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University Leadership

a picture of Eugene Emerson

Eugene Emerson

College Founder

Eugene Emerson

Eugene Emerson was born in Ohio to a family that had little formal education or spirituality. Emerson married Indiana Bogue and they eventually settled in Nampa where a friend began taking the children, Earl and Calvin, to Mennonite Church services. While this introduced the family to the Christian tradition, it was not until the Emersons visited Pasadena, Calif. in 1912 that Eugene became fully committed to Christianity and holiness.

While in Pasadena he was inspired by the Nazarene school to create a similar school in the Northwest that his children could attend. Meetings with Phineas F. Bresee and Rev. Seth Rees encouraged him, so he set himself to the task. Because Emerson had already established several stable businesses, he was able to contribute time and resources to the project of founding the Idaho Holiness School; its charter was secured on December 26, 1913.

Emerson was the driving force behind both the creation of the school and the purpose for which she currently stands. NNC’s founder served as the business manager from 1918-20 and 1921-23 and as a regent for many years.
a picture of H. Orton Wiley

H. Orton Wiley

Founding President

H. Orton Wiley

Born in a sod house in 1877 in Marquette, Neb., H. Orton Wiley was involved in academics most of his life. In 1902 he married Alice House. Wiley was serving as acting president of Pasadena’s Nazarene University when Eugene Emerson asked him to serve as the first president of NNC. He was offered a notable ten-year contract during which he published the first “Messenger,” a student yearbook, hired well-qualified faculty and began many years of work on what became a three-volume systematic theology for the Church of the Nazarene.

It is said that the best way to describe Wiley’s presidency is “School becomes College.” Wiley was a scholar, writer, preacher, teacher and an administrator with the touch that both fit his time (1916-26) and gave the college its character for the years since.

Wiley’s traits as an unusually wise and stable leader helped establish the foundation for solid scholarship and the liberal arts by projecting the campus both as a place of disciplined learning and as a place of sublime spiritual vision and power.
a picture of Russell V. DeLong

Russell V. DeLong

Presidential Leadership In Accreditation

Russell V. DeLong

Born in New Hampshire to a Nazarene pastor’s family, Russell V. DeLong was the first of several NNC presidents to graduate from Eastern Nazarene College. He earned a master’s and doctoral degree from Boston University, and married fellow musician Doris Gale.

DeLong was both ordained and served as acting president of NNC in 1926; he was elected president within the year. In spite of the looming hardships of the Great Depression, he and Olive Winchester won accreditation for NNC as a two-year junior college during his first term. Under his second administration (1935-1942), NNC gained accreditation as a four-year school. An avid scholar and athlete, it is no surprise that the academics strengthened and the first athletic teams were formed.

Along with adding high-caliber faculty members, DeLong’s achievements include an annual education budget adopted by all the churches on the region, another debt-reducing campaign and offering the first masters of theology.

DeLong later served as founding dean of Nazarene Theological Seminary and president of Pasadena College from 1957-1960.
a picture of John E. Riley

John E. Riley

Presidential Leadership Through College Expansion

John E. Riley

John E. Riley earned an A.B. from Eastern Nazarene College, an M.A. from Boston University, and was awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree from Eastern Nazarene College. He moved to Nampa in 1944 to pastor College Church of the Nazarene. For the next 29 years he invested his life in Northwest Nazarene College: eight years as professor of theology and pastor of College Church, and 21 years as President.

During his years as President, the student body grew, the faculty with advanced degrees increased, academic programs and organization kept pace and a dozen new buildings were added. A visionary, yet a practical realist, a man who could make tough decisions, yet who cared about every facet of the college, Riley inspired confidence in those who worked with him.

Riley was awarded a Quadrennial Citation of Merit and Medallion by the general Church of the Nazarene in 1985. After retirement, he and Mrs. Riley took several assignments from the Church of the Nazarene, serving in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the South Pacific, and Australia. Riley left a legacy of integrity, scholarship, and godliness.
a picture of Richard A. Hagood

Richard A. Hagood

Presidential Leadership For University Vision

Richard A. Hagood

Richard A. Hagood attended NNC where he majored in history, participated in athletics and prepared for a career in teaching. There he met Junella Finkbeiner and they were married just before graduation in 1964.

Hagood taught three years before beginning graduate studies, subsequently earning a Ph.D. at the University of Illinois. He held positions at the University of Idaho and Washington State University before returning to NNC in 1985 as vice president for university advancement. He was responsible for strategic planning, enrollment and marketing, fund raising, and alumni and constituent relationships. In that role, he led the initiative to acquire Kurtz Park and reroute traffic around campus.

In 1993, Hagood was named the eleventh president of NNC where he served until his retirement in 2008. During his tenure, the college made the transition to university status, diversified its educational offerings, constructed, acquired or expanded over a dozen buildings and facilities, and enjoyed excellent fiscal strength. He was an outspoken advocate for the mission of NNU and its role as a Christian witness to the community and beyond.
a picture of Olive Winchester

Olive Winchester

Pioneer In Academic Excellence

Olive Winchester

Highly educated, full of integrity and extraordinarily zealous, Olive Winchester was a coveted instructor. While teaching in California, she became friends with H. Orton Wiley who was so moved by her breadth of knowledge and passion for transformative faith in education that he asked her to join him at NNC.

The first NNC professor with an earned doctorate, Dr. Winchester was very earnest about her positions as professor, dean and vice president of NNC. “Winchester…far surpassed other professors in academic background and achievement,” said Stan Ingersol in “Our Nazarene Foremothers.” [S]he was a pivotal figure in the transition of NNC from a sagebrush academy to a sound academic institution.” Winchester’s mark was profound.

When a portrait of Winchester was to be dedicated at NNC, it is recorded that she stated, “I’m sending out students into the stream of life and society. My prayer is that…the influence of Christian ideals learned at NNC will be carried into many a distant port, there to bless this and coming generations of humanity.”
a picture of Albert F. Harper

Albert F. Harper

Pioneer Administrator

Albert F. Harper

Albert Harper’s parents moved their family of nine to Nampa to obtain a Christian education. After completing a Ph.D. in education, philosophy and psychology, and being described by University of Washington as “one of their most promising graduates,” he returned to teach in 1929.

During the Depression, intercollegiate debate, coached by Harper, survived budget cuts. The squad traveled extensively and debated 19 colleges and universities, including Stanford and University of Southern California.

Harper became academic dean in 1935 and carried a heavy responsibility helping to sustain the level of scholarship. Along with Russell DeLong and R. Wayne Gardner, he was credited for NNC receiving full accreditation as a four-year institution on April 7, 1937.

In 1945, Harper and his family moved to Kansas City where he served as executive editor of the Department of Church Schools for 30 years.

Harper was honored as NNU’s 1956 Alumnus of the Year and the 1977 Professional Achievement recipient. His motto was “Seeking First the Kingdom.”

As an important pioneering dean, Harper wrote, “we were better Christians than historians; we recorded the pleasant and positive and forgot the tension and headaches.”
a picture of Thelma B. Culver

Thelma B. Culver

Liberal Arts Leadership

Thelma B. Culver

Thelma Culver graduated from NNC in 1932 and joined the faculty in 1942 as an associate professor of education and director of student teaching. She served as the academic dean, head of the Department of Education, chair of the Division of Applied Studies, chair of Upper Division, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and chair of the Division of Non-western Studies, and visiting professor at College of Idaho.

Culver received many honors in her life including NNC’s 1955 Alumna of the Year; “Distinguished Citizen” by the Idaho Statesman; academic dean emerita, 1970; Teacher of the Year, Phi Delta Kappa; “Inspirational Guidance,” Nampa public school teachers; appointed to Idaho State Commission on Teacher Certification; and, received a Quadrennial Citation of Merit and Medallion in 1968 by Northwest Educational Zone.

Culver was eulogized as a “great woman who epitomized total commitment to the best in a Christian liberal arts education.” Dr. John Riley, President during many of Culver’s years, stated, “She emphasized character and integrity; she was most of all a teacher . . . who produced dedicated teachers. She lived for NNC and its values and purposes.”
a picture of Gilbert Ford

Gilbert Ford

Academic Leadership

Gilbert Ford

Gilbert Ford, a self-professed “poor country boy,” was interested in science from a young age. He earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry with minors in math and physics from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and later, master’s and doctorate degrees in physics from Harvard University.

Driven by a desire to teach in a Christian environment, in 1950 Ford accepted a position as a professor of physics at NNC. In addition to his teaching duties, he served in multiple administrative positions including VP for Academic Affairs, academic dean and acting president, but teaching was his favorite assignment.

With the help of his friend Virgil Vail, Ford constructed a mass spectrometer while at NNC. Under his leadership, both a physics and an engineering physics major were approved at the College. He retired in 1993 yet worked part-time during retirement and generously funded scholarships at NNU.

Ford was honored with the Distinguished Service Award in 1977 and the Quadrennial Citation of Merit and Medallion in 1989.

Esteemed Professor

a picture of Alvin Ray Aller

Alvin Ray Aller

Biology

Alvin Ray Aller

After earning a BA and MS in biology, Alvin and Florence (Snowbarger) Aller moved to Idaho where he taught history, biology and pilot training at NNC from 1936 to 1942.

He was appointed as an officer in the Naval Air Force, 1942-1946, and then obtained his Ph.D. in botany in 1949. He returned to NNC where he established the NNC Herbarium that is still in use, taught classes and served as chair of the Division of Natural Science and Mathematics. He was a founder and officer of the Idaho Academy of Sciences. After ten rewarding years at NNC, Aller taught systematic botany and plant ecology at U of I, led Campus Christian Center and founded/sponsored Bresee Fellowship until 1972.

After retirement, he returned to Nampa in 1985 where he planted the NNC Arboretum. He also established the Alvin R. Aller Biology Scholarship Fund to assist students majoring in biology. Many significant, professional honors were given to Aller, but he will be remembered more as a man who had experienced God’s love and lived his life loving and giving to his Lord and others.
a picture of Juanita Demmer

Juanita Demmer

Foreign Languages

Juanita Demmer

Juanita Demmer grew up in a non-Christian, non-educated family but earned a B.A. and M.A. in Spanish and an M.A. in German. She taught French, Greek, German, Latin and Spanish for 21years at NNC and served as chair of the Foreign Language Department. She taught herself Russian and, as she was losing her sight, Braille.

Demmer’s students remember her as a sturdy, six-foot-German woman who wore sensible shoes and spent summers backpacking. “Her life defined self-discipline, frugality and responsibility,” a student says, “but she absolutely delighted in her work with students and in their achievements.”

After retirement, Demmer established a scholarship at NNC and continued to donate hoping it would eventually total her 21-years’ salary (she never earned more than $11,000 annually). Although blind in her later years, Demmer lived carefully on Social Security and in her lifetime donated $98,000 to the scholarship and an additional $40,000 estate gift. Many students have benefited from the Juanita Demmer Scholarship.
a picture of Ronald Galloway

Ronald Galloway

Business

Ronald Galloway

Ronald Galloway grew up in a missionary home in Nicaragua where he developed a love of other cultures and languages at an early age. After graduating from NNC in 1974, he earned two masters and a Ph.D. in leadership and human behavior.

In 1983, the Galloways moved to Mexico City to assist with the establishment of the Seminario Nazareno Mexicano. In 1995, he was asked to return to his alma mater as chair of the Department of Business and Economics. For 14 years, he first served as chair and then as dean of the School of Business.

During his tenure, the MBA was established, the adult accelerated-degree business program was started, ACBSP accreditation was achieved, the Helstrom Business building was constructed, classes were first initiated and offered in Twin Falls and at the Boise Center, and all business classes offered face-to-face were also offered online.

Galloway was honored as Professor of the Year in 1999 and the 2006 Alumnus of the Year. His greatest joy has been watching students grow and excel.
a picture of D. E. Hill

D. E. Hill

Music

D. E. Hill

Double E Hill studied at Southern Nazarene University and Guildhall School of Music, London, England before he transferred to NNC his senior year and graduated in 1948 with a major in piano. He earned a master’s in music history and a Ph.D. in musicology in 1962.

Hill joined NNC’s music faculty in 1948 and became chair of the Division of Fine Arts where he served until his retirement in 1986. He was given faculty emeritus status at his retirement.

Hill established the Northwesterners and directed the group for 26 years. During that time, the group made two eight-week tours to the Pacific Command (Japan, Korea, Okinawa, Iwo Jima, Taiwan) and the European Command (France and Germany) under the sponsorship of the National Music Council and the USO. The Northwesterners made ten mission tours for the Church of the Nazarene, visiting countries in the South Pacific, Europe, Southern Africa and South America.

After retirement from NNC, he was chairman of the school of music at Southern Nazarene University, 1987-90, and later taught at European Nazarene College.
a picture of Martha J. Hopkins

Martha J. Hopkins

Kinesiology/Physical Education

Martha J. Hopkins

Faculty Emerita Martha Hopkins retired in 2000 after 34 years of teaching kinesiology and athletics at NNU. She organized the women’s sports program and coached men’s and women’s tennis, volleyball, women’s basketball and field hockey from 1970 to 1988.

Hopkins was chair of the Division of Professional Studies, head of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER), athletic director, academic dean, and president of the Idaho Association of HPER.

In 2006 the Martha J. Hopkins Fitness Center was named in her honor, and she received the Distinguished Service Award the same year. She had also been honored with the 1990 Idaho New Agenda Outstanding Service Award for Girls’ & Women’s Sports, 1996 NNU Basketball Hall of Fame and Hall of Fame Coach of District II NAIA National Official of Division Girls’ and Women’s Sports.
a picture of George L. Lyons

George L. Lyons

Theology

George L. Lyons

George Lyons was a professor of New Testament for 14 years at Olivet Nazarene University (ONU) before launching his 22-year professorship at NNU. He is the founding director of the Wesley Center Online that provides Wesleyan-Holiness resources for pastors and church leaders.

Lyons was instrumental in establishing online graduate programs in the School of Theology and Christian Ministry, teaching the first online course in 2002. He has excelled in teaching in this context and has been honored numerous times by students.

Lyons has taught courses for Nazarene educational institutions across the nation and in Australia, Bulgaria, England, Germany, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, and Thailand. He plans to continue international teaching during retirement. He has also written, edited or contributed to dozens of books and church periodicals; he is a general editor of the “New Beacon Bible Commentary.” Lyons is widely recognized as one of the denominations’ most influential theologians and writers.

Lyons’ wife Terre taught as an adjunct at ONU and NNU. Their two children, Kara and Nathanel, are NNU graduates. Lyons will retire from NNU May 2013.
a picture of T. E. Mangum, Sr.

T. E. Mangum, Sr.

Medical Missions

T. E. Mangum, Sr.

In 1906 T.E. Mangum, Sr. entered the University of Texas Medical School. It was there he met and married Emily Sellman in 1911. He later had a vision of a vineyard in South Africa ripe for harvest. From that moment on, Mangum felt called to missions and focused his preparation on preaching and healing. This desire would not come to fruition for many years.

In 1918 H. Orton Wiley invited Mangum to teach at NNC, and Mangum’s dream of developing a missionary hospital and nursing school became a reality. Samaritan Hospital and School of Nursing took shape. The Nursing School was accredited by the state of Idaho in 1930 and operated until 1954, when it was closed due to increased government requirements.

Dr. Mangum was in his seventies before he was able to go to Africa and participate in medical missions. However, his contribution to the Kingdom reached around the world—236 RNs of Samaritan Hospital and School of Nursing practiced and trained others to heal the body as well as the soul.

Samaritan Hospital continued to serve the Nampa community until 1967.
a picture of Darrell L. Marks

Darrell L. Marks

Physics

Darrell L. Marks

Darrell Marks graduated from NNC in 1958 and earned a degree in nuclear engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1959. That year he accepted a two-year temporary faculty position at NNC—a life-changing assignment. Teaching became his joy and passion.

In 1960, Marks accepted a National Defense Education Act scholarship and NNC’s offer of financial assistance to enter a Ph.D. physics program at Oregon State University. In 1963 he began teaching, serving four years as head of the Physics Department and 23 years as division chair; he continued teaching mathematics, physics, earth science and environmental science until 1994. Marks then became NNU’s vice president for institutional advancement where he served until retirement in 1998. Marks continued on in a volunteer capacity because of his belief that scholarships are essential to support NNU students.

He established more than 50 endowed scholarships for mathematics and science while he taught. He also received six grants from National Science Foundation for retraining high school physics teachers and wrote three successful Murdock Charitable Trust grants for undergraduate research.
a picture of Lynn Riley Neil

Lynn Riley Neil

English

Lynn Riley Neil

Lynn Riley Neil moved to Nampa at an early age when her father, Dr. John Riley, became pastor of College Church and part-time theology professor at NNC. She grew up playing on the campus with other faculty children; her life changed little when her father became president in 1952.

She graduated from NNC in 1961 and served in churches in Wash. and Oregon while her husband Ralph pastored for 18 years. After returning to campus she taught in the English Department for 20 years, and served 12 years as department chair. As a distinguished educator who was dedicated to enriching her students’ learning, a student described Neil as an excellent communicator, who used a variety of instructional strategies to accommodate various learning styles.

A writer with several published articles, Neil served on accreditation panels, presented at professional conferences and led workshops for teachers. She was honored in 2008 by NNU for her distinguished service.

Since retirement, Neil continues international volunteer work in Nazarene missions with her husband. The Neils are proud parents of two sons and grandparents of seven.
a picture of Ron Ponsford

Ron Ponsford

Psychology

Ron Ponsford

Following two years of research at UCLA and part-time teaching for Pepperdine University, Ron Ponsford joined NNC’s faculty in 1976, teaching psychology, counseling students and training resident assistants. During his tenure, he has written and managed Title III grants, directed summer school and special programs, chaired the Self-Study and Strategic Planning Committee, edited the 1987 regional accreditation report and wrote the interim report in 1992.

Ponsford was the founding director of the freshman Honors Program and served as director of Institutional Assessment for ten years. He became dean of the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences in 2004 and continues in that role.

Ponsford has delivered over 35 presentations at professional conferences, 24 of which were based on research projects with student co-investigators. He has served as an evaluator of children and families for the Juvenile Probation Department and currently serves on the Idaho State Board of Psychologist Examiners (appointed by Governor Otter). His career has been characterized by his sense of calling, and love for his work, students and colleagues he serves.
a picture of Leon R. Powers

Leon R. Powers

Field Biology

Leon R. Powers

With the encouragement of his older sister, Delores Powers Floyd, Leon Powers, 1964, came to NNC, where he met his wife Willa. The four years were a growing and life-changing experience. Powers launched a career teaching biology in the public schools, bolstering his teaching experience and expanding his academic background along the way.

It was his dream to return to NNC to invest in the lives of young people just as Margaret Hyslop, Ira Edwards, John Sutherland and Mick Dean had done in molding his own life. Powers returned with a Ph.D. in 1974, not caring that unexpected faculty departures that year left him as the lone rookie professor in the Biology Department.

From 1974 to 2006, Powers enjoyed sharing his love of God’s creation as expressed in living creatures. Throughout his 32 years of professorship, he delighted in directing biology students in outdoor hands-on studies of Idaho’s diverse wildlife. Birds of prey, migratory birds, bats, native mice, rare snakes and lizards, and butterflies have all been subjects of his investigation.
a picture of Mary L. Shaffer

Mary L. Shaffer

Art

Mary L. Shaffer

Mary Shaffer dedicated 42 years to teaching in Nazarene higher education, 28 years at NNU. She worked tirelessly throughout her career to open the world of contemporary art to her students. She was a champion of the visual arts for the Nazarene community, valuing their importance for the development of the well-rounded Christian.

Shaffer was the driving force in establishing the Friesen Galleries, a gallery and permanent art collection at NNU, to serve as an educational legacy years beyond her own career. She also donated her personal sculpture collection to the University, establishing the Mary Shaffer Sculpture Garden.

Whether renovating an Idaho barn into her beautiful home or remaking the NNU boiler room into a gallery and much-needed classroom space, Shaffer transformed the ordinary into the exceptional. She was a painter, but her ability to select and organize objects of beauty to transform a space was her true artistic gift.

A teacher and friend, Shaffer was loyal and generous with her time and resources.
a picture of A. Elwood Sanner

A. Elwood Sanner

Religion & Preaching

A. Elwood Sanner

Elwood Sanner spent his growing-up years in Nampa where his father was a professor and administrator at NNC. He enrolled at Pasadena College at age 15 and was mentored by both H. Orton Wiley and Olive Winchester.

After pastoring for 13 years in California, Sanner completed coursework for a doctorate at Pacific School of Religion and then joined NNC’s faculty in 1950. He taught Bible, theology and religious education for 35 years and continued to teach part time after retirement. His love of teaching never diminished; he loved his students and they him. Each morning he could not wait to get to class. He declined several offers to teach at Nazarene Theological Seminary believing his influence would be greater at NNC.

Sanner was awarded NNC’s “Teacher of the Decade” accolade for the 1950s, in 1961 he was presented an honorary doctorate by Pasadena College, his alma mater, in 1993 he received the Quadrennial Citation of Merit and Medallion by the general Church of the Nazarene, and, in 1997 he was again honored by NNC with a Doctor of Divinity degree—all were deeply meaningful to him.
a picture of Steve Shaw

Steve Shaw

Political Science

Steve Shaw

In 1979, Steve Shaw began teaching classes at NNC in American politics, political theory, constitutional law, the American presidency and the Supreme Court. He was instrumental in creating the Department of Political Science along with the undergraduate majors in political science and international studies. He served as chair of the Political Science Department and Social Science Division, dean of the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and faculty chair for two terms. He also taught in the Honors Program and served as its director. A student favorite, Shaw was elected NNU Professor of the Year in 2000, and in 2001 and 2007 he delivered the annual Faculty Award Lecture.

Shaw has been heavily involved in Beloved Community activities and in bringing renowned speakers to campus. He has written a variety of works, most recently “The American Presidents and Their Faith: From George Washington to Barack Obama,” which he co-authored with NNU colleague Dr. Darrin Grinder.

Shaw is regularly interviewed by local, regional and national news media and has been a guest lecturer to public and university audiences.
a picture of Donald Tillotson

Donald Tillotson

Mathematics

Donald Tillotson

Donald Tillotson was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, by his Nazarene-pastor parents. He taught at Eastern Nazarene College and in Michigan. before moving to Idaho in 1943 where he taught mathematics for 36 years along with Latin, psychology, physics and English, and served as chair of the Division of Mathematics and Natural Science.

Tillotson was creative and perceptive and helped steer NNC through the rigors of approved academic procedures. He is remembered for his excellence, warmth, style of humor and wit, and infinite patience. He was a devoted Christian always exhibiting Christian consideration for others. Former students honored him by endowing a scholarship in his name.

Tillotson was highly regarded for his achievements and was elected to Pi Mu Epsilon, Phi Delta Kappa, Phi Delta Lambda, the Nazarene College National Honor Society and listed in the “American Men of Science.” He received a Citation of Merit upon Retirement from NNC in 1979 and a Citation of Merit and Medallion from the General Church of the Nazarene in 1980.
a picture of Marian Washburn

Marian Washburn

English

Marian Washburn

Marian Washburn graduated from Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) in 1938 and completed a master’s degree in literature from Boston University. She applied to teach at several schools and received an offer from only one—NNC, where she bravely set out to teach there in 1941.

Washburn remained at NNU for 41 years sharing her love of literature and her insistence upon correct language usage and pronunciation. She served as an advisor to the “Oasis” for 33 years and was chair of Arts and Letters (the divisional structure established in 1950). More than any other individual, Washburn influenced the curriculum and culture of today’s English Department. She was a student advocate whose office door was always open.

In 1976, Washburn was awarded a Quadrennial Certificate of Merit and Medallion by Northwest Education Zone. In 1978 she was named ENC’s Alumna of the Year and received NNC’s Distinguished Service Award, and in 1997 she was honored by NNC with a Doctor of Humane Letters.

Washburn was an inspiring teacher and capable administrator. She lived out her retirement years in her adopted home in the West among friends.
a picture of Lilburn E. Wesche

Lilburn E. Wesche

Education

Lilburn E. Wesche

Lilburn Wesche spent his childhood years in China, having been born there of missionary parents, and his teen years in Kentucky where is father taught at Asbury Seminary. He met his wife Esther at NNC and graduated in 1951.

Wesche returned to NNC in 1961 to direct the teacher education program. During his 30-year tenure, he initiated the graduate program in education and served in several administrative roles. Under his leadership, NNC received national accreditation in teacher education and became widely recognized for graduating quality teachers.

Active in the profession, Wesche was president of local and regional education associations, president of the IEA, on the NEA Board of Directors, served on several boards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, was the Idaho director for the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, and chaired numerous accreditation teams. In 1999, he was awarded the prestigious IEA Friend of Education award.

In Wesche’s honor, NNU established The L.E.Wesche Outstanding Service in Education award in 1987 that recognizes outstanding leaders in education annually.
a picture of Jim Willis

Jim Willis

Music

Jim Willis

Throughout his 40 years of teaching at NNU, 1966-2006, Dr. Jim “Doc” Willis prayed for each of his students by name at least once a week. This commitment deeply impacted his teaching and modeling of Christ to his students.

From 1980 until his retirement, Willis provided university leadership as chair of the Department of Music, chair of the Division of Fine Arts, and chair of the Department of Art and Music. In 1985 the music program received accreditation with the National Association of Schools of Music. There are approximately 200 music education graduates with Willis’ imprint who have taught or are currently teaching nationally and abroad.

Willis is perhaps best known for his role as director of concert band, jazz band and the brass ensemble, which was renamed Hallelujah Brass in 1976. This premiere group traveled throughout the educational zone ministering in hundreds of churches, participated in nine overseas missions’ trips, and had one combined overseas tour with Crusader Choir.

Willis believes, “We must hear the call of God, and we must influence those we touch with the love of Jesus Christ.”
a picture of Robert C. Woodward

Robert C. Woodward

History

Robert C. Woodward

After leaving the military where he served as an aerial gunner on the B-24 bomber, Robert Woodward enrolled at Eastern Nazarene College using his veteran’s benefits but later transferred to NNC, graduating in 1951.

While teaching high school in Boise, Woodward was granted a leave of absence to study Pacific Northwest history with a Ford Foundation Fellowship at the University of Oregon. In 1958 Woodward joined NNC’s faculty, and in 1960 he was granted a National Defense Education Fellowship that allowed him to continue working on a Ph.D. He subsequently taught at NNC for 33 years.

In honor of Woodward’s retirement in 1991, he was presented with a festschrift of essays written largely by former students. In retirement he served as NNC archivist. In 2004 he was named to the Athletic Hall of Fame for meritorious service to the athletic program.

In Woodward’s honor, former students Noel Riley Fitch and Richard W. Etulain established the Riley-Woodward Faculty Research Grant that now provides funds for faculty research and writing in history and political science, English and religion.

Student Leadership

a picture of Kurt W. Finkbeiner

Kurt W. Finkbeiner

Student Body President

Kurt W. Finkbeiner

Kurt Finkbeiner, 1989, loved the Lord and His Word. During his years at NNC, Finkbeiner enjoyed promoting the motto of the College. He served as executive vice president and president of the ASNNC and chairman of the Nazarene Student Leadership Conference. He was a member of men’s choir, Crusader Choir and Northwesterners.

“Would you live for Jesus and be always pure and good? Would you walk with Him, within the narrow road? Would you have Him bear your burden, carry all your load? Let Him have His way with thee.” These words from one of Finkbeiner’s favorite songs motivated him. In the fall 1988 edition of The Messenger he wrote, “I hope to see…new ministry opportunities, increased social interaction, revival of intramurals, students engaged in the community and a spiritual awakening on campus.”

Only God knew 1988-89 would be Finkbeiner’s greatest leadership year—he drowned on the eve of graduation day. To date, all North American Nazarene colleges and universities participate in the Finkbeiner Fast raising money for various international projects. His family is comforted by the promise of a reunion in heaven and is thankful for the scholarships established in his memory.
a picture of Amanda F. Marble

Amanda F. Marble

Student Body President

Amanda F. Marble

It was no surprise for Amanda Marble, 2001, that NNU was her college of choice since her family has long been connected to the University. As an undergraduate, Amanda held student leadership positions, becoming a resident assistant, senator, class council member and president of the Student Government Association. She was also a student body representative on the search committee for a vice president of student development. In this role, Marble developed a passion for higher education.

Marble began her career as a resident director and coordinator of new student orientation at Eastern Nazarene College. She earned a master’s degree in higher education administration and worked at Pepperdine University, 2006-09. The desire to be at the right school led her to return to her alma mater. She now serves as career center director and an adjunct faculty member.

Marble continues to share her passion for student development by helping students identify tools to be successful in college and beyond.
a picture of Ken Hills

Ken Hills

Student Development Administrator

Ken Hills

Ken Hills, 1952, was raised in Idaho within the influence of the Church of the Nazarene. His career experiences include teaching at all levels of public school and spending 35 years in higher education as a counselor, administrator and professor.

Hills was nurtured in the growth of a nationally recognized, computerized career guidance system and the implementation of a site-training program for counselors.

Hills crafted a comprehensive student development model that has been used by many Christian universities. The final ten years of his career were at NNU, where he implemented a new philosophy of student development: “‘Every student experience can and should be understood as a learning experience,’ and ‘Learning that takes place outside the classroom is of equal importance and value as that which takes place within the classroom.’” This premise can and should influence all decisions that impact the “student experience.”

Hills was named NNU’s 1977 Alumnus of the Year.
a picture of Helen Wilson

Helen Wilson

Dean Of Women

Helen Wilson

Helen Wilson was raised in Medford, Ore. and attended Southern Oregon College before transferring to NNC where she graduated in 1945. Her degree commenced a 34-year relationship between her and her first love—NNC.

Wilson joined the faculty in 1945 and retired in 1979. She was a professor, dean of women for 18 years, director of the campus news bureau and the Crusader’s advisor. She was named NNC’s Professor of the Decade for the 1960s, Alumnus of the Year in 1967 and was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award in 1979.

Wilson’s spirit is captured in the phrase “seeking a better world,” a world that always included creatures large and small. To her task, she brought three admirable qualities: compassion, tolerance and hope—perhaps best illustrated by her familiar saying: “I’ve always loved dogs and sophomores.”

Wilson was recognized as an entertaining and influential speaker and spoke hundreds of times. She received many honors, including the Jefferson Award by Idaho Gov. Andrus, Distinguished Citizen by The Idaho Statesman, Who’s Who in America and Outstanding Idaho Woman.

University Staff, Leadership through Service

a picture of Myron Finkbeiner

Myron Finkbeiner

Alumni

Myron Finkbeiner

Myron Finkbeiner’s early formal education (grade 3 through college) played out on the NNC campus as his father joined the faculty in 1943. He chose a career in teaching and coaching, graduated in 1955 and left with an undying loyalty to his alma mater. His important life decisions were made during those years, including marrying his wife Gwen.

Finkbeiner completed a master’s degree in 1956 (upon Dr. Thelma Culver’s directive), and after two years with the Army taught in the Boise School District, later coaching at Big Bend C.C. and Point Loma Nazarene University until 1979.

In 1980 he joined NNC’s staff as alumni director—a fitting and satisfying climax to his career entirely associated with educational institutions. In 1987 he was named NNC’s Alumnus of the Year.

Finkbeiner then founded the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame in 1994 in Boise and directed its program for 15 years. Its mission was to recognize and honor humanitarian athletes.

The Finkbeiners are blessed with five children, ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
a picture of Robbyn L. Lande

Robbyn L. Lande

Residential Living

Robbyn L. Lande

Robbyn Lande has served the NNU community for 38 years in a variety of capacities having had significant impact on literally hundreds of students. Her service began in 1974 in the Business Office followed by four years as the resident director for Morrison and Dooley Halls. Lande then joined the Admissions Office, where she served as office manager and director. She also worked in Graduate and Continuing Studies and then transitioned into director of conference and events for the Brandt Center.

In 2001, Lande moved back into the role of resident director, completing seven years in Ford Hall followed by four years in Dooley Hall. During this time she had the privilege of mentoring students who were the children of the students she served in her first stint as a resident director. She is currently working as the office assistant in NNU’s wellness center.

While employed in these various positions, Lande managed to complete her own education; she graduated from NNU in 1991. Lande and her husband Rick have two children and five grandchildren.
a picture of Wanda McMichael

Wanda McMichael

Registrar

Wanda McMichael

For more than 30 years Wanda McMichael served as NNC’s registrar. During these years she enjoyed helping and encouraging students—her smile, understanding nature and dedication were appreciated by all. Had Wanda not spent untold hours reviewing each senior student’s records, many of them would have come to graduation time only to find a deficiency of credits.

Wanda edited NNC’s The Messenger for over 20 years. She also compiled the academic catalog and other publications. President Riley shared, “Wanda filled a key position on campus. Alumni from around the world bear her in their hearts and memories. A few thousand will recall their own graduations with Wanda standing behind the stacks of diplomas. I heard many of them lean over and whisper to her, ‘Wanda, I couldn’t have made it without you.’”

Wanda believed the values instilled in people at NNC trains them for a life of service.
a picture of Gary L. Skaggs

Gary L. Skaggs

University Advancement

Gary L. Skaggs

During Gary Skaggs’ education at NNC, he made a life-changing commitment to Jesus Christ that shaped his future career and life goals. He married fellow student Marilynn Ratzloff in 1971 and graduated in 1972. Over the next 20 years, Skaggs built a highly successful career in real estate and with New York Life Insurance. He sustained an active lay ministry with the Evangelical Free Church in Reno while he and Marilynn reared their three sons.

Skaggs joined NNC in 1992 as director of planned giving, using his relational skills and experience in financial planning and management to help alumni and friends plan their estates and make deferred gifts to NNC—gifts estimated to be nearly $40 million. In 1998, he was named vice president for university advancement and executive director of the NNU Foundation Board. During his tenure, the endowment continued to grow, funds were raised for new campus facilities, and college and constituent relationships flourished.

Gary L. Skaggs passed away in March 2008 during the sixteenth year of service to his alma mater.
a picture of Bruce D. Webb

Bruce D. Webb

Recruitment

Bruce D. Webb

Bruce Webb was NNC’s director of admissions for 23 years. He loved NNC; he was whole-heartedly dedicated to her. Daily he spent hours hand-writing notes and birthday cards to prospective students. Webb’s personal touch may have seemed old fashioned to some, but it was how he expressed his concern for every student—most students considered him a friend.

Webb was dedicated to insuring that every high school in the Pacific Northwest knew the value of the education and opportunity that was available at NNC. During face-to-face meetings, he personally built relationships with thousands of prospective students.

By requesting students to send in a photo prior to their arrival, Webb knew them by name even though he may not have met them. The new-student map outside his office became a feature for many years and is still used by the admissions team. Webb also helped guide students during the registration process. To this day, boxes of correspondence embody the legacy of Bruce Webb’s years as director of admissions.

NNU honored Webb with the 2004 Distinguished Service Award.

Trustee Leadership

a picture of Monte L. Chitwood

Monte L. Chitwood

Trustee Leadership

Monte L. Chitwood

Monte Chitwood, Board of Trustee Emeritus, retired in 2006 after being on the Board of Trustees for 26 years, the last 13 of which he served as chair. He initiated professional orientation, development and institutional planning of the governing board, was the chair of a presidential search committee and served with four presidents of the University. He was also a member of NNU’s Foundation Board. In 2001 Chitwood was honored by the University with a Doctor of Laws.

Chitwood embodies and expresses NNU’s motto, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God,” in his personal life and in the structure of his priorities, modeling a life rooted in Christian faith and values. He believes in a liberal arts education in the Christian setting and exhibits this in his own continuing pursuit of truth and understanding.

Chitwood is presently senior vice president with D.A. Davidson & Co., a regional brokerage firm, and senior associate with Chitwood Pedey Investment Management Group, Spokane, Wash.

Monte and his wife Joyce have two sons, Lane and Matthew, both NNU graduates.
a picture of Clifford C. Cowley

Clifford C. Cowley

Trustee Leadership

Clifford C. Cowley

Clifford Cowley was born to NNU alumni Lloyd and Samantha Cowley. In 1951 he married Carol Sharp, daughter of an NNU faculty member and graduated in 1952 with a degree in business administration. Their three daughters also graduated from NNC.

Cowley was active at Portland First Church of the Nazarene and also served at the district level. He was a member of NNC’s Board of Trustees for 31 years, in 1980 was named Alumnus of the Year and in 2006 was honored as NNU Trustee Emeritus.

Reflecting on his time at NNC, Cowley wrote: “As a business major, I sought a job in corporate life. The lasting presence of Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God was a lingering caution against “‘selling my soul to the company store.’” He spent his career with Pacific Power & Light Co. and PacifiCorp and retired as vice president of Corporate Auditing in 1990.

Cowley lived a life of service to family, church and community with unswerving devotion to Christ, reflecting the motto and culture of NNU.
a picture of John E. Wordsworth

John E. Wordsworth

Trustee Leadership

John E. Wordsworth

During the Depression, John E. Wordsworth attended NNC for one year before he had to return home to his job at a lumber company in order to have funds to complete his education. The advice of his wise, minister father was, “No matter what profession or occupation you choose in life, business training will help you succeed,” – and it did.

At age 33, Wordsworth established his own business as a contractor that he developed into one of the largest floor contracting companies, Queen City Industries, Inc. The business grew in eight states where more than 1,000 gymnasiums were built, including NNC’s gym as well as the floor for Seattle’s Kingdome.

Wordsworth, posthumously named Trustee Emeritus, served on NNU’s Board of Regents for 42 years, he co-chaired the fundraising campaign for Mission XXI, and financially supported the mission of the University. NNC granted him an honorary Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, in 1963 and honored him with the Distinguished Service Award in 1980. He is the benefactor of the Wordsworth Holiness Lecture Series and the Wordsworth B usiness Scholarship, and namesake for NNU’s Wordsworth Dining and Meeting Room.

Leadership through Generosity

a picture of John & Orah Brandt

John & Orah Brandt

Community Generosity

John & Orah Brandt

John and Orah Brandt, Nampa community leaders throughout their long lives, gave generously to the community. Orah Brandt, daughter of a pioneer family, taught school before marrying John and raising their family. She assisted with many Nampa community programs, served on the Library Board and was always an advocate for young people. She dedicated herself to her family and church and taught Sunday school for 40 years at the Church of Christ.

John lived a long and fruitful life. He was a school teacher, civic leader, farmer, banker, realtor, faithful churchman and dedicated family man. The Brandts’ contribution helped build the Nampa Civic Center, which includes the Brandt Auditorium named for them. NNU’s John and Orah Brandt Fine Arts and Convocation Center is also named in their honor—their generosity has enriched the campus facilities, student and community life.

John served on NNU’s President’s Advisory Committee and was a recipient of its Eugene Emerson Award for Community Service in 1985.
a picture of Bob & Yvonne Helstrom

Bob & Yvonne Helstrom

Leadership Giving

Bob & Yvonne Helstrom

NNU has influenced the heritage of the Helstrom Family. Bob Helstrom followed his father Norris’ footsteps by attending NNC in 1954. Realizing the impact the college had made in their lives, Bob and his wife Yvonne encouraged their three children, Marla, Brian, and Kari to attend, and several grandchildren also attended, so four generations of Helstroms currently call NNU their alma mater.

Because of his passion for higher education, Bob has shared godly insight, wisdom, and financial support to multiple ministries, including Harvest Partners, the general Church of the Nazarene, the NNU Board of Trustees and Foundation Board, and the Board of Trustees of Africa Nazarene University. Their generosity resulted in the construction of the NNU Helstrom Business Center.

Bob and Yvonne have demonstrated their heart for ministry around the globe. God raised them up in faith, and, because they responded to His vision, countless lives have been touched. The Helstroms attribute these results to the Christian heritage of both their families and the foundation that was established by NNC’s motto, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God.”
a picture of Harmon & Elizabeth Johnson

Harmon & Elizabeth Johnson

Leadership Giving

Harmon & Elizabeth Johnson

Harmon and Elizabeth Johnson are wonderful friends of Northwest Nazarene University who have demonstrated leadership through generosity over many years. The Johnsons provided the lead gift for the construction of the Johnson Sports Center on campus, gave to an endowed scholarship that continues to address the financial needs of students and constructed the Lucile Little Prayer Chapel at no cost to the University.

“Although we were never blessed with children, we feel fortunate to be able to help students at NNU. We strongly believe in the importance of a Christian education,” said Elizabeth.

Elizabeth recalls that one of the happiest days of her life was when she invited Jesus to be her Lord and Savior during the time she was earning a master’s degree.

The Johnsons taught school in California for many years until they moved to Idaho, where Harmon became a builder and developer in Nampa. They are currently retired in Rancho Santa Fe, California.
a picture of Monty & Anne Ortman

Monty & Anne Ortman

Leadership Giving

Monty & Anne Ortman

Throughout 40 years of marriage, Monty, 1971, and Anne (Vanderpool) Ortman’s philosophy of giving has not changed. They have always believed that God’s purpose and plan are revealed for each person and their family in many ways, including opportunities and blessings. They both lived in the Northwest as young children, which planted the seed for them to attend NNC.

The Ortmans believe in educational institutions that teach the Word of God, a Christian worldview and affirm Jesus Christ as Savior. They have experienced God’s direction in the quiet moments and in the most unexpected ways—in 2004 they were led to respond to an NNU need by pledging a dollar-for-dollar match to raise money for campus upgrades.

Besides their daughter graduating from NNC, Monty’s uncle and many family members attended the NNU. Anne’s grandfather was chairman of the Board of Regents in the early 1940s, and her parents and siblings were students also. Monty has served on NNU’s Foundation Board of Directors since 1993.
a picture of Leah J. Peterson

Leah J. Peterson

Transforming Generosity

Leah J. Peterson

Leah Webster Peterson earned her teacher certification in 1928 from NNC, later earning bachelors and master’s degrees.

Following her studies at NNC, she taught in a one-room schoolhouse in the isolated Salmon River backcountry of Idaho. She married fellow educator Chester Peterson in 1930, and they moved to Alaska in 1939 to teach on Kodiak Island with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In 1941 they moved to Anchorage where she retired after 42 years of service with the Anchorage School System.

The University reconnected with Peterson in the early 1990s, which began a 15-year friendship. In recognition of her service to the profession of education, her community and society, in 2001 NNU awarded her an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Nearly 70 years after leaving Idaho, Peterson honored NNU with a gift of $7 million, signifying the impact the NNU made on her life and her long-held passion for Christian education.
a picture of Harold & Phyllis Thomas

Harold & Phyllis Thomas

Transforming Generosity

Harold & Phyllis Thomas

Harold and Phyllis Thomas first became associated with NNC in November 1991 when Harold joined NNC’s Foundation Board of Directors. He has invested himself to a life of commitment to Christ and to the work of the Kingdom, and to excellence and service to his community. Those who know the Thomases well describe them with words such as honesty, integrity and compassion. They are passionate supporters of Christian education and the mission of NNU.

The Thomases established the Thomas Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to supplying needed resources for Christian organizations throughout the world. They have contributed generously to NNU both personally and through the Thomas Foundation, providing funds for an endowed scholarship, the Swayne Auditorium of the Fine Arts & Convocation Center (named in honor of Phyllis’ father, Samuel Swayne), the Helstrom Business Center, the expansion of the athletic facility, and the Thomas Family Health & Science Center, named in their honor.

Harold Thomas was honored by NNU as the 1995 Eugene Emerson Award recipient, and in 2002 NNU conferred on him a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Alumni in Pastoral Ministry

a picture of Fairy Chism

Fairy Chism

Women in Ministry

Fairy Chism

Born in 1899, Fairy Chism later moved to northern Idaho where she encountered the Church of the Nazarene. She arrived at NNC in 1918 with a call to missions and soon felt called to preach.

At NNC Chism served as president of the Africa Band, assisted in churches throughout the Treasure Valley and held other leadership roles including president of her senior class and vice president of the ASB.

After pastorates in Halfway and Baker, Ore., Chism was assigned to Swaziland, Africa, in 1928 where she pastored, served at the girls’ school, and eventually had responsibility for several schools, outstations and churches in the area. After 20 years in Swaziland, she traveled as an evangelist in the U.S. and Canada. Shortly after moving into a retirement home for Nazarene missionaries, Chism was killed in a car accident in 1971.

In the 1923 Oasis a classmate wrote of her: “Miss Chism has been a strong spiritual force in the college, her earnest exhortations, her messages and her unctuous prayers have been a blessing.”
a picture of T. Scott Daniels

T. Scott Daniels

Preaching Ministry

T. Scott Daniels

T. Scott Daniels graduated from NNC in 1988. He was involved in music, drama and student government. His claims to Nampa fame are that he was a member of President Alexander’s first Northwesterners’ choir and was the first homecoming king in NNU’s history.

Daniels is the senior pastor at Pasadena First Church of the Nazarene and dean of the School of Theology at Azusa Pacific University. He is a frequent guest speaker at churches, camp meetings, lecture series and college campuses. Before moving to Calif., Daniels was a professor of theology at Southern Nazarene University and senior pastor at the Church of the Nazarene in Richardson, Texas.

Daniels has contributed to several books, journals and magazines. He is the author of “Seven Deadly Spirits: The Message of Revelation’s Letters for Today’s Church;” “The First 100 Days: A Pastor’s Guide;” “The Cycle of Victorious Living: Commit, Trust, Delight, and Rest in Jesus Christ;” and most recently “I am Jonah and So Are You: The Confession that Changes Everything.”
a picture of Jerald D. Johnson

Jerald D. Johnson

General Superintendent

Jerald D. Johnson

Pastor, author, district superintendent and administrator in the Church of the Nazarene, Jerald D. Johnson, class of 1949, was elected General Superintendent at the Twentieth General Assembly in 1980. He served in that capacity until 1997 when he was granted emeritus status.

Prior to serving as general superintendent, Johnson pioneered work in West Germany and became the first district superintendent in Northern Europe. He was one of the founders of European Nazarene Bible College. He also served as director of the World Mission Division.

Johnson pastored on the Northwest, Oregon Pacific, Northern California, and Intermountain Districts, and upon retirement he returned to Germany as pastor for three more years. He also pastored in Meridian, Idaho, where he led in a building program. Johnson has continued to serve as interim pastor for many churches throughout the NNU region.

Johnson was honored by NNU as Alumnus of the Year in 1964.
a picture of Clarence J. Kinzler

Clarence J. Kinzler

District Superintendent

Clarence J. Kinzler

Clarence J. (“Clari”) Kinzler, son of the late Rev. Floyd and Gladys Kinzler (both NNC alumni), was raised in Nampa, Idaho. He graduated from NNC in 1957 and from Nazarene Theological Seminary in 1962.

Kinzler served two pastorates before returning to Nampa in 1973 to pastor College Church of the Nazarene. He became Northern California’s District Superintendent in 1984 and served on the Board of Trustees of both NNU and Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) for many years. He presented a position paper, “Articulating and Living Christian Holiness in a Pluralistic World,” at the 1991 Wesley Theology Conference that has since been widely read.

PLNU conferred a Doctor of Divinity degree on Kinzler in 1992. In 2000 he was named NNU’s Alumnus of the Year and in 2009 was the first recipient of NNU’s Wesley Order of Servant Leaders’ award.

Since retiring in 2001, Kinzler has served in various interim positions. He is currently on staff part-time at San Diego First and is the liaison between the Gallup Organization and the Church of the Nazarene.
a picture of Bob Luhn

Bob Luhn

Long-Term Community Ministry

Bob Luhn

Robert Luhn originally planned to spend a lifetime in the chemistry lab, but Jesus invaded his life on January 25, 1967, making a radical change. A year later, he began to prepare for a lifetime of ministry and graduated in 1970.

Luhn was a three-year starter for varsity basketball, served on the Student Government Association, and led the General Missionary Society for a year. Under his l eadership, the first student-led, student-funded work and witness trip was conducted from the college.

After graduating from Nazarene Theological Seminary and pastoring two years in South Dakota, he returned to the Northwest—first as associate pastor of Spokane Valley Nazarene and, as of 2012, has served 32 years as senior pastor in Othello, Wash. Dozens of Othello students have attended NNU because of his influence.

Luhn served on the Board of Trustees, was chair of the Board Development Committee, and was a member of the executive committee and vice chair of the Board.

Luhn loves his work and sees NNU and local churches as partners in advancing the Kingdom of God.
a picture of Nathan M. Roskam

Nathan M. Roskam

Youth Ministry

Nathan M. Roskam

Nathan Roskam completed his undergraduate education at NNU in 2001, having been involved in Student Government Association, musicals and a summer travel group. It was also here that his call to ministry was solidified as he was surrounded by incredible teachers and mentors who helped him grow spiritually, academically, relationally and professionally.

After graduation Roskam and his wife Melissa (Mottram) moved to Vancouver, Wash., where he served as the youth pastor at his home church. In 2005, he accepted a position as youth pastor at Nampa First Church. In addition to leading young adults and parents, he is involved in district leadership, leading and directing camps, retreats, and youth/Sunday school and Discipleship Ministries International training.

Roskam completed a master’s degree at NNU and continues his relationship with the University and its students by speaking in chapel, attending numerous events and mentoring students. His work of pursuing the values and mission of the Kingdom is representative of NNU alumni in youth ministry.

Alumni in Missionary Service

a picture of Louise Robinson Chapman

Louise Robinson Chapman

Pioneer Missionary

Louise Robinson Chapman

Louise Robinson traveled to NNC with her sister and two neighborhood girls in 1915. They arrived at midnight and stayed in the train station until dawn “because no one knew we were coming, and we didn’t know where to go.”

Robinson graduated from NNC in 1920 and was called to preach. From 1920-42 she served as a personal evangelist, a matron at a girls’ school, a nurse, builder, teacher and superintendent of the Schmelzenbach Memorial District in Swaziland and the Transvaal.

After Robinson’s return to the United States, she married General Superintendent James B. Chapman. They were married for five years until his death in 1947. Louise was elected president of the Nazarene World Missionary Society from 1948 to 1964, inspiring growth in world missions and organizing programs for giving to missions that continue today. In 1963, at NNC’s 50th anniversary celebration, Chapman was granted the Doctor of Divinity degree, honoring her for serving “God and mankind.”

Throughout her retirement, she gave herself to intercessory prayer and inspiring people to give to world evangelism. Chapman died at the age of 100 in 1993.
a picture of R. Franklin Cook

R. Franklin Cook

Strategic Leadership In Missions

R. Franklin Cook

Franklin Cook was born in Oregon but raised in India until the age 16. He graduated from NNC in 1955.

After pastoring in California, Cook worked with Nazarene World Missions where he was candidate secretary for all outgoing missionaries, and where he began the international student mission program now called Youth in Mission. Later he taught and was a vice president at Trevecca Nazarene College, chaired the Department of Missiology and Human Services and served as dean of extramural studies.

Cook coordinated urban and ethnic ministries for the Church of the Nazarene in North America, and served as executive administrator of an investment group in Arizona providing properties for new church plants.

From 1989 to 2004, he was regional director of the Eurasia Region and during this historic time supervised Nazarene work through the fall of the Berlin Wall, two gulf wars, the breakup of Yugoslavia and the opening of work in 27 new nations of Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union and South Asia. In 1994 Cook was named NNU’s Alumnus of the Year.
a picture of Carolita Fraley

Carolita Fraley

European Missions

Carolita Fraley

Carolita Fraley was a missionary with the Church of the Nazarene from 1979 to 2008. She and her husband, Dave, served in France and were one of the pioneer missionary couples who opened the work of the Church of the Nazarene in that country.

Fraley is still involved in missions as the Northwest USA Region representative to the Global NMI Council. She was most recently elected as Intermountain District NMI President.

Fraley graduated from NNC in 1966 and pursued graduate work in fine arts at UCLA, Pepperdine and California State University, Long Beach. She has a life-teaching credential from the state of California where she taught public school for seven years.

The Fraleys are presently serving as senior pastor couple at Canyon Hill Church of the Nazarene, Caldwell, Idaho. She is also a women’s Bible study leader and teaches a college Sunday school class. Her interests are cooking, painting and entertaining in her home. She and Dave have three married sons and seven grandchildren.
a picture of David & Rosie Kerr

David & Rosie Kerr

Next Generation Missionaries

David & Rosie Kerr

According to David and Rosie (Dunn) Kerr (93), “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God,” the banner that hung over every chapel speaker while they attended NNC promotes the best lifestyle one can pursue. The faculty demonstrated that blessings come to those who pursue excellence of character, academics and service as they seek first God’s Kingdom.

Rosie felt called to become a medical doctor. The lessons learned from NNC she passed on to others: “Every believer is a minister no matter what career path is chosen. Every discipline of study and area of service can reveal God’s magnificence and bring Him glory.”

David felt led to become a teacher, and NNC’s excellent education trained him well. He later became a college professor and today is an ordained elder and chancellor of a theological college. “I could never have predicted the path the Lord wanted me to follow, but I know I am seeking first His Kingdom,” Dave says.

The Kerrs have served in the Caribbean and Papua New Guinea and are now in the South Pacific through Nazarene Missions.
a picture of Earl & Gladys Mosteller

Earl & Gladys Mosteller

Partners In Establishing A Missionary Field

Earl & Gladys Mosteller

Earl and Gladys Mosteller dedicated 45 years as career missionaries in the Church of the Nazarene, beginning in the Cape Verde Islands and pioneering the work in Brazil, Portugal, and the Azores.

As the Cape Verde mission director from 1951-58, Earl’s first major work was to establish a seminary for training pastors. He printed holiness literature in Portuguese, a major contribution to worldwide missions. During the Mosteller’s next 15 years in Brazil, their vision of “One Thousand Churches in 30 Years” was considered to have changed the face of Nazarene missions around the world. In 1973, the Mostellers accepted a call to Portugal; in 1984 their retirement was postponed because of needs in the Azores.

Finally, their love for God and Seattleites resulted in their becoming missionaries-in-residence at Seattle Aurora Nazarene for over 20 years.

NNC conferred an honorary Doctor of Law degree on Earl in 1964 and designated him Alumnus of the Year in 1969 in recognition of his work creating goodwill between the Church and government officials in Brazil and Cape Verde.
a picture of Harmon Schmelzenbach

Harmon Schmelzenbach

Missionary Ambassador

Harmon Schmelzenbach

Harmon Schmelzenbach (1958) and Beverly (Gustin) were appointed to South Africa as missionaries in 1960, where they served for 35 years. He officially registered the Church of the Nazarene in Botswana, and they organized a Pioneer District in Namibia.

In 1984 they went to Kenya to open the work of the Church of the Nazarene in East Africa. By 1992 this work had grown into eight nationally led districts covering Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Eastern Zaire. In 1992 the Schmelzenbachs moved to Addis Ababa to open the work in Ethiopia. While training pastors in Kenya, Schmelzenbach’s shared vision for an expansive university led to the establishment of Africa Nazarene University. With its opening and accreditation in Nairobi in 1994, a seemingly impossible dream came to fruition.

In 1995, the Schmelzenbachs were appointed as the first missionaries-at-large for the Church, traveling worldwide promoting missions. They retired in 2001, but he continues to speak at hundreds of conventions.

NNU honored Schmelzenbach with the Alumni Professional Achievement Award in 1985 and a Doctor of Divinity degree in 1995.
a picture of Verne S. Ward III

Verne S. Ward III

Missions Leadership

Verne S. Ward III

As a student at NNC, 1978, Verne Ward, III’s foundation in Christ was built upon seeking first “the God of peace.” God used many of Ward’s college experiences to bring about a deeper trust and reliance upon God.

In 1983 Ward was called to Papua New Guinea (PNG) where he and Natalie served as house parents; in 1985 they went to a remote area of PNG as missionaries, discipling and mentoring pastors and lay leaders; and, later served as district superintendent. In 1994 he served as field strategy coordinator for the Melanesian Pacific Field, and in 2005 they were transferred to Manila, Philippines, where Ward served as regional director for all Asia and the Pacific. He later led a move of the office to Singapore. In 2012 Ward was elected director of Global Missions for the General Church of the Nazarene.

Ward’s life verse…“May the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him…” Heb. 13:20-21

Alumni in Education

a picture of Richard W. Etulain

Richard W. Etulain

Distinguished Professor, History

Richard W. Etulain

Richard W. Etulain graduated from NNC in 1960 with high honors and a double major in history and English. After earning a Ph.D., he taught at NNC, Eastern Nazarene College, Idaho State University and, for twenty-two years, at the University of New Mexico. Following his retirement in 2001 to Portland, Oregon, the University of New Mexico established the Richard W. Etulain Lectures in Regional Cultures.

As an accomplished writer and editor he has authored more than 50 books, most of which pertain to the American West. He served as president of both the Western Literature and Western History Associations and lectured in many countries, including the Ukraine as a Fulbright Lecturer in 2004.

Etulain served the Church of the Nazarene as a Trustee member for Point Loma Nazarene University and NNU, was named the 1975 NNC Alumnus of the Year, and was honored with a Doctorate of Humane Letters from NNU in 2000.

Etulain’s most recent publication is “Seeking First the Kingdom: Northwest Nazarene University, A Centennial History” (2012).
a picture of Paula Kellerer

Paula Kellerer

Principal

Paula Kellerer

Paula Kellerer, 1985, taught mathematics to middle and high school students for six years before the Kellerers were appointed as missionaries to Thailand with the Church of the Nazarene. There Paula taught English, created Sunday school curriculum for Lahu tribal groups and worked with her husband, Eric, training Lahu and Thai pastors.

After the Kellerers returned to the States, she was assistant principal at a Nampa school. Kellerer soon became the chief education officer leading three elementary schools. Those schools led in achievement, and she was promoted to chief academic officer for the district, responsible for student achievement and led a team to build capacity in curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional development, federal programs, district discipline, patron concerns and school safety.

Kellerer joined NNU’s faculty in 2010, directing the Ed.S. program and securing approval for NNU’s first doctoral program, an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. She was elected chair of the Department of Education and was recently appointed dean of the School of Education, Social Work and Counseling.

Kellerer and her husband are active in international ministries on campus.
a picture of Randy L. Maddox

Randy L. Maddox

Distinguished Professor, Theology

Randy L. Maddox

After graduating from NNC in 1975, Maddox earned a master of divinity and a Ph.D. in theology. His first teaching position was at the University of Sioux Falls, S.D., where he was twice chosen as the outstanding professor.

He was invited to a chair in Wesleyan theology at Seattle Pacific University in 1998 and moved to the Divinity School at Duke University in 2005. At Duke, in addition to teaching, he has directed the Doctor of Theology program and the Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition.

Maddox served for a decade as general editor of the Kingswood Book series (focused on Wesleyan studies) and is currently associate general editor of the John Wesley “Works” project. He also held roles as co-chair of the Wesley Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion, president of the Wesleyan Theological Society, and institute secretary for The Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies.

Maddox has given guest lectures at schools around the globe, including NNU, most recently for the “2011 Bible Tells Me So” conference. He is considered one of the foremost Wesley scholars in the world.

Maddox and his wife Aileen (Chadwick, NNC class of 1975) have two children—Erin and Jared—and (so far) two grandchildren.
a picture of Morris A. Weigelt

Morris A. Weigelt

Distinguished Professor, Spiritual Formation

Morris A. Weigelt

Morris Weigelt, 1958, came to NNC from North Dakota because of godly pastors and NNC traveling groups. He returned in 1965 to join the faculty as a dynamic New Testament scholar; in 1975 he assumed a faculty position at Nazarene Theological Seminary. For 26 years there he specialized in hermeneutics, the Epistle to the Hebrews, and the Corinthian Correspondence. He is currently teacher-in-residence at First Church of the Nazarene in Mason, Mich. where his son, Gerhard, is lead pastor.

His publications include “The Upward Call: Spiritual Formation and the Holy Life” (with Wesley Tracy, Dee Freeborn and Janine (Metcalf) Tartaglia), and “Living the Lord’s Prayer: The Heart of Spiritual Formation” (with Dee Freeborn). He edited H. Orton Wiley’s “Epistle to the Hebrews” for reissue, He has written extensively in church periodicals, pastored and preached in local churches across the U.S., spoken at retreats and conferences, and taught short-term classes at several overseas locations.

Chapel services, strong spiritual guidance, a rich diversity of friendships and foundational studies at NNC were invaluable to Weigelt and to his ministry.
a picture of Steven J. Wyborney

Steven J. Wyborney

Elementary Education

Steven J. Wyborney

Steven Wyborney graduated in 1992, earned an elementary education degree in 1995 and a master’s degree in 2000.

Steve has taught elementary school for 17 years, earning numerous teaching awards including the 2005 Oregon Teacher of the Year, NNU’s L.E.Wesche Outstanding Educator Award, the Smarter Kids Foundation Teaching Excellence Award, and the Nyssa, Oregon Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year Award. He was named a national finalist for the Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award.

Steve has been a speaker and workshop presenter at educational conferences throughout the Northwest. His writing has been featured in “Best Practices for Teaching Mathematics: What Award-Winning Classroom Teachers Do” and in “The Oregon Mathematics Teacher”. He completed a Fellowship at Scholastic and recently served as a Scholastic Book Clubs Teacher Advisor.

Steve created the instructional modules of Aha!Math, a web-delivered supplemental math curriculum which was awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award in the K-5 math category by the Association of Education Publishers in 2009 and is now used by students and teachers in 46 states.

Alumni in Medical Arts & Science

a picture of Rick Hieb

Rick Hieb

Aerospace Research, Astronaut

Rick Hieb

Richard (Rick) Hieb, 1977, worked for NASA in Mission Operations from 1979 to 1995. He served in the Mission Control Center for STS-1 and on subsequent flights, in positions responsible for attitude and pointing, and rendezvous and proximity operations. He was selected as a NASA astronaut in 1985; he flew on STS-39, 1991; STS-49, 1992; and, STS-65, 1994. He logged over 750 hours in space, including over 17 hours of EVA (space walk).

Hieb is vice president of the Exploration & Mission Support division within Lockheed Martin and has portfolio and business area responsibility for NASA, the National Science Foundation, the Transportation Security Agency, and certain Federal Aviation Administration contracts.

Before joining Lockheed Martin, he was vice president and Crew Return Vehicle program manager at Orbital Sciences and director of Commercial Space Programs and Launch Support Services at AlliedSignal Technical Services.

Hieb currently serves on the executive committee of Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, the Board of Directors and Operations Exhibit Committee of Space Center Houston, the NNU Engineering Industry/Alumni Advisory Board and the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA) Board of Advisors.
a picture of LaDeana W. Hillier

LaDeana W. Hillier

Genome Research

LaDeana W. Hillier

LaDeana Hillier was raised in Nampa, where her father, Morris A. Weigelt, taught at NNC. After receiving a bachelor’s in 1986, she completed graduate work in biomedical engineering and joined the Genome Institute at Washington University. In 1990, she played a pivotal role in the launching and establishment of the International Human Genome Project.

As director of informatics and assistant director for the Genome Institute, Hillier developed and maintained the network systems that managed all aspects of sequence and map production and subsequent analyses.

As a pioneer of novel methods in genome research and chromosomal organization for many organisms, Hillier served on the International Genome Strategy Committee, coordinated clone selection for the human and mouse genome projects, and shared authorship of more than 90 scientific articles.

Hillier continues work with Washington University and is a research professor in Genome Sciences. She is incredibly grateful for the faith and values emphasized by her family and NNU, and for the academic preparation provided as a part of her college experience.
a picture of Christine L. Johns

Christine L. Johns

Medical Arts

Christine L. Johns

Christine Johns, 1999, grew up in Nampa, Idaho and had her view of the world forever changed when she traveled with Nampa First Church’s teens to Russia. Eager to explore the world, she spent her high school senior year as a Congress-Bundestag Scholar in Germany.

Johns attended medical school where an elective took her to Kenya. She completed her residency in internal medicine and fellowship in nephrology, and participated in the international health pathway, which included experiences in Tanzania and Thailand.

Johns moved to Vientiane, Laos after medical school and volunteered as country director for Health Frontiers, a non-governmental organization that helped establish the first post-graduate medical-education programs in Laos. She taught Laotians, provided support for internal medicine and pediatric residency programs and shared expertise about kidney disease management.

Johns currently lives in St. Paul where she practices nephrology, teaches residents and medical students and volunteers with Health Frontiers as an administrator in the U.S. and on return trips to Laos.

Johns received the Leon Doane Young Alumnus Award in 2009 and enthusiastically participated in NNU’s Health Care Mission to Peru, August 2011.
a picture of Kenneth F. Watson

Kenneth F. Watson

Biomedical Research

Kenneth F. Watson

Ken Watson graduated from NNC in 1964. After earning a doctorate in biochemistry at Oregon State and taking further work as a postdoctoral fellow studying RNA tumor viruses (retroviruses) in the onset of myeloblastic leukemia in chicks, he became a professor at the University of Montana where he continued his DNA research. Watson successfully isolated reverse transcriptase from virus particles and continued postdoctoral studies at Robert Koch Institute, West Berlin, Germany.

He accepted a position at Abbott Laboratories, Chicago, where he led a staff in its Viral Genetics Laboratory division. One virus team focused on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and facilitated development of the first immunodiagnostic test (FDA approved) for identification of HIV in human blood.

In 1985 Watson returned to NNC as vice president for academic affairs. A tragic airline crash in November 1987 greatly impacted Watson’s life. Thirteen months later he was named assistant to president, where he served ably and energetically for several years.

The Watson Faculty Endowment has been established for faculty research and development.

Alumni Author

a picture of Ann Kiemel Anderson

Ann Kiemel Anderson

Inspirational Wisdom

Ann Kiemel Anderson

Ann Kiemel Anderson graduated with honors from NNC in 1967 and set out to impact her world for Jesus Christ. A common theme throughout her life has been her love and relationship with God and His prevenient grace. It is a story she has shared with millions through her writing and speaking. She was named NNC’s Alumna of the Year in 1976.

The impact of Anderson’s ministry is due to courage and a willingness to tell her intimate story in books and at conventions, retreats, churches and coliseums—always sharing of His presence during both the height of public acclaim and the depths of despair. In the 1970’s and early 80’s, her books sold over 20 million copies.

More recently Anderson abandoned the public stage to marry, raise four adopted boys and face the adversities of life—a life that has not necessarily been “happily-ever-after.” Within the last year, she has returned to writing on her own website and blog. Once again, Anderson is writing about a simple faith and a desire to share Jesus.
a picture of Donna F. Crow

Donna F. Crow

Fictional Writing

Donna F. Crow

Donna Fletcher Crow, 1964, is an author of more than 40 novels of mystery, romance and British history. The award-winning “Glastonbury, A Novel of the Holy Grail,” an Arthurian epic, is her best-known work.

In recent years she created three series: “The Monastery Murders: A Very Private Grave, A Darkly Hidden Truth, An Unholy Communion;” “The Lord Danvers Series: A Most Inconvenient Death, Grave Matters, To Dust You Shall Return;” “A Tincture of Murder;” and “The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries: The Shadow of Reality, A Midsummer Eve’s Nightmare, A Jane Austen Encounter.”

Crow and her husband Stan live in Boise, Idaho. They have four adult children and 11 grandchildren. She is an enthusiastic gardener and enjoys making frequent research trips to England and even more frequent trips to visit children and grandchildren in Los Angeles, Boston, Calgary and Kentucky. Crow is an active member of Epworth Chapel on the Green, a Wesleyan-Anglican church, which she and Stan helped found.
a picture of Noel Riley Fitch

Noel Riley Fitch

Biographical Writing

Noel Riley Fitch

Noel Riley Fitch, 1959, is an internationally recognized biographer and historian of literary expatriates in 20th-century Paris. She has published three books on European literary cafes as well as guide books and three award-winning biographies.

Fitch’s books have been translated into a dozen languages, and the recent French translation of her Sylvia Beach book received the 2010 Prix de Tour Montparnasse for the best contribution to Paris cultural studies. “Appetite for Life,” the only biography that Julia Child herself authorized, was reissued to celebrate the Child centenary in 2012.

Fitch, who grew up in Nampa near the university, earned a Ph.D. from Washington State University, completing post-doctoral studies at Princeton and Yale. For many years she was professor of English and the department chair at Point Loma Nazarene College, with 20-year visiting stints at the University of Southern California and American University of Paris. She attended College High and NNC and credits her vocation as an author to her two English-major parents, Dr. John and Dorcas Riley.
a picture of Cynthia Ulrich Tobias

Cynthia Ulrich Tobias

Educational Writing

Cynthia Ulrich Tobias

Cynthia Tobias graduated from NNU in 1975 and later earned a master’s degree. Her successful background includes more than 25 years of private practice, eight years of teaching public high school and six years in law enforcement. Tobias is a best-selling author of nine books and recently received national recognition as an expert in learning styles. She is a featured guest on radio and television, and a popular presenter for businesses, government agencies, churches and schools throughout the U.S. and the world.

Tobias has served General Motors, the Los Angeles Police Department, Walt Disney, Merrill Lynch and BNSF Railroads, as well as numerous government agencies, law enforcement and fire and rescue services.

Tobias has twin college-age sons, Michael and Robert. She and her husband live in the Seattle area.

Alumni in Public Service

a picture of Perla M. Aragon

Perla M. Aragon

Community Development

Perla M. Aragon

Perla Aragon, 2000, was born and raised in Los Angeles, the daughter of Salvadoran parents who taught her the value of family, faith, and sacrifice. Her family knew the hardships of poverty, violence and unequal access to quality education. Their collective stories rooted her commitment to social justice. Aragon has dedicated herself to improving the quality of life for young people and their families.

The first in her family to earn a college degree, she joined the staff at Bresee Foundation after graduation. She has since traveled through South America as part of a Delegation for Peace and has also served as an International Observer in El Salvador. After earning a master’s degree in social work, she advocated for child safety, family preservation, and permanency at the Department of Children and Family Services. Aragon currently serves as a regional manager on the intersection of practice, policy and evaluation in Mayor Villaraigosa’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development.
a picture of Tom Dale

Tom Dale

Civic Service

Tom Dale

After graduation in 1976, Tom Dale earned a master’s degree in music education and for the next 16 years served as a commissioned music evangelist for the Church of the Nazarene traveling throughout the U.S. and Canada.

In 1996 Dale was elected to the Nampa City Council and began teaching music at Nampa Christian Schools. He was elected mayor of Nampa in 2002.

Now in his third term as mayor, Dale has served as chairman of the board for the regional transportation planning organization (COMPASS), chairman of the Valley Regional Transit Board and co-chair of the State of Idaho’s Forum on Transportation Investment. He also serves on the Salvation Army Advisory Council, Chamber of Commerce Board, Idaho Council of Governments Board, and presides over Treasure Valley Partnership, an organization of mayors and county commissioners from Treasure Valley.

In 2010 Dale was elected by his peers as president of the Association of Idaho Cities, and in 2011 they gave him the Harold Hurst Award for outstanding public service.
a picture of Kent Hill

Kent Hill

International Service

Kent Hill

Kent Hill, 1971, grew up in Nampa where his parents, D.E. and Helen Hill, worked for NNC.

Hill spent six years as an associate professor of history at Seattle Pacific University. After serving as president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy in Washington, D.C. from 1986-92, he served as president of Eastern Nazarene College for nine years.

From 2001 to 2009, Hill served in two Senate-confirmed posts with USAID: assistant administrator of Europe and Eurasia, where he was responsible for foreign assistance to 27 countries in Eastern Europe, and assistant administrator of the Bureau for Global Health. He briefly served as acting USAID administrator in the initial days of the Obama Administration.

From 2009 to 2011, Hill was vice president for character development for John Templeton Foundation where he also managed the religious freedom portfolio. Since early 2011, he has worked in Washington, D.C. as the senior vice president for International Programs for World Vision U.S.

He is a noted expert on democracy, global development policy, human rights and religious freedom issues.
a picture of Byron Lee

Byron Lee

Military Service

Byron Lee

Byron Lee was an outstanding ministerial student, committed to the Lord and active in athletics while at NNC. He married Bettie Dysart, and their first child was born at Samaritan Hospital.

Shortly after graduation in 1943, Lee pastored in Orofino, Idaho, until he felt called to the U.S. Army Chaplaincy. He served in Europe during World War II, ministering to American troops, German prisoners of war and many German young people who were hungry for the gospel. He returned to the States in 1947 and continued his ministerial work in Fort Riley, Kansas, and Fort Ord, Calif. God used Byron and Bettie’s singing and preaching to convert many souls to Him.

In 1950, Lee was called to serve the U.S. troops occupying Japan; however, shortly after his arrival in there, the Korean Conflict began. He was transferred to Korea and was mortally wounded while ministering to American soldiers.

According to the Global Military Center at Nazarene Headquarters, Chaplain Lee was one of only two Nazarene chaplains to die while serving in the U.S. Army during this era.

Alumni in Compassionate Service

a picture of Jeffrey D. Carr

Jeffrey D. Carr

Inner City Youth

Jeffrey D. Carr

Jeff Carr’s career is defined by a commitment to social justice and transformation of individuals and communities. After graduating from NNC in 1987, Carr began a 17-year career with the Bresee Foundation, a faith-based non-profit organization serving one of the poorest and most densely populated communities in Los Angeles. Under his visionary leadership, the Foundation became a cornerstone in the local community.

Carr became the chief operating officer in 2005 for Sojourners/Call to Renewal in Washington, D.C., and led the $5.5M non-profit through a merger and established policies that brought tremendous growth. In 2007, Carr became Los Angeles’ first Deputy Mayor for Gang Reduction and Youth Development and led an endeavor that resulted in a nearly 30 percent reduction in gang-related violence. After serving four years as chief of staff with L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa, in January 2012 he accepted the position of chief operating officer of the Special Olympics World Games.

Carr received a certificate in Urban Ministries from Bresee Institute and Azusa Pacific University and is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene. In 1995 he was named NNU’s Leon Doane Young alumnus.
a picture of Jerry & Muriel Caven

Jerry & Muriel Caven

International Philanthropy

Jerry & Muriel Caven

Jerry and Muriel Caven, 1959, live in Boise, Idaho where they own family businesses in restaurants, ranching and real estate development.

Because of the Caven’s desire to share the Gospel, they have supported the JESUS Film through the Church of the Nazarene and Campus Crusade for Christ. They provided leadership for the JESUS Video strategy in Idaho and Hawaii and helped place the JESUS Film on television and radio in Belize and Honduras.

In 1997, God led Jerry and Muriel to a new level of commitment to reach the lost—they left their family and businesses in the States to live in India for a year, a move so they could introduce a JESUS Video strategy for the cities to reach over 100 million of the nearly one billion Indian people. This video is a reflection of Jerry and Muriel’s passion: to see the fulfillment of the Great Commission and to encourage laymen to be involved in the greatest harvest of souls in history.
a picture of James W. Jackson

James W. Jackson

International Medical Philanthropy

James W. Jackson

James W. Jackson, 1963, is a prize-winning author, international economic consultant and humanitarian. He is the founder of Project C.U.R.E. and devoted the past 25 years traveling throughout 150 countries delivering health and hope to the world’s most needy people. Project C.U.R.E is the largest handler of donated medical supplies and equipment in the world. Thousands of people are alive today because of its staff and over 15,000 volunteers.

Jackson received the Florence Nightingale Award, the highest humanitarian honor of the U.S. Department of State. He and his wife, Dr. Anna Marie Jackson, received the Colorado Parents of the Year Award and the National Parents of the Year Award for 2005 from President George W. Bush. James’ work with foreign government officials has earned him many national and international honors.

Jackson was awarded the coveted American Red Cross Healthcare Lifetime Achievement Award for his efforts in saving lives. Jackson and his son, Dr. Douglas Jackson, each have received the University of Colorado’s Global Health Award and Regis University’s highest honor, the Civis Princeps Award.
a picture of Tom Nees

Tom Nees

Inner City Community Service

Tom Nees

Tom Nees, 1959, pastored churches in several states before establishing the Community of Hope Church, Washington, D.C. For 20 years he served as director of the Community of Hope, Inc., a neighborhood development agency providing housing for homeless families, health care, job training, legal aid and youth development programs.

In 1995 he became the first director of Nazarene Compassionate Ministries and Multicultural Ministries for the U.S. and Canada. In 2010, Nees founded and now directs Leading to Serve, Inc., a leadership development and coaching company.

Nees was NNC’s 1981 Alumnus of the Year and was honored by the college with a Doctor of Divinity degree in 1992.

He is the author of several books including “Compassion Evangelism,” “The Changing Face of the Church,” “Best Practices of Growing Churches,” and “Dirty Hands, Pure Hearts.” “Contagious Compassion: The Life and Times of Tom Nees,” by Neil B. Wiseman was published in 2010.

Nees and his wife, Patricia (Nichols), have four children, eight grandchildren and live near Annapolis, Maryland.
a picture of Randal L. Newcomb

Randal L. Newcomb

International Service

Randal L. Newcomb

Randy Newcomb, 1982, was deeply influenced by Dr. Irving Laird’s mentorship and challenge to compassionate service while at NNC. After graduation, he served for 14 years as executive director of Golden Gate Community Inc., a compassionate ministry based in San Francisco. He later became vice president of Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm established by Pam and Pierre Omidyar, eBay founders.

Newcomb is now president and CEO of Humanity United, one of the largest private donors in the field of international human rights, which was founded by Pam Omidyar to build peace and advance human freedom in the corners of the globe where these ideals are challenged most. Newcomb oversees Humanity United’s international grant-making portfolio and its direct advocacy activities and leads the organization’s long-term strategy. He speaks and writes on international human rights issues and provides expert commentary for CNN, ABC News and National Public Radio.

Newcomb was a Fellow at the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford University and an International Development Fellow at the University of Bath, England.
a picture of Jennifer Roemhildt Tunehag

Jennifer Roemhildt Tunehag

International Service

Jennifer Roemhildt Tunehag

Jennifer Roemhildt Tunehag, 1989, has worked among women and men prostitutes and with victims of human trafficking for ten years. In Athens, Tunehag established the Lost Coin Ministry. In 2006 her experiences there led the U.S. Congress to invite her to testify about human trafficking. After turning the ministry over to new leadership, Tunehag began engaging the global church in Christ’s mission of individual restoration and societal transformation.

She now assists the European Evangelical Alliance in developing the European Freedom Network (EFN), which connects national alliances with active and emerging ministries and provides the tools they need for effective cooperation and action. There are 120 EFN partner organizations now working in Europe to build a bridge to freedom for those who are exploited.

Tunehag and her husband, Mats, live in Stockholm, Sweden. She serves on the Global Human Trafficking Task Force of the World Evangelical Alliance and advises many other international organizations on issues of prostitution and trafficking.

Alumni in Visual & Performing Arts

a picture of Danny D. Edwards

Danny D. Edwards

Sculpture

Danny D. Edwards

Danny Edwards, 1968, a sculptor for 27 years, has created works for collectors all over the world. He was commissioned to create the bronze elk for the NNU sculpture garden, and his sculptures can be found in the halls of dignitaries and presidents, including the late President Ronald Reagan. His 17-foot-tall “Elk Monument” and 32-foot-long “Elk and Bear Monument” are famous Jackson Hole, Wyo. landmarks.

Edward’s passion as an artist is to bring out God’s beauty with clay or canvas. He enjoys sculpting wildlife because the human emotional connection with animals is so pure—each has a certain spirit and leaves a distinct footprint. Edwards works to spark some of that connection for the viewer. He also enjoys sculpting historically significant themes and authentic Native American subjects to capture the danger, emotion and excitement they must have experienced.

Edward says, “Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, and when we are touched by real beauty, in whatever form, we will never be the same.”
a picture of Delbert Gish, Jr.

Delbert Gish, Jr.

Painting

Delbert Gish, Jr.

Painting has been the primary focus of Delbert Gish, Jr.’s adult life. After graduating from NNC in 1958, he studied with Russian painter Sergei Bongart from 1965-67, funded in part by a Stacey Scholarship. In all of Gish’s paintings, he records some observable truth. In 1967 Gish was asked to be artist-in-residence at NNC, which turned into a four-year teaching assignment.

In 1984, Gish and his wife became Peace Corps Volunteers to Belize, working with Mayan Indians. This experience led to a three-month stay in Mokama, India, years later where Gish gave watercolor lessons to young novices in 2003.

From 1988 to 1990 Gish attended the Art Students’ League in New York City. He and his wife worked at the Lamb’s Club, a Nazarene mission that serves homeless people. In 1997 he was honored with NNU’s Professional Achievement Award.

Gish had a three-month teaching assignment in 2001 at Tver Art College, Tver, Russia, and in August 2003, the Frye Art Museum, Seattle, presented a one-man show of his paintings.
a picture of Stephen E. Hicks, Jerry Cohagan

Stephen E. Hicks, Jerry Cohagan

Communication Arts

Stephen E. Hicks, Jerry Cohagan

Stephen Hicks, 1977, and his good friend Jerry Cohagan, 1979, partnered in 1980 to form Hicks and Cohagan. They presented comedy and drama from a Christian perspective throughout the country for more than 20 years. They traveled with Bill and Gloria Gaither, performed on television and produced several videos.

Hicks enrolled at NNC in 1973 and two years later Cohagan arrived on campus. They met while auditioning for a play and became fast friends. Hicks and Cohagan formed a group of five friends calling themselves “The Troupe,” and began performing original material at every variety show, chapel service or other opportunity NNU gave them.

After graduation, Cohagan gained national recognition as one-half of the Christian comedy team Hicks & Cohagan. He has authored more than 20 books of dramatic sketches and plays, and has directed and appeared in many productions. Today he serves as Olivet Nazarene University’s theatre director and continues to do commercial work throughout the Midwest.

Hicks was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1992. He continued to perform during treatment, but then spoke about cancer and his faith. Hicks passed away in 2002.
a picture of Jerry Nelson

Jerry Nelson

Music

Jerry Nelson

Jerry Nelson has delighted in being a music educator, international concert performer, composer, orchestrator and recording artist. After graduating from NNU in1961and teaching music for a decade, he became Denver First Church of the Nazarene’s director of instrumental music and served there 36 years. In 2009, he resigned to follow a new calling—he performs more than 100 concerts yearly worldwide.

He and his wife Rachel have blended their musical efforts with a passion for African missions. Their concert ministry during three trips to Africa assisted in AIDs education, teen counseling, teen education and micro-water purification systems.

Nelson was named NNU’s Alumnus of the Year in 1983. He credits NNU faculty member T.C. Leckie with helping him conquer critical technique hurdles and Alline Swann with unleashing his creative potential. That encouragement enabled him to create more than 50 original compositions, 5,000 arrangements and several published musicals.

Alumni in Business

a picture of Ashley A. Bruce

Ashley A. Bruce

Sales & Marketing

Ashley A. Bruce

Ashley Bruce graduated in 2005 with a degree in business administration and subsequently worked in merchandising for Walmart Headquarters in Ark. In 2006, Bruce moved back to her hometown of Pleasant Hill, Calif. to work for Campbell Soup Company as a category analyst on the Safeway Customer Team. She has worked with the company several years and held different roles in sales before moving into marketing. Bruce currently works as an associate brand manager at Campbell Soup Company’s World Headquarters in Camden, N.J.

In 2009 Bruce was named in Forbes Woman for leadership with Campbell’s. Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) recognized Bruce as Alumna of the Year in 2010 for utilizing her NNU SIFE experience to excel personally and professionally while making a difference in the lives of others.

Bruce joins many family members who can call NNU their alma mater. As an active churchwoman, she is passionate about God’s call to live, speak and serve for Christ in her neighborhood of Philadelphia.
a picture of Dennis L. Johnson

Dennis L. Johnson

Insurance & Investment Leadership

Dennis L. Johnson

Dennis Johnson was born in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho but spent his formative years in Frankfurt, Germany, as the son of Nazarene missionaries. He graduated from NNC in 1976 and earned a Juris Doctor in 1979.

Since 1999 Johnson has served as president and chief executive officer of United Heritage Life Insurance Company, Meridian, Idaho, where he began his career as the general counsel in 1983. He is also president and CEO of United Heritage Financial Group.

Johnson is a member of the Idaho Bar Association and has served on the Board of Directors of a number of community, educational and industry companies. In 2011, he received the Idaho Business Review’s CEO of Influence award acknowledging his strong leadership, integrity, values, vision, commitment to excellence and community involvement, and in 2012 he received the American Council of Life Insurers Forum 500’s Distinguished Service Award.

Johnson was named NNU’s 2003 Alumnus of the Year, and in 2010 the United Heritage Financial Group was the recipient of NNU’s Eugene Emerson Award. Johnson is also a member of NNU’s Foundation Board of Directors.
a picture of Jeff C. Kinneeveauk

Jeff C. Kinneeveauk

Corporate Leadership

Jeff C. Kinneeveauk

Jeff Kinneeveauk was born and raised in the village of Point Hope, Alaska. Because his mother (an Iñupiaq Eskimo) had a connection with Mary Bellamy, 1952, Jeff was able to attend NNC. He graduated in 1996 with a degree in physics with an emphasis in engineering.

After graduation, Kinneeveauk began with Arctic Slope Regional Corp Energy Services (ASRC), the largest native regional corporation in Alaska that represents more than 11,000 Iñupiat people of Alaska’s North Slope. He has worked there for more than 15 years, holding management positions for over ten years. His previous experience includes construction of a U.S. AID office building in Nairobi, Kenya, for ASRC Constructors, Inc., an ASRC subsidiary based in Washington, D.C.

Kinneeveauk took over as president and CEO of ASRC Energy Services (AES), a leading oil and gas service company, in early 2011. He received the 2012 Professional of the Year distinction by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES).

Kinneeveauk received NNU’s Leon Doane Young Alumnus Award in 2006. He and his wife Julie (Watson, 1996) live in Anchorage, Alaska, with their two children.
a picture of Ralph H. Palmen

Ralph H. Palmen

Personal Development

Ralph H. Palmen

Ralph Palmen spent his adult life developing individuals, businesses and organizations. Following his attendance at NNC in the early 1960s, Palmen began a career with ACME Personnel where he learned the principles and practices of effective businesses. He put this knowledge to use by building the largest employment agency in ACME’s history. He also worked with Sherwood & Roberts, a real estate and mortgage company, helping expand the company’s annual sales from $59M to $242M.

In 1979, Palmen became a full-time speaker and consultant, and in 1983 he helped found Express Personnel, which has grown into one of the world’s largest employment companies. He is the author of three books: “Professionals at Their Best,” “Principles and Success Strategies for Everyday Living,” and “8 Critical Lifetime Decisions.”

Palmen served as President of Pinnacle Forum America of Scottsdale, Arizona, an organization dedicated to bringing leaders into a relationship with Jesus Christ. He has been an active church member in the Seattle area for nearly 40 years, and has supported NNU as a benefactor and by serving on the Foundation Board of Directors.
a picture of Stephen M. Walden

Stephen M. Walden

Banking and Investment

Stephen M. Walden

Stephen Walden was raised on a farm in Illinois and attended Olivet Nazarene College before transferring to NNC where he met and married Chelsee Nunn.

After graduating in 1966, Walden took a position with Island Savings and Loan on Whidbey Island. He climbed the ranks of this small company whose name was changed to InterWest Bank and was sold to Wells Fargo in 2003. During his 37-year-tenure, Walden served in a number of roles that include senior and executive vice president, president and chief operating officer, chief executive officer, and finally, board chairman from 2000-03.

NNC granted Walden the 1988 Alumni Citation of Merit, he was named the 1998 Alumnus of the Year, and in 2012 was honored with a Doctor of Humane Letters. He continues to serve on NNU’s Foundation Board of Directors and Board of Trustees.

Today, Walden operates a rental business and enjoys raising cattle and horses on their small farm in Oak Harbor. The Waldens have three daughters, ten grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Alumni in Athletics

a picture of Steve Hills

Steve Hills

Men's National Champion

Steve Hills

Steve Hills, 1977, was raised in a family of athletes. He competed in cross country and track & field in high school, always admiring his two older brothers’ accomplishments. The three brothers each held the title of fastest mile by an Idaho high school student: Lynn broke Gary’s record, and Steve broke Lynn’s record with a time of 4:16.1, which still stands as the Nampa High School record.

Hills followed his brothers to NNC, where he participated in both cross country and track & field. With Coach Paul Taylor’s leadership, he earned four All-American awards (two for indoor and two for outdoor track & field) and was the NAIA National Champion in the 1500m in 1978.

Hills has worked for Nike, Inc. for 36 years and met his wife, Lisa, there. He has had the opportunity to coach high school cross country and track & field for 17 years and has been blessed to coach both of his daughters.
a picture of Ashley Puga

Ashley Puga

Women's National Champion

Ashley Puga

Ashley Puga competed in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track, winning the 2009 NCAA Division II National Championship 800m in both indoor and outdoor track and finishing as a seven-time All-American. From her start as a Crusader in 2005, Ashley quickly became known as an athletic celebrity, setting multiple school records that include her personal best of 2:05.23 in the 800m.

After graduation in 2009, Puga was hired by NNU to a coaching position. Coaching was a natural fit since she is an encourager and her deep convictions make her strong.

Puga currently works as a tax auditor in Boise, Idaho. She was raised in Meridian, Idaho, and remains a devoted family member, a dedicated friend and a disciplined learner. In her spare time, she is actively involved at her church helping to develop young leaders.

Puga understands that from professors to coaches to students, the people at NNU make a difference, influencing the world one person at a time.
a picture of Roger N. Schmidt

Roger N. Schmidt

Women's Basketball Coach

Roger N. Schmidt

Roger Schmidt graduated from NNU in 1974 with a degree in kinesiology. After earning an MA in kinesiology and recreation, he returned to NNC in 1975 as a full-time faculty member, men’s assistant basketball coach, head JV basketball coach and head women’s tennis coach.

In 1978 Schmidt earned national athletic trainer certification, (A.T., C.). He organized and led NNC’S athletic training program, where he oversaw all athletes from 1976-79 and 1986-98. In 1986, Schmidt took over women’s basketball and created a winning program. He led his teams to the national tournament five out of six seasons; they had a winning rate of 75 percent in national tournament play. His teams played for the National NAIA Division II title in 1995 and won the National Tournament in 1997, where he was named National Coach of the Year.

Schmidt and his wife Patti, a 1978 alumna, have two children, Toby and Kori, both of whom graduated from NNU.
a picture of Elmore Vail

Elmore Vail

Pioneer Coach & Mentor

Elmore Vail

Elmore Vail received nearly all his education at NNC-affiliated schools. He was inducted into the U.S. Army after high school but returned to NNC, graduating in 1949. He joined College High faculty and served until 1953 when he accepted a position at Olivet Nazarene College.

Elmore returned to NNC in 1957 where he served as a physical education professor, head baseball coach and assistant basketball coach, and then accepted a position at Trevecca Nazarene College in 1974.

In 1980, Elmore again punched his return ticket to NNC and served as the associate dean of students. In 1982, he was named athletic director and chairman of the physical education department, positions he held until he became ill in February 1985. He passed away in December 1985 at age 61.

A community softball field was named in his honor in 1975; in 1984, he was selected to the NAIA District II Coaches Hall of Fame; he was posthumously inducted into NNU’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990; and, in 1994 the Elmore W. Vail Baseball Field was named in his memory by NNC.
a picture of Ed Weidenbach

Ed Weidenbach

Men's Basketball Coach

Ed Weidenbach

Ed Weidenbach, 1977, was head coach for NNU’s men’s basketball program 1991-1997 and 2002-2004. His fast-paced, high-percentage approach to the game led his teams to average 20 wins a year, spanning 17 years as a collegiate head coach. His coaching style and impact on the game by developing champions in life as well as on the court is known throughout the Northwest.

He won the 1990 Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) Championship and was selected NWAACC Coach of the Year also in 1990. In 1991-92 he took NNC from 9-21 to 26-9, the largest turn-around in the NAIA that year. He was then selected NAIA District II Coach of the Year as well as Northwest Small College Coach of the Year. He took his 1995 NNU squad to the NAIA National Championship game.

In 2004 Weidenbach suffered a stroke. In 2006, he began a non-profit organization, the Potter’s Team, based on Jeremiah 18:6, “Just as clay is in the potter’s hand so are you in me.”

The Weidenbachs live in Wenatchee, Wash. near their two children and two granddaughters.

Community & Volunteer Support

a picture of Len & Geri Back

Len & Geri Back

Campus Renovation Volunteers

Len & Geri Back

Len, 1955, and Geri, 1954, Back are dedicated supporters of NNU. Throughout Geri’s life, she recognized the major impact NNU had made on her and her family. Moving back to the Northwest in 1970 allowed her to reconnect with other alumni at her church, where Geri was able to be part of the NNC ladies’ auxiliary. She also hosted an annual luau, the proceeds of which went for campus projects.

Len and Geri organized, funded and participated in an annual event by taking volunteers to Nampa to assist with summer campus updates. This trip enabled them to introduce to the college many of the church’s students who went along to help.

The Backs established a scholarship that is available to students who need financial assistance. They were honored by NNU with the Distinguished Service Award in 2002.

Len, Geri and their children have hosted many summer college ministry groups in their home; that kind of hospitality is one of Geri’s favorites. The Backs are delighted that their children and five grandchildren can also claim NNU as their alma mater.
a picture of Ken Harward

Ken Harward

Strategic Community Planning

Ken Harward

Ken Harward is the executive director of the Association of Idaho Cities, a position he has held since January 1998. He provides training and technical assistance for officials of Idaho’s 200 incorporated cities. From 1974-97 he served as the administrator and finance director for the City of Nampa. During this time he developed an appreciation for the many contributions NNC made to the community.

Harward worked closely with Dr. Richard Hagood and others from the university in the planning processes that led to the rerouting of traffic around the campus, the acquisition of Kurtz Park and the relocation of the Nampa performances of the Boise Philharmonic to NNU’s Brandt Center.

Harward is grateful to Northwest Nazarene University for the moral, spiritual, cultural and ethical dimensions of her mission and its contributions to the economic, social and spiritual well-being of Nampa and the Treasure Valley. He is proud to call Nampa home.

Ken and his wife Margo have five children and 24 grandchildren.
a picture of B. Edgar Johnson

B. Edgar Johnson

Campus Volunteer Coordinator

B. Edgar Johnson

Although he spent much of his early life in California, B. Edgar Johnson later moved to Idaho, where in 2005 he was awarded the Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from NNU. He pastored several churches and spent many years as a General Secretary of the Church of the Nazarene in Kansas City. He retired in 1990 and returned to Nampa at the age of 68.

Johnson was instrumental in launching 15 non-profit organizations and coalitions to strengthen families and assist underserved children. In addition to his love for the community, he served part-time as NNU’s Director of Church Relations from 1996-2002 and in 2001 was recognized by NNU’s Alumni Association with the Distinguished Service Award.

Johnson loved the community and helped many groups, including a low-cost mental health center, Regional Youth Court, SAFE, Nampa Boys and Girls Club, Families ETC and the Nampa School District. Rev. Johnson poured out his life in service to others; he provided a phenomenal example of what true service is.
a picture of Stan L. Olson

Stan L. Olson

Campus Architectural Planning

Stan L. Olson

Stan Olson was born in Idaho and raised on a farm on the Oregon Slope near Ontario, Oregon. Immediately after graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in architecture, he packed up his family and moved to Malmo, Sweden where he worked for two years with Skanska Cementgjuriet. They returned to the U.S. in 1964 and settled in Nampa.

Designing the John E. Riley Library in 1966 was Olson’s first architectural project at NNC. In the years following, he participated with nearly all new major buildings, additions and remodels. The Thomas Family Health & Science Center capped his 46 years of architectural work with the University. For nine of those years, Stan was an adjunct instructor in engineering graphics.

In 1991, NNU honored Olson with the Eugene Emerson Award. He served on the President’s Advisory Board for many years and is currently serving on NNU’s Art Council.

Stan and Jane have been married 56 years, have four daughters and are the proud grandparents of eight grandchildren.
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