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Advance Trinity Lutheran College

VOLUME 69 | ISSUE 1 | Winter 2012

Leading with Courage Trinity on the move

Steps to increase enrollment, new programs, solid finances PAGE 4

Worship takes center stage Trinity’s new Brammer Chapel PAGE 9

Profile in Stewardship Erdie Brodahl PAGE 12

John Reed Leading Trinity with frank sincerity and decisive leadership




Contents Winter 2012 Advance Trinity Lutheran College

The Advance is a publication for alumni, donors, and friends of Trinity Lutheran College. The Trinity Lutheran College Advance is printed three times per year. To subscribe or update your contact information, please contact Marilyn Grotzke, Development Assistant, at 425.249.4800.

Editorial Team Editor: Annemarie Russell Creative Director: Tucker FitzGerald Lead DESIGNER: Anne Reinisch

Editorial Message from the President 3 Features 4 Trinity on the move 6 Bringing in the harvest:

8 12 13

Students grow in faith in Trinity’s new Brammer Chapel Leading with courage Profile in stewardship: Erdie Brodahl Alumni spotlight: Josh Post (‘98)

News 14 Faculty updates 14 Alumni class notes 16 Leadership Lecture Series: Rick Steves

Contributors Lance Georgeson Associate Director of Development Mark Jackson Professor & Chair of Children, Youth & Family Studies Linda Kent Alumni Relations Coordinator Anne Reinisch Graphic Designer & Web Manager Annemarie Russell Director of Communications

Concert Choir performs at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall On November 17 the Trinity Lutheran College Invitational Choir joined with the Cascade Youth Symphony Orchestra for a stunning performance of Song of Luke at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. Stephen Marshall-Ward, Professor & Chair of Music, was featured playing the organ with the orchestra and later conducting. Professor Michael Miller took the podium to conduct the singers in a performance of his own arrangement of Low How a Rose E’er Blooming. Peggy Kurtz and Joel Cummings, both members of Trinity’s voice faculty, were the concert’s featured vocal soloists.

2802 Wetmore Ave. | Everett, WA 98201

The 200-voice choir was built around the Trinity Concert Choir, who took the lead among the ensemble. The event highlighted the talent in Trinity’s Music department.



Message from

the President It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. ~Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince

Dear Friends of Trinity, I hope you like the new Trinity Advance. We are excited to communicate with you about the many wonderful things that are happening at this special place. As you will see, we have a lot going on, and we want to do our best to connect you with our students, our people and our story. We also want to keep you involved and participating in what we are doing and the ministry at Trinity Lutheran College. Like the new Advance, we too have changed. Typically when I say this, I receive two responses: “oh no” or “wonderful— it’s about time.” Leading change is an exciting challenge and for most organizations I have been associated with, it’s also a necessary requirement. However, it seems that many of us don’t like change. It is all right if

it’s happening to someone else, but if change is somehow imposed on us, it just isn’t okay. I am certainly not an expert on change, but rather an apprentice, learning all the time how to manage rather than control the change process. You see, organizations must change. The issue is how effectively and timely this change occurs. Early in my time at Trinity, I spoke about how we needed a “both and” rather than an “either or” mindset. For many of us, change meant we either did it the old, familiar way or we were afraid that any new approach would destroy our mission and traditions. One of the traditions of Trinity/LBI was that we were not successfully supporting our mission with a business and financial model that was healthy and sustainable.

Change needed to happen. But the model for leading change at Trinity is not “either or.” We need to modify and rethink priorities AND we need to remain faithful to our mission of developing Christian leaders. I have said on numerous occasions that in order to be good stewards of this important mission, we MUST build a college that students want to attend and graduate from, and where individuals and organizations will participate and partner with us in our success. It has not been easy and the challenge is ever before us, but I can tell you that together this college is truly moving in the right direction. And we would never be where we are today without the faithful service and visionary leadership of former presidents, board members, faculty, and

staff. We will continue to face challenges and have important conversations about how we most effectively implement our mission in the lives of our students. But like the new Advance magazine before you, I hope you like what you see. During this blessed Christmas season, I hope each of you encounters anew the gift of the babe born in Bethlehem, the Redeemer of the world. It is indeed good news that God comes to walk among us, bringing His hope and His love to our lives. Thank you for your continued prayers and support of Trinity and its students. In Christ,

John W. Reed



Tucker FitzGerald, Professor of Visual Communications, offers design feedback to Christian Paige, a sophomore Visual Communications major.

Trinity On the



of Trinity graduates from the past three years are placed in a job or graduate program.

The college takes steps toward increased enrollment, new programs, and solid financial health Written by Annemarie Russell, Director of Communications

It’s a bit of a bleak season for higher education. It seems like every week, I hear the name of a college or university that has closed its doors, succumbed to the pressures of rising costs, decreasing enrollment, and millions of dollars of debt. Many colleges across the country are raising tuition, cutting programs, and looking for creative ways to meet their fiscal challenges. How it will all end, I can’t say for sure. One thing I can say: when I walk down the halls of Trinity Lutheran College, while we are facing many of the same challenges as other colleges, I have a sense that this place is on the move, taking steps forward toward increased enrollment, new programs, and a more solid financial health.

So what, you may ask, is the reason why Trinity continues to thrive? 1) We’re small, and we make the most of our size. When I tell people about our little, 200-student college here in downtown Everett, their first response is “wow, that is small.” But then I start to share why we like small, and why we think it’s better for our students: we boast a 7:1 student-faculty ratio, which means that every student gets regular one-on-one attention from faculty members who are scholars and experts in their fields. The relationships students build with their professors lead to top-notch internships, which then lead to meaningful,



solid jobs. 95% of our graduates from the past three years are placed in a job or graduate program following graduation. Compared to the national average of 70%, our placement rate is pretty amazing. This can happen because we are small. Being small also allows us to make decisions quickly with the expertise of a few key people. Creating our three newest majors, Informatics, Visual Communications and Theology & Philosophy, was easily done, as a small committee comprised of faculty, professionals in the field, and students researched and designed each program, then aligned it with institutional and accreditation requirements. Things don’t get bogged down in committees around here— when something needs to happen, we work together to make it happen. 2) We’re innovative with our resources. Since we are small, we look for creative ways to use our resources to help grow our college. When we needed a physical education space, instead of starting a capital campaign and raising millions of dollars, we built something different entirely: a partnership with the local YMCA, which allows our students, faculty and staff to use athletic facilities just down the street. When we created a new program in Visual Communications and needed an art studio, we formed a partnership with the Schack Art Center, a state-of-the-art facility built three years ago by the Snohomish County Arts Council Alliance, to use their classrooms and studios to teach our classes. The cost is lower and the benefits are great. Student artists work alongside professional designers, sculptors, and artisans. They have the chance to watch professionals at work and can network within the field. It’s a win-win for the college. Lower operating costs also means Trinity offers one of the lowest private school tuitions in the state of Washington. This means students leave with fewer loans while receiving a significant amount of financial aid from the college. Innovation is good for the college and for the students.

Junior Frank Elavsky studies in Trinity’s fourth floor library.

At our core is a continued commitment to a solid Biblically based education that has served our students well

3) We’re faithful to our mission.

throughout our

At our core is a continued commitment to a solid biblically based education that has served our students well throughout our 68-year history. Students are still required to take a rigorous load of classes in biblical studies. The newly revised CRUX program, which replaced the biblical Core, instructs students in the Old and New Testaments, Christian history, vocation formation, and service learning. Taught by biblical scholars who are also passionate advocates for doing Christ’s work in the world, CRUX classes engage students’ minds and hearts, in the classroom and beyond.

68-year history.

We have also made some changes to our chapel and worship schedule, which includes creating a campus-wide “Sabbath” every Wednesday so that all students, faculty and staff can attend chapel and share in the community time that follows. We work hard alongside each other, but we also still hold, as a core value, the importance of worship and intentional community time. When I look around me at the diverse student body here at Trinity, when I see our professor-scholars hard at work teaching classes and meeting with students, and when I watch our incredible staff complete their work with humility and deep commitment, I’m impressed by this place—we’re small, but we make big things happen as a result. We’re innovative as we grow, championing creativity in our problem solving. And we’re faithful to what God calls us to: developing Christian leaders whose lives and ministry serve Jesus Christ. Now, during a time when higher education is facing so many pressures and challenges, a college like Trinity has the opportunity to model a sustainable way of educating students—one that keeps college doors open and programs growing. We are truly a college on the move—ever grateful for our rich history and Lutheran tradition—and faithful to doing our very best for our students and for God’s kingdom.

Dana Van Etten, a junior majoring in Visual Communications, pauses to reflect in the Brammer Chapel.



Bringing in the


Students grow in faith in Trinity’s new Brammer Chapel Written by Anne Reinisch, Graphic Designer

Near the small town of Lenore, Idaho, winter Wheat pokes up from rich soil, giving the impression that the fields are cloaked in soft green velvet. Pine trees line rugged hills above the Clearwater River. It’s a town where you know your neighbors, where church communities are close-knit, and where generations are linked back to the family farm. George and Jackie Brammer both grew up near Lenore. They raised their children just a few miles from Good Hope Lutheran, the small church they attend. Looking out over the fields of the family farm, George feels they are truly blessed. Reflecting on God’s faithful provision and desiring to make a difference in the world, George began looking for a way to give back. When old friend and former pastor Mark Samuelson told him about Trinity Lutheran College, George found a way to make that difference. His donation of part of his wheat crop last year funded the renovation of Trinity’s fifth floor into a beautiful central worship space with room to integrate visual art and music. The space was named for George’s parents, the late Otto and Goldia Brammer, who had encouraged his faith from the time he was a small boy. There is a prevailing sense of peace in the Brammer Chapel. Designed as a reflection of Trinity’s core values, the chapel worship area is at the center. A rounded wall guides worshipers into the space. The ceiling joists form a cross. The paint colors are inspired by the liturgical seasons. Looking beyond the chapel area, one can see directly through the glass walled classrooms and open corridors, out to the skyline of Everett and the Cascades Mountains beyond. “The ‘no front’ worship space of the Brammer Chapel is designed to allow incredible flexibility in curating worship gatherings—everything from rows of chairs facing front to chairs in a circle to station-based worship that utilizes the entire chapel space,” said the Rev. Erik Samuelson, Trinity’s Campus Pastor. “Imagine entering the chapel to the sounds of the choir while images of stained glass windows surround the worship space. Or hearing a missionary describe her work in Afghanistan literally surrounded by pictures of the people and places she is talking about. Or a small candle-lit evening service gathered in a circle around a cross where everyone is able to see the words to the

songs from wherever they are sitting,” Samuelson said. The Brammers’ $700,000 gift to Trinity equips students to carry out the college’s mission. The chapel is both a place of worship and a space where students discern their vocation, hone gifts and talents, and prepare to take Jackie and George Brammer their skills into the community and the larger world. And this is just as the Brammers hoped it would be. “George and Jackie Brammer have a real heart for the Church and to see the church extending out into the world,” said Trinity president John Reed. As our world grows increasingly visual and interactive, the church is asking questions about how it will continue proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. At Trinity, the Brammer Chapel is a space where students can work out answers to those questions. “Students get the opportunity to create and lead interactive worship that incorporates audio and video technology. Even further, our students get hands-on experience with the types of audio and video systems they will encounter in churches—or that churches will be looking to them to introduce. Our students leave Trinity equipped to bring new skills and perspectives to their vocations and for their lifelong service in the church and world,” Samuelson said. Many students spend time in the chapel, often perched on the thick windowsills overlooking the city or clustered in small groups around the tall desks. They like its modern feel, its light, and its mountain views. “The chapel space invites conversation and interaction with other students. As a visual communications student, it’s my playground,” said Kyna Moore, a double major in Communications and Visual Communications. “The chapel is my favorite spot on campus,” said Linda Kent, an LBI alumna and current Biblical Studies major. She sits in a leather chair near a western facing window with a hermeneutics text and notebook perched on her knees. “I love to get away and study here. It’s my quiet spot and I love the view,” Kent said.



Designed as a reflection of Trinity’s core values, the chapel worship area is at the center of Trinity’s Fifth floor.



Leading with

Courage Written by Annemarie Russell, Director of Communications

Trinity President John Reed Sitting across the desk from John Reed, one immediately notices both the kindness and the wisdom that emanates from Trinity’s seventh president. His warm hazel eyes and winsome smile reflect a man who genuinely cares about the college, while his frank sincerity and decisive leadership elicit confidence from those he serves.



John Reed with his children Taylor (left) and Jamie (right).

Calling, Energy and enthusiasm In October 2010, John Reed stood before the Trinity Lutheran College community and pledged his energy, time and enthusiasm toward leading the college into the next season of its existence. Deb Squires, then vice-chair of the Trinity Board of Directors, led the presidential search committee that ultimately called Reed to the position. Choosing Reed as Trinity’s next president brought a leader with experience in higher education, specifically in admissions and enrollment management, which matched the college’s present need. “John was a unanimous choice by the search committee and by the board. We recognized his depth and breadth of knowledge in attracting students to colleges and what colleges need to do to be successful,” Squires said. The decision to call Reed to the presidency has turned out to be an insightful move on the part of Trinity’s Board of Directors. As a leader, Reed has provided courageous direction and decision-making, pushing the college toward financial health while also staying committed to its mission to “develop Christian leaders with a global perspective whose lives and ministry serve Jesus Christ in church and society.” In addition to his vision for increased enrollment, fiscal health, and sustainability, Reed was also attractive to the search committee because of his deep faith in Christ. “We recognized immediately John’s own personal faith and that it would be critical to being

a good fit for Trinity. You hear John talk about Christ in his life, and that is so central to being a light on a hill and continuing in this critical mission,” Squires said. His leadership has changed the face of the college in several important ways. Since his inauguration, Reed has seen the college through an impressive strategic planning process, the building of a new chapel and fifth floor art space, the addition of several new majors, the building of a collegiate athletic program, and the beginnings of a major re-accreditation process. Reed brings over 20 years of experience in higher education. After serving in enrollment management at both Whitworth University and Linfield College, Reed worked with Noel-Levitz, consulting with dozens of small colleges all across the country. Having seen first hand what works and what does not work, he was in a unique position to lead Trinity during this transitional season. “Many of the strategies and innovations we’ve implemented at Trinity have come from concepts I’ve seen but have not been able to execute at other colleges,” Reed said. In Reed’s presence, one feels determination and a passion for excellence. He is no stranger to the commitment and endurance needed to lead a college. As a life-long athlete, Reed brings the same vitality to his presidency as he does to physical challenges. He’s competed in 15 triathlons, climbed four mountain peaks, and continues to challenge himself physically on a daily basis through a variety of athletic endeavors. In turn, he brings that dedication and commitment to his leadership in intentional ways.

Reed relies on his faith in Christ and his strength in leadership to keep Trinity moving upward and onward.

As a leader, Reed has provided courageous direction and decisionmaking, pushing the college toward financial health while also staying committed to its mission.



I think John Reed has a gift of motivation and I think he asks a lot from himself. And therefore he asks a lot from others because he has a passion and he believes in the good work of this school. -Rev. Kevin Bates Reed found his calling to leadership through early experiences with athletics. After high school, Reed played one year of community college basketball. Quickly, however, Reed realized that his strength, both on the court and off, was in leadership. “I was a star athlete in high school, but when I got to college I wasn’t very good. I got to do warm-ups and then sit on the bench, and somewhere along the way, I realized that I needed a shift in my identity. I’m a leader—somehow I’ve always known that I had skills toward leading other people,” Reed said. So Reed moved into higher education, working first at Whitworth then Linfield. At just 32 years of age, Reed was hired as Linfield’s Vice President for Enrollment Management, an impressive position for someone so early in his career. During his service there, enrollment grew significantly and so did alumni involvement. Admissions went from 800 applications to 4,000. “It was a point in my career when I was so proud of the work we were doing,” said Reed. Following Linfield, Reed served as Executive Consultant with Noel-Levitz, supporting over 40 colleges in developing comprehensive strategies to increase student enrollment and retention, and improve overall institutional planning and leadership.

does at Trinity is hard, demanding long hours making tough decisions for the college. As a leader, a coach, and an athlete, Reed knows hard work and determination are the ways to achieve success. But for Reed, this work is also about something deeper, something more personal. He is guided by a deep and grounded faith in Jesus Christ, and he believes his work to be his ministry toward furthering God’s kingdom in the world. “I believe I am God’s workman. I am excited by the moments when I get to impact God’s kingdom and display my own faith. I also believe each one of us is here for a specific chore. Doing my part matters. Each morning ‘I wake up saying, Christ, let me do your work. Lead me today.’ Faith and its intersection with my job is active and real,” Reed said. And John Reed is a man who has earned his role in leadership. He’s a hard worker, sometimes to a fault. “I’m proud of the fact that I’ve worked hard to get to where I am. It doesn’t come overnight. I always say to take advantage of every opportunity you get. I’ve taken advantage of the little moments, and it’s landed me here. A lot of my leadership principles I’ve learned through failure, my own and others. Adversity is a great teacher,” Reed said.

“Higher education is truly my niche. I feel like my own sense of ministry and calling can be put to its best use here,” Reed said.

The Rev. Kevin Bates, a member of Trinity’s Board of Directors and pastor at Magnolia Lutheran Church in Seattle, agrees that Reed’s work ethic is an important part of his presidency.

All of these experiences in leadership have sharpened Reed’s skills in strategically propelling a college forward. The work he

“I think John Reed has a gift of motivation and I think he asks a lot from himself. And therefore he asks a lot from others because he



I believe I am God’s workman. I am excited by the moments when I get to impact God’s kingdom and display my own faith. Each morning I wake up saying, “Christ, let me do your work. Lead me today.” -John Reed

has a passion and he believes in the good work of this school. I’m convinced that he goes to bed and wakes up thinking about this place—and he probably dreams about it too,” Bates said.

can serve God and his kingdom—by helping Trinity grow and become a place that impacts students and the community. And each day I lead others because Christ is leading me,” Reed said.

In addition to motivation, another important part of being a leader is knowing the people you are leading. Reed isn’t a president who hides away in his office. He’s a regular attendee at chapel, eats lunch in the Commons with students, meets with other leaders in the community, and walks through the college halls greeting students by name. He’s been known to push an ice cream cart through campus, serving up cones and talking with students. And he’s planning a one-on-one basketball tournament this spring, vowing to play any Trinity student who is up to the challenge.

As he coaches the college along, with perseverance and decisiveness, Reed relies on his faith in Christ and his strength in leadership to keep Trinity moving upward and onward. And at the end of the day, Reed knows that a deep commitment to faith, hard work and dedication do pay off. Those who serve alongside him recognize this as well.

Although his job requires him to make hard decisions, he maintains a servant’s heart as he leads the college. While he’s decisive, he’s also sensitive. And he embodies a kind of servant leadership that remains committed to doing Christ’s work with compassion and kindness. His Christ-like spirit gives him great hope for the college’s future. “I’ve worked with other Christian schools whose lights have felt dim. But when I came to Trinity, I thought, What if this little college could carefully execute its use of money, time and talents so that it could truly be a light on a hill? I want people to come see Trinity and leave feeling like we’re faithful to Christ’s mission in the world and we’re pros helping this little college do great things,” Reed said.

“The combination of John’s own personal faith and his style and knowledge are just what Trinity needs. And the Board of Directors has seen that turnaround. We are energized and excited. We know we still have a ways to go, but we are so pleased with the larger classes coming to the college, with the new majors and programs we started, and with the diversity of the student body. John’s leadership is responsible, in so many ways, for this energy and growth,” Squires said. With his faith in Christ and his commitment to excellence to guide him, John Reed lives his call to leadership each day, paving the way for a bright future, increased enrollment, fiscal health, and sustainability for Trinity Lutheran College.

Just like the basketball coach who is trying to guide his losing team to a win with five seconds left on the clock, John Reed is required to make some hard decisions for Trinity, sometimes with great pressure and an uncertain outcome. That’s what being president of a college is all about. “I’m motivated to be at Trinity because I see my talents and experiences being a way to help the college thrive. From a spiritual point of view, that’s a pretty important call. This is one way I

Reed and Deb Wendt, Assistant to the President, scoop ice cream for students.



Profiles in Stewardship

Erdie Brodahl Written by Lance Georgeson, Associate Director of Development

There is what can only be called “hospitality of the heart.” It is that gift of spiritual generosity that comes when a person has a deep understanding of the love of Christ and reflects it outwardly in aspects of life. People with this gift welcome others into a witness that is warm and sincere, joyful and natural. Perhaps the best scriptural example of this is Lydia (Acts 16), a woman whose “heart is opened” listening to the apostle Paul such that she and her whole family are converted, and she opens her doors to the new congregation. When Erdie Paulson came to the Lutheran Bible Institute in 1952, she brought with her all the wonderful background of a Christian home and upbringing. She also brought the need to understand better who she was as a child of God and how that would carry into her life. When Erdie returned to Alaska after studying at LBI, the man who would become her husband, Chuck Brodahl, noticed immediately that she had changed and shortly thereafter asked her to marry him. When Erdie passed away on October 23, one of her daughters reflected about her legacy of faith that extended throughout their entire family. We give thanks for the life of Erdie Brodahl. In countless ways she was a “cheerleader” for the school that had impacted her so deeply – hosting students and staff, serving on the Board of Directors, even playing piano and singing “Jesus Only” for President John Stamm at his first alumni gathering. There are many fond memories of this latter-day Lydia, someone with hospitality of the heart whom we had the privilege to see up close and come to love. God bless the memory of Erdie Brodahl.

Quiet Acts That Mean So Much ciary for his insurance policy. efi ben a as y nit Tri s me na o A professor wh plan distribution. e as a recipient of her retirement lleg Co the tes ula stip o wh m An alu her death. r royalties come to Trinity after An author who insists that he will. nistry and includes Trinity in his mi s thi s iate rec app ply sim o wh A man Y ITY LUTHERAN COLLEGE IN VER IP BENEFIT THE STUDENTS OF TRIN DSH . WAR ONS STE OF DITI S CON ACT E ET SIBL QUI POS SE ALL THE THE BEST M TO LEARN AND STUDY UNDER UGHTFUL GESTURE, TOO. SIGNIFICANT WAYS, ALLOWING THE THO ST MO S THI H OUG THR E HOP E GIV AND NKS THA E GIV YOU CAN

Please include Trinity Lutheran College in your estate plan. For questions or discussion, please call Lance Georgeson in the Development Department, 425-249-4752.



Alumni Spotlight

Josh Post

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

Living out faith through acts of service

Alumnus and Trinity Board of Directors member Josh Post (’98) is a deeply caring and authentic person whose foundational and informative experiences have shaped his life in an amazingly cohesive way.

Early influences Nancy Post had a significant impact on her son’s life. Josh Post recalls a situation in Southern California when his mom learned of a young woman from the underground church in China who had been left stranded at the Los Angeles Airport. Nancy took her in, helped her attend the Lutheran Bible Institute (LBI), and eventually rejoiced when this woman’s husband and child were able to leave China and join her at LBI, reunited as a family. “My mom was a very grace-filled person who regularly took people in and cared for them,” Post said. Her compassion inspired him. In his early life, his grandmother’s generosity built a foundation of financial wisdom for Post. When he was nine years old, she saw a unique maturity in him. Instead of giving him gifts of money on special occasions, she gave him shares of stock. She educated him about finances, teaching him to read the business page of the newspaper. By the time he was 18, he had a stock account capable of providing for his college education. Trinity/LBI was an obvious starting point for Post. Several family members had attended. Post planned to attend for a year or two, but instead stayed and completed his B.A. in Youth & Family Ministry. Post sees this time as a life-impacting experience. He appreciated being with students from varying perspectives who worshiped and lived out community together.

Vocational calling As is often the case, Post’s path of vocational calling was not a straight line. After graduation, he returned to California to work in the family business his grandparents had begun. From there, he worked as an interim youth minister in Sacramento. Then the Northwest beckoned. Post found himself back at Trinity/LBI working in Alumni Relations. This was a time of deep searching, seeking God’s vocational calling on his life. In the midst of this, his mom, Nancy, passed away after a battle with cancer. In his heartache, Post continued seeking.

One day his Thrivent Financial for Lutherans agent suggested he consider a career in financial planning, and the beginnings of his financial education with his grandmother have come full circle. Post has now been a financial consultant for Thrivent, a not-forprofit Fortune 500 Company, since 2005. Post enjoys his work and interacting with his clients. His vocation is his ministry. He serves families and individuals, helping plan for such things as future education and retirement. Thrivent colleague Donel Pederson agrees. Pederson, also a fellow Trinity Board Member and alumna of Trinity/LBI, knows how much Post values Trinity, Thrivent and the other Lutheran ministries he serves. Yet in her estimation, his care for people is what truly makes his work exemplary. “Josh tends to his friends, family and clients with as much care and thought as he does the aforementioned institutions,” Pederson said.

Staying connected Now well established in life and in a meaningful career, Post gives back to the college by serving on the Board of Directors and staying connected to Trinity. He is a shining example of the impact a place like Trinity/LBI can have on a student, playing a role in a young person’s faith formation and complementing the gifts and talents unique to each student’s life and path. Post is grateful to be part of the wonderful things happening at Trinity. He was especially excited about the start of the business program. Post sees the biblical course requirements as vital and desires to support the unique identity and mission of Trinity. Post and his family continue to be collectively involved with the college as well. They endowed the Nancy Post Scholarship in memory of his mom, and recently honored her with a gift providing for the Nancy Post Children, Youth & Family Resource Center. “Josh always impressed me as being an old soul, gentle and introspective. I remember him walking around the loop of the Issaquah campus like he was on a walk with God. Josh Post is steadfast and faithful in all he does. I am blessed to call him my friend,” Pederson said.




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

News Dr. Jan Fekkes, Affiliate Faculty in Biblical Studies, was selected for the 2012 Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. A longserving professor, Fekkes received numerous nominations from students who commented on his passion for teaching the Bible. Dr. Mark Williams, Missionaryin-Residence and Affiliate Faculty in Intercultural Studies, presented a paper at the March 2012 regional meeting of the Evangelical Missiological Society, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of Roland Allen’s classic Missionary Methods. Williams also received the 2012 Faculty Award for Scholarship to recognize his speaking and writing endeavors in the past year.

Dr. Stuart Webber, Professor & Chair of Business, Leadership, and Management, this summer completed his Ph.D. through the Copenhagen (Denmark) Business School, capping several years of study related to international finance and economics. In November, he had an article published in Tax Notes International. Sue Houglum, Professor & Chair of Early Childhood Education, presented a workshop on the relationship between early learning and the outdoors at the Washington Association for the Education of Young Children’s annual conference in October. In March, she (along with several ECE students) will host the Evangelical Lutheran Education

Association’s regional conference on Trinity’s campus. The Rev. Dr. David Ellingson and Mark Jackson, professors in Children, Youth & Family Studies, together received the 2012 Faculty Award for Outstanding Community Service to recognize their work related to faith-based service learning. The pair is also designing a smartphone application for church youth groups to use in planning for and reflecting on service and mission experiences. Dr. Ellingson has been accepted into the GreenFaith National Fellowship Program. GreenFaith is an interfaith coalition that educates and mobilizes religious communities for environmental leadership and fellows are a mix of ordained and lay leaders from diverse religious traditions. Ellingson will travel to training retreats, participate in webinars, craft a personal eco-theological statement, and form a task force to create propose an environmental sustainability plan for Trinity.

Dr. Betsi Little, Professor & Chair of Psychology, has been working with Mind Matters Jury Consultants, using applied research on how juries make decisions to assist attorneys in preparing witnesses and arguments. Elsa Carlisle returns as an affiliate faculty member in January Term 2013 to teach the popular Oceanography course. Carlisle provides real-world connections between marine science and human ecology through several field trips and sharing anecdotes from her professional work as Senior Director of Restoration and Administration for Restore America’s Estuaries. Dr. David Schulz, Professor & Chair of Communications, was a presenter at the National Communication Association Conference in Orlando in November. His session was titled “The Rhetoric of Agitation and Control Then and Now: Studies in Honor of Donovan J. Ochs.”

Alumni Class Notes 1970s

Jim and Debbie (Nelson) Wilbanks (’70 & ’71) will celebrate their 42nd wedding anniversary in December. They live in Manhatten, Mont., where Jim is retired from over 33 years in commercial construction, and Debbie will be retiring soon. They enjoy three grown children and three grandsons.  Alumnus and former Board Member Gary Jensen (’74) is the pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, LCMS, in Snohomish, Wash., where he has served for 30 years. He has also been actively involved in public debates. On Dec. 10 at Everett Community College, he debated an atheist on the question, “Does God Exist? Where Do the Facts of Science

and History and the Insights of Human Experience Point?”  Lucretia (Rausch) Snider (’75) and her husband Ray live and farm the family farm just north of Abilene, Kan., and have been married for 34 years. Lucretia is a homemaker and substitute teacher. They have four sons and three grandchildren.  Gary Wells (’76) and his wife, Melanie, live in Fairbanks, Alaska. He authored the book The Silver Horn of Robin Hood, and he writes a stream of posts on Facebook, telling stories from his time at the LBI Greenwood campus.

1980s In June 2012, Phil Larsen (’81) became senior pastor at the

United in Christ Lutheran Parish in Fertile and Beltrami, Minn. He and his wife Darcey are thoroughly enjoying their new community. The Larsens have three sons, two of whom are in college.  Steve Holmberg ('81) and Cynthia (Morford) Holmberg ('82) married in 1988 after traveling together on the Family Ministry Team for LBI. After living first in Fairbanks, Alaska, they moved to the Seattle area in 1992. Cynthia just celebrated her 20-year anniversary with Microsoft and Steve is in his 20th year of teaching Elementary Music (K-4th grade) for the Bellevue School District. Steve has also been active as a worship director and children's music director for several Lutheran

churches in the area.  David Francis ('85) and Heidi (Smith) Francis ('84) celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary this past July. They have two children: Laura, currently working on her M.Div. at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, Calif., and Daniel, a senior at Whitworth University graduating in May with a degree in business. David is a manager in retail marketing for United Parcel Service and Heidi owns her own business, Spread the Word, LLC, specializing in web design and marketing consultation for nonprofits and church related entities.  Paula Richardson Friesen (’83), her husband, Murray, and their two teenage daughters live in Papua New Guinea. They work at



a mission center providing support for church planting efforts in remote tribes. In June, they will be returning to Dallas, Ore.

1990s Former President Trygve Skarsten (1990-94) and his wife Ruth celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on June 28. They have four children and 12 grandchildren.  James and Dawn (Devlin) Aalgaard (’96 & ‘95) were married in the Providence Heights Chapel in 1996 and have two daughters. They have lived in Ontario, Ore. since 2000, where James is the pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church and Dawn is self-employed.  Jennifer (Gorvin) Christensen (’98) married Sky Christensen ('96) in 2002. They have three children. Jennifer is a Cookie Lee Jewelry consultant, as well as a Senior Team Manager, National Trainer, and also a member of the Top Gun Program. Sky is in his 10th year working for Comcast.  Teri (Brown) Craven (’97), her husband, Dallas, and their two children reside in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. Teri enjoys being a stay-at-home mom.

2000s A financial planner for Ronald Blue & Company, Keith Atneosen (’01) and his wife, Lauren, live in Woodinville, Wash., and attend Overlake Church in Redmond.  Laura (Wickre) Kuperstein (’01) and her husband, Chris, a Programmer Analyst for the City of Spokane, are foster-parenting five children, and are excitedly awaiting the finalized adoption of three of the children. Laura devotes full energies and love to her family as a homemaker.  Jeanette (Miller) Friedmann (’01) currently lives in Middleburg, Fla.  Colette (Helland) Jackson (’03) is working with preschool children with autism in a new teaching position at Central Elementary School in Snohomish, Wash. She and her husband, Trinity Professor Mark Jackson, live in Everett and enjoy their son, Isaac, who attends the Acorn Learning Center on campus.  Rashion Santiago ('03) was ordained October 21 at her home congregation, Christ Lutheran Church in Reading, Pa. She is serving as pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Eaton, Pa.  We celebrate with Brian Julin-McCleary ('04), his wife, Natalie, and their two children as Brian was ordained in August at

the American Lutheran Church in Fairburg, Neb.  Heather (Boerger) Ingersoll (’05) has started the Ph.D. in Education program at Seattle Pacific University. She is exploring intersections between education, psychology, and theology to better understand how congregations can best support and encourage children in their spiritual development. Her husband, Ryan Ingersoll (’07) works in technology support at the SPU library.  Jennifer Sluke ('06) completed her Master in Teaching and Special Education at Seattle Pacific University in June. She is now a behavior specialist and special education teacher at B.F. Day Elementary School in Seattle.  Trinity's Children, Youth & Family Studies program is well represented at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., this year, with five alumni currently enrolled in the Master of Divinity program: Keith Marshall (’02), Patrick Joiner (’09), Jason Clifton (’10), Michael Lyda ('11), and Evan Albright ('12). Keith is married to Elisha (Smith) Marshall (’01), and Patrick’s wife is Rose (Bornn-Gilman) Joiner (’06).  Damon Frutos (’96 &’06) and his wife Brooke celebrate the birth of their daughter Ainsley, now 4 months old, who joins Brennan (4) and Mackenzie (2). Damon is a firefighter in Salem, Ore., but they reside in Sisters where Damon is an elder at Vast Church and continues to be involved in Young Life.  In September, several professors and alumni joined Debbie Boyce (’07) and her husband, William, in the celebration of her ordination. She is the pastor at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Issaquah, Wash.

2010s Tim Kellogg (’10) is the Youth and Education Director at Good Shepherd Lutheran in Pearl River, N.Y., where he also resides. He will lead a workshop on the Theology of the Cross at the 2013 ELCA Youth Ministry Extravaganza.  Stacie Mallinson (’11) and her husband, Jeff, along with their two children, Augustin and Aidan, moved to Laguna Niguel, Calif., this summer. Both Stacie and Jeff accepted positions at Concordia University Irvine, where Stacie is the Director of Alumni and Family Relations and Jeff is an Associate Professor of Theology.  Kelsey Peterson ('11) is serving as Director of Youth Ministry for Cross of Life and Christ

the King Lutheran Churches in Brookfield, Wis.  Leanne Elliott ('12) is serving as Director of Christian Education, Youth and Family Ministry at Grace Lutheran Church, Westminster, Md.

In Memoriam Janice Estelle Bredberg Check (‘58), June 30, 1938 – April 20, 2012, of Shorewood, Minn. Jan graduated from the University of Minnesota and Syracuse University. She had a career in Social Work where she advocated for people with mental illness. She loved family parties, crafts, the Gophers, Swedish glass, and planning the next big trip. She wrote the stories of her life, created scrapbooks for her grandchildren and archived her ancestors’ lives in Sweden and Minnesota. Jan is survived by her devoted husband of nearly 49 years, Donald; her sons, Richard (Karen) of Woodinville, Wash., and Steven (Nicholle) of Eden Prairie, Minn; and her five grandchildren.  Erdie Brodahl (‘52), December 21, 1922–October 23, 2012, of Anchorage, Alaska. Erdie was born in Rapid City, SD. She married Chuck Brodahl in 1954, and they raised three daughters. They spent much time in the great Alaskan outdoors, skiing, snow-machining, tenting and canoeing. She sang with the Anchorage Community Chorus, in church choirs, and shared her faith through solos. Erdie lived her life as a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. Erdie was proud of her Norwegian heritage and was an endearing mother, active volunteer and Bible teacher. Erdie is survived by her husband of nearly 60 years, Chuck Brodahl; daughters Charlene (Dave) Howe, Gayle (Jaysen) Mathiesen, and Carol (Brad) Slama; seven grandsons, and one great granddaughter.  Dolores Heine (‘88), November 16, 1921–September 29, 2012, of Redmond, Wash. After serving in the Army Nurse Corps, Dolores earned a Bachelor of Science in public health nursing in 1948. She married Darwin Heine in 1955, and they made their home in Fairbanks, Alaska from 1955 to 1997. Dolores left her nursing career in 1956 to raise their two children. An accomplished musician, numerous opportunities and enjoyment came to Dolores through music. She utilized her gift of music in service of her faith as a church organist for more than 30 years

at Fairbanks Lutheran Church, where she and Darwin were active members. She is survived by her son, Philip (Lois); daughter, Carol Churchill (Mark); five grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.  Marvin Chritian Knutzen, (‘57), May 2, 1937–April 10, 2012, of Bellingham, Wash. Marvin attended Lutheran Bible Institute in Seattle and Pacific Lutheran University, graduating in 1961. He then attended Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., for four years. Marvin was pastor at churches in Renton, Puyallup, Tacoma, Clinton, and most recently at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Bellingham. A history buff, Marvin traveled extensively in Europe. He also enjoyed painting and leading a Bible study at Lakeway Mobile Estates. Marvin is survived by his sister Marjorie Holmes and numerous nieces and nephews.  Forest Paulson (Former Board Member), March 30, 1928–March 26, 2012, of Marysville, Wash. Forest enlisted in the U.S. Army, proudly serving in Germany at the end of World War II. He graduated from the University of Montana. He held many impressive titles during his lifetime, but his favorite titles were “Papa Forest” and “Montana Cowboy.” After taking night classes at the LBI Greenwood Campus many years before, one of his greatest joys in retirement was to serve on the Board of Directors of Trinity Lutheran College for six years. Forest is survived by his beloved wife Katie. In their blended family they had six children, 15 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.  Lillian Jeanette Strinden (‘45), October 18, 1920–March 1, 2012, of Salem, Ore. Lillian was raised on a family dairy farm near Cumberland. She graduated from the Lutheran Bible Institute in Minneapolis in 1945. She married Eugene Strinden on June 8, 1946. She actively helped her husband serve Lutheran parishes as a pastor in Hinckley, MN; Everett, WA; Junction City, OR; and Klamath Falls, OR. Lillian enjoyed reading, Bible studies, handiwork and consoling the less fortunate. She is survived by Eugene, her husband of more than 65 years. Lil and Gene had four children, two of whom survived: Judith Lea and Timothy E. Strinden. She also enjoyed her three grandchildren. To submit an update please e-mail

2802 Wetmore Ave. Everett, WA 98201

Trinity welcomes Rick Steves as first speaker in leadership lecture series

Dana Van Etten

On November 19, Trinity welcomed travel guru Rick Steves to campus as the first speaker in its Leadership Lecture Series: Changing and Shaping Culture, hosted by President John Reed. Steves, a well-known contributor to the field of international travel, shared the many ways that international travel has opened his eyes to new perspectives. He commended Trinity for its commitment to providing and funding a study abroad experience for each of its students. Dana Van Etten

Trinity Advance  

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

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