Archive for the ‘Feature Stories’ Category

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.

Congressman Banks to Speak at Annual Executive Forum

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Congressman Jim Banks will deliver the keynote address at ‘Giving Back to the Community’ Nov. 20 at Grace College.


The Grace College School of Business is pleased to present the sixth-annual Executive Forum, ‘Giving Back to the Community,’ on Monday, Nov. 20, from 8 a.m. – 11:45 a.m., at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center, 610 Wooster Rd., Winona Lake.  Doors open at 8 a.m. for check-in and continental breakfast. Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased here.

Rep. Jim Banks, Indiana’s Third District Congressman and resident of Columbia City, Ind., will give the forum’s keynote address.  Banks earned his undergraduate degree from Indiana University and a Master of Business Administration from Grace College. He previously worked in the commercial construction and real estate industries and serves in the U.S. Navy Reserve as a supply corps officer.

“We believe that ‘Giving Back to the Community’ is a great theme to help executives and business leaders understand social consciousness,” said Al Grossnickle, associate professor of business at Grace College and director of the William P. Gordon Institute for Enterprise Development. “We’re excited to host Congressman Banks as our keynote speaker.  He has a sincere interest in generating a strong workforce and vibrant communities in northeast Indiana.  We look forward to hearing about his contributions and ideas to this end.”

Rich Haddad, president and CEO of the K12 Foundation in Warsaw, Ind., will moderate the forum. Four panelists will offer their unique perspective on community engagement: John Sampson, president and CEO of Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership; Suzanne Light, executive director of the Kosciusko County Community Foundation; Kelly Byrd, director of leadership and personal growth at Sweetwater Sound; and Steve Longbrake, director of business development at Silveus Insurance Group, Inc.

“Our hope is that participants will walk away with a better understanding of the importance of giving back, and how doing so improves their community,” Grossnickle added. “Forums like this one are part of being a good corporate citizen and using our resources and talent to enhance the lives of people and places around us.”

To make the Executive Forum a success, Grace College partnered with the Gordon Institute for Enterprise Development and the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce. The forum is sponsored by RSM US LLP, a leading national assurance, tax and consulting firm with locations including South Bend and Indianapolis.

For more information, please call event coordinator Marsha Yocum at 574-372-5100, ext. 6094.

Student-Written Cabaret Takes the Stage at Grace College

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Student actors practice for performances in the Little Theatre.

Grace College’s performing arts program will blend story and song at this year’s cabaret show, “A Story in a Scene.” The special performances will take place in Grace College’s Little Theatre, located in Philathea Hall, on Oct. 27, 28 and 29 at 7 p.m.  Admission is free and the public is welcome.

Written and directed by second-year student Elizabeth Mattia, “A Story in a Scene” weaves together scenes and songs about each student performer.  “Traditionally, a cabaret showcases distinct musical performances,” said Mattia.  “Sometimes a cabaret can be connected by a loose theme, but these performances are different – they are connected by story.”

Eighteen talented Grace College students will take the stage.  “The show includes folk music, pop, Broadway hits, and everything in between,” said Mattia.  “It has emotional scenes as well as fabulous comedic duos. Each cast member will showcase either who they are or who they never get to be.”

Mattia invites the community to visit campus and enjoy an evening of entertainment. For more information about “A Story in a Scene,” contact Elizabeth Mattia at

FunFest Offers Families a Halloween Alternative in Winona Lake

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Grace College is pleased to host its 28th-annual FunFest on Friday, Oct. 27, from 6 – 9 p.m. in the Gordon Recreation Center, 100 Publishers Dr., Winona Lake. The event is free and open to all children and their families.

“FunFest is a long-standing tradition on Grace’s campus. Almost 30 years!” said Kearstin Criswell, director of student involvement at Grace College. “Every year, we’re blessed to host hundreds of children in the Gordon Recreation Center and offer them a fun, lighthearted alternative to the usual Halloween festivities.”

At FunFest, children will enjoy face painting, bouncy houses, food and games. This year’s theme is Disney. Children are invited to dress in their favorite Disney-themed attire or any costume of their choice.

“We love interacting with our community through family-friendly events like this one,” said Kamry Williams, a senior at Grace College and organizer of FunFest. “Our student volunteers can’t wait to serve local kids and families.” Nearly 60 Grace students have volunteered to help run the event.

“This year, we will be collecting paper towels for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts,” Criswell added. “Please consider bringing paper towels to help us support families impacted by the hurricane in Texas.”

For more information about FunFest, contact Kamry Williams at

Grace College to Host RedBird Art Exhibit

Friday, October 13th, 2017

RedBird Art Studio, a division of Cardinal Services Inc., will present its first-ever art exhibit in Mount Memorial Art Gallery, 200 Seminary Dr., Winona Lake, Oct. 17 – Dec. 9.  The opening reception will take place Friday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. in the gallery.  The public is invited to attend this free event.

“RedBird artists created beautiful canvas paintings, handcrafted pillows and beaded jewelry for this show,” said Kim M. Reiff, chair of the Visual, Performing and Media Arts Department at Grace College. “We invite the community join us at the reception to support the uniquely gifted people who created artwork for this exhibit.”

The opening reception will begin with an artist talk by Michele Fanfair-Steury, director of RedBird Art Studio.  Then the public will have the opportunity to view and purchase artwork from more than 80 artists. Sixty percent of sales will go directly to the artists; 40 percent will be returned to the studio to purchase new art supplies.

“We are so pleased to partner with RedBird and Cardinal Services,” said Reiff.  “We believe a long-term relationship between Grace and Cardinal can revolve around the creative arts.”  In addition to the RedBird exhibit at Grace College, Grace students intern at Cardinal Services in a variety of positions.  “Our partnership benefits both Grace students and individuals at Cardinal, including RedBird artists.”

For more information about the exhibit, contact the Grace College Department of Visual, Performing and Media Arts at 574-372-5100, ext. 6024 or email  For more information about Cardinal Services and RedBird Art Studio, visit  




Shakespeare at Grace to Bring Literature to Life in Winona Lake

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Shakespeare at Grace, a week-long series of events at Grace College, will take place Oct. 18 – 21. The wide range of programs, including live theatre, lecture and discussion, are sure to inspire and develop appreciation for William Shakespeare’s renowned literature.

Shakespeare at Grace is organized by Professor of Literature Dr. Lauren Rich and the Grace College Languages, Literature and Communication Department. “During the week, we will celebrate the irreplaceable contribution Shakespeare made to literature,” said Rich. We will do this through annual events like The Lyceum Series as well as brand new events including performances by Actors From The London Stage,” Rich said.

The Lyceum Series is an annual event dedicated to merging cultural engagement, academics and faith. This year’s installment is presented by Dr. Peter Holland, a world-renowned Shakespeare scholar, during Shakespeare at Grace. Holland’s lecture, “Forgiving and Forgetting: Shakespeare & Power,” will occur on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. in Westminster Hall, 105 9th Street, Winona Lake. The Lyceum Series lecture is free, open to the public, and will be followed by light refreshments and a book signing.

Holland is the associate dean for the arts at Notre Dame University. He is a respected editor and author of several books, including “English Shakespeares: Shakespeare on the English Stage in the 1990s” and a major study of Restoration drama, “The Ornament of Action.”

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.

AFTLS is housed and workshopped in England with academic tours booked through the University of Notre Dame. AFTLS tours the country in the spring and fall, visiting almost 20 universities per year. The actors include Peter Pray, Ben Eagle, Dominic Gerrard, Wela Mbusi and Anna Wright. Grace College is one of eight schools AFTLS will visit on their fall, 2017 tour.

In tandem with AFTLS, violinist Shana Brath and guitarist Scott Workman will perform a pre-show dinner concert in Alpha Dining Hall on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 5:30 p.m. “Brath and Workman are exceptionally talented.  They’re sure to prepare visitors for AFTLS’ performance,” Rich said. “Dinner tickets don’t need to be bought in advance,” Rich added. “Just visit Alpha Dining and purchase a meal pass Thursday evening.”

Immediately following “Measure for Measure” on Saturday night, student-led Grace College Cinematic Conversations (GC3) will offer a panel discussion to delve into the play’s weighty content. “Our hope is that this time will create space for students to process and learn from the material offered by Shakespeare via AFTLS,” said Kirsten Mead, student body president and coordinator of GC3’s discussion.

GC3 is a Student Senate-sponsored club on campus led by student Caleb Dudeck. The club regularly meets to watch films and discuss their worldview and moral implications. Rather than allowing movie-watching to be a passive activity, GC3 helps students actively engage with the words, ideas and images presented in film.

Sponsors for Shakespeare at Grace include: 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 Excellence in Languages, Literature and Communication 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.

For questions about Shakespeare at Grace, contact Dr. Lauren Rich via email at or call 574-372-5100.

Grace College Response to Hate Incident

Monday, October 9th, 2017

Racism and harassment of any kind is not tolerated at Grace College.  Throughout the past summer, we took action to address and improve racial sensitivity and inclusiveness on campus.  These efforts included discussions with African American alumni about their student experience at Grace, an all-faculty and staff meeting to discuss racial sensitivity and inclusiveness, reorganization of various multi-cultural clubs on campus into the Council for Diversity and Inclusion, and the creation of an advisory group on race and diversity comprised of leaders on these issues.

Immediately upon learning of the hate incident in a residence hall this morning, action was taken to address it.  The Grace College Campus Safety Office and the Winona Lake Police Department commenced investigations.  Grace College administrators communicated personally with the student targeted and his parents.  An all-campus email was sent from Grace College President Dr. Katip to inform students, faculty and staff of the incident and provide contact information to report additional information about this or other hate-related acts as well as contact information for student counseling services.  In addition, faculty were instructed to read the statement to each class held today.  This afternoon, an all-campus meeting was convened to address the incident.  Dr. Katip spoke from his heart on the matter, explained what was being done to address it and led everyone in prayer.  This evening two separate meetings were held on campus: one for African American students and another for students who live in the residence hall involved to share their concerns, information and ideas to address the matter.  Tuesday morning an open meeting will be held for all of those on campus affected or concerned about this or related incidents at Grace.

In the days ahead, Grace College will provide updates to the campus and the public as appropriate regarding the investigation and our actions to address this incident.  We will continue to seek answers for how best to respond, grow and understand as a campus.  We will take all actions necessary to stop any and all harassment on campus and prevent it from reoccurring while we care for and minster to those affected by today’s incident. Grace College is steadfast in our commitment to ensure all people feel welcomed and respected on our campus.  As Dr. Katip shared this afternoon, we must be “an inclusive, welcoming, respectful, civil, and loving community of believers — one that loves all our neighbors in ways that demonstrate the love of Jesus, in keeping with the Word of God as our authority.”