Page 1

The Mag azine of Sterling College | 125th Anniversar y Special Edition

Letter from the President Sterling Magazine Staff Director of Marketing and Presidential Communications Sterling Editor Karin (Lederle) Swihart ’08, M.A. Writer for Marketing and Communications Rebecca Swartz Graphic Designer and Photographer Christopher Steen Public Relations Coordinator Melissa (Yarrow) Wisner ’09 Web Marketing Manager Matt Ehresman ’10, M.A.


ovember 1 marked the 125th anniversary of Sterling College and its commitment to Christ-centered education in the Great Plains. Since 1887, God has been faithful to our institution in providing funds when money was tight, providing leadership when decisions needed to be made and continually providing excellent staff, faculty and students to keep the institution running. We have created this commemorative issue of Sterling magazine to include you, the friends and alumni of Sterling College, in the narration of our history. We hope you enjoy browsing the timeline of Sterling College, written to include the College history in context with national and global events. Sterling has been greatly affected by the happenings throughout the world and we have taken this opportunity to show how Sterling was influenced by such events. History is always best when read in context, so be sure to read the quick facts where snippets of campus history, pranks and the general costs of living are listed for your enjoyment. You will also find stories from our alumni, providing insight into the different decades of life at Sterling College. The common themes of caring professors, lifelong friends, quality academics and a Christ-centered atmosphere continually show up as a running theme in the lives of our alumni. These tales remind us of where we have been and who continually supports us as we head into the future. Finally, we close with a brief look into the future of Sterling College. We cannot predict where God will take us, but we can show you our goals and aspirations for the next few years of operation. This short glance into the future will include how to pray for Sterling and how you can help us reach our goals. We hope that you enjoy this issue of Sterling magazine and look forward to hearing from you in the future. Thank you for your continued support of the College and our mission “to develop creative and thoughtful leaders who understand a maturing Christian faith.”

Student Assistants Courtney Huber ’13 Kara Stineman ’14

College Administration President Scott Rich, M.B.A. Vice President for Academic Affairs Gregory P. Kerr, Ph.D. Vice President for Institutional Advancement Marvin Dewey, Ed.D. Vice President for Student Life Tina Wohler, M.A. Athletic Director Gary Kempf

Board of Trustees Heather McCreery ’90, Chair Tim O’Brien, Vice Chair Randy Henry ’72, Secretary

Alumni Council Ty Herrington ’86, President Jill (Bleam) Lundgren ’79, Secretary View Sterling Online Current and back issues available Postmaster: Send address changes to Sterling, Sterling College, 125 W. Cooper, Sterling, Kansas 67579 Printer Mennonite Press, Newton, Kansas

Scott Rich, M.B.A. President Sterling Magazine

Sterling 125th Anniversary Special Edition

The Founding of Cooper Memorial College S

terling College was founded in 1887 by the Kansas Synod of the United Presbyterian Church. The church had previously looked into building a college in various locations around Sterling, Kan., but never discussed Sterling in particular. In 1886, the church was approached by the Sterling Land and Investment Company who was offering to build a $25,000 building on the condition that the church would create an endowment of $25,000 to operate and maintain the college. The Synod agreed and classes were to begin on Sept. 1, 1887. The name Cooper Memorial College was chosen to commemorate Joseph Tate Cooper, who was a professor at Allegheny Seminary and was moderator of the Associate Church the year it united with the Associate Reformed Church to become the United Presbyterian Church in 1858. Unfortunately Cooper died in 1886 and never saw the completed College. In 1887 Cooper Hall was under construction but had enough space completed to begin classes on Nov. 1. Upon opening, the College had 13 students, all who were attending the preparatory school and not collegiate level classes. The first graduate, Essington Lees, enrolled in December 1887 and graduated with a college degree in 1892. On Sept. 4, 1889, Dr. Francis Marion Spencer was inaugurated as the first president of Cooper College. He served for a tenure of 20 years, guiding the College to an enrollment of 50 collegiate department students in 1910. His leadership also grew the endowment to establish a more firm financial basis.

1887 November 1st – Classes began at Sterling College known as Cooper Memorial College. The first chapel was held this day at 2pm.

1888 Tuition was $12 for your first term and $9 for your second and third terms each.

1889 Sterling’s first president, Dr. Francis M. Spencer, was inaugurated in 1889. Dr. Spencer has been quoted as saying, “[Christian education] is like a colossal machine with many wheels. Each institution is like a wheel. Every person who gives help in carrying forward this work is a cog in the wheel. It is worthwhile to be a cog. God is the inventor, the owner, the Master Mechanic of this machine, and anyone who by gifts of money or of service becomes a cog by that fact, becomes a co-worker with God.”

1891 The game basketball was invented by James Naismith.

Quick Facts Buildings added on campus: Cooper Hall Books in the library: 1,000 in 1896 Provisions while attending Cooper Memorial College: $2.00 per week Popular toys: toy train, ball and hoop Popular music: “Little Pig Went To Market” by J. Cheever Goodwin and Gustave Kerker

* Prices in 1895 Tuition: $12 per 1st term, $9 per 2nd and 3rd term Flour (5 lbs): $ .12 Round steak (1 lb): $ .12 Bacon (1 lb): $ .13 Butter (1 lb): $ .25 Eggs (1 doz.): $ .21 Milk (1/2 gal.): $ .14 Potatoes (10 lbs): $ .14 Sugar (5 lbs): $ .27

* Quick Fact Price sources:,

1893 Cooper Memorial College’s first football team took the field in 1893. A later newspaper article tells of “the famous football team of the early nineties which never suffered defeat.”

Special 125th Anniversary Edition

Changes Begin D

r. Spencer concluded his time at Cooper Memorial College in 1909. During the transition from the Spencer presidency, Professor of Mathematics Talmon Bell became acting president from 1909-1910. President Ross Turner Campbell arrived in 1910 and began his 23 years of service and leadership. President Campbell’s years brought many changes to campus, most familiar being the building of Spencer Hall, Wilson Gymnasium and Campbell Hall. The institution also transitioned from Cooper Memorial College to Cooper College in 1914. In 1920 the name changed to Sterling College as President Campbell drew tired of having to explain where the college was located. Other changes that occurred were a response to events happening in the United States and throughout the world. In 1918, Cooper College joined the war effort by forming an army unit in conjunction with Central College in McPherson. The government assigned Lieutenant L. L. Rupert to take charge of the group. The gymnasium on campus was converted into barracks and the basement of the new auditorium in Spencer Hall was fitted with tables and equipment for a mess hall and kitchen. On October 8, 1918, there were 74 students enrolled in the Student Army Training Corps. The S.A.T.C.’s stay at Cooper was short-lived as Armistice Day was on Nov. 11, 1918. The students were dismissed by mid-December, however 25 remained on campus to continue their education. Also in 1918, the U.S. was undergoing a widespread outbreak of Spanish influenza. Cooper College was no exception, and there are accounts of the girls being sent home in October for four weeks to lessen the threat of spreading the disease among the dorm. The Cooper Courier reports on Nov. 12 that the girls had recently returned and were working hard to catch up on their studies.


The first Wilson Hall was built a block south of Cooper Hall and housed a women’s dormitory and the music department. The building was named after Rev. J.T. Wilson.

4 | Sterling Magazine


First Trans-Atlantic radio signal was connected.


Cooper Memorial College participated in the first night college football game west of the Mississippi against Fairmount College (Wichita State University) on October 6, 1905 on a field in Wichita lit by several Coleman lanterns.


Ford introduced the Model-T.


Talmon Bell filled in as acting president. He first arrived as a student in 1890, graduated in 1895, and then immediately became a full-time mathematics faculty member. Bell Hall in Thompson Hall is named after him recognizing his 56 years of service and dedication.

Quick Facts Buildings added on campus: A barn, Wilson Hall (female dormitory) and Spencer Hall Popular toys: Tea parties, playgrounds, pedal cars, and toy animals Popular music: “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” by Billy Murray & the Haydn Quartet Pranks: Students disassembled and placed Dr. Spencer’s buggy inside Cooper Hall

Prices in 1910 Tuition: $18 per semester Room and board: $3 per week Gas (1 gallon): $ .16 Flour (5 lbs): $ .18 Round steak (1 lb): $ .17 Bacon (1 lb): $ .26 Butter (1 lb): $ .36 Eggs (1 doz.): $ .34 Milk (1/2 gal.): $ .17 Potatoes (10 lbs): $ .17 Sugar (5 lbs): $ .30


Dr. Ross Turner Campbell served as president for 23 years beginning in 1910. One former student remembers, “No person was too great nor too inferior to gain his attention.” A passionate advocate for small Christian colleges, he helped the College flourish during a rough period of American history. He was responsible for building Spencer Hall, Wilson Gymnasium, and Campbell Hall during his presidency.


World War I began.


The federal government established an army training camp for World War I on campus. Eighty-seven boys were enrolled, and 25 of them continued their education at Cooper after the war was over.


Spencer Hall was built at a cost of $80,000. The structure was renovated in 1973 from the estate of Ruth Culbertson.


With support from the Board of Trustees, the name of the college was officially changed to Sterling College.

Special 125th Anniversary Edition | 5


A Sacrificial Giver T

he Great Depression (1929-1939) affected the majority of the country, including Sterling College. There are many stories of sacrificial giving by professors, staff, administration and friends of the College during this time. One such story is of Talmon Bell, professor in the mathematics department from 1890-1947. Bell started teaching math at Sterling College while a student. He graduated in 1895 with a bachelor’s in mathematics and became head of the department in 1904. From 1909-1910, he served as interim president and moved to treasurer of the funds in 1914, 1916, and 1917. Later in his career, he served as dean of men. Upon retirement in 1947, Bell was given professor emeritus ranking for his 56 years of teaching and service to Sterling College. Bell had three children who graduated from Sterling with bachelor’s degrees in mathematics: Ruth ’22, Lois ’24 and William ’26. “Talmon Bell gave a lot back to Sterling College,” said Bill Calderwood, friend of the Bell family and former associate in the Office of Institutional Advancement. “He had a large chicken house where he kept hens to lay eggs. When the College didn’t have enough money to pay the professors, Bell used the eggs to help supplement his salary and give money back to the College.” The Talmon Bell Endowed Chair of Mathematics was Ruth and Lois’s way of honoring their father’s sacrificial service of over 50 years to Sterling College. The position represents Talmon’s dedication to serving Sterling College and Lois (Bell) Smith’s lifelong passion for promoting numeracy. The Talmon Bell Endowed Chair of Mathematics was filled this year for the first time in Sterling College history by Dr. Adebukola GbadeOyelakin.


The construction of Wilson Gymnasium was completed. Named after Professor S.A. Wilson, the building was the first college athletic complex until Gleason Center was built in 1971. It provided space for students to play basketball, volleyball, and even indoor baseball. It was originally supposed to include a large swimming pool in the basement, but it never ended up being built.

6 | Sterling Magazine


Insulin was discovered in Canada.


“Get the girls, and the boys will come.” This was a common phrase of President Campbell in the 1920s. So, in order to accommodate more students, Campbell Hall was built as a women’s dormitory.


Sterling College operated a dairy farm near campus as part of a “Self Help” plan to allow students to work their way through school. At the time, they had enough cows and workers to supply milk to 100 families, three stores, two restaurants, and the College cafeteria.


Sliced bread was invented.

The Great Depression V

ernon Groth ’34 attended Sterling during the Great Depression and is one of Sterling’s oldest living alumni. Almost 80 years after he graduated from Sterling, remnants of his alma mater can still be found around his residence. A picture of Cooper Hall is displayed on his bookshelf and a Sterling College sticker decorates his wheelchair. When asked about his time at college, he quickly recalls fond memories of his classmates and time at Sterling.

the players. Another favorite location was the gymnasium in Wilson Hall. “It had basketball goals on both ends so we played basketball, but mostly, Wilson was our place where we skated,” said Vernon. “It sure did get popular.” Another location on campus that was a popular place for socializing was the cafeteria located in the basement of Campbell Hall. Other members of the community would also come to eat at Sterling College. There was one in particular that caught Vernon’s eye – a young lady named Leola who worked at the local doctor’s office in town. She and Vernon became friends and started dating after he graduated. The two were married and lived on Vernon’s family farm. His two children were born in the Sterling clinic, now Sterling College’s Art and Media Center.

Vernon earned his degree in music and sang in the men’s choir and a quartet. Like many families during the Depression, money was scarce and paying for school was a luxury. To stay open, the College let many students work for their tuition and Vernon was lucky enough to find a job that he loved. President Campbell needed to advertise Sterling and get more students to enroll, so he asked Vernon and three fellow musicians to promote Sterling College by traveling around Kansas and singing. The four men traveled all summer in a Model A Ford that had a box on the back to hold their clothes. “We got in some funny travel situations….While we were in Western Kansas we’d get in [the car] after a rain and get stuck in mud holes and have quite a time trying to get out. We had numerous flat tires. It turned out to be a lot of fun, but I do think we also did something for the College. We got students to enroll.” As is accustomed to small town living, students found plenty of ways to entertain themselves and build community. Vernon and his friends played intramural games in the football field to the west of Spencer and Wilson Halls, but their games usually ran short because the field was full of sand burrs that would attach themselves all over


The school colors were changed to red and blue. Around this time, the ‘Barrelmakers’ were renamed to be the ‘Crimson Warriors.’


Hugh Alexander Kelsey became Sterling’s third president. He faced many challenges brought on by WWI, the Dust Bowl, and around $70,000 in debts. When he resigned in 1946, there was an $82,000 surplus and a 10% raise for all employees.

Quick Facts Buildings added on campus: Wilson Gymnasium and Campbell Hall Student Government Association budget: $852.32 in 1935 Popular toys: Viewmaster Slide Viewer, Monopoly Popular music: “In The Mood” by Glenn Miller

Prices in 1920/1930 Tuition: $2 per credit/$5 per credit Room and board: $5 per week/$3 per week Gas (1 gallon): $ .30/.20 Flour (5 lbs): $ .41/.23 Bread (1 lb): $ .12/.9 Round steak (1 lb): $ .40/.43 Bacon (1 lb): $ .52/.43 Butter (1 lb): $ .70/.46 Eggs (1 doz.): $ .68/.45 Milk (1/2 gal.): $ .33/.28 Oranges (doz.): $ .63/.57 Potatoes (10 lbs): $ .63/.36 Coffee (1 lb): $ .47/.40 Sugar (5 lbs): $ .97/.31

When it came time for Vernon to retire, he and Leola sold the farm and moved to Lyons. This year, Vernon was able to participate in Sterling’s 125th celebration by serving as one of two grand marshals in the Homecoming parade.


A “Halloween prank” involved this car being placed in a creative parking spot at the front entrance of Spencer Hall.


Golden Gate Bridge opened.


World War II began.

Special 125th Anniversary Edition | 7

A Close-Knit Community C

huck ’58 and Joyce (Skeen) ’57 Olsen came to Sterling College in the fall of 1953 and, like many freshmen, met on the steps of Cooper Hall. The Olsens had no idea how many new experiences they would undergo during their time at Sterling College, or the impact that they had on the College and friends they made along the way would last a lifetime. “Some of my most pleasant experiences were around orientation my freshman year when we were invited, not only to President McCreery’s home, but invited to Professor Taylor’s home, the Bible teacher,” said Joyce. “And we knew so many of the professors almost in a social way because they cared so much about us and invited us to do things with them and their families. It was very close-knit.” Both Chuck and Joyce came to know Dr. McCreery very well through various activities. Joyce worked with Ada Lou Shields, the registrar for the College, in the office next to Dr. McCreery. Chuck served on a gospel team as a preacher and his senior year, approached Dr. McCreery with a strange offer.

“And we knew so many of the professors almost in a social way because they cared so much about us and invited us to do things with them and their families. It was very close-knit.”

Chuck recalls, “I had kind of a real love for the school and passion for the school, so in my senior year at the semester break, I went to Dr. McCreery and said to him, ‘You know, you don’t have anyone on staff who is recruiting high school students. I would be willing to go full time on your staff for one semester.’” Chuck convinced Dr. McCreery to hire him as a recruiter for the spring and summer. The job worked out well and after Chuck finished school the following fall, he went back out for another spring and summer to work on recruiting again.

Chuck visited high schools, made presentations in classes, worked with prospect lists, called people and saw them in their homes throughout Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. He also attended conferences in Pennsylvania that were associated with the Presbyterian Church which recruited students from Pennsylvania, California and Ohio. After Chuck left for seminary, the school hired a full-time student recruiter to continue the work he had started. Chuck had begun the Office of Admissions. Their devotion to Sterling College won a place in the heart of President McCreery, and he wanted to help them celebrate their marriage.


Because so many male SC students were fighting in WWII, they did not have enough players for a football team. In a desire to uphold the tradition of a Homecoming football game, two groups of female students (the Pillow Slippers and the Women’s Emergency Football Team) suited up and “battled to a scoreless tie.”

8 | Sterling Magazine


Allied troops landed on the French coastline for the D-Day invasion.


Dr. William M. McCreery became SC’s fourth president. He had several significant accomplishments during his 27 years as president. After 11 years of hard work, SC secured higher levels of accreditation and had an impressive rate of 31% of graduates going on to attend graduate school.


Winston Churchill gave his “Iron Curtain” speech.


Polaroid cameras were invented.

“When Chuck and I got married,” said Joyce, “[Dr. McCreery] came in [to the registrar’s office] with the keys to his cabin in Colorado. He loaned us his Colorado cabin for our honeymoon. He just said, ‘Here’s the keys. It hasn’t been opened up, but you can do that when you get there.’”

Quick Facts Buildings: Kelsey Hall (library and administrative offices), McCreery Hall, several other buildings were given to the campus during World War II including a surplus building from Dodge City Air Base and Smisor Hall, the first recreation center on campus.

After graduating, the Olsens moved to Pittsburgh where Chuck attended seminary. He then pastored three Presbyterian churches across the U.S. before starting his ministry in leadership development. After pastoring his third church, he secured a Lilly Endowment to study church leadership. It was during this time he met a Roman Catholic nun who was researching the Pastoral Courage Council and Development of the Catholic church. They decided to team up and founded an organization called Worshipful Work. They consulted church boards and councils from several different denominations, helping the lay teams understand how to better operate from a spiritual perspective.

Pranks: Students removed the pulldown part of every other seat in the auditorium one morning before chapel Popular toys: Easy Bake Oven, Etch-ASketch, G.I. Joe, Barbie Popular song: “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and The Comets

Chuck has written and co-authored multiple books from his research. Books that he continues to use today in church training include: “Transforming Church Boards into Communities of Spiritual Leaders,” “Discerning God’s Will Together,” and “The Wisdom of the Seasons.”

Prices in 1945/1955 Tuition: $75 per semester/ $145 per semester Gas (1 gallon): $ .21/.29 Flour (5 lbs): $ .32/.53 Bread (1 lb): $ .8/.17 Round steak (1 lb): $ .40/.90 Bacon (1 lb): $ .41/.65 Butter (1 lb): $ .50/.70 Eggs (1 doz.): $ .58/.60 Milk (1/2 gal.): $ .31/.46 Orange (doz.): $ .49/.53 Potatoes (10 lbs): $ .49/.56 Coffee (1 lb): $ .31/.93 Sugar (5 lbs): $ .33/.52

The Olsens returned to Sterling College to volunteer for a year. Joyce worked as a hostess for Cooper Hall, and Chuck helped start the servant leadership concentration. “There we were back at Cooper Hall again. I love that place,” said Joyce. “But all through our Sterling days, we weren’t just there for an education. We were there for an education under the hand and eye of God. And we’ve told so many about the spiritual presence and closeness with other students.” Now retired, the Olsens still continue to get together with their friends from Sterling College. Last year they met in Montana, and the Olsens plan on having a group out to their home in Nebraska this summer.


After a terrible wind storm the year before, major repairs had to be made to Cooper Hall. Along with that, student workers helped to build the original Smisor Hall (top left), Bell Hall (middle left) and Industrial Arts building (bottom left). These three buildings are no longer on campus, but the names probably sound familiar!


Truman signed a peace treaty with Japan, officially ending WWII.


Dr. Hugh Kelsey turned over the first shovel full of dirt and gave the dedication speech for Kelsey Hall in May. It housed the library and administration offices for many years and now includes several classrooms and offices.


McCreery Hall was built in 1957. When it opened, the female students moved to the new dorm while the men were allowed to move into Campbell Hall.


The Berlin Wall was built.

Special 125th Anniversary Edition | 9

Hearing God’s Call Quick Facts Buildings added on campus: Student Union, Kilbourn Hall, Evans Hall, Thompson Hall, Smisor Stadium, Gleason Physical Education Center Prank: One student’s car was so well covered in snow by another student that the car was reported stolen. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation was even brought in, and it wasn’t discovered until the thaw. Popular toys: Lite-brite, Magic 8 Ball, Silly String Popular song: “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel

Prices in 1965 Tuition: $375 per semester Gas (1 gallon): $ .36 Flour (5 lbs): $ .58 Bread (1 lb): $ .21 Round steak (1 lb): $1.08 Bacon (1 lb): $ .81 Butter (1 lb): $ .75 Eggs (1 doz.): $ .53 Milk (1/2 gal.): $ .53 Oranges (doz.): $ .78 Potatoes (10 lbs): $ .94 Coffee (1 lb): $ .83 Sugar (5 lbs): $ .59

Early 1960s


reating an environment for students to discover who they are in Christ is a core component of the Sterling experience. Students are challenged to listen for God’s voice in order to have a better understanding of their purpose in life. For Daryl Nuss ’71, God met him in a very interesting way.

A few weeks later Daryl was alone in his room in Kilbourn Hall. It was there in Room 204 that he decided that what he believed was intellectually solid and committed his life to Christ and His mission. “It was a very personal commitment. I don’t even think that I went and told anybody about it – it just happened.”

Daryl was a biology major living in Kilbourn Hall. He participated in Kilbourn water balloon fights, served as an RA for a couple of years, played intramural basketball, sang in the choir, and was involved with student government. But during the first semester of his junior year, Daryl faced a crisis of faith. Although he grew up in a devout Christian home, he began to struggle with whether his faith was real or a product of the way he had been raised.

Shortly after, Daryl got connected to Campus Crusade for Christ through a group of Sterling students, including Tim ’72 and Sheryl (Tedford) ’70 Jaeger and Hal White ’72. The group decided to attend a Campus Crusade conference after Christmas in Dallas. It was there that Daryl was challenged to invest his life in reaching others for Christ.

“I will always be grateful for the friends I met at Sterling College and how God used them to connect me to what would become my life’s work.”

Since Daryl was a science major, he decided to work through three questions to find the truth: Is there a God? Is the Bible the Word of God? and Who is Jesus Christ? One of his answers came at an unexpected time. “It was while I was dissecting a cat in Dr. Walker’s anatomy class that I made a big step in reaffirming my faith,” recalled Daryl. “Our assignment was to track the cat’s nervous system. As I was following the tiny nerves, I had this profound thought – ‘This is so intricate that there has to be a designer. It takes more faith to believe that this just evolved.’”

The building blitz of the 60s included the Student Union, Kilbourn Hall, Evans Hall, Thompson Hall and Smisor Stadium.

10 | Sterling Magazine


Martin Luther King Jr. makes his “I Have a Dream” speech.


The Thompson Hall of Science was built in 1964. Dr. Ruth Thompson taught chemistry at SC from 1920-1966.

“That was a very significant time in my life. I mean, it put me on the path to where I have been in full-time Christian youth ministry ever since. I served on the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ for 35 years.” After graduation, Daryl began with his first appointment with Campus Crusade working with high school students in Bloomington, Ill. He continued his work in Portland, Ore., and Riverside, Calif., before serving on the student ministries national team and moving to San Diego where he and his wife, Donna, reside today.


SC became the last of 46 United Presbyterian colleges to allow dancing on campus. A maximum of four dancing events were allowed on campus (photo above from 1968).


Star Trek TV series first airs.

In 1992 Daryl and Donna moved their family to Moscow, Russia, to launch Campus Crusade for Christ’s youth ministry in Russia. After returning to San Diego in 1995, they continued their involvement in Russia by leading teams of students and adults to Russia to host special English camps. He also founded the Youth Missions Network. In 2004 Daryl was awarded the Sterling College Distinguished Service award for his work in youth ministry.

Late 1960s

The “Warriors for Christ” student organization used to produce a weekly radio devotional that was recorded on campus and sent out to local radio stations. The PR department also utilized radio programming with their short news feature, “Sounds of Sterling.”


Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon.


Daryl currently serves as the Executive Director and CEO of the National Network of Youth Ministries. He also serves on the World Evangelical Alliance youth commission and the Board of Trustees for Sterling College. “I will always be grateful for the friends I met at Sterling College and how God used them to connect me to what would become my life’s work.”

The Gleason Physical Education Center was opened, complete with the basketball court, weight room, swimming pool, classrooms and office space. The American flag that hung on the gym wall used to fly over the nation’s capital in D.C. and was a gift to the College.


Robert C. Baptista became Sterling’s fifth president. He ended up serving the shortest presidency in SC history, but he was able to make the College eligible for additional federal funding and led an initiative to plant more trees and increase the aesthetic appeal of the campus during his two years.


The auditorium in Spencer went through major renovations with money from the Ruth Culbertson Estate.

Special 125th Anniversary Edition | 11

There’s Something in the Water Vaughn came to Sterling on a football scholarship in the fall of 1984 but soon became involved in several other campus activities such as Friday movie nights in Spencer Hall. Vaughn’s job was to set up the screen and a reel projector for movie nights. He enjoyed this job because it allowed him to be involved while staying in the background of campus activities, something his introverted personality enjoyed. The evening of the Valentine’s Day dance, Vaughn went over to Spencer to set up the movie that followed the dance. One student named Tami Bratton ’88 arrived before everyone else because she was trying to avoid someone at the dance. She was a “lovely freshmen girl with brown hair and a bashfulness about her that caught [Vaughn’s] interest.” They became friends and eventually started eating meals and studying together. Vaughn’s other good friendships started his sophomore year when he moved from Kilbourn Hall to Campbell Hall.


ollege freshmen have a magical opportunity – to be whoever they want to be. Most first-time college students enter into a community where few people, if any, know about their past experiences or their personality. It is one time in life where students have a clean slate, a chance to explore and find hidden talents, interests, hobbies and dreams. Many of Sterling’s alumni enjoyed the small-school atmosphere because of the variety of activities they were able to participate in and the self-discovery that happened because of trying something new. The story of Vaughn Weaver ’88 is a good example.


Charles William Schoenherr became SC’s sixth president. Schoenherr was the first president to be promoted to the position from within. Schoenherr and his team raised nearly $4 million during one of their fundraising campaigns.

12 | Sterling Magazine


The entire campus was annexed into the city of Sterling.


“Campbell Hall was a great place,” he said. “We had some great leaders that prompted and encouraged us to become more involved. For a recluse like me, it was a way of getting involved while still staying in the background.” Vaughn participated in Kilbourn vs. Campbell water balloon fights, weekend-long Risk games, haunted houses, mud volleyball and blow gun golf. He also became a staff photographer for the yearbook and was somehow talked into performing in two theatre productions. He garnered a close group of friends through these activities that helped him branch out and discover more about himself.

Sterling College purchased the old Sterling hospital and renovated the space to become the SC Art and Media Center, complete with space for students to work on painting, design, developing photography film and much more. Today the communication and media arts majors also share the space with video editing stations and a green screen. This same year the previous art building (bottom photo) was removed from campus.


Mother Teresa Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.


The SC Daystar group traveled around the country “singing for the Lord and Sterling College.” They even made an album in Nashville.

Vaughn said, “These friends would almost always meet for meals. We would take up one to two tables and visit until everyone was done. Of course, with idle hands come some wild food sculptures that we would send along the conveyor belt to give the people washing our dishes something to laugh about. It was amazing that our group lasted as long as it did, and as time would go by, more people would join our group. I still keep in touch with people from that group to this day.” His good friends would also convince him to do one more activity that a self-declared hermit would never do: cheerleading. During his senior year, Vaughn chose to stop playing football and then was asked by a close friend to fill in on the cheerleading squad for a member who had gotten injured and couldn’t cheer that year.

“If I was to tell someone about Sterling [College], it would be that those four years were some of the most fun and most enlightening years.”

By the end of his senior year, Vaughn was engaged to Tami and had completed a degree in biology. He went on to earn a master’s in biology from Wichita State University and then worked for the city of Wichita as an environmental water quality specialist. He focused on assessing the effects of urban water pollution on the health of fish communities in the Arkansas River as a way of assessing the health of the local ecosystem. After 15 years of working with water quality, he started up his own business as an independent consultant. About a year ago, he moved to his current position as a consultant with Atwell, LLC, where he helps individuals, companies and government agencies navigate through environmental compliance regulations and protection strategies needed in environment compliance issues typically associated with land development while helping to protect the natural resources of the surrounding areas. Tami (Bratton) Weaver ’88 has been a special education teacher for 25 years and currently teaches at Linwood Elementary in Wichita, Kan. She was a double-major in education and special education. “If I was to tell someone about Sterling [College], it would be that those four years were some of the most fun and most enlightening years. I was able to grow as a person in my faith, knowledge, skill, and in my own confidence. This was accomplished by the atmosphere that was present in the staff and students that I spent my years with.”


Dr. Robert A. Veitch became SC’s seventh president. For the first time in five years, enrollment surpassed 500 with 530 students overall. Veitch also reinstated mandatory chapel services for all students and brought back the track and field team.


The school implemented some new tactics to increase enrollment. One tactic was the new twin policy: two for the price of one.


SC celebrated its 100th anniversary. During the baccalaureate service, Dr. William McCreery delivered the same speech that Dr. Francis Spencer gave as his inaugural address. Dr. McCreery even wore the same suit and stood behind the same podium.

Quick Facts Buildings added on campus: Art and Media Center Popular toys: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Cabbage Patch, My Little Pony Popular song: “Call Me” by Blondie Pranks: Lake parties – a congratulatory “ceremony” for men who were newly engaged that involved being thrown into Sterling Lake. Glitter in pillows Giving RA Swirlies Valentine’s date switch, leaving most of campus scratching their heads

Prices in 1980 Tuition: $2,770 per year Room and board: $1,430 per semester Gas (1 gallon): $1.25 Flour (5 lbs): $1.00 Bread (1 lb): $ .51 Round steak (1 lb): $2.38 Bacon (1 lb): $1.40 Butter (1 lb): $1.88 Eggs (1 doz.): $ .84 Milk (1/2 gal.): $1.05 Orange (doz.): $ .36 Potatoes (10 lbs): $1.80 Sugar (5 lbs): $1.75


Dr. Roger Parrott was named SC’s eighth president. One of Dr. Parrott’s most significant accomplishments was the Continuing Education Program started in Missouri. These campuses allowed adults to complete their SC degree in several cities in Missouri. He also oversaw the construction of Mabee Library and started the Prayer Warrior program.

Special 125th Anniversary Edition | 13

Desires of Your Heart Quick Facts Buildings added on campus: Mabee Library Popular toys: Beanie Babies, Tickle Me Elmo, Giga-pet, Pogs Popular song: “Cotton Eye Joe” by Rednex

Prices in 1995 Tuition: $8,926 per year Gas (1 gallon): $1.13 Flour (5 lbs): $1.20 Bread (1 lb): $ .84 Round steak (1 lb): $3.20 Bacon (1 lb): $2.17 Butter (1 lb): $1.73 Eggs (1 doz.): $1.16 Milk (1/2 gal.): $1.48 Orange (1 lb): $ .62 Potatoes (10 lbs): $3.80 Coffee (1 lb): $2.94 Sugar (5 lbs): $2.05


esa (Anshutz) Brown ’97 dreamt of being a teacher on the mission field. When her path collided with Andy Brown ’97, Lesa was unsure how the dream would materialize because Andy never considered himself to be the “missionary type.” Studying computer science and piano performance at SC, Andy did not see himself living somewhere without electricity or running water, his perception of the mission field. But the Lord had plans to one day fulfill the desires of Lesa’s heart and unite them with the passions in Andy’s. Lesa met Andy on the first day of college. A friendship soon blossomed because she was a vocal performer and he could accompany her on the piano. Soon the relationship grew with hours of theatre and music rehearsals spent together. Two weeks after their graduation in May 1997, Andy and Lesa got married.

“For both of us, we recognized from an early age the gifts God had given us but did not necessarily know what career those things would turn into,” Lesa said. “God was constantly and gradually moving our hearts. While I felt called to missions in college, the process was slower for Andy. It started first with God moving his heart toward the realization that he could serve something bigger than himself by serving in full-time church ministry. Then came the vision that we could serve the church world-wide through our work in missions.” After spending some time in Kansas City, the Browns felt the call to serve in full-time church ministry and were hired as the creative and technical arts directors at Dulles Community Church in South Riding, Va. Through DCC, Andy had the opportunity to travel to North Africa on a mission trip in 2005 where the Lord intercepted his path with a call to mission work. Six months later, Andy made a second trip to Africa, this time with Lesa and their youngest child to visit different mission organizations in North Africa and in Kenya, including Africa Inland Mission. AIM serves in 22 African nations, spreading the gospel to unreached people groups through a wide variety of vocational ministries and church planting projects. By December 2006, the Browns had applied for and


The weight room was added to Gleason, new light poles and benches were installed around campus, the union was renovated and the basketball court got a facelift.

14 | Sterling Magazine


Official end of the Cold War.


Senator Bob Dole made his second visit to the SC campus to deliver the commencement address.


Mabee Library was built. The new structure was three times the size of the previous library in Kelsey Hall and it currently houses 53,898 books and 45,344 periodicals.


Princess Diana died in a car crash.

story is about a young Kenyan man who encounters a Muslim fisherman in an experience that transforms his life as he realizes that God is calling him to be a missionary. The hope is that the movie will inspire and encourage African Christians to go out as missionaries into the 900 unreached people groups in Africa for the sake of the gospel. “What really prepared me for what I do now were the broad and diverse experiences I was able to have at Sterling, both inside and outside the classroom, in theatre, music, lighting and sound. Because of Sterling’s size, I was able to be a part of all these things simultaneously, rather than focus on one narrow area of interest,” Andy said.

accepted a position with AIM in Nairobi, Kenya, and planned to move their family of five in the summer of ’07. Their life’s course flipped in one year’s time. Their assignment was to work with the On-Field Media Team, telling stories of the Lord’s work through video, web design, photography, articles and graphic design. The media team works as missionary storytellers, traveling to any of the 22 countries with AIM projects to communicate the development, awareness and prayer needs of those countries. The Browns also help lead worship for the other AIM missionaries and the rest of their Christian community. Almost six years later, Andy has traveled to many countries throughout the continent of Africa, capturing what God is doing through the lens of the camera. He recently finished directing and filming a feature-length movie drama, “The Distant Boat.” The


Scientists successfully cloned a sheep.


Ed Johnson became Sterling’s ninth president. The restoration of Cooper Hall was completed during his presidency and he also started SC’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity.


God’s faithfulness was evident when Lesa’s dream came to completion and she began teaching at a Christian mission school in Nairobi in 2008. She gives the children at the school the chance to participate in full theatre productions such as the most recent performance “You Can’t Take It With You.” She teaches theatre, worship and discipleship and has discovered a passion for helping children find their identity as they grow-up in a country different from their parents’ home country. Lesa credits Sterling faculty with helping her discern how she could use her gifts and skills on the mission field by helping her write an interdisciplinary degree in international ministries with an emphasis in fine arts. This major allowed her the hands-on experience necessary for her current position. The Browns believe that Sterling College was instrumental in the shaping of their skills and dreams. They credit the community, professors and opportunities at Sterling as a foundational launching point from which they, and many of their friends, took off and are now serving around the world.

Titanic becomes most successful movie ever.


Fear of Y2K Bug sweeps the nation.


SC had a partnership with Habitat for Humanity where students could earn scholarships by helping with building projects.

Special 125th Anniversary Edition | 15

Finding the Right Community P

rospective students who visit campus tell our admissions staff that they “feel like they belong here,” and “enjoy the friendly and Christ-centered community that Sterling has to offer.” The atmosphere on campus has attracted students to Sterling College for years and its unique, intimate community brings back fond memories for our alumni.

strong interpersonal relationships. She participated in the choir, helped backstage with theatre productions, served in student government, was part of the art club for a year, and helped with World Outreach, a group that provided training and fundraising to send teams of Sterling students out on mission trips. Through study abroad experiences of her own, she gained an appreciation for the crosscultural experience as a student.

“I studied art because I wanted to be an artist; I didn’t want to be anything else,” said Jodi Lightner ’01. “But I chose Sterling because it’s the community I wanted to belong to. “I came from a strong Christian foundation growing up, so it wasn’t a shock coming to Sterling. It was very comfortable for me in that it was intentionally Christian – that there were students and people who were like-minded, who loved Jesus and wanted to worship.” A Christian community so strong that on snowy Sunday mornings when students couldn’t easily make it to church, they would house impromptu church services in one of the dorms. “That, I think, was the most beautiful view of community that you can see in a college or university because so many times the community is different when people have different belief systems. [Sterling College was] a community of believers that could have a worship service and just enjoy learning more about God regardless of where people were in their walk. I think that is what was most meaningful spiritually for me.” The community that Jodi joined also provided activities that built


Four airplanes were hijacked, two of which were flown into the World Trade Center complex in New York City.

16 | Sterling Magazine


Apple computer debuts iPod.


Now that Jodi teaches as an assistant professor of art at a public institution, Montana State University Billings, she sees how unique it is that Sterling can provide a cross-cultural experience that has the purpose of furthering Christ’s kingdom. “I think any cross-cultural experience is really important for students,” said Jodi. “I’m taking my students [at MSUB] on an art history trip to Italy and Spain next summer. Because it is a state school, it is not a mission trip, but it is an experience that will get them out of their comfort zone. I think that is important for students to encounter a world beyond their own. At Sterling, the experiences they provide are different in the fact that many trips are mission focused and frequently the students are as changed as the people they go to serve.” Jodi and her friends also found plenty of entertainment during their free time. They roller-bladed around campus, had birthday parties and dorm gatherings, went to theatre productions and choir concerts, watched Warrior sporting events and made late night runs to Hutchinson’s Village Inn restaurant. When they ran out of things to do, they would make up games to play, such as “shoe fort” and capture the flag in the Student Union.

Cooper Hall’s renovation began and the building was reopened in the fall of 2003. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107 which would be its final one. Columbia disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry.


The United States launches war on Iraq and Saddam Hussein is captured on December 13.

Quick Facts Buildings added on campus: Douglas Residence Halls Pranks: Chickens (and maybe the Sterling Lake swan) were found in the McCreery bathrooms in the middle of the night. The Mabee Library was the victim of its first prank. Every book, table, chair and magazine was flipped or reversed. This may have been one of the longest pranks to repair! In hopes of leaving a legacy, dozens of mice parachuted down from the catwalks at the end of senior chapel. Popular toys: Transformers, Bratz Dolls, Gaming systems

Straight There and Back, 2010, acrylic, ink, and oil on Mylar, 42” x 72”

“One of the most amazing gifts that Sterling gave me is awesome friends that I can keep in touch with. We live all over the country now so it’s hard to get together. We’re very widespread – from North Carolina to California to Montana and Kansas, we’re all over and we are still able to keep in touch. Hopefully we’ll have a big reunion someday.”

Popular song: “I Knew I Loved You” by Savage Garden

Prices in 2000

Jodi was excited to give back to the Sterling College community this spring when she displayed her art in the Sterling Art and Media Center gallery. She had a chance to talk to students about her work and spent time working with them in the studio.

Tuition: $11,582 per year Room: $1,986 per year Board: $2,802 per year Gas (1 gallon): $1.49 Flour (5 lbs): $1.40 Bread (1 lb): $ .99 Round steak (1 lb): $3.28 Bacon (1 lb): $3.03 Butter (1 lb): $2.80 Eggs (1 doz.): $ .96 Milk (1/2 gal.): $1.60 Oranges (1 lb): $ .64 Potatoes (10 lbs): $3.50 Coffee (1 lb): $3.21 Sugar (5 lbs): $2.05

“I wanted to show students what a career in art looks like and share my work with others. That’s the point of art for me. It’s not just a private thing – it’s to share a new way of seeing.”


Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook.


Dr. Bruce Douglas became SC’s 10th president. He oversaw the construction of the new Douglas Residence dorms and SC saw record enrollment numbers during his presidency.


Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.


The Douglas Residence Halls were built and are the first new dorms since 1963. Each hall houses 48 students and the rooms have private bathrooms.


Google buys for $1.6 billion.

Special 125th Anniversary Edition | 17

Refined for the Ministry B

en ’07 and Nicole (Kasl) ’08 Edwards came to Sterling College carrying a lot of painful baggage that they were struggling to sort out.

Quick Facts Buildings added on campus: Heritage Gardens and Outdoor Learning Lab

“At that time, we were ashamed. It seemed everyone around us was more grounded and had a better grip on this ‘Christian’ thing, so Ben and I put on a fake face when we were first at Sterling,” said Nicole.

Pranks: Hanging a prized tie collection in a tree In protest of classes not being cancelled, all classroom doors were snow packed. Filling an RA’s bathroom full of frogs Popular toys: Wii, Kid computers, iPods Popular Song: “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha

Prices in 2010 Tuition: $19,000 per year Room: $2,100 per year Board: $3,730 per year Gas (1 gallon): $2.70 Flour (5 lbs): $2.36 Bread (1 lb): $1.41 Round steak (1 lb): $4.41 Bacon (1 lb): $4.77 Butter (1 lb): $3.63 Eggs (1 doz.): $1.47 Milk (1/2 gal.): $1.66 Orange (doz.): $6.00 Potatoes (10 lbs): $5.79 Coffee (1 lb): $4.16 Sugar (5 lbs): $3.11

But the community that surrounded them was supportive and safe, giving them a chance to deal with the challenges and wounds left by their past experiences. For Nicole, activities she became involved in helped her become comfortable with who she was and authentic with others. She is specifically grateful to a group of girls that challenged her to be comfortable and confident in her womanhood by reading books by inspirational women, watching films, and spending quality time together. “Being a woman in the church left me with many scars. Throughout my life I had been told that because I’m a woman I cannot be a pastor, I cannot speak in front of the church, I should not have tattoos, I should not be so outspoken, etc. All of which I do not believe and I do not believe God believes. However, that’s a theological debate in many places. The point is, I was made to feel that my womanhood was a weakness. My group of friends began to open my eyes to my strength as a woman.” Nicole’s time as a resident assistant challenged her to be more extroverted and vulnerable. She learned that being a leader did not mean hiding your faults or acting like you had everything figured out. Instead, she learned to be authentic, compassionate and forgiving. Ben and Nicole’s major in religious and philosophical studies allowed both of them to study the Bible and challenge their faith.

“[My professors] asked questions I hadn’t asked before. They allowed me the chance to ask questions….I learned to appreciate the way that each person experiences God – the way that God is able to speak so personally, so intentionally to each person. I often felt what many call ‘Catholic guilt’ while I was at Sterling. I had done a lot of sinful things and I felt out of place at Sterling so many times. However, thanks to


Sterling College reaches the largest enrollment in its 121 year history - 654 students.

18 | Sterling Magazine


Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected President of the United States.


America entered a deep financial recession.


Dr. Paul Maurer became Sterling’s 11th president. One of Maurer’s main goals was to increase the academic reputation of the College by increasing our online course offerings and improving the qualifications of our faculty. He was also very instrumental in writing our strategic plan which provides guidance for the institution’s goals in the coming years.

Late 2000s

SC has sent hundreds of students across the world in recent years, with one in four of our students going on a trip before graduating.


some certain professors and classes I began to see how intimately God knows and loves me. My theologies and philosophies were continually challenged. It was a beautiful thing.” The couple was mentored by Craig and Anne Smith throughout their time at Sterling. Craig was a professor in the religion and theology department and Anne was the campus chaplain.

living environment through education, counseling, goal-setting and a structured support to help them out of their current situation. Wes Wicklund ’08 was working as the youth director at Joshua Station at the time and told them about an opportunity to serve as resident volunteers. They knew it was where they wanted to be, so with the help of Craig and Anne Smith, they moved to Denver on faith that God would provide jobs in the area. He did and they began working part-time jobs while they volunteered at the Station. Eventually, paid staff positions at Joshua Station opened up and they now work for a ministry that they love.

“The more we dug into the stories of Jesus, the more we felt drawn to be among the misfits and outcasts of society. We began to feel that we belonged among the misfits…”

“Anne and Craig Smith are irreplaceable influences in our life. In so many ways they are the reason we are where we are now. The way Anne spoke to us in chapel and face-to-face was so gentle, authentic and yet powerful. Craig was one of the very best teachers either one of us has ever had. He made us work hard, really hard, but he never made us feel like we couldn’t do it. They invited us over to their house and into their lives with such sweet hospitality. To this day, they are dear friends to us, and each time we talk with them, they give us so much ‘life.’ They speak kindly and love greatly. We love them very much.” Each of the influences God had placed in the lives of Ben and Nicole pushed them to grow and become more curious about who Jesus was and his ministry. “The more we dug into the stories of Jesus, the more we felt drawn to be among the misfits and outcasts of society. We began to feel that we belonged among the misfits…. The way we viewed the world, the way we responded to the world, the way we received from others and the way we lived life was all shaped by our majors.” Sterling also introduced them to their current workplace, Joshua Station, in Denver, Colo. The Station provides a place for homeless families to live while helping them transition to healthy, stable


Osama Bin Laden was killed in Pakistan.


The “Sword in the Stone” was dropped off at SC in front of Cooper Hall. The gift immediately became a landmark on campus.


Ben is the youth director and is responsible for the general well-being of the children and youth whose families come to Joshua Station. The average stay for one family is two years, so he is able to spend a lot of one-on-one time with each child. He also organizes programs, camp opportunities, games and other adventures for the children and youth to participate in. Nicole is the youth education liaison. She tracks the academic performance and school attendance of the children at Joshua Station. She encourages the parents to be involved in the child’s education and oversees tutoring programs. Next year, she is hoping to become a “motherhood advocate.” She will work with the alternative pregnancy centers in Denver as a doula to help lowincome and single mothers embrace motherhood and their roles with their newborn children. “We are excited to continue rooting ourselves here in Denver. We plan to be here for a long, long time. We value the commitment of time into community and we found our community. We are thankful that it was Sterling College that led us here.”

The cafeteria and Student Union were renovated to provide students with a richer dining experience.


Scott Rich is named 12th president.


The SC Warrior baseball team made it to the Avista-NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho. The Warrior’s season ended with a school record of 48 wins compared to just 14 losses.

Special 125th Anniversary Edition | 19

Servant Leaders of Tomorrow F

or over 125 years, the campus of Sterling College has expanded and developed as a strong, Christ-centered institution. It is a true sign of strength that the same principles that were present in our founding are still guiding our employees and students today. The “life-changing” theme rings true for many of our current students including seniors Brian Noller of Russell, Kan., and Adriana Gonzales of Tatum, Texas. Here are their stories: “My favorite memory will always be the adrenaline rush that comes when you are in the locker room as the football team finishes saying the Lord’s Prayer together, the first note of the bagpipes reverberates through the small, concrete room and 100 men start yelling in preparation for the game. There is nothing like that feeling,” said Brian. Brian came to Sterling to be an outside linebacker, but his reach has gone far beyond the playing field. This year when a group of students were asked to name someone living out servant leadership, a half-dozen answered with one name: Brian Noller. They have seen him invested in the community as a resident assistant, student senator, in men’s ministry, mission trips and the Student Athletic Advisory Committee. With all of these different roles, Brian still feels his most valuable position is being a brother to the men in the dorm and on the football team. “Being able to challenge each other and be accountable in our faith is what matters the most. It’s incredible to see how much growth happens over four years – you get to see physical growth as you lift weights together and spiritual growth as you journey through times of mourning and celebration. It’s definitely a brotherhood,” said Brian. Brian is also preparing to be a math teacher. “I feel empowered to be an educator on a pedagogical level as well as a relational one. My calling has changed since being here. I came in with the expectation that I would leave having a normal life, setting out to make lots of money. Now, I want to see how I can best serve people and build the kingdom no matter what that avenue looks like,” said Brian.

20 | Sterling Magazine

“Just having the chance to play collegiate volleyball was a testimony that it was in God’s plan for me to come to Sterling. The coaches came to recruit as I was playing club volleyball, but the other girls on the team were the ones they should have wanted. I never thought I’d have a chance to play in college, but they wanted me, so I came,” said Adriana. As a setter on the volleyball team, Adriana was the perfect addition to the team. She stepped up as a leader her freshman year, and when she closed out her senior season, she left a record that will be hard to beat: 4,264 career assists, 350 more than the previous record. “All the opportunities at Sterling have been so unique. I have been encouraged to step out of my box which has transformed my life. My teammates have become family, my professors are available for anything I need, and I have even been able to serve around the world on mission trips,” said Adriana. Adriana traveled to St. Lucia twice on SC mission trips and once to Guatemala. She is preparing to return to Guatemala this coming summer as the assistant team leader. She has been able to spread the gospel in a variety of ways through the trips, including Bible school programs, street evangelism, dramas, food deliveries and elementary school programs. “I will leave Sterling knowing what I believe and implementing it in every aspect of my life. Whether school, volleyball, a mission trip or a job, I have learned that I can outwardly live my life for Christ, because there is an overflow of what is on the inside.”

Strategic Plan 2012-2016

Building the Strength and Accessibility of Sterling College Academics

Increase Student Selectivity



Establish Signature Academic Programs

ST Strengthen SC Faculty Academic Profile

Establish Distinguished Speaker Series


Enrich the Student Experience

Grow The Scholarship Endowment


Make SC's Academic Programs More Accessible

Establish Master’s Degree(s) Strengthen Educational Technology

Beginning in August 2011 and concluding in January 2012, Sterling College engaged in a strategic planning process in which representatives from diverse constituencies have participated. The Strategic Planning Task Force was made up of 25 representatives from the College administration, faculty, student body, alumni, Board of Trustees, and the Sterling community.


From this process, it was determined that the central, strategic initiative that Sterling College will focus on during the next five years will be to develop its academic program.

This will include three broad objectives: 1. Strengthen the academic core 2. Enrich the student academic experience 3. Develop the infrastructure


o Sterling College, academic strength means developing its reputation for academic quality. It means being recognized in the region for having reliable and consistent standards of academic excellence. It does not mean seeking an elite status. Furthermore, this vision for academic strength is to be accomplished in a way that adds to two vital aspects of our campus identity, our culture of community and our commitment to the integration of Christian faith and academics. Sterling College has academic offerings that can be attractive and beneficial to a wider constituency. This plan includes elements that will broaden the scope of courses and programs that are offered online; evaluate the current physical space on Sterling’s campus; and evaluate the addition of physical sites in other areas of Kansas. Finally, these changes need to be communicated to a wider audience so that the quality of a Sterling College education becomes known. The initiatives outlined in the above chart not only bolster what can be said about Sterling College, but also provides both significant points to be communicated and priorities of what to communicate. For more information about the strategic plan visit: Special 125th Anniversary Edition | 21

125th Anniversary Celebration


n November 1, 1887, Sterling College opened its doors and set out on a mission to create a vigorous collegiate institution in a central location. One hundred and twenty-five years later, Sterling College is still continually committed to that very end. During the 2012-2013 academic year, a variety of activities took place to celebrate our commitment to Christ-centered education in the Great Plains. This included 125 Hours of Prayer, midnight pancake feed on November 1, the revival of Robert Burns night, and a historical bent to regularly scheduled events include Heritage Convocation, Choir Tour 2013, the annual city-wide service day Love Sterling, Baccalaureate and Commencement.

Graduates group together to form a “125” before Baccalaureate.

Faculty, staff and friends of the college join in the traditional Scottish song of remembrance, “Auld Lang Syne.”

22 | Sterling Magazine

Sterling College’s choir tour incorporated the 125th anniversary by singing familiar songs like “My God and I” and “Song of Simeon.”

Volunteers from the fourth annual Love Sterling community project take a break to smile for the camera.

Sophomore Lucas Knauss represents On the Spot, SC’s student improvisational group, during the Homecoming parade.

Graduates toss their caps into the air while holding up letters that spell out “Quasquicentennial” which stands for 125th anniversary.

In a joint float, Campbell and McCreery students represent the future of SC as they ride down Broadway in the Homecoming parade.

Jim ’58 and Betty ’57 (Lenk) Vincent enjoy the Homecoming Hangout.

Jason Onjtes ’99, men’s basketball, Kristina Barrow-Littlejohn ’03, women’s basketball, and members of the 1987 men’s soccer team were inducted into the Sterling College Athletics Hall of Fame.

Special 125th Anniversary Edition | 23

Non- Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 2 Sterling, KS

Mr. Scott Rich Named as Sterling College’s 12th President


n May 1, 2013, the Sterling College Board of Trustees announced that Mr. Scott Rich accepted the presidency of Sterling College. Rich is Sterling’s twelfth president. Rich served as executive vice president and acting president of the College since May 2012. He was appointed interim president in December 2012. Rich has extensive knowledge in leadership and management having served in that capacity for 21 years, 18 of which were focused on financial and operational management. Rich has an understanding of both the for-profit and nonprofit world. He has spent the past six years at Sterling College serving as chief financial officer overseeing all finance, human resource, physical plant, financial aid, business office and risk management/legal functions of the College.

Rich earned a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Corporate Finance and Organizational Leadership from Liberty University. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Studies from The Masters College and attended Hutchinson Community College. Rich and his family are members of Grace Bible Church in Hutchinson. His wife, Kathy, serves as a middle school and high school English and journalism teacher at Central Christian School in Hutchinson. Rich and his wife Kathy have three children, Matthew (17), Mason (14) and William (13).

Inauguration Set for Homecoming 2013

Sterling College 125th Special Edition Magazine  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you