MidAmerica Nazarene University - ACCENT Summer 2022

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Summer 2022

CUNNINGHAM CENTER OPENS TO STUDENTS: A BRAND NEW GATHERING PLACE - PG. 4


PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE

WHAT HAS CHANGED… WHAT HASN’T? Frequently, alumni and friends visit our campus and are amazed by what has changed. They say everything seems to be significantly different than they remember. Their photo albums show moments caught in time and their memories are anchored in more familiar places. However, with life and time, not much is untouched by the dynamics of change. We have seen significant changes in the life of our university, and its momentum has clearly accelerated. MNU responded to the pandemic heroically, quickly moving to accommodate learning and university business in a totally new way. That experience changed the university and us as we discovered the power of cooperation and working together in new ways for the good of the community. Expanding virtual technology and video conferencing allows teaching and learning beyond the classroom. It revolutionized how we communicate and collaborate. Limitations of time and distance are no longer obstacles. The latest significant change, the completion of our new Cunningham Center, has brought us a new gathering place designed and dedicated to vibrant community life. Coupled with removing the old Campus Center, we learned that some change is welcome as the patterns of campus life transition and new opportunities emerge. Amid rapid change, some things haven’t changed. We have a single resounding commitment and timeless vision at MNU. That vision compels us to present the never-changing news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to each generation. We continue to proclaim that his transforming power changes lives now and for eternity. Our core values remain. As we serve each generation, we commit “To be driven by our common purpose and collective action to inspire and develop servant leaders who will personally and professionally impact our world for Jesus Christ.” [credit: MNU’s Building Foundations for A New Generation strategic plan.]

Many things will change, but the power of Jesus Christ to transform lives won’t, and that will make all the difference in the world.

Dr. David J. Spittal President

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TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S

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President’s Honors Hits $6 Million Tenth Anniversary Event Breaks One-Night Giving Total

12 A Vision For Future Generations Alums Pay It Forward

14 Commencement Photo Gallery Achievements and Celebrations Made A Joyful Day

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18 We Love Alums

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New Social Media Event Engages Alumni

21 The Viewbook Becoming a Pioneer

27 Academic Achievement Innovation, Engagement and Success at MNU

36 Season Stats & Standouts Athletic Recaps, Baseball World Series and more

38 Alumni News Catch Up With Friends Near and Far

14 Accent is published by MidAmerica Nazarene University and mailed free to alumni, friends and supporters of MNU. It is produced for University Advancement by the MNU Marketing and Communications Office. Postage is paid at Olathe, Kansas, and additional mailing offices.

ON THE COVER Submit news or comments: accent@mnu.edu Sign up for Accent’s digital edition at: mnu.edu/accent-notify

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CUNNINGHAM CENTER OPENS TO STUDENTS: A BRAND NEW GATHERING PLACE Summer 2022

MANAGING EDITOR Carol (Knight ’81, MA ’08) Best

ART AND DESIGN Stacey (Asbill ’92) Eisele Beth Barnett

PHOTOGRAPHERS Stacey (Asbill ’92) Eisele Sienna Schmidt Christopher P. Smith Ticum Media

CONTRIBUTORS Chad Jenkins Dr. Randy Cloud

CUNNINGHAM CENTER OPENS TO STUDENTS: A BRAND NEW GATHERING PLACE - PG. 4

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CUNNINGHAM CENTER

THE DREAM IS NOW REALITY MNU’s newest facility, the Cunningham Center, opened on March 17, 2022 to celebratory excitement from students, employees, alumni and visitors. In addition to its flagship food preparation and dining area, it houses Admissions, Student Development, Student Counseling and the Pioneer Store. The multi-use facility is also home to student government offices, an activity lounge, coffee shop, and high-tech conference and meeting spaces. Cunningham Center would not be complete without places for students to simply hang out. Whether studying, waiting for their next classes or meeting up with friends, this venue hits the mark. In fact, students say they love it. Brinna Ream, a freshman youth & family ministry major, says “It is a really great space to meet up with friends and do some work other than in the library. It’s a casual, friendly environment.” Junior Lacie Kazmaier is a psychology major. “It brings community,” Lacie says. “We all needed a space to hang out.” Meghan Spann, a sophomore, ministry major, says “I love the fireplace, it’s really cozy and reminds me of home. MNU is quite literally my home. The Cunningham Center is warm and welcoming, and it is so awesome to meet new people but see old friends there as well. Hunter Chapman is a junior majoring in leadership & management. “It brings a sense of newness to the campus and makes people excited to be here,” he says. Freshman ministry major Alberto Ibarra likes the design. “It’s modern and sleek,” he says. “You can go get late-night food, and that really helps students out.” Raising support for a $20 million facility that would anchor the north end of campus and provide needed student and employee spaces while providing a showcase for visitors was an ambitious goal. Drew Whipple, associate vice president for traditional enrollment, expressed gratitude saying the building will be a vital aspect in helping MNU win students in a competitive university market.

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CUNNINGHAM CENTER

“Being able to showcase the MNU experience to prospective students and their families in a building befitting the quality education and community that our students enjoy is a gamechanger,” Whipple says. “We are grateful to university leadership that presented the need and donors who caught the vision and supported this campaign.”

““This building is a manifestation of God’s faithfulness to this institution. This last brick connecting the past to the future, portrays a simple but powerful witness for all who pass by and read these words engraved upon it, ’Trust God.’” Dr. Spittal President

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A Dedication and Grand Celebration was held May 6 with hundreds of alumni, students, donors and friends gathered on the south patio. Many members of the Class of ’72, MNU’s first graduating class, were in attendance. Members of the Bright Futures Executive Committee also attended with remarks from Co-Chairs Tim Buchanan and Dr. Dan Rexroth. Olathe Mayor John Bacon (’85) addressed the crowd. Dr. Connie Cunningham gave remembrances and a prayer of building dedication. At the close of remarks, Dr. Spittal introduced Associated Student Government President Sarah Krehbiel, who placed the last brick in the wall of the Cunningham Center—a brick saved from the demolition of the old Campus Center.”


Bright Futures Executive Committee Members Left to Right: Jon North, David Spittal, JoAnne Rexroth, Janet Halvorson, Ervin Cash, Madeline Tollefson, Allen Tollefson, Connie Cunningham, Bob Crew, Gail Buchanan, Merrill Conant, Bob Drummond, Chad Cook, Larry McIntire. Back row: Dan Rexroth, Tim Buchannan.

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PRESIDENT’S HONORS

TENTH PRESIDENT’S HONORS GALA

RAISES RECORD AMOUNT

The 10th anniversary of President’s Honors, MNU’s premier fundraising event for student scholarships, broke records April 8, raising $833,331 through sponsorships, auction bids and gifts. This brings the 10-year total raised at President’s Honors to more than $6 million. Conceived by the MNU Foundation in 2012 to coincide with the inauguration of MNU’s fifth president, Dr. David Spittal, President’s Honors has provided scholarship assistance to literally thousands of students.

“God has been faithful to supply our needs as a university, but it is through the God-inspired generosity of our donors that these needs are met,” says Spittal. “That investment in our students, past, present and future, provides a legacy that time will not diminish.”

Dr. Spittal President

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Energetic live-auction bidding was entertaining and provided significant funding for scholarships. One of the most competitively bid items was the game ball and net from Men’s Head Basketball Coach Rocky Lamar’s 800th career win achieved this February. The item was won by Dr. Gary Morsch, who presented the item to Rocky, the beloved coach who was in attendance with his wife, Dr. Jo Lamar.

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PRESIDENT’S HONORS

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Board of Trustees member and current Co-Chairs of the Bright Futures Capital Campaign, Tim and Gail Buchanan, were honored with MNU’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The Buchanans are longtime supporters of the university, the Church of the Nazarene and numerous non-profit organizations.

10 YEAR HIGHLIGHTS 607 SPONSORSHIPS 96 LIVE AUCTION ITEMS PRESENTED 47 CORNERSTONE AWARDS PRESENTED MORE THAN $6 MILLION RAISED

Honorary Co-Chairs for President’s Honors 2022 were MNU Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Dan and JoAnne Rexroth. The couple also co-chairs the Bright Futures campaign.

BEST SELLING ITEM YACHT FISHING TRIP 2017

The evening ended with brisk bidding for the President’s Scholarship Challenge, providing additional scholarship dollars for students. GIVING TO THE SCHOLARSHIP CHALLENGE IS STILL OPEN AT connect.mnu/generosity. A gallery of photos from the evening is on MNU’s Flickr channel: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjzKeRS THANKS TO THE 2022 PRESIDENT’S HONORS PRESENTING SPONSORS Cara (Viner ’98) Dumaplin and Taking Cara Babies and Friends of the Buchanan Family. Additional sponsors and more information are at presidentshonors.org.

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A LU M N I F O C U S

Alums Look To Future Generations of Pioneers “It’s a mission field. That’s why we support MNU,” says Keith Cox (’83), an alumnus and previous MNU Board of Trustee member. He and his wife, Julie (Poe ’83), choose to support the university where they prepared for careers, met one another, and made lifelong relationships. But beyond the loyalty they feel as graduates, it’s the opportunity to provide others with a Christian influence that spurs their support.

Above: Ervin (’81) and Fran Cash. Ervin is a current member of the Board of Trustees and serves on the Executive Committee for the Capital Campaign.

Knowing that students come from all sorts of backgrounds, Keith says MNU professors are privileged to introduce students to “the one true living God.” Continuing to provide opportunities for people to know who God is, propels his and Julie’s continued love and support for the university. After college days, the couple got to know newlyweds Ervin (’81) and Fran (Blankenship) Cash, who began attending their church, Nall Avenue Church of the Nazarene. The church had a dynamic young married group of friends that have stayed in touch through various life stages, career moves and child rearing. Keith and Julie made the Kansas City area their home. After their Kansas City days, Ervin and Fran lived in cities across the country: Cincinnati, Atlanta, New York City, Santa Barbara, and now Dallas. When they are back in MNU country, they enjoy seeing Keith and Julie. “I appreciate the way friendships developed at MNU and Nall Avenue endure with time through life experiences and professional careers,” says Ervin. “While life gets more complex, the enduring value of Christian friends becomes even more valuable. You

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Above: Keith (’83) and Julie (Poe ’83) Cox. MNU extends thanks to both couples for their gifts toward the new facility.

trust their judgment and their motivations because you know their value systems have long been based on Christian principles.” Ervin and Fran find ways to support the university that provided him with an education that would take him through graduate school, jobs in engineering and operations and then to the helm of several companies. Reuniting at the Cunningham Center Grand Celebration and Dedication May 6, 2022, Ervin, Keith and Julie toured the building they dreamed would be a vital gathering place for new generations of Pioneers.

Visitors to the Cunningham Center enjoy the Sun Lounge and Pete’s Place spaces provided by the generous donations of the Cox and Cash families.

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COMMENCEMENT

COMMENCEMENT 2022 Brings Joy And Togetherness Graduates and their families relished the opportunity to celebrate commencement together with a morning ceremony for 175 traditional undergraduates and an afternoon ceremony for 331 professional and graduate students May 7 at College Church. Welcomed by Susan Larson, PhD, tenured professor of nursing, the graduates heard an address from Dr. John Bowling, president emeritus of Olivet Nazarene University. Bowling reminded graduates that God has been with them during their education, and he will continue to be with them wherever they go. He reminded the audience that nurturing character, particularly regarding one’s spiritual self, continues to be a life-long learning practice. The beginning of a new tradition brought back members of the Pioneer Class of 1972 (the university’s first graduating class) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their commencement. The class president, Allen Brown, brought greetings and advice for the Class of 2022. Pete Brumbaugh, director of alumni engagement, says the tradition will continue each year for the class celebrating a 50th anniversary.

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Dean Flemming, PhD (’75), was named professor emeritus of New Testament as he retires this semester. Head Basketball Coach Rocky Lamar (’76) who is also retiring, was honored with the Citation of Merit. John Bowling received the honorary doctorate of humane letters

The American Heritage award winning seniors were Regan Smith, youth & family ministry major and Logan Frye, nursing major.

During the Professional and Graduate Studies ceremony, LeAnn Yantis, EdD, associate professor of business, was honored with the Robert I. Brower Award for Outstanding Faculty..

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COMMENCEMENT

COMMENCEMENT 2022 Brings Joy and Togetherness

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[Continued]


CELEBRATING ACCOMPLISHMENT

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A LU M N I F O C U S

We Love Alums Week! During We Love Alums Week (February 28-March 4), alumni were prompted to share something different every day—from when they knew they were meant to be at MANC/MNU and where they would plant a flag for MNU, to how they met forever friends and what line from the “Pioneer for Life” video most resonated with them and why. Alums submitted hundreds of responses and were rewarded with some great Pioneer swag. One of harder assignments during the week asked alumni to summarize their MNU experience in just six words. See a sampling of their responses on the opposite page.

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THROUGH THEIR EXPERIENCES

“Deeply rooted my love for Christ”— Kris (Underwood ’79) Carlson “Fun. So much fun. Transformational, too.” — Peggy (Cullado ’85) Hephner “Crammed all four years into six.”— Chris Gilmore ’06 “Edlin. Welch. Fine. Moore. Lytle. Smith.”— Courtney (Rayhons ’00) DeBok “Growth in knowledge, friendships, and Christ.”— Blake Owings ’17 “Loved spreading God’s Word through song.” — Brenda (Schindler ’74) Jacobson “Pushed me outta my comfort zone.” — Sarah (Hunt ’08) Fash “Built lasting relationships. Opened my worldview.”— Billie Taylor ’07 “Foundation for future and faith formation.”— Jim Couchenour ’82 “I learned to seek Jesus every day.” — Eva (Moore ’96) Williams “Exemplifying servant leadership, discipling today’s church”— Sarah (Johnson ’07) Traxel “Wonderful professors prepared me for life.”— Wes Bishop ’95 “Too much fun, not enough studying.”— Pam (Cheek ’81) Maddux ’81

Mark your calendars now for the 2023 We Love Alums Week,

Feb. 27-March 3

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ALUMNI EVENTS July 2022 – December 2022 DATE

EVENT

LOCATION

COST

Jul 22-23

MNU Family Weekend

Branson, MO

$$$

Aug 3

Leadercast

MNU Bell Center

$$

Aug 16

Legends Webinar Series

Online

Free

Aug 20

Legacy Family Brunch

MNU Bell Center

Free

Sept 9

MNU Night at the KC Royals

Kansas City, MO

$—$$

Sept 20

Pro Tip Webinar Series

Online

Free

Oct 3

Pioneer Golf Classic

Leawood, KS

$$$

Oct 14-16

Homecoming & Family Weekend

MNU Campus

$—$$

Nov 10

Legends Webinar Series

Online

Free

Dec 13

Alum Docuseries

Online

Free

$ Up to $50 per person | $$ Between $50 and $100 per person | $$$ More than $100 per person

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THE GUIDE

Explore MNU’s Campus Experience!

WE ARE PIONEERS ... JOIN US!


You have questions. From the major you choose, to the dorm you live in. From how to pay for college, to questions about life and where you want to land upon graduation.

LET US HELP WITH THE ANSWERS. With over 40+ academic programs to choose from, your success starts here. An MNU education is Integrative, Relational, Experiential and Transformational. Even our class schedule focuses on these goals, such as WIRED Wednesdays. Whether you’re set on your major or not, Wednesdays let you try out another field of study or dive deeper into your own major with special field trips, internships, luncheons and special speakers.

MAJORS & MINORS Accounting

Elementary Education

Leadership and Management

Nursing

Athletic Training

Engineering Dual Degree

Marketing

Organizational Leadership

Bible and Theology

English

Mathematics

Physical Education

Biology

English Language Arts Education

Mathematics Education

Physics

Entrepreneurship

MBA 4+1

Psychology

Graphic Design

Middle Level Mathematics Education

Recreation & Leisure Studies

History

Middle Level Science Education

History/Government and Social Studies Education

Ministry

Speech/Theatre Education

Intercultural Studies

Music Education

Kinesiology

Music-Worship Arts

Biology Education Business Administration Business Psychology Chemistry Children and Family Ministry Computer Science Criminal Justice Digital Communication

Music

Sociology Sports Management Theatre Youth & Family Ministry

PRE-PROFESSIONAL PROGRAMS Counseling, Dentistry, Engineering, Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Psychiatry, Veterinary Science and more at: mnu.edu/pre-professional-programs At MNU you’ll discover your passions and find your calling, all while learning from professors, not teaching assistants. What’s more, professors get to know you due to smaller class sizes and personal attention. Many mentoring relationships continue long after graduation.

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More Affordable Than You Think! A quality education is more important than ever, and cost should not hold any student back from the college of their choice. MNU provides significant scholarships to help reduce the cost and is one of the few colleges in the country to provide student loan repayment support to their graduates.

Scholarships Over 99% of MNU students qualify for MNU scholarships and grants, and are awarded an average of over $20,000 per student! We offer scholarships for athletics, performing arts (band, choir, theater), academic programs, and much more – apply today to learn more about your own personalized scholarship package!

MNU’s Student Loan Repayment Program Since 2019, MNU has provided its Pioneer Pledge to all incoming students. This pledge is simple. If you graduate from MNU and work at least 30 hours a week, MNU will help you repay your student loans until you are earning at least $49,000 a year or your loans are paid off. This no cost program is offered to our students because we want our graduates to go into the world with the freedom to pursue their passions not just a paycheck. This pledge is part of what it means to be a Pioneer for Life. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PIONEER PLEDGE HERE:

What Else? Pioneer Athletics Ready to take your athletics to a new level? MNU has a rich history of producing quality athletic teams that compete for tops spots within the NAIA’s Heart of America Athletic Conference. As a student athlete, our professors and coaches make sure you have everything you need to excel in the classroom, as well as on the playing field. Visit mnusports.com to see our teams and learn more about how to get involved with athletics.

Baseball

Golf

Basketball (men’s & women’s)

Soccer (men’s & women’s)

Cheerleading

Softball

Cross Country

Track & Field

Drumline

Women’s Volleyball

Football

Weightlifting

Heritage, Symphonic & Women’s Choirs

Pep Band

Jazz Ensemble

Improv

Pioneer Arts Whether you’re pursuing music or theater as a major, or simply looking for opportunities to perform, MNU is the place for you! Plan a visit today to take a tour of Bell Cultural Events Center and meet with our performing arts directors.

MNU Band

All The Rest Clubs, Student Government, Service Opportunities, Intramurals, Social Events and Chapel round out the options on campus.

Theatre


Location is everything – The Kansas City Connection

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. KC is a great place for internships and promising careers. You’ll have access to endless opportunities. Not only that, but we’ll ensure you make your mark here with the support of alumni connections in fields including healthcare, technology, entrepreneurship, education and more. And then there’s Kansas City’s professional sports, museums, concerts, trendy hangouts, First Fridays in the Arts District, bistros and BBQ. It’s just a short drive to all KC has to offer.

So, What’s Next? If you’re interested in becoming a Pioneer, the only thing left to do is to come for a campus visit! We believe once you spend time with our students, faculty, coaches, and directors, you’ll know that Pioneer for Life is more than a tag line — it is the heartbeat of our community. Come find out for yourself!

Ask questions. We’re here for you every step of the way. Email or call us at admissions@mnu.edu or 913.971.3380. 2030 E. 913-782-3750 or 800-800-8887 College Way, Olathe, KS 66062-1899


PROFESSIONAL & GRADUATE STUDIES PROGRAMS MNU is What’s Next. Make Your Move!

ONLINE, ON-SITE AND BLENDED PROGRAM OPTIONS Alums and family members are eligible for a 10% tuition discount on select professional and graduate programs. LEARN MORE: MNU.EDU/NEXT

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Wondering What’s Next? When your career goals require more education…

…MNU Is The Right Move! Earn the competitive edge you’re seeking with a degree from MNU. Our programs are academically challenging, values-oriented and career-relevant. Our people provide helpful advising, academic and technical support all within an encouraging community while you earn your degree.

AREAS OF STUDY Online and In-Person Associate’s, Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees Undergraduate, Graduate & Post-Graduate Certificates - Business

- Nursing

- Computer Information Systems

- Education

- Counseling Use this code to learn about all of our programs.

IT’S SO WORTH IT This program helped me acquire more communication,

THIS INVESTMENT NEVER LOSES VALUE An investment in your personal development cannot be taken away. And an MNU degree is affordable thanks to

collaboration and critical thinking skills to handle complex cases in the ever-changing healthcare field. —Jacquiline Mulili, RN-BSN The professors are very approachable and make time

our competitive tuition rates, financial assistance and

to help you when you need it. They understand how to give

partnership or legacy discounts. Ask our representatives

an adult learner “buy-in” demonstrating the journey will

to find out if you qualify.

What’s Your Next Move? Inquire for more information or to apply at www.mnu.edu/graduate.

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be worth the investment. —Jack Vaughn, BA & MBA programs


MNU’s Global Mission Trip and Academic Experience Program Dr. Randy Cloud coordinates Pioneer Trek and serves as assistant to the president for church relations. MNU has a long and

says. “I really like the emphasis on excellence in

exciting history of

academia under the Lordship of Christ.”

sending students on domestic and international missionrelated trips. Crosscultural experiences are part of our DNA. Our MNU Mission statement

Twenty nursing students traveled to the interior of Guatemala in March to share their medical training with local people in five villages. Many of these villagers have no opportunity for healthcare outside of these mission-focused events.

includes a key goal of cultivating “a passion to

Emilee Crouch (’19) explained, “I honestly went to

serve.” Our vision statement reminds us that we

Guatemala to make a difference, to make a ripple in the

desire “to impact the world for Jesus Christ through

ocean, to serve and love and help. What I didn’t know

servant leaders.”

was it would be Guatemala and the children there that

Passionate leaders like Drs. Frank (’73) and Sue (Potter ’75) Moore led trips so students could serve

would make a difference in my world, a ripple in my ocean, and their love would serve me.”

in Central and South America. Others traveled to

This summer, theatre students will travel to New York

China, Europe, Africa, the Caribbean (especially

City; a team will go to Puerto Rico; and another to the

Haiti), South Korea, the Holy Land, New York City,

Czech Republic.

Native American schools in Arizona, and even an archaeological dig in Jordan. To broaden cross-cultural opportunities domestically and internationally, MNU launched Pioneer Trek in 2019. While the pandemic slowed development, these service-oriented, vocationally based, culturally enriching trips are happening again. During Spring Break 2022, Dr. Acha Goris, MNU assistant professor of Counselor Education,

We are eager for students to learn how they can use

organized a trip to Lagos, Nigeria where students

their skills, passions, and academic majors to show

served in compassionate ministry centers,

Christ’s love in active ways.

orphanages, schools, and pastor training events. “I love the integration of faith with academics,” Goris

Learn more about Pioneer Trek at mnu.edu/pioneer-trek.

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A C A D E M I C I N I T I AT I V E S

Students and professors are using technology-enabled apps and interactive learning activities in their major-specific classes. Nancy Damron Vice President for Academic Affairs

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ACADEMIC INITIATIVES: Students Receive iPad Pro Devices for Learning Enhancement MNU’S FIRST LARGE-SCALE IPAD PRO LAUNCH TO STUDENTS IN SCIENCE, MATH, HEALTH SCIENCE AND HUMANITIES MAJORS HAPPENED IN JANUARY 2022. Access to research and technology tools wherever students go as well as enhanced options for learning in the classroom is the goal of the initiative. Students received the devices at no cost for the duration of their enrollment. Dr. Nancy Damron (’94, MED ’98), vice president for academic affairs, said the move is all about change, innovation and growth for students. “Every single day at MNU is about your future,” Damron said to students gathered to receive their iPads. “With this launch, we are working to provide opportunities to learn, anywhere—on the athletic field, in the residence halls or the classroom—wherever you are.” Students and professors are using technology-enabled apps and interactive learning activities in their major-specific classes. “This shifts the way we learn and share information,” Damron added. Damron continued by asking students to imagine biology classes with digital human figures for dissection or new ways to assess human athletic performance in kinesiology classes. These types of activities can be embedded in students’ classes now. MNU piloted iPads in music and kinesiology major coursework before this larger launch. Dr. Luke Johnson’s (’02) music theory classes used the technology to chart music notes in real-time and share them. Johnson could track on his iPad how students were progressing, then assist as needed. The sessions became more interactive than when students simply watched someone else chart notes on a whiteboard. Johnson, Chris Crawford and Lon Dagley are all faculty members who serve as lead technology fellows for the initiative. Johnson and Crawford spearhead professional development for faculty who will implement iPad use in the classroom. Dagley is the primary contact for student support. He and two student tech assistants help users with technical needs. If students graduate from MNU, they can keep the equipment for a significantly reduced fee, prorated based on the length of their enrollment. Students in English, Music, Theatre, Graphic Design, Kinesiology, Biology, Chem, Physical Education, Math, Physics, Math Education and Computer Science majors are included in the program now. MNU will provide iPads to new students each semester in these programs.

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ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

ORIGINAL DISCOVERY PRESENTED AT NATIONAL CONFERENCE

HOW DID SENIOR BIO-CHEM MAJOR COLE BIRD (’22) GET SELECTED TO PRESENT HIS RESEARCH AT THIS YEAR’S AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY’S SPRING NATIONAL CONFERENCE IN SAN DIEGO, CA?

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With the encouragement of his MNU advisor, Cole sent his research abstract (one of more than 11,400 others submitted) for consideration. He was ecstatic to learn it was accepted for a poster presentation in one of 10 sessions held at the five-day conference in March. Cole has conducted research under the supervision of Dr. Abby Hodges, MNU dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (pictured here). For several years, Hodges, a Yale-educated PhD in chemistry, has participated in a research partnership with Dr. Liskin Swint-Kruse, chair of biochemistry and molecular biology and professor at KU Medical Center. This partnership has resulted in numerous opportunities for MNU students to expand their studies in ways most undergrads do not. Cole completed research last summer on a bioengineering project at MNU in partnership with the Swint-Kruse Lab at KU. The goal was to create a good bacterial on/off switch called a biotechnological circuit. Cole likens it to a light bulb switching on and off. “We have a natural model that turns the light, or genetic reading, on and off,” Cole says. “My job was to design another ’switch’ to turn the same ’light bulb’ on and off with a different activating sugar. It turns on a transcription pathway in the body that makes more or stops making a protein.” By mutating bacteria, Cole found one that worked and presented his findings. Taking a sugar pill rather than ingesting expensive medications is attractive to people with all types of diseases. At the conference, other scientists enjoyed learning how Cole and his research partners took computer-programming-like logic and applied that to the human body. Back in the classroom at MNU, Cole is excited for what is ahead. He’s already been accepted to medical school at KU and starts in July. MNU has provided Cole more than an education. He’s been in numerous theatre productions and is in the band. He’s also made one very special connection. He’s getting married to MNU nursing senior Lucy Knapp in June. Dr. Hodges says, “Soon after I met him, I realized what a passionate student he is and with Cole’s energy and intellect he would need to be focused on something beyond the classroom to keep him engaged,” says Hodges. “He solves his own problems and is incredibly mature. I have no doubt he’ll be involved in research at some point in his career.” Hodges has served as an advisor for extra-curricular research for several students over her tenure.

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JOIN US!

WE WILL BE CELEBRATING OUR VERY FIRST 50-YEAR REUNION!

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2022 HOMECOMING & FAMILY WEEKEND FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14 9:30 AM

Homecoming Chapel

College Church (Main Worship Center)

11:30 AM

Alumni Award Honorees Luncheon (invite only)

Bell Center (Gilmore Room)

12:30 PM

Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Bell Center (Performance Hall)

3:00 PM

Purposeful Lives Sculpture Dedication

Campus Mall North

4:00 PM

MNU Block Party (till 7:00 PM)**

Campus Mall South

5:00 PM

Baseball Alumni Cookout & Batting Practice

Dixon Stadium

5:00 PM

Track & Field Alumni Cookout

Pioneer Stadium

6:30 PM

Friday Night Football Chat (with Mike Redwine)

Fieldhouse

7:00 PM

Collage Performing Arts Concert*

Bell Center (Performance Hall)

7:00 PM

Volleyball Game vs Evangel*

Cook Center

8:30 PM

Bonfire & Pep Rally

Pioneer Stadium

9:00 PM

Men’s & Women’s Soccer Alumni Futsal Games

Cook Center

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15 8:30 AM

Homecoming Celebration Breakfast*

College Church (Uphaus Hall)

10:00 AM

Class Reunions*

Metz/Smith/Mabee/Uphaus

10:00 AM

Volleyball Alumni Game

Cook Center

12:00 PM

Nursing Alumni Luncheon*

College Church (Garrett Chapel)

1:00 PM

Homecoming Lunch with Food Trucks**

CFLC Parking Lot

1:00 PM

Women’s Soccer Game vs Missouri Valley*

Pioneer Field

2:00 PM

Homecoming Football Game vs Baker*

Pioneer Stadium

3:30 PM

Men’s Soccer Game vs Missouri Valley*

Pioneer Field

5:30 PM

Pioneer Family Feast*

Cunningham Center

7:00 PM

Women’s Basketball Alumni Game

Cook Center

7:00 PM

Alumni Showcase*

Bell Center (Performance Hall)

7:30 PM

Student Homecoming Banquet

OP Convention Center

8:30 PM

Men’s Basketball Alumni Game

Cook Center

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16 8:00 AM

President’s Memorial Prayer Breakfast*

Cunningham Center (Tollefson)

10:30 AM

Pioneer Class Sunday School

College Church (Choir Room)

10:30 AM

Homecoming & Family Worship

College Church (Main Worship Center)

*Event requires registration on the Homecoming website. **Event is at your own expense.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ON CAMPUS SOON! ACCENT - SUMMER 2022

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PIONEER BASEBALL 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATED From the first team to the current NAIA World Series participants, baseball celebrated 50 years at MNU April 23, 2022 at Dixon Stadium. Alumni, teammates, coaches and fans recognized all who helped build this program. The current team, which ended their season (27-14, 20-6), competed against Benedictine College all weekend and swept all four games. Clinching the Heart conference title for the fourth time in program history, the Pioneers secured their spot in the national tournament and proceeded to win that competition as well. This great season and postseason qualified the Pioneers—for the first time ever—for the NAIA College World Series held in Lewiston, Idaho. Though MNU lost their first two games in the series the team still made history for MNU! Congratulations to past and present players and coaches!

Athletic Director Todd Garrett (’94) with the family of the late Robbie Jones, for whom the baseball field is named. L to R: Todd Garrett, Rich Jones, Jane and Mike Jones.

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NAIA COLLEGE WORLD SERIES QUALIFIED PIONEERS

(Continued) Mike Jones threw the ceremonial first pitch this day to Todd Garrett who was Robbie’s team mate. In the summer of 1992 the MNU Baseball family tragically lost their starting pitcher and first baseman, Robbie, in a car accident. Top Right: NAIA All Americans: Ben Allison, Clayton Brandt (’15, Hall of Fame) and Jordan Eckley, three of the Pioneers’ NAIA All Americans. Middle Right: Kevin Bell former Kansas City Royal and Clayton Brandt (’15) former Washington National are both MNU Hall of Fame Inductees. Bottom Right: 1st Heart Champ Team 84 - The first Heart of America Conference Champion team (1984) represented by Dwain Kelley, Greg Nyhus, Dave Freese, Doug Chisam, Kevin Bell and Paul Young. Below: Front row first Pioneer team: Dennis Troyer, MNU Hall of Fame, John Kirgan, Jerry Knight, Rick Fields, MNU Hall of Fame, and Dan Arnold of the first Pioneer baseball team (1973).

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AT H L E T I C S

SPRING SEASON STATS & STANDOUT WOMEN’S BASKETBALL STATS – Overall Record: 18-12 CONFERENCE RECORD: 14-5 (4th) FINISH: Semifinals of the Heart Tournament, qualified for Opening Round at Nationals STANDOUTS: TrEl’Shawn Smith (1st team), Megan Scott (1st team), Makayla Gooch (2nd team) named All-Conference. TrEl’Shawn Smith honorable mention All-America TRACK & FIELD STATS – Men: 3rd place in Conference, Women: 4th place in Conference STANDOUTS: Carly Lindenmeyer (Conference Champion), Kylar Brown (Conference Champion), Women’s 4x400 (Janiah Nicholson, Kylar Brown, Makeila Davis, Daizy Solir), De’Mario Hanson (Conference Champion)

MEN’S BASKETBALL STATS – Overall Record: 15-15 CONFERENCE RECORD: 10-9 (7th) FINISH: Quarterfinals of the Heart Tournament, Celebrated Coach Lamar’s 800th career victory STANDOUTS: Rocky Lamar (Coach of the Year), Anthony Brown (1st team), Cameron Brady (1st team) named All-Conference BASEBALL STATS – Overall Record: 36-16 CONFERENCE RECORD: 26-6 (1st) FINISH: Regular Season Conference Champions, Conference Tournament Runner-Up, Qualified for Opening Round at Nationals STANDOUTS: Ryan Thompson (Coach of the Year), Zach Trevino (1st team), Joshuan Sandoval (1st team), Dio Cornett (1st team), Brycen Sherwood (1st team), Josh Torrance (1st team), Nathan Torres (1st team), Randy Fernandez (2nd team), Ryan Leo (2nd team), Noah Castillo (2nd team) named All-Conference SOFTBALL STATS – Overall Record: 28-22 CONFERENCE RECORD: 19-17 (4th) FINISH: Quarterfinals of the Heart Tournament STANDOUTS: Cordelia Hanger (1st team), Alexis Wilds (2nd team), Morgan Found (2nd team) named All-Conference

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HEPKER STEPS INTO HEAD COACH POSITION Adam Hepker (’08) is MNU’s new head coach for men’s basketball. The 2008 MNU alumnus and 2013 Hall of Fame inductee was the point guard for three consecutive NAIA Fab 4s, including the 2007 National Championship team, where he was named Tournament Most Outstanding Player. He was twotime Conference Player of the Year, 2nd team NAIA All-America in 2006, and 1st team NAIA All-America in 2007 and 2008. Hepker was an assistant under Coach Rocky Lamar for five years before joining the Grand View University coaching staff for two seasons. For the last four years, he has been lead assistant at Ottawa-Arizona University before returning to MNU for the 2021-22 season as assistant coach. “I am incredibly excited to take over as head coach of this storied program,” Hepker said. “This place is home, and as an alum, means the world to me. As Coach Lamar has taught us, we can have tremendous success at the national level by recruiting high character kids and developing them both on and off the court. We will continue to put Christ first in everything we do and work to sustain the excellence Coach Lamar has achieved for years.”

PIONEER GOLF RETURNS TO MNU FOR THE FALL 2022 SEASON AFTER A 21-YEAR HIATUS. Coach Scott Seymour is enthusiastic about his teams. “We have some phenomenal golfers from across the world coming to help us get off to a strong start,” he says. “We are projected to have a full, albeit young, men’s roster. The women’s side is taking shape and looking like we will have a strong team in our first year. We have a solid foundation to build a great program here at MNU.”

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ALUMNI NEWS UPDATES Vickie (Hill ’84) Godwin is now a licensed marriage & family therapist at the Shortgrass Community Center in Hollis, OK.

Jaquelynn and Andrew Cornelius

Jeff Nyhus (’88) is celebrating five years on the Information Technology staff at Cerner Corporation.

Ryne Huff (’11) is putting leadership skills to work as a national recruiter for Southwind, a company co-founded by alum Josh Herron (’08).

Theresa Lynn (’91) is helping people manage their lifetime philanthropy as director of planned and legacy giving for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

Sydney Tenney (’11) is starting a new position as primary therapist at Lightfully Behavioral Health in San Diego, CA. Sydney was previously a member of MNU’s Admissions team.

Jonathan Hoffman (’96) is now marketing and communications director at Compass Group USA, based in the Boston area.

Dion Lewis (MHR ’13, MBA ’16) was promoted to community engagement and economic development officer with the City of Kansas City, MO.

Shiloh Ray (’00) is helping clients at Benilde Hall as an addiction counselor intern. He recently celebrated 11 years with Half Price Books, Records, and Magazines in Independence, MO.

Victoria Atencio (’14) was promoted to marketing & communications director at YWCA of the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado Springs.

Nachelle Kaughman (’06) is now a recruiter with K-Coe Isom, a missiondriven firm helping people who clothe and feed the world grow their businesses in the agriculture industry.

Dion Lewis

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Courtney Cox (’09) was recently promoted to senior manager for associate relations at Bloomingdale’s.

Cliff Spruill (’07) is helping folks get from Point A to Point B as a driver for Uber.

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Dr. Matthew Eastwood (’14) was recently promoted to scientist II, chemistry at PTC Therapeutics. Konner McIntire (’14) is now a broadcast journalist with Sinclair Broadcast Group in the Washington, D.C. area. Konnor was named MNU’s Young Alum of the Year in 2021.


MNU LOVES ALUMS! Nearly 30,000 Pioneers are spread across the globe, living, learning and serving in their everyday lives. There are so many ways to engage with fellow alums. Know someone who would make a great Pioneer? Share information with them about MNU.

LET’S STAY IN TOUCH! mnu.edu/alumni email: alumni@mnu.edu Facebook: @MNUAlumniandFriends

Jonathan Babcock (’16) is helping Compass Group Equity Partners find new clients as a business development associate. Blake Bradford (’17) is making life better for clients as a junior developer at City Lifestyle. Jaquelynn (Huck ’18, MAC ’21) Cornelius is now a licensed professional counselor at Thomason Counseling Services in Nampa, Idaho. Her husband, Andrew (’19), is forming student leaders and expanding campus life at Northwest Nazarene University as community life director. Nicole (Swiler-Cardwell ’20) Dixon joined the Sunflower Health Plan in Gardner, KS as a quality improvement specialist.

GET INVOLVED -

Volunteer Connect on social media Check out upcoming events Sign up for alumni news Be an Alumni Mentor Buy a legacy brick

Reagan Devinney (’21) is making her way in the world as a marketing coordinator at Avid Armor, a market leader in the food-service equipment industry. Elizabeth Krohn (’21) is making most of her marketing degree as a financial account representative at Shamrock Trading Corporation, the Overland Park, Kansas-based parent company for a family of brands in transportation services, finance and technology.

Konner McIntire

Ashlynn (Holsinger ’21) Miller was promoted to office and personnel manager at Fun in the Son Ministries at Camp Table Rock.

Ryne Huff

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ALUMNI NEWS BIRTHS Benjamin (’12) and Laura (Hamblin ’12) Alison, a son: Ryan Leonard, November 27, 2021. Dempsey and Vladislava (Kopanarova ’15) Averitt, a daughter: Natasha Kacy, January 26, 2022.

Carnell

Clayton (’15) and Kelly (Neiderhiser ’12) Brandt, a son: Weston Dee Von, March 16, 2022. Seth (’07) and McKenna (Pendelton ’07) Carnell, a son: Levi Daniel, December 3, 2021. Derrick and Breanna (FitzGerald ’17) Crane, a son: Mack Mason, December 22, 2021. Tad and Britney (Grittman ’14) Davis, a son: Moses Alexander, January 13, 2022. Kevin and Miranda (Barnes ’09) Edwards, a son: Nicolas Gregory, January 30, 2022.

Steinke

Jeb (’11) and Marcela Flynn, a daughter: Anna Luiza Carvalho, December 1, 2021. Nathan (’13) and Ashley Garcia, a daughter: Adeline, December 30, 2021. Jon and Jessica (Daud FS ’13) Griggs, a daughter: Lillian Elizabeth, February 22, 2022. W. Hunter (’17) and Annie Groeneveld, a daughter: Ellis Lorraine, December 28, 2021.

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Lander (’11) and Katie (Hoyt ’11) Grow, a son: Quentin Booth, February 14, 2022. L. Jonathan (’10) and Suandra (Boehm ’10) Hooker, a son: Timothy James, October 18, 2021. Matt and Katherine (Frizzell ’13) Ingram, a son: Oliver Lee, December 27, 2021. Jacob (’12) and Monica (Holmes ’12) Johnson, a son: Jax Phillip, January 21, 2022. Jeffrey (’11) and Shaeli Ann Johnson, a daughter: Kaesyn Georgie Scott, January 28, 2022. Klay (’10) and Kaylynn Johnson, a son: Rhett Allen, November 14, 2021. Bradley (’10) and Brittany (Thornton ’09) Jonker, a son: Silas Benaiah, November 9, 2021. Stephen (’10) and Ashley Kiburz, twin daughters: Kassie Lynn and Kinley Jo, October 27, 2021. Jeffrey (’08) and Megan Kimmel, a daughter: Brie Marie, February 2, 2022. Caleb (’13) and Megan (Weyrauch ’12) Laird, a son: Calvin Par, December 5, 2021. Tanner (’10) and Bethany (Drege ’10) Laird, a son: Truett Lee, December 29, 2021.


A LU M N I U P D AT E S

ALUMNI NEWS

Micah (’11) and Nellie (Evans ’12) Lawson, a daughter: Evie Amber, December 8, 2021.

Chesley (’14) and Carissa (Collins ’17) Rost, a son: Colter Kail, February 12, 2022.

Jared (’13) and Alecia (Owen ’13) Lane, a daughter: Clara Rose, November 29, 2021.

Alex (FS ’19) and Justice Salmons, a son: Theodore Berend, March 21, 2022.

Chris (’14) and Kara (Quinn ’14) Lindenmeyer, a son: Cohen Beckett, February 21, 2022.

Jordan and Katie (Sooter ’11) Simpson, a daughter: Elaine Claire, November 4, 2021.

Zachary and Tiffany (Zehr ’11) Luchies, a daughter: Kaylee Ruth, March 17, 2022.

Trevor (’14) and Hannah (Young ’14) Smith, a son: Thatcher Bryan, January 28, 2022.

Tanner (FS ’14) and Emily Matson, a daughter: Indie June, February 16, 2022.

Benjamin (’10) and Tiffany (Cress ’09) Solum, a daughter: Elaina Kay, October 10, 2021.

Joe and Deborah (Dixon ’14) Mayer, a daughter: Charlotte, December 3, 2021.

Garrett (’17) and Andie Stalder, a son: Silas Timothy, October 26, 2021.

Caleb and S. Madison (Speicher ’18) McIntosh, a daughter: Presley Angela, February 3, 2022.

Kyle and Jana (Laughlin ’10) Steinke, a daughter: Brooke Fern, November 20, 2021.

Jonathan (’18) and Mattie (Bell ’20) Melton, a daughter: Noelle Marie, February 18, 2022. Josh and Gisele (Silva ’18) Moody, a daughter: Ayla Da Silva, March 8, 2022. Brent (’03) and Laurie (Nunamaker ’06) Myers, a son: Trey Jeffrey, January 15, 2021. Richard (’06) and Braeden Nolan, a son: Ewan Richard, October 7, 2021. Clayton (’07) and Morgan Pritchard, a son: Camden Ellsworth, March 19, 2022.

Simpson

Van Buren Jordan (’07) and Elizabeth (Tuner ’07) Stimson, a son: Wilder Lee, January 1, 2022. Bryce and Melinda (Bond ’13) Van Buren, a daughter: Colette Rea, January 5, 2022. Tyler and Emily (Miles ’12) Von Seggern, a son: Finn Gladstone, December 21, 2021. Justen (’06) and D. Elizabeth (Petersen ’11) Wack, a daughter: Olive James, February 9, 2022. HAVE NEWS? Aaron (’17) and Chloe (Burnes ’15) Wright, a daughter: Emme, December 11, 2021.

PLEASE SHARE YOUR NEWS about births,marriages, new jobs and accomplishments with

alumni@mnu.edu or connect on social media.

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ALUMNI NEWS MARRIAGES Derek (’04) and Kmwee Algrim, July 17, 2021. Steven (’13) and Taylor Barney, November 27, 2021. Dalton (FS ’14) and SadieJo Crowder, December 19, 2021. J. Andrew (FS ’10) and Hailey Dunton, March 30, 2022. Damian and Raelee (Ibarra FS ’18) Espinosa, October 9, 2021. Jacob (’14) and Meghan James, June 6, 2021.

Michael and Megan Pozela

Elizabeth (Krohn ’21) and Zach McKnight (’20), May 29, 2022. Philip and Amanda (Doerhoff ’17) Overly, October 16, 2021. Michael and Megan (Roberts ’11) Pozela, September 24, 2021. Camden and Madison (Pippert ’12) Schwartz, October 31, 2021. David and Briana (Hindle ’18) Suermann, October 10, 2021. John (’20) and Hailey (Teeter-Evans ’19) Suttles, October 30, 2021. Geoffrey (’02) and Tara Stevens, December 11, 2021. Adam and Presley (Wilson ’15) Stuber, October 15, 2021.

Elizabeth and Zach McKnight

HAVE NEWS? PLEASE SHARE YOUR NEWS about births, marriages, new jobs and accomplishments with alumni@mnu.edu or connect on social media.

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Harrison (’12) and Abigail Wheeler, January 2, 2021.


PIONEER CLASS Starting a new tradition, the first graduating class of Pioneers was invited to participate in Commencement this year. Many members of the Class of 1972 joined the Class of 2022 at the event. MNU plans to continue the tradition for each class celebrating their 50th anniversary.

CONDOLENCES We remember

Terry Algrim (’74), January 28, 2022.

Dr. Jean-Pierre Mavungu (’93), December 2, 2021.

Rev. Terence Patterson (FS ’79), February 24, 2022.

John D. Husong (FS ’94), January 29, 2022.

Dr. Jim Burns (’80), December 11, 2021.

Randy Secor (FS ’97, Former Staff), November 4, 2021.

Dawn (Wieczorek ’80) Odens, December 15, 2021.

Carmen Reinke (FS ’03), January 12, 2022.

Jerry Evans (’82), April 27, 2021.

Rev. Dwight Douglas (Former Administrator), January 2, 2022.

Alice (Liepke ’82) Hayes, December 23, 2021.

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