Archive for the ‘Feature Stories’ Category

Music is Coming Back to Grace College with New Worship Arts Major

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Music will be returning to Grace College with the new Worship Arts degree, set to launch fall of 2016. Housed in the newly expanded Visual, Performing, and Media Arts Department and funded through the Dr. Dane and Mary Louise Miller Music Endowment at Grace College, the Bachelor’s degree major in Worship Arts aims to graduate students fully prepared for church worship ministry.

Differing from Grace’s previous music program, which prepared students for teacher education and performance, via classical training, the upcoming model prepares students to serve in the multi-faceted role of a worship environment by combining music and worship with an individualized creative focus.  Musical concentrations in keyboard, guitar, percussion, and voice will coincide with courses in theology and spiritual formation and a select emphasis area of music technology, visual art/design, theatre, or contemporary music.

Course requirements include live performances, production, and applied learning experiences that add to the richness of the program, as well as private lessons available in collaboration with community musicians. Three additional minors in music arts, music technology, and worship arts will give cross-discipline majors a chance to immerse themselves in these practical fields of study as well.

New classes, such as the History of Christian Worship, will supplement the already-rich curriculum and provide practical applications for ministry. Students in the program will also have the opportunity to serve in chapel services and other on-campus ministries, gaining valuable field experience for their chosen major in the process

“Grace already offers strong visual arts and ministry programs,” said Kim Reiff, chair of the Visual, Performing, and Media Arts department and designer of the new program. “The new worship arts major seeks to provide students opportunities to integrate music with the creative arts and apply these artistic expressions as forms of worship.”

“This new major is going to educate students through the multifaceted role of the worship arts environment,” explained Dr. John Lillis, executive vice president of academic affairs at Grace. “With a music component and a worship component, the major will also have opportunities available in technology, visual arts, theater, and film.  It will be beneficial to the community and campus alike to have musical outlets available. The resources we have are quite exciting.”

In addition, Grace College is finalizing partnerships with Wagon Wheel and Symphony of the Lakes to provide further avenues to support the greater Warsaw area and provide for the community’s growing desire for performance arts.  The new Worship Arts major combined with these collaborative efforts will underscore the school’s commitment to the music arts both on campus and in the local community.

Dr. Bill Katip, President of Grace College, is especially thankful for the gracious gift from Dane and Mary Louise Miller several years ago and is thrilled that it will once again directly support music at Grace College.

Grace College to Break Ground on New Campus Dorm

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Grace College and Seminary continues to set the pace in innovative quality and affordable education. This has been displayed through record enrollments over the past several years. With the rise in enrollment, the college is again addressing the need for more on-campus housing with plans to break ground on a new dorm this July.

This most recent housing development is a three-story, 170-bed dormitory, located to the south of Kent Hall.  This new dormitory will have study locations, community living areas, and will provide another residence option for students to choose from.

Grace is working with Design Collaborative, the architecture firm that designed the Lodge, Lancer Lofts, and the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center; Weigand Construction of Fort Wayne; and Holladay Properties, a South Bend, Indiana–based commercial real estate firm.

“This new dorm will accommodate many more students due to our quickly rising enrollment rate,” said Aaron Crabtree, dean of students at Grace.  “We are excited to break ground this July and look forward to having additional housing for the new students who will arrive for the fall of 2016.” Last July, Grace celebrated the completion of the 80-bed townhouse-style dorm called Lancer Lofts.

Grace continues to see a great response from parents and students to Grace’s cost savings and high-quality, Christian education solutions. For their newest program called Measure of Grace, effective fall of 2015, students who enroll at Grace as full-time, traditional undergraduates will never pay higher tuition once they enroll. Each consecutive year a student attends Grace full time, he or she will also receive a $500 tuition reduction, which leads to an additional savings of up to $3,000. Finally, all textbook rentals are free for those undergraduates, saving an additional $4,800 over their four-year stay.

Grace College and Seminary is an evangelical Christian community of higher education that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and applies biblical values in strengthening character, sharpening competence, and preparing for service. Grace College also offers flexible online graduate degrees, on-campus and online degree completion programs, and highly affordable, easily accessible degree programs in Detroit, Fort Wayne and Indianapolis. The 180-acre main campus is located in the historic resort town of Winona Lake, near Warsaw, Indiana.

Artist's rendering of the new Grace dorm beginning construction in fall 2015.

Grace Athletics Honored for Academic Success

Friday, July 17th, 2015

Thirteen of Grace’s 14 varsity athletic programs were named Scholar-Teams by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) for the 2014-15 academic year.

Overall, Grace had three programs ranked in the top 25 nationally across all NAIA teams and also had the highest single team mark among Crossroads League institutions. Nine of Grace’s squads finished in the top 25 of their respective sports.

The women’s cross country team, under head coach Jeff Raymond, led all Lancer squads with an impressive team GPA of 3.75. Their team average ranked third in their sport and 13th overall across the nation. Additionally, they boasted the highest GPA of any Crossroads League team.

Women’s soccer, coached by Michael Voss, posted a 3.71 GPA to finish second in their sport and 20th overall. Women’s tennis, led by Scott Moore, had a 3.70 GPA to rank fourth in their sport and 23rd overall. Both teams were also academic champions in the Crossroads League. The women’s soccer team has ranked in the nation’s top two of their sport academically for four straight seasons.

“The continued academic excellence that our athletic programs achieve is a testament to the commitment and dedication of our coaches and student-athletes,” said Grace athletic director Chad Briscoe. “These prestigious awards are a great reflection of the pursuit of academic and athletic Christian excellence that our programs strive for at Grace. The academic recognition of all of our programs is a great reflection on Grace College and Grace Athletics.”

Grace’s softball team under Heather Johnson ranked No. 7 in their sport and No. 2 in the league with a 3.55 GPA. The volleyball program also finished with a 3.55 GPA to finish No. 19 in their sport.

Women’s basketball, led by Scott Blum, finished No. 18 across all women’s basketball teams with a 3.53 GPA, and women’s track and field had a 3.52 GPA to rank No. 21 in that sport.

Jim Kessler’s men’s basketball team had a 3.16 GPA to rank No. 22 in their sport, and Bill Barr’s baseball team was No. 23 in the sport with a 3.11 GPA.

Other Scholar-Teams for Grace include: men’s tennis (3.29 GPA), men’s soccer (3.09 GPA), men’s cross country (3.08 GPA) and men’s track and field (3.05 GPA).

Overall, 1,502 teams were given the distinction of Scholar-Teams for the 2014-15 academic year.

Don Ogden, Distinguished Former Grace Faculty Member and Alumnus Passes

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Donald E. Ogden of Winona Lake, Indiana passed away at 4:32 a.m. on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at Kosciusko Community Hospital of Warsaw, Indiana at the age of 88.

Donald’s elementary and secondary education was in Southern California.  His degrees include BA and MA in Church Music from Bob Jones University, received his Masters of Divinity from Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana and his Masters of Music in Choral Conducting from Indiana University.

He founded the Department of Music in 1950 at Grace College and Seminary and served as its chairman through 1987.  For the next five years he served as the college and seminary Alumni Director and he was the Professor of Music retiring in 1992.

He has served two area churches as Minister of Music over a period of 42 years.  His contribution to Warsaw-Winona organizations include being a founding board member of Lakeland Community Concert Association, Kosciusko County Youth for Christ, Grace Community Orchestra, and New Frontiers with Riverwood Boys Ranch.  He served for 10 years on the Board of Directors for Grace Village Retirement Community and Health Care.

Special honors include the Alva J. McClain Award for Excellence in Teaching, Grace College 1970-1971; Grace Theological Seminary Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in1975; Certificate of recognition of “Dedicated service to the Community Concert Association and to the cultural progress of Warsaw” in 1981 presented by Community Concerts and Columbia Artists Management, Inc.

Two of his chief passions have been the promotion of understanding and enjoying the music of “the masters”, both secular and sacred, and the preservation and meaningful use of great Christian hymnody.  Don’s greatest delights have been his family relationships and the many strong bonds that developed between him and those he has worked with as peers and as students.    But most of all he loved being a servant of the Lord, he was a member of Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church in Winona Lake, Indiana where he was ordained to the Christian Ministry.

He was born on September 20, 1926 in Whittier, California to Reverend William A. Ogden and Frances E. (Coffman) Ogden.  On August 22, 1948 he was married to Wanita Reeves in Ithaca, Michigan, she preceded him in death on October 18, 2006.  On July 26, 2008 he married Ethelee (Ashby) Jones Ogden, who survives in Winona Lake, Indiana.

He will be lovingly remembered by his two daughters:  Kathleen (husband James) Jenkins (Jacksonville, Florida); Diane (husband Robert) Grenfell (Warsaw, Indiana); one son:  Ronald (wife Rebecca) Ogden (Winona Lake, Indiana); seven grandchildren; twelve great-grandchildren; one brother:  Richard D. Ogden (Warren, Ohio); and his sister:  Jeane Vanaman (Clarkston, Michigan).  There are also nearly 200 first and second generation nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, first wife Wanita R. Ogden; one grandchild; one brother Reverend W. Russell Ogden, and his sister Helen Rasbach.

Visitation will be held from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2015 at Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Road, Warsaw, Indiana.

A memorial service will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 11, 2015 at Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church, 1200 Kings Highway, Winona Lake, Indiana and officiated by Pastor Kip Cone.

Burial will take place at Oakwood Cemetery of Warsaw, Indiana.

Memorial donations may be directed to Grace College, 200 Seminary Drive, Winona Lake, Indiana  46590 and would be appreciated by his family.

Grace website, articles win national awards

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Grace’s website and athletic articles took home six national awards at last week’s NAIA-SIDA Convention in Orlando.

Overall, four articles and two website features were honored with top-10 finishes at the national level. The six national honors in 2014-15 marks Grace’s largest awards haul in department history.

Grace’s SID Josh Neuhart, who oversees all athletic communication and website content, was awarded with the top Feature Story in the NAIA. His piece entitled “Grace Grad Pens ‘Fall to Grace’ with Dave Bliss” earned Grace’s first national contest winner. It centered on Neuhart’s college roommate Stephen Copeland and his book on Dave Bliss.

Neuhart also took home three other top-10 finishes in the NAIA’s Dr. W. Jack Bell Writing Contests. His season preview on the Lady Lancers’ softball team “Expectations High for Grace Softball”tied for fourth place in the Season Preview/Review category, and his baseball preview “Grace Baseball to Focus on the Process” was ninth in the same category. He also won fourth place in the Game Recap category for his women’s basketball article entitled “Peterson’s buzzer beater seals upset of No. 19 Foresters.”

Two webpages on www.GCLancers.com won national recognition under the Best Special Event Webpage contest. Grace won second place nationally for the webpage and infographic commemorating Brooke Shell’s career hits softball record. Grace’s NCCAA Basketball Championship Central webpage placed ninth in the same category.

“While our work in the Sports Information Department at Grace has never been about awards or garnering personal attention, it is quite an honor to be recognized among our peers with these awards,” Neuhart said. “It’s a joy coming to work each day in this department. Our administration, coaching staff, student-athletes and student workers are second to none at our level, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to shine a light on the people that make Grace Athletics so special.”

Bosch Receives Second Chandler-Misener Award

Friday, June 19th, 2015

Dr. Nate Bosch, director of the Center for Lakes & Streams, was awarded the Chandler-Misener award for the most notable paper published in the Journal of Great Lake Research in 2015. Submitted papers are evaluated for originality, contribution and presentation.

Bosch’s paper, Assessing and addressing the re-eutrophication of Lake Erie: Central basin hypoxia, addressed the source of harmful algae in Lake Erie as a result of inflowing water from primarily agricultural drainage areas. The paper, co-authored by 28 scientists across the country, also offered application for the inland lakes in Kosciusko County because the Lake Erie watershed, or drainage area, is similar to the agricultural watersheds flowing into the county’s local lakes.

The paper addresses the algae growing in Lake Erie as a result of nutrients, namely phosphorus, flowing into the lake. Oxygen levels and the presence of blue-green algae toxins are issues also linked to the presence of nutrients in Lake Erie. Similarly, these issues are being studied in local lakes around the county by the Center for Lakes & Streams under Bosch’s leadership.

While Bosch was unable to attend the award banquet at the University of Vermont due to his important local research this summer in Kosciusko County, he received his award this month. Bosch stated, “It is a great honor to receive this award. This is an award that many lake researchers strive their whole career to attain.” Bosch also received this award in 2013 for his work with the study, Historical phosphorus loading to Lake Erie watersheds.”

The Center for Lakes & Streams at Grace College conducts applicable research, engages and educates residents, and collaborates with other organizations in efforts to make the lakes and streams of Kosciusko County cleaner. For more information or to support their efforts, visit lakes.grace.edu.

Grace College announces Van Hofwegen as next volleyball coach

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Katie Van Hofwegen - volleyball head coach for the Lady Lancers

Grace College announces that Katie Van Hofwegen will serve as the next volleyball head coach for the Lady Lancers.

Van Hofwegen comes from The University of Virginia-Wise (NCAA Div. II) where she served as the top assistant coach since 2012. She has a wide berth of volleyball experience that spans across the country.

Van Hofwegen played collegiate volleyball at Shorter University (Ga.). An accomplished defensive player, she was honored as the Southern States Athletic Conference Libero of the Year in 2010 and was a two-time All-Conference winner. She graduated as the school’s all-time leader in service aces (163) and was a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete with a 3.5 GPA. She also finished school ranked No. 2 in career digs with 1,536 and has the school record for most service aces in a single season with 66.

“We are very excited with the outcome of our coaching search. Katie Van Hofwegen has a tremendous background in volleyball and has enjoyed success both as a player and coach,” said Grace athletic director Chad Briscoe. “She is a teacher of the game and is fully committed to assisting student-athletes grow in all aspects of their life during their college experience. I look forward to watching our program grow and achieve success both on and off the court under her leadership.”

While at Virginia-Wise, Van Hofwegen assisted the school’s transition from NAIA to NCAA Div. II. She helped the program overcome a 7-25 record in 2012 to earn its best season in seven years during the 2014 campaign. She was responsible for recruiting, travel coordinating, game tape exchange and practice planning for the Cavaliers. She helped secure one of the best and largest recruiting classes in program history.

In 2011 Van Hofwegen served on the coaching staff at NCAA Div. III Randolph College (Va.), working extensively with recruiting, travel and practice scheduling. She also has multiple years of experience coaching club volleyball and staffing summer camps, including the Liberty University volleyball camp. She originally hails from Riverside, Calif., where she attended Riverside Christian.

“I’m excited to start this new chapter at Grace College,” Van Hofwegen said. “The volleyball program has a great tradition of success, and I plan to continue building on that tradition. I’m looking forward to meeting the team, sharing my faith with them, and leading them both spiritually and as volleyball players. I’m really grateful for this opportunity, and I’m ready to get started.”

Van Hofwegen takes over a volleyball program that has racked up 106 wins over the past four seasons. The Lady Lancers have advanced to three NCCAA National Championships since 2011, including two trips to the national semifinals (2011, 2014). Doug West, who served as the interim coach during the national coaching search, will remain on Grace’s staff as the top assistant under Van Hofwegen.

Sanchez honorable mention for All-American

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Following an outstanding senior campaign, Grace men’s tennis senior Daniel Sanchez was honored as an NAIA All-American.

Sanchez was one of three Crossroads League players to earn a spot on the honorable mention list for NAIA All-American. The Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela, native was Grace’s No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles player all season.

He posted a sterling 9-1 mark in singles play and was also 9-1 in doubles alongside Jose Marval.

Sanchez was also honored for his academic prowess. He joined teammates Ricardo Bedon and Ethan Grove as Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes. To receive Scholar-Athlete status, a student must maintain a GPA of at least 3.5 and have reached junior or senior academic status. Grace’s three NAIA Scholar-Athletes were tied for the most in the Crossroads League.

The Lancers finished the 2015 season with a 7-3 record in the fall, including 6-2 in league play. Grace has claimed a share of the Crossroads League championship in two of the past three years under head coach Larry Schuh.

 

Grace’s NCCAA World Series Run Comes to End

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Pictured is Alex Shipley pitching this week in Virginia. Photo credit: Paul DeRenzo

Grace’s softball team saw its sparkling 2015 season reach a conclusion on Thursday in the 2015 NCCAA World Series.

The Lady Lancers (32-27) fell 2-1 in the seventh inning to the No. 1 seed Judson, eliminating Grace from the double-elimination tournament. Thursday’s loss marked the first time since April 3 (34 games) that Grace scored less than three runs.

The Lady Lancers enjoyed a season of superlatives under head coach Heather Johnson. Grace had its first 30-win season in 21 years and its first winning season in 18 years. The 2014 and 2015 campaigns marked the first consecutive national tournaments in program history, and Grace also tied for the program record with 19 league victories. Statistically, Grace set the record for most doubles (88) and RBIs (317) in a season.

Grace, who scored three runs in the first inning of both games on Wednesday, looked to continue that trend against Judson. The Lady Lancers loaded the bases with two walks and a single in the top of the first, but the side was retired with a strikeout.

The game remained scoreless through the first three innings. Judson finally broke through the strong pitching of Hannah Adams, using a double, a bunt and a single to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth.

Grace’s offense, which came into the game averaging over 6.0 runs/game, struggled to pick up momentum after the first inning. The Lady Lancers did not move a baserunner past first base between the second and fifth innings.

Momentum swung back to Grace’s side in the top of the sixth. Samantha Johnson and Chandler Elliott singled, and Ashley Kleinbub placed a single down the left-field line. Johnson turned the corner at third and beat the throw at home to tie the game at 1-1. The Lady Lancers still had runners on second and third with one out, but Grace was unable to plate the go-ahead run with two strikeouts.

The Eagles threatened to take the lead in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases with two outs. But Alex Shipley, who came in as a relief pitcher in the fifth inning, got the final batter to ground out to Brittany Turner.

Grace was poised to pull ahead in the top of the seventh, loading the bases with two singles and a walk. But Elliott grounded out to third to preserve the 1-1 tie. The Eagles made the Lady Lancers pay in the bottom of the seventh, using three straight hits to win the game in walkoff fashion, 2-1.

Elliott and Johnson each batted 2-for-4, and Knight was 1-for-2 with two walks. Adams pitched four strong innings to start the game and allowed four hits and one run, and Shipley tossed the final innings in relief.

Brooke Shell graduates as the program’s most prolific offensive player. She leaves Grace as the career leader in hits, runs, batting average, triples and stolen bases.

Shell set the single-season record in 2015 for most runs scored with 65, and Elliott tied the single-season mark with 56 RBIs.

Grace advances to second day of NCCAA World Series

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Despite falling into the loser’s bracket of the 2015 NCCAA World Series, Grace’s softball team stayed alive to reach day two of the tournament.

After narrowly losing 7-6 to No. 4 Oklahoma Christian in the opening round on Wednesday, the Lady Lancers (32-26) won an elimination game 7-5 against Central Baptist in the nightcap.

Grace advances to play No. 1 Judson at noon on Thursday after the top-seeded Eagles were bounced in the opening round. As long as Grace wins, the Lady Lancers will play again at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday.

The opening game could not have started better for Grace. Brooke Shell reached second base on the first at-bat, and Samantha Johnson laced a triple to drive in the game’s first run. Ashley Kleinbub then stepped up and belted a two-run home run, propelling Grace to an early 3-0 lead.

Oklahoma Christian threatened to respond in the bottom of the inning with runners on second and third and nobody out. But Chandler Elliott pitched her way out of a jam with two pop outs and a strikeout.

The Eagles (30-19) made good on their chances in the second inning, scoring four to take a one-run lead. OCU use a two-run homer of its own to spark its rally. The Eagles tacked on another run in the third to lead 5-3.

In the top of the fourth, Hannah Herbster and Brittany Melzoni led off the inning with singles. Herbster came home to score off the bat of Morgan Hutcheson. Clarissa Knight then drilled a two-out, two-run double up the middle to put Grace back on top 6-5.

Grace’s lead was short-lived, however, as the Eagles struck back with two in the bottom of the fourth. After an offensive showcase in the first four innings, defense took over down the stretch. Neither side could produce another run over the final three innings as OCU held on to win 7-6.

Herbster and Melzoni each batted 2-for-3 with a run scored. Kleinbub hit 1-for-3 with a run and two RBIs, and Hutcheson had a run and an RBI as well.

In the second game of the day, Grace staved off elimination with a 7-5 win over Central Baptist.

The Lady Lancers repeated their first inning from the opening game with a three-run outburst. Shell and Johnson hit safely to start the inning, and Knight drove them both home with a single. Later in the inning, Knight scored off the bat of Chelsea Whitesell.

The Mustangs (22-17) closed the gap to 3-2 in the top of the second, but Grace pounded out four more runs in the bottom of the second to take a commanding 7-2 lead. Brittany Melzoni blasted a solo home run, Johnson executed a perfect squeeze bunt to score Hutcheson, and Shell and Johnson later plated in the inning.

CBC fought back to within 7-5 with a three-run sixth inning, but that would prove to be the high point of the game for the Mustangs. Shipley shut down CBC in the seventh inning with a three-up, three-down performance to record the save.

Johnson hit 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI, and Shell was 1-for-2 with two runs. Knight drove in two runs and scored once.