Archive for the ‘News & Events’ Category

Grace College Seminary Students Honored at Graduation and Awards Presentation

Monday, May 9th, 2016
From left to right: the attached image pictures Grace seminary graduates Daniel Rosenberg, Chase Ringler, Luke Johnson, Dave Ferrier, Collen Horne, Nate Harley and Keri Early with their awards in Westminster Hall on May 6.

From left to right: the attached image pictures Grace seminary graduates Daniel Rosenberg, Chase Ringler, Luke Johnson, Dave Ferrier, Collen Horne, Nate Harley and Keri Early with their awards in Westminster Hall on May 6.

Grace Theological Seminary honored seven seminary students, graduating from Grace’s masters and doctoral programs, at an awards luncheon on Fri., May 6.  The entire seminary class was honored at a commencement ceremony on Sat., May 7.

At the luncheon, seven cash awards and plaques were given to graduating seminary students. The Alva J. McClain Award in Systematic Theology was given to Daniel J. Rosenberg; the John J. Davis Award in Old Testament was given to Steven Chase Ringler; the Homer A. Kent Jr. Award in New Testament was given to David W. Ferrier; the Russell D. Barnard Award in World Missions was given to Nathaniel D. Harley; the Kenneth E. Bickel Award in Expository Preaching was given to Luke E. Johnson; the Faculty Award was given to Colin S. Horne; the Master of Arts in Ministry Studies (MAMS) Outstanding Student Award was given to Keri L. Early.

Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace College and Seminary, Dr. John Davis and Dr. Homer Kent, former Grace College and Seminary presidents, were in attendance at the awards presentation. Among others in attendance were 16 Korean students from Grace’s doctor of intercultural studies program.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to publicly express our appreciation and to congratulate our seminary graduates and their families,” said Dr. Jeffrey Gill, vice president and dean of Grace Seminary. “We send them out with our prayers and excitement for their future ministries.”

Grace Theological Seminary is dedicated to teaching, training and transforming the whole person for local church and global ministry. This purpose is accomplished through quality instruction in biblical literature, the study of various systems of theological thought, exposure to past and presence movements in Christian history and missions, the development of communicative and administrative skills, and more.

For more information about Grace Theological Seminary, call 877-607-0012 or email the Admissions office at

Grace College and Harrison College Partner to Make Bachelor’s Degree Attainable for More Students

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Grace College and Harrison College have reached an agreement regarding adult learners. Students who graduate from Harrison with an Associates of Applied Science degree are eligible to automatically transfer to Grace College to complete a Bachelors of Science degree through Grace’s Opportunities for Adult Learners program (GOAL).  Harrison graduates will receive a $100 per credit hour discount in tuition from Grace.

The GOAL program is designed for adults who desire to complete their bachelor’s degree while continuing full-time work and life responsibilities.  Students may choose the residential or online Bachelor of Science in Management degree, or the online Bachelor of Science in Human Services or Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degrees.  Residential classes at Grace College Indianapolis, located at 9302 N. Meridian St., meet once per week in the evening and two Saturdays each semester, allowing students to complete their degree in 16 months.

Grace College and Harrison College place a high priority on both the academic and personal success of their students. “Since Harrison first opened as Indiana Business College in in 1902, our focus has been on providing a supportive environment for our students,” said Dr. Jim Hutton, president and CEO of Harrison College. “We know that Grace College shares this philosophy and are proud to partner with them to ensure the continued success of our students and communities.”

“We’re excited to partner with Harrison,” said Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace College. “Our philosophies are complimentary.  We are confident that working together will allow more students to earn a bachelor’s degree, and in the process, potentially change their life in a very positive way.”

Harrison graduates with an Associates of Applied Science degree are automatically accepted into the GOAL program if they have earned a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.  Their credits will transfer to Grace via an official transcript. GOAL requirements regarding students’ high school and work experience are waived.

The Bachelor of Science degree completion program (GOAL) is available online and residentially at Grace College Indianapolis. Cohorts begin each fall and spring; fall applications are due July 31.  For more information or to apply, visit or call 855-927-4631.

Northern Indiana Lakes Festival June 11 & 12 at Center Lake Park

Friday, May 6th, 2016

KLAS_LakesFestLogo_WEB_4colorThe annual Northern Indiana Lakes Festival is this June 11 and 12 at Center Lake Park in downtown Warsaw. This year’s Lakes Festival will be a full weekend event, complete with entertainment, educational workshops and recreational activities at Center Lake.

The Lakes Festival is an annual celebration of our local lakes and waterways. The 2016 festival will include such events as the Crawfish Adventure Race, the first annual Paddle Wars, evening concert, Sunday ski show, and the first ever fireworks show over Center Lake on Saturday.

Festival admission is free and other activities include a swim race, kayaks for kids, food, a live animal show, petting farm, open swimming, kids’ activities and exhibitors.

Commercial vendor applications and food vendor pre-applications are still being accepted; the deadline for these applications is June 1. Other festival event information can be found online at

This year’s top sponsors include Zimmer Biomet, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Kosciusko County Convention, Recreation and Visitor Commission, DePuy Synthes, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Maple Leaf Farms, and Silveus Insurance Group.



Grace College School of Education Presents Outstanding Prospective Teacher Awards

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

The School of Education at Grace College has presented five students with the 2015-2016 Outstanding Prospective Teacher Award. Each school year Grace College selects one or more students who demonstrate excellence in their role as student teachers. Recipients are awarded a plaque and recognition for their achievements in the classroom for elementary, secondary or special education.

“It is an honor to present students with these awards. They have demonstrated hard work and service deserving of recognition,” said Dr. Laurie Owen, dean of Grace College School of Education.  “I believe they will be outstanding teachers and I look forward to hearing about the positive difference they make in the lives of students in the years to come,” she concluded.

The following students received the Outstanding Prospective Elementary Teacher Award:

Laura Dewlen of Medaryville, Ind.: She is an elementary education major and student taught kindergarten at Eisenhower Elementary.

Samantha Furto of Westville, Ind.: She student taught third grade and special education at Harrison Elementary and Eisenhower Elementary. Samantha graduated in December with an elementary education and mild intervention dual licensure major and now substitute teaches fourth grade at Claypool Elementary.

The following student received the Outstanding Prospective Special Education Teacher Award:


2015-2016 Outstanding Prospective Teacher Award winners who will graduate from Grace College on May 7 (L to R): Alexis Nelson, Claire Byers, Kyle Hamlin and Laura Dewlin.

Claire Byers of Ostrander, Ohio: She is an elementary education and mild intervention dual licensure major and student taught second grade at Eisenhower Elementary.

The following students received the Outstanding Prospective Secondary Education Teacher Award:

Kyle Hamlin of Tipp City, Ohio: He is a secondary math major and student taught secondary math at Warsaw High School.

Alexis Nelson of Auburn Hills, Mich.: She is a secondary English major and student taught secondary English at Lakeland Christian Academy.

The Grace College School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, is an approved program of the Association of Christian Schools International, and is approved by the Indiana State Department of Education.


Grace College to Honor Graduating Students in Commencement Ceremony

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

entry signGrace College and Seminary’s annual commencement ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 7 at 9 a.m. in the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center. Commencement will honor 603 graduates, including some August and December graduates. The largest group of graduates ever to walk in the Grace College and Seminary commencement is expected on Saturday with 464 graduates participating.

Each year, Grace’s senior class elects a faculty member to deliver the commencement address.  This year, Mike Yocum was chosen. Yocum is the associate professor of communication and the program director of the communication department; he also directs the theatre program at Grace.

The invocation will be given by Dr. Larry D. Edwards, senior pastor of Grace Brethren Church of West Kittanning, Penn.  Dr. William J. Katip, president of Grace College, will lead the institutional welcome, followed by a hymn “A Mighty Fortress.”

Two students will speak: Student Body President Evan Kilgore will give the student greeting while Daniel J. Rosenberg, Jr., representing the seminary and graduate student body, will give the family recognition.

Dr. John R. Lillis, executive vice president of academic affairs, Dr. James E. Swanson, vice president of academic and student affairs, and Dr. Jeffrey A. Gill, vice president and dean of seminary and school of ministry studies, will present honors recognitions.  Lillis, Gill, and Steven T. Carlson, registrar, will present the graduates and Dr. Katip will confer the degrees.

Commencement will conclude with a hymn, “Grace Greater than our Sin” and a benediction by Rev. Wayne G. Kurtycz, pastor of Northridge Church in Brighton, Mich., followed by the recessional.

The brass ensemble will be conducted by Martin Carey-Becker. The Lancer Chorus will be directed by Thomas C. Hall.

The 2016 Grace College commencement ceremony marks the end of the first year of the fully-instituted Measure of Grace initiative to make quality, Christian higher education available to as many students as possible.  In the fall of 2015, Grace reduced the total cost of undergraduate tuition by nine percent and promised to reduce tuition an additional $500 each consecutive year an undergraduate student returns to Grace.  In addition to the tuition reduction, Measure of Grace provides free textbook rentals for the length of undergraduate studies, the option to fast-track a bachelor’s degree in a three-year accelerated program at no additional cost and the option to blend a bachelor’s and master’s degree into four years while maintaining undergraduate financial aid.  Each of these five cost-savings measures are girded with Grace’s unchanging mission: to apply biblical values in strengthening character, sharpening competence and preparing students for service.

For more information about commencement, call the Grace College Registrar’s Office at 574-372-5100, ext. 6414 or email

Grace Student Part of Winning KLA Team and Dr. Steve Grill Signs Off as KLA Advisor After 34 Years

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Pictured (L to R) are Ryan Christner, Precision Medical Technologies Inc.; Bryce Glock, Grace College student; Jean Northenor; Erich Hollis, Hall & Marose Silveus; and Chris Koldyke, Zimmer-Biomet. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union

The 35th Kosciusko Leadership Academy (KLA) Graduation took place April 25.  Grace College student Bryce Glock was among this year’s graduates and was part of the “Youth & the Outdoors United” team.  Glock and his team members received the Northenor Award accompanied with a $1,000 prize to aid in their mission to engage and instill a passion for outdoor recreation and conservation in Kosciusko County youth.  After 34 years of service as advisor to KLA, Grace College Dean of Community Education Dr. Steve Grill stepped down and announced his successor.  The following story is written by David Slone of the Times-Union.

White Paper Projects Lauded at KLA Banquet

A White Paper Project on engaging youth in outdoor recreation and conservation won the Jean Northenor Award at Kosciusko Leadership Academy’s 35th graduation celebration Tuesday night, while a project on an ice rink in Warsaw won a Board of Trustees Award. “Youth & the Outdoors United,” or YOU, received the Northenor Award, which comes with a $1,000 prize to help the team bring their project into fruition. On the team are Ryan Christner, Bryce Glock, Erich Hollis and Chris Koldyke.

According to the executive summary of the project, “The mission of Youth and the Outdoors United is for the benefit of the youth in Kosciusko County to engage and instill a passion for outdoor recreation and conservation. This will be accomplished by forming an alliance of like-minded outdoor organizations with the focus of providing ample opportunities for youth to discover and experience the outdoors as much as possible.” Northenor, KLA advisor emeritus and co-founder, said she and the other two judges, Brad Bishop and Suzie Light, based their decision on the award winner on three main criteria: Is the project doable? Will the project have an impact on a wide spectrum of the county, and will its impact be fairly distributed? And can the project be sustained over time once KLA season is over and the award funds have been consumed?

“For those reasons, the judges made the following award. Now this is a $1,000 award that hopefully, while you’ve done the White Paper, hopefully this $1,000 will be able to kickstart your White

Paper Project. It won’t be enough to do the whole thing, but hopefully it will be enough to start it and then you’ll have to go out and get the rest of it,” she said before announcing YOU as the winner.

She said the judges found the project to be doable; the team has already found the groups to be a part of the organization; no significant outlay of funds will be required; and it will take advantage of the county’s incredible natural environment. “The breadth of the potential impact is excellent, with a program available to youth across the county,” Northenor said. “We believe it is sustainable. The work the team has done in identifying and enlisting partner organizations is excellent.”

Accepting the Trustee Award for “Ice Ice Baby II: Warsaw’s Winter Wonderland” was the team of Jeff Beeler, Julie Kline, Lili Dailey, Tiffany Kreider and Jennifer Stewart. The award comes with a $500 prize. The executive summary for Ice Ice Baby II states the group wanted to tackle the issue of the lack of winter tourism in the county. It discovered that previous studies that were conducted in Warsaw showed a consistent interest from the community in having an outdoor ice rink. In looking at various locations, the downtown area of Warsaw appears to be the most suitable for this venue, with Central Park serving as the home of the ice rink, the summary states.

The team discovered that the most successful rinks with sustainable ice throughout the winter season are covered rinks with a cooling system under the ice. This can all but guarantee the rink to remain open throughout a winter season of warmer-than-normal temperatures in addition to winters with heavy snow and ice, the summary states.  According to the summary, “With the upcoming changes that will be happening with the downtown Warsaw area such as the Buffalo Street Project, the timing of constructing the ice rink in Central Park appears to be the right time if it is going to happen. City leaders agreed that they would like to pursue this concept at this time to see if it could be incorporated with the current plans of the revitalization of the downtown area.” The city’s Parks Department will need to drive the project.

In presenting the Trustee Award last night, Northenor said, “They’ve done a refreshment of an earlier KLA White Paper Project regarding a potential ice skating rink. And that certainly coincides with what the mayor and his city council is doing right down Buffalo Street. There’s already considerable energy around this project as it seems to be happening at a time when the community is very anxious to advance quality of life projects.” She said that while dreams don’t always come true, she hopes the ice skating rink does as the picture of what the team hopes to do is a beautiful one. “It will impact residents and visitors throughout the year, not just in the winter. And there’s already some potential support for this,” Northenor said.

KLA Advisor Dr. Steve Grill then presented Hall of Fame awards to Bishop and Light. He said the KLA Executive Committee wanted to honor long-time Board of Director members Light and Bishop for their many years of helping to select the Northern Award winners. Guest speaker this year was Dr. Nate Bosch, Center for Lakes & Streams director and Grace College associate professor of environmental science. He spoke on the various studies the Center has done or is working on, including a Lake Economic Impact Study which found the lakes bring in a conservative estimate of $313,383,000 to the county each year. If the lakes are improved, that could increase by about $10,519,000, but if the lakes decline the county could lose $84,153,000.

“The lake economic impact can not be taken for granted,” he said. A report from the recipients of the 2015 Northenor Award also was given by Cheryl Shepherd, Jennifer Stouder and Tom Till. Team members Nicole Sherrill and Kristin Whitacre were unable to attend. Their project was GPS 2 Success, which was a career fair for students in high school and college during the day and adults at night. The career fair was held last year and again this year on April 14. The Chamber of Commerce is a partner in the project.

Grill ended the celebration by announcing the 2016-17 Executive Committee, which includes Jeff Fawcett as president; Joni Truex, vice president; Becky Anglin, treasurer; Ryan Christner, curriculum; Cameron Plew, selection; Jason Zaugg, public information; Shelly Fraley, events coordinator; Allyn Decker, moderator; and Nathan Conley, KLA advisor. Conley replaces Grill as advisor. This year was Grill’s last year as advisor after serving in that position for 34 consecutive years.

KLA was founded in 1982 by Northenor, Matt Dalton and Doug Grant. Each year it conducts sessions that gives its cadets access to community leaders in various areas. It culminates with a White Paper Project by student teams who have researched relevant community issues and needs. The teams then propose workable solutions. The KLA website can be found at

Employers of the Year and Exceptional Grace College Students Recognized for Applied Learning and Internship Experiences

Thursday, April 28th, 2016
Rachel Elsner (left) and Paulina Rogers hold Influence Awards presented to them on Wed., April 27, at Grace College's Award's Ceremony.

Rachel Elsner (left) and Paulina Rogers hold Influence Awards presented to them on Wed., April 27, at Grace College’s award’s ceremony.

Ambassador Enterprises in Fort Wayne and Magical Meadows in Warsaw were each named Employer of the Year by Grace College for their outstanding contributions to Grace’s applied learning and internship programs.  In addition, Grace College junior Paulina Rodgers received the Applied Learning Student of the Year Award while senior Rachel Elsner received the Internship Student of the Year Award at Wednesday’s annual awards chapel.

Grace College’s applied learning and internship programs prepare students to enter the workforce after graduation. They supply substantial practical experience in each student’s field of interest. According to Randy Polston, director of applied learning at Grace College, “Experiential learning is ‘learning through reflection on doing.’  At Grace, we believe it is important for every student to have the opportunity to learn and reflect by doing.  Applied learning and internships are the vehicles we use to provide this vital experience.”

Applied learning is required for graduation in each academic program at Grace. Students must attain 12 applied learning credits, equating to 480 hours of work experience.  Grace offers more than 200 unique opportunities for students to connect with businesses, agencies and churches which include research projects, cross-cultural field experiences and community service projects.

The Applied Learning Student of the Year, Paulina Rodgers, is a junior from Marion, Ind., majoring in educational ministries.  Paulina worked at Twin Lakes Camp and Conference Center in Hillsboro, Ind. as a counselor last summer.  She led a cabin of 10 campers each week, caring for their spiritual, physical and emotional well-being as well as coordinating their activities and leading daily devotions.

Paulina’s supervisor, Ashley Nierman, commented, “Paulina’s work ethic and amazing heart led to a great experience and personal growth.  She was always pushing herself and trying to improve herself.  She listened to advice and was willing to apply it.”

Magical Meadows, a therapeutic horseback riding program in Warsaw, won the Applied Learning Employer of the Year for its outstanding program.  Several Grace College students have chosen Magical Meadows for their applied learning since 2012.  Students at Magical Meadows perform instructional assistance, administrative assistance and animal care. Each student completes a volunteer training course to better understand the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding and proper maintenance of horses.  Students consistently praise Magical Meadows for the fulfilling experience it affords, both professionally and personally.

Internships, generally reserved for junior and senior year, allow students to see practical application of the course material they have learned in the classroom.  In the 2015-16 school year, 181 Grace students secured internships. Internships are more formal than applied learning because they are specifically related to the students’ majors.  Assigned projects reinforce the student’s career path and cultivate people skills, collaboration, business etiquette and personal propriety.

Senior Rachel Elsner of Lititz, Pa., won this year’s Internship Student of the Year Award.  Rachel is a business student who interned at State Farm Insurance in Stevens, Pa.  Her supervisor, Matt Williams, appreciated her ability to work independently without direction. Williams said “she wrote more automobile loans than anyone else in the office and was a top performer in our district of State Farm Agents.”  Additionally, using the system Rachel implemented, “our office wrote more loans than in last five years combined,” Williams said.

Ambassador Enterprises (AE), in Fort Wayne, Ind., was recognized as Internship Employer of the Year for its outstanding internship program.  AE helps fledgling companies survive economically. Three Grace students were selected to participate in AE’s competitive internship program during the summer of 2015.  The students cultivated leadership, problem solving, project management and teamwork skill sets from practical experience as well as weekly learning sessions led by area executives.  In addition, the interns stayed overnight in Nashville, Tenn., with an AE corporate executive to visit the companies they had worked to improve.  The exceptional, professional experience left the students ready to pursue their careers.

For more information about Grace’s applied learning programs, contact Randy Polston at, or call 574-372-5100.   To learn about internships, contact DeeAnna Muraski at or call 574-372-5100.

Grace Graduate Wins APME Award

Monday, April 25th, 2016
Ben Quiggle

Grade graduate Ben Quiggle



Ben Quiggle, who graduated from Grace College’s journalism program in 2015, received first-place for Enterprise Reporting, Division 3, in the annual Indiana Associated Press Media Editors (APME) contest on Friday, April 15.

Quiggle was awarded for a series of articles published in the Marion, Ind., Chronicle-Tribune on tax increment financing and the city’s debt. The judges said Quiggle’s material was not only written very well, but that he “appeared to be the only person willing to shed light on the issue.” In his response, Quiggle thanked his wife, Ferron Quiggle, and his Grace professors, Terry White and Paulette Sauders. He also thanked the editors that helped him “form words.”

CoolCorp Triumphs at Grace College Business Competition

Friday, April 22nd, 2016
(L to R): Dean of Grace College School of Business Dr. Jeff Fawcett, 2016 Business Plan Competition winner Wesley Gensch and Director of the William P. Gordon Institute for Enterprise Development at Grace College, Al Grossnickle.

(L to R): Dean of Grace College School of Business Dr. Jeff Fawcett, 2016 Business Plan Competition winner Wesley Gensch and Director of the William P. Gordon Institute for Enterprise Development at Grace College, Al Grossnickle.

Wesley Gensch, a senior at Grace College and creator of CoolCorp, a cryotherapy products business, was awarded first prize in Grace’s fourth annual Business Plan Competition on April 20. Gensch also won most creative concept and best pre-contest participation awards.

Sponsored by the Grace College School of Business, the competition featured four finalist teams comprised of Grace College students. A seven-person panel of area business executives judged the competition: George Robertson, president of Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation; Lindy Breeden, executive vice-president of Farmer’s State Bank; Jeff Cahill, entrepreneur; Jeff Hodgson, entrepreneur-in-residence at Elevate Ventures; Michael Hall, owner of Hall and Marose Silveus Insurance; Caleb France, owner of Cerulean, and Chuck Christner, managing partner of RSM McGladley.  Rob Parker, president and CEO of the Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce, moderated the event.

In addition to CoolCorp, competition finalists were Wish Upon a Button, created by students Megan Carpenter and Elisa Stump; Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery Specialists, created by students Amelia Roman and Tiffany Schuman; and Hope Unfolded, created by students Ricardo Bedon and Adam Yoder.

Gensch was awarded $4,000 as the grand-prize winner and an additional $500 for the most creative concept and best pre-contest participation awards.  Gensch will also receive a website template and domain name, courtesy of Data, Inc.  Megan Carpenter and Elisa Stump, creators of Wish Upon a Button, took home $500 for the best presentation and best written plan awards.

CoolCorp, a business specializing in personal cryotherapy products, has been developing for several years. While pitching for the Grace College baseball team, Gensch’s elbow sustained a serious injury. Rehabilitation included icing the joint on a daily basis. “Traditional icing is messy and inconvenient,” Gensch said, referring to the bags of plastic-wrapped ice used by injured athletes. After developing and using a prototype of his product, however, Gensch’s recovery time reduced significantly. “This is something no one else has,” he added.

But others have already caught onto his product – his teammates and other Grace athletes began to use CoolCorp and experienced similar positive results.

CoolCorp offers convenience and quicker recovery times for injured persons. The sleeve, designed to fit around any limb or joint, is filled with freezable gel that can be thawed and refrozen multiple times. According to Gensch, one sleeve can last over two years. The sleeve is then covered by a second sleeve that, much like a blood pressure cuff, increases air pressure to keep the gel-filled sleeve close to the injury.

Al Grossnickle, associate professor of business at Grace College and director of the William P. Gordon Institute for Enterprise Development, coordinated the competition.  “I was very impressed with each of the finalists’ presentations last night,” he said.  “I believe that Wes has a real shot at making CoolCorp a successful business and helping many injured people.  Best of all, I know he will pursue his dreams with biblical principles and a focus on serving others,” he concluded.

Gensch will market his product to athletes and the orthopedic industry. He plans to first use his relationships with the Ft. Wayne Tin Caps and South Bend Cubs. Gensch will also have an online platform to sell his product. An outside manufacturer will build the items as demand increases. In the first two years, Gensch anticipates making $82,685 in profit.

The 2016 Grace College Business Plan Competition was sponsored by Data, Inc., Elevate Ventures, Farmer’s State Bank, Hall and Marose Silveus Insurance, RSM and Wildman Business Group.  For more information about Grace College School of Business, visit or call 574-372-5100.

Grace College Standout Accepts Position with Prestigious Law Firm

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

rsz_darrah_drake_picBuffalo Grove, Ill. native and Grace College senior Drake Darrah has accepted the position of project assistant with Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago.  Darrah was the 2012 recipient of the full-tuition President’s Scholarship to Grace.  He will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science in history and political science and a minor in pre-law.

Darrah’s two-year post at Sidley Austin will entail supporting paralegals and attorneys in various practice groups. This year Sidley Austin LLP received the Best Lawyers Law Firm of the Year Award by “U.S. News and World Report” and has recently been ranked the second best law firm in Chicago and seventeenth nationally according to Vault Rankings and Reviews.

Quite different from a “typical student,” Darrah as overcome significant challenges to achieve his success. Adopted at a young age from a Chinese orphanage, suffering complete deafness and having no language skills, Darrah has worked his way through intense speech and auditory therapy after receiving a cochlear implant. His parents, Craig and Sara Darrah, say that Drake displayed exceptional intelligence immediately after joining their family. Drake taught himself to read prior to preschool, and reached grade-level literacy and academic skills before receiving a cochlear implant at age five. This surgically implanted device provided electronic hearing and allowed him to experience sound for the first time.

“Drake is an inspiration to overcome any struggles in life. I am excited to follow his career path and see where the Lord leads him,” said Dr. Jared Burkholder, chair of the department of history and political science and professor at Grace College.

Darrah’s desire for a Christian education led him to Grace College where he excelled. Professor and Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Dr. Mark Norris said, “Drake was a great student; he always excelled in class. He just needed to know if he worked hard enough, he could accomplish anything.  And he did just that.”

This past fall Darrah and fellow student, Edward Coplin won All American Client and Advocate team, placing third in the International Mediation Competition hosted by Drake Law School.

Darrah looks at every day as an opportunity to grow beyond his circumstances. He says he was encouraged by his professors to live by the motto “memores acti prudentes potest,” which means “mindful of what has been done, aware of what is possible.”  According to Darrah, “Being at Grace taught me to stop theorizing and to invest in my interests and dreams.”

In addition to the experience Darrah will gain at Sidley Austin LLP, he is excited to be a part of a culture of learning that drives its employees to apply their time and talents toward resolving challenging legal matters. Darrah hopes to further his education by pursuing a J.D. of International Law at the University of Chicago Law School. Long-term Darrah says, “Grace has inspired and prepared me for bigger things. I would like to work to end sex trafficking after I acquire my J.D.”