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VOLUME 70 | ISSUE 1 | FALL 2013


Computer Information Systems A window into the future PAGE 8

Where art meets faith Student profile: Dasha Moore PAGE 10

The search for vocation Alumni spotlight: Liz Colver PAGE 13

DR. MICHAEL DeLASHMUTT New Academic Dean shares his thoughts on education, diversity and the future of Trinity





The Advance is a publication for alumni, donors and friends of Trinity Lutheran College. The Trinity Lutheran College Advance is printed twice per year. To subscribe or update your contact information, please contact Marilyn Grotzke, Development Assistant, at 425.249.4754.

Editorial Team EDITOR: Annemarie Russell LEAD DESIGNER: Anne Reinisch

Contributors Liz Colver Spiritual Life Intern Michael DeLashmutt Academic Dean & Vice President for Academic Affairs Lance Georgeson Associate Director of Development Mark Jackson Professor & Chair of Children, Youth & Family Studies

CONTENTS FALL 2013 Editorial 3 Message from the President 11 Exploring faith together Features 4 New Academic Dean Michael DeLashmutt 6 The real value of diversity 8 Computer Information Systems: A window into the future 10 Student profile: Dasha Moore 11 Faculty highlights 12 Profile in stewardship: Estelle Morley 13 Alumni spotlight: Liz Colver (‘05) News 5 Faculty news 14 Alumni class notes

Linda Kent Alumni Relations Coordinator BreAnn Inglesby Communications Intern Anne Reinisch Graphic Designer & Web Manager

Erik Samuelson Campus Pastor

Cover photo by Heather Natterstad, Blue Door Studio Photography.

Photo by Rebekah Chaney (‘13).

Annemarie Russell Director of Communications

The Fall Fest concert featured alumni Eric Engerbretson (‘82), pictured above, and 2802 Wetmore Ave. | Everett, WA 98201

Perry Springman (‘82) of Perry and the Poorboys as well as current student Joakim Gissberg.




THE PRESIDENT We are different! We differ in many ways. We are different races and come from different cultural backgrounds. Some of us grew up in big cities and some are from small towns. Some live with a mom and dad and some don’t. Some earn A’s while others earn B’s or C’s. Some pray a lot and some pray just a little. When all these differences are brought together in a learning community, something special begins to take shape. At Trinity, we see and experience our diverse culture as a true gift. We have the opportunity to learn about one another and share of ourselves. Appreciation of another perspective is a sign of maturity and wisdom. Our student-learning environment allows this to happen daily. I believe there are three dimensions to our unique and diverse learning environment at Trinity Lutheran College: 1.

We are truly diverse. Students of color make up 45% of our community and Caucasian students make up 55%. Our students come from every major racial ethnic group and from 10 countries. They come from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds, and while some grew up in a city or suburb, others grew up in a more rural setting.

2. Our small intimate size is the perfect environment to truly get to know people, gain insight from their world, listen to their perspective and learn from their life experience. Our students often say their voices are “truly heard” at Trinity. 3. Lastly, our community welcomes differences and values each person for who they are. People are attracted to the college because of our diverse environment. This makes for a unique community. One dimension about Trinity’s diversity is our diversity of faith. This wonderful mosaic of belief is alive and well in this wonderful place. Yet even with individuals from various faith and non-faith backgrounds studying at the college, we remain committed to our Christian core: students learn about Jesus, they study the Bible, they engage in service to our community and they pray. As a campus community, we remain steadfast in our mission to teach and train leaders to serve Christ and society. If you haven’t been to Trinity in a while, come visit us. Stop by, take a campus tour and stay for lunch (I’m buying!). I believe our diverse community will impact you in ways you can’t even begin to imagine. In Christ,

John W. Reed




Photo by Heather Natterstad

New Academic Dean

Written by Annemarie Russell, Director of Communications

Opportunities and big dreams for a small, diverse school On July 1, Trinity welcomed Dr. Michael DeLashmutt as its new Academic Dean and VP for Academic Affairs. In the past five months, DeLashmutt has stepped in to provide oversight of the college’s academic programs, provide leadership for assessment, and supervise and mentor faculty. Prior to Trinity, DeLashmutt served at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., as Associate Dean of First Theological Degree Programs. There he provided leadership, supervision and guidance to 600 students and 45 faculty, and he also developed resources to support faculty and ensure the quality of student learning.

His Ph.D., from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, focused on the intersections of theology and technology, and he also holds a postgraduate certificate in academic practice from the University of Exeter (United Kingdom), where he was also a lecturer and researcher. With over a decade of experience in both academics and higher education leadership, DeLashmutt brings a wealth of skills that will lead Trinity forward. “Michael is a skilled administrator and an articulate academic who has brought with him a broad background in higher education along with a wealth of experience providing leadership to small faith-based institutions,” President John Reed said.

As he himself articulates, DeLashmutt’s experience with higher education administration has fueled his desire to lead a place like Trinity into the future while staying true to its guiding mission. In fact, the college’s mission was one of the things that attracted DeLashmutt to the position. “I’m a high ideation person, dreaming big and helping to be a catalyst for change and leadership. I want to help Trinity think about the new possibilities on the horizon and how our mission fits into that future,” DeLashmutt said. Prior to his experience in academics, DeLashmutt was a key player in a dot-com startup in the Seattle area,


5 Innovation and creative thinking were key in his work there. He recounts long hours and outside-the-box thinking as he and other employees worked to make that company a success. “I even recall a few nights when I slept under my desk after a very long day of work,” DeLashmutt said. While he’s not literally sleeping under his desk at Trinity, DeLashmutt brings a similar commitment and ethic to his work. He’s quick to rely on innovation to solve challenges, and he has invested his whole self in the job. And all the while, DeLashmutt relies on his own deep faith as a compass pointing the way forward. “I suppose because I’m a theologian, I tend to think about Trinity’s future as God’s future for this place. Where is God calling us to as an institution and how can we be faithful to God’s mission in the world?” he said. Part of what DeLashmutt likes most about Trinity is its small size coupled with the diversity he sees in the student body. He believes the college is uniquely poised to offer educational support to diversely gifted students. “The nice thing about working at a school that is as small as Trinity is that you get students who might have fallen off the rail during a prior academic experience, and their grades and learning suffered—but they come here and we can give them attention, care and direction to fulfill their vocation and gain the skills they need to be successful,” DeLashmutt said. “Then we have students who are brilliant and would shine anywhere they go—but because they are here at Trinity, we can give them that close attention that helps them to accelerate. I like being able to provide support to a variety of students here,” he said. DeLashmutt has received a warm welcome from the college, and he’s looking forward to both the opportunities and the challenges that await him. “In the future I see the college building off our existing strengths, and I look forward to the role I get to play here— helping us innovate while also remaining true to the mission that has sustained us for the past 70 years,” DeLashmutt said.

DeLashmutt works closely with students in the Dean’s Circle to mentor them in academic success, critical thinking and leadership formation.


NEWS Compiled by Mark Jackson, Professor & Chair of Children, Youth & Family Studies

Dr. Karen and Ed Scott are serving as Missionaries-inResidence for the 2013-14 academic year. Karen is teaching courses in the Intercultural Studies program, bringing to the classroom her 40 years of experience as a missionary in Bangladesh. After several years as an affiliate instructor, Dr. Karen Buehlmaier has joined Trinity as Professor of Business, Leadership & Management, teaching courses in business operations, human resources, and nonprofit leadership. Jack Brenchley (’81, ’83) has been appointed interim Professor & Chair of Visual Communications. He brings a rich background in software engineering, graphic design, marketing, and education, including work with Adobe System’s InDesign/InCopy development team. Annemarie Russell, Affiliate Faculty in English Composition, was a guest contributor to (Re) Considering Christianity: An Expedition of Faith Joining Science, Ancient Wisdom, and Sustainability (Beaver’s Pond Press, 2012). Her essay explores the relationship between her journey as a songwriter and the formation of her faith, all within the lens of sustainability and care of God’s Creation. Dr. Stuart Webber, Professor & Chair of Business, Leadership, and Management, published an article, “Determining the Discount

Rate in a U.S. Cost-Sharing Agreement,” in the September 2013 issue of Tax Notes International. Dr. Webber also recently joined the board of directors of NEST, a Seattle nonprofit dedicated to keeping aging seniors in their homes and neighborhoods through matching volunteers with those who need assistance. Dr. David Schulz, Professor & Chair of Communications, had his article, “The Rhetoric of Agitation and Control’s Roots in Movement Studies” published in the September 2013 issue of Poroi, a peerreviewed journal related to rhetoric in inquiry and culture published through the University of Iowa. Mark Jackson, Professor & Chair of Children, Youth & Family Studies, recently authored Digging In: A Leader’s Guide for Service Learning (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2013), a manual for church youth groups to create service experiences focused on food, hunger, and poverty. Rev. Dr. David Ellingson, Professor & Chair of Children, Youth & Family Studies, this summer completed manuscripts for two self-published books: Paddle Pilgrim, recollections of his 2,300mile kayak trip down the Mississippi River in summer 2012, and Biblical Wisdom for a Digital Age, a family devotional using Scriptural passages with relevance for today.




DIVERSITY How Trinity’s diverse culture is deeply impacting students Written by Annemarie Russell, Director of Communications

I am startled again and again by the diversity of this place. Startled by the goodness of it, by its rich tapestry and its authenticity. And startled at the way that the diversity I see at Trinity impacts our students personally and academically in powerful ways that change their lives and their future careers. In this year’s admissions materials, we proudly report that 45% of our students identify as students of color. You may not know it, but that is an astounding figure in higher education, especially for a small Christian college in the Pacific Northwest. And within our small but growing student population, 201 students to be exact, we represent 12 states and 10 international countries. However, I would be foolish to simply boast about our diversity rate, the wide array of cultures represented here or the number of international countries from which our students come. What makes Trinity’s diversity worth boasting about is the way it impacts our students. One long-term study showed that students who interacted with racially and ethnically diverse peers both informally and within the classroom showed the greatest “engagement in active thinking, growth in intellectual engagement and motivation, and growth in intellectual and academic skills.” Another researcher found that diverse peers in the learning environment can improve intergroup relations and mutual understanding by challenging students to refine their thinking and enriching the dialogue between students. Clearly, diverse learning environments are better learning environments.

Walk around Trinity’s campus, and you’ll see something surprising—here, students are both deeply connected to their own culture or ethnic background and also wonderfully engaged in this community. Trinity is a place where ethnic and racial divisions fade away in lieu of the rich multicultural relationships that our students form. Here friendships are forged alongside differences. Take lunchtime in the Commons, for example. A scan around the room demonstrates what I’m trying to explain perfectly: Clustered around one table, I see a group of soccer players who come from as close as Everett and as far away as Mexico, Sweden and Venezuela. They chatter away in English, Spanish and Swedish, talking about last weekend’s game, sharing food across the table. These young men compete together and in their free time, they also socialize with one another—by choice. In another part of the room I see members of the Dean’s Circle, Trinity’s academic leadership group. They represent Asian, African-American, Latina, Caucasian and Native American backgrounds. On Thursday nights, these students meet at the Dean’s house where, this semester, they talk about issues of technology and virtual reality and how these advancements impact religion, particularly Christianity. These students bring their best intelligence and critical thinking to class each Thursday night. They share dissenting viewpoints, debate nuanced arguments and learn from each other. Just down the hall from the Commons, Stuart Webber, professor and chair of business, teaches Global Business Environment to a group of business majors. Filling up the classroom are students from Washington, California, Oregon, Mexico, Africa and Sweden. They are African-American, Latino, Arab, African, Caucasian and Asian.



Imagine how much more rich this class becomes when the seats are filled with such a diverse group of students. When I hear the discussions that occur and watch Webber adeptly balance varying student opinions with the content he’s presenting, I see in very vivid ways the impact that an “education of diversity” has on our students. They learn to respectfully disagree, asserting their opinions clearly and with confidence. But they also learn to listen to each other, to compromise or see things from a different perspective. Most of all, at the end of the day, Trinity students learn to see themselves from a global perspective with the world as their community. And some days, the world literally IS their community, like the students sitting in Webber’s classroom engaged in discussion about the global marketplace. Webber himself agrees that this kind of diversity enriches the Trinity student experience. “Our global business class has been greatly enriched by the diversity of our campus as well as our many international students. Not only do our students learn about how culture and business ethics vary around the world, I find I am learning something new almost every week too,” Webber said. Trinity’s diversity isn’t the kind of college attribute that is easily reflected in percentages, statistics or numbers. Our “45% diversity rate” actually tells very little about the kind of diverse,

rich culture that we have here. I’ve seen colleges boasting high diversity rates where students of similar backgrounds hang together, where all I have to do is scan the dining hall to see segregation between races and cultures—a table of international students in one corner, a group of Latino-American students in another, for example. When I describe the amazing benefits of Trinity’s small size to prospective students, diversity is at the top of the list. President John Reed would agree. “Trinity is small enough that students from diverse backgrounds are literally forced to get to know one another. The beauty of it, though, isn’t that they simply know each other, but that they build friendships, gain a shared understanding, and come to have a broader perspective about themselves and their respective fields that shape them and change them forever,” Reed said. The college’s mission statement reads: Trinity Lutheran College, through biblically-centered education, develops Christian leaders with a global perspective whose lives and ministry serve Jesus Christ in church and society. I can’t say enough about the importance of a “global perspective,” particularly as we equip students to go out in the world and do they work they are called to do. At Trinity, we believe that equipping students to see the world globally is an important step toward their success. And while they are here, being filled with knowledge and experiences, our students also receive this unique aspect of a Trinity education: the chance to live and learn alongside people who are different than they are, to be changed and enriched by the diverse relationships they forge, and to become better leaders and more highly-skilled workers in their respective fields and future careers.

Photo by Heather Natterstad

Webber’s course, according to the course description, is described as providing an introduction to the global business environment, particularly in regard to doing business in a world economy and operating within the framework of the global marketplace. Students must “understand the economic, political, technological and socio-cultural environmental factors facing them to be successful, while still behaving in an ethical and responsible manner.”



COMPUTER INFORMATION SYSTEMS A WINDOW INTO THE FUTURE Written by Breann Inglesby, Communications Intern

This fall, Trinity diversified its academic programs by launching its first bachelor of science major: Computer Information Systems (CIS). The degree will be taught from the perspective of humancentered design, also known as Informatics. Combining information, technology and people, the field of Informatics studies the processing of information so that a company or a person may manage data in a more userfriendly, accessible way. In plain terms, Trinity’s CIS degree combines computer science and data analysis with the human experience. Over a year ago, Dr. Betsi Little, Professor & Chair of Psychology and a member of the Academic Committee, was tasked to research a new major, and after significant study Little chose the field of CIS/Informatics. In addition to there being very few programs of this nature offered in the area, Little also saw the need for majors in the field throughout the Northwest. As a field, Infomatics is revolutionizing the way we purchase groceries, search Google and interact with advertising online. It can help make doctor visits more efficient and offer better solutions for preventing pandemic outbreaks on other continents. Any place in our society where people interact with technology, there is also a need for an informatics specialist to help determine whether the technology is working efficiently, interfacing well with people, and conforming well to the company or organization’s needs.

Computer Information Systems is Trinity’s first STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) major, thus presents new opportunities for students, as well as for the college. Misael Salmeron is a sophomore majoring in CIS, and like others in the program, he’s glad the college has decided to offer a new major in this field. “STEM programs are important for new students and for the community. We depend on technology to keep up with the changing world and to move forward. Technology is our past, present and future, but it also requires human interaction to make sense of and improve upon it,” Salmeron said. Informatics is one of the fastest growing and changing industries in the world. With hundreds of positions opening daily, informatics graduates are sought after for jobs that vary from work in forensics, analyzing data on behavior in psychology and discerning how to make websites more user-friendly and secure for companies like Amazon and Microsoft. Mark Barnum, program director for Computer Information Systems and an instructor for several courses, explains that what sets Trinity’s CIS program apart from other schools is its emphasis on ethics and the human aspect and implications of data. The program also seeks to help graduates be flexible, up-to-date, and able to adapt, making them great assets for any number of potential employers. “The skills the students are learning here can be used in almost every business,” Barnum said. In addition to helping interpret data and learning flexibility with information technology, CIS students at Trinity also consider


Photo by Heather Natterstad


ethical implications of information. They take classes in ethics and security very early in their program. “We want Trinity students to be good, ethical people. We want them to think about and understand the impact they will have,” Little said. While other schools with Computer Information Systems programs place emphasis on the programming and database aspects of the field, Trinity’s program has been designed to be more general, and for good reason.

Salmeron agrees, and sees Computer Information Systems as an avenue through which he can help reverse some of the ways technology has negatively affected our culture and our world. “Technology has damaged the environment in the past, but it has also been used to fix these problems. For instance, think of old cars’ effect on the environment versus new cars. That‘s what I want to do. I want to fix the damage on the environment and on the community,” Salmeron said.

“Being general in our CIS program, we’ve set up a more flexible program. The field of informatics is always growing and changing,” Little said. Junior Constance Wohlford, who transferred to Trinity this fall, has had experience working in data and organization for years. What drew her to Trinity’s CIS program was the flexibility and integration it offered.

Photo by Heather Natterstad

“To be successful, there has to be close communication between CIS, Communications, Business, Visual Communications and other departments. They need to work well together to understand people. Trinity does that. While looking at other universities in the area that offered a degree in informatics, I noticed those bridges were harder to cross,” Wohlford said. Current students in Trinity’s CIS program are excited about the opportunities that the major affords them. “Information doesn’t do us any good if it‘s in a box somewhere. It needs to be accessible and shared in order to be useful,” Wohlford said.

Professor Barnum (left) teaches Information Security, Privacy and Compliance, a new course in the CIS program.



Student Profile

Photo by Heather Natterstad


Written by Anne Reinisch, Graphic Designer

Dasha Moore transferred to Trinity when she realized she wanted to study at a college with a biblical core, where her faith and career would be interwoven. A senior majoring in Children, Youth & Family Studies, Moore is outgoing and adventurous. She is enthusiastic about the outdoors and caring for God’s creation. “Dasha is one of a kind, often parting from the crowd in critically thinking about and responding to what’s presented in class, in chapel, or in the news. She has the unique ability to integrate her Christian faith, gifts in artistic expression, care for God’s creation and love of young people,” said Mark Jackson, Professor & Chair of Children, Youth & Family Studies. Moore is also a talented artist. She plans to become an art teacher after graduation and pursue a master’s degree in painting. Here Moore shares about her art, faith and experience at Trinity.

Why art? I was considering going into art therapy, but then I realized that art is therapy, so I decided to pursue being an art teacher and professional fine arts painter. I want to be an art teacher because art is vital to healthy living. There has been a silly notion drifting throughout school systems in the United States: art is a necessary casualty of budget cuts. Because of this I’ve been told I should go into another field. But that’s exactly the point: art needs advocates. We need to understand that art is interconnected with innovative and healthy holistic learning. Without artistic expression and creative exploration, today’s youth will be tomorrow’s depressed emotionally vacant robots. I’m being melodramatic, but my point remains. If schools want to reduce student substance abuse, here’s the real anti-drug program: arts in education. Do we want holistic learning for youth? Art is part of that.

Where art meets faith I have talked with too many people who say they’re not artists, and that becomes the end of their creative pursuits. But the arts are for all people, no exceptions. I believe in Imago Dei, that we are created in God’s image. Because God is the Master Artist, I think that means we all are artists. Painting can be messy, dirty and raw. As a young kid, that’s what I liked about it. I am a visual learner. Painting speaks to me when words can’t. My passion for painting grew throughout middle school and high school. I had inspiring and innovative art teachers and also really bad ones. The good art teachers transformed my life. They taught me that everyone is an artist in different ways. They got me excited to make art and share ideas. I realized the importance of creativity—it is life-giving/therapeutic—and I want to share my excitement for the arts with others. Art, especially paintings in my opinion, bring an important sense of wonder to everyday life. Art reminds me that life holds beauty, romance and passion. And in the midst of chaos and broken heartedness, art does that very important task of reminding me that life is mysterious and strange. But it is good, beautiful and sacred as well. It meets me emotionally right where I am. God has blessed me with faithfulness and love. As I grow older, painting has become prayer for me. A time to meditate on God and give thanks. Painting has also become my expression of faith to others. I feel confident about my time at Trinity, and I know I am prepared to graduate. Opportunities are endless and the future is bright because God is with us.



Faculty Highlight

TRINITY AFFILIATES Written by Michael DeLashmutt, Academic Dean

Trinity’s remarkable 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio is made possible by our growing network of affiliate instructors. Affiliates bring a great depth of knowledge and breadth of experience. Many come to the classroom directly from the professions to which our students are called. Their teaching is informed by the latest developments in their fields. In all cases, affiliates offer their time and talents to work alongside us in our shared mission to develop leaders for Christ and society. Below are just three examples from our excellent affiliate faculty:

Professor Ed Moats comes to Trinity with over 15 years of experience practicing law and a further 12 years experience teaching college-level math. Over the last year, Moats has worked to develop Trinity’s math curriculum, delivering courses in Algebra and Calculus and developing courses in Trigonometry and Mathematical Logic. Because of his experience in the legal profession, Moats also serves as a point-person for our Pre-Law program.

and frequently contributes to both our CRUX curriculum and our Biblical Studies major. She earned her Ph.D. from Oxford University in 2006 and teaches at Trinity, Fuller Seminary and the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. Hayes is a gifted and prolific scholar who is actively involved in the Society for Biblical Literature. She is excited to work at Trinity as we continue to become a creative influence in our surrounding community.

Dr. Elizabeth Hayes has taught at Trinity for five years

Professor Richard Ellison has been teaching biology at

Trinity for two years. He has a contagious passion for science education. Ellison’s courses on biology and environmental science are greeted with enthusiasm by his students. Through a creative blend of on-campus and off-campus instruction, he provides an important contribution to our continually developing general education curriculum. In his time at Trinity, Ellison has been impressed by the institution’s commitment to community service, and he has found a refreshing openness to new ideas in our student body.

Exploring faith together Written by Rev. Erik Samuelson, Campus Pastor

She approached me immediately after chapel, the first chapel of the school year. “Pastor Erik, could we talk?” I could tell by the look on her face that she meant right now, and so I set down my things in Brammer Chapel and we moved into my office. “I don’t know what it is exactly,” she began, “but during that service something happened. I feel overwhelmed—happy and sad—and I just don’t know how to describe it.” This young woman, a first year student, proceeded to tell me about growing up in a Jehovah’s Witness family, about her struggles here at Trinity reading the Bible for the first time, about when forgiveness was pronounced in chapel just then how she felt like something cracked open inside of her—and how a lifetime of struggles she’d been carrying had suddenly been released. She proceeded to tell me much of her journey, including things she’d never told anyone before, and then we prayed together. She wondered if we could meet again the next week, and so we set a time. A week later, she was back in my office, with a friend. This second young woman grew up Roman Catholic but had walked away when she couldn’t find leaders who would engage her many questions. She too was encountering the

Bible largely for the first time and had questions, and so the three of us opened our Bibles and we looked at the Old and New Testaments, talked about John the Baptist and the many prophets who proceeded him, and spoke of Jesus—who he was, where he came from and how he began his ministry. We planned to meet up again the next week. After these two young women left my office, I walked down to the Commons for lunch. There I saw a group of students— a Lutheran, a Pentecostal, a Baptist, a Mormon, a Roman Catholic, and a Muslim—eating and laughing together. Then while serving me soup, Chef Deb invited me to join her for worship at her African Methodist Episcopal Church in Seattle. That afternoon I ran into one of our students, a Hindu, and his roommate—the only Christian in a Hindu family. And later, I sat in on a student-led testimony night where several students shared profound stories from their lives and testified about where they saw God. One brave student shared about how she couldn’t find God—even as much as she longed to. And then the students prayed for each other. That night, something cracked open in me. I was overwhelmed—both happy and sad—by these stories and by the amazing, diverse community that exists at Trinity Lutheran College. I can’t imagine a better place to serve, or a more powerful ministry, than what happens daily in this place as an incredibly diverse group of students, centered in the Bible, supported in Christian community by devoted faculty and staff, explore life and faith together. And I pray that the Holy Spirit continues to overwhelm us all.



Profile in Stewardship

ESTELLE MORLEY Written by Linda Kent (‘81), Alumni Relations Coordinator

For Estelle Morley, stewardship is knitted into her whole person; indeed knitted into the very fabric of her life. It’s not just about giving financial resources—it’s about giving herself.

Photo by Jack Brenchley

Morley was first drawn to Trinity/LBI when she heard the choir at her home church, Faith Lutheran. “They gave such a beautiful witness to Christ,” she said.


Although she wanted to be a missionary, while taking a class on home missions taught by Professor Robert Rieke, she realized her gifts of organization, encouragement and a passion for fellowship could be most faithfully shared within the church. She became an Associate in Ministry at Luther Memorial Church, where she served for 18 years. She has also been a faithful member of the North End Bible Study Fellowship, which was begun in the 1960s by LBI professor Edith Thompson. Even today, they continue to study the Bible and pray for the Trinity/LBI community. Morley has shared her whole-person stewardship with Trinity in numerous ways. She builds up the body by connecting with

her classmates and telling others of God’s gracious work at the college. Her 50th class reunion this past June, a most joyful event, would not have happened without her inspiration and collaborative work. She supports the college with her presence, bringing her bright smile as well as friends to Advent concerts and other events. She graciously gives financially, oftentimes in a special way through gifts that honor or remember others. However at the core of Morley’s giving is the gift of encouragement, which she lavishes on others. She credits her mother for modeling this spirit, saying, “She always spoke positively, was a hostess at heart, and was always an encourager not only to others but especially to her children.” Many a Trinity staff person, including President John Reed, has had their day graced by an unexpected note of encouragement and care from Morley. What is behind this passionate whole-person stewardship? Morley replies simply, “Christ and spending time in God’s word each day.” The “beautiful witness to Christ” that drew Morley to LBI at that first choral concert lives on through this amazing woman, and in turn deeply blesses the Trinity/LBI community.

REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE A number of years ago a work colleague shared how he was dealing with teenage daughters and their social lives. Often when they’d be at the front door, saying good bye, he look at them calmly and say simply, “Remember who you are.” It was a gentle reminder to them about self-respect, self-control . . . about their very selves in this very close family. I have often thought that this is a wonderful reminder for every Christian when it comes to stewardship, a starting point when thinking about our “possessions.” We may think we own our treasures, but on reflection each of us would have to admit they are merely entrusted to us by the same loving God who gave us his Son. Each of us is called to remember who we are – a child of God, graciously lent all we have to be shared in the world. If Trinity/LBI has been an important light in your life—of values, meaning and experience—won’t you please include the college in your will or estate plan? “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who

called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” 1 Peter 2:9



ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT Photo by Jack Brenchley

LIZ COLVER Written by Sister Liz Colver (‘05), Spiritual Life Intern

When I was nine years old, I went to my mom and said, “I want to be a monk.” She replied, “Well, I’m sorry about that— you are a girl, so that can’t happen. But you could be a nun.” “Eww,” I said. “Nuns are boring, stuffy, and strict.” Plus even at nine years old, I knew I would look better in a brown robe than a black habit. My parents, Jan (Dronberger) Cherry (’76) and Phil Cherry (’75), met as Lutheran Bible Institute students and married soon after they graduated. Their Christian education professor is my godmother. She was exactly what every parent would hope a godparent to be. She didn’t celebrate my birthdays; instead she would take me on a special outing for my baptismal anniversary. She let me choose a new outfit, we would eat happy meals, and we’d chat about so much. Her desire to live into her role blessed me. Growing up, my parents worked for the church in various capacities. As a result, my home was constantly filled with Lutheran pastors. These people were bright, warm and welcoming, smart and drop dead hilarious. They had something that I wanted. And so at 12 years old, I wrote a letter to my godmother—who had since moved to Nairobi, Kenya to be a missionary— saying that I had decided to be a pastor when I grew up. Wasn’t that great? Well the letter I got in response wasn’t what I expected. You see while she believed girls could be church leaders, she didn’t think they were called to be pastors. I was crushed. I wanted to be a pastor, like these fun people who loved and played with me in my parents’ home. I didn’t know any female pastors yet, and so I took what my godmother wrote and allowed myself to shut that door. Then the summer before my 18th birthday, my godmother invited my younger sister and me to visit her in Nairobi. While there, she apologized to me. She said that while her experiences led her to believe this about women, she believed that I

could be called to public ministry. She had not meant to hurt me. Instead, she sincerely gave me her support. The problem was, I had spent the last many years serving the church in a variety of ways—on committees, as an assisting minister, in music, in youth groups and more. I saw how the inside of a church worked, and now I didn’t want to be in it. Instead, I would be a missionary. Off I went to Trinity and eventually settled on the multicultural studies degree. My life partner, James, and I went to Nairobi for my internship. While we were there, we would periodically ask one another how it felt—was this what we were to do with our lives? Later as we waited for the taxi to take us to the airport to fly home, we looked at one another and said, “This is not what we are called to do.” Another door passed by. After a few more years of living in and out and around the church, I felt the desire to see what it might take to become a pastor. Not that I was truly interested—just a little. While exploring leadership opportunities online, I ran across the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Deaconess Community. What I found was breathtaking. It literally took my breath away. Here I found what my soul had been looking for since I was nine years old. Deaconesses are a community of ELCA women who are called to be bridges of hope, justice and change between the church and the world. We are women who serve as teachers, therapists, chaplains, nurses, principles, church musicians and so much more. We are called to participate in carrying out the kingdom of God in God’s created world. And we are called to community with one another through prayer, relationship and gatherings. I went to seminary. Now I am not a boring nun, but I am a sister nonetheless. My testimony isn’t tragic or amazing, but it is exceptional—exceptionally normal and exceptionally mine. While for some God throws open the doors to their vocation in bold ways, many of us experience discernment through being told no. And that is no less amazing. Sister Liz (Cherry) Colver, ’05, is currently serving Trinity as Spiritual Life Intern. She and her husband, James ’00-‘03, enjoy living with their two young children, Hazel and Shepherd, in their solar-powered home in Kenmore, Wash.



ALUMNI CLASS NOTES 1960s Dennis and Alice Andert (’67) are graduates of the Lutheran Bible Institute of California and worked in the mission field for many years, alongside several Lutheran Bible Institute of Seattle graduates. They live in Chandler, Ariz. and are grateful for the invaluable deep grounding in God’s Word they received which has carried them through life.

1970s Art and Rachel (Selid) Gunderson (’74) live in Tumwater, Wash., and attend Grace Community Covenant Church in Olympia.  Joanne (Jo) Axelsen Richnow (’74) lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and works as an Educational Office Professional for the AnokaHennepin School District. She has two daughters, Rochelle and Sonia, as well as two grandchildren, and attends First Baptist Church of Anoka.  Tom and Mary (Gjerdrum) Holman (’79), after working over 30 years as linguists in Ghana, have relocated to Inver Grove Heights, Minn., in order to care for Tom’s mother while they continue to work remotely. They have translated the New Testament and portions of the Old Testament into the Anufo language.

1980s Carol Peitsch Kahn (’81) lives in Astoria, Ore., where she works as a bus driver for the school district, as well as owns a construction business with her father and brother. She is grateful for her two children, Patrick and Bridget. Patrick served in the Army for three years and is now pursuing his education, while Bridget is currently being trained as a black helicopter mechanic in the Army/ Air Force in South Korea.  Faith Lefsrud Maier (’81) teaches Grade 6 at St. Mary’s School in Vancouver, B.C., and loves it! St. Bernadette Church is her home congregation and she is blessed by her three adult sons; Kristoff, Stefan and Lukas. Plentiful

opportunities for worship and a rich and full of faith community were especially impactful while at LBI. She’d like to give a big shoutout to the class of ’81 and would love to see everyone again.  Jeff and Dianne Johnson (’82) live in Renton, Wash., and have two daughters, Erin and Megan. Jeff has worked for over 25 years with Boeing and Dianne is an Associate in Ministry at Lord of Life Lutheran Church. Dianne is passionate about the world-wide fight to end malaria and contributes to that work in many ways through various Lutheran church initiatives.  Angie Dahl (’82) lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and is excited about her work as a fundraiser for a non-profit organization that finds unrelated donors for people who need bone marrow transplants.  John Floberg (’84) has served as an Episcopal priest on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation in North Dakota since 1991. He recalls Dr. Tom Christianson and his studies in Contextual Theology as being especially influential while a student. He and his wife, Sloane, have four children; Allison, Isaiah, Joshua and John-Michael.  Chuck (’84) and Cheryl (Hougen) Liesch (’86) have worked for 23 years with Wycliffe Bible Translators and recently re-located from Texas to Frederic, Wis. Chuck works with computer support and Cheryl does bookkeeping. They have three young adult children; Becky, Peter and Elizabeth. LBI highlights for them include Pastor Stime’s Pentateuch class, Pastor Rismiller with Romans, Pat Lelvis’ missions courses and the annual Missions Emphasis Week.  Shelly (Dahl) Roland (‘88) and her husband, Dean, live in Siren, Wis., where she works for the Grantsburg School District.

1990s Nate Scholz (’93) and his wife, Kimarie, live in Stanwood, Wash., and have four children; Naomi, Gideon, Elijah and Zadek. Nate recently published a book on his family’s experience while they lived in Lebanon entitled, Coffee & Orange Blossoms: 7 years & 15

days in Tyre, Lebanon. He is also involved with a community based ministry with Muslim people. His “trifecta” of professors Mark Gravrock, Bruce Grigsby and Pat Lelvis has had an influential role in his life and ministry.  Caryn (Skarsten) Ginter (’94) and her husband David live in Pickerington, Ohio. She has worked in sales at Stanton’s Sheet Music, which distributes music around the world, for 15 years. Along with a colleague, she leads an annual clinic for church accompanists. She is also the pianist at Columbia Heights United Methodist Church in Galloway.  John Grebe (’98) and his wife, Lydia, live in Glastonbury, Conn., and attend Lutheran Church St. Mark where Lydia also works. John completed his master of education in 2012 and is currently a doctoral candidate at Concordia University Portland.  Scott (’99) and Heather (Hyder) Wilson (’98) live in Renton, Wash., with their children Caden, Amanda and Maxwell. Heather works for Alaska Airlines and writes for an environmental publication. After initially being a youth leader at Highlands Community Church and then going to Denver Seminary, Scott was called back to Highlands to pastor a new campus. He is also an Air Force chaplain for the Washington

Air National Guard. Together, Scott and Heather lead military retreats.  Troy Troftgruben (’99), after serving as a pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Grand Forks, N.D., for five years, became an Assistant Professor of New Testament at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa in July. He is enthusiastic about this opportunity to unite his pastoral identity with his academic pursuits.

2000s Ethyl Mae Nelson (’01) was ordained on October 13 to be the pastor of Noonan Lutheran Parish in Noonan, N.D. Pastor Janet Gwin (’00) joined the celebration.  Laura Lynn (’03) accepted a call to pastor a two-point parish in the Blackfoot/Firth area of Idaho in April after two years leave to care for her health. She looks forward with great anticipation to what God has in store and would appreciate prayers as she and her congregations begin ministry together.  Bonio Bokun (‘03) has returned to the U.S. from his home in Papua New Guinea to complete an M.A. in Children, Youth & Family Ministry at Luther Seminary. He’s taking a leave from his ministry and teaching at

Off to Broadway! Aaron and Abby Finley, ‘07, have moved to New York with their children, Mackenzi (6) and Ty (3). Aaron currently stars in the lead role of Drew in Broadway’s Rock of Ages. Aaron shares: I grew up singing. Theatre was never on my radar. The first show I ever did was Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat at Trinity with Dr. Rachel Root and Judy Dees. I realized then what fun theatre was, auditioned at the local theatre, and started growing and learning. Continued mentoring from Dr. Root and talks with Abby led to our decision to transfer to PLU’s amazing theatre program where I completed my degree. After four years living and working in Seattle, we suddenly felt God whispering that we should move to New York City. God has been so faithful to us. For four months He gave us just enough to get by—just enough hope this dream would work, and just enough finances to be able to live. Month five, God blew us away. I went in to an audition, and the next day I was told I was going to be the lead in a Broadway show. God’s hand has been guiding us step by step, and that is the only place we want to be...on His path. So God is good. Trinity started it all. And New York is an adventure every day.



Lutheran Church College-Banz and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea to complete the program, for which he has received a generous scholarship.  Amanda (Stehr) Didion (’04) lives in Maplewood, Minn., and works for Allina Health.  Katelyn O’Keefe (’08) lives in St. Paul, Minn., and enjoys working as a preschool teacher.  Eric Thompson (’08) and his wife Tori celebrate the birth of their first child, Hannah Frances, born in late September. They make their home in North Bend, Ore.  Ryan and Ellie (Miller) Brown (’07) welcomed Noah Ryan Brown on October 1. Marysville, Wash., is their home.

2010s Kelsie Franzel-Mattingly (’10) married Ben Mattingly in June. They are expecting their first child in April, and live in Lake Stevens, Wash. Kelsie is the Director of Religious Education for St. Michael’s Catholic parish. Professors David Ellingson and Mark Jackson have been especially influential in her life, and the Counseling Skills and Non-Profit Leadership courses were highlights as a student. She encourages her fellow alumni, “Don’t sell yourself short. If you don’t like where your life is or where it’s headed, start making changes! Never stop listening to God’s call for your life.”  Justin and Melissa (Rose) Foltz (’11) have been invited to serve with Wycliffe Bible Translators as Regional Center Managers in Papua New Guinea. They are very

excited to see how God’s call in their life developed over the past two years. They continue with state-side training, and also enjoy their two young children, Anelie and Asher in their home in Newcastle, Wash.  Christina Garber (’12) continues with her graduate program in school psychology at Eastern Washington University, most recently moving to Spokane to do her practicum at a high school where she is assisting with behavioral interventions and implementing a social skills curriculum. Her husband Wil is an accountant and they have one son, Liam.  Kate Eaton (’12) is a Development Specialist/ West Region Coordinator for World Vision US. Her home church is First Lutheran Church of Richmond Beach in Shoreline and she lives in Bothell, Wash.

In Memoriam Rev. C. Emerson Vedell (‘51), Dec. 19, 1925-July 25, 2013 of Bothell, Wash., served in the U.S. Army during World War II in Europe. After graduating from Indiana University with a degree in business administration, he attended Lutheran Bible Institute where he met his wife-to-be, Marion. He then managed the family fuel and building supply business for several years. Answering a call into ministry, he earned a theology degree from Augustana Seminary, Rock Island, Illinois. He was ordained in The Augustana Lutheran Church in 1958. He served as parish minister at Ascension Lutheran Church in Tacoma, WA, Pilgrim Lutheran in

Portland, Zion Lutheran in The Dalles, OR, Bethany Lutheran in Seattle, WA, and King of Glory Lutheran in Boise, ID. Following retirement, he volunteered at senior services and as visitation pastor in several area churches. He is survived by his wife of 61 yeas, Marion, and his two daughters, Andrea and Anita.  Carol (Elings) Mielke (‘75), Dec. 29, 1954-March 8, 2013 of Conrad, Mont., was a graduate of Conrad High School and received an associates degree in Biblical studies from Lutheran Bible Institute in Seattle in 1975. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Northern Montana College in Havre and in 2000 completed a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Lesley College of Cambridge, Mass. She attended Conrad Mission Church, where she was an active part of praise team and helped with children’s programs. Carol dedicated her professional life to classroom teaching until her retirement in 2010. She bravely bore her diagnosis and battle with cancer, and she used her illness as an opportunity to bring glory to God. She is survived by her husband of 33 years, Kevin; children Dustin Mielke, Kyle Mielke, McKenna Mielke and Afton Mielke; and two grandchildren.  Ruby Lorraine Patzold (‘46), Oct. 20, 1925 - June 21, 2013 of Minneapolis, Minn., graduated from Twin Valley High School, the Lutheran Bible Institute (Seattle and Minneapolis), and the Fairview School of Nursing. On Christmas Eve 1950, she set sail from New York on the Queen Elizabeth. A month later, she arrived in Pakistan, which

Fall Fest 2013 success To see more photo highlights of Fall Fest, including the concert, please visit our alumni facebook page at Click on photos, then albums. “It was pure delight for us to visit with former students and staff during the weekend of the Fall Festival. Trinity has gone through a lot of changes It was reassuring to hear that some things have not changed such as Trinity’s commitment to Scripture and Christian service and providing the students with a loving community.” —Academic Dean Emeritus Lowell Stime, ‘65, pictured above giving the benediction during the Fall Fest closing worship service. “Hearing the Chamber Ensemble reminded us of singing in the choir, hours of practice, beautiful music, concerts, tours and building friendships which have lasted over 50 years.” —Les and Connie Foss ‘62 “We got to laugh, listen to great artists, and worship together!” —Katharine Coleman, current student “It was amazing to realize that the rich Christian community I experienced at LBI decades ago is still alive, in Christ. What a gift to reminisce together and recount God’s blessings.” —Faith Lefsrud Maier ‘81

was to be her home for 40 years. There she married the love of her life, Leonard, and together they lovingly raised their three children, Stevie, Patsy and Kelo. As a family, they served under the World Mission Prayer League. Ruby opened a simple clinic and welcomed the poorest of women and children with grace, providing basic health care and healing for their hearts! Her love of Jesus kept her grounded through the joys and sorrows of life. She buried her son Steven there in Pakistan, and Leonard passed away prematurely, but she continued to serve until her retirement. Upon returning to Minnesota, she felt somewhat displaced, but she will be remembered for her gracious spirit and loving hospitality—chai, coffee, cookies and comfort food were always offered with delight. Everyone was welcome at Ruby’s place. She is survived by two daughters, Patricia Lewis and Carol Berg; six grandchildren and eight grandchildren.  Merlyn Merit Runestad (Former Student –‘89), Jan. 31, 1927 – Jan. 15, 2012 of Sun City West, Ariz., was a veteran of WWII serving in the U.S. Army. He was a Chief Federal Probation Officer in Alaska. He is survived by his wife Jane, three daughters: Linda Jones, Jessica Holm, and Anita Spernak, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He is also survived by his brother Cornell. He was predeceased by his son Paul David and two brothers, Lamar and Ray. To submit an update please e-mail

Alive by God’s grace Julia Harrington Leiyoole ’05 and her husband, Vincent, work with a church in a slum of Nairobi, Kenya, teaching and serving the needs of children. On Sept. 21, 2013, Julia was at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi as the terrorist attack and siege began. Julia shares: I was at the Westgate Mall all morning shopping. I had come out of one shop and was going to my favorite bookstore when I suddenly felt tired and felt this desire to just leave—I literally felt a heaviness. As I was walking away from the mall I saw men who looked like soldiers approaching the mall, but I really did not think anything as it is common to see armed soldiers around Nairobi. I was leaving just as the gunmen were approaching. I really cannot stop praising the Lord for saving me. Every time I think of walking out of that mall and seeing two men with guns running past me into the mall, I realize just how blessed I am. I would have been standing exactly where the gunmen opened fire had I not left precisely when I did. I think of how many of us made it out alive by God’s grace. It is a great reminder that He is with us and yes, that not only do we need to be ready to ‘go home,’ but it is vital we push on to make sure our neighbors are also ready. It is what drives us as missionaries.

2802 Wetmore Ave. Everett, WA 98201

The Trinity Lutheran College Performing Ensembles Present

Sunday, Dec. 1 at 4:00 p.m. Trinity Lutheran Church 6215 196th Street SW Lynnwood, WA Sunday, Dec. 8 at 7:00 p.m. Trinity Episcopal Church 2301 Hoyt Avenue Everett, WA The concert is free and open to the public. For more information visit or call 425.249.4800.

Advance fall 2013 web  
Advance fall 2013 web  

The Advance is a publication for alumni, donors and friends of Trinity Lutheran College.