NNU has afforded me not only a good education, but also many good memories.

I think of professor Reg Hill’s games and love of Star Trek quotes; Kevin Dennis’ ability to weave baseball into any discussion; senior seminar at Gaymon and Evelyn Bennett’s home with homemade chocolate, candy-bar-piece cookies, Dr. Lynn Neil guiding me gently through the process of dissecting a sentence (again); and, learning about the use of Cliff Notes for the first time when Karl Martin forced us to read Moby Dick (How dare he? In a literature class?!)

...perhaps the single most influential relationship of my four years at NNU was that I had with the Poe family.

The friends I had at NNU (NNC then) are lifetime friends whom I love and cherish. I have many memories of nights at Lake Lowell and The Flicks, drives to Silver City, the Frontier Theater, walks to Maverick, the trick of sticking something in the front door so we could get back into Morrison Hall after curfew, the lovely “dual-occupancy” year at Dooley Hall, and the year of juggling friends and studies while serving as editor of “The Crusader.”

However, perhaps the single most influential relationship of my four years at NNU was that I had with the Poe family.

My roommate, Kim Calman, and I had come from very close-knit families in a very tight church from Lynden, Wash. Nampa, Idaho, was a whole other world to us. When we got flyers from College Church of the Nazarene for the “SACK” (Sponsor a College Kid) program, we signed up our first week of school. We had the good fortune to be paired with Mike and Carol Poe and their children—three-year-old Jayna and three-month old Robbie. That pairing changed our lives.

Poe Family Album

Some captured memories from Kim and Lorie's time as members of the Poe family, courtesy of Lorie Palmer.

1. Lorie, Rob and Kim—Rollerskating, 1988

2. Kim, Mike, Rob and Lorie—Rollerskating, 1988

3. Rob, Malinda, Lorie and Jayna—Thanksgiving morning, 1989

4. Kim, Jayna, Malinda, Rob and Lorie—Singing in the Poe's van, 1989

5. Mike, Kim, Lorie and Carol—Graduation party at the Poe's house, 1990

During the next four years, we were welcomed into the Poe home day and night. And we took advantage of that welcome. We spent numerous hours at the Poe’s home doing laundry, baking cookies, using the computer, watching movies, having friends over and visiting with Mike and Carol. In turn we babysat and house-sat, cleaned and cooked for them as well. We helped them move to a new home and welcomed baby Malinda into the family during our junior year. We drove their cars and took their children grocery shopping and roller skating. We had our own house keys. Mike and Carol became a second family to us. They encouraged us to be involved on campus—and we were. They encouraged us to attend church –and we did. Mostly, they loved us and modeled for us what good relationships and parenting were. When our families were in town, they welcomed them with open arms.

Throughout the years since I graduated from NNU in 1990, I have watched the Poe children grow and graduate from high school and college. Mike and Carol now work at NNU. My husband and I brought our own daughter, Avery, to NNU in August. Of course, we were greeted by the Poe family. My “sisters” Jayna and Malinda were there, too. Every time I see the Poes, it’s like being with family, as if no time has elapsed.

I thank God for the example they have been in my life and for that little flyer back in 1986 that brought together two homesick girls with a family who had open arms and hearts.

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