McPherson College Honors Young Alumni

MC Young Alumni 2023

From left to right: Renata Lichty ’02 Prose & Paul ’00 Prose, Adeola Grillo Coker ’94, Erin ’95 & Nathan ’98 Swenson-Reinhold

Each year McPherson College recognizes the accomplishments of young alumni during the Honors Convocation at Homecoming. This year, five alumni — Adeola Grillo Coker ’94, Erin ’95 & Nathan ’98 Swenson-Reinhold, and Paul ’00 & Renata Lichty ’02 Prose — received Young Alumni Awards on October 20 in a ceremony at Brown Auditorium.

The purpose of the Young Alumni Award is to recognize the achievements and life-long potential for accomplishment of the college’s younger alumni. The award is given to alumni who are addressing and overcoming challenges in their professions, are involved in service to others or their church, and are actively supportive of McPherson College.

Adeola Grillo Coker, San Antonio, Texas, graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry and received a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998. She is a pharmaceutical scientist and educator with more than 20 years of experience in academic pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry. She currently serves as the director of the Master of Science in Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences program at the University of the Incarnate Word, Feik School of Pharmacy in San Antonio, where she has been a professor since 2009. Prior to that, she was a senior scientist at Human Genome Sciences, Inc., in Rockville, MD. She is an active volunteer, serving as a science fair judge for the Alamo Regional Academy of Sciences and a project mentor for the American Chemical Society, mentoring high school students in science. She serves on the volunteer engagement and management committee for Each One Teach One, a San Antonio non-profit organization that helps adults gain literacy. At McPherson College, she serves as a mentor for the Student Debt Project.

Erin & Nathan Swenson-Reinhold, Frisco, Texas. The Rev. Dr. Erin Swenson-Reinhold graduated from McPherson College in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Cultural Studies. She earned a Master of Social Work in 1997 from the University of Kansas and a Doctor of Ministry Degree in 2016 from the Portland Seminary at George Fox University in Oregon. She works as the pastor for group life at Preston Meadow Lutheran Church in Plano, Texas, and has 20 years of therapeutic experience. Throughout her career, she has served in variety of counseling and pastoral positions in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Florida, and Nebraska. She also offers private counseling and coaching through Journey Counseling & Coaching Services. Nathan, a 1998 graduate of McPherson College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology, also has an extensive career in counseling and pastoring. He is currently a partner with GBS Fundraising, an organization that strengthens charitable causes, and is the owner of Summit Coaching and Behavioral Counseling. In 2005, he received a Master of Divinity and was ordained into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. He later earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Portland Seminary at George Fox University. He is a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation and is a certified DISC behavioral consultant.

Paul & Renata Lichty Prose, McPherson, Kansas. Dr. Paul Prose is a 2000 graduate of McPherson College where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and played on the Bulldog football team for three years. He earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree from the Ohio State University in 2009. In 2015, he purchased the McPherson Veterinary Clinic after practicing there for three years and in 2017 added the McPherson Pet Resort. In 2023, Dr. Prose added a satellite veterinary clinic in Newton, Kan. Dr. Renata Prose received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with minors in chemistry and Spanish from McPherson College in 2002 and played for the women’s soccer team for three years. She earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree in 2006 from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. She has practiced dentistry in McPherson since 2011 and in 2017 established Mid Kansas Dental.  She volunteers locally with Step MC and with Kansas Mission of Mercy. Both regularly host student interns and serve as volunteers at Camp Colorado for the Church of the Brethren, and were youth group sponsors for the Columbus Mennonite Church. Renata served on the McPherson College Alumni Board from 2012-2016.

McPherson College Honors Alumni

The McPherson College Citation of Merit award recipients for 2023 are Dwight Oltman ’58 (posthumously), Zane Smith ’66, and Garold Minns ’73. These recipients exemplify the college’s mission of Service, Scholarship, and Participation through their lifelong commitment to the values they developed as students at McPherson College. The college honored this year’s recipients at a dinner on April 21 at the Community Building in McPherson.

The McPherson College Citation of Merit is the highest award recognizing the most distinguished alumni for lifetime accomplishments in service to profession, community, church, and to McPherson College. The recipients are recommended by the Alumni Awards Committee and are approved by the College Board of Trustees.

Dwight Oltman

The beginning of Dwight Oltman’s 55-year career as a renowned international conductor and music educator can be traced back to his senior year at McPherson College. He was asked to fill in for the band director, who had become ill until a replacement was found and ended up conducting the entire academic year.

Oltman was the founding music director of the Ohio Chamber Orchestra in Cleveland and conducted the orchestra from 1972 to 1992. He was also the music director and principal conductor of Cleveland Ballet from 1976 to 2000. He conducted ballet performances in cities across the United States, including New York and Chicago, and in Europe at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. From 2000 until 2012, he was the music director of Ballet San Jose in California and traveled with the company to perform in Shanghai, China. Oltman served on the faculty of Baldwin Wallace University for 40 years from 1970 until 2014, where he conducted the symphony orchestra and symphonic wind ensemble. Both groups were honored by being selected to perform at numerous state, regional, and national conferences. He also directed the renowned Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival for 39 years, which was featured on PBS for its St. Matthew’s Passion performance and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Throughout his career, he conducted various orchestras in the United States and abroad and was a guest lecturer for many national conferences and American music schools.

He graduated from McPherson College in 1958, earned a Master of Art in Music from Wichita State University in 1963, and completed postgraduate coursework at the University of Cincinnati. Additionally, he studied conducting with Pierre Monteux and Max Rudolf, two of the leading pedagogues of the 20th century, and composition in France with Nadia Boulanger. He was recognized with a proclamation from Cleveland Mayor Michael White and recognized with a Morton Gould Award from the American Society of Composers.

 

McPherson College alum Zane Smith

McPherson College alum Zane Smith

Zane Smith

 

Zane Smith put his business degree from McPherson College to use in helping develop his hometown of Ankeny, Iowa. After graduating from McPherson in 1966, he returned to his home and opened a gas station just off of well-traveled Interstate-35. He later continued his education in real estate and obtained a real estate and broker’s license, becoming a Certified Residential Specialist and Certified Commercial Investment Member. He established a residential real estate company, Zane Smith Realty, which grew into one of the leading residential real estate companies in Iowa. He expanded his company into commercial sales and founded Zane Smith Commercial. He is a 50-year member of the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors and a member of the Iowa Commercial Real Estate Association and National Association of Realtors. In addition to his real estate companies, he was also a past co-owner of two tire stores and six convenience stores.

He is an active member of community organizations. He is a 50-year member of the Masonic Lodge and Ankeny Rotary Club and a nine-time Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, and member of the Za-Ga-Zig Shrine-Royal Order of Jesters. He is a past board of directors member of the Ankeny Chamber of Commerce and First American Bank. He is a life-long member of the Ankeny Church of the Brethren. Smith established a permanent ongoing endowed scholarship fund for students in the McPherson College business program.

McPherson College alum Garold Minns

McPherson College alum Garold Minns

Garold Minns

Dr. Garold Minns grew up in McPherson and graduated from McPherson College with a degree in biology in 1973. He continued his education at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita. At KUMC-Wichita he completed his residency in internal medicine, followed by an infectious disease fellowship. He joined the faculty of KUMC-Wichita in 1980 and today serves as its dean and associate dean for Academic and Student Affairs, professor, and was the previous chair of the Department of Internal Medicine. He is the Sedgwick County health officer and during the pandemic was instrumental in leading health policy for the county, including Wichita. He also serves as part-time physician at the Wichita Veterans Hospital.

His community involvement includes working with the National Youth Sports Program, giving physical exams for youths, and as a camp physician for the Boy Scouts of America. He is a member of the Wichita First Church of the Brethren, where he has been actively involved in committees over the years, and as volunteer physician for the Annual Conference.

A recording of the Evening of Recognition Awards dinner and program can be found at http://livestream.com/mcpherson-college/evening-of-recognition-2023

McPherson College Meets Goals In One-Day Giving Blitz

Powering Today

McPherson College’s Power Day 2023 met all the goals set for the annual online giving day, raising $330,000 for scholarships and programs. In its ninth year, more than 350 alumni and friends of the college made gifts that helped unlock five matching challenges that totaled over $90,000.

This year’s matching challenges included:

  • $50,000 from the Paul Family for the MC Fund and academics
  • $12,500 from Young Alumni
  • $10,000 from Jeff Slagle for Automotive Restoration
  • $10,000 from Equity Bank for Athletics
  • $10,000 from the Board of Trustees

“Power Day is not only a day of giving but a time for the McPherson College community to celebrate and remember what McPherson College means to us,” Dave Barrett, director of Power Day, said. “This is the place where many of us were allowed to grow, learn life lessons both in and out of the classroom, and meet forever friends. Power Day is an opportunity for our alumni and friends to make an investment in the next generation of MC students, allow them to have their own unique MC experience, and recognize what makes this place so special.”

The one-day giving blitz featured live and pre-recorded video messages throughout the day on the college’s social media channels and website. Leading up to Power Day, alumni were encouraged to share stories about the community they built at McPherson College that continues today.

“I had the privilege of playing basketball at Mac with two amazing people who became lifelong friends,” said Angelina Froese, a 2009 graduate. “That’s what McPherson College’s environment does, introduces you to great people and encourages its students to build relationships. For that, I’ll forever be grateful I chose McPherson College and be proud to be a Bulldog.”

Although the focus of Power Day is online giving, Barrett said it is also a day to reconnect with friends and communicate why it is important to support the next generation of students through scholarships.

“As we look to continue our tradition of successful fundraising, it will take all levels of donor support,” President Michael Schneider said. “Power Day is one demonstration of our alumni and friends stepping up to make an immediate impact on our students through robust scholarships and innovative programs like the Student Debt Project.”

More information about Power Day, including all the day’s videos, can be found at www.ksawatch.net/power.

McPherson College Honors Young Alumni

2022 Young Alumni recipients

Each year McPherson College recognizes the accomplishments of young alumni during the Honors Convocation at Homecoming. This year, three alumni —Billy Jamison ’88, Bruce Lolling ’95, and Andrea Herrera ’00 — received Young Alumni Awards on October 13 in a ceremony at Brown Auditorium.

The purpose of the Young Alumni Award is to recognize the achievement and potential for accomplishment of the college’s young alumni. The award is given to alumni who are meeting significant challenges in pursuit of professional goals, are involved in service to others and church, and participate in alumni activities.

Billy Jamison, Jefferson City, Mo., graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Management. Since 2004, he has worked as research administrator at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is a member of the National Council of University Research Administrators, an executive member of the Black Faculty and Staff Organization and serves on various Presidential committees, including the university’s Budget Committee, Family Friendly Campus Committee, and the Title IX Equity Panel. He is the chair of the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Staff Advisory Council and has chaired the Chancellor’s Star Award Committee. He has volunteered his time on campus in various faculty, staff, and student activities, including 5K runs, Tiger Walk, and freshman student move-in.  For the past 22 years, he has donated his time volunteering to organize and conduct the Lincoln University of Jefferson City, Mo. Homecoming parade.  He is an Elder and ordained minister and serves the Strait Way Temple of Deliverance as an assistant pastor and church administrator. He also gives his time to the McPherson College Student Debt Project as a program mentor.

Bruce Lolling, El Dorado, Kan., graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in history and later earned a master’s degree from Emporia State University and a master’s degree in school leadership from Baker University. He taught social studies for 10 years before becoming a school administrator. He is currently the principal at Valley Center High School, where he leads a staff of 130 including 85 licensed staff, and oversees educational opportunities for approximately 1,000 students from grades nine to 12. Since 2008, he has served as an AVID national staff developer training other educators for the AVID summer institute and AVID Path. He also wrote the AVID National Professional Learning curriculum for history. AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination, aims to close the opportunity gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success.

Andrea Herrera, McPherson, graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in biology and earned a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City in 2005. She completed her residency at the University of Texas Health Center at Tyler in the department of family medicine. She is a family medicine physician and opened Great Plains Family Medicine, a direct primary care office, in McPherson in 2015. Before opening her office, she was a staff and clinic physician at McPherson Hospital, where she served as president of the medical staff in 2018. Her special interests are in women’s health, sports medicine, pediatrics, disease prevention, obesity and weight control. She volunteers in children’s ministry, the worship team, and women’s ministry at the Journey Mennonite Church. She supports McPherson College athletes as a host family for softball and provides meals and support to the volleyball team.

Campus Tour Features New Building Projects

Coming Soon Tour

The McPherson community will have an opportunity to learn more about the historic campus updates at McPherson College during its Homecoming activities on Saturday, October 15. The college is hosting a self-guided walking tour open to all guests on campus from 10 – 11:30 a.m.

McPherson College recently announced plans to reimagine its campus for the future—funded in part by a successful $55 million capital campaign that will supercharge the largest-ever investment in new buildings in its 135-year history.

The tour will feature five locations, including sites of the Campus Commons, the Boiler House, and the Holman Center for Athletics. College leadership will be located at each stop sharing information and answering questions. Guests can obtain a tour card at the Homecoming registration table in front of Miller Library and begin the tour anytime between 10 and 11:30 a.m. Golf carts will be available for those needing assistance.

The Campus Commons, a 55,000-square-foot landmark structure, is the cornerstone of the updates. The multi-level building will make a more robust community possible with new campus dining, student services, and activity spaces.

The Boiler House is a new hangout for the next generation of McPherson College students. It features an indoor-outdoor space with flex seating, yard games, fire pits, and a large outdoor screen and stage area. It will provide the perfect place to socialize and collaborate.

The expansion of the current Sport Center will give McPherson College teams a modernized facility as they compete in the fast-changing dynamic of college athletics.

“This is a momentous time for McPherson College, and we are excited to share our plans with our community,” said McPherson College President Michael Schneider. “We are changing the face of campus, putting our students’ needs first and preparing them for the future, while making a positive impact on the local economy. The investment we are making on campus updates will flow through the community in areas including retail, service, and lodging, and will ultimately lead to increased enrollment bringing more students and families to McPherson.”

In addition to the new structures, nearly half of the $55 million in new funding will directly support educational initiatives on campus that benefit McPherson-area students attending the college, such as the Student Debt Project, student scholarships, the Kansas Center for Rural & Community Health Science, Automotive Restoration, and other academic programs and growth areas.

More details and images of the campus updates are online, ksawatch.net/comingsoon. If you have questions about the campus tour, please contact the McPherson College Advancement Office, (620) 242-0435

McPherson College Honors Alumni

Citation of Merit recipients

The McPherson College Citation of Merit award recipients exemplify the college’s mission of Service, Scholarship, and Participation through their lifelong commitment to the values they developed as students at McPherson College. The college honored this year’s recipients at a dinner on April 22 at the Cedars Conference Center in McPherson. Citation of Merit awards went to Annette Van Blaricum ’68, Roger Trimmell ’73, and Jeff Bach ’79.

The McPherson College Citation of Merit is the college’s highest award recognizing the most distinguished alumni for lifetime accomplishments in service to profession, community, church, and to McPherson College. The recipients are recommended by the Alumni Awards Committee and are approved by the College Board of Trustees.

Annette Van Blaricum

The characteristics of service, scholarship, and participation outlined in the McPherson College mission are a common theme throughout the life and career of Annette Van Blaricum of Wichita. At nine years old, after visiting her sister at the college, she knew where she wanted to attend college and through her participation as a student in activities like theatre and choir, she laid a foundation that allowed her to sing with her church choir for many years and meet her husband, Ken ‘67.

She taught kindergarten and Title 1 for more than 30 years in Tonganoxie, Wichita, and Pratt, retiring in 2006. She has been an active volunteer in her church and the communities where she has lived with her family. In Pratt, she taught pre-school Sunday School for more than 10 years. She served as president of the Pratt United Methodist Women and served as vice president for the Wichita West District UMW. She organized a young women’s Rebekah Guild, and tutored international students from Africa and India. She also volunteered within her profession as president of Delta Kappa Gamma teachers group, publishing its newsletter for several years and was president of the Retired Teachers organization. Other volunteer activities include filling many offices within PEO chapters, serving as president of the Prairie Pilot Club, and serving as state president of the American Association of University Women.

Annette stays connected with McPherson College by serving as class agent for the Class of 1968 and helping coordinate their successful 50th reunion in 2018. She is a past member of the Alumni Board. She also shares her talents with her communities. After learning to quilt, she organized a sewing club that donated several baby quilts to the Pratt Regional Medical Center over the years. She enjoys reading and hiking along the Arkansas River and is an avid cook and baker. Since 2015, she has been selling jams, jellies, salsa, and baked goods at the Pratt Farmers Market and currently at the Wichita Flea Market.

Roger Trimmell

Roger Trimmell served as head coach for the McPherson College men’s basketball team for 27 seasons from 1982 to 2008 and was an assistant professor in the health and physical education program. His impact on the lives of hundreds of students and colleagues is immeasurable. During his time as head coach for the Bulldogs, 61 players were named to All-Conference teams, including three who were named KCAC Player of the Year, and three who received NAIA All-American honors. Additionally, the graduation rate for all his senior players was 100 percent. He is affectionately known to McPherson College as the Father of Dogball. His teams qualified for the NAIA District 10 playoffs six times and his overall conference record, 221-211, gives him the most victories in KCAC men’s basketball history. He was named KCAC Coach of the Year twice, and was inducted into the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame twice – once as a coach and once as a member of the 1968 Wamego, Kan., undefeated state basketball championship team.

While at McPherson College, he organized annual team collections for the local food bank and reading programs with elementary schools. He also coordinated student groups to support Operation Christmas Child. He devoted summers to the college basketball camps as well as youth leagues and was director of the McPherson College Boys and Girls All-Star Basketball Games.

Along with his successful teaching and coaching career, he also devoted much of his time and talent to McPherson community organizations and his church. He was the director of Heartland Basketball Camps for nine years as well as for Focus on Family Basketball Camps, also for nine years. He served as a board member for the McPherson YMCA and volunteers with Brush Up Mac. He is a member of Countryside Covenant Church where is a Christian Formation teacher for junior high youth as well as a leader for the Adult Life group, and past member and chair of the Diaconate Board.

Jeff Bach

The foundation for Jeff Bach’s life-long love of learning was set at McPherson College and led him to a career of scholarship and service within the Church of the Brethren. He graduated from McPherson College with a double major in elementary education and German language and taught German at area high schools after graduating for a brief time. He was called to the ministry earning a master’s of divinity degree at Bethany Theological Seminary and later completing a doctoral program in the department of religion at Duke University publishing a dissertation about the religious views of the Ephrata Community in Ephrata, PA. He served as pastor to churches in Iowa and later taught history and Brethren studies and served as director of Peace Studies at Bethany Theological Seminary.

In 2007, he was named director of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College and served as associate professor of religious studies. As director, he oversaw three major fund-raising efforts that resulted in the addition of an archive and special collection to the library, an addition to the Center’s facility, and $1 million endowed program support. He supervised acquisitions of several rare materials and books and developed content for the Bowers Interpretive Gallery at the Young Center, a museum-quality multi-media exhibit of artifacts, graphics, and text to interpret the Anabaptist and Pietist movements. He retired in 2020 and was recently named director emeritus.

He served on the Church of the Brethren 300th Anniversary committee and was chair of the committee from 2005-2008. Currently, he serves as convener for the planning committee for the Church of the Brethren World Assembly in 2023. He is also the liaison between the Brethren Encyclopedia Board and the Alexander Mack Museum in Schwarzenau, Germany and participates in research for two projects transcribing and analyzing German text. He and his wife, Ann ’79, also serve as part-time ministers at Stevens Hill Church of the Brethren in Elizabethtown, PA.

McPherson College’s Power Day 2022 Sets New Giving Records

Power Day 2022

McPherson College’s Power Day 2022 surpassed all goals and set new records on March 10 during this year’s annual online day of giving that supports students and programs across campus. More than 400 alumni and friends of the college gave $314,383, exceeding last year’s total by more than $120,000, and in the eight years since its start, Power Day has raised more than $1 million.

“The response to this year’s Power Day exceeded all of my expectations,” Dave Barrett ’90, advancement officer and director of Power Day, said. “When we started this eight years ago, we wanted Power Day to connect with many groups within the MC family. It’s really a day about celebrating McPherson College.”

Gifts from alumni and friends of the college helped unlock matching challenges that totaled $95,000. The challenge gifts included:

  • $50,000 match from the Paul family for gifts made to the MC Fund and academic programs;
  • $10,000 match from the Van Goethem family for gifts made by young alumni;
  • $10,000 match from the Van Goethem family for gifts made to athletics;
  • $5,000 match from the Van Goethem family for gifts made to the choir;
  • $10,000 match from Jeff Slagle for gifts made to the automotive restoration program;
  • $10,000 match from a current McPherson College Board of Trustee member for gifts made by fellow board members.

“Power Day is not just a day of giving but a time for us all to celebrate and remember what McPherson College means to us,” Barrett said. “This is the place where many of us were allowed to grow and learn life lessons both in and out of the classroom and to meet life-long friends.”

The one-day giving blitz featured live and pre-recorded video messages throughout the day on the college’s social media channels and website. Alumni were encouraged to share their stories about the MC community leading up to Power Day and donors left comments throughout the day, which were shared on the college website.

In her online comment, Chrystal Banz ’07, said, “So grateful for my time at MC! From being a part of the first year of the graphic design program, bringing back women’s soccer, playing in the MC band, and on through the phone-a-thon. The memories and friendships will last a lifetime.”

Although the focus of Power Day is online giving, Barrett said it is also a day to engage with alumni and friends from across the country and communicate why it is important to support the next generation of students by investing in their success.

More information about Power Day, including all of the videos and alumni comments, can be found at www.ksawatch.net/power.

McPherson College Honors Young Alumni

Each year McPherson College recognizes the accomplishments of young alumni during the Honors Convocation at Homecoming. This year three alumni – Craig Henderson ‘91, Jon Paden ‘91, and Elizabeth Stover Lucore ‘02 –received Young Alumni Awards on October 1 in a ceremony at McPherson Stadium.

The purpose of the Young Alumni Award is to recognize the achievement and potential for accomplishment of the college’s young alumni. The award is given to alumni who are meeting significant challenges in pursuit of professional goals as well as involved in service to others and church, and who participate in alumni activities.

Craig HendersonCraig Henderson, Fruita, Colorado, graduated in 1991 with a degree in history and earned his law degree in 1994 at Washburn University. He serves as the county court judge for the 21st Judicial District in Grand Junction, Colorado. He was admitted to the Kansas Bar in 1994 and worked as an attorney in Wichita, and in 1996 was admitted to the Colorado Bar and worked as an attorney in Denver. He has served as a deputy district attorney in Sterling, Hot Sulphur Springs, and Grand Junction, Colorado. He is a member of the Colorado County Court Judges Association and has served as a volunteer mock trial judge for Colorado Mesa University’s criminal law class.

He enjoys spending time outside of work with his family enjoying the arts and the outdoors. He is an avid reader and loves music, but his real hobby is long-distance running. He has finished two 50K ultra-marathons in Colorado and Utah, three marathons, seven half-marathons, and several other races of various distances.

Jon PadenJon Paden, Little River, Kansas, graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree and later received a master’s degree in educational administration and completed hours in a doctoral program at Kansas State University. He is currently starting his 26th year as principal at Windom Elementary School in the Little River School District. He started his career in education with USD 418 in McPherson as an elementary school teacher for first, second, and fifth grades.

He is an active community volunteer. In 2015, he was recognized as Little River Community Citizen of the Year. He has served on the USD 444 Recreation Commission promoting activities for youth and adults, coached youth sports in Little River and Sterling, Kansas, and was a youth group leader for several years. He served on the Little River City Council and currently serves on the Little River Community Foundation Board determining grant awards for the community. He also serves on the Mutual Telephone Company Board of Directors. He is active in his church serving on numerous committees and is a past member of the McPherson College alumni board.

Elizabeth Stover LucoreElizabeth Stover Lucore, DO, MPH, Monett, Missouri, graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and biology. She received her Masters of Public Health and Doctor of Osteopathy degrees from Des Moines University in 2008. Dr. Lucore is currently chief of staff at Cox Monett Hospital and volunteers as the medical director of the Barry County Department of Health.

Along with her family practice clinic and call schedule delivering babies, she is also involved in several volunteer projects and leadership roles in her community. Most recently, she is working to help develop a biking and walking trail system accessible to hospital visitors, employees, and the community. She is the founder of the Alternative Gift Fair in Monett, which over the last seven years has raised more than $10,000 for local nonprofits organizations. She also helped bring a volunteer chaplaincy program to the hospital. She is active in her church and serves as board chair for Camp Colorado.

While a student at McPherson College, she ran cross country, participated in choir and band, and became a member of Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society. Now, together with her husband and children, she enjoys playing, exploring, eating, and laughing.

McPherson College Honors Alumni with Citation of Merit Award

McPherson College recognized its most notable alumni with the Citation of Merit Award in a video tribute released online on April 29, 2021. This year’s Citation of Merit Awards were presented to W. Ethmer Erisman ’46, Dwight Hill ’53, Eleanor Draper Hubbard ’62, and Dale ’72 and Christy Young ’76 Dowdy.

The McPherson College Citation of Merit award is the college’s highest award given to the college’s most distinguished alumni for lifetime accomplishments in service to profession, community, church, and to the college. Recipients exemplify the college’s mission of Service, Scholarship, and Participation through their life-long commitment to the values they developed as students at the college. The Alumni Awards Committee recommends nominees for approval by the College Board of Trustees.

The awards video is available online at ksawatch.net/merit.

Ethmer Erisman ‘46

At age 96, Wilbert Ethmer Erisman is a shining example of the McPherson College mission. He spent more than 75 years in service to the Church of the Brethren as a minister and as an educator. He is a retired pastor from his most recent pastorates, Shoal Creek Church of the Brethren in Leeton, Missouri, and the Warrensburg Church of the Brethren in Warrensburg, Missouri. In retirement, Ethmer remains active in the Warrensburg church and still preaches occasionally. He was the first of his family to attend college and eventually helped three other siblings attend McPherson College along with all three of his children and several grandchildren. He also attended Bethany Seminary where he earned a divinity degree.

In his trademark overalls, Ethmer is also a wonderful example of stewardship to the land. He continues to work on his farm and is known for sharing the produce from his garden, eggs from his chickens, and occasionally bringing small animals to the children’s church service. He was an active volunteer in his community for many years serving in the Kiwanis Club as president and an active fundraiser. He also served 10 years as a member of the Board of Trustees for McPherson College.

Dwight Hill ‘53

McPherson College recognizes Dwight W. Hill for his service to his community but also for his instrumental role in founding the McPherson College Automotive Restoration program. Through his professional association with local entrepreneur Gaines H. “Smokey” Billue and former McPherson College President Galen Snell, Hill laid the groundwork for what would become the only four-year bachelor’s degree in auto restoration. He served on the first advisory committee for the program and secured its long-term financial support through his financial planning work with Billue.

Hill began his career in McPherson working as a CPA but later served in other positions including director and executive vice president at McPherson Bank & Trust, and director and consultant for the loan and trust department at Peoples Bank & Trust. He has played a big role in the McPherson community as well. He served on and was chair of the McPherson City and County Airport Board for 22 years and was instrumental in its renovation. He loves to fly and even built his own plane. He has served on the board of directors and took leadership roles on several local organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, Museum, Hospital, Senior Center, and served on the McPherson United Way board for 20 years as treasurer and drive chair. His community service also includes serving on the city Planning Commission, the Central Business District Sidewalk Replacement Committee, and volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America for 10 years as assistant scoutmaster and chair of the district committee. Dwight shared his financial expertise with his church, serving as treasurer, chair of the financial committee, building committee, and board president for the First Baptist Church.

Eleanor Draper Hubbard ‘62

Eleanor Draper Hubbard’s life work has been in social justice and peace, particularly as an educator and volunteer.  Her publications include, “Trans-Kin: A Guide for Family and Friends of Transgender People” written in 2013 and a memoir in 2010, entitled, “Finding My Way Home: A Remembrance Nest of Farm, Family and Faith,” in which she tells stories of her life on an Iowa farm attending the Ivester Church of the Brethren. Her service to McPherson College was as a presenter in the online Ventures in Christian Discipleship program and as a member of its planning committee.

Hubbard achieved a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1992 and taught there as a graduate assistant and as faculty for over 30 years.  She retired as a senior instructor emerita in 2007 but continues to teach occasionally, as well as to conduct diversity training.  She and her husband served in the Peace Corps after graduating from McPherson College and has been faculty on two voyages for Semester at Sea. Her honors include an International Book Award for Trans-Kin and a Champion of Diversity award from Boulder’s YWCA.

Eleanor’s community service includes leadership positions for PFLAG (Parents and Friends of LGBTQ+), the Institute for the Study of Advanced Developed, the Colorado BPW Education Foundation, Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence and Cairn Christian Church, (formerly First Christian Church of Boulder) where she has been an active member.

Dale ’72 and Christy Young ’76 Dowdy

Dale and Christy Dowdy are true educators and deepened their dedication to education as students at McPherson College. However, it was after they were established in their teaching careers that they each responded to a call to ministry. They both received Master in Divinity Degrees from Bethany Theological Seminary and over their long collaborative careers became models for team ministry.

For more than 25 years, they served as co-pastors at the Antelope Park Church of the Brethren in Lincoln, Nebraska as well as at the Stone Church of the Brethren in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. Their servant leadership is extensive. Dale volunteered for many years visiting a death row inmate at the Nebraska State Penitentiary, was a recruiter for the Crop Walk, and volunteered for Community Peacemakers while in Lincoln. He represented Stone Church of the Brethren on the local Forum for Churches that planned ecumenical events and participated in the Local Pastors’ Gathering. Christy organized peace and justice work for the State of Nebraska and in Huntingdon was involved in the Huntingdon Soup Kitchen, served as chair of the Huntingdon Forum of Churches, and served on the board of Habitat for Humanity in Huntingdon.

Dale served in district leadership with the Atlantic Northeast Church of the Brethren District, and they both offered leadership in Western Plains and Middle Pennsylvania Districts.

McPherson College Featured In U.S. Holocaust Museum Program

Tom Doeppner

Tom Doeppner. Courtesy of Ron Doeppner and Sarah Doeppner Snow.

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum will feature McPherson College in an upcoming digital program that will discuss how students at McPherson College and other schools took action to help refugees in the 1930s and 1940s.

It will be held live on the museum’s Facebook page on March 24 at 8:30 a.m. CT.

The program explores how young Americans, while growing up in a time of racial segregation and the Great Depression, looked beyond the struggles of their own nation to respond to the Nazi threat in Europe. Speakers include Leila Braun from the University of Michigan and Dr. Rebecca Erbelding of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

In 1938, McPherson College students were moved to take action after learning about the events in November of that year, known as Kristallnacht – violent anti-Jewish protests throughout Germany and Austria. Students raised money to support Tom Doeppner, an 18-year-old German-born refugee. He was brought to the United States to attend McPherson College.

Sarah Snow, Doeppner’s granddaughter, compiled research used in a recent exhibit at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, which included articles from the McPherson College student newspaper, and an original copy loaned by the college was included in the exhibit.

“The acceptance and financial assistance to McPherson is what enabled him to get a visa, which is how he left Europe,” Snow said. “This was an action out of compassion, but also sacrifice and amazing coordination on the part of the students. Opa (what she called her grandfather) was in a very precarious position, so this scholarship and acceptance to a school in the United States was literally a life-saving invitation.”

A link to the digital program is on the museum’s events calendar on its website, www.ushmm.org.