Review - McPherson College Magazine, Spring 2021

Page 1



From pilot project...

to success story. How McPherson College has helped reduce the burden of loan debt for its students.


Dr. ShaRhonda Maclin was the speaker for the 133rd Commencement Ceremony held on Sunday, May 16, 2021.




12 2 NEWS

On the cover:

Illustrations by Evan Hiebert ‘14 of Atelier Design and Corey Long ’17.

What started as a small pilot program in the fall of 2017 has grown in size, as well as in the impact it makes on the financial wellness of students and campus.


McPherson College 1600 E. Euclid PO Box 1402 McPherson, KS 67460 (620) 242-0400 (800) 365-7402 www. The Review welcomes and reports the news of our diverse alumni and friends. Their activities may represent a variety of viewpoints which may or may not be endorsed by the college. McPherson College does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or physical or emotional disability. © 2021 McPherson College





Spring 2021 | Vol. 110, No. 1

President Schneider led a public policy panel discussion on debt forgiveness for the NAICU Annual Meeting.

Mentors provide financial guidance and personal support to Debt Project students.


Contributing Staff Monica Rice director of alumni and constituent relations Dave Barrett ’90 advancement officer Jeremy Nelson athletic communications director Kendra Flory ‘00 advancement assistant

This general education course through the business department has been making an impact on students’ lives for more than 40 years.



The Review McPherson College Magazine is published twice a year by the Office of Marketing and Public Relations for the alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the college. Editor - Tina Goodwin director of public relations Design - Brian Lundberg director of marketing, Corey Long ‘17 graphic designer



McPherson College Administration Michael P. Schneider ‘96 president Abbey Archer-Rierson ‘16 chief of staff Bruce Clary ’77 vp for academic affairs Amanda Gutierrez vp for automotive restoration Christi Hopkins vp for enrollment management Chandler Short ‘15 director of athletics Marty Sigwing ’16 director of facilities Brenda Stocklin-Smith ‘16 director of human resources Rick Tuxhorn ’16 vp for finance Erik Vogel ‘98 vp for advancement

Graduation 2021



eated on the track at McPherson Stadium, the Class of 2021 was described as “resilient” and recognized for making it to the finish line at the McPherson College 133rd Commencement Ceremony held Sunday, May 16. McPherson College conferred degrees on 158 students in an outdoor ceremony, the first of its kind in nearly 50 years. Each student was allowed four tickets for family and friends who sat in the bleachers and watched the ceremony. Despite the threat of rain, the ceremony completed just before the rain began. Dr. ShaRhonda Maclin, associate dean of students and executive director of housing at the University of Oklahoma and a former Dean of Students at McPherson College, was the commencement speaker. She encouraged the graduates to intentionally seek out community and continue to invest in themselves.

New V.P. for Student Affairs

Shana L. Warkentine Meyer joined the college as vice president for student affairs at the completion of this academic year. She brings more than 23 years of administrative experience in higher education to the position, including her current role as interim vice president for student affairs at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. “McPherson College is fortunate to have found somebody with the depth of knowledge and experience to fill the leadership role in student affairs,” President Michael Schneider said. “I am grateful for the leadership from Interim Dean of Students Jamie Pjesky this past year. Shana is a welcome addition to a team focused on strengthening the McPherson College student experience.” Throughout her career, Meyer has provided institutional leadership in student development, risk management, diversity training, budgeting, strategic




For the first time in nearly 50 years, the commencement ceremony was held outdoors at McPherson Stadium.

“Reach out to mentors and friends when you are lost or scared,” she said in her address to students. “Talk less and smile more so you can find the people who you love and will love you back.” Taylor Cunningham, the senior class representative, and Professor Joe Dickhudt, retiring restoration technology instructor, also addressed the class. The commencement ceremony concluded with Dr. Michael Schneider, president of McPherson College, acknowledging the challenges of the past year and recognizing what the class has accomplished. “While the world was debating what it meant to be safe, you were right here in McPherson College focused and working hard,” he said. “As you scatter out into the world remember to take what you have learned here and do good.”

planning, master planning, crisis response, and assessment. Additionally, she has held leadership positions in the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, including representing 10 states as a regional director, and as vice president for student affairs initiatives on the organization’s conference planning subcommittee. Prior to her current interim position, Meyer served as vice president for student affairs at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri, and as assistant vice president of student affairs at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. She has also worked in student and academic affairs roles at Kansas State University Polytechnic in Salina and Kansas State University in Manhattan.

“As a Kansas native, I am thrilled to be returning home,” Meyer said. “McPherson College is a special place with welcoming people and engaged students. When I visited campus, I was impressed with the quality education, excellent student experience, and the value McPherson College offers. “There are many exciting opportunities on the horizon and I’m eager to work alongside President Schneider, faculty, staff, the student affairs team, and our students to continue and build upon the great work being accomplished. Most importantly, I look forward to finding ways to interact with and support our students.” She holds an M.S. in counselor education, student personnel emphasis, and a B.S. in English/journalism, with a communication minor, from Emporia State University, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in student affairs in higher education from Kansas State University.

95 Percent Placement for Class of 2020

In a year that stretched health care resources to their limits, McPherson College 2020 graduate Stefan Krsmanovic gained valuable job experience on the front lines as an intern with the McPherson County Health Department during his senior year. It is what eventually helped him secure a position with the Sedgwick County Health Department after graduation. Krsmanovic is just one of many success stories from the McPherson College graduating class of 2020, according to Amy Beckman, executive director of career services. Nationally for colleges and universities, job placement figures are compiled six months after graduating for every class. While job placement for the students who just recently graduated on May 16, 2021, is 60 percent at graduation, that figure will increase by January. According to Beckman, last year’s class had a 53 percent placement rate at graduation in 2020. For the class of 2020, 95 percent of its members had secured employment or further education six months after graduation. Additionally, of those graduates with jobs or graduate school placements, 82 percent had at least one internship while at McPherson College. “Despite an uncertain job market because of the pandemic, our students remained successful in securing their first job,” Beckman said. “Our placement numbers are very similar to previous years, which I think is remarkable considering all of the challenges this class faced. I think their success illustrates the value of a liberal arts education that produces graduates who can adapt to the job market.” While many colleges report placement rates similar to McPherson College, President Michael Schneider says the college’s placement numbers are a true reflection of its graduates. “We can account for nearly every graduate when we track our outcomes,” he said. “Most colleges can account for only 10 to 20 percent of any graduating class. When we report 95 percent of a class has secured employment or further education, we are talking about the entire class – not just a portion of the class. When you add our strong placement rate to our efforts at reducing student debt through the Student Debt Project, McPherson College graduates are getting a head start at a successful future.”

President’s message


Dear McPherson College Alumni, Friends, & Family, I think there is a great deal to learn from this past year. I am encouraging the faculty and staff at McPherson College to take some time to reflect on the lessons they have learned and determine if there are any new practices that have been successful and should be continued, or if there are challenges that need new solutions as we transition out of “pandemic” mode. And I look forward to sharing more about what we learned in a future Review issue. One of the most important lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, in my opinion, is having the ability to adapt and change depending on the situation. One of the highlights of the past year has been the success of our Student Debt Project. Students are transforming their financial health while graduating with little to no debt. A few years ago, we wanted to explore a new way to make college more affordable to MC students and families and maintain a sustainable financial model for the college. The Student Debt Project was born out of these priorities. Today, nearly 200 students are participating in the program and making real progress toward graduating with little to zero student debt, which is setting them on a path of financial wellness for their future after college. Students in the project not only have jobs where MC matches 25% of all contributions to their student accounts, but they also participate in cohorts where they learn basic financial skills like budgeting, saving, and creating spending priorities. This year’s students have reduced their projected average debt at graduation by $10,000. While student debt is a hot-button issue for our country, MC students are successfully navigating the complexities of financing college by using the skills they are learning through the Student Debt Project. A key factor in the success of the program is the mentorship it offers to the participants. This year mentors from across the country met with students regularly to check-in and advise them on financial questions and to walk alongside them throughout this challenging year. Nearly 95% of our Debt Project students persisted to the spring semester. We are seeing how impactful mentorship is to our students and plan to implement more opportunities for all students to participate in mentoring relationships. The Student Debt Project is one example of how our campus adapted during the pandemic. I couldn’t be more proud of our entire campus. Your thoughts, prayers, and support of our college community has been extraordinary this past year and is greatly appreciated. It’s a great day to be a Bulldog!

Michael P. Schneider President, McPherson College




Gift Funds Scholarships For Future Women Leaders In Health Care McPherson College announced an estate gift of nearly $1.7 million to create the Carolyn Beach Endowed Scholarship Fund, a permanent fund to award scholarships annually to students – especially women, pursuing careers in the health science field. Carolyn Beach attended McPherson College from 1958 to 1960. She passed away on August 20, 2020. “Carolyn wanted the resources she accumulated through her life’s work used to impact others with similar career interests,” McPherson College President Michael Schneider said. “The impact of Carolyn’s estate gift will be far-reaching, touching the lives of many McPherson College students.” As a student at McPherson College, Beach fondly remembered several science professors – specifically, Dr.

Automotive Restoration Program Crosses $1M Finish Line Early




John Burkholder and Dr. Wesley DeCoursey – who laid a solid foundation for her future career in health care. She also competed in basketball and softball. She was influenced by Dr. Doris Coppock, a long-time former teacher and coach. Beach chose to attend McPherson College because of its strong connection to the Church of the Brethren. She later transferred to the University of Iowa to follow her dream of earning a degree in medical technology. She lived most of her adult life in California where she enjoyed a rewarding career as a medical technologist with Kaiser Permanente. “Carolyn was motivated to support McPherson College because she experienced the importance of personal interaction with professors and recognized that was still taking place today for our students,” Erik Vogel, vice president for advancement, said. “She also appreciated the college’s efforts to help students graduate debt-free through the Student Debt Project, the high job placement rate for our students, and the college’s ongoing relationship with the Church of the Brethren. Carolyn was further impressed that $1 million in local support had already been committed to McPherson College’s health care initiative.” The Carolyn Beach Endowed Scholarship Fund will provide approximately 10 health science scholarships for McPherson College students. Beach’s ultimate desire was for her scholarship fund to enable hard-working students, who are excited about a career in health science, the ability to earn their college degree. Further, she wanted to give opportunities to other women like her by removing financial barriers that might deter them from following this career path. McPherson College introduced the new Health Science program at the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year. The program offers majors in health science and health care management and focuses on creating health-related career pathways for students while engaging them in the community. Partnerships with local and regional health care agencies, like the one with McPherson Center for Health, announced last year, provide students with hands-on educational opportunities in a variety of health care settings.

McPherson College announced that it raised $1 million in gifts and pledges to meet the $1 million challenge goal set by Florida philanthropist and automotive enthusiast, Dano Davis. Additionally, the college met the challenge three months ahead of schedule, according to Amanda Gutierrez, vice president for automotive restoration. “One of the goals for this project was to make sure that everyone had a chance to participate,” she said. “This milestone was achieved through the generosity of many alumni and friends with gifts at all levels. And it included a lot of first-time donors as well.” The college announced the donor challenge in June 2020. The Davis gift supports developing business workshops that enhance the curriculum in the restoration major and scholarships to students in the restoration management track. The gift allows the program to explore other creative ways for students to experience multiple facets of the collector car world by working with industry professionals to share their knowledge. “I was motivated to support McPherson College and specifically the automotive restoration program after visiting the campus and meeting several of the students there,” Davis said. “I wanted to motivate others and help them see the importance of generously supporting an endeavor that preserves the skills and knowledge to work on historic automobiles.” The Davis gift is a major piece of the $20 million Building Community comprehensive fundraising campaign. A key component of this multi-year campaign is to increase funding for academic programs like auto restoration. Launched in 2019 with more than 50 percent of the goal met, the Building Community campaign has surpassed its $20 million goal.


McPherson College Bestows Honorary Doctoral Degrees on Melanie and Richard Lundquist McPherson College conferred honorary doctorates on Melanie and Richard Lundquist, recognizing the couple’s significant body of work in driving systemic change in K-12 public education, health care delivery and innovation, as well as the environment. The Doctor of Humane Letters (LHD) degrees are awarded by McPherson College’s Board of Trustees and faculty, who voted unanimously to recognize the Lundquists with the honorary degrees. A special ceremony honoring the couple will take place on campus in October 2021, contingent on COVID protocols. In awarding honorary degrees, McPherson College aims to recognize and honor individuals who have distinguished themselves for their achievement and efforts that align with the college’s mission of developing whole persons through scholarship, participation, and service. “McPherson College is proud to honor Melanie and Richard Lundquist for their body of work that has driven systemic change in so many ways,” said Michael P. Schneider, president of McPherson College, who conferred the degrees virtually in March. “The Lundquists bring joy and possibility to our work at McPherson College and the work of so many others. While they have created significant and positive impact through their philanthropy, especially in California, their reach touches us in Kansas and in so many other parts of our country. They have been invaluable members of the McPherson College community for years, providing counsel on many matters and expanding our network through their vast connections. We’re truly lucky to have Richard and Melanie as members of the McPherson College family, and this conferral recognizes that,” said Schneider. The Lundquists’ relationship with McPherson College started in 2014. They were introduced by Paul Russell, chair of the Automotive Restoration National Advisory Board, and since then have committed well over $1 million to the college’s auto restoration program. “The Lundquists are champions for McPherson College’s mission, and more importantly, they are role models for our students – they are people of passion and commitment, focused on improving humanity. We are proud to recognize them with these honorary degrees,” said Amanda Gutierrez, vice president for the college’s auto restoration program. “Their work has created measurable results everywhere they go, and it proves that thoughtful philanthropy can lead to meaningful change.” Melanie and Richard Lundquist are agents of change and two of California’s most significant philanthropists. Their gifts have created the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a sustainable, national turnaround model for underserved, non-charter K-12 public schools that works within the Los Angeles Unified School District. They have also helped transform health care delivery and spur biomedical research and innovation. They committed $70 million in February 2019, as an unrestricted gift, to the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed), which was renamed The Lundquist Institute. The institute has more than 120 medical

researchers working on 600 studies, including therapies for multiple orphan diseases. The Lundquists have also led efforts to invest in solutions to climate change through AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles and critically important marine mammal research at the Marine Mammal Center, the largest marine mammal hospital in the world, located in Sausalito, Calif. The Lundquists are signatories of the Giving Pledge, the movement where some of the world’s wealthiest individuals and couples commit to give more than half their wealth away. In June 2018, the Chronicle of Philanthropy featured the Lundquists in a profile story titled “A Lifetime Commitment: LA couple, who have signed the Giving Pledge, donate to groups that need them the most.” They have appeared four times on The Philanthropy 50, the annual list of America’s 50 most generous philanthropists, published by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. The conferral of the honorary doctorates recognizes the Lundquists’ unique mission to leverage their philanthropic commitments to affect significant and measurable impact through driving systemic change, focusing on areas where their gifts can change systems as well as fortunes, not just make incremental progress. They choose not to follow the crowd; instead, they seek to kick off a virtuous cycle that attracts other donors. “This is humbling for Richard and me. We are especially touched that the honorary degrees are being conferred by McPherson College, a place that for over 130 years has been educating students with a special focus on service. That commitment to others is what inspires us as well. We have had the pleasure of getting to know many McPherson College students and hosting them in California. They are indeed special. Additionally, it takes smart leaders to move a college ahead, and we appreciate the good work of President Schneider and his team. Richard and I look forward to visiting campus in October. We are proud to be Bulldogs,” said Melanie Lundquist.




After 16 years as a full-time member of the automotive restoration department, Professor Joe Dickhudt retired at the end of the 2021 spring semester. Professor Dickhudt’s teaching career at McPherson College began in 2005 while he was still completing his associate’s degree in auto restoration technology. He was qualified as an instructor due to the impressive credentials and experience he brought with him as a student. Professor Dickhudt earned the B.S. in electrical engineering from California State Polytechnic University in 1968 and the M.B.A. from The College of William and Mary in 1991. During his professional career, he held upper-management positions at three major corporations specializing in computer systems development. His work as a computer systems engineer and team leader in the Apollo Systems Division of General Electric during the years of the first successful moon shots has given him legendary status as the AR department’s “rocket scientist.”


Professor Joe Dickhudt

Jd. Bowman, professor of theatre, performed with the Cleveland Play House as part of its Theatre Thursdays, a live interactive virtual program focusing on CPH’s core values of artistry, community, and life-long learning. The evening, entitled “Let’s Get Physical,” showcased three comedic pieces as a celebration of body positivity and thoughtful (and funny!) explorations of body image, self-esteem, and more. The evening featured plays by Ken Kaissar, C. Julian Jimenez, and Kate Huffman. Dr. Julia Largent, assistant professor of communication, was named the documentary division vice chair for the Broadcast Education Association, and she wrote an article for the Messenger, the Church of the Brethren denominational magazine, titled “Feeding our Faith: Food helps us to create community and meaning.” Dr. Kirk MacGregor, associate professor of philosophy and religion, recently published a new book titled “Paul Tillich and Religious Socialism: Towards a Kingdom of Peace and Justice” (Lexington, 2021). His book argues that the Kingdom of God—the reign of God over all human affairs via God’s manifestations in love, power, and justice—can be




In his McPherson College career, Professor Dickhudt has largely been responsible for teaching courses about electrical systems in classic automobiles but has also taught woodworking and developed courses in motorcycle history and restoration. He was selected as Professor of the Year in 2014-15. He was promoted to full professor in 2018. Retirement will allow him more time to ride his motorcycle, fly his ultralight plane, and volunteer even more hours than he does now to the McPherson County Humane Society.

fragmentarily achieved through a religious socialism that creatively integrates the early Tillich’s socialist thinking with later insights throughout Tillich’s theological career and with contemporary developments in just peacemaking. Chris Paulsen, associate professor of technology, and other members of the McPherson Model T Ford Club curated an exhibit for the McPherson Museum. The display featured 10 different Model Ts, set in appropriate scenery, along with related automobilia. Jen Taylor-Pollard, assistant professor of theatre, attended “The Next Normal: Arts Innovation and Resilience in a Post-COVID World,” an international workshop hosted by the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. Presenters and attendees included artists, educators, arts management, and major funders. Panel discussions included: redefining audiences’ relationships, keeping authentic community engagement at the core of our work, how to fund the arts in a COVID world, and breaking down the systemic racism and sexism in the performing arts sector. Dr. Herb Smith, professor of philosophy and religion, published a biography titled “The Life of Moses.” The volume explores the significance of this pivotal lawgiver who is prominent in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions. It is part of the Covenant Bible Series.


Employees Honored for Years of Service McPherson College celebrated a combined total of more than 270 years of service to the college when it recognized faculty, staff, and board of trustee members. Faculty and staff were treated to a drive-through dinner and awards presentation on campus. This year’s event replaced the reception and dinner traditionally held honoring those who have served the college from five to 30 years. Members of the campus administrative team presented the honorees with their award and take-out dinners prepared by the campus food service in front of the campus entrance on February 26. “The outstanding achievements and accomplishments by the honorees in the classroom, within individual departments, and in the McPherson community propel the college beyond being a great college to work for,” said Brenda Stocklin-Smith, director of human resources. “These honorees facilitate world-class experiences for our students, and it is in this deep sense of campus community where our students excel to be leaders of the future.” Those honored included: 5 YEARS Chris Clark, assistant professor of technology Amber Dittert, assistant professor of mathematics Stephen Hoyer, assistant professor of sociology Kirk MacGregor, associate professor of philosophy and religion Heather Mierkiewicz, admissions operations associate Kevin Morris, computer services assistant Bryan Moses, head baseball coach/assistant athletic director of internal operations Matthew Porter, assistant professor of business Nathan Pollard, assistant professor of digital media Monica Rice, director of alumni and constituent relations Erik Vogel, vice president for advancement


10 YEARS Norman Hope, associate professor of business Josh Hubin, director of admissions Marty Sigwing, director of facilities Dustin Wilgers, associate professor of natural sciences

President Michael Schneider presents the McPherson College Service Award to Monica Rice, director of alumni and constituent relations, at a drive-through awards and dinner celebration.

15 YEARS Becki Bowman, professor of communication Andrew Gustafson, athletics grounds supervisor Tom Hurst, Sr., adjunct and former director of service and campus pastor 20 YEARS Garrick Green, professor of automotive restoration technology 25 YEARS Laura Eells, professor of sociology Linda Barrett, coordinator of student success and engagement 30 YEARS David Barrett, advancement officer Connie Stucky, facilities office manager Board of Trustees Vincette Goerl Paul Ullom-Minnich, M.D. Bill Grove Carol Leland

McPherson College is seeking comments from the public about the college’s teacher education program in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its national and state accrediting agencies. The college will host a visit on September 19-21, 2021, from a team of peer reviewers representing the CAEP and KSDE. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet CAEP’s and KSDE’s Standards. Comments must be in writing and must address substantive matters related to the quality of the teacher education program and should specify the party's relationship to the provider (i.e., graduate, present or former faculty member, employer of graduates). We invite you to submit written testimony, sent by August 6, 2021, to: CAEP, 1140 19th Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036 Or by email to:




Winter, Spring and Split Seasons

The completion of the NAIA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships during the last week of May wrapped up one of the busiest spring seasons in the McPherson College Athletic Department history. The NAIA’s decision to move fall championships to the spring due to COVID-19 doubled the usual amount of activity for the spring semester. Despite the disruptions and rescheduling, it was one of the most successful semesters in recent memory.

Their body of work however was good enough to secure an at-large bid in the NAIA National Tournament. It was the first time in history a KCAC team received an at-large berth to the tournament. The Bulldogs traveled to Des Moines for an opening-round game against nationally-ranked Grandview University and were defeated in five sets. The team finished the year at 23-10 overall, and 19-4 in the KCAC. Four Bulldogs were named to the All-KCAC team including Aidan Brown and Cynarah Rodriguez on the first team, and Sydney Burton and Morgan Watson on the second team. Brown was also named Freshman of the Year and Rodriguez was named Setter of the Year. The Bulldogs also received votes in the NAIA post-season Top 25 coaches’ poll.

Men’s and Women’s Basketball

With seasons spanning both fall and spring semesters, the Bulldog men’s and women’s basketball teams finished their year in late February. Both teams competed in the KCAC tournament and hosted quarterfinal games at the Sport Center. The women’s team hosted Kansas Wesleyan and lost a heartbreaker, 74-73, finishing the year 16-9 overall, and 13-8 in KCAC play. Brittany Roberts became the Bulldogs’ all-time leader in points and rebounds, was a unanimous first-team All-KCAC selection and was a first-team NAIA All-American. Maison Moseley also joined Roberts on the All-KCAC team as an honorable mention selection. The Bulldog men completed their season with a loss in the quarterfinals to Southwestern College, 73-68. The Bulldogs finished the year at 16-10 overall, and 12-9 in KCAC games. Kemryn Jenkins was named to the All-KCAC second team, and Fred Watts and Josh Rivers were named honorable mention.

Men’s Soccer (split season)

The men’s soccer team completed the fall with an 8-4-3 record, but then went 4-1-1 in the six spring games to finish the year at 12-5-4 overall, and 8-2-1 in conference play. The team qualified for the KCAC tournament in April, winning the opening round game at home over Kansas Wesleyan 1-0, then upsetting the second-seeded Sterling College, 2-0, in the semifinals, before falling in the tournament finals to top-seeded Oklahoma Wesleyan University, 4-1. Their tournament run and overall body of work landed the Bulldogs an at-large berth in the opening round of the NAIA National Tournament – a first in program history. They traveled to Olathe, Kansas, for the opening round and were defeated, 2-0, by Bellevue University. All-KCAC team selections for the Bulldogs included Navid Istanbullu, Sean Thomson, and Marcus Fernandes on the first team, Dan Connell on the second team, and Anthony Bernal, Nipho Methula, Jose Alonso, and Diego Santibanez on honorable mention. In the final NAIA Top 25 coaches’ poll, the Bulldogs received votes but were just out of the top 25.

Women’s Soccer (split season)

The women’s soccer team played seven games in the fall and the remaining four games in March. The team went 1-3 in their final four games, finishing the year at 3-8 overall, which was also their record in conference play. Christie Silber, Bianca Bulnes, and Pamela Rosales-Zapata were all named to the All-KCAC team as honorable mention selections.

Volleyball (split season)

The volleyball team played 15 matches in the fall and 17 more regular-season matches in the spring. The team qualified for the KCAC tournament but were upset in the quarterfinals at home, in five sets by Oklahoma Wesleyan.




Cross Country

The NAIA Cross Country Championships were also held this spring in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Jadin Fleming was the Bulldogs’ only representative at the national meet finishing in 191st with a time of 27:16.96, just missing a personal best on a slow course.


Baseball and Softball

The Bulldog baseball and softball teams began their seasons in February. After a slow start, the MC softball team went 9-3 in its final 12 conference games to finish 15-9 and enter the KCAC tournament as the fifth seed. They finished 2-2 in the KCAC tournament losing a heartbreaker to Avila, 7-6, in the consolation bracket championship. The team finished the year with an overall record of 24-18. Seven were named to the All-KCAC team including Maile Deutsch, first team, and Jenna Christensen, Raegan Kleppe, Aubree Beggs, Destiny Bacon, Kylecia Taylor, and Brandy Trengove, second team. Deutsch was also named KCAC Co-Player of the Year and Mackenzie Eagan was awarded a Gold Glove.

The MC baseball program broke several team records and set many program firsts. The Bulldogs went 10-0 in non-conference action to start the season and were 12-0 before recording their first loss. They ended up a perfect 12-0 in non-conference games and were 22-11 in KCAC games. The team qualified for the KCAC tournament as the fifth seed and made it to the championship game. A tournament highlight included the walk-off win in extra innings against top-seeded Oklahoma Wesleyan. The team eventually lost to Ottawa. Despite the loss, the Bulldogs were awarded an at-large bid to the NAIA National Tournament opening round. The Bulldogs were the fourth seed in the tournament and went 2-2, knocking off third-seeded Benedictine University at Mesa, but losing to top-seeded Central Methodist University, and second-seed William Carey University. The Bulldogs finished the year, 38-15, setting a new program record for wins in a season. They were ranked as high as 17 in the nation – their first time landing in the Top 25 coaches’ poll – and experienced the NAIA National Tournament for the first time. Individually, Kyle Lux became the Bulldogs’ all-time career home run leader and James Canar set a new single-season home run record with 21. In all, the Bulldogs’ offense smashed 116 home runs on the season, a new team record, which is 62 more than their previous best in 2018. Seven Bulldogs landed on the All-KCAC list including Trevor Johnson, James Canar, Jake Pearson, and Kyle Lux on the first team, and Kris Perez, Tyler Norris, and Alex Escobar on the second team. Perez also earned a Gold Glove for his play in center field.

Men’s and Women’s Tennis

The men’s and women’s tennis teams had successful seasons under first-year Head Coach Clay Allen. The women’s team went 10-5 overall and were 5-2 in conference matches. They earned the third seed in the conference tournament, but after knocking off Friends University in the quarterfinals, they lost 4-3 to Southwestern College in the semi-finals. Vanessa Mundo was named to the All-KCAC team as a first-team selection, and Polina Khoroshevskaya was selected to the second team. The men’s tennis team claimed the only KCAC championship for MC this year. The team finished the season 14-2 overall but were a perfect 8-0 in conference play to win the regular-season title. They went 2-0 at the KCAC tournament, defeating Ottawa, 4-0, in the finals to win the tournament title. They represented the KCAC at the NAIA National Championships in Mobile, Alabama, where they took on 10th ranked Union College losing 4-0. As a team, the Bulldogs were just outside of the top 25 in the final coaches’ poll but were receiving votes. Five Bulldogs landed on the All-KCAC team, including Michael Beltran and Martin Millos, first team, and Julien Bodin and Jacob Turley second team. Nicolas Wahl was selected honorable mention. Beltran was also voted Freshman of the Year.

Track and Field

After sending four representatives to the NAIA National Indoor Championships in March and coming home with one All-American plaque, the Bulldog men’s and women’s track and field team returned to the outdoor track for the spring season. The team competed in eight meets including the KCAC and NAIA Outdoor Championships. The men finished third and the women sixth at the KCAC championships with 12 Bulldogs qualifying for the NAIA Outdoor Championship Tournament in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Dylan Templeman landed on the podium in third place for discus, and Brady Blanka competed in the finals of the javelin, but just missed All-American honors by finishing in ninth place. Between indoor and outdoor track seasons, the Bulldogs brought home a total of 57 All-KCAC medals from conference championships.




THE FACE OF GIVING Savannah knew she wanted a degree in special education. She visited McPherson College and fell in love with the campus. Today, she is on track to graduate with the Teacher Education combined degree program where she will earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in four years. The rigorous curriculum required to earn her degrees does not leave much extra time for work. Despite that, Savannah decided to participate in the Student Debt Project to reduce her college debt as much as possible. She has always worked, so she knew she would continue working through college. As a matter of fact, she still has her very first job where she works in Wichita every summer. “I think McPherson College is a lot different from other colleges,” she said. “I love it here. I love the small campus atmosphere where everyone knows you. It’s like a second family. I also love the opportunities it offers me. Knowing that I will graduate with two degrees and be able to enter my field at a higher salary makes me feel confident that I can handle the smaller debt that I will have because of the Student Debt Project.”

Gifts From Alumni and Friends Help Students Socialize Safely

You can support our students by giving to the MC Fund online at:




I love the small campus atmosphere where everyone knows you. It’s like a second family. Savannah McHugh

Wichita, Kansas Sophomore in Teacher Education Tennis, Student Ambassador

A new initiative at McPherson College created normalcy, both academically and socially, for students who may otherwise have felt isolated this past year. The initiative called QuaranTeams encouraged students to form small groups and provided funding for their activities. Gifts from alumni and friends of the college supported the program, which was coordinated through the Office of Student Life. Launched at the start of the spring semester, 20 teams of two to five students participated in the program. Each week the teams requested funds to pay for an activity for their small group. “It’s a social-safety initiative to decrease the spread of COVID-19 on our campus,” Gabrielle Williams, director of student life, said. “Our expectations were simply to provide students an opportunity to hang out and support their mental wellness. It’s become a very organic way for students to shape their own experiences while still keeping in touch with our office.” Students agreed to a social contract that outlined behavior within their team, such as how they greet each other or if they hang out with other groups. The teams also agreed to host at least two study halls, complete 10 hours of community service, and attend at least one Student Life organized campus event. “I think we are very privileged to have alumni donate funds for a program dedicated to student experience,” Williams said. “The community service aspect of the program was our way of helping our students give back in appreciation of the investment that was made in them.” Teams have used funds to order take-out, buy supplies for watch parties and game nights, snacks for study groups, and a variety of other small group activities. “Not all of the people on the teams were friends before this,” Williams said. “It’s been a really good way for students to stay connected and make new friendships, which has been hard this year, especially for our freshmen.”

Addressing Student Debt

In 2017 McPherson College launched a pilot project aimed at reducing the burden of loan debt for its students. Today, students enrolled in the program have reduced their debt by 30% and several are on the path to graduate debt-free.

Student Debt

From pilot project...

to success story.

The McPherson College Student Debt Project is a concept developed from the college’s most recent strategic plan, Community by Design, to bring the entire campus together to solve of one the most challenging issues facing students and families today – student debt. What started as a small pilot program in the fall of 2017 has grown in size, as well as in the impact it makes on the financial wellness of students and campus. The plan was to find a financial model that balances student and family cost with the institution’s need for sustainable revenue. The Student Debt Project is the result of an initiative for redefining the tuition revenue model to ensure affordability and institutional revenue. “In developing the Student Debt Project we wanted to explore the biggest concern students and families have about attending college, which is student debt,” President Michael Schneider said. “Rather than focusing on cost or scholarship discounting, we wanted a program that focused on mentoring students to manage finances and learn important financial skills that will benefit them after they graduate.”




“The match makes it so I don’t have to work quite as much and I am able to spend more time putting my portfolio together.” Matthew Mahan Topeka, KS Auto Restoration

The project focuses on three key areas: employment, hoped that the project would make it possible for a signifimentorship, and financial literacy. Students in the project cant number of students to afford a college education, commit to working during college, payments they make anticipating that long-term success would include keeping on their student accounts that come from their earnings are and graduating more students. Today, the college is seeing matched by the college, and students meet regularly with the realization of those aspirations. mentors who serve as a resource for questions about The project has grown from a cohort of just six students budgeting and other aspects of student life. in the pilot year to nearly 200 this past academic year and “My biggest goal was to avoid loans,” said Cheneal more than 150 new Benne, a graphic design and art students are expected to education major from Courtapply to the program next land, Kansas. She has not taken fall. Additionally, retention Student Debt By The Numbers: any student loans yet and plans of students participating to graduate in 2023 debt free. in the project was more She applied the income from than 90 percent from fall her campus job with the theatre to spring, and retention of department and working as a first-generation students Total applied to McPherson College server at Applebee’s to her in the program was 100 student accounts matching dollars student account this academic percent. year with a little left over and Students in the plans to apply that income, plus program are also seeing Top match to student account income from her summer jobs the progress they are back in Courtland, to the fall making toward graduatsemester. ing with little to no debt debt project students received between Through support from and recognize the impact $1,000 - $4,000 in matching funds alumni and friends, the it will have on their futures. college’s total match to student Benne said without the payments this year was burden of undergraduate $93,001, and students have debt she is much more applied a total of $373,445 confident in pursuing a toward their accounts this year. post-graduate degree. Students in the Debt Project Participants have reduced their Mahon also sees opportuprojected debt at graduation nities that might be by nearly $10,000 per student. available to him by graduThat’s more than a 30 percent ating debt-free. reduction in debt, and many still have one, two, or even “Without debt when I graduate, I will have an opportunithree more years of college to bring their debt lower or ty to set aside more and start investing,” he said. “It’s money eliminate all of it. I will be able to put toward a down payment on a house Students in the project represent a cross-section of the someday.” McPherson College student population. Nearly 10 percent McPherson College will make sure every student underare the first in their families to attend college, nearly half are stands their financial wellness during the fall orientation by minority or international students, and 40 percent are Pell giving each student a personal budget sheet that shows grant-eligible students. Each student also has different their costs, financial aid, and how participating in the financial goals they hope to achieve before graduation. Student Debt Project could help them reduce the gap For Matthew Mahan, an automotive restoration technolowed before loans. ogy student from Topeka, the matching funds from the “We are taking it to the next level this fall,” Christi college give him the extra space he needs to devote more Hopkins, vice president for enrollment management, said. time to his other interests like photography and cars. “It is important to help our students understand their finan“It’s not that much extra work and the college match cial obligations and see that there are options other than really makes the program worthwhile,” he said. “The match taking out loans, which many times are more than they makes it so I don’t have to work quite as much, and I am really need to cover the cost of their education.” able to spend more time putting my portfolio together.” When the college introduced the project in 2017, it was








Student Debt

President Schneider led a public policy panel discussion on debt forgiveness for the NAICU Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day earlier this year.

Should student debt be forgiven? The ever-growing amount of student debt in the United States is an issue that draws a great deal of attention in the media as politicians debate the best way to offer students and families relief. The student debt crisis is real. To date, the amount of debt students owe for college totals more than $1.5 trillion, and nationally, one in five borrowers is in default. While congress considers varying amounts of loan forgiveness, higher education professionals understand that student debt is one of the most important and complex challenges facing higher education today, and there is no simple fix. President Michael Schneider led a public policy panel discussion for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day earlier this year, which posed the question “should student debt be forgiven?” He was joined by two policy experts who offered different perspectives about the issue. Lindsey Burke, director of the Center for Education Policy at the Heritage Foundation, oversees the foundation’s research and policy on issues pertaining to preschool, K-12, and higher education reform. Her commentary, research, and op-eds have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, and she is frequently a guest on radio and television shows and speaks on education reform issues across the country and internationally. Wil Del Pilar, vice president of higher education at the Education Trust, works to advance the trust’s higher education advocacy agenda by developing and implementing




strategies to leverage research, policy, and practice to improve accountability, affordability, and student success for low-income students and students of color. He has experience at federal, state, and institutional levels. Their conversation included discussions about whether student loans should be forgiven, how the student loan crisis increased so rapidly, and what are possibly solutions for resolving the crisis. Excerpts from their conversation with President Schneider are below. Do you believe student loan debt should be forgiven? BURKE: No, for a host of reasons. Although the amount of total debt is staggering, she suggests that when looking at debt on individual levels, it is not as crushing as it is often portrayed and should be analyzed by looking at the median numbers. According to Burke, 17 percent of student loan borrowers make up more than half of the total student debt. That means a small number of mostly graduate student loans for those seeking a professional degree (medical doctors and lawyers, for example) with the potential of higher earnings make up the largest portion of the student debt. When looking at the median student debt for undergraduates the average is around $17,000, which translates to a student loan payment of $222 per month. A “manageable” amount for most college graduates. Further, she questions why those who chose not to seek a college education, and are potentially lower income earners, are expected to pay the loans of those who have the potential to out earn them. She

suggests that canceling student debt without reforming the process would continue a cycle of increasing tuitions with the hope of future debt forgiveness for students taking loans to cover the cost. Finally, she states that the measures to forgive student debt are selective for a certain kind of debt that is politically advantageous. “Individuals take out loans, they’ve signed a contract saying they would repay taxpayers, and they have an obligation to do that,” she said. “If congress really wants to help, it should pursue policies that drive down the cost of tuition rather than shifting debt onto taxpayers.” DEL PILAR: Yes, now more than ever is the time to tackle the student debt crisis. Forty-five million Americans are crushed under the weight of the more than $1.5 trillion debt. Consequences from the ongoing pandemic have permanently damaged the ability of student loan borrowers to service their debt. Many will not repay these loans, no matter if they want to, more basic expenses like food, housing, and health care will take priority. He sees canceling student debt as an equity-focused idea with support from both political parties. Despite the bipartisan support, if congress does not act to cancel student debt, Del Pilar thinks the new administration should take executive action to do so. In either case, the upper limit of student debt canceled for each borrower must be high enough to account for the disproportionate burden facing borrowers of color, he says. “We need to engage in policies that close the wealth gap in our country,” he said. “As a country, we have not had an issue of debt forgiveness for the automotive, airline, or banking industries. It seems we only have an issue in investing when it’s investing in low-wealth or low-income individuals.” Why has the amount of student debt increased so rapidly? BURKE: The prediction made by William Bennett in 1987 (known as the Bennett hypothesis) has become a reality. In 1987 in an op-ed that appeared in the New York Times, then-Education Secretary William J. Bennett offered a theory that linked federal loan subsidies and the rising cost of tuition, and his hypothesis has dominated debates surrounding the cost of postsecondary education ever since. In his opinion he stated that the financial aid increases would enable “colleges and universities blithely to raise their tuitions, confident that Federal loan subsidies would help cushion the increase.” The decades since that statement was made, congressional spending on financial aid has skyrocketed from $25 billion in 1995 to $93 billion today, and tuition costs have soared, according to Burke.

What are the solutions to the student debt crisis and how do we move forward? BURKE: Debt, including student debt, is not an inherently bad thing, says Burke. Taking on debt to gain the tools to be competitive in the market is a good thing, but it is bad to say it is the only way to climb the economic ladder. A solution to the current student debt crisis should include strict limits on student loans and make space for private lenders again, she said. She suggests that reforming accreditation to separate Title IV funding from the current structure of accreditation should be considered while making college a more tailored experience for students to amass the credentials they need for a career. DEL PILAR: Resolving the student debt crisis requires a focus on equity-based solutions, according to Del Pilar. “It’s time for a new deal in higher education that is rooted in racial equity needs and the needs of students from low-income families,” he said. “There needs to be a national commitment to debt-free college for students from low-income families and truly affordable college for all.” He prefers a targeted cancelation of student loans for borrowers at lower income levels over a blanketed approach to cancelation, and suggests that the a solution needs to be more holistic, including doubling the amount of the Pell Grant program, adding resources that help students complete their college education, and increasing state investment in postsecondary education.

Although the two experts had different perspectives about student debt, they could agree on a couple of factors. It is a dynamic challenge facing the country and one that will take a multi-pronged approach to remedy. Both suggested an important piece of the solution is financial literacy. Educating students about college financial aid and about budgeting for the future that begins in high school is something each thought would be impactful moving forward. Financial literacy is one of the key elements of the McPherson College Student Debt Project. Students meet regularly in small groups to review their budgets and financial goals. Mentors meet with the students to give advice and answer questions about finance. “McPherson College has made a commitment to the financial wellness of its students in a big way by developing the Student Debt Project,” President Michael Schneider said. “It’s a commitment we make to all of our students throughout the financial aid process.”

DEL PILAR: Other issues are at play in the student debt crisis. Significant state disinvestment in higher education across the country. As states decrease their investment in higher education, the burden of debt transferred squarely onto the backs of students and families. We’ve transferred that state responsibility onto families creating this issue, he said.

SPRING FALL 2021 2020

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Student Debt


Mentors provide financial guidance and personal support to Debt Project students. The Student Debt Project is built on three key components – employment, financial literacy, and mentorship. While students understand the importance of employment and learning how to follow a budget to achieve zero debt in the future, the mentorship aspect of the program is making a positive difference in students’ lives right now. “As a freshman it was hard to make connections, especially this year, so it was reassuring to find people in my corner. The Student Debt Project was great in that way,” Claire Adamyk of McPherson said. “I know there are so many people here who want me to succeed, and I know I will continue to gain those connections as I go through the program.” Adamyk is studying elementary education, pursuing the combined degree program, and is planning to graduate with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Her goal is to reduce her student debt as much as possible while attending McPherson College and then have the ability to enter her field at a higher salary because of her master’s degree. She is one of the nearly 200 students who participated in the Student Debt Project during the 2020-2021 academic year. “Mentors add a sense of validity for students going through the Student Debt Project,” Nathan Addis of Hutchinson, Kansas, said. “It’s not just about taking advantage of this program to pay for college, but you see that people are wanting to help you achieve your goals.” Addis explained that he has a specific amount of money set aside for college, and with a scholarship and the Student Debt Project he expects to graduate with a little left over. He is majoring in communication with a Spanish minor and plans to apply for a master’s degree program and then seminary school. “I have lots of school ahead of me and the threat of a large student debt looming,” he said. “The Student Debt Project is an important first step for me to take in reducing that debt.” Mentors like Lesli Earlston ’96, who is Nathan’s mentor, understand what students and their parents are facing when looking at how to pay for college. Her son will be starting his third year of college in the fall. Earlston lives in the Dallas area and is the director of quality, regulatory, and compliance at Swiss American, a pharmaceutical cosmetics manufacturer. She was among several alumni and friends from outside of the McPherson area who were able to mentor students this year when the mentorship aspect transitioned from in-person to a virtual platform. “I was very impressed with the overall interest from the students I worked with, and then hearing from them about how much they are reducing their debt was very exciting,” she said. “I wish every college was doing this.” Justin Kaufman, a CPA and partner with Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd, LLC in McPherson, is one of the local mentors. He was also impressed with the progress he saw students make toward reducing their student debt within the nine months they met. “With the consistency of our check-ins, what initially seemed daunting for the students was cut down to bite-size pieces,” he said. “I think our meetings reassured the students that the




program was working, and by the end of the year they could see that they had made tremendous progress.” Seeing their debt shrinking over the course of an academic year is rewarding, but students in the program also appreciate the opportunity to build relationships on campus with members of their small groups and off campus with their mentors.

“Interactions with my mentor always kept me grounded with the enormous amount of things going on in college,” Addis said. “When I had questions, she was always willing to help and was able to get the answers I needed. There was also a sense of team, meeting with the other students in our group, and a sense of not wanting to let the team down. I didn’t want to be the guy that came to the meeting and said my budget fell apart.” Adamyk appreciated having a mentor who could help her navigate the hard financial questions she had throughout the year. “It was really nice to have Justin who could answer financial questions and to know that I can continue to ask him questions,” she said. “I know he will be willing to help me even after graduation.” For his part, Kaufman said he has enjoyed building relationships with the students he mentors and walking along side of them through this time in their life. “I wanted to be a part of this program because I thought back on all the mentors who have helped me and I jumped at the opportunity to pay it forward,” Kaufman said. “The most important thing to me is to help these students understand how they can be in control of their financial destiny. This program has the tools and the system behind it to equip the students with the knowledge to be in control of the financial aspect of their lives.” Mentors who participated in the Student Debt Project this year came from seven different states across all four time zones spanning from California to Florida. The total number of mentors was 41 working individually or as a couple, and the average small group size was four students. If you are interested in volunteering as a mentor for students working through the Student Debt Project during the next academic year, please email Dave Barrett, mentorship coordinator, at

Personal Finance.

Life Lessons. Making an impact on students’ lives for over 40 years.

It’s not a course unique to McPherson College or cutting-edge subject matter, but the Personal Finance class offered as a general education course through the business department has been making an impact on students’ lives for more than 40 years. “I started a Roth IRA because of that class,” Marco Chacon, a senior from San Antonio, Texas, said. “Before the class was even over, I had gotten my IRA and was asking for advice on investing. I told all my friends about it and showed them what you can do by starting to save a little now.” It’s a common story among the students taking the class, according to Professors Rod Gieselman and Norman Hope. The course explains relevant financial topics that individuals and families face every day like mortgages, insurances, savings and investing, credit scores, major purchases like automobiles and homes, and retirement. “A large number of students who take the class have not had good examples to follow in financial matters or have never had these kinds of conversations before,” Gieselman said. “The material we cover in class can be very eye-opening for a lot of students.” Chacon, who recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports management, took many business classes over his four years at McPherson College but said Personal Finance was by far the most valuable class to him. It helped him better understand his family’s financial decisions and equipped him with the knowledge to make financial decisions for his future, like starting to save for retirement early. “It was important for me to be able to learn from the experiences my family went through as I was growing up,” Chacon said. “The class helped me take from my past experiences and see how the financial decisions my parents made affected our family. It was such a beneficial class because I could start applying what I learned to real-world situations right away.” For Mychael Tripp, a junior transfer student from Irvington, New Jersey, being able to apply what he learned in class to make better financial decisions made an immediate impact on him. He admits that he was not expecting much from the class. It was his first business class and it was online during this past interterm. “It was so impactful to me that when the class was over, I found Rod’s office so I could meet him in person,” Tripp said. “Because of what I learned in the class, I made small changes right away like eating out less and cooking more meals at home. I went from struggling in my first semester here to now being able to eliminate some of that struggle.” Throughout the semester, the instructors invite business

professionals to speak to the students. Banking and financial professionals talk about mortgages, loans, and savings; realtors talk about buying homes; insurance representatives talk about understanding insurance options; and dealership managers talk about common mistakes people make when purchasing cars. Basic lessons about spending less and saving more are essential parts of the course. “It’s why I think the Student Debt Project is so significant,” Professor Hope said. “Students realize they have to pay back what they borrowed, and it’s easier to pay back if you only borrow what you need.” During his interterm course, Professor Hope gave his class a unique hands-on final that gave students a tangible assignment to report on. “I gave students envelopes with varying amounts of cash in them, and they were assigned to spend the money according to concepts they learned in class,” Hope said. “The challenge was how they would be responsible for spending the money and then give an accounting of what they did with it.” Professors Gieselman and Hope think that the students who take the class learn more than the practical lessons about personal finance. They hope the students will take away a deeper understanding of the financial decisions they make and become more intentional in their decision-making. “It is very rewarding to teach this class,” Gieselman said. “You can see how much of an impact it is having on the students’ financial life. For many people, this is information you learn when you have to do it yourself. I hope that we have planted the seeds or given them enough basic knowledge to approach making sound financial decisions and be able to live life without the financial stress that the average person lives through.” In addition to the basics of personal finance, Professor Hope also tries to share ideas about generosity and defining what a successful future looks like. “We also look at the idea of being generous,” he said. “I want students to realize that this is all temporal, and there has to be a greater purpose to accumulating wealth than just to accumulate wealth. I try to impress on them there is this notion that being generous is important to a successful life.” The life lessons he learned in the class were not lost on Tripp. “A lot of kids where I come from don’t ever learn this stuff,” he said. “I immediately went to my mom and told her she needed to start saving from every paycheck for her retirement. Before I took this class, we weren’t having conversations like that.”



alumni news Thank you Bulldog family for supporting our students during Power Day on March 11, 2021. Over 340 donors donated $193,408 in gifts!



So happy to see MC doing well and providing a wonderful education to young students today. I still have fond memories and appreciate the education I received. Jim Anewalt ‘73

Thank you to all of the MC faculty and staff who changed our lives back in the day! And thank you #DaveBarrett for everything he does at MC! It's a great day to be a Bulldog. Leslee ‘92 and Ted ’92 Bray

Much love to my bulldog family!! My times at Mac made me who I am today! S/O to the Barretts, Kim Stanley, Hoffmans, Shay Maclin and the Barrs!! Nathan Tia ‘14

Everything good in my life over the last 12+ years has happened as a result of going to McPherson College & I am forever thankful for that. Mitch Leppke ‘13

Proud to be a MAC Alum...Great Day to Be A Bulldog! Kenny Romero ‘04

It's a great day to be a bulldog! We love MC and our bulldog fam! Katie ‘13 and John ’12 Davidson

So proud of the growth, development, improvement, & general success of my school! Arlan Wine ‘72

So grateful for the ways that McPherson College has impacted my life! Emily Tyler ‘03

Glad I could help in a small way. McPherson helped me become the person I am now. Emilee Reinert ‘13

So happy to be a part of the Bulldog community. It's a GREAT day to be a Bulldog. Lesli Earlston ‘96

Proud to be a Bulldog Alumni! I wouldn't be where I am at today without the support of McPherson College. Evan Clary ‘15

Love the MC Bulldog family and am so grateful for the friends I made. It's a great day to be a bulldog! Jessica Everton ‘96




Citation of Merit Award

The purpose of the Alumni Citation of Merit is to recognize lifetime achievement of outstanding McPherson College Alumni. The Citation of Merit is one of the most distinguished awards bestowed by McPherson College. The award is granted annually by the College upon the recommendation of the Awards Committee and with final approval by the College Board of Trustees.


W. Ethmer Erisman ’46 Presented by Pearl Miller ‘67

Dwight Hill ‘53

Presented by Rodger Swanson ’74

Eleanor Draper Hubbard ’62 Presented by Treva Mathur ‘62

Dale ’72 & Christy Young ’76 Dowdy

Written by Gordon Hoffert, Presented by Karlene Tyler '75

To watch the recorded awards presentation go to:



why I give

“I drove a stake in the ground. I told my wife this is what I want to do. She agreed. And she has helped me do it all these years.” This is how Phillip Thompson, following his graduation from MC in 1966, recalls declaring his lifelong intention to give to McPherson College. Now, 55 years later, there has hardly been a year when the Thompsons have missed making a donation to the McPherson College Fund. “In the early 1970s, I was laid off from the Boeing Company for three years. My wife Darlene was pregnant with our fourth child, but we still continued to make our annual gift to McPherson College,” says Thompson.

Phillip Thompson ‘66

What started as a $50 annual donation more than half a century ago has increased steadily over time. Thompson has also taken advantage of the Boeing Company’s employee matching gift program, which matches the amount of his donations to MC. The seventh-born of eight siblings, he paid his own way through college by working in the McPherson hospital geriatrics ward. The pay rate was 75 cents an hour. He also labored as a part-time farmer and rancher to pay off his college expenses. “I cherished my experience at McPherson College. The education I got allowed me to do things for myself and my family. This is why we have made sure to give to McPherson College all these years.”

support our students ONLINE:

BY MAIL: McPherson College Advancement Office Amount: Designation:

$1,000 MC Fund


1600 E. Euclid St. PO Box 1402 $200


Student Debt Project

McPherson, KS 67460

Other $ Other

Special Instructions Name



Address City






alumni news

The C.A.R.S. Club car show returned to the McPherson College campus this year on May 1, 2021. The student-led show featured entries from students, alumni, and college employees.

Junior Mendez ‘20 2016 Porsche GT 4 Junior Mendez, a 2020 graduate, returned to campus for the car show with a 2016 Porsche GT 4 race car owned by his employer, Thomas Heartline. Mendez, who is based in Costa Mesa, California, gets to work on a wide range of vehicles from race cars to restorations and says his job doesn’t really feel like work because he is having so much fun.

Matt Edmonds ‘17 1984 AMC Eagle After he graduated in 2017, Matt Edmonds went to work on restoring his all-wheel drive 1984 AMC Eagle that he acquired for free. He rebuilt the engine but did not do much cosmetically to the vehicle that has “every single option,” he said. Edmonds is a long-time fan of AMC vehicles and describes this latest one as “having all of the features of a Cadillac but doesn’t get stuck in the snow.”

Connect to MC!

Access our social media channels and website to keep in touch.

from the director

Alumni at the car show

Dear MC alumni

and M C friends, HOMECOMING Our financial futures begin during college. That reality may seem like more pressure than college students should need to contend with in the midst of coursework, club memberships, team practices, and late evening social gatherings. Nevertheless, college graduates will live with the benefits or consequences of financial decisions made during college for the remainder of their financial futures. McPherson College is giving students the opportunity to engage that financial future while there is still time to lay a healthy foundation. The widely successful Student Debt Project, which continues to grow in participants each academic year, invites students into a group mentorship relationship that offers tools to reduce student loan debt, to take advantage of work and internship opportunities, and to set financial goals for their future beyond graduation. The alumni and friends serving as mentors in this program are invaluable resources acting as sounding boards and cheerleaders for each student they mentor. Students are also able to take a course on personal finances for credit. You can read more about this class and some of its participants in the Review story. It gives students the chance to hear about a wide variety of worthwhile financial approaches, many of which can be put into practice while they are still students at MC. We each tell a unique financial story influenced by our family of origin, social and political factors, and personal decisions. McPherson College is giving students the opportunity to shape their own narratives to build the best financial future possible beginning today.

Monica Rice director of alumni & constituent relations



A N N O U N C E M E N T S Carl Kasey ’47, McPherson, celebrated his 98th birthday on November 28 with a drive-by celebration. Irvin Wagner ’59, Norman, Oklahoma, was honored with the 2020-2021 President’s Award by the Oklahoma Music Educators Association for his outstanding contribution to music education. Wagner continues to teach after 50 years as a professor of trombone at the University of Oklahoma. Tim Weiser ’72, York Springs, Pennsylvania, received a special Distinguished Service Award in February by the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania. Weiser passed away November 5, 2019. David Burgess ’78, Olathe, Kansas, authored two books in 2020—“Life at 20,” a book covering the quest for the whitetail deer, and “My Day in God’s Great Outdoors,” a motivational journal recording his time enjoying God’s creation. Doug Gayer ’81, McPherson, was posthumously inducted into the Kansas Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame in May during the opening ceremonies of the Class 4A State Tournament in Topeka. Tom Crist ’82, Oxford, Ohio, was recently awarded the most prestigious career faculty honor at Miami University, the Benjamin Harrison Medallion. Crist is professor and chair of biology at Miami and is widely recognized for his research in biodiversity and ecology. Elizabeth Burns ’82, Newton, Kansas, has been chosen as the Outstanding Elementary Art Educator 2020-2021 by the Kansas Art Education Association. Burns has been in the Newton school district for 10 years. Kevin Carman ’82, Reno, Nevada, has been selected as the University of Wyoming’s provost/senior vice president for academic affairs. For the past eight years, he has served as the executive vice president and provost of the University of Nevada. Merrie Cline Monteagudo ’87, San Diego, California, has won a regional Emmy Award in the category of News—Religion—Single Story or Series for work on “Crisis of spirit: An Army chaplain’s journey with PTSD,” a story featured by The San Diego Union-Tribune. Lora Coffman ’89, Des Moines, Iowa, completed seven years of service in January on patrol with the Des Moines Police Department. She is now working for the State of Iowa as Examiner Specialist with Disability Determinations Section.




Victoria Finkenstadt ’89, East Peoria, Illinois, is national program leader with USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Dave Barrett ’90, McPherson, was recently recognized by Cody Rierson '05 on behalf of the McPherson Education Foundation for his two consecutive terms as a McPherson College representative on the board. Dave has served on the board since 2015. In his award presentation, Barrett was commended for going “above and beyond for the McPherson community.” Dave is an advancement officer at the college. Kelli Weddle Huslig ’92, Lawrence, Kansas, owns Uplift Coffee Shop, a new business she opened in 2020. Chris Goodson ’99 and Jaymie O’Dell ’99, both McPherson, are working with the McPherson Housing Coalition to build tiny homes for families in crisis. The project “Oak Harbor Cottages” will give families a place to live as they look for permanent housing. Sarah Hendricks Wagoner ’00, South Bend, Indiana, was selected by her peers as the 2021 Teacher of the Year at Clay International Academy, where she teaches 3rd grade. Katie Sue Nicklos ’02, Brooklyn, New York, was featured in a January New York Post article highlighting her company Wing & Weft that made the leather gloves worn by First Lady Jill Biden for the inauguration. Nicklos has been owner and CEO of Wing & Weft since 2017. Marie Benner-Rhoades ’03, Trumansburg, New York, is serving as chair of the Christian Peacemaker Teams Steering Committee. Shanna Hayden Coulter ’04, Allen, Texas, recently began work as senior manager of Indirect Tax Automation at BDO USA. Cody Rierson ’05, McPherson, has been selected as the new superintendent of Moundridge Schools USD 423. After completing eight years as principal at Lincoln Elementary School in McPherson, Rierson will begin at Moundridge in July. Colleen Porter Gustafson ’06, McPherson, is project manager at Farmers Alliance Mutual Insurance.

alumni notes America Patton ’06, Kansas City, Kansas, was accepted into Emporia State University’s Flint Hills International Writing Project, a program that gives teachers a safe place to collaborate, write, read, and create action plans addressing inequalities and inequities in education and society. In September 2020, Patton contributed a guest blog for the Biomimicry Institute focusing on incorporating biomimicry concepts into the academic curriculum at home and at school during Covid-19. Jared Heinen ’07, Hutchinson, Kansas, has worked for Peoples Bank and Trust since 2018 and in January began serving the Reno County area as a real estate loan officer specializing in home mortgages. Amber Wright ’07, Cushing, Oklahoma, showed four horses in the American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show in November. Her successes include two bronze champion titles within two different classes, a Level 2 Reserve Champion title, and a coveted World Champion title. Tabetha Salsbury Hammer ’09, Tacoma, Washington, has been appointed CEO and President of America’s Automotive Trust. Sean McCrae ’09, Alachua, Florida, graduated in January from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine with a doctor of veterinary medicine degree. He is a veterinarian at Veterinary Emergency Clinic of Central Florida. Eric Sader ’09, Bloomington, Indiana, was recently selected as an inaugural recipient of the Dr. James E. Mumford Excellence in Extraordinary Teaching Award, recognizing Indiana University Bloomington faculty members who have excelled as teachers during extraordinary circumstances. Sader was also awarded the 2020-21 Community Partner Award from IU's School of Social Work for his creation and oversight of social work field instruction at Spencer Pride. Spencer, Indiana, is the nation's smallest town with a dedicated LGBTQ center.

Emilee Reinert ’13, Wichita, Kansas, received the Salesperson of the Year Award at Subaru of Wichita for the second year in a row. Deon Shorter ’14, Pasadena, California, recently joined the Dave Knight Real Estate Team as an internal sales agent with Keller Williams Realty. Crystal Osner ’16, New York, New York, is sustainability manager at Craftspring. Callie Atkins Dohe ’17, McPherson, works as a physical therapy assistant at Advanced Physical Therapy. Amanda Connell ’18, Des Moines, Iowa, graduated from Drake University Law School in May. Mitchell Richardson ’18, Burlington, Colorado, teaches physical education at Burlington Elementary School. Micaila Curtis ’19, Costa Mesa, California, has accepted a position in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Ph.D. program at Georgetown University. Abigayle Morgan ’19, McPherson, recently became assistant director of auto restoration at McPherson College. Amanda Lolling ’19, McPherson, recently joined Signal Theory Inc. as an associate account manager. Lionel Ibonga ’20, McPherson, is working as financial planning assistant at Prairie Hills Financial Group. Joshua Reyes ’20, Sterling Heights, Michigan, is a trim technician at General Motors. Micah Gilbert ’20, Elkhart, Indiana, is digital media specialist at CAPS. Gray Irwin ’20, Lees Summit, Missouri, recently joined the staff at Empire Automotive. Matthew Tyler Delano Miller-Wells ’20, Conyers, Georgia, is lead restoration technician at Resurrected Classics. Elizabeth Thornton ’20, St. Joseph, Missouri, is residence life coordinator at Missouri Western State University.

Erica Larson Shook ’10, McPherson, will be joining Buhler USD 313 as the Ad Astra Virtual Academy Director.

Victoria Voyles ’20, Lenexa, Kansas, works as a behavioral interventionist at Foster Adopt Connect.

Amy Huxtable ’11, Overland Park, Kansas, is an art therapist with the University of Kansas Health System. She earned a master of science in art therapy counseling from Emporia State University in 2019.

Rodrigo Miranda-Enriquez ’21, St. Louis, Missouri, is area manager I of operations at

Stephanie Johannes ’12, Salina, Kansas, graduated from Kansas State University in December with an M.S. in educational leadership.




Cody Compton ‘12 to Sara Hugo

Arvada, Colorado, September 27, 2020.

Adam Bruner ’14 to Kayla Snead ’16 Colorado Springs, Colorado, April 4, 2021.

Michael Ramos ’16 to Brianna Carver Wylie, Texas, October 9, 2020.

Jess Herbers ’95 to Leah Jennings Lynchburg, Virginia, July 13, 2020.

Mike Horner ’99 to Corwynn Romberger Kansas City, Missouri, October 10, 2020.

Molly Kelley ’17 to Jake Stansbury Gladstone, Missouri, April 4, 2020.

Chandler Dohe ’17 to Callie Atkins ’17 McPherson, March 13, 2021.


Maverick Carrell to Donnae and Matthew Holtry ’03

Wilder, Idaho, March 23, 2021.




William Patrick to Steve and Andrea Wilder Connelly ’04 Atchison, Kansas, May 5, 2021.

Rynara Janae to Holly and Justyn Shaw ’05

Bartlesville, Oklahoma, March 5, 2021.

alumni notes B I RT H S

Jack Everett to Kevin and Josie Ireland Ferstl ‘06

Alana Esther Vargas to Judy Jacobs ’07

Ellie Jae to Kami and Derrick Mead ’08

Wren Elsie to Matt and Jessica Miller Robinson ’08

Emeline Alexandra to Jillian and Nathan Clary ’10

Harper to Thomas and Holly Bate Lofgren ’11

Brinley Rae to Courtney and Grant Miller ’11

Madsen Shane to Brent ’13 and Brooke Weisenburger Mulford ’12

Journey and Kennedy to Rhylee and Terrance Grant ‘16

Derby, Kansas, February 8, 2021.

San Antonio, Texas, May 8, 2020.

Waxahachie, Texas, March 23, 2021.

Lyons, Kansas, February 10, 2021.

Bradenton, Florida, May 19, 2021.

Topeka, Kansas, August 20, 2020.

Pretty Prairie, Kansas, December 3, 2020.

Derby, Kansas, October 6, 2020.

McPherson, February 17, 2021.




ANNIVERSARIES 60 YEARS Ivan ’61 and Gloria Thompson Prochaska ’63, Beloit, Kansas, December 23, 2020.

I N Trace Bradley to Justin Fagan ’17 Derby, Kansas, April 28, 2021.


Ann Oberst Keim ’49, Nampa, Idaho, January 15, 2021. Paul Wagoner ’49, McPherson, December 27, 2020.

Lyle Miller ’51, Stockton, Kansas, December 22, 2020. Lois Yoder Neher ’51, McPherson, March 28, 2021.

Lloyd M. Hummer ’53, Manhattan, Kansas, December 20, 2020.

Dorothy Swinger Nicholson ’54, Saint Joseph, Missouri, December 22, 2020. Karl W. Baldner ’55, Brooksville, Florida, May 11, 2021.

John E. Thomas, Sr. ’55, Leeton, Missouri, February 1, 2021. Robert W. “Bob” Wise ’56, McPherson, January 6, 2021.

Katherine Hamm Eisele ’57, Overland Park, Kansas, May 27, 2021.

Navy Tyliek to Damaje Markham ’17 Wichita, Kansas, December 4, 2020.

Mary Romero Kolstad ’58, Kearney, Nebraska, February 18, 2021. M. Bruce Peterson ’59, Topeka, Kansas, June 4, 2020.

Norman L. Yoder ’59, Lindsborg, Kansas, July 18, 2020.

Jay L. Strom ’59, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, October 23, 2020. Bryce L. Heinz ’60, Park City, Kansas, May 14, 2021.

Vernard Foley ’61, West Lafayette, Indiana, May 28, 2021.

Diane Stockham Mattingly ’62, Kansas City, Missouri, November 16, 2020. Timothy J. Wesselowski ’62, McPherson, January 2, 2021.

Duane L. Strickler ’63, Falling Waters, West Virginia, February 23, 2021. Robert D. Cain, Jr. ’65, Greenville, Ohio, March 27, 2021.

J. Mark Werner ’66, Longmont, Colorado, December 27, 2020.

Hudson Greggory to Greggory ‘19 and Bailey Reinoehl Elvin ’18 Lindsborg, Kansas, March 3, 2021.

Anna Marie Bryant Achilles ’67, Hays, Kansas, June 5, 2021.

Dean H. Sheller ’68, Chaska, Minnesota, December 9, 2020.

Donald R. McMurray ’70, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 18, 2020. Karl R. Matz ’71, McPherson, March 22, 2021.

Susan Stewart Vogts ’74, Hesston, Kansas, June 4, 2021.

Deborah L. Apgar ’75, North Brunswick, New Jersey, February 4, 2021. Adán Carriaga ’80, Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 1, 2021.

Marlene Stucky Krehbiel ’82, Moundridge, Kansas, December 3, 2020. Rita DeWitt Hurlburt ’92, El Dorado, Kansas, January 6, 2021. Jace F. Lobato ’07, Selden, Kansas, December 10, 2020.

Dick Hess, former Board of Trustees member, McPherson, January 16, 2021.

Lawson Alexander to Luke and Michelle Ducy Perse ‘10

Pueblo, Colorado, February 25, 2021. Sami Lynn to Margie and Jered Hannawald ‘06

Denton, Maryland, February 27, 2021.

Nolan Michael to Loren and Chelsie Kramer Erway ’10 Atwood, Kansas, July 3, 2020.




alumni notes I N




Robert W. “Bob” Wise was a champion of McPherson College who offered his support and counsel to the college for many years. He passed away on January 6, 2021. He received a bachelor’s degree from McPherson College in 1956 and was a member of the 1953 championship football team. He married his college sweetheart, Anita McSpadden ’57, and earned a law degree from George Washington University in 1961. He loved the practice of the law and was proud of his firm’s 135-year history in McPherson. He had practice law for 60 years and was an active member of the firm, Wise & Reber L.C., at the time of his death.

McPherson College is grateful for the significant contributions of George “Dick” Hess, who passed away on January 16, 2021. Dick grew up learning the family business in oil fields in McPherson County. He attended McPherson College and the University of Kansas before serving in the U.S. Air Force for four years during the Korean War. With his brother, Jim, he co-owned and operated Hess Oil Company, serving as president. He also had interests in farming and ranching.

Bob served as legal counsel for the college and was a former member of the McPherson College Board of Trustees. He offered a great deal of support and was heavily involved with many development fundraising efforts over the years. In honor of his wise counsel and unwavering support, McPherson College recognized him with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1988. Bob was an unseen advisor to many in all facets of leadership throughout the county. During his career, he was instrumental in creating a forward thinking political and business culture in McPherson.

Dick was an ardent supporter of McPherson College with a special interest in performing and fine arts. He funded the Lou Ann Dyck Hess Fine Arts Endowment for scholarships, visiting artists, and program equipment in memory of his first wife, who passed away in 1981. And in 1995, he and his wife, Beverly, established the Dick & Beverly Hess Endowment for Fine Arts and Science. Today, the Hess Fine Arts Center on the McPherson College campus stands as an enduring legacy of the Hess family. The building was made possible through a leading gift from the Hess family and named to honor Dick’s parents George and Evaline Hess. The building was dedicated on May 20, 2000 and houses the fine and performing arts departments. Dick also supported the college through his service on the Board of Trustees from 1986-2003.

“Bob saw the best and worst of MC, yet his loyalty never wavered over 60 years. His humble approach left details of his actions hard to trace for the average observer. However, for nearly 20 years, I’ve had the privilege of working with Bob and I can tell you the impact of his legacy at MC is unmatched,” said President Michael Schneider.

“Getting to know Dick Hess has been one of the best parts of my time at McPherson College. He taught me how to advocate for the causes you are most passionate about in life. Dick was always ‘all-in’ and willing to take a risk on a new idea. His investments in McPherson College and service to our community is remarkable,” said President Michael Schneider.




Digitized issues of the Spectator and other McPherson College publications can be found at:




& now

A page from the 1973 Quadrangle mentioning the last time the commencement ceremony was held outside until this year.



Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Permit #1148 Wichita, KS

McPherson College 1600 East Euclid PO Box 1402 McPherson, KS 67460

W H AT ’ S N E W O N L I N E . . . Alumni Huddle Videos MC hosted special Alumni Huddle events on Zoom where President Schneider and staff shared information about the college. Watch recordings of sessions on Black History Month, Power Day, Health Sciences and Auto Restoration.

Homecoming October 1-3, 2021

Join us back on campus this fall!

Alumni Podcast E3: Explore, Experience, & Engage is a podcast published by McPherson College highlighting success stories shared by MC alumni. Current first-year student Jacob Reed interviews alumni from a variety of careers to ask them about their own journeys.

A portion of the publication cost for the Review comes from Docuplex in Wichita, Kan. -

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