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FEB 2013


Volume 14 Issue 2


Darren Wilkins EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


TABLE OF CONTENTS 3_ Letter From the Editor 4_ Principally Speaking 6_ Alumni Weekend 2013 8_ A Piece of My Heart

12_ A Miracle In the Making.. 13_ Campus News 14_ Giving Back 15_ Alumni News

Ashley Peterson WRITERS

Aileen Warren Darren Wilkins James Stuart Joni Harris Kevin Emmerson PHOTOGRAPHERS

Darren Wilkins James Stuart Joni Harris Keeley Jones Kevin Emmerson Matthew Lukens If you would like to see a digital version, please visit:





Senior Khristian Jones does his part to keep the brick line moving. He’s assisted by Deanna (Johnson) Harris ‘87 and more than 30 other students and adults from MEA. Together they completed interior walls and construction on a dental clinic in the Mara West region Kenya. Photo By: James Stuart, MEA Science Teacher







n one particular day this past holiday season I opened my office mail with an air of eagerness markedly different from normal. My stack contained the usual fare of junk mail from online colleges, local carpet cleaners and national office stores in addition to the much more appreciated envelopes containing generous donations from you, our Alums and friends. But what greatly intrigued me on this day was something I rarely ever receive in my mailbox. At the bottom of the stack, I spied the edge of a padded manila envelope, taunting me with the potential of its mysterious contents.


accompanying note. Someone was preparing a box of books to be shipped to an overseas school when she spied this book and realized it would mean much more to us. Why? Because within its aging pages were two chapters about the early history of Mount Ellis – complete with pictures!! As I began perusing its pages, I was completely overjoyed this benefactor chose to send this book to us and bring the history back to where it all happened. That same week I was sent a set of historical photographs I hadn’t seen before and I was again excited by the thoughtfulness of our benefactors. In my role as Director of Development and Alumni Relations, I take very seriously the task of gaining and maintaining contact with our alumni. In addition, I take every opportunity to preserve the history of Mount Ellis Academy. From photos, to trinkets I want everything to be salvaged to tell the story of our storied past. Whether

it’s the old MEA branding iron or chairs from the ski lift, these things have a story to tell and I want to make sure the stories are heard. If you have mementos from Mount Ellis that share a special part of our history, and you would like them to live on – eventually in our Alumni museum – consider sharing them with Mount Ellis. I will be grateful for the addition to our story and future generations will be enlightened.

Exerting an amount of personal restraint previously unknown, I rapidly cleared the junk mail out, processed the donations, and carefully cut open the envelope. What I discovered inside surprised and intrigued me even more. I pulled out “Proving the Promises” by Floyd O. Rittenhouse, a book I had never heard of and had no clue why I was receiving until I read the



have come to believe that we who work in schools experience the passage of time differently than the average citizen. For most people time goes by in a mostly continuous stream. The turning of calendar pages does little to interrupt this. Major life events, good and bad, provide some mile markers, but the years generally run together. A school year, on the other hand, has a distinct beginning and ending. It has a personality all its own. It has its own group dynamic, challenges, victories, AND miracles. In the rearview mirror it becomes an island in time, easily returned to in one’s memory. I’ve found that I remember each school year, in large measure, by its miracles; those times when God intervened in moments of great need and opportunity. There

was the great debt elimination of 2003-2004. In 2005-2006 an earthquake provided the impetus and the funding to build the Allaway Dining Hall. In 20082009 we started the year with an $86,000 budget deficit and ended with a surplus of about the same amount plus $100,00 to renovate the King Residence Hall. Who can forget the Kohl’s Cares Miracle of 2010? Talk about manna from heaven. Every year has its stories but, for me, the miracles are the front-page headlines. We are only half-way through the current school year but I’m ready to call it. This will be the year of the Gang Miracle. No we are not having gang problems at Mt. Ellis. Gang Yoon is one of our foreign students having arrived from Korea in August. He’s a great kid with a wonderful sense of humor and a


bent for academic achievement. During the October home leave Gang went to visit his older brother, Fez, near Spokane, WA. While the two of them drove along a rural road at night, Gang had a full cardiac arrest (no heartbeat, no respiration). At just the right time a Good Samaritan pulled over to help; a nurse who had completed her CPR recertification training just the day before. Jeanette Wickizer performed chest compressions and rescue breaths until the paramedics arrived, giving him a long-shot chance at survival. When I walked into Gang’s room in the ICU at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane I saw a comatose young man with 23 different tubes and wires attached to his body on one end and some very sophisticated looking medical equipment on the other. His doctor explained to me that patients, like Gang, who arrest outside of a hospital, have a 20% chance of survival. Those that beat the odds and survive have a 50% of permanent brain damage. He made it clear that the outcome for Gang was still very much in question. Along with Fez, I spent the next day and a half watching Gang’s chest rise and fall to the rhythmic sound of a respirator, hoping and praying

Good Samaritan Jeanette checks in on Gang and his brother Fez in the first few days after the incident.


After several frantic days, Kyung-Hoe finally arrives at the hospital and sees her son, Gang, awake and improving.

for some other sign of life. I had a lot of time to think about how his parents must be feeling knowing their 16-year-old son was lying practically lifeless half a world way. I committed to stay in that room until his mother walked through the door. As it turned out, I was blessed to keep that vigil for four days. A front seat to a miracle it was. It was Sunday afternoon when his eyes opened. On Sunday evening he could squeeze a hand. That night the ventilator came out. By Monday morning he was trying to communicate with gestures and becoming very frustrated when we couldn’t understand. It took us at least an hour to realize that he desperately wanted to have his bed turned around for a view out his window. Oh the happiness in those eyes when we finally understood. By lunchtime he was talking in a whisper. On Tuesday Gang ate some food, sat on a toilet, and started talking in full sentences. On Wednesday he was moved out of the ICU in the morning. The neurologist reported that there were no signs of brain injury and used the word “remarkable” several times to describe Gang’s rapid recovery. In many ways I felt like I had just

witnessed all the developmental phases of my own children in time lapse. In just a few days Gang went from being a helpless infant through the phases of motor development and language acquisition and came out a normal 16-year-old boy. It was absolutely miraculous to watch. That afternoon, Gang’s mom walked through the door. What a moment. When she left Korea, she didn’t know if she would find her son dead or alive but a shell of himself. She found him smiling and cracking jokes. I don’t think I’ll see another reunion like that until that day we all see the loved ones we’ve lost. There were a lot of joyful tears.

life-threatening episodes like this. Within days he was fitted with an internal defibrillator that will jumpstart his heart in the event of a repeat performance. After several weeks of monitoring, Gang walked back onto the MEA campus and into the open arms of his MEA family. There it is. 2012-2013: The year of the Gang Miracle. Thank the Lord, for His Mercies are new every morning.

Well the rest of the story is that the cardiologist discovered a heart defect that predisposes Gang to



nother year is upon us and with it comes the early spring tradition of gathering the alumni of MEA together on our storied campus. As every year, the third weekend of April will play host to our Alumni Weekend. And while we want to see as many alumni as possible, we’ll be especially celebrating the milestones of honor classes. This year those classes include 2003, 1993, 1988, 1983, 1973, 1963, 1958, 1953, 1948 and 1943. Some of our eagle-eyed readers will note there are more honor classes than usual this year, but it’s not a mistake. We want to begin honoring class members every five years after their 50th so have included both the 55-year class and the 65-year class. Our weekend lineup this year follows a similar format to years past, but each year brings its own special events and memories. This year is no different, with a special feature on Sabbath morning in our chapel when principal Darren Wilkins and several students will be sharing stories from our Thanksgiving mission trip to Kenya. Then on Sunday morning after a benefit breakfast for the Senior Class we’ll be dedicating the new Warren Walikonis

Memorial exercise trail on campus. This wonderful trail, made possible by a generous gift from The Walikonis family in memory of Warren, will mark the completion of another feature of our master plan for the MEA campus. We could not be more honored to have this meaningful gift making such an impact for our students and their health and well-being. In and amongst all this will be the usual time to gather with friends and share stories. And possibly even a surprise or two throughout the weekend! Last but not least, we offer all the meals for Alumni free of charge. Friday dinner, Sabbath breakfast and dinner are provided as a courtesy to our Alums. Donations are gladly accepted, but not required. Sabbath lunch is our traditional potluck in the gymnasium immediately following the church service – if possible we encourage you to bring a salad, dessert, or other dish. MEA is providing the entrée, vegetable, bread and drink. We hope to see you April 19-21!


Registration Supper Vespers



SABBATH, APRIL 20 [CONT.] 2:30 Honor Class Reunions 5:30 Supper 7:30 Vespers 8:45 Alumni B-Ball Game PM




Registration Breakfast Sabbath School Church

SUNDAY, APRIL 21 8:30 AM 10 AM

Benefit Breakfast Walikonis Trail Dedication


After graduating from MEA, Gene attended Walla Walla University and married Lorna (Smith) on graduation day, June 5, 1977. For the next 17 years

Gene worked, paid bills and raised three daughters, born in ‘79, ‘82, and ‘87. 1994 found Gene once again in the classroom working towards a Master’s in Social Work degree which he completed two years later. Since 2004 he has been working at the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center in Walla Walla as a mental health social worker and says it is a privilege and honor to serve American Veterans. He is also very proud of Lorna for returning to school and graduating with an RN degree from Walla Walla Community College in 2012, fulfilling a long time dream of hers. He and Lorna enjoy time with their girls and three grand-kids. They also enjoy watching baseball, trips to the Oregon Coast, and just being together.


C’MON INN - $90 (406) 587-3555

MICROTEL INN & SUITES- $49/59 (406) 586-3797

Take advantage of the discounted lodging we have arranged by contacting the hotels listed above. Lodging is also available on campus in the former girls’ dormitory. Rooms are $20 per night without linens and $30 per night with sheets and towels. If you’re interested in one of these rooms, please call Muffy Graham at (406) 261-3935 and make your reservation.



Aileen Warren enjoys fond memories of working at MEA in the mid-1980s. She and husband Glenn are wheat, bean, pea, and cattle farmers in Dayton, WA, and their daughter, Katie, is nearly a quarter of the way through her schooling at MEA


swallowed hard, trying to get the lump in my throat to disappear as I gave one final gaze at Mara West and the African people I’d come to know and enjoy. It’s exactly like Andy said when we arrived, I thought to myself. On November 16, a group of 38 boarded a plane with Kenya as our destination. The flight originated in Salt Lake City, but the adventure really began when we collected our luggage in Nairobi just past midnight 32 hours later. After stowing our luggage for the seven-and-a-half hour drive, Paraquo, one of the drivers, asked if I was ready for the bumpy roads. I grinned and assured him that yes, I was! The roads could hardly be described as bumpy… primitive, choppy, jarring, jerky, potholed, rugged, rutted, and memorable would fit better! As we arrived at Mara West, the camp that would be our home for the coming week, we drove through herds of zebra, gazelle and giraffe. These


animals would be our neighbors during our stay. We congregated in the dining hall after receiving our room assignments and were introduced to John and Alex, two Maasai warriors hired to guard the camp at night. Andy Aho, our host, instructed us to never walk away from the buildings after dark unless John or Alex was with us, because of the animals. We quickly discovered John had a great sense of humor and loved embellishing his stories to see our reactions! The next day Andy shared his vision and history of working with the Maasai and his goals for helping them fulfill their dreams for more schools and better lives for their young people. After a great breakfast, we loaded up and headed to the building site. Andy outlined our goal for the week which was to build all of the brick walls, both exterior and interior, for a new surgical/dental clinic. The supporting walls and framework were already in place.


We were introduced to several Maasai fundis (the word for laborers) who work full-time for Andy. They walked us over to the mountain of hand-made bricks, fired in a local kiln for two weeks before being sold to Andy for the building project. It kind of felt like being part of the Children of Israel as they built their structures many thousands of years ago! The bricks did not magically move themselves and there was no tractor in sight. Rather we were introduced to several wheelbarrows and quickly figured out that we were to load the bricks into the wheelbarrows and push them to where we needed them. Gallons of sweat rolled down brows during the week, but there were no complaints or grumbles. Instead good-natured teasing and lots of laughter rang through the building site, right along with the scraping of trowels on the mortar, shovels scooping sand, and brooms sweeping up the building debris.

Torvy Wilkins, MEA class of 2020, receives a personal Social Studies lesson in African culture and history.

WE ARE FAMILY African Mission Services Community Clinic is in the process of expanding their facility to provide more services to the Maasai people in the southwest region of Kenya. We worked on building an addition to the clinic which will house an operating room, dental clinic, sterilization area and storage. The coolest part of working on the clinic was that we got to work with and build relationships with the “fundis” (Kenyan masons). We spent lots of time with them mixing cement, sifting sand, building and plastering walls. It was fun to get to know them and ask them questions about their culture, and they would in turn ask about America and our president. They loved to laugh at the things they thought were funny about our culture. The highlight of the week was going to the local Adventist church on Sabbath. It was really cool to see how the Sabbath is celebrated in different cultures around the world. I loved the songs they sang in Swahili and singing along with the songs we knew in English. Sitting on the wooden benches in the little cement church listening to the Maasai ladies singing, I realized that we don’t need a big fancy church with a steeple and plush pews at all. Wherever people are present and sincerely worshipping, God is there and makes His presence known. When I considered that on that day, all around the world, Adventists were gathered together worshipping one God, I felt part of a big community that I am proud to be a part of.

- Joni Harris

Class of 2013

Several members of the group were excited to present a Vacation Bible School program to the children. Our group brought a selection of puppets and related materials along. Andy’s carpenter built a puppet stage in about two hours and the African children loved it! They had never seen puppets before, so the curious children would come up to our MEA students to touch and feel the puppets. Our puppeteers had lots of fun making the puppets pretend to nibble the children’s fingers or shake their hands!

congratulations, Andy and Francis!!), as she worked with the locals. Also, Deanna (Johnson) Harris, ‘87, brought hundreds of toothbrushes to distribute to the children there. They normally “brush” their teeth by using a twig from a tree branch, scraping their teeth, then toss away the used twig. Mrs. Harris spent time with the children, showing them how the toothbrushes work and reminding them to keep the brushes and use them over and over. It was fun to see all the brushes in the children’s mouths and hands!

Others in the group enjoyed working in the medical clinic, seeing patients and helping Francis Jordan, clinic manager and Andy’s fiancée (and now wife —

Andy had allotted five days for our group to build the surgical/dental clinic walls, but our group completed the task in four. That left a day for us to enjoy

playing football (what we call soccer here in America) with the children and to do some extra sightseeing. The group had the privilege of visiting a boma (Maasai for homestead) and seeing just where and how the people live. That visit shed a *lot* of light into why the people are so eager for improving their lives. When we arrived, the village elders greeted us outside their homes. The perimeter of their homestead was surrounded by a very tall, thick wall built from acacia tree branches (sporting thorns three or four inches long). This served to protect the families from wild animals that freely roam the land. While many of the Maasai tower well over six feet tall, the entry gate might


A PIECE OF MY HEART CONTINUED have been five feet tall at the highest part of the opening. We discovered that they purposely build the entrance low so that those coming in would bend over. This simulates bowing in respect to the elders of the village and is a constant reminder as they enter and exit their homes. Immediately inside the security fence of branches are the homes of the people. The dwellings are built of sticks and cow manure. The women are in charge of building and maintaining the huts. The roof of the hut stands perhaps five feet tall and is covered with a clay/ cow manure mixture. Then a sheet of thick plastic is put down and more clay mixture placed over that. Two small openings are made in the walls. One opening allows smoke from the cooking fire to escape the home; the other is an opening looking to the center of the compound where the livestock is housed. If unusual noises are heard, the residents can look out toward the livestock to determine what might be happening.

...what I have comes from the goodness of God ... But with those blessings comes a responsibility... own hundreds of cattle. Goats and sheep count as very little in their measure of wealth. Accordingly, the wealth must be protected, thus it resides at the center of the compound and youngsters are assigned to guard and herd the animals all day long. At the end of the week, we enjoyed the reward of safari time at Maasai Mara, a world-renowned game park. More than 1.5 million visitors from all around the world come through the park each year. Our group visited after the Great Migration of the wildebeest and zebra happened, but we didn’t lack for sightings.

We found all of the “Big Five� (the most desired animals that poachers look for): leopard, cape buffalo, elephant, rhinoceros, and lions. Since hunting was made illegal in 1974, the animals have no fear of the tour vehicles that drive through the game reserve. Our Cruisers were able to pull to within feet of many of the animals. Our Cruiser happened on a family of elephants who were feeling a little annoyed, and the matriarch decided we were too close. She spread out her ears, lifted her trunk and let out a hefty bellow, while running toward us. Needless to say, Justice, our driver, hit the gas pedal and we left her in our dust! As we packed our bags Saturday night we reflected on the week we had enjoyed. Not only did we meet and make friends with dozens of Maasai people, we learned some very valuable lessons about ourselves, too. We discovered

We went inside a hut and were surprised to find it very sparse and basic. Clay floor, no furniture of any kind other than a bed built from posts with a cow hide stretched over it for a mattress. No blankets to be seen and just a few pots for cooking. The livestock are the wealth of the family unit. To be considered well-to-do by African standards, a man must


Many of the MEA mission trip members take a photo-op break with their newfound friends.


that even though there are times when we think we have it hard and life just isn’t giving us the breaks we might want, we are blessed beyond the wildest dreams of most of the rest of the world. I think the most potent reminder I enjoyed from the trip was the realization that what I have comes from the goodness of God. If I find myself with a little expendable income, it’s thanks to His blessings. But with those blessings comes a responsibility. The responsibility is to then use those blessings for God’s glory! Mission work is not limited only to Africa. There are mission needs all over the world and most certainly in the United States of America. Spreading the gospel is a lot harder here in America than it is in Africa. There we were welcomed with open arms and the people wanted everything we were willing to give them. Here at home, we are encumbered with stuff, data overload, busy schedules, demands to keep up with the Joneses… all these things can clutter our efforts to spread God’s love. I think Andy said it best when he described our efforts as tiny drops of water. He said that sometimes when we

Students need so much more than words. They have to see it in action. They have to feel it, taste it, experience it. When it comes to the gospel, it isn’t any different. And really it shouldn’t be different for any of us. When it comes to mission trips, I sometimes have a fleeting doubt that it might be better to just raise money to build a medical clinic or pay for a Bible worker and then send the donation to some mission. Wouldn’t it stretch farther? But then I get to accompany a group of active students on a mission trip to Kenya and I see how their own lives are changed. All doubt is removed. Mission trips are just as much for our students as they are to build a medical clinic with baked clay bricks on the other side of the world. The opportunity is about building relationships with people and experiencing the gospel first hand. They are about gaining a new perspective on how to live life and those moments are life changing. But I think it was the vibrancy of the children that really stole our hearts. The kids seemed to have an abundance of life that bubbled right out of them. They lived in dung-walled huts and herded cows and goats. They attended a school with 400 kids in ten small classrooms and with fewer materials in the entire school than I have in my own classroom. They had so little and yet they were so content and happy. We traveled to the other side of the world only to discover a purpose for living our lives, a passion. If you ask the students what they will remember the most, they will talk to you about the children. They will talk about the local workmen they worked alongside and became friends with. I think the students went there to “touch people’s lives” and in the process found their own lives touched.

- James Stuart, MEA Science Teacher work to make the world a better place, it feels like a small attempt when looking at the big scope of things. It’s only a little raindrop falling into the big ocean of the world. But when you think about a rain storm, it is made up of zillions of tiny raindrops falling to the earth. If those individual drops disappeared, there would be no water on the earth. So it is with our persistence in spreading God’s word and love to the world. My tiny raindrop combines with those of others and collectively we spread the gospel to the corners of the globe.

Pulling away from Mara West on the final Sunday of our stay in Africa was hard. A piece of my heart (and the hearts of the other 37 members of our group) will remain there with the people and soil of the Maasai. But now I must use this experience and the perspective to continue adding my raindrops into the effort to share God’s Word and light here where I live. It’s my responsibility and now I have a better understanding and motive to go forth and spread His love!



or more than 110 years Mount Ellis Academy has been peacefully nestled in the foothills of the Gallatin Valley under the shadow of Mount Ellis and the Bridger Mountain Range. Thousands of students have found their way through our doors, sent here by parents who seek an education for their child that goes beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic. They want strong Christian principles instilled in their son or daughter. They want instruction provided by teachers who possess an unwavering moral compass and will stop at nothing to help their students achieve success. There have been bumps along the road that is our history. But throughout that same history, we can see God’s hand at work on this campus, in the lives of our students and in the numerous miracles that happen each and every year. Whether it’s providing the means out of catastrophic debt or raising up buildings without so much as a capital campaign, time and time again God has provided for Mount Ellis. The main street through campus – Academy Drive – use to be a main access for local residents of the nearby neighborhood known as the “triangle.” But nearly ten years ago, the bridge that crossed Bear Creek was destroyed when a fully loaded cement truck attempted to drive across the small bridge built decades before by Frank King. This one accident changed the traffic flow of East Bozeman. But now a home located just the other side of the defunct bridge has come up for sale. Usually the sale of a property


around the triangle is not cause for interest at MEA. But this is a unique property because it goes across the creek, and on our side of this dividing waterway is a large shop building. It is feasible that whoever might purchase this property would see the shop building as a key feature of the property and intend to use it for various purposes. This all but guarantees an increase in traffic through our campus. Mount Ellis Academy and our operating board would like to purchase this property, thereby acquiring the last piece of land that lies on our side of the creek and forever securing the control of traffic through campus. But we have no fund for real estate purchases. After all, we’re about education, not real estate. Acquiring this property does more than simply secure control of our public access; it would provide us with faculty housing which we will require in the future. Part of our master plan calls for the demolition of two current homes, and when that occurs we will need other

housing options for faculty and staff. Additionally, the large shop building on the property can provide a new home base for our maintenance department, clearing the way for us to move forward with another aspect of our master plan – a greenhouse, garden, and nursery building. To make this happen, we need to raise $200,000 within the next few weeks. Support from our Alums has always been sacrificial and we are grateful, but frankly this goal is more than we usually receive here at MEA. What we are seeking is an individual or a group of individuals who would be interested in making a single, extraordinary donation to Mount Ellis to enable this purchase. If you would like to be a part of the next miracle at MEA, please call Darren Wilkins at 406.570.9258. He would love to talk with you about the possibilities and how you can make a significant difference in the future of MEA.

This cozy home is for sale and we’re hoping you can help!



ount Ellis Academy has been very blessed with a new smiling face around campus. Peter Greene Lukens was born to our English teacher, Matthew Lukens, and his wife Amy on a very cold and snowy day. On November 11th, 2012, Peter came into our world, weighing 7lbs 7oz, and measuring at 20 in. long. Peter’s mother, Amy, is very musically talented, and Peter has been listening to music since he was in the womb. Matthew is anxious to teach Peter many of the life lessons his mother taught him. He wants Peter to grow up to be a compassionate and kind person, and he wants him to take pride in his work. Our little eaglet will fly away from the nest around the year 2030. Lets hope he soars!



or more than 30 years, Mount Ellis has enjoyed the presence of international students in our classrooms. They’ve come from all over the globe – as far away as Thailand and as near as Canada. This year MEA has welcomed the first group of students from South America, with a total of seven eager learners from Brazil. Recently our principal was visiting another academy when he noticed a number of international flags they had on display and an idea was born. Twenty flags are now hanging in the chapel - one for each country we have had students from. They create a colorful reminder of the many cultures we have enjoyed and learned from through the years. Next time you visit the chapel, we hope you’ll remember friendships you may have had with some of these foreign alums. And if we’ve missed a country, let us know!

More than 20 flags now hang in the chapel rafters, marking our exchange students’ homelands.




BOOK & SCENTSY Recently I’ve had a rare occurrence happen here at the development office – twice! Within the past eight months separate alums have contacted my office volunteering to help raise money for MEA. Still being relatively new to the world of fundraising, I’ve learned enough to know you never turn down potential help! I’m so pleased these individuals wanted to help out that I had to share a little bit about their ideas here – and hopefully their stories might inspire some of you to consider doing something similar. Fran (Garo) Gladden from the class of ’73 contacted me just before Christmas to say she was making a special promotional website for MEA within her Scentsy distributor program online. She wanted to offer MEA the proceeds from any sales generated through the website prior to Christmas. With just a short lead-time we put a notice on our Facebook page and tried to draw some attention to their great products and the potential benefit this represented for MEA. The idea was outstanding and gracious, and Fran and I have already discussed ways to relaunch

this program in the future to benefit Mission trip fundraising or other programs. But I mentioned there had been two benefactors for MEA, right? Our other gracious alum is Clydetta (Iverson) Odell from the class of 1962. Clydetta has written three books full of adventurous stories. “No Dull Moments” is a memoir of her life while, “Adventurous Cleta” is her mother’s life story. The third book, “These Wise Turkeys,” is written for young people and filled with stories of spiritual life lessons. Clydetta graciously offered to give MEA the royalties from books she sold during Alumni Weekend, and as she had them with her she autographed them as well. These two alums have really impressed me with their generous and gracious gestures of assistance. If you have a pet project, home business, or other idea and are interested in benefitting MEA, please contact our office. We’ll talk about the possibilities and how we can help you help us!



ere’s an easy way to help MEA by simply doing what you may already do every day – shopping at Target. The national chain offers a card that pays both you the shopper and any school you choose. Target’s REDcard offers a wide array of benefits including a 5% discounts on all purchases, in store and online. Additionally all online orders ship FREE! Available as either a debit or credit card, the REDcard has one additional exciting benefit. MEA (or any other school) can receive up to 1% of the total of your purchases if you simply select us as your school of choice on Target’s website. In 2012 we received $135.83 with only seven users designating MEA. Think what could happen if all our Alumni used a


REDcard! If you’d like more information, please feel free to contact our office by writing development@ or calling (406) 587-5178 x105.

ALUMNI NEWS If you have a life event you would like to share with our alumni, we want to hear from you. Did you get a new job? Have you just gotten married? Has an alumnus added a new family member? Has someone passed away and you think we should know about it? We are anxious to keep up to date with each and every alumnus, so please help us keep everyone in the loop. We appreciate your information and when appropriate, including pictures is a bonus! Send your information to and watch for it in an upcoming issue of Heirborne News! MARRIAGES Stephanie (Dijhuizen), ‘03, met Anil Lakwani about six months after graduating from MEA. Anil quickly realized that this was the girl he wanted to marry. Stephanie, however, had other plans. She wanted to finish college first...nine years and two college degrees later, she finally agreed to tie the knot on 7/7/12. They got

married on the island of Curacao and had a three-day wedding combining both their cultures from India and Curacao. After a quick honeymoon in Thailand, they moved to the island of St. Kitts where they run several retail stores in the cruise port. So next time you’re on a Caribbean cruise vacation you might just run into them!

NEW BABY The newest birth among MEA Alums (that we know of) is Carson Bridger Rich, born to JD and Kristi (Geraci) Rich, ‘04 and ‘01 respectively. Carson entered the world February 19 at 9:54am weighing 7lbs 3oz and measuring 19.5 inches. Congratulations to JD & Kristi!!

ALUMNI GATHERINGS More than 40 MEA alums and their families gathered at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Clackamas, OR on January 20. Everybody had a great time reminiscing and catching up with each other. Unfortunately no pictures exist of the gathering to attest to the fun, but we promise a good time was had by all. And the food was pretty good too. You might be wondering what brought them together. Why would all these people come together on a random date to dine? The 2013 Portland-Area MEA Alumni Get Together, of course! Several times a year your MEA Alumni Association organizes opportunities for groups of Alums to gather together; to socialize and revel in memories of the past while sharing experiences from the present. This year

we started in Portland and soon we may be coming to a town near you. Check out the dates below for a regional gathering in your area. We hope you’ll be able to join us.

FUTURE GATHERINGS Washington DC area - March 23 Denver, CO - Summer 2013* Loma Linda - Summer 2013* Boise, ID - Fall 2013* *Dates TBA



FEB 2013


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MOUNT ELLIS ACADEMY DEVELOPMENT OFFICE 3641 Bozeman Trail Road - Bozeman, MT 59715 Tel: 406.587.5178 Ext. 105 - Fax: 406.587.5170 Email:

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2013 CALENDAR FEBRUARY 16 | Junior Benefit/Food Fair 17 - 20 | Ski the Summit MARCH 4 - 9 | Youth for Christ 9 | Blue Jean Sabbath 22 - 31 | Spring Break APRIL 19 - 21 | Alumni Weekend 28 | Senior Trip Begins MAY 1 - 6 | Home Leave 6 - 8 | Ed Fest/Academy Days 17-18 | Spring Concerts 25 | Blue Jean Sabbath 31 | Graduation Weekend Begins

ALUMNI WEEKEND APRIL 19-21, 2013 CALLING ALL ALUMNI and members of this year’s honor classes 2003, 1993, 1988, 1983, 1973, 1963, 1958, 1953, 1948, and 1943. Plan now to attend our time together this April. It won’t be the same without you!

JUNE 1 -2 | Graduation


Heirborne News FEB 2013  

The first Heirborne News of 2013!

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