Archive for the ‘News & Events’ Category

Grace College Special Education Majors Receive State Awards

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

Grace College students Elizabeth Freeman (left) and AnnKelly Myers pose with their 2017 Council for Exceptional Children awards.

Grace College seniors Elizabeth Freeman and AnnKelly Myers were awarded for excellence in pursuit of a career in special education at the Indiana Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) convention in Indianapolis on Sept. 27.

Dr. Cheryl Bremer, Grace College CEC faculty advisor and associate professor in the School of Education, is a CEC executive board member and presented the students with their awards. “We’re proud of the exemplary efforts Liz and AnnKelly have put into their education and the passion with which they are pursuing a career in special education.”

Elizabeth Freeman was presented the 2017 Outstanding Student Member of the Year award.  She is a senior from Waukesha, Wisc., studying elementary and special education.   Currently, Freeman student teaches elementary special education at Claypool Elementary School.

“Liz has been a CEC member since 2015, which was her first year at Grace,” said Bremer. “In 2016 and 2017, Liz was president of the Grace College Student CEC Chapter. She served in this role wholeheartedly and with great devotion. She built a leadership team that was extremely effective.”

Under Freeman’s leadership, the Grace College CEC chapter led multiple outreach events in the community, at local schools, and on campus. Her example of caring for people with disabilities was reflected in her job at Cardinal Services, her coursework and her leadership in CEC.

AnnKelly Myers was awarded the 2017 Dr. William Littlejohn Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded annually to an undergraduate student pursuing licensing in special education.  The recipient is chosen based on the student’s dedication to the principle and high professional standards of Dr. William Littlejohn, a founding national executive director of CEC.

Myers is a Grace College elementary and special education teacher candidate from Smithville, Ohio, and will be student teaching at Leesburg Elementary School in the spring.

“Not only has she maintained academic excellence in the classroom,” said Bremer, “but she leads by serving.”

AnnKelly was vice president of the Grace College Council for Exceptional Children chapter and presented with her peers at the national CEC convention.  In 2016, Myers won the CEC Board Member of the Year Award and the Grace College School of Education Micah 6:8 Award which recognizes a teacher education major who most reflects the school’s conceptual framework of character, competence, and service.

CEC is a professional association of educators dedicated to advancing the success of children with exceptionalities. They accomplish their mission through advocacy, standards and professional development. This year, Grace College’s CEC chapter is led by third-year student Elizabeth Mikel. The chapter meets regularly and serves at many locations in the community.

 

Record 900 Students Participate in Lilly Center’s Annual Lake Adventure Days

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

A Grace College Education student teaches Kosciusko County fourth grade students about local fish species before they go fishing on a nearby lake.

During the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams’ annual Lake Adventure Days, a record-setting 900 students from 12 schools in Kosciusko County visited Pike Lake. The two-day fieldtrip took place September 28-29. To make the event a success, the Lilly Center teamed with local volunteers and DNR officers, Grace College elementary education students, and the Grace College School of Education.

Lake Adventure Day was arranged by Caitlin Yoder, education coordinator at the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams. Fourth graders from elementary schools including Akron, Claypool, Eisenhower, Jefferson, Leesburg, Lincoln, Milford, North Webster, Syracuse, Triton, Warsaw Christian, Washington STEM Academy and local homeschools enjoyed the event.

Lake Adventure Day focuses on firsthand education. Throughout the day, fourth graders took turns visiting five stations. They did water testing, built mini-watersheds, competed in an exercise to learn how to save water, created a water-themed craft, and even went fishing.

Aaron, a participating student from North Webster Elementary, said that his favorite part of the day was fishing in a local lake and that taking care of lakes and streams is important because of the wildlife habitats they provide.

Kosciusko County has over 100 lakes, but this was the first time many of the fourth graders took a closer look at them. Erica Kimble, a fourth grade teacher also from North Webster Elementary, said that an event like Lake Adventure Day is important because, “They [students] are going to be around the lakes for the rest of their lives, and they need to learn about how to maintain them for their futures and their families.”

The Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams is creating educational opportunities throughout the 2017-18 school year through programs such as Classroom Lake Experience, the Lakes & Streams Art Contest, and Aquatic Petting Zoos.

Sponsors of the 2017 Lake Adventure Day event include Bart’s Water Sports, City of Warsaw, Dekko Foundation, DePuy Synthes, Warsaw Kiwanis Club, Louis Dreyfus Company, Lake Tippecanoe Property Owners, Warsaw Breakfast Optimist Club, The Papers, Inc., and Zimmer Biomet.

 

The Other Wonder Woman

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Grace College alumna Lynda Vu

 

The following story was written by Kerith Ackley-Jelinek, publications director at Grace College. It was first published in the 2017 summer edition of Two Eight & Nine Magazine.

Lynda Vu (BS 88) is a marvel. Her life and accomplishments have taken her around the world many times in the service of her family and country. If we printed her full résumé in this magazine, it would be the magazine. But for context, there are highlights of Vu’s vitae that you need to know.

Vu is a colonel, the senior-most field-grade military rank. She’s a family medicine doctor, who has also earned her master’s in public health and is a board-certified aerospace medicine specialist. She’s the director of the Pentagon Flight Medicine Annex (a clinic at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland). She’s served as chief of the medical staff and as a commander of a medical operations squadron and an aerospace medical squadron. She’s served stints in England, Greece, Nicaragua and Belize, to name a few. And in July she was deployed for six months to support a mission in the Middle East. At home, she’s the co-captain of a “large flight” as the mother of five children (who were born across several trans-Pacific time zones in Arizona, California, Hawaii and Japan).

But behind all of the education, titles, locations and experiences is a woman whose first and only mission is to know and love Jesus. “It’s an honor for me to share my story because it’s a testimony of what God has done in my life to impact the world and His Kingdom,” insists Col. (Dr.) Vu, before answering the first interview question I posed to her. “[Sharing my story] is nothing more than showing the wonderful hand of God at work in my life.”

Vu was born in the central highlands of Vietnam. She and her mother moved to the U.S. in 1972, after her mother married an American sailor. Vu was three years old when they moved to a small town in Massachusetts. Her parents weren’t believers, but they sent Vu to a Christian school, and she accepted Jesus as a five-year-old.

It was then that she took on her first mission. She began attending a church down the street— by herself. After Vu’s pastor came to their house for a visit, Vu’s mother also came to Christ, and the whole family began attending church.

Upon graduating from high school, Vu took a year off to attend a one-year Bible school to get grounded in the Word. While she was there, she heard about Grace College and its strong pre-med program. Vu’s mother had envisioned her becoming a doctor, but Vu wasn’t entirely convinced. However, by the time she arrived at Grace and sat under the tutelage of professors like Dr. Richard Jeffreys, Vu was committed to becoming a doctor. “I saw his passion for science and for life and for his students. He cared for his students so much and made sure they got what they needed to be successful in careers and the calling God had given them.”

After graduating from Grace, Vu took a year to pray over the calling she thought God had put on her life. “I felt pretty confident, but I wanted to make sure that was where the Lord wanted me to go.” Eventually, she applied to several medical schools and decided to attend Tufts University School of Medicine, where she obtained her medical doctorate in 1993. During her residency at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, Vu signed up with the Air Force as a means to help offset the costs of medical school. “I really thought I would part ways with the military after I finished my four-year commitment,” she says, but when she and her husband prayed about her next step, it became clear she was supposed to stay.

Two decades later, Vu’s missions have included being on the teaching staff of the hospital on Travis Air Force Base (Calif.); providing medical support to operational units supporting military missions and overseeing all of the credentialed clinical providers at Yokata Air Base (Japan); serving as chief of medical staff at the Hickam Air Force Base clinic and flight surgeon at the Theater Patient Movement Requirements Center (Hawaii); training, equipping and resourcing units of over a hundred airmen to ensure they were able to execute their field missions (Alabama and England); and completing a residency in aerospace medicine at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (Ohio).

Currently, Vu describes her latest mission as “[taking] care of the people who take care of the president.” As the director of the Pentagon Flight Medicine Annex, her clinic attends to senior military leaders and their families, and she gets to see patients almost every day.

With each new assignment, Vu embraces its unique opportunities to grow and strengthen her skills and leadership, but it doesn’t come without cost. Uprooting her family every few years, building a new community, getting acquainted with each new high stakes mission, and simply doing her job — which often means managing medical crises — requires sacrifice. “It’s not always easy,” she admits. But God provides for her at every turn. “In those crisis situations, He’s given me a calmness about being able to address the problem, and has given me a way to focus on the crisis. In the midst of critical incidents with severe injuries and in a time crunch, God helps me take it step by step by step.”

“There is a lot of stress in my job,” Vu says. “Every day I go to work and say, ‘Thank You [God] for Your strength and wisdom to make decisions. Show me the divine appointments you want me to meet today.’ Every day, I am amazed by the people He brings my way.” This is the reason Vu is who she is and does all she does. She sees God orchestrating every assignment, every new move and every interaction for the purpose of being able to impact others’ lives for Jesus. “Yes,” says Vu, “[my job assignments] are defined as military missions, but they are really God’s missions, aren’t they? And that’s true for all of us.”

Women’s Golf Team Wins Title

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Grace’s women’s golf team won its second tournament of the fall at the Cleary Invitational on Aug. 25.

The Lady Lancers fired a 327 as a team and had the top-three individual finishers at Chemung Hills Golf Club.

Grace beat out five other teams in the field, including second-place Spring Arbor who Grace beat by 37 strokes.

Libby Tully earned her first career medalist honor, topping the individual leaderboard with a 78. Lauren Keiser was not far behind with an 80 to grab second place.

Sydney Abbott’s 83 was good for third place in the tournament, capping off a 1-2-3 finish for the Lady Lancers.

Anna Marshall finished the tournament with an 86, and Kristin Holt carded a 90.

“I couldn’t be happier with our performance today. This was possibly the most difficult course we’ve played all year,” said Grace head coach Denny Duncan. “To shoot 327 out there on such a tough, hot day was really fantastic.”

Also competing as individuals were Rachel Harvey, Amanda Gifford and Kara Godsey.

The Lady Lancers continue play this weekend at the St. Francis Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

Scott Workman to Perform Classical Guitar Recital

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Photo courtesy of Scott Workman

Scott Workman, a professional guitarist, composer and adjunct faculty member at Grace College, will perform a classical guitar recital onFriday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. in Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 708 College Ave., Winona Lake. The free event is open to the public.

“This recital is a unique assortment of solo classical guitar music,” said Walter Brath, assistant professor of worship arts at Grace College, citing pieces by Milan, Bach, Sor, Albeniz and Domeniconi. “Workman will also perform some original compositions. We encourage the community to attend this special event,” Brath added.

In addition to leading worship at Warsaw Missionary Church in Warsaw, Ind., Workman teaches in the worship arts program at Grace College. “Professor Workman is an impressively accomplished guitarist with a diverse toolbox of musical knowledge and technique,” said Adam Dauber, a second-year student studying accounting. “He’s impacted me most by teaching me classical guitar. I’ve gotten to play in a local festival with him and in a Creative Arts and Culture class on campus. Now I’m involved in the classical guitar ensemble that he’s started at Grace. Whether you like classical guitar or not, you will be impressed by what he can do!”

Workman is a guitarist and composer with over 30 years of performing and 25 years of teaching experience. He holds a master’s of music in guitar performance from Indiana University South Bend (IUSB) and a bachelor’s of music education from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). Workman has performed in several classical guitar Master Classes with Adam Levin, Duo Sonidos, Clare Callahan, Jeffrey Van and Rodney Stuckey.  While at IUSB, Scott was a Music Talent Scholarship recipient and his composition “Serendipitango,” for flute, violin, guitar and cello, was premiered at IUSB’s New Music Ensemble Concert in April, 2012.

While at IPFW, Scott was chosen as a winner in the IPFW Concerto and Aria Competition in 2009, performing Vivaldi’s Concerto for Guitar in D, RV93 (all three movements) at the winner’s concert. His solo guitar piece, “Tanpura Suite,” was premiered at IPFW in 2011. Scott remains an active performer in many styles, including all types of popular music.

Grace College’s worship arts program in which Workman teaches is designed to prepare students for the multi-faceted role of the modern music worship setting.  It trains students to support a primary pastor or worship minister within the worship environment. With proficiencies in keyboard, voice, percussion and guitar, students will combine musicianship with courses in worship music history, theory, theology and spiritual formation, along with the live performance and production in their emphasis area.

For more information about the new worship arts program, visit www.grace.edu, email music@grace.edu or call 574-372-5100, ext. 6021.

Grace College to Celebrate Alumni at 2017 Homecoming

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Anticipation is building: Grace College Homecoming will take place Friday and Saturday, October 6 and 7, 2017. The weekend promises to provide time to reconnect with friends, tour campus, enjoy entertainment, competition and much more.  For the complete event schedule and to register, visit the Grace College website.

“In celebration of our alumni, we have planned a weekend full of memorable events,” said Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace College. “We hope our friends, alumni, parents and students will plan to participate in a variety of events, from chapel on Fridaymorning to the Nocturnal race on Saturday night.”

Check in begins at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 6, in the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center (MOCC), 610 Wooster Rd., Winona Lake. Coffee and light refreshments will be served in the Bill and Ella Male Hospitality Suite, located on the upper concourse.  Alumni and parent award winners will be honored during Homecoming Chapel, beginning at 10:30 a.m., in the MOCC.  After chapel, alumni and friends can enjoy a bus tour of campus, guided by Dr. Terry White (BME 64).

Friday night, all are invited to unwind with an evening of comedy. At 8:30 p.m., Christian comedian Brad Stine will entertain in the Winona Heritage Room, 901 Park Ave., Winona Lake. Stine is referred to as one of “the funniest, most innovative, smartest and culturally relevant” comedians.

The Homecoming Parade will take place Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in Winona Lake Park, winding through the Village at Winona and ending at Westminster Hall. The homecoming court, alumni award winners and several student and community groups will take part in the parade.  Afterward, all are invited to a tailgate lunch at Miller Athletic Complex. Beginning at noon, participants and their families can enjoy good food, a bounce house, face painting and more. At 2 p.m., Lancers can cheer on the Grace College men’s soccer team as they take on Taylor University.

A public open house at the new Worship Arts facility in the William Male Center, 999 Rupe Dr., Winona Lake, will take place Saturday evening from 4:45 – 6 p.m.  A music reunion and dinner will begin at 6 p.m. in the Winona Heritage Room.  All alumni are welcomed to attend this celebration of music through the years.

The weekend will conclude with a family-friendly Nocturnal 8 Adventure Race at 8 p.m. On this three-to-four-mile trip through Winona Lake, families will explore local fields and wooded areas while climbing around obstacles, all in complete darkness. Participants are encouraged to bring flashlights, costumes and reflective gear.

Many events require pre-registration.  Visit www.grace.edu/alumni/events/homecoming to download a full event schedule and register for events. For questions, call the Grace College Alumni Office at 574-372-5100, ext. 6127.

Grace College Accounting Fair Celebrates 10 Years

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Grace College junior Ashley Myers speaks to employers at the 10th annual Accounting Career Fair at Grace College.

Grace College’s Accounting Career Fair celebrated its tenth anniversary on Wednesday, Sept. 20.  More than 70 students from seven area colleges, including Grace College, interacted with representatives from 12 accounting employers.

This year, Tammara Jongkind returned to the fair representing her employer, CapinCrouse LLP. Jongkind is a 2010 Grace College graduate and senior audit manager at CapinCrouse in Colorado Springs, Colo. She attended the first-ever Accounting Career Fair in 2008. “As a student, the point of the fair was to learn about the building blocks of the industry,” Jongkind said. “It provided an opportunity to interact with accounting professionals and receive career guidance.”

Although Jongkind did not interview with CapinCrouse representatives in 2008, the career fair was a stepping stone. “I love Grace,” Jongkind said. “I’m a big proponent of the school, especially the accounting department. Dr. Stichter and Marsha Yocum set me up well to succeed. Grace provides more than an education; it teaches students how to be Christians in the professional world.” Dr. Roger Stichter is professor of accounting at Grace College; Marsha Yocum is administrative assistant in the School of Business and facilitates the Accounting Career Fair.

Grace alumna Tammara Jongkind returned to the Accounting Career Fair this year representing her employer, CapinCrouse.

As an employer at the fair, Jongkind was excited to interact with current students. “Grace students are key to our success as a business,” she said. “We want to pull from students who are already grounded as Christians. And even if students don’t want to enter public accounting, interacting with someone who has succeeded in the field is valuable,” she said. CapinCrouse is a biblically-based organization specializing in tax, consulting and audit services for non-profits, churches and higher education.

During the Accounting Career Fair, students mingled with employers and asked questions about the field. After lunch, employers held interviews with individual students. The face-to-face conversations provide connections with potential future employers. “Every year, quite a few students are called to the companies for more intensive interviews and are offered jobs,” explained Marsha Yocum. “Juniors who attend may be selected for internships in the spring.”

Ashley Myers is one such junior who endeavors to find an internship from today’s career fair.  “I hope to find a spring or summer internship that will lead to a full-time job in the future,” she said.  Myers is an accounting major from Nappanee, Ind., who aspires to be an auditor at a CPA firm in the future.  “I’m very grateful for the opportunity to meet and interact with potential employers today.  I’m hopeful that the connections I made will advance my career,” said Myers.

The Accounting Career Fair at Grace College was started by Dr. Roger Stichter in 2008. Originally, four accounting firms and 30 students from four area colleges participated. In ten years, participation has more than doubled.  This year, the growing event was sponsored by RSM and Kruggel Lawton CPAs.

Actors From The London Stage to Perform During Shakespeare at Grace

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Actors From The London Stage will perform at Grace College Oct. 19 – 21.

The Grace College Languages, Literature and Communication Department is pleased to present the first-ever Shakespeare at GraceThis week-long, campus-wide series of events will celebrate the best of Shakespeare through speaking, music and performances, Oct. 18 – 21.

Actors From The London Stage (AFTLS), one of the oldest and most established touring Shakespeare companies in the world, will perform “Measure for Measure” by William Shakespeare in Grace College’s Little Theatre, located in Philathea Hall, 1499 Alpha Dr., Winona Lake.  Performances will take place at 7 p.m. on Oct. 19, 20 and 21. Tickets are $10 for students and $15 general admission, and are available through Eventbrite.

“We’re thrilled to host some of the world’s best, classically-trained Shakespeare performers and share their talent with the community,” said Dr. Lauren Rich, chair of the Languages, Literature and Communication Department at Grace College. Rich urges community members to purchase tickets soon. “We expect to sell out quickly,” she said. “You won’t want to miss this exceptional show! We’re bringing truly world-class theatre to our own Little Theatre.”

AFTLS is housed and workshopped in England with academic tours booked through the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Ind. AFTLS tours the country in the spring and fall, visiting almost 20 universities per year. The actors include Peter Bray, Ben Eagle, Dominic Gerrard, Wela Mbusi and Anna Wright. These award-winning performers trained at prestigious schools including the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and the Drama Centre in London. Grace College is one of eight schools AFTLS will visit on their fall 2017 tour.

In addition to dynamic performances, AFTLS will conduct a week-long residency program at Grace. “It’s our pleasure to host AFTLS in this capacity,” said Rich. “While at Grace, the team will provide workshops and other learning experiences to classes all over campus and at some local high schools.” AFTLS is committed to interacting with students and providing hands-on workshops that change the way participants view the performance arts.

Sponsors for Shakespeare at Grace include the following: The Grace College Languages, Literature & Communication Department; Grace’s Office of Faith, Learning & Scholarship; and the Elener R. (Norris) Grossman Excellence in Languages, Literature & Communication Fund. The Elener R. (Norris) Grossman Fund honors Grace alumna Elener “Ellie” Grossman (BA ’53, S ‘63). Ellie was a lifelong learner and consummate educator who taught English and journalism at the college and high school level for nearly a quarter of a century, including several years as an assistant professor at Grace College. Begun by her husband Gilbert and continued by her son Luke and daughter-in-law Dawn, this fund invests in the students and faculty of Grace College by sponsoring unique cultural and educational experiences.

Parental advisory: Like many Shakespearean plays, the plot of “Measure to Measure,” though compelling and interwoven with important topics like sin, grace and justice, is less likely to suit a young audience. Rich suggests young children do not attend, due to the play’s mature content and themes.

For more information, email Dr. Lauren Rich at richlg@grace.edu or call 574-372-5100, ext. 6151.

From Sutures to Sweet Tea

Monday, September 18th, 2017

Grace College alumnus Philip Everett

 

Written by Bryan and Chelsea Thompson, first published in the summer 2017 edition of Two Eight & Nine Magazine.

High-achieving, ambitious students are routinely encouraged to map out their lives in advance — to create the perfect plan. But even the best five-year plans have a way of going sideways as life hurls its barrage of unknowns and surprises. When asked for his take on the moments when things don’t quite go as planned, Philip Everett (BS 10) gives a knowing laugh.

“I think that’s all of life.”

His consistently positive attitude and ability to roll with the punches allowed Everett to recognize the fact that when God closes off the path we’ve planned, He always has a new direction is store.

FINDING GRACE

Ever since middle school, Everett’s dream had been to attend a military service academy and train as a combat trauma surgeon. But despite a stellar GPA and great SAT scores, he wasn’t accepted to the service academies where he applied. He was, however, accepted to attend Grace, where his father had attended college. “I went out there a little bit begrudgingly at the start,” he admits, “but truly fell in love almost instantly. I loved the college and found that it was honestly the best fit for me. I’d always envisioned myself at a bigger school, but Grace really felt like home.” Everett had a very specific heart behind his dream of being a combat surgeon: “I always had this passion in my heart for being there for somebody on their worst day. I thought, what’s a worse day than getting blown up on a battlefield a couple thousand miles from home?”

While studying biology, chemistry and international missions, Everett invested himself heavily in campus life. Despite the intensity of his major (he still suffers from the occasional nightmare of showing up unprepared for Dr. Richard Jeffreys’ class), Everett’s impressive grades led to his being in an honor society. Along with two years as a resident assistant, he also helped create a ministry that raised awareness and funding to fight for children who are exploited as soldiers and as a part of the sex-trade. “My time at Grace? I absolutely loved it. It was awesome. It was big enough that it had a bunch of the things I wanted — sports teams and intramurals, a robust enough biology program to get me into med school — but it was small enough that I felt known, familiar to others. These were incredible people who really poured into me — they had a deep influence and impact.”

RETHINKING THE PATH

After graduating cum laude, earning an above-average score on the MCAT, and having a great first interview with the medical school of his choice, Everett again had his future all planned out. “Honestly, it seemed like med school was a slam dunk.” But instead, he found himself wait listed — the first sign that his perfectly planned medical school pursuits might be changing. Newly married and apartment hunting, he started looking for an interim job. His siblings spoke highly of their experience working for Chick-fil-A, and a new location just happened to be opening in his neighborhood. Everett applied and, to his surprise, was immediately hired as a team leader. He was further surprised by how much he liked the job. He immediately bonded with the store owner, Ryan. He enjoyed helping build the business. “I always had this passion in my heart for being there for somebody on their worst day.” Most of all, he valued the opportunity to mentor the young people under his leadership. “I was only a couple years older than them, but they looked up to me. So many of them didn’t have a strong role model. It was just awesome being able to be a light in their lives.”

HIS WORST DAY

Six months later, Everett finally got the letter he’d been waiting for. However, it didn’t have the answer he expected. The medical school had turned down his application. “It was a crushing moment,” he remembers. “I knew it was the end — God clearly and definitively closing the door on my dream. But it was also the end of my identity.” Even though radically changing plans can lead to disorientation and dismay, Everett didn’t stay down for long, as God provided guidance and insight on his new future in a timely conversation with his boss, Ryan. “Honestly, that was the pivotal moment because right then, I realized I’m having my worst day. And who’s right here? Ryan. I didn’t just get blown up on a battlefield, I’m not a thousand miles from home. But I’m having my personal worst day, and Ryan is right there for me.” Though the revelation of change was incredibly difficult, it became the epiphany of a future Everett never expected.

THE WORK OF RESTORATION

When Everett was finally selected to run a franchise location in Rockford, Ill., things were looking up. After years of travel and living out of hotel rooms during Chickfil-A training, he would finally have a home base and the job he was after. But yet again, his path veered off into the unexpected. His marriage ended suddenly, leaving Everett to acclimate to the rigors of life as a new business leader while going through a very difficult personal ordeal. “I had incredible support from family and friends, and I was able to move through that season. It’s certainly still a healing process, but I’m doing a lot better. And still all the more feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be.” As Everett points out, “The word ‘restaurant’ comes from a Latin/French word that means to restore or to fill. At my restaurant, we talk about wanting to restore people physically through great food, emotionally through engaging relationships and, if given the chance, spiritually through prayer or sharing the Gospel. Every one of my team members has permission from me to give any amount of food away, as long as they have a good reason why that person needed to be restored.”

He has used his leadership role to serve Rockford on various community restoration projects and to counsel his staff, many of whom are young people with a deep need for an authority figure they can trust. “Kids [are] so young, so impressionable,” he muses. “I’ve been there with them through family members dying, boyfriends and girlfriends breaking up with them, talking about abuse in their past. We’ve dealt with some really heavy things. Again, it’s their worst day.” He pauses. “It’s crazy — I never thought I would be a pastor, but I feel like to a great degree, that is what I do.” When you think about it, pastors are a lot like trauma surgeons. They are binding up wounds, first-responders when the explosions in this life hit hard, and a face of the familiar when people feel lost and far from home. Over the course of his life, Everett’s plans may have moved him from suturing wounds to offering leadership and loving advice over chicken nuggets and sweet tea, but we’d say God’s plan to prepare him was really perfect.

Grace Honored as NAIA Champions of Character Institution

Monday, September 18th, 2017

Grace College has been recognized by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as a Champions of Character Five-Star Institution. 

The Lancers earned Silver Level status and were among the 183 institutions honored by the NAIA. 

Additionally, the Crossroads League was one of 18 NAIA conferences to receive the Five-Star Conference Award. All 10 league schools were named Five-Star Institutions.

Institutions are measured on a demonstrated commitment to the NAIA’s Champions of Character initiative. Athletic departments can earn points throughout the year in character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. 

Grace President Dr. Bill Katip said: “We are tremendously honored to receive the Champions of Character distinction from the NAIA. Our student-athletes consistently represent Grace College well at the local and national levels, and our coaches are dedicated to the personal development of each player.”

Grace Director of Athletics Chad Briscoe added: “This award is a direct reflection of the continued pursuit of excellence that is set both by our coaches and student-athletes. I appreciate the great faculty and staff at Grace College who work diligently to educate and invest in the lives of our student-athletes. We pursue building champions of character through all facets of the collegiate experience at Grace College, and I’m very happy for our athletes and coaches to be recognized with this award.”