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transform Fall 2010

A quarterly look at how your investment impacts Simpson University and its students

IN THIS ISSUE 4 Student Focus 6 Meet the Faculty 8 Student Service 10 Trustee Profile

Shaping lives for Dear Friend, transform President: Dr. Larry J. McKinney Vice President for Advancement: Gordon Flinn Editor & Layout: Candace Brown Dyar Staff Writer: Elise Wilson ‘08 Photographers: Josh Markle, Ryan Belong The Transform is a quarterly newsletter designed to inform friends of Simpson University about how their gifts are making a difference. Coming Up: The winter issue of the Transform will focus on Simpson University’s new nursing program.

For more information about giving to Simpson University, call 1-800-598-2239 or visit On the Cover: Simpson senior and ROTC cadet Luke Fannin (featured in article on p. 4). Photo courtesy Maj. Kurt Walling.


Fall 2010


enri Nouwen reflected on an interesting story in his book, Clowning in Rome. A young child wandering through his neighborhood came across a sculptor patiently chiseling away at a large block of marble. A vague form was emerging. When the child visited again several weeks later, he saw a beautiful marble lion so life-like that it frightened him. He asked the sculptor, “How did you find the lion in the marble?” The sculptor paused and said, “I found the lion in the marble because I saw it in my heart.” The sculptor had a goal and used his abilities to create a work of art. The sculptor had a vision that could be accomplished with time, patience, and hard work. Because he kept that vision, a lifeless mass of stone turned into a useful, enduring monument. This story could serve as an analogy of the way God, as the sculptor, works in our lives, chiseling and shaping us into the image of Christ. The Lord uses many instruments and settings in this process, including the home, workplace, church and meaningful relationships. Another tool that the Lord has used in the lives of many individuals is Christ-centered higher education. During the

or the future

Dr. Larry J. McKinney


years that students spend at a Christian university like Simpson, they have the opportunity to see their lives changed profoundly, enabling them to better impact the church and the world. There has been considerable debate among educators in recent years as to the purpose of a college education. Is the goal of a college education to teach one to make a living or to teach one to develop as a person? Although Simpson University is certainly committed to vocational preparation, there is an equal commitment to the personal development of students as men and women of God who will influence the church and society for Christ. A Simpson education is not merely a stopping point so that students can acquire a skill, obtain a degree, and be placed in a job. It is a place where students can receive a full education that addresses all aspects of life. Simpson University gives students opportunities to gain a greater understanding of themselves and where they fit into God’s divine plan, to attain personal and professional goals; and, most of all, to be shaped into useful tools for God’s service. We want students to not only find the lion in the marble, but also see the lion (potential for service) in their hearts. This particular issue of Transform focuses on our ROTC program, just one of the many opportunities we offer young men and women to develop their potential for leadership and service. Thank you for your kind support of Simpson University. God bless you!

As a Christ-centered learning community, Simpson University develops students in mind, faith, and character to influence the world through leadership, scholarship, and service. / 1-888-9-SIMPSON 3

STUDENT FOCUS Luke Fannin, senior Outdoor Leadership major, ROTC cadet


typical week for Simpson senior and ROTC cadet Luke Fannin includes early wakeup calls on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 6 a.m. physical training. No break on Thursdays, either, with early field and lab training. It’s all part of the rigor involved in being part of the university’s 2-yearold Reserved Officer Training Corps program. In addition to his ROTC classes, Luke also takes general studies and classes for his major, which is outdoor leadership. Knowing he wanted to go into the military, Luke enlisted in the National Guard after high school. He attended boot camp and avionic mechanic school before enrolling at Simpson. He primarily came to Simpson because of its ROTC program, which gives him the opportunity to become a


Fall 2010

commissioned Army officer. He also has a full-ride scholarship from the National Guard. “I like the opportunities that ROTC opens up and creates,” Luke said. “It’s helping me with my skills to improve my leadership abilities. The whole ROTC group is a close group of friends. It’s a positive community to be in.” Maj. Kurt Walling, assistant professor of military science, said Luke is an ideal ROTC student. “He has the experience of prior service as a helicopter mechanic, and he has very well-developed leadership attributes and values,” he said. “He takes charge of the other cadets.” When Luke transferred from Shasta College in Redding to Simpson in 2008, he knew he wanted to minor in Military Science, but he wasn’t sure what major to choose. His sisters, Breanna Ledford and Elizabeth Fannin, both 2009 Simpson alumni, helped him pick his major based on what they knew he would like. He narrowed his options to music, math, and outdoor leadership before settling on the latter. “I chose outdoor leadership because I like being outdoors,” he said. “It sounded like fun, and it’s been fun so far.” Luke cites the trips he takes for his skills classes—such as backpacking, hiking and snowboarding excursions—as his favorite part of the major. He also enjoys his classmates, mentioning that they, too, are a close community, similar to the ROTC students. “We are more like family than friends,” he said. Dr. Paul Stonehouse, assistant professor of Outdoor Leadership, is one of Luke’s favorite professors. “He is there to listen,” he said. “He is a professor and a friend. He asks how classes and life are going. He’s very open and very friendly.” Another of Luke’s favorite professors is Maj. Walling. “He really wants us to succeed,” he said. “He wants us to do well in the military aspects of our lives and careers.” When Luke is not participating in ROTC activities or exploring Redding and the surrounding area, he enjoys participating in and attending Simpson events, such as the shopping cart races (a team-oriented foot-race), NiteLife (an annual talent show), and Exposure (a film festival featuring movies made by Simpson students). His favorite event is NiteLife. “I like watching how other students are creative and what they do in their free time,” he said. “It’s a nice way to relax, too. We’re at school, but we are still having fun.” When Luke graduates in the spring, he will be promoted from a cadet to second lieutenant. He won’t know until next school year what military job he will get and what additional training he will need. Even though Luke receives a full-ride scholarship through the National Guard, he is grateful for those who give money for Simpson scholarships. “I think it’s great,” he said. “Thank you to the people who sponsor people and give scholarships for students to go to school.” Your generosity to the student scholarship fund can help students who have a passion for serving others through the military. We are so thankful for you. —By Elise Wilson ‘08 / Photo by Maj. Kurt Walling / 1-888-9-SIMPSON 5

MEET THE FACULTY Maj. Kurt Walling Capt. James Burkett

Left: Maj. Kurt Walling was the keynote speaker at a Memorial Day ceremony at Redding Memorial Park. About 400 people attended. Photo by Paul Shigley


hen Simpson University began its Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program in 2008, it became one of only five schools in the 109-member Council for Christian Colleges and Universities nationwide to offer the program. Leading the charge at Simpson are Maj. Kurt Walling and Capt. James Burkett. These men bring their military background and leadership experience to the classroom and the field. They have a passion for developing cadets into service-minded Christian officers. During the 2009-10 school year, 21 students were initially enrolled in the ROTC program. The first class of cadets will graduate in spring 2011. Maj. Walling joined the Army in 1987 after he graduated from Eureka High School. He served as a paratrooper in Italy, Iraq, and Alaska and as a combat engineer in Missouri and New York. In 2004, he was stationed at West Point for four years teaching, coaching and mentoring cadets. After retiring from the Army in 2008, Walling became the officer in charge of Simpson University’s ROTC program. He was recalled to active duty to fill this position in December 2009. “The mission and values of Simpson are what set it apart,” said Walling, whose responsibilities include recruiting, retaining, training, coaching, teaching, and mentoring cadets. “The people here are just great.” As assistant professor of military science, Walling, who has two master’s degrees, teaches freshman- and junior-level military science classes, military 6 TRANSFORM

Fall 2010

Maj. Kurt Walling, above left, and Capt. James Burkett.

history, military labs, and physical training (PT). “The cadets make the Simpson ROTC program unique,” he said. “The cadets here are a cut above students in other programs. Their Christian faith, values, and ethics are more defined. It makes my job easier.” Capt. Burkett has served in the military since joining the Army National Guard in 1997, serving two tours of duty in Iraq (2003, 2006). In 2005, he taught at the Army National Guard Warrior Training Center at Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga. He was the officer in charge of the Pre-Ranger courses, which feature classes focusing on leadership training through small unit tactics. He became a member of the Army Reserve in 2009. Burkett joined Simpson’s ROTC staff in October 2009 as the recruiting operations officer. A graduate of Purdue University, he teaches sophomorelevel military science classes and helps with military labs and PT. “I enjoy watching the cadets grow,” said Burkett. “I like empowering them and seeing them develop as leaders.” Service on a local, national, and global level is important to Walling and Burkett. As part of this mindset, Simpson ROTC cadets have been involved in many community events, such as performing color guard ceremonies at fundraisers, parades, graduations, and convocations. Cadets have participated in Simpson student mission teams to Haiti, New Orleans, and Mexico. This summer, two cadets participated in the Cultural Immersion Program sponsored by the Army. (To learn more about these trips, see story on page 8.) “Community service is important because one of the Army values is selfless service,” said Walling. “A key in developing cadets is making them understand that there’s a greater cause – that you’re a servant of the nation.” Students who enroll in the ROTC program can apply for ROTC scholarships through the Army in addition to receiving financial aid through Simpson. “The ROTC scholarships are purely merit-based, and do not consider the financial needs of the students,” said Walling. “There are far fewer scholarships available than qualified applicants, so without the help Simpson provides through donors, the program would not be nearly as successful. The fact that the selflessness of the donors contributes to developing leaders of character with the same value is an important connection to make.” —By Elise Wilson ‘08 / Photos courtesy Maj. Kurt Walling / 1-888-9-SIMPSON 7

STUDENT SERVICE Nathan Polk & Sarah Moores ROTC cadets, juniors


uniors Nathan Polk from Orofina, Idaho, and Sarah Moores from Sequim, Wash., two of Simpson University’s Army ROTC cadets, went on separate Cultural Immersion Program (CULP) trips over the summer. Their three-week long trips were fully funded as part of an Army program to expand the horizons and experiences of future officers in training. Nathan and Sarah were the only two cadets chosen from Simpson’s battalion of schools (U.C. Davis, Sacramento State University, and Simpson) to go on CULP trips. “It was exciting to find out that two of my cadets were chosen for this great opportunity,” said Maj. Kurt Walling, Simpson University’s assistant professor of military science. Nathan went to Xi’an, China, with a group of ROTC cadets from across the nation. He volunteered as an English teacher in a kindergarten class, where he helped 6-year-olds and Chinese teachers practice their English. “I saw it as an opportunity to expand my limited view and understanding of people and how they live their lives,” said Nathan. “I thought it would be good to expose myself to other countries as part of my ROTC training.” 8 TRANSFORM

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Simpson junior Nathan Polk helped teach English to Chinese kindergartners this summer. Photo courtesy Nathan Polk

Sarah went to Tanzania, Africa, with a group from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. She worked with the America Modern Arts Program, an organization that reaches out to street children and teaches them English, math, and other basic skills. “I have always had a heart for Africa and always wanted to go,” said Sarah. “My favorite part of the trip was being able to see a different culture and getting to see the differences in that culture compared with our culture. I also loved working and being around children all the time.” “Similar to mission trips that other students at Simpson University attend, the CULP program expands the opportunities for students to travel the world as ambassadors for both the nation and Simpson University,” said Maj. Walling. “This is a true testament to the performance and potential of cadets Polk and Moores.” — By Elise Wilson ‘08

Simpson student Sarah Moores poses with one of the girls she helped teach in Tanzania. Photo courtesy Sarah Moores / 1-888-9-SIMPSON 9

TRUSTEE PROFILE Thomas & Betty Perry Redding, Calif.

“We are people who love to encourage others.”


om and Betty Perry have no shortage of what they call “full-circle stories” related to their Simpson connections. The Redding couple got involved with the university in 1989, and Tom—a well-known and beloved OB/GYN in the area—has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 1991. During the ensuing decades, the Perrys have met dozens of Simpson faculty, staff and students and maintained contact with many of them. Here’s an example of how they have seen these connections play out over time. See if you can follow all the threads: The Perrys, who have three children and three grandchildren, first learned about Simpson in the 1980s when they met several professors at the Alliance Redwoods family camp in Sonoma County. When they learned the college was relocating to Redding in 1989, “we decided to jump in and help in any way we could,” Betty said. In 1994, Dave and Becky Thompson — parents of three Simpson alums, longtime Alliance missionaries and directors of Bongolo Hospital in Gabon — asked the Perrys to consider a medical missions trip to Central Africa. Their recommendation to learn some French launched Betty on a 10-year French-study campaign. These language skills came in handy during three trips to France in recent years to visit Ray and Carol Simon, who are beginning a third year as international workers in residence at Simpson. The Perrys first met the Simons through the Simons’ oldest son, Tyler, an ‘02 Simpson grad who lived at Gatehouse, a home for missionary kids located less than a mile from campus. The Perrys have been involved with Gatehouse Ministries since its inception; Betty was a board member there for five years. At least one week a semester, the Perrys stay at Gatehouse 10 TRANSFORM

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getting to know the students better while the directors are traveling. While Betty pursued her French language studies, she also enrolled in art classes at Redding’s community college. This led to a stint as a short-term art teacher for missionary kids at Mali Hospital, in West Africa. The MKs’ fulltime teacher is Kelly McLallen, an ‘89 Simpson graduate whom the Perrys first met at — you guessed it — the Alliance Redwoods camp. This interweaving of hospitality, friendship and service has defined the Perrys’ partnership for the 37 years they have been married. “We are people who love to encourage others and try to understand what God has for us in each relationship,” said Tom, who is director of the Mercy Maternity Center in Redding in addition to having his private practice. “We encourage mainly through friendship, prayer and financially giving.” The Perrys have a big heart for Simpson students and have gotten involved far beyond the boardroom. Most recently, they took seven students to Mexico during spring break for a medical outreach program. In addition to their trips to Central and West Africa, Betty went on a summer missions trip to Guinea in 2004 with Simpson students. “We love to get connected with the students,” Betty said. “It was great in Mexico to see the students encouraged in their walk with the Lord and their potential future professions.” The Perrys also have opened up their home, pool and cabin to Simpson students, staff and faculty. “It’s a blessing to see how giving in a seemingly small way gets magnified as God works through it for His glory,” Betty said. The Perrys are thrilled about the new Nursing Department at Simpson and the efforts to raise money for a Science and Nursing Building. They’re also excited about the Outdoor Leadership major and the opportunities they’ve seen it present for students. “We are very encouraged, too, by what Simpson has done for our community,” Tom noted. “We are grateful for the school and the vision it casts for the north state and the world.” At Simpson University, we are so thankful for the support and investment of friends like the Perrys. If you know of someone who would be interested in participating in the Gateway to the Future Campaign, please contact Beth Spencer, director of Advancement Services, at or 530-226-4602.

We are in the final stages of our Gateway to the Future Capital Campaign. With the launch of our new nursing program this fall, the campaign is focusing on the Science and Nursing Building. We have overhauled space on campus to meet the immediate need for nursing classrooms and offices, thanks to a generous grant from the Fletcher Jones Foundation. As of July 31, $7.8 million had been received or pledged to the campaign ($2.2 million of that to the Science and Nursing Building). Thank you for your investment in our future! / 1-888-9-SIMPSON 11




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Transform Newsletter - Fall 2010  

Simpson University Transform - Fall 2010. Transform is a quarterly newsletter designed to inform friends and donors of Simpson University ab...