First Year Experience

If you’re thinking about becoming a student at Grace College, or you’re a member of the 2017 Freshman Class at Grace, we hope to answer many of your questions as you prepare for your first year of college.

Welcome to Grace College!

At Grace, we provide a comprehensive program to assist first-year students in their adjustment to college life. It is our hope that Grace will become a fast second home for you and that you’ll feel supported as you discover and pursue God's calling for your life. The central components of the first-year program are Welcome Weekend (orientation) and Freshman Foundations (FYE 1010). Throughout orientation and the course, freshmen meet in breakout groups of 15 to 20 students led by a Faculty Mentor and a Student Mentor (an upperclass student). These groups are designed to give first-year students the kind of support needed to adapt to college life. In order to be prepared for the Freshman Foundations course before orientation, read the Summer Reading Book.


Welcome Weekend


"Welcome Weekend" will be Saturday, August 19, 2017, through Sunday, August 20, 2017. Welcome Weekend is the time when Grace welcomes new students to campus and introduces them and their parents to the Grace campus family.

2017 Welcome Weekend Tentative Schedule

Other Information

The Campus Store, Business, Registrar and Financial Aid Offices are all open during Welcome Weekend to assist new students.

Meetings and other events are scheduled throughout the weekend to help new freshmen and transfer students learn about the Grace campus and community and to become familiar with expectations and the campus environment.

In addition, programs are provided during the weekend to help parents learn about the campus community, educational philosophy, and academic commitment of the college and its faculty and administration. New freshmen and transfer students are required to attend the events specified for them on the schedule.

Each parent will be given two complimentary meal passes for the weekend, which can be picked up at Welcome Weekend Registration. Additional meal passes for other family members can be purchased at the entrance of Alpha Dining Commons.

You will be given a final schedule of Welcome Weekend Events upon arrival.


To assist parents and/or family members, we have a list of available lodging in the Warsaw and Winona Lake area.

For more information about Welcome Weekend, call the Grace College Student Affairs Office at 1-800-544-7223, ext. 6466.


Freshman FoundationsFreshman Foundations

This course will help students discover their God-given strengths, navigate through current college issues, and help the student better understand what makes a Christian liberal arts education valuable. It will also introduce students to the value off-campus involvement and introduce students to prospective departments and faculty within the institution, assisting in the selection process of choosing a major and a career. This course is designed to make all students’ time at Grace the best experience possible.

Principle Faculty:

Jacqueline Schram
Aaron Crabtree


Freshman Read

Love Kindness

Kindness is not what we have been taught it is. It isn’t a soft virtue, expressed only by sweet grandmothers or nice Boy Scouts. Kindness is neither timid nor frail. Instead, it is brave and daring, willing to be vulnerable with those with whom we disagree. It is the revolutionary way that Jesus himself called us to live. The way of selfless risks. The way of staggering hope. The way of authenticity.

Dr. Barry Corey, president of Biola University, believes we tend to devalue the importance of kindness, opting instead for caustic expressions of certainty that push people away. We forget that the essence of what God requires of us is to “love kindness.” In this book, filled with stories from his travels around the globe, Barry shows us the forgotten way of kindness. It is a life that calls us to put ourselves at risk. A life that calls us to hope. A life of a firm center and soft edges. It is the life Christ invites us to follow, no matter what the cost.


Faculty and Student Mentors

The men, women and students below serve as Faculty and Student Mentors (sometimes called "break out group leaders") for Freshman Foundations (FYE 1010).

As a freshman, you will meet with your breakout group one or two times a week. Assisting each Faculty Mentor is an upperclass student called a Student Mentor. Together, it is their desire to assist you in any way possible as you transition to college life and begin to feel at home at Grace. Feel free to contact these mentors with any questions you may have—or just to introduce yourself and begin getting to know them.

Meet the Mentors:


Aaron Crabtree

Dean of Students
Office: Indiana Hall 143
Break-out location: MC 106
Phone Extension: 6464



Jacqueline Schram

Associate Dean of Student Affairs;
Associate Professor, French
Office: Indiana Hall 141
Break-out location: OR 115
Phone Extension: 6283



Deb Musser

Student Health and Counseling Center Director
Office: Indiana Hall 157
Break-out location: SC 210
Phone Extension: 6069



Patrick Loebs

Assistant Professor, Communication
Office: Philathea 103B
Break-out location: OR 106
Phone Extension: 6096



Ryan Johnson

Assistant Professor, Mathematics and Physics
Office: SCI 326
Break-out location: MM 203
Phone Extension: 6304



Denise Terry

Director, Center of Career Connections
Office: Indiana Hall 151
Break-out location: PH 109
Phone Extension: 6101



Randy Polston

Director of Applied Learning
Office: Indiana Hall 249
Break-out location: MC 103
Phone Extension: 6416



John Sloat

Resident Director of Beta Hall/Yocum House
Office: Office of Student Affairs
Break-out location: MC 107
Phone Extension: 6494



Kearstin Criswell

Coordinator of Student Involvement
Office: Indiana Hall 130
Break-out location: MM 202
Phone Extension: 6470



Amy Geiser

Resident Director for Indiana Hall and The Lodge
Office: Indiana Hall
Break-out location: PH 009
Phone Extension: 6490



Ty Propp

Physical Plant Set-Up Supervisor
Office: Physical Plant main door/SW unit
Break-out location: SC 214
Phone: 574-253-2230



Geeta Tupps

Director of Global Initiatives
Office: Global Office 160
Break-out location: MC 101
Phone Extension: 6104



Emily Brenneman

Student Affairs Project Coordinator
Office: Student Affairs
Break-out location: RC 135
Phone Extension: 6488



Brent Mencarelli

Dean of Chapel and Community Life
Office: IH 143
Break-out location: SC 215
Phone Extension: 6284



Brie Heim

Resident Director
Office: Westminster Hall
Break-out location: MM 203
Phone Extension: 6465



These mentors are ready and willing to help you as a freshman—whether you encounter a question about life at Grace College or just want a friend to share a meal or a cup of coffee with.

Other helpful resources:

Residence Life Departments/Majors Health Center Forms Career Services Computer Services Student Activities Academic Assistance



Email Student Affairs at or call 574-372-5100, ext. 6488.