Archive for the ‘News & Events’ Category

Middlebury Resident Thrives in College, Wins ‘Realizing the Dream’ Award

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Grace College student Hannah Miller poses with supporters at the “Realizing the Dream” awards banquet. Left to right: Meghan Miller, Hannah Miller, Randy Polston, Clara and Willis Miller.

Hannah Miller, a second-year Grace College student from Middlebury, Ind., was recently recognized as a “Realizing the Dream” award recipient in Indianapolis. Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) celebrates outstanding academic achievement in first-generation college students like Miller through this annual recognition.

Miller is one of 30 winners from Indiana’s private, non-profit colleges and universities. Now sophomores, the winners are the first in their families to go to college. Each was selected by their college for outstanding achievement during freshman year and successfully advancing towards completion of their bachelor’s degree. Honored students receive a $2,500 check to help with college costs, and each student’s selected “most influential” teacher/mentor receives a $1,000 professional development grant.

Miller was overjoyed with news of her award. “The award will help me financially next semester, which in turn helps me earn my degree,” said Miller. “I will not have to take out an extra loan to cover the cost. That’s a huge blessing!”

Miller attended the honorary banquet on Saturday, Nov. 4, in Indianapolis with her father and stepmother; Randy Polston, director of applied learning at Grace College; and her “most influential” teacher, Meghan Miller, a fourth-grade teacher at Heritage Intermediate School in Middlebury, Ind.

“I asked Meghan to accompany me to the banquet because she has made a major impact on me and my education decisions. Seeing the way she taught me and other students inspired me to become a teacher someday,” Miller explained. “Randy Polston impacted my life both this year and last. I was his applied learning assistant in the Center for Career Connections office last semester, and he always went above and beyond to support and encourage me.”

“Hannah has always been a hard worker, deep thinker, and high performer,” said Meghan Miller. “I may have shed a tear when I found out Hannah was receiving this award. As a teacher, the ultimate goal for me is to impact the students I teach. To hear she chose me to attend this banquet is an honor and a memory I will not forget.”

Polston was also glad to accompany Miller to the banquet. “I was impressed with Hannah right from the start; she caught on so quickly. Every day that she arrived to work, her positive work ethic was present. Hannah quickly established herself in our office as someone we could count on.”

Miller has both realized her dreams and is working hard to accomplish her goals. “She is taking advantage of this and is making sure every day at Grace College is a day she has committed to do her very best,” Polston said. This fall, Miller accepted an important leadership role on campus. She is the resident assistant (RA) in one of Grace College’s dorms.

Looking forward, Miller plans to use her degree in elementary education to teach special education or upper elementary school. “God has given me a heart for teaching, and I’m very excited to use those gifts to benefit others,” Miller explained. “I’m not sure where exactly God is calling me to go, but I know that wherever it may be, Grace College is preparing me well for it. And I have many supporters to help me along the way.”

Grace College Students to Perform Hitchcock Classic “The 39 Steps”

Friday, November 3rd, 2017


Grace College’s theater team is pleased to present “The 39 Steps” on Nov. 10 & 11 and 16 – 18 in the Little Theatre, located in Philathea Hall, 1499 Alpha Dr., Winona Lake.  Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students, and are available for purchase at Jazzman’s on campus and at the Wagon Wheel Theater box office, 2515 E. Center St., Warsaw, or by phone at 574-267-8041. Performances will take place every night at 7:30 p.m. as well as Saturday, Nov. 18 at 1:30 p.m. The community is invited to attend.

“The 39 Steps is a fast-paced whodunit,” said Mike Yocum, Grace College professor of communication and director of this fall’s play. “It’s sure to entertain the whole family!”

“The 39 Steps” first aired in 1935. It is a two-time Tony and Drama Desk Award winner. During the play, Richard Hannay, a Londoner leading an ordinary life, is thrust into a perilous situation. Accused of killing a counterespionage agent, Hannay must save himself while trying to stop a spy ring from stealing secret information. This classic Alfred Hitchcock play will keep the audience guessing until the end.

Photo, courtesy of Megan Manuel and Marc Baldwin, pictures Baldwin, who plays a lead role in “The 39 Steps,” Grace College’s fall play.

Marc Baldwin, a senior at Grace College, plays Hannay. “The challenging part about Hannay is his humor,” said Baldwin. “He tends to tell jokes at inopportune times, which is what I enjoy about the character: his pridefulness.” Hannay eventually learns that thinking only about himself is not the best way to live, but there is a lot of humor along the way. “We hope you leave with your face hurting from laughing so much,” Baldwin added. “Trust me, you’ll want to see this!”

Supermarket Sweep Offers Opportunity to Help Those in Need

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

Grace College students and Prof. Mike Yocum (far right) get in the holiday spirit by purchasing groceries for those in need at Supermarket Sweep.

Grace College & Seminary is partnering with Mission Point Community Church to sponsor the seventh-annual Supermarket Sweep on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at Owen’s Market in Warsaw. The community is invited to participate; grocery lists will be available for the public from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

As the holidays approach, Supermarket Sweep is fun and easy way to help community members who need food and other groceries. Shoppers purchase non-perishable food and baby products which are then packed and donated to local non-profit organizations which distribute the products to people in need. These organizations include the Salvation Army, Combined Community Services, Our Father’s House and Heartline Pregnancy Center.

According to Ken Locke, community ministries director at the Salvation Army in Warsaw, Supermarket Sweep is crucial to providing needed food for the community through the winter.  “Our pantry is pretty well depleted at this time of the year.  Supermarket Sweep is a big boost for us – in fact, it’s one of two main events that we rely on each year to stock our shelves so that we can distribute food to those who need it,” Locke said.

“This event celebrates service,” said Kearstin Criswell, director of student involvement at Grace College. “Beyond filling the food pantry shelves, Supermarket Sweep is a time for the community to support our own. Generosity and service can really unite us!”

Families are encouraged to participate. “It’s a great event for kids,” said Criswell. “You can buy a bag of groceries or fill an entire cart then leave it at the store for us to deliver. If you don’t have time to shop, you can donate money or gift cards that we will use to purchase items from the list.”

Last year’s Supermarket Sweep resulted in $26,000 worth of food and products provided to men, women and children in need in our community.  With the help of neighbors and friends, Grace College and Mission Point hope to provide even more this year.  “If many people are willing to give just an hour of their time to shop or a small monetary donation for others to shop with, we can make a big difference for a lot of families,” Criswell concluded.

Another opportunity to support the community is coming next month.  Grace College students welcome the public to Night Market on Friday, Dec. 8, from 2 – 8 p.m. in the Winona Heritage Room, 901 Park Ave, Winona Lake. This alternative Christmas shopping experience offers an assortment of unique, handmade gifts from local vendors who share their proceeds with a variety of causes.  More information is coming soon.

Grace College Statement on Grace University

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

We are saddened by the news that Grace University in Omaha, Neb., will be ceasing academic operations at the end of this school year.  While we have no official affiliation with the university, we feel camaraderie with this Christ-centered institution, and are praying for the students, faculty and staff at this time.  Grace College (Winona Lake) President Dr. Bill Katip has reached out and offered to help with Grace University’s teach out and transition issues.

Click here to read the complete announcement from Grace University.

This statement was first published on Oct. 5, 2017.

Creating Beauty Beyond the Classroom

Monday, October 30th, 2017

Grace student Emily Stichter poses with the children’s book she published this fall.

Emily Stichter is a second-year Grace College student studying visual communication design and marketing. She is guided by her passion for art, which has recently led her to an unexpected avenue for creating beauty beyond the classroom.

To Emily, art is more than creating an attractive final product. “I enjoy doing art because it’s a way I can express myself and, at the same time, use my God-given gifts and talents,” said Emily. “I get the most joy when I can help others. I use art to promote something they’re passionate about—give visual identity to something they care about.”

Emily’s ability led her to an assistant position in the Visual, Performing and Media Arts Department (VMPA) at Grace College. She serves as the art gallery assistant, helping set up and organize art exhibits. Over the summer, Emily worked with Prof. Kim M. Reiff, chair of the VMPA Department, to print an extensive exhibit catalog.

“I had the opportunity to see first-hand all that goes into creating and printing a publication,” said Emily. “I really enjoyed being part of the publishing process and knew I wanted to do more work like it in the future.”

Armed with new knowledge and her desire to tell stories through art, Emily was the perfect fit for a local internship at RedBird Art Studio at Cardinal Services in Warsaw this fall. Cardinal Services is a non-profit organization serving adults with intellectual disabilities and families with small children who have needs. Over 80 of their clients are artists in the RedBird Studio.

“I’ve had the opportunity to publish a children’s picture book featuring paintings from one of the artists at RedBird Studio,” Emily explained. “It’s been very rewarding to get to know Julie, the featured artist, and collaborate with her on the project. I’ve also learned a lot from my art professors as they’ve directed me in how to make the book better.”

The best lesson Emily has learned is not a tangible one, though. “Designing isn’t an individual process. The more input you have from other people, the better the final product will be,” she said. “Learning how to communicate with others and use their feedback is a valuable skill for any endeavor.”

Looking ahead, Emily plans to pursue a career as a branding and visual identity specialist. She wants to be someone who can put a face to a product or business. “Ultimately, I want my art to be something that directly benefits people,” Emily said. “I want to integrate design into relationships and make a positive difference in people’s lives. It’s a way to share Christ, too.”

Conference on Mission Points Grace College Students to the Great Commission

Saturday, October 28th, 2017

Grace College hosted its 57th-annual Conference on Mission Oct. 24 – 27, 2017. Conference on Mission included seminars, guest speakers, special times of worship and prayer, and other events focused on God’s plan for humankind both locally and globally.

“Conference on Mission is more than a chance for students to interact with full-time missionaries,” said Brent Mencarelli, dean of chapel and student life at Grace College. “We want our campus to embrace the fact that no matter where God has us, we are to be on mission for Him. The Great Commission is for all of Jesus’ followers, no matter where they live or what they are doing.”

Over 45 missionaries representing a number of organizations visited campus during the four-day event. Students interacted with them through seminars on topics including church planting, using art to reflect Gospel, serving refugees and teaching in a cross-cultural setting. Also during the week, students sampled food from around the world, participated in a 24-hour day of prayer and spoke with missionaries during a dessert social.

Mitch Randall, a senior at Grace College, attended a seminar taught by a representative from Encompass World Partners. “She told us about the refugees emigrating from Iran,” Randall said. “In Iran, they aren’t allowed to talk about the Gospel. But when they come to the United States, we can freely witness to them. It’s a perfect opportunity to share Christ.”

Grace College’s fall Day of Worship also took place during Conference on Mission. Mark Artrip, lead pastor at Movement Church in Hilliard, Ohio, was the keynote speaker. He offered a fresh perspective on serving and sharing Jesus with others. The three-hour event included times of worship and reflection. Students were also given time to pray for missionary representatives and visit their booths, arranged in the Manahan Orthopaedic Captial Center’s concourse.

“Mark’s sermons were really powerful,” said Abby Phinney, a third-year student. “He spoke compellingly, in a way that reached our hearts as students. I especially enjoyed his admonishment to serve God in whatever career we enter. The mission field isn’t just overseas.”

Historian Daniel Silliman to Present on Billy Sunday at Grace College

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017


Grace College’s Winona History Center is pleased to sponsor “The Unknown Story of Billy Sunday’s Circus Giant” on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m., in Westminster Hall, 105 9th Street, Winona Lake. The special event is free and open to the public.

The presentation features historian Daniel Silliman, who will uncover the identity of a previously unknown assistant for some of Billy Sunday’s campaigns. “It’s about an individual who worked for the circus as a ‘giant,’ said Dr. Jared Burkholder, the history center’s director and chair of the Department of History and Political Science at Grace College. “This promises to be a fascinating presentation. It’s a privilege to have such an engaging scholar come and share this new discovery about Billy Sunday.”

Silliman is currently in residence at Valparaiso University as a Lilly Fellow in the Humanities where he teaches classes in U.S. History. In 2016, he received his doctorate in American studies at Ruprecht-Karls Universität in Heidelberg, Germany. He continues to research and write about the history of popular evangelicalism in America.

The historic Billy Sunday Home and the Winona History Center are owned and operated by the History and Political Science Department of Grace College. The Winona History Center is open Tuesday – Saturday, 2-5 p.m. Visit to learn more and schedule a tour of the Billy Sunday Home. Or, call 574-372-5193.

Aspire Campaign Reaches $30 Million; Matching Gifts Total $500,000

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

The Aspire Campaign for Grace College & Seminary has reached $30 million in giving. The comprehensive campaign, which launched publicly this spring, endeavors to raise $37 million to make Grace an exemplary, Christ-centered education community characterized by innovation, affordability and real-world preparation.

“We are very encouraged by the campaign’s progress up to this point,” said Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace College & Seminary. “For the past several months, I and others have met with alumni and friends all over the country to share about our vision and raise interest in the Aspire Campaign. The response has been terrific.”

The Dr. Dane A. Miller Science Complex is a feature project of the Aspire Campaign for Grace College & Seminary. The campaign has reached $30 million in funds raised.

While fund-raising continues, construction is underway on campus. The Dr. Dane A. Miller Science Complex is one featured project of the Aspire Campaign. Slated for completion in summer 2018, the Science Complex is named for former president and co-founder of local orthopaedic giant, Biomet. The late Dr. Miller and his wife Mary Louise were, and Mary Louise remains, ardent supporters of Grace College and advocates of science and education.

Over the summer and this fall, the Science Complex foundation was laid and the steel frame was built for the new addition. Exterior construction continues as remodeling of the existing science building is also underway.

“This wouldn’t be possible without the generous donations of many people,” said Dr. Nate Bosch, director of the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams and professor of environmental science at Grace College. “Recently, we’ve been particularly blessed with two major gifts for the Science Complex – one from the Deister family and another from a group of medical professional alumni families.”

Mark Deister, president of Deister Machine Company in Fort Wayne, and his wife Cindy, have personally committed $450,000 to fund space for the Lilly Center in the complex. Mark and Cindy have designated $300,000 of this gift as a matching opportunity for local businesses and lake residents to ensure that the Lilly Center meets its fundraising goal for the complex by the end of the year. The Science Complex lobby will be named in their honor.

Mark and his cousin, Irwin Deister, who is the chairman of Deister Machine Company, have also committed $100,000 as a company to help with the complex.

In addition, five medical professional alumni families came together to give $200,000 to the Science Complex. These alumni have offered a challenge to their fellow medical professional alumni to match their gift in hopes that a total of $400,000 or more will be raised through Grace medical alumni for the Science Complex.

The generous giving of these individuals and many more have brought total funds raised for the Dr. Dane A. Miller Science Complex to well over $7 million of the $8 million project, and total campaign giving to more than $30 million.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the progress of the campaign so far,” commented Drew Flamm, vice president of advancement at Grace College & Seminary. “We praise God for his faithfulness and thank each person and family who has donated to our efforts.”

To learn more about the Aspire Campaign for Grace College & Seminary and to make a donation, visit


Actors From The London Stage members share techniques behind ‘ Measure for Measure’

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Ben Eagle, a member of Actors From The London Stage (AFTLS), gives a classroom workshop during AFTLS’s visit to Grace College.

On Oct. 16 – 21, Grace College was honored to host Actors From The London Stage (AFTLS), one of the oldest and most established touring Shakespeare companies in the world. The team of five performed “Measure for Measure” by William Shakespeare and interacted with students via classroom workshops.

This was Dominic Gerrard’s first season touring with AFTLS. The unique teaching format used by AFTLS appeals to him. “It’s our job to try and hook the audience into the play,” Gerrard explained. “Americans seem to really like Shakespeare. There’s a lot of positive energy when we perform.” He also enjoys visiting college campuses and “crashing classrooms” with workshops.

Every year, AFTLS travels the United States to visit colleges. With each new location, the troupe must reorient themselves with the play they are scheduled to perform. Sometimes, there is a four-day gap between performances. “Upon arrival,” Gerrard said, “We usually practice for about four hours.” They bring what can be easily transported by plane: a single suitcase of simple props. Beyond that, the team requires only five chairs. “We turn that into an advantage,” Gerrard said, referring to the simplicity of the props. “We ask the audience to imagine and fill in the gaps.”

Dominic Gerrard, a member of Actors From The London Stage (AFTLS), gives a workshop during an education class at Grace College.

When preparing for performances, the single most-studied aspect of the play is the script — especially when the play is Shakespearean. “With Shakespeare,” Gerrard explained, “an actor can fall too far into the history of the play’s original time period.” Ironically, the actors prepare for drama by using more clinical techniques.

Peter Bray, another AFTLS member, commented on the power of Shakespearean language. “We read the play, mining deeper,” Bray said. “We ask, what are the character’s motives? What are his tactics to get what he wants? Then we try stuff until we find out.” What works in practice might not work in the performance. The actors spend hours deciphering what the script means.

There are layers of complexity in “Measure for Measure” that require an incredible amount of effort. For instance, because there are only five AFTLS members, each is required to play three-to-four characters. Sometimes, these characters overlap in a scene. Gerrard plays Gerrard plays Duke Vincentio, Froth, Barnardine, and a friar. “It’s really fun,” Gerrard said. “You have your major roles — mine is the Duke. We discovered that 30 percent of the play is the Duke talking.”

The overlapping roles are not a handicap. In fact, it is a welcome reprieve and challenge. “I swap from the Duke to the friar and Froth,” Gerrard explained. This style of acting is difficult but satisfying: he gets to play more than one character. “But it’s the audience that makes it work,” Gerrard added. When characters overlap within a scene, the audience must imagine that they are, in fact, different people. Otherwise, the scene falls flat.

Bray feels theatre is one of the most compelling mediums for story. “Theatre is one of a larger thing,” Bray said. “Stories are what’s really important. Plays may die, but stories don’t. They are a way of learning without feeling taught. Theatre is unique; it broadens our experience.” Unlike movies or TV, live theater is especially powerful. “It’s a mortal, unique, shared experience that happens once and then never the same way again,” Bray added.

Actors From The London Stage’s visit was sponsored by 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.

Grace College Announces Family Weekend 2017

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

Grace College is pleased to invite parents, siblings and grandparents to campus for Family Weekend 2017.  The family-focused weekend will take place Nov. 17 and 18.

“We hope to provide a special time for families to spend with their Grace students on campus,” said Sharon Sallot, director of the Grace Fund and Family Weekend coordinator.  “We’ve organized a weekend full of events for families to enjoy together.  Some are entertaining, some informative, and some for worship and prayer,” she said.

Families can attend chapel and classes with their student on Friday morning and afternoon.  A tailgate dinner for families will be offered Friday evening prior to the women’s and men’s basketball games. The Hoops for Hope basketball tournament will run throughout the weekend for families to enjoy.  In addition, a presidential prayer breakfast will take place Saturday morning and there will be plenty of time to tour campus, enjoy shopping in the Village at Winona, walk the beautiful area trails and more.

“We are pleased to offer all weekend events at no cost to families,” said Sallot.  However, we’d greatly appreciate pre-registration.”  For complete information about Family Weekend 2017, including registration and lodging options, visit here.