Experience Magazine Spring 2021

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experience the magazine of  Warner Pacific University


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Welcoming th Our 8 President p. 6

MEET BRIAN L. JOHNSON, PH.D. A M A N O F I N T E G R I T Y A N D I N N O VAT I O N t h e mag azine o f Warner Pacific University




winter 2021



Accreditation reaffirmed by NWCCU Faculty news


Perhaps now, more than ever before, the world is crying out for leaders who understand justice from a holistic perspective.

New Head Men’s Basketball Coach

the mission of Warner Pacific University by providing authentic information and

WPU named Champions of Character

stories that engage and encourage University constituents­­—especially alumni, donors and friends—to pray, volunteer, promote, attend campus events, give and


Heart of WPU

advocate for the University. editor-in-chief

Welcoming Warner Pacific University’s Eighth President, Dr. Johnson

You can complete a bachelor’s degree in our on-campus residential and PGS programs or online through our PGS program. Our equityfocused curriculum was created with input from community leaders in policing, corrections, advocacy, faith-based and cultural organizations, and community partners. As national attention is focused on these fields, a bachelor’s degree will allow you to enter a career in law enforcement, corrections, forensics, public service, fish and game or politics with confidence.

contributors Brian L. Johnson, Shannon Johnson, Jon Sampson, Molly Smith, Abby Wilson,

2019/2020 President’s Report

Diane Minor, Aimee Hosemann, Lloyd Chia photos Tom Galliher, Justin Tucker, Abby Wilson, Grant Benesh

9 president of warner pacific university

You can read more about this exciting program in Dr. Lloyd Chia’s article beginning pg. 10. Or, visit warnerpacific.edu/academics/majors-andprograms/criminal-justice.


Heart of WPU Student Competitors in Scholarship and Entrepreneurship

Brian L. Johnson, Ph.D.



Knights Tales

Experience magazine is a publication of Warner Pacific University intended to express

Molly Smith

We need women and men equipped to enter fields of public service who bring understanding and compassion, people prepared to solve issues, not just problems. If you are passionate about justice and want to see your community grow stronger through reconciliation and reform, then a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice is the right fit for you! Warner Pacific’s diverse student body makes it a unique place to learn the many practical, historical and psychological complexities that make this field so important to the growth and safety of a community.


Feature WPU’s Criminal Justice Major: For Such a Time as This


Alumni News


Supporting the Mission

@warnerpacific @warnerpacificu @warnerpacificuniversity

News of recent gifts ©2021 Warner Pacific University

President’s Perspective: Letter from President Johnson


“What do I do now that I know?” With each issue of Experience, we intend that you’ll be inspired, entertained and certainly better informed about Warner Pacific University. Whether you read cover to cover (you do, don’t you?) or spot-read throughout the pages, we want you to be empowered to act on what you read. Among our core values is to innovate toward experiential learning and to cultivate curiosity, creativity and purpose. To live our values, we invite you to engage with what you glean from this publication. Following most articles, we’ve added icons representing actions you may take in response to what you learn: i c o n le ge nd represents P R O M O T I N G , by telling others what you’ve learned about WPU or

represents G I V I N G , which we encourage you to do through the Annual Fund,

recent news and achievements worth sharing by social media or word of mouth.

estate planning or other forms of contribution.

represents V O L U N T E E R I N G , which may mean giving your precious time

represents A D V O C AT I N G , which may include representing WPU, alerting

in service as your schedule permits.

civic or government leaders in support of WPU, or engaging others in support of WPU.

represents P R AY I N G , which we trust you are doing anyway, but we’ll note

represents V I S I T I N G , when we’ll encourage your presence at events.

special prayer requests.


WPU’s Regional Accreditation Reaffirmed by the NWCCU

the University. The Commission reaffirms the accreditation of WPU after consideration of evidence, including the institution’s SelfEvaluation Report, the PeerEvaluation Report, optional Institutional Response to the PeerEvaluation Report, and information received as part of the institutional representative meeting with the Commissioners.

curriculum and core activities. Administrators, faculty, staff and students enthusiastically embrace the core themes in a unified, student-focused approach. 2. I ntentional creation of an equity culture, demonstrated through enhanced structural diversity, curricular emphasis and its recent designation as a HispanicServing Institution. Diversity, equity and inclusion are woven into the fabric of the university and are measured through various assessments of students, faculty and staff. 3. C ollaboration with remarkable success with [the community] and for its urban environment. The institution has become much more visible and connected to the surrounding community, evidenced by its targeted recruiting efforts, extensive service rendered and valuable contributions of its alumni. 4. M obilization of a data-driven effort to eliminate unproductive academic programs, invest in new and existing potentially successful academic programs, and downsize the institution to meet financial needs. 5. I nstitutionalization of innovative First Year and Transfer Learning Communities that effectively integrate learning with context and provide students with a strong sense of belonging and educational purpose.

In reaffirming accreditation, the Commission commended the University for:

In addition to the five commendations, the NWCCU offered two recommendations

1. T he meaningful and effective integration of its mission and core themes into the institution’s

for areas substantially in compliance but in need of improvement. The Commission

On July 22, 2020, Warner Pacific received formal notification and official record of action taken by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) concerning its review of the spring 2020 Evaluation of Institutional Effectiveness for

Diversity, equity, inclusion and the commitment to become a more just institution are at the heart of our Christcentered work.


recommended that WPU: 1. Fully implement recently adopted plans to assess student learning in proficiency areas related to the core themes, academic program reviews and the new General Education Core. 2. Demonstrate short- and long-term financial health and stability by strategically growing enrollment, controlling expenses and becoming less dependent on unrestricted giving to cover operations. Former president Andrea Cook noted, with gratitude to the visiting evaluation team, that “[h]aving a campus visit in the midst of COVID-19 was certainly a unique experience — as the visit approached, I think we all wondered how this would work and if we would be able to reflect to the visiting team the essence of the mission, ethos and uniqueness of Warner Pacific University over Zoom. I am really pleased to say that the visit went extraordinarily well, and I believe that members of the visiting team, while not experiencing our physical campus, left the visit feeling that they had been with us and seen the mission and core themes of WP evidenced through their meetings.” Further, Dr. Cook said that diversity, equity, inclusion and the commitment to become a more just institution are at the heart of our Christ-centered work. By committing to this work, Warner Pacific serves increasing numbers of students who have often felt unwelcomed and challenged to flourish in higher education. ▪

part n e r s wi t h p ort lan d


Dr. Ulf Spears Writes Book on Global Kingdom Leadership A Warner Pacific adjunct Business Department faculty member of almost 10 years, Dr. Ulf Spears recently published his second book, 360° Global Kingdom Leadership: Drawing Global Leadership Wisdom from the Ancients and the Marketplace. This book is a training manual for global kingdom leaders who need diverse skills in order to be effective on multiple plains of career and life. Combining global kingdom leadership principles gleaned from ancient texts with modern marketplace themes and

topics, each section in this book is filled with key strategies, concepts and practical application principles that are meant to shape, empower and catapult leaders from where they are to where they want to be. In addition to teaching at WPU, Dr. Spears is the president and senior consultant of Strategic Leadership International, a global organization that provides leadership training to leaders and organizations through consulting, coaching, training and mentoring. ▪

Dr. Marty Palacios Named Dean of Education

For 31 years, Dr. Marty Palacios served the McMinnville School District as a teacher and administrator, as well as the principal of Patton Middle School for five years. Most recently, he was the assistant principal of Duniway Middle School. Palacios taught for grades 2 through 5 for 16 years at multiple elementary schools and spent nearly ten years working in migrant education summer schools

in Marion and Yamhill counties. Palacios earned his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Linfield College; his Master of Science in Multicultural Studies and English as a Second Language (ESL) from Western Oregon University; an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsement from Portland State University; and an administrator’s license and Doctorate of Education from George Fox University. Dr. Palacios shared, “I had a reckoning about three years ago when I realized that if I was going to fully live out the call that God had been developing in me over a lifetime, I had to transition from the particular roles of leadership I was in to a different form of leadership. I had to shift to mentoring. The role of Dean of Education isn’t about a title for me. It’s about an opportunity to stay engaged with the calling that I’ve had in my life for almost 50 years… to love God, serve others and

Professor Writes Guide to PDX Dr. Sean Benesh, adjunct professor of digital media, recently published his 19th book. Intro to the City: 150 Observations to Understand the City (Intrepid, 2020) is the quintessential guide to Portland, Oregon. Inspired by taking students on exploratory trips to get acquainted with Portland, Benesh turned his love of the region into a 344-page practical guide so that others could understand what he already knows:

“ PDX is one of the best cities in the world to learn about and study cities by foot, bike and transit.”

participate in changing the world… amplified by investing in the lives of those around me.” Dr. Palacios will lead a growing education program committed to preparing a diverse group of teachers to serve the needs of Oregon’s schools. Warner Pacific offers bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education/elementary education, a Master of Arts in Teaching, and a master’s degree in Education. WPU also offers endorsements for ESOL, special education and reading interventionist professionals. Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Dr. Luke Goble said, “Dr. Palacios brings a wealth of experience in educational equity, management and best practices in teaching and learning that will

benefit not just the Education Department, but all of Warner Pacific and our surrounding community. We are excited to have him on board.” Dr. Palacios has been married to his wife, Debbie, for more than 40 years, and they have five children, four grandchildren, and a new grandchild on the way in the new year. He and his wife live in their dream home on two acres in the country with two goldendoodle dogs, “fur babies,” so they’re not quite “empty nesters”! Palacios has also been a worship leader and worship pastor for more than 30 years in Yamhill County in two different churches. ▪

the m ag a z i n e of Warner Pacific University


K N I G H T S ’ TA L E S

Director of Athletics Speaks on Challenges, Opportunities Awaiting Knights This athletic season will look like something never seen before: all 14 Warner Pacific athletic programs will compete between January and May. Director of Athletics Mike Wilson gave this statement on what the pandemic means for the Knights: “As we begin the new academic year, which is considerably different from any other year in my memory, I find we are faced with challenges that have created opportunities that can shape the future of WPU athletics and the students at large. The decision to move our traditionally fall sports—cross country, soccer and volleyball—to the spring of 2021 was difficult. This year, all of our sports seasons will fall between December and May. While pondering this coming challenge, it occurred to me that this fall is a terrific opportunity to build solid team cultures, concentrate on stronger physical development and push our athletes to be excellent scholars without the distraction—and sometimes excuse— of games and team travel. Our great coaches have rallied to these objectives with gusto. The teams can focus on excellence and their reward will be success and joy in their college experience. The long game will be developing many habits that last into their careers and lifetime. When one now shouts, ‘Go Knights,’ I imagine many other victories than those merely on the field of play.” ▪


JAMAYNE POTTS NAMED NEW HEAD MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH The 2020–21 basketball season is the beginning of a new era for the men’s basketball program. In August, WPU named Jamayne Potts, a Los Angeles native, as the new head men’s basketball coach. Potts’s résumé is filled with a plethora of experiences, from taking the Burbank High School Bulldogs to three CIF Southern Section Playoff Championships and back-to-back, 20-plus-win seasons as head coach, before developing Lake Forest College’s record-setting star player as an assistant coach. It’s safe to say 2020 has been quite the unique experience for everybody, but especially for Coach Potts, who started a new job amidst a global pandemic. Despite this, he says he’s felt welcomed and right at home in Portland. “My time here at Warner Pacific University has been everything I have imagined so far (other than the fires),” said Potts. “One of the things that attracted me to WPU was when I read how much of a family cultural environment it is. This statement couldn’t have been more accurate. In the last few months I have met so many great people who are so welcoming, warm, friendly and helpful. They genuinely care about people here.” Having taken over the program during the pandemic and then the Oregon wildfires, Coach Potts’s first interactions with the teams happened in ways unique to 2020. “Getting to know my players and meeting them in person has been my favorite experience so far,” said Coach Potts. “I’m learning more and more about their great personalities, their personal backgrounds and what they want to accomplish. It is a great group of young men who are anxious to get to work and have a sense of humor. I can’t wait to go to battle with them.”

k n i ghts ’ tales

More than 40% of Warner Pacific students represent the University as scholar-athletes. We invite you to check out wpuknights.com for the latest news, to stream athletic events, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL AND INSTITUTION NAMED NAIA CHAMPIONS OF CHARACTER While entering a program that has quite a legacy, Potts doesn’t seem intimidated, but instead expectant and motivated to continue the legacy that comes with Warner Pacific men’s basketball. “We want to continue the legacy of Warner Pacific basketball and elevate it to another level. We want to accomplish goals and make new history,” Potts added. “This is the best way to honor the basketball alumni of the program and the previous coaching staff for the work they have done. Continuing the legacy is about having a long-term strong culture, providing a lifelong memorable experience for the players and being conference champions again while competing for a national championship.” ▪

“ In the last few months I have met so many great people who are so welcoming, warm, friendly and helpful. They genuinely care about people here.”

In a time when good news is so desperately needed, Warner Pacific Athletics received continuous streams of just that. Warner Pacific was named as a Bronze Level Champion of Character institution. The honor, voted on by the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), is given to institutions whose athletic teams demonstrate as much character off the playing surface as on it. In addition to the institution-wide award, WPU’s women’s basketball team was named the 2020 NAIA Conference Commissioners Association Champions of Character Team of the Year. The honor is awarded each year to a team that demonstrates exemplary character on the field, on campus and in the community. The award-winning team demonstrates the core values of the NAIA: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership. “I couldn’t be more proud of and happy for Coach [Matt] Gregg than I am in this moment,” commented Director of Athletics Mike Wilson. “This is the kind of thing I want our athletic programs to be known for—demonstrating compassion and love for all people, on and off the court. Coach Gregg and his team do that and truly, I can’t think of somebody more deserving of this than him.”

“ This is the kind of thing I want our athletic programs to be known for— demonstrating compassion and love for all people, on and off the court.” If you know this team, you know the Knights embody all that and more, so it doesn’t come as a surprise the Knights were named as the 2020 recipient. “This is such a special award for our team,” added WPU women’s basketball head coach Matt Gregg. “We are teaching and practicing what empathy really means. It is important that we act in empathy and don’t just talk about it. I am so thankful for this award because it shows these young people can put their phones down, get outside of themselves and make a difference.” One Sunday of every month— whether in the blistering Portland August heat or the soaking wet PNW winter—you will find the WPU women’s basketball team serving hot meals to the Portland homeless

community under the Hawthorne Bridge for the last four years. In addition to serving meals downtown, WPU puts on a sock drive every February called “Hoopin’ 4 the Homeless” in which the admission fee for a Warner Pacific women’s basketball game is three pairs of socks. Gregg later collects and drops the socks off at the Union Gospel Mission, just down the street on Burnside from the iconic Portland sign. WPU has also adopted a “Sixth Man” in Lexy delos Reyes, a 17-year-old with an inoperable brain tumor that has left her blind, and who has become an integral part of the squad. In 2017 Gregg received a phone call from Team Impact, an organization much like Make-AWish, which places sick children

with sports teams. Lexy was matched with WPU. Lexy sits on the bench and is announced with the starting lineup for every home game she is healthy enough to attend. She has taught Gregg and his team that “if she can still smile after everything she has been through, then so can we. The wins and losses don’t mean as much.” ▪

In addition to serving meals downtown, WPU puts on a sock drive every February called “Hoopin’ 4 the Homeless” in which the admission fee for a Warner Pacific women’s basketball game is three pairs of socks. the m ag a z i n e of Warner Pacific University


Q & 6

New President in Novel Times

heart of wp u


Welcome, Dr. Brian L. Johnson In a welcome like no other, Dr. Brian L. Johnson was announced as the eighth president of Warner Pacific University. On the morning of June 12, 2020, Dr. Johnson and his wife Shemeka gathered in their home in South Carolina while on the opposite coast, the Warner Pacific University faculty and staff joined together online, both parties eagerly awaiting an introduction that would change all of their lives. Recognizing this unique moment, the restrictions of COVID-19 could not hold back the WPU community’s excitement. When the Chair of the Warner Pacific Board of Trustees, Greg Englund, announced Dr. Johnson, the Zoom gathering erupted in cheers. While the typical welcome for a new President involves press conferences, luncheons and inauguration events, this start is taking a different direction for Warner Pacific and its newly appointed leader. Despite the circumstances, Dr. Johnson took on his new role with just as much enthusiasm, and the community welcomed him with open arms. As the first minority president in the institution’s 83-year history, Dr. Johnson comes to WPU with a lifetime of preparation. Dr. Johnson is an accomplished professor, scholar, speaker and administrator. Notably, he has published seven academic and scholarly books, including two books on William Edward Burghardt Du Bois and one institutional history of his alma mater—Johnson C. Smith University, a historically black university. When describing what drew him to Warner Pacific, he said, “I want to be somewhere I can bring to bear my faith commitments, my

scholarly commitments, my ethnicity, and frankly, all the things that prepared me for this moment I see evidenced and embodied in Warner Pacific as a Christ-centered, urban, minority-serving institution situated in a metropolitan environment.” With a quick look at this lengthy list of accomplishments, it’s clear why the community would be excited to welcome Dr. Johnson to the WPU team. His extensive academic history shows his preparation for this role. Dr. Johnson received his Ph.D. in English from the University of South Carolina, specializing in 17th–19th century American Literature, and his M.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin Madison. Before taking the helm at WPU, Dr. Johnson was the Vice President/Senior Campus Administrator at Mercy College in Manhattan, NY. From 2014–17, he served as the President and CEO at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, AL. He also served as Interim Vice President for Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness and Assistant Provost/Assistant Vice President for Academics at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN.

the m ag a z i n e of Warner Pacific University



At what moment did you realize your calling into higher education administration?


I view calling as progressive, so there was not a moment in time but a series of experiences that developed. I started by wanting to be a teacher. The first black male teacher I had was in eighth-grade math, and I realized that I could have a positive impact if I were a teacher myself. In college, I had a professor who suggested that I apply for a Mellon Fellowship, and through that experience, I learned how to research, which took me from wanting to be a teacher to wanting to be a professor and a scholar. While working at Gordon College as an associate professor, I began writing and published my first two books, taking me from teacher to professor, scholar and author. I realized that I had an aptitude for administrative work through experiences during graduate school, and it was confirmed by others. When I was offered opportunities, I stepped up, and when doors opened, I walked through. Each choice along the way was part of my calling. When you can link your career choice with calling, it leads to a great purpose.


“ I want to be somewhere I can bring to bear my faith commitments, my scholarly commitments, my ethnicity, and frankly, all the things that prepared me for this moment I see evidenced and embodied in Warner Pacific as a Christcentered, urban, minority-serving institution situated in a metropolitan environment.” Higher education is being challenged like no other time in Warner Pacific history. What do you see as the main obstacles WPU will need to overcome?



Our main obstacle is student success for all students, particularly our first-generation students, our minority students and our Hispanic students. By student success, I mean their graduation rates, rate of retention and rate of persistence. Our programs are more designed to support those students who may not have parents at home who are [able to help them] navigate the college experience. We have to ensure that we provide the services that they need, not just graduation but understanding the debt they take out, how to position them into careers, and how to prepare for those careers in the summertime, including our adult students. How do you take this degree to fulfill your purpose? No matter the age you come back to school, God can always set you on the path that He has designed you for. We need to be a place that truly focuses on student success for our students.


What excites you most about what you have learned about WPU since you started your work here in August?


We have the seeds of a really transformative experience for students. There is a deep-rooted tradition here. Everybody can lay claim to wanting to improve access, diversity and inclusion and appeal to diverse backgrounds, but our students are here for that, and more importantly, they say that they experience this and feel it. We have the academics and disparate thinking and the ideological differences of a faculty that demonstrates the kind of cosmopolitan thinking and the ability to move between different rooms in a university environment that every student should want to experience during their time to help them prepare for various careers.

You have a website, theintersectionoffaithandlearning.com. How do you see faith and learning coming together for the Warner Pacific University community under your leadership?


The 2019/2020 President’s Report

My background in having academic training in both the Christian space and the secular space in not only prestigious programs but also at prestigious institutions is something that I want and hope to bring to bear here at WPU. We can teach students to manage multiple conversations as they learn to combine their faith with their academics and their careers. As we build the narrative of being Christ-centered, first-generation, focused on access and equity, and being metropolitan, cosmopolitan and socially progressive, it will cause support to come. WPU will be an incubator of such thought that can be replicated throughout the CCCU and beyond. This is the perfect place to do something like that. We need to develop people who can manage multiple conversations, and that comes from exposure.



Although his academic accomplishments are impressive, you can’t get to know Dr. Johnson without understanding his deep commitment to his family, his love of Jazz music and his passion for serving students. He is an avid reader, an enthusiastic sports fan and a connoisseur of Charles Spurgeon and Matthew Henry commentaries. And if you are ever on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and get questions about 17th–19th century American Literature, he should be your “phone-afriend.” Look for Dr. Johnson’s extensive writings on his website, intersectionoffaithandlearning.com. ▪


A Clear Choice Emerges from Presidential Search Process The selection of WPU’s eighth president, Dr. Brian L. Johnson, came after a rigorous search process to find just the right candidate who exemplified a commitment to sound, transparent leadership and the values we hold dear. Dr. Johnson replaces Dr. Andrea Cook, who served as WPU’s president for 12 years. The initial slate of 45 candidates reviewed in detail by the Presidential Search Committee (PSC) included 33 that were either women or people of color. From that list, the PSC interviewed five finalists via video conferencing.

According to Board of Trustees chair Greg Englund, Dr. Johnson’s previous presidential experience at Tuskegee University and strong and prolific body of work as a scholar made it immediately clear he was the ideal choice. Englund notes that WPU is swimming against the tide of current trends in higher education: “We’ve got a mission, we’re growing, we’re adding programs that appeal to students and their families— and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

Announcing this joyful news to WPU faculty and staff in June 2020, Board member and PSC chair Mike Moreland said, “We The PSC was looking for the right candidate who excelled in clear communication, a life lived in commitment to Jesus Christ, believe he will be a great administrator and work very well with faculty, staff and students. Dr. Johnson is Christ-centered, bold and inclusive leadership, successful fundraising and a committed to higher education; he has a passion for educating commitment to the liberal arts. in the urban setting, and as an African-American, firstBut most importantly, the PSC sought a candidate who can help generation college graduate himself, he has a deep commitment students past and present achieve remarkable outcomes that to educating all, including students of color.” are out of reach without Warner Pacific’s mission. We hold tremendous excitement for the journey we undertake Dr. Johnson quickly emerged as a front-runner, especially given under Dr. Johnson’s leadership and vision. that his administrative platform is built on the pillars of transparency, collaboration, and fundraising and fiscal responsibility.

“Life-changing.” At the heart of the mission of Warner Pacific University lies a commitment to the growth that occurs in the life of each student—intellectually, personally, professionally, socially, spiritually. Our community concerns itself with the transformative power of Christian higher education to equip women and men so they become agents of change to “engage actively in a constantly changing world.”

“Transformation” has been a watchword as we adapted our delivery methods to accommodate remote learning on a broader scale. We also innovated hybrid course delivery methods to accommodate students who preferred to study in person when options around Portland were unavailable to them. As we review the 2020–21 academic year in this President’s Report, we will give you the facts and figures—and a view into the perseverance of the Warner Pacific community during this life-changing time. We’re giving you snapshots of 20 moments that reflected and refined our commitment to educational access.

The past year exemplifies the constancy of change. We have Our faith in our transformative work and mission is been visited by a pandemic, by social upheaval in the quest for unshakable, and as we move through the current academic racial justice, and by natural disaster. year, we know you share that same faith. Join us, then, in In addition to these changing conditions in the world and reviewing this unforgettable year. specifically in our surrounding community of Portland, we have had a year of change at Warner Pacific while welcoming our eighth president.

COVID-19: Amid Challenge and Persistence The U.S. was confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2020. By March, federal agencies recommended closures of schools, businesses and manufacturing facilities. That month, Warner Pacific pivoted to online learning for the remainder of the spring semester. Major campus events including graduation required creative, socially distanced logistics. Often compared with the 1918 pandemic that took the lives of 675,000 Americans, the COVID-19 pandemic has overextended hospitals and exhausted health-care workers and first responders. Conditions were made more difficult by the transmission of misinformation and divisiveness over the severity of the pandemic and the shape of the most effective responses. At the time of this Report, Multnomah County had reported more than 29,500 COVID-19 infections and more than 480 deaths. Even amid this immense challenge, Warner Pacific saw an increase in student enrollment in fall 2020, demonstrating the relevance of a Christ-centered, urban, liberal arts education that prepares students to engage actively in a constantly changing world. I


Saying Farewell in a Lockdown Our plans for a gala farewell celebration of Dr. Andrea Cook’s leadership of Warner Pacific were cut short by the pandemic. Instead, our community hosted a drive-in parade of well-wishers to express gratitude and offer virtual hugs. More than 30 vehicles carrying groups of students, faculty, families and longtime friends were represented. Some cars and vans were decorated with messages of good wishes and gratitude. Her presidency was marked by transformations in outreach and inclusion, increasing the number of diverse students and earning WPU designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. Under her leadership, WPU has been nimble and responsive to changes in the community and in higher education generally, so that its programs could immediately meet students’ needs.


PDX Center of World’s Attention

Portland was considered the epicenter of the summer’s unrest following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Stories of standoffs between Mayor Ted Wheeler, Governor Kate Brown and President Donald Trump over federal military intervention reached around the world, as did pictures of protesting and demonstrations. WPU’s campus remained untouched, while some members of our community and alumni joined calls for racial justice.

Upwardly Mobile at WPU “Student success” refers to the strategies we use to create opportunities to attend WPU, as well as how we keep students engaged and retain them until graduation. Our efforts are paying off in the lives of students and in national rankings. Warner Pacific is ranked the #6 Top Performing College in Social Mobility in the West (U.S. News & World Report 2021—Regional Colleges) and #2 in the Pacific Northwest. We earned those rankings through our student success efforts like our First Year Learning Communities (FYLCs). Our FYLCs connect classroom learning and hands-on experience so first-year students achieve concrete results they can build on to reach stability and security for themselves and their families.

8 Once-in-a-Lifetime Graduation Ceremony We always think our students are special, with unique talents, minds and hearts, but 2020 has really proved it to be true. We sent the Class of 2020 out into the next chapter of their adventures with a socially distanced graduation ceremony. To all our grads: Don’t forget to tell us what you’re up to!

Serving all students Students of color make up 55% of Warner Pacific’s growing student body. Warner Pacific saw a 16% increase in enrollment of traditional students in fall 2020. More than half (54%) of WPU traditional students are Pell Grant eligible. Overall student enrollment at Warner Pacific grew by 5% this fall, including an increase in graduate student enrollment. Nearly 40% of Professional and Graduate Studies (PGS) students are Pell eligible.

09 0

Wildfire Closes Campus The 2020 Oregon wildfire season wreaked destruction on 1,000,000 acres of land and killed 11. This Associated Press photo from September illustrates how impactful this fire was—imagine the bustle of Portland silenced under what was temporarily the worst air quality in the world. We were forced to close campus for four days. But, thanks to the dedication of our faculty, staff and students, we continued the work of the University. We reopened after cleansing rain fell on Sept. 19 and gave us a chance to take a deep breath of fresh air and see the sun again.

Oregon’s only HSI WPU is the first and remains the only four-year university in Oregon to earn a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) designation from the U.S. Department of Education.

Top 10 WPU moved up three spots to the #9 Best College in the West (covering 15 states) in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report rankings, Regional Colleges.


A place for firstgeneration college students to excel 36% of Warner Pacific University students will be the first in their family to attain a bachelor’s degree.

3 Investing in student success Warner Pacific remains the most affordable private university in Oregon, and the generosity of alumni and friends plays an integral role. The University’s endowment ($18.4 million) has grown by more than $5 million (nearly 40%) over the last three years.

A Year of Incredible Generosity We are celebrating generous donations that will leave a legacy for years to come. These include $500,000 from former Board of Trustees member Monica Monroe and her late husband Dale, for use at the BOT’s discretion, and $250,000 from Evergreen Community Church of God in Puyallup, Washington, establishing the Evergreen Community Church of God Legacy Endowed Scholarship. Drs. John and Betty Blomquist Thompson created a planned gift to benefit WPU upon Betty’s death, which was designated to support Warner Pacific’s Nursing program through the Nursing Skills Development Laboratory. Ruth Laughlin and her husband, Robert (Bob), created an estate and life plan in the late 1970s that would someday benefit Warner Pacific and provide life opportunities for the University’s students. Now, more than 40 years later, Warner Pacific has been blessed to receive the proceeds of their long-ago planning through scholarship support.

Acknowledgment for Women’s Basketball

New Men’s Basketball Coach Named

The Cascade Collegiate Conference honored the Warner Pacific women’s basketball team in 2020 with the Les Schwab Team of Character/Sportsmanship award in recognition of the team’s outstanding contributions to the Portland community through multiple service projects.

Jamayne Potts was named head men’s basketball coach in August 2020. The Los Angeles native comes to WPU with a winning record from posts at Burbank High School and Lake Forest College.


A Balanced Budget Despite the challenges of 2020, which adversely affected colleges and universities throughout the country, Warner Pacific was able to successfully balance its budget.

Auxiliaries 13%

Tuition 65%


Contributions, Grants, Endowments 22%

Depreciation Interest 7%

Personnel 65%


Operations 32%

Trusts $3.1M 17%


Endowment $15.3M 17%

7 First Nursing Cohort Graduates In December, Warner Pacific graduated its first Bachelor of Science in Nursing cohort. These 15 students are now prepared to go into their communities to deliver the healing trinity of caring, safety and leadership. To find out more about our program to educate and prepare students from diverse backgrounds, go to warnerpacific.edu/academics/majors/nursing.

In 2020, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) reaffirmed the accreditation of Warner Pacific University. The Commission commended the University for intentionally weaving diversity, equity and inclusion into the fabric of WPU.

9 PNW’s Best Value


Now that you’ve seen 20 of the most important snapshots of 2019–2020, here are ways you can support us: • Promote: Tell others about all the life-changing things happening at WPU.

WPU initiated exciting efforts to increase connections between students and the work world, and between WPU and surrounding communities. On February 20, 2020, over 40 organizations, companies and nonprofits came together at Warner Pacific to recruit among dozens of eager and qualified internship candidates during the first Annual Spring Internship Fair. On April 23, 2020, WPU signed a Grow Your Own memorandum of understanding with public school districts and higher education institutions in Multnomah County to collaboratively prepare culturally responsive future teachers.

Students Building a Better Brain and Body (Protein Bar, That Is)

Two Warner Pacific students earn national recognition while representing their home states in pageants.

It runs in his blood. Entrepreneurship is a family tradition for Brandon MedranoMontes.

Warner Pacific University is #6 Best Value College in the West (U.S. News & World Report 2021—Regional Colleges) and #1 in the Pacific Northwest.

Put your knowledge to work

Building Community Connections and Opportunities

Service Is WPU Pageant Competitors’ Crowning Glory

• Volunteer: Share your time and talents with us as your schedule permits. • Pray: Lift WPU and our community up in prayer as often as you can. • Give: Support our important work with a tax-deductible gift. • Advocate: Write or call leaders in support of WPU, or engage others to help. • Visit: Take advantage of events online or in person when conditions allow.

WPU senior Ronelle Valera has been crowned Miss Collegiate America 2020. Growing up in the small town of Laupahoehoe on Hawaiʼi Island, Valera transferred to WPU in 2020 to complete her degree in Social Work. After graduation, she plans to continue her education while pursuing a master’s degree in Social Work with an emphasis in geriatrics. Valera’s message of respect for yourself and others matches well with the pageant’s anti-bullying campaign, “BRAVE” an acronym meaning “Building Respect and Values for Everyone.” Valera has made it her goal to emphasize the “E,” as she recognizes that bullying discriminates against no one. Valera will travel for appearances, meet with sponsors and participate in service opportunities, while balancing school and her social work internship.

The Miss Collegiate America competition provides personal and professional opportunities for girls enrolled in a university, vocational or beauty school, or a continuing education program. Another WPU student, sophomore Shayla Montgomery, garnered national attention when she was crowned first runner-up at the Miss Teen USA competition in Memphis, Tennessee, on November 7. Montgomery is studying to be a nurse and is known for her volunteer work. She represents Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Oregon through her platform, Teens Speak Life, a movement that cultivates self-love and combats bullying alongside her campaign #Standup.

Montgomery has been competing for the last seven years. In 2015, she was crowned National American Miss in the preteen division, was crowned Miss Happy Valley in 2019, and she is the reigning Miss Teen Oregon. The Miss Teen USA pageant encourages women to advance their professional, personal and humanitarian goals and improve the lives of those around them. ▪

Both his mom and his sister are small business owners. The senior Accounting major is also a member of the Warner Pacific men’s soccer team. His passion for sports and healthy energy sources led Brandon (left) to discover a natural mineral called Shilajit. Sophomore Marcos RomeroTurner (right) is a Social Entrepreneurship major and an Act Six Scholar. A first-generation college student, Marcos has a passion for business and customer service that started while he was a student at Mt. Scott Learning Center, where he attended high school. He even had the opportunity to participate in Young Entrepreneurs Business Week in 2019 as a program intern. Brandon and Marcos collaborated on some projects through the WP business club in the past. So when the call came to present ideas for Invent Oregon, Brandon

r elevan t


Reaffirmed: A Culture of Inclusion

and Marcos were ready for action. They credit the persistence of business professor Dr. Ulf Spears for the formation of their partnership. While their first idea was noble (anti-odor socks for people experiencing homelessness), eventually they landed on a tangible product they could prototype and market easily—the mineral Shilajit. In June 2020, they presented their pitch deck to Invent Oregon and were awarded $500 as an initial investment. At the end of June they had to make another pitch to show the progress on the investment they had received. The panelists were pleased and awarded them another $2000 to bring their invention to life. There was one problem: Shilajit in its original form had a strong metallic taste. With the $2000 seed money and another $750 from an angel investor, the team went to work using their whole summer to create an edible product: Better Brain and Body Protein Bars. In September, Brandon and Marcos made their final pitch to the panelists, competing against 18 teams across the state and finishing in third place. They shared that the competition taught them lessons, saying, “We know we can move quickly, but we have to make sure the screws are tight in the trampoline before we jump.” Brandon will continue perfecting the recipe, and Marcos will work on marketing, raising revenue and developing a relationship with a copacker. In the future, expect to see Better Brain and Body Protein Bars at stores near you. ▪

the m ag a z i n e of Warner Pacific University


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Criminal Justice in the Age of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. These names will not soon be forgotten as cries of racial injustice continue to reverberate across the country. Here in Portland, statistically one of the whitest cities in America, protests have continued since May. In this contentious election year, America has been in a mode of national reckoning with persistent inequality exacerbated by a global pandemic. Books on systemic racism and white privilege are topping sales charts. We can no longer live in denial about the persistence of racism, especially in our justice system. Beyond familiar cries to “defund the police,” now more than ever, people are realizing that the entire criminal justice system needs major overhaul.

the m ag a z i n e of Warner Pacific University



As Warner Pacific University’s Criminal Justice professor, I teach a range of classes in the major, including race, criminology and restorative justice. I have had the privilege of witnessing how our Criminal Justice program is preparing our graduates to impact the justice system. It is truly a privilege to be a part of these amazing students’ journey. I believe our students are getting training unlike any other. We have an outstanding program. I hope reading this will make you as enthusiastic and hopeful as I am about our Criminal Justice program. I wholeheartedly believe our graduates will be agents of change here in Portland and beyond.

A Brief History of Criminal Justice at Warner Pacific

What can enable ALL in society to flourish and not just some? And if we get there, won’t this peace be more enduring than before? officers and police chiefs from around Portland. We were intent on listening and learning how our Criminal Justice major could best serve the city. We learned that our major should not attempt to be a “mini police academy,” an approach that some community colleges in Oregon already take. We wanted our majors to have an outlook and a set of skills that would equip them to emphasize the “JUSTICE” aspect of Criminal Justice in their future careers. There was no question that race had to be a focus—not because it is in vogue, but because it matters. Students need to be knowledgeable about the causes and consequences of racial inequality and the impact that social systems have on people, for better or for worse. We wanted our program to serve students aspiring toward law enforcement careers and the legal profession, and to those wanting to do community organizing.

At WPU, Criminal Justice is a relatively new major. Known to be a growing career field, Criminal Justice is one of the top degree searches by prospective college students. I came to Warner Pacific What Our Criminal in fall 2017, when the major was just being launched. We graduated our Justice Majors first major in 2019. Are Learning As an institution, we have always been committed to being in the city and for the city. So it made sense for Criminal Justice majors at us to approach building a new major Warner Pacific receive a holistic by listening to our community: we education about what makes people, gathered church leaders, probation institutions and society work well. They are also being trained to solve There was no question that race had to be a problems and to think creatively about our most pressing problems focus—not because it is in vogue, but because in society and the justice system it matters. Students need to be knowledgeable today. about the causes and consequences of racial Taking a class like Peace Studies helps students understand why inequality and the impact that social systems people protest, as it zeroes in on

have on people, for better or for worse. 12

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what it takes for a community to experience sustainable peace or “positive peace” instead of the kind of “peace” that is premised on oppression and silence from those marginalized: a shallow, disgruntled peace called “negative peace.” Beyond saying, “Don’t riot,” and, “Obey the police and you won’t get shot,” how do we address the root causes of people’s frustration with the justice system? What can enable ALL in society to flourish and not just some? And if we get there, won’t this peace be more enduring than before? In Restorative Justice, students learn about the limits of punishment. Without requiring self-reflection, sitting in a cell is an easy way out for criminals. Nothing is required of them, and no change results. Restorative practices offer healing and restoration for both victim and offender in a crime. Students also practice how to mediate conflicts and resolve disputes. They learn how to repair relationships instead of just addressing wrongdoing legalistically. America has a bloated justice system, with one-quarter of the entire world’s prison population. Recidivism rates are high: half of all offenders will return to prison. Our classes are designed to make our majors think beyond what has been tried and tested in this country, but which hasn’t quite made us any safer. Can we perhaps reimagine our justice system to be one that restores people instead of just punishing them? In the past couple of years, our students have had productive and life-giving dialogues with agencies and organizations from the city. We

Portland Police Bureau officers visit a Criminal Justice class to share their insider perspectives and answer tough questions from students.

America has a bloated justice system, with one-quarter of the entire world’s prison population. Recidivism rates are high: half of all offenders will return to prison. Our classes are designed to make our majors think beyond what has been tried and tested in this country, but which hasn’t quite made us any safer. Can we perhaps reimagine our justice system to be one that restores people instead of just punishing them?

have had several candid discussions with Portland Police Bureau (PPB) about the strained relationship between law enforcement and the community. Our students have posed difficult questions to PPB about the use of force. They in turn have given us the insider view of policing in practice. My hope is that through these courses and dialogues our majors will be inspired to better our justice system. They are being equipped to think imaginatively, and I daresay redemptively, about how the justice system can work for people instead of against them. Our graduates learn that crime-fighting is not just fighting criminals but addressing the root causes of social problems that make crime viable to those faced with limited opportunities.

Small Beginnings, But a Big Future One of my favorite Bible passages, Zechariah 4:10, says, “Do not despise these small beginnings.” It is a verse I carry with me and drives what I do in the classroom. There are no easy answers to the problems facing our justice system, but this work needs to be done. These are small beginnings, but significant beginnings. We are doing all that we can to prepare our graduates to change our world for the better. We are equipping our students with the right tools, for such a time as this. And they are already making waves. Despite a small cohort of Criminal Justice graduates, two are now in law school. One spoke to me early on about her aspiration

to practice law, and to advocate on behalf of underrepresented communities. She received a significant scholarship from the Multnomah Bar Association to study law at the University of Oregon. At the time of this writing, I received news that one of our graduates was recently hired by Oregon Youth Authority to work with juveniles at their MacLaren Youth Facility. In the years to come, I believe there will be more of such stories. We will continue to see Warner Pacific University Criminal Justice majors work toward a more just and equitable world within law enforcement and the legal profession, and even more directly in schools and communities. I believe in small beginnings. I hope I have given you reason enough to believe along with me. ▪

the m ag a z i n e of Warner Pacific University



Fourth President Passes —  Dr. E. Joe Gilliam

Beloved “Dr. Joe” passed away October 21, 2020. Coming from humble beginnings in Tennessee, “Dr. Joe” graduated from Pacific Bible College (now WPU) and became a pastor in the Midwest, then returned to serve his beloved alma mater faithfully from 1966–79. A loyal Knights fan, it is appropriate that in the first year of his presidency, the Warner Pacific men’s basketball team won the WCCC Championship. Gilliam had a reputation for engaging thought leaders in the life of the University, including Senator Mark Hatfield, Dr. Elton Trueblood and Representative Edith Green. Perhaps most notably, under Gilliam’s leadership, President Gerald Ford delivered a commencement address to the university in May 1976. Warner Pacific’s facilities on the Mt. Tabor campus grew significantly during his tenure as McGuire Auditorium, Egtvedt Hall and Gotham Hall were built during his presidency. Additionally, Gilliam secured several sizable estate gifts and the institution’s first endowment fund that benefited the university long after his retirement.


Pamela Domingo ’20 graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Pamela is currently attending Law School at the University of Oregon. During election season, she was an on-call elections worker who provided bilingual voter assistance. Pamela originally came to WPU to pursue a career in the medical field, but her passion for social justice was ignited. She shared, “WPU encouraged this passion for social justice in me through the classes I took and the professors that supported me along the way. Being part of WPU’s leadership also provided me with the training, skills and opportunities to serve in a variety of leadership roles.”

the age of 95. She was loved and cherished by many people including her parents, Ted and Mary Cochran; her siblings, Willard, T. R. and Shirley; her children, Larry, Paul, Zoran and Gina; and her spouse Dobri Spasic. She was also cherished by grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.

Diane Adair Good ’61 was born on May 1, 1939 in Newport, Washington to James and Bernice Nelson and passed away on May 28, 2020. Diane met her future husband, John Good ’61 in the summer of 1955 at the Tacoma First Church of God, and they were married there on August 26, 1957. John enrolled at Pacific Bible College (now Warner Pacific University), and while there as students, Diane gave birth to their two children, DaniJo and Timothy. Nick Poindexter Diane served alongside her husband ’17 earned a in the pastoral ministry for 55-plus master’s degree in years in Kentucky, Indiana, California Management and and Oregon. Many family members, Organizational college students and international Leadership. Nick students lived in their home on Mt. is the Director Tabor during a 35-year time span. of Community Partnerships and Diane is survived by her husband Mentoring in the Empowering John; daughter DaniJo ’83 (Jerry ’82) Leaders division of nonprofit Jones; son Timothy ’85 (Licia ’85) organization The Contingent. He Good; their seven grandchildren and shared, “I am grateful for the flexibility their nine great-grandchildren. that completing a graduate degree online at Warner Pacific provided me Victor Stephen Gilliam ’75 was the as I balanced working full-time and firstborn son of Martha Marilyn a family along with coursework.” Balser Gilliam ’49 and Earl Joe Nick enjoys spending time with his Gilliam ’50. He was born in Dover, family, has a passion for creating Ohio on July 21, 1953. In 1966, his equitable access to resources for family moved west to Mt. Tabor, marginalized communities, and loves Portland, Oregon where his dad encouraging people. would become President of Warner Pacific College. Vic graduated from Franklin High School in 1971 and went on to graduate from Warner Pacific in tribute to our College in 1975 with a Bachelor of classmates Arts degree. Vic’s eldest daughter, Peggy June (Cochran) Spasic ’49 of Leanne Ruby, was born in 1985 and Pasadena, Texas was born on March his youngest, Becky Sue, was born in 15, 1925 in Elk City, Oklahoma and 1989 in Salem, Oregon. In 2003, Vic passed away on June 29, 2020 at married Becky Arnett from Seattle,

forming a family with Becky and her son, Taylor Arnett Hussey. Vic had a variety of careers, but by far the most impactful began in 1976 when he was hired by Gerry Frank, Chief of Staff to Senator Mark O. Hatfield, and started working as a legislative aide for one of his heroes. In 2006 Vic was selected to be the Oregon State Representative for District 18. He proudly served from 2007 to 2017. Vic passed away on June 17, 2020 at the age of 66. He is survived by his wife, Becky; daughters Leanne Ruby (Julien Flacassier) and Rebecca Sue (Sam Madge); stepson Taylor Arnett Hussey; sister Felicia Capps ’71 (Rod ’69); brother Joe Gilliam; sister Sue Carpenter (Brent), and several nieces and nephews. John Stanley passed away on August 11, 2020, at the age of 77 in Reading, Pennsylvania. John taught throughout his life either in the pulpit or classroom. Ordained in 1973, John served churches in Ellicott City, Maryland and Detroit, Michigan, and founded Long Reach Church of God in Columbia, Maryland. He earned his Ph.D. from Illiff School of Theology. He taught at Warner Pacific College from 1983–1995, serving as chair of the Religion and Church Ministries Department. He then spent several years teaching adjunct at Messiah College, Howard University School of Divinity and elsewhere. He then became a professor at Messiah College and ultimately led their Humanities Core Program. Everywhere he lived he sought avenues for civil rights, most recently as a member of Reading’s NAACP. John was an avid fisherman. John was married to his wife, Susie Stanley, for 49 years. They had two children, Michael (Natsu) and Mandy (John) Miller and three grandchildren. Chaplain John William Cundiff, D. Min. ’93, passed into heaven on Thursday, April 2, 2020 at his home

What’s going on with you? WPU alumna and Director of Alumni Relations Stephanie Harvey wants to hear the scoop about you: marriages, new jobs, professional recognition, service awards, accomplishments, updates. send your latest news to warnerpacific.edu/about/alumni

in Tigard at the age of 56. John was born November 2, 1963 in San Jose, California, the son of Fred Lohr Cundiff and Bernice Joy Moock. He attended many colleges and earned multiple degrees including Warner Pacific College where he earned a Master of Religion degree in 1993. John was a member of Tualatin Hills Christian Church as an elder, teacher and minister for 17 years. He was united in marriage to Teri Ann Sanders on February 28, 1998 in Portland, Oregon, and had celebrated their third wedding anniversary before Teri’s passing on October 11, 2001. Michael Bruce Kelly went home to be with the Lord on November 16, 2020. Bruce was married and devoted to Judith Mouser Kelly for more than sixty years. They pastored churches in Kansas, Maryland and California. In addition to his service to the Lord through pastoring, Bruce served as Director of Alumni at WPU and as President of Alberta Bible Institute. Alumni of Warner Pacific shared an outpouring of fond memories of Bruce and offered prayers for his family.

the m ag a z i n e of Warner Pacific University



Warner Pacific University rejoices in generous gifts Please join us in celebrating these commitments, which will benefit generations of students now and in the future.

Former Board Member Makes $500,000 Commitment Warner Pacific alumna and former Board of Trustees member Monica Monroe made a recent commitment of $500,000 to the Warner Pacific University Endowment. Monroe

Monica was born in Missoula, Montana, where her journey of faith began at age nine. As a young woman, she was blessed to have many special people contribute to her faith along the way, including Warner Pacific alumni who encouraged her to attend college in Portland. A first-generation

“ I would encourage you to be involved at WPU, so you can see why we have chosen to make this gift. Your gift is important, too.” served on the Board of Trustees at Warner Pacific for 10 years. Monica and her late husband, Dale, were devoted to WPU’s mission. Speaking about her motivation to make this commitment, Monica shared: “Dale was a key person in our real estate journey. I know he would support this gift to the university because he believed that Warner Pacific University was making a difference to the marginalized and diverse students who are challenged in succeeding in higher education. We both were passionate about giving where our gift would make a difference. Serving directly at Warner Pacific confirmed my belief that my contributions would create change for those who need it. I would encourage you to be involved at WPU, so you can see why we have chosen to make this gift. Your gift is important, too.”


college student, Monica was the first in her family to experience higher education, but she also recognized her own need for support in navigating this unfamiliar world. She graduated in 1969 with a double major in Christian Education and Sociology. In 1968, Monica married Dale Monroe, also a Warner Pacific alumnus, and son of Warner and Mildred Monroe, who served the institution for many years. Monica was granted ordination in the Church of God in 1992 and lived out her calling at Mt. Scott Church of God for over 15 years in Children and Adult Ministry and pastoral care. Her ministry included serving with the National Board of Christian Education of the Church of God, Camp White Branch Committee and Christian Education Board of the Church of God in Oregon and SW Washington. Currently, Monica serves as Chair of the Credentials

“ Let me express my deep gratitude for the generosity of the Evergreen Community Church of God...Your legacy gift will enable the students of Warner Pacific University to live out their callings in civic and sacred spaces.” and Advisory Board for the Association of Churches of God in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Dr. Brian L. Johnson, president, said of the Monroes’ commitment: “Gifts to the endowment are critical to the long-term health of the university. Monica’s generosity will enable future generations of students to experience an education that prepares them to engage actively in a constantly changing world. We hope the Monroes’ legacy of giving to Warner Pacific inspires others to make similar commitments.” Once realized, the Monroes’ gift will be invested with the endowment and used at the discretion of the Board of Trustees so the university can continue providing accessible education to underserved students.

$250,000 Gift Establishes Endowed Scholarship On September 11, 2020, Warner Pacific University received a gift of $250,000 from the Evergreen Community Church of God in Puyallup, Washington. With this fund, the church partners with Warner Pacific to establish the Evergreen Community Church of God Legacy Endowed Scholarship to support undergraduate students in good academic standing who demonstrate financial need. Evergreen Community Church of God served the communities of Tacoma and Puyallup for over


From the desk of Brian L. Johnson, Ph.D. Eighth President, Warner Pacific University As I mark the halfway point of my first year as the president of Warner Pacific University, I reflect on the open-hearted welcome I have received during the fall semester and how satisfying it is to be part of this community.

We keep our eyes fixed on the four Core Themes that motivate our every choice: • Cultivating a Christ-centered learning community • Collaborating with and for our urban environment

a century. The church concluded service to the community on August 30, 2020 with a final farewell celebration. In their decision to become a legacy church, Evergreen Community chose to invest in Warner Pacific students by donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the church property. For years to come, WPU students will receive scholarships that will change the trajectory of their lives because of the commitment of Evergreen Community Church of God. Dr. Brian L. Johnson, president of Warner Pacific, made the following statement: “Let me express my deep gratitude for the generosity of the Evergreen Community Church of God. The church’s faithful service to the community of Tacoma and Puyallup over the last 115 years is immeasurable. Your legacy gift will enable the students of Warner Pacific University to live out their callings in civic and sacred spaces.” ▪

During this time where change is a constant, this university has gained opportunities and achievements, much of which you have read about in this magazine. Our students are engaging in a new way of learning, be it socially distanced or in a virtual classroom. Faculty have augmented their skills at attending to the needs of students in innovative ways. Student Life staff have learned new ways of building community on campus. We are building new, relevant programs to attract traditional undergraduates, graduate students and working adult learners so they can all follow the path that leads them to transformation in themselves, their families and their communities.

• Fostering a liberal arts education • Investing in the formation and success of students from diverse backgrounds When you make a gift to Warner Pacific University, you make it possible for us to extend educational access to more students and to make those educations relevant and themselves life-changing. My wife, Shemeka, and I have made a financial commitment to WPU’s students. Will you join us in this most-important effort?

Your tax-deductible support of Warner Pacific University ensures that we will continue to pursue our mission of offering a life-changing education to those who need it the most, in an urban, diverse and Christ-centered setting. There are many ways you can play a part in extending WPU’s legacy: • Make an annual gift to WPU. • Make a matching gift through your employer. • Donate through Amazon Smile every time you make an Amazon purchase. You can give directly today online at warnerpacific.edu/give.




Return service requested.

You’re Never Far Away from WPU. We know how much you’d love to come back to visit. Until we can share memories in person, we’ve got some ideas for how to bridge the distance. Here are five fantastic ways to stay close to WPU:

G AT H E R O N L I N E . With FaceTime, Zoom and other platforms, you can talk with classmates one-on-one or even set up a virtual class reunion.





One of your first stops should include The Major Key, a new college major exploration tool that helps students align their talents, interests and career goals.

We’ve got an active community on social media at Instagram (@warnerpacificu), Facebook (@WarnerPacific) and Twitter (@WarnerPacificU). If you want to get down to business, connect with us on LinkedIn (@warnerpacific).

Faculty and staff have kept us running and focused on our mission, so let’s show them how much their efforts mean.

We love to hear from friends and alumni about where they are now and how things are going. You can let us know at warnerpacific.edu/ about/alumni

Anywhere you are, Warner Pacific University is still right here for you. We can’t wait to see you!