebrew Bible and Old Testament Studies. The book is a revision of his 2006 doctoral dissertation which explored the idea of berit olam, or “eternal covenant,” which appears 18 times in the Old Testament. Written for scholars and graduate students, the new book covers the term as it is used throughout the first five books of the Old Testament. “Understanding the concept of eternal covenant is crucial to understanding the Bible,” Mason said. “What does it mean to be in covenant with God? What is an eternal covenant? What does it look like? Can it ever be broken? It is a thread that runs throughout Scripture. “Studying ‘eternal covenant’ has given me a greater sense of Christ’s fulfillment of all human obligations within any covenant relationship,” Mason said. “I’ve learned a greater sense of God’s grace and ultimately, that He stays faithful despite our failures. When covenants are broken, God is faithful. All covenants culminate in the life, death and resurrection of Christ.” Mason’s research continues on the theme of the eternal covenant as found in Isaiah. He will present this new research at the National Society of Biblical Literature annual conference this fall. “For me, research and teaching go hand in hand,” Mason said. “Research makes us better teachers. It enhances our writing, reading and critical thinking. And it keeps me energized. In teaching undergraduates, my research expands my knowledge and makes me better able to present content in context. It keeps me abreast of what is going on in evangelical, Christian and secular academic circles. By being involved in these academic discussions, and by keeping myself informed, I’m keeping my students informed and preparing them to address viewpoints that will confront them after they graduate.” n LeTourneau University | 17
Believe to Achieve Encouraging First-Generation College Students Written and photographed by Janet Ragland
ast fall, Amy Martinez contacted LeTourneau University’s Houston education center with a proposition. The school where Martinez teaches was partnering with four-year universities to serve as role models to inspire elementary school students to begin thinking early about their futures and the importance of earning a college education. Martinez, who earned her bachelor’s degree and teaching certifications through LETU in 2001, turned to her alma mater. Martinez is a second-grade teacher at David Kent Holmquist Elementary School in Alief Independent School District. Holmquist is an urban elementary school in southwest Houston with nearly 1,000 students in prekindergarten through fourth grade. “Most of our students come from socioeconomically disadvantaged households, and many are learning English as a second language,” Martinez said. “Recently our school began a program to encourage our students to prepare themselves for college or other higher education after high school. This pro-
18 | NOW Magazine | Summer 2009
Left: The LeTourneau University logo on the classroom wall reminds students of “their” university. Below: Leslie Martinez, left, and Kailyn Davis, right, show off their LeTourneau University T-shirts as part of the school sponsorship program at their elementary school.
gram includes character education, high academic standards and developing the ability to overcome obstacles to earning a quality education.” Each of the school’s classrooms partnered with a different four-year university to serve as a role model to inspire students. The LeTourneau University—Houston staff supported the program to help children believe they could be the first generation in their families to pursue higher education. Each school in the program, including LETU, provided guest speakers and left symbols of the university, such as banners, mascots and logos, for the students to use to decorate at the school. The students were given LETU T-shirts
to wear on Fridays, learned basic information about “their” university and were encouraged to think about the character traits and academic skills they would need to be successful in a university setting. “As our students get older, we want them to begin
to see themselves as future university students,” Martinez said. “The most important aspect of sponsorship was providing inspirational support to our students and teachers as they strive to create futures for every child.”
Amy Martinez encourages her second-grade students at Holmquist Elementary to believe they can achieve a college education.
Your Annual Fund at Work Student scholarships, microscopes, tutors and chapel speakers all have one thing in common— they are provided by donors of the LeTourneau University Annual Fund. Whether your gift is $50 or $5,000, it is significant to LeTourneau University students who are struggling to make ends meet. Students need your help during this stormy economy. Some take 18 credit hours and work a full-time job, but it just isn’t enough. Just $204,000 is needed to meet our annual goal of $800,000 by June 30, 2009. Be part of our students’ success by investing in their futures. If you want to support LeTourneau University students, contact Kris Erickson, director of the Annual Fund, at (903) 233-3802 or send her an e-mail at: KrisErickson@letu.edu. You can also learn more or give by visiting: www.letu.edu/give. n
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sports update Brian Howard joined LeTourneau University in late April as Sports Information Director. He comes to LETU from NCAA Division II Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark., where he served as the university’s SID. While at OBU, he worked in four postseason NCAA Tournaments, including the College Baseball World Series in the spring of 2008 as OBU finished as National runners-up. Howard, an Akron, Ohio, native, has also served as assistant SID at the University of West Alabama in Livingston, Ala., and is a newsroom veteran.
SPRING SPORTS WRAP-UP The LeTourneau University spring athletic teams continued to build throughout the year from the golf course to the tennis court. And now our students have even more opportunities to build. After seven years, cross country is returning to LETU Athletics. Our student-athletes also excel in the classroom. This spring, 27 members of LETU’s baseball, softball, golf and tennis teams were named to All-American Southwest Conference Academic teams and three to All-ASC 2009 Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Teams in recognition of their high academic achievement on and off the court.
Teams Earn Sportsmanship Awards
The YellowJacket men’s tennis team went an amazing 20-4 this past season, including winning streaks of eight and seven matches. In fact, LETU started the season winning 11 of its first 12 matches. LETU advanced to the ASC Conference Tournament, reaching the title match against the University of Texas at Tyler. However, the YellowJackets fell in the championship, 5-2. Mark Taylor and Paul Haney were named to the All-Conference Tournament team. As the All-ASC awards were handed out, Daniel Shidler earned the East Division Freshman of the Year. The LadyJackets, who finished third in the American Southwest East Division standings, were paced by ASC East Division Newcomer of the Year Brittany Trich. The women’s tennis team finished the season with a 9-0 victory over Louisiana College.
Longview sophomore Leslie Lee advanced the women’s golf team to the ASC Championships and took home the individual crown with a combined score of 159 to give LeTourneau its first ASC golf hardware in school history. Lee bounced back from an 83 in the first round to fire a 76 during the final round to break the school record for lowest round, which also earned a spot on the ASC All-Conference First Team. The men’s golf team shot a final-round 299 as the YellowJackets jumped from fifth to fourth at the American Southwest Championship to finish the three-round tournament with a 921. Lansing, Mich., freshman Joel Thelen finished in a tie for second, only three strokes off the lead. Because of his outstanding play, Thelen earned First-Team All-Conference honors.
20 | NOW Magazine | Summer 2009
The LETU men’s golf team and women’s tennis team earned the 2009 Spring Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Team Sportsmanship Award, given in each ASC Championship sport to those institutions that display sportsmanship and fair play during the season. The award is in its second academic year, and has been given to LeTourneau in five other sports, including women’s basketball, men’s soccer, softball (twice) and most recently, men’s basketball.
In baseball action, it was a record-breaking year for the YellowJackets. LeTourneau finished the season winning three out of its last four games, including an 8-7 come-from-behind victory over the University of Dallas. Ed Hurta, one of four LETU seniors who graduated this spring, finished the season tied for seventh all-time for a single-season with a .410 batting average. He also had 11 home runs, which is the third-highest single-season total in school history. LETU also had six other players batting over .300 this spring. Of the several LETU baseball student-athletes the ASC honored this season, Spring, Texas, freshman outfielder Nick Mihalco was named East Division Freshman of the Year and Hurta was named to the All-American Southwest Conference East Division Second Team.
The LETU softball program continues to make great strides, including at one point winning six of eight games throughout the middle portion of the schedule. They played 12 games this year against Top 5 teams in the country. With such a young team and core players coming back, next year should be bright. Catcher Kylie Packard earned the American Southwest Conference Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year Award and was selected to the All-ASC Second Team. Packard, a sophomore from Lindale, Texas, led the team in batting with a .331 average.
LETU NAMES THREE NEW COACHES Matthew Haesecke Head Men’s Soccer Coach
Haesecke has coached in the U.S. and Central America since 1996, most recently at the Christian Academy of Guatemala in Central America, where he led his team to the quarterfinals of the 2006 National Tournament of Guatemala. Haesecke is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute where he played varsity soccer from 1992-1995 and majored in Christian education with a minor in youth ministry. He received his master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2001 where he studied curriculum and instruction while minoring in health, physical education recreation and coaching.
Andy Cavins Head Volleyball Coach
Cavins comes to LETU from the University of Georgia where he served as an assistant coach from 2007 to 2009 and directed the club volleyball program. He is set to graduate in May with a master’s degree in kinesiology and sport management and will join the LETU faculty family teaching in those fields.
Prior to UGA, Cavins assisted at Baylor University and also was the head club volleyball coach while pursuing his undergraduate degree in English. Cavins brings 19 years of competitive club, national and collegiate volleyball playing experience to LETU.
Michael Lewis Men’s Cross Country Coach
Lewis will be entering his fifth year as LETU men’s basketball assistant coach, but beginning his first year as men’s cross country coach. He is a strong recruiter who has brought in three ASC East Division All-Freshmen Team members, one ASC East Freshmen of the Year and an ASC East Newcomer of the Year in his first two seasons. An all-state point guard at Aurora Central High School in Colorado, Lewis played a year at both Florida International University and Metro State after playing at Eastern Wyoming College. After his playing days, he coached at Aurora Central for five years and worked numerous Denver Nuggets basketball camps. n
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from the alumni office Written by Marta E. Martin
Alumni and Parent Spring Wrap-Up
pring is an exciting time at LETU! As the LeTourneau family, we always look forward to Parent and Family Weekend in February and Homecoming in April. This year, we had wonderful attendance at both events, and 2009 was our largest Homecoming turnout to date! Homecoming was incredibly special this year, as the student body joined our visiting alumni in honoring Mrs. Dianne Benton as our Distinguished Alumna of the Year and Mr. Stephen Casey as our Young Alumnus of the Year. These two individuals exemplify LeTourneau’s exacting work ethic and commitment to Christ. We had a ton of fun honoring Stephen and his wife, Noreen, during Hootenanny in TRUE Hootenanny fashion. The aeronautical science, business, engineering and arts and sciences alumni also had an awesome time during their reunions. We hope that you will join us next year, April 9 - 10, for Homecoming 2010 as we continue to honor our alma mater and enjoy our time together!
Distinguished Alumna of the Year
Young Alumnus of the Year
Alumna Dianne Benton (‘99) and her husband, Mike (pictured at left receiving her award) own and operate 19 McDonald Corporation franchises around Austin, Texas. After nearly four decades in business, they’re keeping their company, Benton Enterprises, in the family – as their daughter, Becki Benton Russell, and son, Allen Benton, are both LETU alumni and full partners in Benton Enterprises. Dianne is an avid archaeologist, earning her master’s degree in biblical studies from Jerusalem University College. She and her husband have funded scholarships for LETU students to travel in academic study programs to Israel, Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Jordan. “I believe in and am committed to enabling students to broaden their worldviews, both in other cultures and religions,” Benton said. “It has been one of the most rewarding efforts of my life to see these students explore new lands and people in an academic environment.”
Stephen Casey is a 2008-2009 judicial clerk for Texas Supreme Court Justice Scott A. Brister in Austin, Texas. After serving in the Navy, Casey graduated from LeTourneau in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in history/political science and biblical studies. He has a master’s in divinity and law degree from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., and daily marries his passion for public service with his desire to impact the world for Christ. “It is a blessing and privilege to receive this award, particularly because of Mr. R.G. LeTourneau’s vision—of folks with a deeply embedded Christian worldview going out into the marketplace, in every profession under the sun, to change people’s hearts and lives. That vision has had such a tremendous impact on my life,” Casey said. Learn more about Casey’s supreme calling in the “Where Are They Now” feature on page 4 highlighting the careers of some of our young alumni.
22 | NOW Magazine | Summer 2009
On a personal note, my husband Matt and I are happy to announce the February birth of our very own future LeTourneau alumna, Morgan Elena Martin (pictured left.) Remember, if you are an alumnus or alumna and have welcomed a new baby into your family, send us a photo and we will be happy to place an announcement in our next NOW magazine. Also, May brought another personal transition – I have been called to serve on campus in a different capacity, as director of LETU’s new Office of International Studies. In this new role, I will primarily work to recruit international students and provide global exchange programs for LETU students to study abroad. I treasure the wonderful experiences working with our amazing parents and alumni throughout the past year and a half – Thank you! I look forward to keeping in touch and seeing you on campus this fall! In the interim, our Director of Gift Planning, Bryan Benson (pictured right,) will serve as the director of alumni and parent relations. Bryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. n
Dorm 40 and ΑΩ:
Don’t forget to save-the-date for your reunions in 2010! Homecoming 2010 is on April 9 to 10.
from the admissions office Written by James Townsend, Director of Admissions
ur admissions office is buzzing this spring. Our counselors are constantly communicating with potential students. But recruitment isn’t just an eight-to-five job singlehandedly achieved by our admissions counselors. Everyone in the LeTourneau Nation can join us. If you believe in the outstanding benefits of a Christ-centered education, spread the word. Let us know about a student who needs to know about LETU: email@example.com. Not only are we communicating with potential students and parents via phone, e-mail and snail mail, but we’re constantly using social networking to connect with future YellowJackets via Facebook messages, Twitter tweets and Zinch shout outs. Technology has changed just about everything we do in life, including the ways we recruit potential students. Access our pages through: www.letu.edu/_Services/SocialNetworks/ to stay in-the-know about the latest at LETU. As another stand-out way to connect with potential students, our newly redesigned admission Web site launched in mid-May. Included in our site are profiles of “Awesome Alums” – Know an LETU grad with a stand-out job or a unique story? Go to this link and let us know: www.letu.edu/admissions.
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Benjamin Benedick (’84 BUBS/ATBS) and his wife, Gigi, welcomed home their daughter, Hadassah Ruth, on Jan. 4. The Benedicks serve as missionaries with SIL in Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea. Dave Libby (’93 ATBS) and his wife, Sherry, welcomed Tyler Thomas Libby on Dec. 13. Tyler joins his two older sisters, Madison and Mia. Dave works as a first officer at Southwest Airlines out of Baltimore, Md. Christopher Clark (’98 ATFL) and wife, Darlene, are missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea. Daughter Hannah Joy was born on Oct. 19 and welcomed home by big brothers Nathan and Nehemiah. Kate (Isaak) Orton (’99 PSYC) and husband, Bret, announce the birth of Markos Isaak on July 23. Markos was welcomed home by big sister, Kyria, 2. The Orton family resides in Pueblo, Colo. Mohit (’01 EE) and Brianna (’00 ENE2) Abraham welcomed Ethan Kiran on Jan. 27. They live in Camas, Wash., with their two beagles, Snoopy and Rebel. Cary Bensilhe (’01 BBA) and his wife, Olya, welcomed their first child, Valerie, in Feb. 2009. Matthew Hall (’02 ME) and Kendra (Martin) Hall (’02 ISEL) announce the birth of Macie Lynn, born Sept. 17. Brian Varnell (’02 ASAE) and his wife, Kimberly, welcomed Colbie Elise on Nov. 27.
24 | NOW Magazine | Summer 2009
Dale Jones (’05 WE) and wife, Melissa, welcomed son Gabriel on Aug. 27, in Des Moines, Iowa. He joins big brother Michael, 6, and big sister Kaitlyn, 3. Bryan Hall (’06 HIPL) and Tabitha (Maglott) Hall (’04 ISE1) welcomed home their son, Wyatt James, on Feb. 27. The couple resides in Longview, Texas, where Bryan is a construction administrator. David Hufft (’06 BSME) and Shari (Irving) Hufft (’04 ISEL) were married on July 10, 2004, in Gallup, N.M. They celebrated the birth of their first child, Ozias James Hufft, on Nov. 7, in Redding, Calif. Jonathan Wolff (’07 ME) and Alyssa (Bates) Wolff (’08 ISBS) welcomed their daughter, Natalie Joy, on Dec. 27.
Michael Gaines (’08 MK) and Rachel Swartzbaugh (’07 ACCT/FIN) were married on Oct. 4 in Houston, at Second Baptist Church. The Gaines’ currently reside in Houston, where Rachel is a staff 2 auditor for Ernst & Young. Michael is employed by CarveWright and will be starting an MBA program at Amberton University in the fall. Shannon Toews (’06 BYBS) and Ryan Potter (’08 BME) married Aug. 8 in Meade, Kan. The Potters live in San Antonio, where Shannon is a third-year medical student and plans to become an OB/ GYN. Ryan is pursuing his master’s in biomedical engineering from UT San Antonio and works at the Center for the Intrepid gait lab at the Brooke Army Medical Center. Katie Schnell (’05 PSYS) and Eric Livingston were married on Oct. 17 at Fellowship Bible Church in Longview, Texas.
WEDDINGS A. J. Davis (’02 Business Management) married Amy Fowler on June 14. Amy is a graduate of Texas A&M University and teaches first grade in Frisco, Texas. A. J. owns an Edward Jones Investments office in Frisco, Texas, and is a financial advisor. The Davis’ live in Dallas. Andrea Lunt (’06 ISBS) married Tim Price (’03 ISBS) in February. Andrea graduated in 2009 from Arcadia University with a doctorate in physical therapy. Andrew Christensen (’07 ASFS) married Erica Zrubek on Aug. 9, in Charlotte, N.C. Krista Lange (’07 BYBS) married Robert Farver on May 16, 2008. The couple resides in Eugene, Ore. Krista works for a local company, and Robert is preparing to be deployed to Iraq with the U.S. Army.
ALUM NEWS 50s Tom Hunt (’59 ES) and his wife, Betty, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Jan. 24.
60s Harold Krause (’68 BI) and his wife, Carol, are missionary church planters with CAM International. They currently reside in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. In addition to church-planting, Harold is currently teaching classes on Romans and Galatians as an extension of Honduras Bible Seminary. Ed Claypool (’69 MTAT) recently joined the staff of Productive Resources as the director of engineering after retiring from Cummins, Inc., where he worked since 1970.
David Reed (’69 EN) and wife, Donna, live in Longview, Texas, though David spends two weeks out of the month flying for COPA Airlines out of Panama.
Mark Blosser (’72 ET) resides in Swaziland, South Africa, with his wife, Debbie. Mark and Debbie serve with TWR Africa. Ron Yaddaw (’72 MTET/ATBS) and wife, Lucille, are currently working with Wycliffe Bible Translators. This year, they participated in the launch of The Last Languages Campaign, which aims to reach remaining Bible-less peoples. James Wittenberger (’73 ATBS) and wife, Beth, reside in Newaygo, Mich., where they serve as Bible translators with Bibles International. This year, they have completed projects for languages in countries such as Myanmar, India and Chad. Dan Anderson (’74 EE) and wife, Barb, currently reside in Elkhart, Ind., where they have worked with HCJB Global for over 20 years. Dan is presently working to update the Technology Center computer network, and Barb continues to work part time at Elkhart Christian Academy. They have three adult children: Jenny, 24, Emily, 21, and John, 19.
80s Tim (’81 WE) and Carol Munsterman were married on Dec. 21, at Sagemont Baptist Church in Houston. Also in attendance were Tim’s children, Matthew, Paige and Keaton, as well as Carol’s children, David and Julie. Gary Martin (’81 WE) is now the supplier quality manager for the Wind Turbine Fabrication and Composites team for the Gas Engine Genset Division of GE Energy. Gary manages a team of supplier quality engineers all over the world who manage supplier quality for wind turbine structures and composite rotor blades. He also manages NDT supplier development and qualification with his long held ASNT Level III and AWS CWI certifications. He was appointed as vice chairman of the inspection sub-committee of AWS’s D1.1 Structural Steel Code committee and is a member of several other subcommittees.
Denis Sherbeck (’81 MTET) and wife, Diane, are missionaries with TEAM World and currently are on a year-long furlough from Pakistan. In June, after traveling extensively and updating various aspects of their ministry, they will return to Pakistan with daughter, Anita, 16. Their son, Aaron, 18, will remain at Taylor University, where he is a freshman. Harold Hubler (’82 RE) is now serving with Bible Ministries for Children and as children’s pastor at Tabernacle Baptist Church in New Jersey. Keith Carvin (’83 ACCT) has joined the CaseStack team as chief financial officer. Prior to becoming CaseStack’s CFO, Carvin served as vice president of finance and economics at a division of J.B. Hunt, one of the largest transportation logistics companies in North America. John Solt (’83 ET/ATBS) and his wife, Faith, have just begun their ministry as missionaries to Zambia, Africa, with SIM. Larry Heintz (’84 ATBI) and wife, Jane, are missionaries with MAF in Folkestone in the District of Kent, Great Britain. Larry has been traveling with MAF to Africa over the last year. Jane is teaching part time at South Kent College. They have three children: Val, 18, a first-year engineering student at Loughborough University, Laura, 17 and Jon, 14. Otto (’89 ETMC) and April (Jones) (’86 CHBS) Habeger are missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators. They are currently on furlough in Anderson, Calif., until June. April is beginning a master’s program at Simpson University, where their oldest daughter, Angela, is also attending.
90s Ken McCormick (’91 BBM) and his wife, Donna, reside in Longview, Texas, with their son, Patrick. Ken is a school teacher with Caddo Parish School Board and will receive his Masters in Education from Grand Canyon University at Phoenix in May. Gary Miller (’92 ATBS) and his wife, Carolyn, live in Debrecen, Hungary, where they work with the International Mission Board and are the strategic coordinators for Eastern Hungary.
Lori (Criswell) Mowen (’92 ME) and husband, Joel, now have three young children. Their youngest, Cheyenne, was born June 14, 2007. Cheyenne joined older siblings, Kevin and Brandy. The Mowens live in Louisburg, Kan., where Lori designs municipal aquatic facilities on a part-time basis. Richard Pharr (’93 BBM) works for R.L. Pharr group as a petroleum landman in Tyler, Texas. Steve Straw (’93 ATBS) and his wife, Alace, are in Gabon, Central Africa, working with Air Calvary. Steve has been instrumental in starting Gabon’s first-ever air medical transport service. The Straws have three children: Joey, 14, Megan, 12, and Samuel, 10. Bruce Beatham (’94 ME) and Candice (Brown) Beatham (’94 HIPL) have returned to Coicoyán, Mexico, where they are Bible translators with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Bruce recently completed his master’s degree, which will enable him to be a consultant to help others translate the Bible. The Beathams have four children: Jeremiah, Nathaniel, Benjamin and Abigail. Sam Goforth (’94 BBM) is the technical training & development trainer in National Technical Operations for Brink’s Home Security in Irving, Texas. Ken Sayler (’98 ATFL) has recently graduated from an extensive training program with the Department of Homeland Security. He is now a customs and border protection officer.
00s Barbara Jernigan Shepperd (’00 BBM) has been working for non-profit Big Brothers Big Sisters for the past two-and-a-half years as a match manager in Tarrant County, after a five-and-a-half year
LeTourneau University | 25
classnotes career as a child abuse investigator at Child Protective Services. She and her five-yearold daughter Becca still live in Fort Worth.
Alma Elahee (’06 BBM) currently resides in Conroe, Texas, and has recently gained her license as a real estate broker.
Robert Whitfield (’00 BBM) commutes monthly from Dallas to Washington, D.C., where he is an official usher at the Washington National Cathedral. He has been doing this for seven years. This year, in January, he ushered for the National Prayer Service for President Barack Obama. He also attended the president’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
Chad Dirkse (’07 MBA), his wife, Heather, and their family will soon be moving to Chattanooga, Tenn., where Chad was recently appointed president of Chattanooga Christian School.
Eugene Dawson (’01 BBA) earned his Executive MBA from Naval Post Graduate School. Michael Butler (’02 BBA) works for Dallas marketing firm Spear One. Jon Edwards (’04 ME) and his wife, Tiffany, live in Northwest Minnesota with their four children: Elena, 5, Hannah, 4, Afton, 3, and Ethan, 19 months. Jon is employed by Arctic Cat, Inc. as the design engineer for the High Performance Team in the snowmobile division. Teresa Mehringer (’06 BBA) is a senior business analyst for Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) and has been with that organization since 2007. Matt (’05 ME) and Jerica (’08 MJE) Cadman are officially on the farm in Hallsville, Texas! You are all invited to come out and visit! www.truefields.com Forrest Cavale (’05 ASFA) and Zach Niles have started a photo studio in Visalia, Calif. Their Web site is: www.ThirdElementStudios.com. 26 | NOW Magazine | Summer 2009
Sept. 19 – 21, 32 KZX alumni from 1966 to 1972 gathered at the Embassy Suites Hotel in St. Louis for a long-awaited reunion. Ralph (’69 ME/IE) and Sue Donnelly hosted the group in their home for Saturday lunch. That evening they met for a banquet and video presentation and personal sharing. Dr. Dale Lunsford, LETU president, also spoke at the dinner. n
Keep in touch by sending us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Friends of LeT
Written by Janet Ragland
ave Singley knew he wanted to get his college education from a Christian school. But just a few months after he graduated from high school, his dad died, dashing his hopes as he honored his mother’s plea to stay close to home and attend the local community college. It was no good. The grieving young man had stood beside his mom and dad for two years as inoperable lung cancer ravaged his dad’s body. Dave just couldn’t concentrate. Community college was not where he wanted to be. He dropped out during his first semester, but always remembered his dad’s words. “He always told me to get my education, because it was one thing that could never be taken away,” Dave said. With no direction, and angry with God, Dave had stopped going to church. He realized he needed discipline, so he enlisted in the Marine Reserves. Dave’s dad had been a Marine during World War II, stationed in the South Pacific. After the war ended, Dave’s dad worked for 35 years for R.G. LeTourneau as a machinist at a plant in Peoria, Ill. Dave said his dad had been broken spiritually by events in his life, but that he found guidance, direction and an anchor with fatherly advice in his new employer. “I never met R.G. LeTourneau, but he had an impact on my family,” Dave said. “R.G. gave my father a career opportunity, but also spiritual healing, through the manda-
Tourneau University tory prayer before every workday.” Dave said his dad faithfully took his family to church every Sunday, even on vacations. When Dave finished boot camp, he returned home. He attended the local community college, then transferred to Illinois State University, where in 1994 he earned his degree in applied geography. In 1998, after serving nearly four years in the Marines, Dave went to work for Komatsu, in the very same plant where his father had worked for more than three decades when it was owned by R.G. LeTourneau. Today, Dave is a senior reliability engineer. Dave’s desire for a Christian education two decades before did not fall by the wayside. In May of 2008, 37-year-old Dave Singley proudly walked across the stage at LeTourneau University to receive his Master of Business Administration degree in international business. The school’s online program eclipsed the distance between Longview, Texas, and Peoria, Ill., to fulfill that dream. “I felt Dad would have been so proud of me,” Dave said. “If I were only looking to have a piece of paper on my wall, I would have gone to a university right here in Peoria, but I wanted something that meant more. I wanted something that reflected spiritually and academically.” Graduation was the first and only time Dave and his wife, Terri, have ever been to LeTourneau University’s main campus, named and founded by the man who had such
Dave Singley stands in front of the R.G. LeTourneau statue in Peoria, Ill., which matches a replica statue located at LETU in Longview.
an impact on his father. “I felt LeTourneau University was a special place from the moment I stepped on campus,” Dave said. “I’ve never felt that way about another school I’ve ever visited.” Dave and his wife have included LeTourneau University as a beneficiary of one of their life insurance policies. “I feel God has blessed me more times than I can begin to count, so it is only right that I bless the university,” he said. “My motivation is to honor our God through all means available to me.” Dave serves on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement for Central Illinois. His efforts have resulted in R.G. LeTourneau being posthumously inducted into the Central Illinois Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame.
“Having a close relationship with God is what Mr. LeTourneau had instilled in my father as a young man,” Dave said. “It is the value system I was raised under. After commencement, I realized I had fulfilled a commitment I had made to my dad by getting not only a very good education, but one conferred from a university that he would be very, very proud of.” If you or your company want to explore the possibilities of funding an endowed scholarship at LeTourneau University, contact Bryan Benson at: Bryan Benson, Director of Gift Planning LeTourneau University, P.O. Box 7333, Longview, TX 75607 800-259-5388 www.letu.edu/plannedgiving
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LeTourneau University LETUâ€™s Airport Facility Opening Fall 2009 Join us as we celebrate our aviation programsâ€™ outstanding new home. LeTourneau University is moving its School of Aeronautical Science, under the direction of dean Fred Ritchey, into a renovated 53,000 square-foot facility at East Texas Regional Airport. The new facility will have classrooms, labs, office space and a 10,000-square-foot hangar.
Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009
Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Public Open House & Fly-In
Homecoming Open House
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LeTourneau University's NOW Magazine for the summer of 2009.