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The Beacon Bulletin President Joseph D. Womack '89, Ed.D. Vice President for Academic Affairs Dennis Lindsay, D. Theol. Vice President for Advancement Keith Potter ’84, D.D. ’11 Vice President for Finance & Administration Gene DeYoung, M.B.A. Vice President for Student Development & Enrollment Michael Fuller, M.A. Administrative Support Jennifer Box Rachel Morse Editor Pat Walsh Sr. Director of Marketing & Communications Contributors Nick Askew Tomas Carradero Corynn Gilbert, M.Ed. Jeremiah Leslie Camille Ogden, M.A. Keith Potter '84, D.D. '11

The Beacon Bulletin is published by Northwest Christian University as an information service and is posted on the NCU website. For information, call 541-684-7318. Readers are encouraged to submit text for publication to the Office of Advancement, attention Pat Walsh. Email:, or Mail to: 828 E. 11th Ave. Eugene, OR 97401-7345 NCU reserves the right to edit all copy. Articles should include names and class years (if applicable) for all pictured.

Four NCU graduates provide counseling to military veterans and their families through the Eugene Vet Center’s Readjustment Counseling Services program at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Pictured from the left are: Jennifer Morzenti ’09, M.A. ’11, Ken Latham ’12, M.A. ’15, Jeff McDowell ’09, M.A. ’12, and Ken Dube, M.A. ’07.

Contents Academic News


Faculty News


Colloquium Announced

Student Award Winners

Communications Department

University News


Launch of New Podcast

Largest Undergraduate Class

Beacon News


Sports Brief

Board of Trustees

McNeil Steps Down

Mental Health


Alumni News

CMHC Program

1895 Leadership Society Dinner

Students Earn Scholarships

Alumni Notes

CMHC Clinic

Profiles in Giving

Feature A Call to Serve Carpenter Greets Vets From Prison to Life Change Leader On a Mission with Vets





Evening of Tribute


In Memoriam


President’s Corner You are the reason we have a magazine of this size—with this breadth of impact. Your stories are an inspiration to our students, faculty, alumni, donors, parents, and me. Within these pages you will read about Nathan Mart, an M.B.A. alum, serving Serenity Lane and now the Eugene Mission as the Life Change Program Director—as well as the stories of other alumni, students, and faculty serving our community and in particular, our veterans, in the clinical mental health space. You will read about our studentathletes and professors winning awards—and about a mentor and a mother being honored for lives well lived. My hope is within these pages you will see, feel, remember, and celebrate our collective Beacon story—one of purpose, gratitude, hard work, generosity, and joy. Whatever this coming year brings, please know, your NCU family is here to champion your successes, weather your losses, and simply come alongside you. For 125 years, we have been a community—we want to stay connected with you and your life’s story. As 2018 comes to a close, it is important to write a special note of thanks for every donor and every gift made this year. Just as your stories inspire, your gifts propel our university forward. With your gifts we distribute 5.8 million in student scholarships per year and send students around the globe and into the workforce to serve, learn, and grow. Your gifts allow us to create new and innovative academic programs like our new software engineering program, while expanding our presence in our community, and our impact in Christian higher education. The future of NCU is bright and your gifts help us shine boldly. There is plenty for you to read—so I will leave you to it. If you would like more information on how to make a year-end donation, please visit or call 541-684-7318. Thank you for being a Beacon for life. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your story—and thank you for inspiring us to shine and serve alongside you.


Joseph D. Womack, president

The Beacon | Winter 2018


Spring Commencement Northwest Christian University Graduates Largest Class

President Joseph D. Womack '89, Ed.D.

For the second consecutive year, Northwest Christian University graduated a record number of students when its Board of Trustees conferred degrees for 174 graduates (61 graduate degrees and 113 undergraduate degrees) during commencement on May 12, 2018, in the Morse Event Center. NCU also graduated 174 students in Spring 2017. “An NCU graduate has completed a Christ-centered academic program built on a foundation fortified by wisdom, faith, and service,” said Joseph D. Womack


Winter 2018 | The Beacon

Pastor Clare Buhler '80, Chairman, NCU Board of Trustees

Dr. Gustavo Balderas, Superintendent, Eugene School District 4J

'89, Ed.D., NCU’s president. “The 2018 spring graduates are critical thinkers ready to lead and initiate innovative pathways that achieve success for all with whom they work and serve.”

prior to that was superintendent of the Madera Unified School District in Madera, Calif., following 20 years in Oregon public education.

Dr. Gustavo Balderas, superintendent of Eugene School District 4J in Eugene, Oregon, was the commencement speaker. He became the district’s 23rd superintendent on July 1, 2015. An educator for more than 25 years, he served as superintendent of the Ocean View School District in Huntington Beach, Calif., and

A member of NCU’s Center for Leadership and Ethics, Dr. Balderas graduated from Western Oregon State College with a secondary education degree, received a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Portland State University, and completed a doctoral degree in educational leadership at the University of Oregon.

Congratulations Graduates! Associate of Arts Michelle D. Jackson Aaron E. Johnson

Bachelor of Arts Jordan Jeffrey Alexander ** Annie Caroline Anderson ** Brandi Jean Bailes William Barber Ryan Bates Cole Brian Bigby Kelly E. Blair ** Michael Stephen Buss *** Candice Renee Clark Jacquelyn M. Davis Mitchell Edward Davis *** Diego Delaplane *** Kristyn Leanne Dodge ** Hannah Elisabeth Donner *** Albert Edward Duncan Nikole Bernadette Duncan Molly Kathryn Gwinn ** Brighton Elizabeth Hebisen Gabrielle Elizabeth Herron ** Zoe Victoria Herron Joshua Alan Lokepa Yaichi Higashi * Allison Nicole Keeney ** Tanner Joseph Keuter Ryan Michael Lynch Madison Louise Novelli Sarah Beth Rooks ** Samantha A. Russell Kimberley A. Snyder

Bachelor of Science Taylour Backus * Elizabeth Barber *** Caeli M. Barnhart ** Maci Lyn Beierle ** Kenneth Blackwell Nathan Ryan Blaney * Brady J. Box ** Joseph L. Brissette * Heidi Danielle Brown Anthony Duane Cannon * Josh Cardwell Ruben Carmona III Selina Chacón Riley Benjamin Charlish Chelsea Chittim ** Haley Breann Damian ** Bailey Dell John R. Donaldson ***

Elizabeth A. Dorman Katelin Marie Downes Benjamin Drach ** Joseph D. Dysert * Ryan Elliott * Mackenzie Elizabeth Galick ** Joseph Garcia Molly Goossens *** Christian A. Hackney Kelsey Marie Hansen * Bradley B. Harp * Ereanna Nicole Higbee ** Arica Marie Hunter ** Tristan S. Ivie ** Sammy "Steel" Johnson Cheryl L. Jordan Garrett Kraal ** Phoenix Beau Marie Lacque Kaila Nicole Lee ** Adam Daniel Lillengreen Michael Loomis *** Malissa Ann Lowe Christopher J. Lyon Teresa Marie ** Dylan Martin Colby L. Matti Spencer Mattox Jenifer Kristin McFadden De'Onte D. Menefee Jonathan Willis Messiers * Caitlyn Messman ** Joseph Edward Miller Kayla Nicole Mitchell ** Amelie Mitchell-Chavez * Catherine A. Moi * Irma Moody (Nena) Brittany Mortensen * Garrett N. Mowday Raegan MacKenzie Neu ** Lilly Jo Norris Brooke N Norris-DeLange Megan Taylor O'Neil * Mary W. Phoenix Marsha Poischbeg Selena Alejandra Portillo Barrera Trinity Pruitt Mikaila Brooke Riddle * Sydney Patricia Rothenbush Miranda Lynn Rust Angel E. Sandoval Bridget C. Schmidt Rosa Marie Schmidt ** Megan E. Schultz Brian Eric Schwabl *

Keri Nicole Schwarz * Levi Sparks Luke B. Sparks Taryn Monique Emma Thompson Sonja Towner Lindsey Nicole Vermillion * Spencer L. Voigt Jordan James Weinkauf * Kenzie Rae Weston Francesca Noel Wilson Tobias John Wright

PLEASE DON’T MAKE US GOOGLE YOU Keep in touch with NCU and help us save on paper and postage. Send us a quick note if you’ve moved, changed email addresses, or simply want to share some good news.

Master of Arts: Brandi M. Abono Selena R. Alderson Michael Christopher Angst Alicia Allyson Beephan Tricia L. Dellinger Wendy Fields Denise Renée Gaudette Zina Nia Grace Anna Victoria Harryman Mark Allen Harryman Molly M. Henderson Matthew T. Hill Jessica N. Hirte Sarah Michelle Hudson Ashley Nicole Jackson Tory Alan Jenkins Sarah Beth Knerl Anthony Allen LaGoy Heather Rose LeCompte Rebecca Ledbetter Kim Lee Longo Annie Colleen Luke Ian P. MacGregor Kendell Paige Main Ari Ana Maloney Jean Wooden McClain Nicholas M. McLaughlin Sarah Beck Mortinson Ashley Dawn Painter Shannon M. Briggs Peale J.M. Scott Pierce Timothy John Pritiken Mistie Dawn Reed Natasha Irene Reulet Crow Sarah Marie Ritz Tamra Anne Rochetto Courtney Rosevear Glenda J. Smail

Scholastic Awards * ** ***

Cum Laude 3.50-3.69 GPA Magna Cum Laude 3.70-3.89 GPA Summa Cum Laude 3.90-4.00 GPA

Lindsay Michelle Stuve Liumei Su Mary Claire Verner Shelly Renae Watson Julia Rose Weist Bradford K. Weyand Stacy Evonne Wiedenmann Benjamin James Williams Ziye Zhu

Master of Business Administration Adrian Caldera Jill Eileen Cuadros Claude Kennith Dasch III Michelle Giron Brian William Jones John P. Kennedy Ryan Gregory Lebien Alan Ray Mishler Kristen D. Parr Jazzmyne V. Souers Benjamin Howard Strength Brian Yates Ahmed Moctar Zibare

Master of Education Aurelie Noble The Beacon | Winter 2018


Spring Commencement Student Award Winners Announced faculty, high ideals of Christian character, and contribution of talents to the NCU community. He graduated Summa Cum Laude (3.90-4.00 GPA) with a Bachelor of Arts in communication. Buss is from Eugene, Oregon.

Rosa Marie Schmidt, Michael Buss and Joe Dysert received Northwest Christian University’s highest student honors for academic achievement and leadership during the University’s 119th Commencement. Schmidt, from Nome, Alaska, received the President’s Scholastic Award for the highest cumulative grade point average with at least 61 credit hours earned at NCU. She graduated Summa Cum Laude (3.90-4.00 GPA) with a Bachelor of Science in teacher education.

Rosa Schmidt '18

Michael Buss '18

The NCU student body and faculty voted Buss to receive the Kendall E. Burke Award for high scholastic standing, an inspiration to students and

Dysert received the Victor P. Morris Award presented to the graduating professional studies program student on the basis of academic excellence and achievement. He graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in business administration. Dysert is a sales executive in Spokane, Washington.

Crichton and Owen Receive President’s Awards Elyse Crichton ’12, M.B.A. ’14, Instructional Technology Specialist, and Kathy Ditommaso Owen, M.S., Assistant Dean of Teacher Education and Assistant Professor of Teacher Education, received the President’s Award for Excellence and Campus Leadership during the University’s 119th Commencement. “Elyse distinguished herself as a leader from the moment she arrived on campus as a student several years ago, and then grew professionally and spiritually, first as a Resident Director and Coordinator of Student Programs, and now as a campus Instructional Technology Specialist,” said Joseph D. Womack '89, Ed.D., NCU’s


Winter 2018 | The Beacon

She earned a bachelor’s degree in 2012, a Master of Business Administration in 2014, and a TESOL Certificate from the University.

Kathy Ditommaso Owen, M.S.

Elyse Crichton '12, M.B.A. '14

President. “Elyse’s professional and kind approach provides faculty with a more complete understanding of the capabilities of the Beacon Learning platform while her analytical abilities guides the University to utilize best practices for technology use on campus.” Crichton is an alumna of Northwest Christian University.

“Kathy is an excellent educator and an outstanding leader of the University’s Teacher Education program,” Womack said. “She distinguishes herself by focusing with the faculty on what is best for the NCU teacher education students and the students they will be teaching during practicum, student-teaching, and then as educators.” Ditommasso Owen earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education and Master of Arts in Teaching from Western Oregon University.

Spring Commencement

The Beacon | Winter 2018


University News NCU Partners Largest Undergraduate Class Arrives with UO to Offer Army ROTC Northwest Christian University students interested in a career in the U.S. Army can now enroll in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps program, also known as Army ROTC, through a cross-town partnership with the University of Oregon and Army ROTC. "Army ROTC is an exciting opportunity for our students to earn a degree from NCU while they prepare to serve our country as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army said Kacie Gerdrum '05, NCU's Dean of Admissions. "We look forward to our partnership with the University of Oregon and Army ROTC as we provide a new pathway for our students to learn and live wisdom, faith, and service." NCU ROTC students will take classes, participate in student activities, and graduate from NCU. As members of the 8th ROTC Brigade, NCU students can earn up to 12 quarter credits per academic year through the University of Oregon's Community Education Program. They also can compete for ROTC scholarships to cover tuition or housing costs, and when they complete the ROTC program they will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. An ROTC commission will allow for service on Active Duty, in the National Guard or Army Reserve. "Army ROTC offers students an opportunity to gain valuable leadership skills that will serve them well long after graduation," said Lt. Col. Sharel Pond, Professor of Military Science at the UO. "We welcome students from NCU to enroll in our Military Science classes." More information about Army ROTC can be found at: https://www.nwcu. edu/undergraduate/army-rotc/


Winter 2018 | The Beacon

Northwest Christian University’s largest new undergraduate class arrived on Aug. 25, 2018, bringing with it a 3.46 grade point average, the highest average grade point average in modern school history. The class is comprised of 102 freshman and 45 transfer students from 11 states and five countries.

“This is an impressive group of students,” said Michael Fuller, M.S., Vice President for Enrollment and Student Development. “We are pleased to welcome them to the Beacon family.” In this incoming class there is a student with a Black Belt, a leather artisan, perfect attendance award winners, a person cast in 10 theater productions throughout high school, artists, a student named Best Leader in the Corvallis School District, five pizza artists, a Color Guard Co-Captain, Willamette High School’s first placing state female wrestler, a motivational speaker for the American Cancer Society, a track and field all-American, a former minor league professional baseball player for the Philadelphia Phillies organization, an Eagle Scout, and a mentor for foster children. “With these talented first year students and transfers joining with our returning students, the 2018–2019 Beacon school year promises to be a great experience in the classroom and out,” Fuller said. What follows are some interesting facts provided by the Office of Admission about this year’s incoming class: • 65% of the incoming freshman class is female and 35% male • 65% of the incoming transfer class is male and 35% female. • 32% of incoming undergraduates are from the Eugene/Springfield area • 23% are from out of the state of Oregon including: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Washington; and the countries of Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, and Spain • 27 first generation college students • 11 pastor’s children • 4 veterans • 16 students from NCU’s heritage churches

• 32 were Student Body or Class President, 13 served in another student leadership capacity • 31 National Honor Society members • 29 ministry leaders • 14 team captains • 17 camp counselors • 29 musicians • 9 in theatre • 5 in 4H • 2 Valedictorians • 91 participated in volunteer work and many participated in numerous mission trips including international outreach to Colombia, Ecuador, Thailand, Albania, Cambodia, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Romania, Costa Rica, Uganda, Nepal, Haití, Guatemala, and Indonesia

University Orientation

The Beacon | Winter 2018


University News

NCU Adds New Graduate and Undergraduate Programs Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has approved the addition of a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish, a master of arts degree in leadership, and master of education degree to the University’s growing roster of outstanding undergraduate and graduate programs. “The addition of these three accredited programs provides more opportunities for NCU to serve traditional undergraduate and graduate students,” said Dennis Lindsay, D.Theol., Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of Faculty and Professor, Biblical Studies. “The decision to add a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and the two master’s degrees was based on the academic interests of students as well as NCU’s continued commitment to offer meaningful graduate education to the local and regional professional workforce.” The Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL) requires 36 credits. Classes are taught online by NCU faculty and adjunct professors. Students will concentrate their studies in business, higher education, nonprofit, or pastoral leadership. The MAL is a one or two year program.

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) program is taught on campus. The program supports highly-qualified licensed K-12 educators who exemplify high standards of leadership, professionalism, scholarship and ethical behavior within the framework of best educational practices. It is a non-licensure M.Ed. that utilizes NCU’s existing endorsement concentrations in Physical Education (P.E.), English as a Second Language (ESOL) and Special Education (SPED) in a 31-credit program that can be completed in one year. The program also offers NCU’s current undergraduate Teacher Education students the opportunity to study a fifth year on campus to earn a master’s degree with an additional endorsement. The new traditional undergraduate Spanish major provides language proficiency for students who desire to work in a Spanish-speaking environment. Students will explore Spanish culture and language through course work and study abroad. Students are taught using the Communicative Approach to incorporate real language in a real context. Listening, speaking, writing and reading skills are taught with the goal of meaningful communication.

Agreement Signed With Chemeketa Community College’s Nursing Program Northwest Christian University and Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon, have signed an articulation agreement that clears a pathway for graduates of the community college’s registered nursing program to enroll in NCU’s Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science of Nursing (RN to BSN) online program. NCU’s RN to BSN program is accredited by the Council on Collegiate Nursing Education. Founded in fall 2015 in partnership with PeaceHealth, NCU has similar articulation agreements with Lane Community College, Central Oregon Community College, Linn-Benton Community College, Treasure Valley Community College, Sumner College-Portland, and Southwest Oregon Community College.


Winter 2018 | The Beacon

The fifth cohort of NCU's RN to BSN students will graduate in December 2018 For more information about NCU’s nursing programs visit

University News Board of Trustees Name Officers and Members

Clare Buhler '80

Juanita Metzler '94

The Northwest Christian University Board of Trustees named Clare Buhler ’80 as its new chair. He is the senior pastor at Harrisburg Christian Church in Harrisburg, Oregon. Juanita Metzler ’94 Convention Sales Manager Lisa Spears for Travel Lane County in Eugene, Oregon, is the new Board secretary. New members to the Board of Trustees are Tim Haskell ’88, CEO, Haskell Valuation, Jefferson, Oregon; Dan Hill, who attended NCU from 1974 through 1976, Senior Principal/Architect, Arbor South Architecture, PC, Eugene, Oregon; Lisa Speers, Owner, Sheppard Motors, Eugene,

Tim Haskell '88

Dan Hill '76

Kim WIlliams

Bridget Baker Kincaid

Oregon; and Kim Williams, Co-Managing Member, McKay Investment Company, Eugene, Oregon. In addition, Bridget Baker Kincaid returns to serve on the Board of Trustees. She is President and Executive Director, Baker Family Foundation, Eugene, Oregon. Terms for the five newly appointed Trustees will expire in 2020.

M.B.A. Program Ranked A Best Value has ranked Northwest Christian University’s online Master of Business Administration program among the nation’s Best Values for accredited online M.B.A. programs. “We are pleased to be named among the best values for M.B.A. students seeking a degree online from an accredited business program” said Peter Diffenderfer, Ph.D., Assistant Dean of the Business Department and Business Professor. “Our faculty are outstanding. They deliver a meaningful graduate business education based on their academic study and professional experience

so students receive an education grounded in theory and practical application.” assists potential M.B.A. students to make informed decisions about the universities they should consider attending. M.B.A. Programs listed as a Best Value are judged on quality of curriculum and cost, as compared to other programs in their home state. NCU’s M.B.A. program and undergraduate program is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.

The Beacon | Winter 2018


University News NCU and LCC Sign Titan to Beacon Agreement Beginning in January, 2019, Northwest Christian University will accept students who graduate from Lane Community College with an associate’s degree or an Oregon transfer degree to seamlessly enroll at NCU as junior. “LCC graduates will enter NCU as if they had already been enrolled for two years here,” said NCU President Joseph Womack at a recent press conference in Hutchins Hall to announce the agreement. “They can enroll their junior year and begin classes in their majors.”

get through school and to earn their degree as quickly and as afordable as possible,” Womack said. Presently, there are 224 NCU students who have graduated from, or taken classes at LCC. A close relationship between the two schools is a natural fit for two institutions educating the region’s workforce.

“I join President Womack in what we believe is ‘doing the right thing’ for our students because we believe that every student deserves a quality education at an affordable price,” Hamilton said. “Partnerships like this one between NCU and LCC drive down the cost of a baccalaureate degree and levels the playing field for students from all socio-economic levels to achieve a university education.”

Lane graduates will easily transfer into upper division classes in psychology, music, business, and nursing. Those LCC students with an Oregon transfer degree can enroll in any major offered at the university. “We want to identify pathways to help students at local community colleges

Dr. Womack and Dr. Hamilton

Beacon Points of Pride • NCU has a total enrollment of 864 students, compared to 843 last year at this same time. • We’re #1. NCU has the lowest average annual cost for Oregon regionally accredited private universities (College Scorecard). • NCU is experiencing 8 straight years of record enrollment, including 207 Graduate Students (our highest ever at fall census) and 226 ADP students (our highest ever at fall census). Wisdom, Faith, and Service is at the center of all we teach, learn, and live. We are thankful for our students, staff, faculty, alumni, and friends. Let us know about a faculty or staff member who inspired you at NCC/NCU. We will tell your story in an upcoming Beacon Bulletin. Contact Pat Walsh, Sr. Director of Marketing and Communication, pwalsh@ or 541-684-7245.


Winter 2018 | The Beacon

“Most people in the community know that the mission of the community colleges is to provide access and equity to all students within a geographic region,” said LCC President Margaret Hamilton. “Similarly, NCU is committed to serve this same population with access and equity and have demonstrated their commitment through the full faith transfer for all of our students who complete the two year degree.”

NCU’s Online M.B.A. Ranked #3 Northwest program Christian University’s online Master of Business Administration ( M.B.A.) degree program has been ranked third in Oregon by Online M.B.A. Today, a comprehensive resource for students seeking an M.B.A. online. “NCU’s ranking among the best online M.B.A. programs in Oregon is a reflection of the outstanding faculty and curriculum we offer students,” said President Joseph D. Womack '89, Ed.D. “It is a privilege for NCU to provide a pathway for working professionals, military personnel, and others seeking a rigorous, convenient, and flexible graduate business degree to earn an M.B.A..” Online M.B.A. Today ranked online M.B.A. programs at Portland State University and Oregon State University number one and two in Oregon, followed by NCU at number three, and Eastern Oregon University was ranked fourth.

LCC to NCU Agreement

The Beacon | Winter 2018


Mental Health

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Meets A Growing Community Need Northwest Christian University’s growing master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) is a 60 credit, 28-month program (on campus and online) for students committed to helping people improve their mental health. “The CMHC’s mission is to prepare culturally informed mental health counselors who integrate current, evidence-based interventions and techniques with clients to foster their wellness and relationships,” said Elizabeth Wosley-George, Ph.D., professor of counseling. “We combine rigorous classroom experience with practical experience to prepare students to treat clients with mental health concerns so they can live their best lives.” By the end of the first year, students are taught a solid

Elizabeth Wosley-George, Ph.D.


Winter 2018 | The Beacon

foundation of counseling skills, procedures, and theories through a Christian framework. Students build upon that base to develop a theoretical orientation of counseling that matches the their own personality and value system. Students then specialize in serving a specific population, clinical issue, or effective treatment modality through choices of electives and numerous internships available to NCU CMHC students. In the second year of the program, students implement and refine their personal approach to counseling by seeing clients in the NCU Counseling Center. Based on recognized best practices, counseling techniques, appraisal/ assessment methods, and current research, seeing patients in the NCU counseling center is part of a student’s pre-internship experience. Counseling sessions are recorded and replayed to help students to hone their counseling skills before they intern at an agency or community organization. All practicum and internship students receive individual and group supervision from qualified supervisors throughout the program. NCU CMHC graduates meet the academic standards leading to Oregon licensure as a professional counselor (LPC). LPCs offer counseling services to individuals, couples, families and groups in private practices, hospitals, schools and mental health agency settings to help clients with personal growth and mental health concerns and conditions.

Ryan Melton, Ph.D.

“Our students are gaining wisdom and then sharing it through faithful service to their clients and the broader community,” said Ryan Melton, Ph.D., assistant professor and director of the CMHC program. “The NCU CMHC exemplifies the University’s commitment to Wisdom, Faith, and Service.” NCU's Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is accredited by the prestigious Counsel for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Counsel for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Mental Health

CMHC Students Earn Prestigious National Scholarships Two Northwest Christian University Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate students have won scholarships from the NBCC Foundation, an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), that will provide additional opportunities for them to learn how best to counsel underserved minority youth in transition from ages 16 to 25. Shirah D. Canaga, of Myrtle Point, Oregon, was selected for the NBCC Minority Shira D. Canaga Fellowship Program-Addictions Counselors (MFP-AC). As an NBCC MFPAC Fellow, she is one of 33 other master’s-level addictions counseling students selected to receive the fellowship and up to $11,000 in scholarship. Upon graduation, Canaga intends to work with transitionage youth who experience trauma, crisis, addiction, and career loss by using her academic coursework and counseling experience to provide consistent crisis intervention, substance use prevention, career counseling, grief counseling, and strengthbased interventions. She plans to practice as a counselor in Oregon to provide a personcentered approach helping individuals make choices to

move toward a healthy lifestyle by implementing evidencebased practices. “The scholarship will provide additional educational opportunities, including advocating for the counseling profession,” said Canaga, a University of Oregon graduate. “I will learn techniques to better serve underserved populations and individuals who experience addiction.” Diana Glasser, Eugene, Oregon, was selected for the NBCC Minority Fellowship Diana Glasser Program-Youth (MFP-Y). She is one of 29 other master’s degree students to receive an $8,000 scholarship from the foundation. After graduation, she plans to work with marginalized transitionage minority youth, specifically those struggling with culture shock and identity crisis as well as with young adults experiencing early symptoms of mental illness to assist them in receiving a culturally informed diagnosis and treatment. “Earning this fellowship allows me the opportunity to attend counseling conferences and further my professional identity as a counselor, engage in research, study evidencebased practices, and provide assistance to marginalized

populations,” Glasser said. She is a graduate of Gutenberg College in Eugene, Oregon, and of Hawthorn University in Whitehorn, California. “We are very pleased for Shirah and Diana to receive these impressive awards for their excellent work in the classroom and out,” said Wosley-George. “They are strong examples of the dedicated students and professionals who seek their clinical mental health counseling master’s degree at NCU.” The National Board Certified Counselors Foundation provides programs and awards scholarships to individuals pursuing careers as professional counselors who are affiliated with high-priority populations and commit to serving them after graduation. Capacitybuilding grants fund expansion efforts to increase mental health resources in rural and minority communities where access to mental health care is extremely limited. Scholars and Fellows participate in innovation training to expand effective practice in their communities. ranks NCU's Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling as one of the most affordable in the West.

The Beacon | Winter 2018


Mental Health

CMHC Clinic Serves Those In Need Every month, students in NCU’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program provide over 200 hours of counseling to those who have no insurance or cannot afford to see a licensed therapist to help them manage their mental health needs. “NCU’s mental health counseling center serves two very important purposes,” said Sarah Halstead, M.A. ’15, interim director of the counseling center. “Our students use their education to help people on the path to mental health wellness while gaining valuable clinical experience before they begin practicums and internships with various agencies throughout the area.”

Lane County. Clients pay $10 per session or nothing, if they can’t afford it. All college students receive counseling for free. “Through the counseling center NCU is providing greater access to counseling for those who may not otherwise receive care,” Halstead said. “The counseling center is one more way students and faculty live wisdom, faith and service in the classroom and in the community.” Anyone interested in seeking counseling at the NCU Counseling Center can call to schedule a free intake at 541-349-7471.

After they complete the first year of the three year program, students work in the counseling center as counselors under the supervision of NCU’s CMHC faculty. All sessions are recorded. Students view the recordings with faculty members so they can learn how to hone their skills and develop the best treatment plans for their clients. The CMHC faculty all serve as supervisors to ensure the safety of the clients and developing counselors. “Working with clients through the clinic has given me the opportunity to gain valuable experience that most other programs don’t provide students before they enter an internship,” said Diana Glasser, who is originally from Moldava and is a graduate of Guttenberg College in Eugene. “For six to eight months we see clients struggling with anxiety, depression, grief and loss, and other mental health issues. We have the opportunity to connect with the clients to help them onto a healthier path.” Glasser has served at the NCU Counseling Center for her internship and will be graduating in December. The counseling center serves a variety of clients, including students from NCU, UO, LCC, New Hope, as well as community members from throughout


Winter 2018 | The Beacon

Sarah Halstead, M.A. '15

A Call to Serve: In Uniform and Out When Jeff McDowell ’09, M.A. ’12, gives you his business card there is one noticeable bit of information that stands out from the rest, it’s the combat infantryman’s badge, also known as the CIB. The CIB is not on every veteran’s business card or uniform. It is special. The CIB is only awarded to U.S. Army soldiers and officers below the rank of Colonel serving in the infantry, Rangers and Special Forces who fought in significant ground combat. The badge recognizes the inherent sacrifices of all infantrymen, and that they face a greater risk of being wounded or killed in action than those in any other military occupation.

McDowell served more than 22 years in the Oregon Army National Guard that included two tours in Iraq. When he came home, the former construction business owner knew something was different. With his wife’s encouragement, he built relationships with counselors at the Vet Center in Eugene, Oregon, officially known as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Readjustment Counseling Services Center. The Vet Center counselors suggested he take advantage of the educational opportunities available to veterans that assist them in reintegrating into the community. McDowell enrolled in Northwest Christian University’s adult degree program, continued on page 18 The Beacon | Winter 2018


Feature Story

Jeff McDowell '09, M.A. '12

graduating with a bachelor’s degree in human services. He continued in the classroom to earn an NCU master’s degree in community mental health counseling. “It was at NCU where I found my answer to the call I was hearing for my life after the military,” McDowell said. “Life experience was also important for me to hear that call to serve my fellow veterans. Without that time in Iraq, I wouldn’t be doing what I am suppose to be doing, where I am suppose to be doing it, and with whom I suppose to be doing it with.” McDowell said, “I like to come together with people to find solutions that work, but the gift is when you get to be there for the "aha moment," when things all come together. It is a blessing.” “I love what I do and I love the people I work with,” he said. McDowell is like the other NCU graduates who are military veterans that have dedicated their lives to counseling veterans at the Vet Center. In addition to the four NCU alumni employed by the Vets Center,

Ken Dube, M.A. '07

each of the other five counselors also has 60 to 70 veterans, and sometimes their families, that they counsel at any one time. The staff specializes in helping veterans with Post Traumatic Stress and Military Sexual Trauma. Ken Dube, M.A. ’07, is the Eugene Vet Center’s director. A U.S. Air Force veteran, he leads a staff of nine. Together they see more than 350 clients per year that adds up to more than 10,000 visits annually that include one-on-one meetings, group sessions, and family counseling meetings. “Because most of our staff are veterans, we understand the military culture that our patients experienced as well as the transition back into the community,” Dube said. “It is a unique to work with other vets with similar experiences.” For Dube, graduation from college would have been out of reach without vetern's benefits. He made the most of the opportunity. With an associates degree in counseling, a bachelor’s degree in human resource management, and then a master’s degree continued on page 19


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Feature Story

Jennifer Morzenti '09, M.A. '11

in counseling from NCU, each graduation marked a deeper way Dube could serve others. “I really believe that I am called to the job,” Dube said. “There is a sense of reward when you have helped people have better lives and make their families better.” Like Dube, Jennifer Morzenti ’09, M.A. ’11 is a U.S. Air Force veteran. She was on the flight line refueling aircraft during Operation Just Cause in Panama. After leaving the service she knew that she wanted to work with veterans. “I chose NCU because of the small class size and the professors were personable,” Morzenti said. “The program was excellent and professors, like Dave Finner, were always were available.” Because she is a female veteran, Morzenti is a rare professional in the veteran counseling profession.

Ken Latham '12, M.A. '15

Ken Latham ’12, M.A. ’15 not only graduated from NCU, he and his wife April were married by Bible and theology professor Terry O’Casey, Ph.D. in the Ross Evans Chapel. “NCU has an important place in my life,” Latham quipped. “Terry O’Casey was a terrific professor and friend. We are glad he married us.” Latham is a U.S. Army veteran. A former infantryman, he used his military benefits to move from California to attend NCU. He said, “My father and grandfather were from Eugene. I had fished here with them. I heard NCU had a good program.” “There were so many people at NCU who inspired me,” Latham said. “I knew I would be ready to serve veterans when I graduated.” Latham says he likes to watch the change that happens with veterans when they find and engage solutions that improve their lives.

“There is a need for more female veterans counselors,” “It is a mission to help my military brothers and Morzenti said. “I like to help vets, particularly new sisters,” Latham said. “It is the Lord’s work and it is veterans, so they can become the best people that my calling.” they can be.”

The Beacon | Winter 2018


Mental Health

Carpenter Greets Vets, Starts Campus Vets Group NCU Student Blake Carpenter

One of the first people veterans meet at the Eugene Vet Center is Blake Carpenter. The junior psychology major from Alvadore, Oregon, sits at the front desk greeting veterans and their families as they check in to meet with a counselor. “I love sitting at the front desk,” Carpenter said. “The first person a veteran should see is someone with a big smile on their face who is glad to see them. I’m extremely grateful I have the opportunity to be that person.” A former U.S. Army combat medic, he served more than six years including deployments to Afghanistan and Cuba. When he was discharged, he knew he wanted to help others. “I want to be a mental health counselor to make sure veterans get the help and resources they need and deserve,” Carpenter said. “The Counselors at the Eugene Vet Center told me how awesome the environment at NCU is and to consider enrolling, so I did. It was the right choice.”


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Before coming to NCU, he attended Nicholls State University and Lane Community College where he was a member of both school's student veteran communities including the Student Veterans of America (SVA), a group dedicated to supporting veterans as they transition to student life and beyond. With encouragement from the LCC SVA President Scott Jones, he founded the NCU Student Veterans Alliance to provide the same support to LCC veterans transferring to NCU and other veterans coming to campus. So far, the Alliance has identified almost 60 veterans and dependents for membership in the NCU group. “I really believe serving veterans and their families is my calling,” Carpenter said. From the frontlines of Afghanistan to the front desk of the Veterans Center and the NCU campus, Blake Carpenter is a Beacon shining a light to guide veterans to better mental health and academic success.

Alumnus Profile

From Prison To Life Change Leader Nathan Mart, M.B.A. ’16 NCAC II, CADC II, offers a simple explanation about how he arrived at the Eugene Mission to lead the men’s Life Change Program. “God has been gracious with me.” After two years, two months, and two days in prison for a drug related crime, Mart worked as an intern at Serenity Lane, a drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation center headquartered in Coburg, Oregon. His commitment to sobriety and professionalism led to a full-time job as a drug and alcohol counselor. “I have no desire to go back to the old life,” Mart said. With a demanding profession and a family, he earned a bachelor’s degree in human services and the highest certifications in professional drug and alcohol counseling. Rising through Serenity Lane’s leadership ranks he knew more education would help him to manage his department, which spanned five locations across Oregon, and provide patients with the best care available. “I went from intern to a program director in five years,” Mart said. “I needed to have a better understanding of the business-side of the organization, so I enrolled in NCU’s M.B.A. program.” During his two years in the NCU M.B.A. program, he says the program was convenient, online and most importantly helped him sharpen his business skill-set. “I began to better understand insurance trends, accounting, human resources, how to work with boards of directors and so on,” he said. “The NCU M.B.A. upped my professionalism 10 times and positioned me for leadership positions in my profession.” He left Serenity Lane after more than seven years. It was good work and a strong organization, but Mart wanted to serve those struggling with addiction in a Christ-centered environment.

Nate Mart, M.B.A. '16

“I was attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting,” Mart said. “I had just finished sharing when a man approached me. He told me that he knew a guy who said the Eugene Mission had an opening.” He became the Eugene Mission’s Director of the Men’s Life Change program, a free, 18-month residential relapse/recovery prevention program. Mart is the first Life Change program director with an M.B.A. and professional credentials in alcohol and drug counseling and mental health counseling. He is joined on the Eugene Mission staff by NCU alumni Denise Jubber ’98, M.A.C.C. ’11, Shannon Smyth M.A. ‘17, Caitlin Vargas M.B.A. ’16, Brian Kimbell ’11, and Dylan Martin ‘18. “I can relate to the men in Life Change because I have been right where they are,” Mart said. “It’s a blessing to work with the men in Life Change. God has been gracious.”

The Beacon | Winter 2018


Alumnus Profile

On A Mission With Veterans

Shannon Smyth, M.A. '17

Shannon Smyth ’17, M.A., '17 LPC Intern, NCC, CCTP, is a problem-solver; first, as an aircraft mechanic while serving in the U.S. Air Force in Iraq and then as a staff member working on issues facing military veterans for U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield). “In Congressman DeFazio's office, I worked with veterans to help them solve their problems receiving health care and the other benefits they are entitled to and deserve,” Smyth said. “These are sometimes the hardest problems to solve because there are so many faults in the government system.” Smyth enrolled in Northwest Christian University’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program to tie his military experience with his growing expertise in helping veterans navigate a complex government benefits system. “The obstacles veterans would encounter when trying to receive the care they are entitled to really got me thinking about how to serve them best,” Smyth said.


Winter 2018 | The Beacon

In addition to classes, assignments, and a practicuum, he had a six-month internship at the Eugene Mission working with guests in the counseling center. He applied for an open staff position before graduation and got the job. “I work with guests struggling with significant mental health needs and a constantly changing, diverse group with some military experience,” said Smyth, a behavioral health specialist. “Based on my experience and education I am able to give back.” Smyth works with guests to navigate complex mental health policies and procedures, resolves challenging state and federal program casework, and supports guests during crisis situations. He also facilitates a veterans-only Hope Wellness group, providing an opportunity for veterans to learn emotional intelligence skills. “Our supportive services team have the same goals when working with a guest,” Smyth said. “The Mission’s Christian setting creates an environment where humility and caring are at the heart of our work.”

Alumna Profile

BSN Student Smoothes Pathway To Care for Veterans fee schedules to ensure codes are updated, current Medicare benefit policy manual for endstage renal disease, contact and job descriptions for VA contacts, VA eligibility requirements, and updated procedural forms and contact lists.

Brandie Caster '18 is a force to be reckoned with. A U.S. Navy veteran, she does things by the book, a good thing for the people she cares for at Fresenius Eugene hemodialysis clinic. “We treat people whose kidneys are not working properly due to diabetes or other conditions,” Caster said. “Simply described, a patient is hooked up to a machine that cleans the blood and returns it to the body. Dialysis is a life sustaining treatment, so patients come to the clinic on a regular schedule.” During her career as a registered nurse, Caster noticed a disconnect between the veterans she was caring for and the Veterans’ Administration providing them with benefits. As a veteran managing posttraumatic stress syndrome, she knew the VA’s system was difficult to navigate, especially for a population susceptible to mental illness and requiring special needs, such as transportation for amputees and others services. “I wanted to improve the continuity of care between our clinic and the VA for veterans, especially those disabled veterans diagnosed with end-

Brandie Caster '18

stage renal disease,” Caster said. During her studies in Northwest Christian University’s RN to BSN program, she came up with what seems like an easy solution to make care easier to provide to veterans and easier for the veteran to follow the VA’s system. Caster created a VA Binder that provides nurses the guidance necessary to streamline dialysis care for veterans. It includes outlines and definitions of the current procedural terminology codes commonly used to identify and chart dialysis treatments, Medicare physician

“The VA binder helps to provide the process information necessary to help veterans receive the timely care they deserve at our clinic,” Caster said. “We can provide the care they need and know exactly by VA job description and extension who to contact. This is important, since VA employee positions seem to change readily in the VA system when questions concerning specialty care come up.” The VA Binder helps remove the stress a veteran may be feeling during this particularly vulnerable time in their care. “Brandie’s work is an example of the creative and innovative ways NCU’s RN to BSN students are addressing health issues and concerns in their work place and community,” said Linda Veltri, Ph.D., RN, associate professor and director of NCU’s nursing program. “This is a real life example of how NCU’s RN to BSN students are living out our program’s mission.”

The Beacon | Winter 2018


Faculty News

Communications Department Honors Dr. Lane With New Podcast By All Means Communicate, (dedicated to NCU Professor Emeritus Lee Lane, Ph.D.), is a new podcast from the NCU Communications Department. It is sure to educate, inform and entertain, as Professor Doyle Srader, Ph.D. and his students produce fresh, lively content about communications, sports, politics, and vocation calling. “Each podcast delivers discussion and insight concerning information and events that we have all been curious about, experienced, or even wrestled with in our lives,” Srader said. “Listeners are going to enjoy By All Means Communicate.” Launched on Aug. 27, 2018, listeners will hear Dr. Lane’s voice in the opening and closing credits. Content is updated every two weeks with new information and fresh perspectives. Episodes from the semester included: •

How to succeed when you’re the new person


Fear of public speaking



Short-term missions


Winter 2018 | The Beacon

Doyle Srader, Ph.D.

Vocation and calling


The podcast shares its name with a widely acclaimed communications textbook authored by Dr. Lane, who in retirement continues to visit the NCU campus almost daily. “Dr. Lane is an inspiration to students and faculty alike who appreciate thoughtful, clear, and direct communications,” Srader said. “It is only fitting that the department’s first podcast include him and that it carry his book’s name and his spirit.”

By All Means Communicate can be found on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio.

Lindsay and Heine Join International Scholars for Symposium The international symposium on “The Lord’s Prayer: Origins, Significance, and Reception” marks another important milestone in the ongoing work of the European Evangelistic Society in Tübingen, Germany. The Institute for the Study of Christian Origins, along with the Institute for Ancient Judaism of the University of Tübingen and the Protestant faculty of the University of Munich, played host to the three day event in Tübingen from Oct. 1-3, 2018. Fourteen scholars from 12 institutions, representing seven different countries (Germany, USA, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, Israel, and Denmark), and various religious traditions (Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, and Jewish) provided the material for discussion during the Symposium.

continued on page 25

Faculty News Faculty Colloquium Schedule Announced All members of the NCU community, past and present, are invited to attend the monthly Faculty Colloquiums scheduled on specific Thursday afternoons from 4:00 – 4:50 p.m. The Faculty Colloquium is designed to highlight current NCU faculty research and scholarship and to promote academic dialog. Colloquium sessions were held in Room SPS 100. Fall semester presenters were:

• January 17, 2019 – Dr. Heike McNeil, Professor of Chemistry and Exercise Science: “Nonlinear Analysis of Changes in Gait Biomechanics as a Function of Fatigue in Distance Runners”

• October 18, 2018 – Dr. Kimberly Parzuchowski, Adjunct Instructor of Ethics: “Hestia’s Broken Hearth (Care Ethics and Climate Change)”

• March 14, 2019 – Ms. Tammy Bovee, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science: Topic to be announced

• November 15, 2018 – Dr. Karen DeYoung, Associate Professor of Music and Worship: “The Countercultural Role of Power, Humility, and Community in Servant Leadership” Scheduled presenters for spring semester are:

• February 14, 2019 – Dr. Bill Fritz, Associate Professor of Teacher Education: “Teacher SelfEfficacy Beliefs in Mathematics Education”

• April 11, 2019– Dr. Ryan Melton, Assistant Professor of Counseling “Stage Based Interventions for Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders” Dr. Doyle Srader, Professor of Communication kicked off the fall colloquium series in September when he presented “Strom’s Covenantal Model as Critique of Hall’s ‘Communicate Bond Belong’ Theory.”

continued from LINDSAY, pg. 24

Northwest Christian University Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Students, Dr. Dennis R. Lindsay, pastor of the Christliche Gemeinde from 1987-1992, spoke on the topic of “Pistis (faith) and Prayer in the New Testament” as a broader context for interpreting the Lord’s prayer in light of Jesus overall instruction on prayer. NCU Professor Emeritus Dr. Ronald E. Heine, Director of the Institute for the Study of Christian Origins from 19892000, presented a paper on Origen’s exposition of the Lord’s Prayer through the lens of a saying from Jesus that is only known to us from Origen’s

writings: “Ask for the great things and the little things will be added for you; ask for the heavenly things and the earthly things will be added to you.” The Symposium gave rise to a number of questions and discussions that will certainly continue to inform and enlighten further studies of the Lord’s Prayer and its role in and for the Church today. The papers presented at the Symposium will be edited into a forthcoming volume to be published by Mohr-Siebeck Publishers.

Dennis Lindsay, D.Theol

The Beacon | Winter 2018




Winter 2018 | The Beacon

Beacon News


Bailey Dell '18 put the final authoritative stamp on her illustrious career on Thursday, May 24, 2018, winning the NAIA National Championship in the javelin at the NAIA Track & Field National Championships. Dell became NCU's first-ever individual national champion, doing so with a winning throw of 47.43 meters on her first toss of the finals. Dell won the event by 23 inches over Kati Kniefl from Morningside College (46.84m). Dell became a fixture at the NAIA championships, taking third-place as a sophomore and second as a junior. She

also claimed three consecutive Cascade Collegiate Conference championship titles and established a new CCC record with a throw of 49.63 meters. As a senior, Dell won eight of the ten meets she competed in. She won ten CCC Athlete of the Week honors during her career and won NAIA National Field Athlete of the Week honors three times. Among her numerous accolades, none was bigger than being named a finalist for the 2018 Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year Award at the annual Oregon Sports Awards.

NCU Throwers Coach Paula Berry, a former University of Oregon and Olympic athlete who herself was a nominee for the Oregon Sports Awards Amateur Athlete of the Year in 1991 said, "Bailey's perseverance, dedication to excellence and love of her sport put her in a category of athletes that were bound for success. It is always wonderful to have the opportunity to coach an athlete who never gives up nor loses sight of the goal. She was that athlete. It was a pleasure coaching Bailey over the three years she was at Northwest Christian University."

The Beacon | Winter 2018


Beacon News

MCNEIL STEPS DOWN NCU Head Cross Country and Distance Track Coach Heike McNeil stepped down from her coaching position at the end of the cross country season in November. She remains a fauclty member as a professor of exercise science. Coach McNeil said, "As I have been striving towards a proper work/life balance, I realized I needed to eventually make a decision and choose between teaching and coaching, but I put it off because I knew it would be a very difficult decision to make. Ultimately what tipped the scale was being able to spend more time with my husband.

"This wasn't an easy decision. I am going to deeply miss my athletes and being a part of their daily lives. I will also miss the challenge. Being a tiny school competing against giants such as the University of British Columbia was a huge challenge and I enjoyed every bit of it." McNeil's career has included numerous honors and accolades, none larger than the 2015 NAIA Women's Cross Country National Championship team that she helped build. She has won three CCC Championships, three CCC Coach of the Year honors and was the 2015 NAIA National Coach of the Year.

NCU LAUNCHES ESPORTS PROGRAM In February, Northwest Christian University became the first school in Oregon to announce the addition of esports as a scholarship-eligible sport. "NCU is excited to add esports as its 15th varsity sport and we look forward to welcoming the first esports athletes to our campus," said Sarah Freeman, NCU's associate athletic director who helped launch the program. "Esports is one of the fastest growing sports collegiately and throughout the world. The addition of esports puts NCU at the forefront of its burgeoning popularity among young people and its acceptance as true athletic competition." Esports has grown into one of the most watched competitive entertainment products, with annual global viewership eclipsing 200 million people. According to Esports Charts website (, the 2017 League of Legends championship drew an online viewership of more than 60 million people worldwide which is more than the NBA Finals, MLB World Series and the NHL Stanley Cup Finals. At the time of NCU's announcement, they became the 66th school to join the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). That number has already blossomed to 80. NACE organizes its own competitive leagues for multiple games and connects collegiate esports programs across the country to one another, enforcing a code of conduct similar to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics


Winter 2018 | The Beacon

(NAIA), which will match the rest of NCU's athletic offerings. With the addition of the new program came a state of the art, on-campus gaming arena and media room. The gaming arena features 13 computer stations, equipped with everything needed for the athletes to take on their opponents. The media room features stadium-style seating and an 82-inch television to watch the action. NCU alumnus Taylor Lind '14 was announced in March as the first head coach for the program. "For this first season, we have recruited eight scholarship athletes who will

compete in Overwatch which has its season in the spring," Freeman said. "Over time, we will add games such as League of Legends, Fortnite, Hearthstone, Rocket League, Smash Bros, and others to the competitive mix." "Adding esports enriches our campus life," said Michael Fuller, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Development. "Like all NCU students, we want our esports athletes to have a classroom and competition experience based on what we believe are the tenants of an NCU education: wisdom, faith and service. We look forward to this new chapter in NCU athletics."

Scenes From 1895 Leadership Society Dinner

The Beacon | Winter 2018


Alumni Notes 1950s

Dr. David Elliott '53 and his wife Pat have moved to Morgan Hill, Calif. They just celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary and enjoy their four daughters, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Rev. C. Arthur Hover '58 shared with us that he is currently a part-time minister for a local Lutheran Retirement Community in Dover, Penn. and still occasionally preaches at area churches. In addition to his dual degrees at NCC and the University of Oregon, Arthur also completed two master's degrees at Tufts University. Of special note, Arthur shared: "This coming week I will celebrate the 60th anniversary of my ordination. The sermon for my ordination was delivered by the President of Northwest Christian College, Dr. Ross J. Griffeth. I was very fond of him. I could not have gone on to the wealth of training I received if it had not been for the insights to education I received at NCC." Dr. Raymond Utterback ’59 is retired from his position as Associate Professor of English at Georgia State University in Atlanta. For 35 years, he has been the regular organist at Episcopal, Methodist, and Luthern churches in Atlanta and Salem, Ore. He is currently assisting organist at Grace Episcopal Church in Astoria, Ore., where he now resides.


Gordon '62 and Znette (1960 - 1962) Read are living their retirement years in Hamilton, Mont. They have two grandchildren and are active in their local church. Don Clark '65 received an honorary Doctorate in Christian Leadership from Summit Bible College in Bakersfield, Calif. Clark also has a Masters in Religious Education from Emmanuel School of Religion and a Masters in Social Ethics from Harvard University.


Gary Graff '74 is actively publishing books through his publisher, Christian Services Network, and on his website, www. Nancy (Nelson) Braun '75 lives with her husband John in McMinnville, Ore. where she works in senior housing.


Winter 2018 | The Beacon

Tim '76 and Tricia '76 Stewart are enjoying being active grandparents in Arroyo Grande, Calif. To keep busy in retirement, Tim helps renovate houses and Tricia plays banjo in a bluegrass band. Steven Linscome '78 is residing in Stockton, Calif. where he just celebrated 10 years working at Lowe's Home Improvement in the paint department. Suzanne Bigelow '78 is celebrating her 35th wedding anniversary with her husband Allen this fall. They live in central Oregon and serve at Highland Baptist Church. Rev. Dale Phipps (1977-1978) is the senior minister at Central Kitsap Christian Church and resides in Bremerton, Wash. with his wife Mary.


Rev. Kerry Kesey '89 is the pastor of Englewood Christian Church in Yakima, Wash. She has two adult children.


Chris Wade '91 has recently moved with his family to Columbia, South Carolina where he is serving as the State Fire Chaplain. He is also the Vice President of the South Carolina Public Safety Chaplains Association. Stephen Womack '92 has been promoted to Senior Litigation Counsel at the Arizona State Attorney General's Office. Jim Plummer '95 is an Associate Vice President and Relationship Banking Officer at Columbia Bank in Eugene, Ore. He and his wife Nancy have 2 children. Their oldest, Caleb, is a sophomore at NCU studying Pastoral Ministry. Don Richie '97 is the Interim Executive Director of the Rogue Valley Veterans and Community Outreach in Medford, Ore. He has completed both an M.S. in Business (2000) and a Ph.D. (2007) from Capella University. David Heavirland '97 is the Community Employment Coordinator, Vocational Development Specialist for the US Department of Veteran Affairs in Springfield, Ore. He is also serving as a Lane County Poverty and Homelessness Board member and a Lane County Workforce Partnership Board member.


Nicole (Woodruff) Miller '01, M.A. '04 is approaching her 15th year of employment with the Center for Family Development where she has had the privilege of working with many different community programs. She and her husband Jason and their two children live in Springfield, Ore. Wayne Reposa '02, M.Ed. is a faculty member in the Teacher Education department. He had been working for the Oregon Department of Education as the Personalized Learning Specialist. He and his wife have two children, a son who will be attending NCU this fall and a daughter in high school. Shelby Moser '03 recently welcomed baby Thomas Cole into the world in February. Shelby and her husband Adam live in Dubuque, Iowa. Jessica Merriman '04 is in her 14th year of teaching, currently in Dallas, TX. Allie Morth '05 works as a Test Engineer II for CoreLink Administrative Solutions in Fargo, North Dakota. She was recently selected to complete the 35 Under 35 Women's Leadership Program through the United Way of Cass Clay. Jon Kubu M.B.A. '06 is now the VP and GM of Nulia Services, a cloud services company in Eugene, Ore. Shawna Bonnin '06 is living in Vancouver, Wash. She recently became a nationally board-certified teacher in early childhood education in the first wave of US teachers to undergo the national certification process. Mike Massinger '06 is the new Business Development Manager at the Oregonian Media Group. Mike lives in the Portland, Ore. area. Matt Salinas '06 married Anna Gilbert in June 2018. The couple continues to write, play, and perform music together in Portland, Ore. Chris Dahlvig M.B.A. '07 and his family have returned to western Oregon where Chris has been hired as an Assistant Professor of Business at Linfield College. He is teaching in the accounting department.

Alumni Notes 2000s Cont'd.

Hilary (Haddow) Horn '09 and her husband Trevor have planted Kardia Church in Seattle, Wash. They have two young boys and continue to be involved with teaching and mission work through YWAM (Youth With A Mission). Alex Ritzman '09 was selected as Teacher of the Year by the Parma High School (Idaho) student body. Leondrus Thornton '09 is living in New York City as a Senior Account Manager for 2nd Watch, a cloud computing company.


Pete Zoumboukos' M.A. '10 is an academic counselor and varsity football assistant coach in Kyle, Texas. He is developing programs to improve academic success and graduation rates for student-athletes. Joel Brock '10 is returning to Nairobi, Kenya to continue his work in the urban communities through CMF International. To learn more about his missionary work, visit

Chris Yorges M.B.A. '12 is the new Development Director at the Eugene Civic Alliance in Eugene, Ore.

Tami (Brown) Davis '14 married Alex Davis in August 2018. Tami teaches at Hamlin Middle School in Eugene, Ore.

Brittney (Yip) Reineke '12, MA '15 and her husband Nate welcomed their first child, Mateo Robert, into their family on May 3rd. They reside in the Portland, Ore. Metro area.

Tianna Bushman '15 is a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation exercise specialist at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, Ore.

Juan '12, M.B.A. '13 and Megan (Baum) Guitron '15 are living in Ammon, Idaho and expecting their first child. Juan is a finance professional with Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corporation and Megan is a kindergarten teacher. Scott Perkins '13 is teaching 6th grade math, PE, and drama in Glendale, OR, where he is also the local teachers' union President as well as President of the union district 21 for Douglas County. He married his wife Emlyn in June 2017 and recently completed his master's degree in Math Education program at Concordia University (Portland, Ore.). Jaimie Sandoval '12, M.Ed. '13 has been promoted to Specialist, Technical Trainer at PenFed Credit Union in Eugene, Ore.

Brett McKinley '10 is a supervisor with the Guest Services Department at Providence Park where he works with the Portland Timbers/Thorns professional soccer teams. He resides in Hillsboro, Ore. and in his free time is playing soccer with an over-30 league and has recently taken up cycling.

Lori McNeil M.Ed. '14 is a professional business coach and a professor of business at Oregon State University - Cascades. She travels worldwide as a speaker and trainer of Leadership, Goal Setting, and Creating Successful Business Cultures. Her website is

Jeremy Chappell '10 is an accountant with Wicks Emmett in Roseburg, Ore. He has recently been promoted to Senior Tax Manager with the firm.

Alyssa (Dorr) Watson '14 completed a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Eastern Washington University in June 2018 and has received licensure.

Latha Meyer M.B.A. '11 is the owner of LJM Recruiting, a private recruiting company in the Pacific Northwest based out of Eugene, Ore.

Lars Coburn '14 completed his master's degree at Fuller Seminary (Calif.) in June 2018.

Alex Plew '11 is now a Patient Access Specialist at St. Luke's Health System in Boise, Idaho.

Kathryn Peterson '14 is program manager, YouthBuild, YouthCare of Seattle (Wash.).

Madison (Seevers) Eymann '15 completed a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at George Fox University in May 2018. Julia Shoemaker '15 has been promoted to Marketing and Communications Coordinator at GloryBee Foods in Eugene, Ore. Sean Milner '15 is currently the General Manager at Prime Materials Recovery, Inc.. Sean resides in Summerville, South Carolina. Emily (Svendsen-McLean) Bear '15 married Alex Bear in July 2015. The couple resides in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Patti McMann' M.Ed. '15 is a Business Instructor at Klamath Falls Community College in Klamath Falls, Ore. She wrote in recently to share the following: "We have been updating our course outcome guides (COGS) and I had not previously been tasked with these updates. In 2017 when tasked with updating several of mine for my courses, thanks to my M.Ed in Curriculum and Instructional Technology I earned from NCU, I was able to apply what I learned. We were required to use Bloom's Taxonomy in the updates, and since we covered this in my degree, I understood it well and easily updated my COGS. Thank you NCU for having a degree I could use in my work!" Daniel Henson '15 is working as a teacher in the South Lane School District. He and his wife Michelle Locke reside in Cottage Grove, Ore. Isaiah Blake '16 married Alexa Jones in February 2018. Taylor Kraal '16 was accepted into the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Provo, Utah.

Kristi Hammitt '04, M.B.A. '11 has been promoted to Assistant City Manager in Eugene, Ore.

Yvonne Gattie '14 is living in Springfield, Ore. She and her husband Matthew recently welcomed their first child, Alexander, in June 2018.

Jedediah (Jed) Noles '11 is the new Youth Director at Smith Memorial Presbyterian Church in Fairview, Ore.

Danielle (Gehrke) Philpott '14 is currently a real estate agent broker with Keller Williams in Eugene, Ore.

Ciara Wainwright '16, M.B.A. '17 has been promoted to Human Resources and Accounting Administrator at the Hilton Garden Inn in Springfield, Ore.

Amber Kraaz '11 completed her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2015. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Science in Education. She resides in Tucson, Ariz.

Bethany Craig '14 is a Junior Accountant at American Screening Corporation in Shreveport, LA.

Sherry Reeder '16 is pursuing her Master of Education with a concentration in Special Education at NCU.

The Beacon | Winter 2018


Alumni Notes 2010s Cont'd.

Michelle (Fletcher) Tyler '16 married Hunter Tyler '16 in June 2018. Michelle has joined NCU as an Undergraduate Admissions Counselor. Colleen Walsh '16 completed an M.S. in Special Education at Western Oregon University. She is working as an Adolescent and Family Counselor at Oregon Social Learning Center. Emily Helt '16 has moved to Portland, Ore. where she will begin a Master of Arts in Global Development and Justice at Multnomah University. Maximilian Torres '16 is a Physical Therapy Assistant at ProActive Physical Therapy Specialists in Portland, Ore. Nathan Mart M.B.A. '16 is the new Life Change Program Director at Eugene Mission. Cody Gardner '17 recently got engaged to Kathryn Sampson (currently a graduate student at NCU). They will marry in May 2019. Chelsea Taylor '17 has accepted a position as a Community Justice Specialist for Deschutes County and the State of Oregon. She will reside in the Bend area. Cassidy Winters '17 has been admitted to Linfield's Accelerated BSN program for the Summer 2018 cohort. Remington (Remi) White '16, M.B.A. '17 has moved to Pushpay as a Sales Development Representative. He resides in the Seattle, Wash. area. Katarina Maciel '17 is working at the Disney Grand Californian in Anaheim, Calif. Jordan Davis '17, M.B.A. '18 is stepping into the role of President, Americas of O. Mustad & Sons, the world's largest manufacturer of fishing hooks. Jordan's home base is in Gurley, Ala. Hina '17 and Kenny Blackwell '18 have moved to Honolulu, HI. Hina is teaching kindergarten. Kenny is returning to active military service. Shannon Smyth MA '17 is serving as a counselor at the Eugene Mission in Eugene, Ore. working specifically with veterans.

Steven Ray '17 married current NCU student Victoria (Cizek) Ray in July 2018 in Victoria's home town of Soldotna, AK. Many NCU friends, classmates, and staff made the journey to celebrate their special day. Dan Chavez M.B.A. '17 is the Director of Operations for Alko Hotels and acting General Manager of the new Fairfield Inn & Suites in Eugene, Ore. Ruben Carmona '17 began a two-year commitment with the Peace Corps in Catamayo, Equador. He is working with Fundacion Nuevas Ideas helping kids and teens develop skills that will improve their lives. Michael Loomis '17 was hired by Continuant, Inc. in Portland, Ore. as a junior account manager for the telecommunications company. Lori Hawley '17 is the new Programming Manager at the WoW Hall Community Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene, Ore. Jordan Alexander '18 and his wife Haley (Damian) Alexander '18 were married soon after graduation. Jordan is serving as the Graduate Assistant for NCU Men's Basketball and pursuing his M.B.A.. Hailey is a kindergarten teacher at Mt. Vernon Elementary School in Springfield, Ore. Michelle Giron '16, M.B.A. '18 is an accountant at Cavanagh Ringelman CPA's PC in Vallejo, Calif. Joey Garcia '18 was hired by the Eugene Emeralds as the Assistant Food and Beverage Manager. Maci Beierle '18 is staying in Eugene to serve NCU as the Graduate Assistant for the volleyball program while completing her Master of Business Administration. Luke Sparks '18 is moving to Boise, Idaho after graduation to help plant a church on the campus of Boise State University. He also plans to utilize his teaching degree in the local schools. Taylour Backus '18 accepted a first grade teacher position in Ridgecrest, Calif. John Kennedy '16, M.B.A. '18 is working in marketing at Industrial Finishes in Eugene, Ore. Jessica Hirte '16, MA '18 completed concurrent master's degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Philosophy at Northwest Christian University.


Winter 2018 | The Beacon

Jazzmyne (Villarreul) Souers '14, M.B.A. '18 and her husband, Ethan '14, have moved to Hawaii. Chelsea Chittim '18 has been hired as a 2nd grade teacher at Lundy Elementary School in Lowell, Ore. Samuel Johnson '18 is headed to the Caribbean for a six-month mission and service trip through Experience Mission. Selena Portillo Barrera '18 is working fulltime for Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) in Eugene, Ore. Mitchell Davis '18 and Jacquelyn (Cooley) Davis '18 were married on May 19th, 2018. Redmond Christian Church (Ore.) has hired both of them, Mitchell in youth ministry and Jacquelyn in music ministry. Rosa (Schmidt) Wright '18 and Tobias (TJ) Wright '18 were married in summer 2018. Rosa is teaching in Elim, Alaska. Marsha Poishbeg '18 has been hired as the volleyball coach for Cascade High School in Everett, Wash.

Send your news to or alumniupdate.

Profiles In Giving

Surprises, Simplicity and Service—The Story of a Gift Over the summer, alumnus Vern Hunt and his oldest son, Steve Hunt, sat down with President Womack to share a story. The story was one of a life of service and faith. It was a story of a husband and wife and the simple but beautiful life they shared. It was also a story celebrating a woman, Betty Jean (McMickle) Hunt, who passed away April 3, 2018 with family by her side. As all good stories do, the ending had a surprise—a $50,000 check to the university in honor of Betty’s memory. After 30 plus years of teaching middle school math, Vern retired in 1990. He set up a life insurance policy in Betty’s name and after her passing, Vern closed the policy and received a payout of $47,000. To Vern and his family, “this was Betty’s” money so they “decided to give it in honor of her.” Both NCC alumni, Vern and Betty have always “been fans” and shared fond memories of their time on campus. For Vern, his memories in the quartet were a highlight—not just of college but of life. For Betty, music was also dear as she played the piano and organ for many years at Creswell Church of Christ and the 6th and Gibbs Church in Cottage Grove. Like Vern, Betty became a teacher and taught elementary in Goshen once their three children were also in school. “Betty was an excellent teacher,” says Vern, “but a perfectionist” and after 11 years her career in public

education ended but her service as a teacher did not because she continued giving piano lessons and teaching Sunday school throughout her life. Her daughter Kathy remembers, “Mom would have special days with church at home. She did such a great job talking with the grandkids about heaven and life.” Her granddaughter Mandy adds, “She helped us talk about what we

were going through and what we would go through—just life.” She was a woman who loved people, loved God, and loved education so a gift to NCU couldn’t be more fitting. Vern and Betty married, December 22, 1951 but their courtship began before NCC campus. With family roots ranging across Washington, Oregon and continued on page 39

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Profiles In Giving Idaho, Vern and Betty met at a church party in Hermiston, Oregon. Just a few years older, Vern noticed the little blonde just shy of 14. Betty graduated in three years as the Valedictorian from Hermiston High school and immediately came to NCC where her father had also attended. For Vern, the route to NCC was less clear, though Betty was, “an incentive,” he says with a chuckle. Originally, his “great desire was to be a cattle rancher” and Vern owned three Herford cows but no land. Unsure of his future, Vern was sitting in church one Sunday “wondering what to do next” when he decided to sell his cows and go to college—there was at least one blonde he knew at NCC and that was encouragement enough. From teenage double dates to college courting, Vern and Betty eventually settled down on the first day of Christmas vacation, which Vern thought was a “pretty smart” way to begin a marriage. While NCU played a part in Betty and Vern’s love story, their marriage was built on something much greater—a deep and shared faith, a


Winter 2018 | The Beacon

love for travel, an unwavering work ethic, and a commitment to service. Mission trips took them to Japan and the Dominican Republic, where they did everything from take children’s temperatures, give medicine, tear down dilapidated buildings, install septic systems, and build pews for outdoor church gatherings.

they loved and served people together. To their children and grandchildren, Betty “did things in a quiet and Godly way,” says daughter Kathy Gravelle. Whether it was special Sundays at home with the grandkids “just talking about life” recalls granddaughter Mandy Wigington, or fighting illness. Betty “was so

Vern and Betty Hunt

Betty and Vern also gave of their time and talents within the Creswell community where they lived, taught, and attended church for 56 years. A simple act of kindness Vern remembers is volunteering at a senior center’s Sweetheart banquet where Betty played her accordion and he sang to the couples. This memory is a snapshot into the way

loving, always trying to do the right thing—even in the hardest times” says Kathy, “I could see God’s spirit in her and working through her.” Just as Betty didn’t stop teaching, neither did Vern. In retirement they spent a few summers at Yellowstone National Park and their work ethic learned from long hours in a pea cannery to shoveling

coal in the furnace of the Crusader House to waitressing, driving truck, and bus, and everything in between instilled the value of hard work which Betty and Vern passed on to the next generation. They “trained kids not used to working, to work” at the park’s hotel laundry room and gift shops. While their home is a small gallery to Betty’s art, it is Vern who painted the brilliant memory of afternoons spent with Betty beside a lake in Yellowstone listening to an orchestra play with a rainbow backdrop. “We had good times,” is a poignant way to say it was a life well lived and well loved. The gift of this story is much more than $50,000. The gift is the love Betty and Vern found at NCC. The gift is Vern honoring his wife’s memory. The gift is Betty—a woman who loved the Lord, loved people, and whose legacy lives on in her family, her students, and here at Northwest Christian University— where her gift will serve the education of Beacons today and tomorrow.

Profiles In Giving

Bob ’58 and Gwen Bray: Houston, Texas Bob and Gwen Bray met at Northwest Christian in the 1950s and were married when he graduated. Beginning at Gwen’s home church in Walla Walla, Washington, the Bray’s have served the faithful in Washington, Kentucky and Texas. Even after leaving the ministry in 1979, Bob continued to preach 30 Sundays per year. Bob and Gwen began careers in the oil industry in Houston, Texas. Bob went to work for EXXON Pipeline Company and Gwen took a position with Tenneco Oil Exploration and Production. Soon after starting work they learned that both companies matched their employees’ charitable contributions to educational institutions. For Bob, that meant EXXON Pipeline would contribute $3 for every $1 he would give, up to $5,000 annually, to Northwest Christian University and the two other educational institutions he held degrees from. Every $1 Gwen continued on page 40

Beacons Light the Way for Other Beacons As a Beacon, you know one of the brilliant things about our community is that we serve and support one another. The Torchbearer’s Society is an illuminating example of your commitment to our students and their success. What is the Torchbearer’s Society? A monthly giving program which directly supports the Beacon Fund. Through a monthly gift—of any size—you can contribute to the Beacon fund which provides scholarships and helps offset the cost to educate each of our students. Plus, you get to show your Beacon pride with an exclusive Torchbearer’s Society lapel pin. Today, we ask you to join the friends, family, alumni, churches, business partners, faculty, and staff that give to the Beacon fund by becoming a Torchbearer. Please visit and become a Torchbearer today! For more information on year end giving, please email Camille at

The Beacon | Winter 2018


Profiles In Giving Opportunities To Support NCU Generations of donors contribute each year to keep Northwest Christian University strong. Their commitment allows NCU to continue to provide Christian higher education to students who seek an education grounded in Wisdom, Faith, and Service. Please carefully consider the many options available for you to financially support NCU. Annual Giving An Annual Fund gift is an opportunity to provide an unrestricted contribution to NCU. The Annual Fund supports all NCU programs, including financial aid, faculty and staff development, buildings and grounds maintenance, student activities, and technology.

Capital Gifts Capital gifts are designated by the donor to fund construction, technology, and renovation projects. Scholarships Scholarships provide talented and deserving students the opportunity to make an NCU education more affordable. Gifts can be made to the general scholarship fund or an endowed scholarship can be established in the donors name to support future students. For more information about giving to NCU, contact Keith Potter ’84 D.D. ’11, Vice President for Advancement at 541-349-7439 or

Ways to Give


Cash gifts immediately benefit NCU. Checks, cash, credit card, or debit card are gratefully accepted. Just like a cash contribution, a gift of securities provides the donor with an income tax deduction in the year it is given. The most convenient way to give a gift of securities is to arrange a transfer by a broker to NCU’s account. To make a gift of securities contact the University’s broker: Amanda Bailey, D.A. Davison at 541-6087225 or Many businesses have corporate matching gift programs that can double or even triple a gift to NCU. They are easy to coordinate and are of no cost to the donor. For more information, contact your employer’s human resources department for information about matching gifts. Planned gifts are a creative opportunity to support NCU. They can offer a significant financial benefit during the donor’s lifetime. Bequest donors can include NCU in their will by designating a specific dollar amount or percentage of their estate to the University.

• Any gift can be made in honor or in memory of someone special. • To receive a 2018 charitable income tax deductions, gifts must be postmarked by Dec. 31, 2018. All credit card gifts must be processed by Dec. 31, 2018. • The IRA Charitable rollover allows taxpayers age 70 ½ or older to make tax-free charitable gifts of up to $100,000 per year directly from their Individual Retirement Accounts to eligible charities, including universities. To make a gift using a IRA Charitable Rollover, contact your IRA plan administrator. • Give online at For more information, call 541-684-7318

continued from Bray, pg. 39

would give, Tenneco would match it with $1. “When we learned about the corporate matching gift programs, we believed it was good stewardship to take advantage of this company benefit,” Bob said. “Over the years Exxon/Mobil’s matching gift program has provided almost $500,000 to Northwest Christian and the two other educational institutions that we support.” Even in retirement, EXXON/Mobil continues to


Winter 2018 | The Beacon

match the couple’s annual donations, three-to-one, but now up to $7,500. The corporate matching gift program will continue in the event of Bob’s death. “We encourage everyone to check their employer’s charitable giving programs,” Bob said. “Our employers’ matching programs provided an opportunity for us to give back to Northwest Christian in a bigger way so the life changing education we took advantage of 60 years ago can continue for generations.”

T r o e f e i n u g o Y O f k f n f or a h T


Northwest Christian University thanks the sponsors, golfers, and volunteers who made the 24th Annual Golf Classic hosted by Shadow Hills Country Club a success. Their generous support helps make attending a Christian university more accessible for students seeking a rigorous education based in Wisdom, Faith, and Service.


thanks to our sponsors and l a i c e p s A who made this event a great su s r o n o d cc e kind Presenting Sponsors

Dinner Sponsor The Original Pancake House Platinum Sponsors Carl’s Jr.® Papa John’s Pizza Reeve-Knight Construction The Taylor Group Architects

Silver Sponsors A & M Autobody Axalta Columbia Bank D.A. Davidson (Medford, OR) Industrial Finishes MossAdams MS Financial, Patrick L. McMahon PeaceHealth Pension Fund of the Christian Church Portal Escape Rooms Richards Remodeling Sew Steady TechnaPrint Umpqua Bank Cart Sponsor Pacific Office Automation Supporting Sponsors FastSigns Eugene Lane Apex Musgrove Mortuaries & Cemeteries Sheppard Motors Valley River Inn Togo's


Evening of Tribute

Ethical Business Leaders Honored at Evening of Tribute

During The Center for Leadership and Ethics (CLE) annual Evening of Tribute, Eugene business leaders Joe and Cathleen Karcher, Rexius, and The Relief Nursery were honored as the 2018 recipients of the Exemplary Ethical Leader Awards, the Center’s highest honor. “The Exemplary Ethical Leader Awards recognize individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations for establishing a culture where honorable and ethical business practices are the foundation for personal, organization and community relevance,” said NCU Trustee Susan Soonkeum Cox, Vice President for Policy and External Affairs at Holt International and CLE Advisory Board member. “These individuals and organizations demonstrate to NCU students and the entire community how wisdom, faith and service can be the foundation for a professional career.”


Winter 2018 | The Beacon

Established in 2005, NCU’s Center for Leadership and Ethics equips and inspires ethical leaders by providing faith-integrated and values-based education and mentorship to NCU students, alumni, and the community. The Exemplary Ethical Leader Awards are given annually by the Center’s Advisory Board. Recent recipients include: Glory Bee, Market of Choice, Industrial Finishes, Phil Speers, Eugene Mission, Holt International, and Dr. Ada Lee, among others. NCU’s Center for Leadership and Ethics is supported by Moss Adams, Industrial Finishes, PeaceHealth, and Umpqua Bank. Tribute videos can be viewed on NCU’s YouTube channel. Visit

Evening of Tribute

The Beacon | Winter 2018


JOE AND CATHLEEN KARCHER, along with their infant daughter Lauren, moved to Eugene on January 25, 1990 with the goal of franchising Carl’s Jr. Restaurants and further growing the brand in the Northwest. Their family soon grew with the additions of their son Alex and daughter Emily. As of 2015 they have added to their business by beginning to franchise The Human Bean coffee stands and Jersey Mike’s sandwich shops. Joe and Cathleen find great joy in partnering with charitable organizations, and believe that it is really in giving that you receive. After moving to Eugene, they began their charitable work in small ways, helping out with fundraisers at St. Paul Parish School, St. Paul Catholic Church, and Marist Catholic High School. Today, they work many organizations including Catholic Community Services, Northwest Christian University, St. Vincent de Paul, Special Olympics, United Way, the University of Oregon, Volunteers in Medicine, Angel Hair, and Clark County Food Bank. Outside of these groups, they also support many other local groups that help to improve lives of families in Oregon and SW Washington. President Womack with the Karchers

Rexius Family

REXIUS is a four-generation, 80 year-old family business that has gone from two ambitious founders to more than 250 committed employees, some with the company for nearly 50 years. Founded by Solomon and Lilian Rexius in the mid-1930’s as a residual wood products company, Rexius has evolved into an industry leader in several arenas including commercial composting and organics development, landscape construction and maintenance, worldwide custom soil sales and global manufacturing. What was once a single truck delivering waste wood from local sawmills to the University of Oregon and EWEB for fuel for their boilers is now a diverse, sophisticated and world-wide company. For more than 40 years, RELIEF NURSERY has helped to prevent the cycle of child abuse and neglect through early intervention that focuses on building successful and resilient children, strengthening parents, and preserving families. The Relief Nursery serves more than 1,000 children and their families each year. Through statewide replication efforts, Relief Nursery has become a leader in child abuse prevention with 31 independent Relief Nursery sites throughout Oregon based on the model created in Eugene.

At the Relief Nursery core is the belief in focusing on, and building upon, the strength of each individual family. A wide array of support services are provided; always with respect for the diversity of the families Relief Nursery Team we serve. Relief Nursery services include outreach and crisis response, home visiting and parenting education, therapeutic early childhood classrooms, special education services, mental health counseling, and alcohol and drug recovery support.


Winter 2018 | The Beacon

We wish to thank our 2018 sponsors! PRESENTING SPONSOR Strong, smart, ethical leaders make all the difference. In a complex world we need influencers who care about doing the right things the right way.

EVENT SPONSORS Ameriprise Financial Axalta NW Natural Pacific Benefit Consultants, Inc.

At NCU, we believe that all of our students can be “Beacons� of integrity and agents of real change.

TABLE SPONSORS Arnold Gallagher Attorneys at Law Arbor South Construction Chambers Construction C.W. Walker Associates, LLC D.A. Davidson & Co. of Medford Edward Jones, Cary Richardson, AAMS Eugene Christian School Eugene Emeralds FastSigns Eugene GloryBee Doug & Melany Grenz Holt International Industrial Finishes Jones + Roth McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center Oakway Center Pivot! Architecture Rory & Mandy Robison Sheppard Motors The Original Pancake House Umpqua Bank US Bank Vox P.R. P.A. Wildish

The NCU Center for Leadership and Ethics strives to equip and inspire ethical leaders by providing faithintegrated and valuesbased training for our students, alumni and surrounding community.

Center for Leadership and Ethics

The CLE strategy: Relationships The best way to grow character and leadership skill is by proximity to healthy leaders. Events Events provide clear instruction and inspiring stories to prove what strong, ethical leadership can accomplish. Examples and Models The Center for Leadership and Ethics is committed to finding and celebrating a M.B.A.ssadors of ethical leadership around us. The CLE program is supported by five community businesses:

With special thanks to: Jay Jones Squiddl creative director Sid Voorhees Auctioneer and NCU Board of Trustee member Addison Wong, M.M. NCU assistant musical director Jacquelyn Nueschwander NCU student

To submit a nomination for consideration of the 2019 Exemplary Ethical Leader Awards, visit

An Evening of Tribute The Beacon | Winter 2018


In Memoriam Susan Marie Chally Skinner '77 passed away in April 2016. Her career was spent in public service, with the state of Oregon and the state of Alaska. She is survived by her two sons, Ben and Zak, her sister Laurie, her grandson Jake, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Sunday Wesche '70 passed away on Feb. 5, 2018, at the age of 70. She was known for her love of others, her faithful prayer, and belief in the word of God. Throughout her active life and career, she served by directing a youth ministery choir. Among many accomplishments, Sunday was responsible for helping to start a Christian school with her husband in Coeur d'Alene, Ida., before returning home to Nampa, Ida. Sunday, her husband and their children lived in Nampa. Karen Sue Pryer Fleming passed away on March 24, 2018. She attended NCU and graduated from Hardbergers Business College in North Carolina. Karen is survived by her son, Erik Fleming (Debbie), her brother Dean Pryer, sisters Barb Williamson (Bruce) and Donna Schaeffer (Mark), all of Eugene, Ore. George Kendall '47 passed away April 13, 2018 at the age of 92. He served as Pastor for several churches including; Memorial Christian Church in Ephrata, Wash., the Christian Church in Rosalia, Wash., and finally First Christian Church in Chehalis, Wash., where he and his wife Julia started their family. George was very proud of the time he spent serving in the U.S. Air Force as a Protestant Chaplain. George's first wife passed after 37 years of marriage, and he soon reconnected with his NCU college sweetheart Laura. They were married and continued their lives together serving small ministries throughout the U.S.. George moved back to Eugene eventually where he continued his days after his wife's passing by teaching God's word at Terpening Terrace where he resided, and by joining his church's choir. He enjoyed many things including traveling, golfing, bowling, and fishing with his son. George is survived by his son, daughter and grandchildren. Rev. Dale M. Sawyer '55 passed away on April 25, 2018 in Grass Valley, Calif. Dale was a long-time minister and retired Air Force and Civil Air Patrol chaplain. Dale lived and traveled around the world before returning in his later years to California. He is survived by his four children, many grandchildren and great grandchildren, a brother and two sisters. He was preceded in death by his wife Joyce (Nelson) Sawyer '55, his son Ricky, and two brothers. Shirley Elizabeth Bauman Baird '47 passed May 2, 2018. She attended several universities, including NCU, while earning her education degree. Shirley spent her life as a dedicated teacher, educational counselor, friend, community member, and volunteer at the University


Winter 2018 | The Beacon

Christian Church. Shirley is survived by her daughter, Lisa (David), her son Eric, and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Judith Ann Thompson '76 passed away in her home in Canby, Ore. on June 21, 2018. She was originally from northern California and entered NCC in 1974. She was a life-long legal secretary, most of those years for Lane Power (both Seattle and Portland offices). She is survived by her daughters, Heather and Molly Blanchard and her grandson Jaxson. She is also survived by her sisters Rebecca, Lindy, Nancy, Sandy and Darlene. Frances Katherine (Morris) Stock of Sweet Home, Ore. passed away on Oct. 23, 2018 at the age of 95. Frances was the wife of James Earl Stock who attended Northwest Christian College beginning in 1951. Frances and Jim settled in Sweet Home after World War II where she raised her family and helped Jim with his lumber business. She assisted in the development of property in Sweet Home and in the establishment of Camp Koinonia on the Santiam River. She was active in both Sweet Home Church of Christ and Riverside Christian Church. She is survived by her children Ted & Rogene Stock, Janice and Jerry Powell, Nat and Mary Stock, Sylvia Stock and Bill Kisselburgh, and Jon Stock. She is also survived by brother-in-law John Wills, sisterin-law Betty Morris, 18 grandchildren and 23 greatgrandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Jim Stock, by her son Skip Stock, and by eight siblings. Dorothy Lou (Tinker) Kimball '48 passed away on Oct. 26, 2018. She was the youngest of four children, survived only by her brother Fred Tinker of Buckeye, Ariz. She attended NCC for two years before going to the U of O School of Nursing in Portland, graduating in May 1951. Dorothy married Donovan Kimball, her high school sweetheart of eight years. She is mother to six children, Anita (Nick) Nott, Connie (Don) Richardson, Cliff (Tami) Kimball, Kurt (Linda) Kimball, Dale (Janis) Kimball, and Karen (Mark) Willcut. They have blessed Dorothy and Donovan with 21 grandchildren and 45 greatgrandchildren, with three on the way. Frank Murrell Goodwin ’54 passed away on Nov. 11, 2018, in Olympia, Wash. He was born Jan. 13, 1931 in Lebanon, Ore. but spent the last 48 years in Olympia. Frank graduated from Lebanon Union High school in 1950 and attended Northwest Christian College, graduating in 1954. He also attended the University of Oregon and Drake University (1957). Frank married Frances “Joanne” Downing on June 19, 1953. They had three sons. Frank served as a minister until 1975, then as a realtor. He was an active member of First Christian Church in Olympia for over forty-years. Frank is survived by his wife Frances “Joanne” Goodwin; sons Douglas (Marcy) Goodwin, Larry (Annie) Goodwin, and

In Memoriam Gary (Jodie) Goodwin; seven grandchildren; eight great grandchildren; and brother Johnny Goodwin. Ray Hopkins Bowler '58 passed away on Nov. 15, 2017. Ray was born in Susanville, Calif. and was married to L. Ann McKinney for over sixty years. Ray is survived by his wife, his three children (Naomi Bowler, Louise Bowler, and Alberta Bowler-Keeler), and two grandchildren. Keven Widener '71 of Salem, Ore. passed away at the age of 83. After an interesting career in a variety of fields, Keven, his wife Claire (Hogan), and their three children moved to Eugene to prepare to enter Christian ministry. After graduating from NCC, he served churches in Alvadore, Mapleton, Palouse (Wash.), and Hood River. He is survived by his wife Claire, son Greg (Jeanne) Widener '77, son Kyle (Pat), and daughter Lind (Bob), as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Friend of the University, Henrietta "Hank" Louise (Schack) Voorhees passed away on May 31, 2018. Hank was the wife (for 60 years) of NCU Trustee Sid Voorhees, and they served NCU and the Eugene community together for many years. Hank supported Sid's role as an auctioneer and together they raised countless funds for local and regional charities. She relished her roles as a wife, mother, grandmother, greatgrandmother, humanitarian and friend. She is survived by her husband, Sid; son Casey (Julie) Voorhees; daughters Staci (John) Franklin and Kelli (Tom) Steele; six grandsons and two great-grandsons.

Dr. Terry O'Casey passed away on October 22. The NCU community and our partner churches suffered the loss of a central figure in our life together. The Rev. Dr. Terry O’Casey died after fighting cancer for almost four months. Though Terry had resigned his position as Associate Professor of Bible and Ministry in June, the sudden onset of illness and death has left an immediate mark on this campus. Terry’s influence among generations of students, staff and faculty is significant and his legacy extraordinary. Terry was born in 1956 in Sioux City, Iowa and moved to California in 1964. He graduated from Fullerton High School in 1974 and attended Ozark Bible College, Puget Sound Christian College and Fuller Theological Seminary. He married Carol in 1981. They had three children (Elizabeth, Michael and Isaac ‘16) and served churches in Quartz Hill and Banning, California, before moving to Oregon to pastor in Seaside, La Pine and Bend. His great passions in pastoral ministry were reinvigorating older churches and preaching a lively, relevant gospel to everyday people. Terry was named Professor of the Year at NCU in 2011 and received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and Campus Leadership in 2014. He was a brilliant Bible scholar and still more adept at energizing students for the study of scripture and a life of service. His quirky sense of humor, as well as an abiding love for God’s creation, made Terry’s teaching style engaging and provocative.

Dr. Terry O'Casey

A service for Dr. O’Casey was held on November 3 at the Oregon Christian Convention Tabernacle in Turner. NCU President Joseph Womack, Pastor Ben Smith (High Lakes Christian Church), Pastor Keith Kirkpatrick (The Journey) and Terry’s family gave memorable tributes to Terry’s life. A scholarship fund is being established at NCU in Terry’s honor.

The Beacon | Winter 2018



For Your Calendar MAY 2ND Honors Chapel Ross Evans Chapel | NCU Campus

JUNE 27TH NCC/NCU Alumni Reunion Oregon Christian Convention

MAY 9TH Evening of Tribute Eugene Hilton

AUGUST 28TH Fall Semester Begins for Traditional Undergraduates

MAY 10TH Baccalaureate NCU Campus

SEPTEMBER 12-13TH NCU Golf Classic Shadow Hills Country Club

MAY 11TH Spring Commencement Morse Events Center | NCU Campus

For more information on these and other upcoming events visit:

Beacon Bulletin - Fall/Winter 2018  
Beacon Bulletin - Fall/Winter 2018