Archive for the ‘Grace Student Veterans Organization’ Category

Upcoming Adventure Race Benefits Grace College’s Student Veteran Organization

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Each year, Metzger Outdoors partners with the Grace Student Veteran Organization to host a unique adventure race in the Warsaw/Winona Lake area. Last year’s race, Nocturnal III: The Mission, attracted more than 500 attendees and raised over $4,000 to benefit the Grace Student Veteran Organization, as well as a local family in need of financial assistance.

This year’s adventure race, Nocturnal IV: Feel the Freedom, will be held Saturday, Oct. 26. Teams of racers will run, walk, and crawl through a wide variety of terrain, encountering several challenges and obstacles all over Winona Lake. Since the race is entirely in the dark, participants are encouraged to wear glow sticks, flashing lights, reflective clothing, carry flashlights or anything that will light up the night.  Prizes will be awarded for the largest team, team with the best costumes, and for top finishers. The event will also include door prizes awarded at random, and $500 cash prize at the end of the night for one of the top finishers.

“This race is top-quality family fun every year,” said Matt Metzger, co-director of Metzger Outdoors.  “We love organizing this event and have some exciting things planned this year!”

Proceeds from the race will go to Grace College Student Veteran’s Organization, The Beaman Home and a secret recipient (disclosed immediately before awards). For more information or to register for the event, visit For more information on Grace College’s Military program, visit:

Grace College & Seminary Achieves Record Enrollment Again

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Grace College and Seminary once again achieves a record-breaking enrollment of 1,904 students, including 442 new students this fall – a 17.8% increase since 2011. Grace’s innovative, market-driven responses to a rapidly changing higher educational landscape, increasingly shaped by concerns about college affordability and accessibility, have made Grace a desirable option for students of all ages and educational interests.

As Grace acknowledges the ever present demand for Christian education, it seeks to offer quality degrees as it pursues innovative new programs and ideas. The school maintains a strong student retention rate, providing competitive financial awards, partnerships with Trine University for Engineering and Bethel College for Nursing, and degree programs at commuter locations in Detroit, Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.

Grace’s innovative three-year accelerated degree program, launched in 2011, spans all 60 majors and allows students to graduate sooner, save a year’s tuition and enter the workforce a year earlier.  Recently, Grace made quality education even more affordable by introducing a new option that allows students to graduate with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in four years.

Offered with five distinct master’s programs, students choosing to take advantage of this new blended degree program can receive a bachelor’s and master’s degrees for the price and time of just an undergraduate degree. These programs utilize online classes, the accelerated undergraduate track, and summer coursework to offer students a more financially efficient option for higher education.

Grace College is one of the few public or private universities nationally to offer a three-year bachelor’s and four-year master’s degree programs across its curriculum.  Grace’s program innovation has attracted the attention of Congress, state legislators and national media.

“The increased number of students choosing Grace demonstrates that our aggressive attempts to lower costs and present more efficient educational models are directly benefiting students who seek the best value in educational options,” said Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace. “We will continue our commitment to excellence in every area of our educational leadership and to strive to keep offering families quality, faith-based educational options.”

Dr. William Katip Assumes Role as President of Grace College & Seminary

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Dr. William J. Katip, president of Grace College & Seminary

The faculty, staff, and board of trustees of Grace College and Seminary are excited to welcome former provost Dr. William J. Katip as the president of Grace College & Seminary. He assumed this new role following Dr. Ronald E. Manahan’s final day on May 11. Katip received a B.A. in Bible and Psychology from Grace College, an M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Purdue University and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Michigan State University. His professional background includes 39 years of college administration (15 at Grace), teaching and counseling experience, and serving as provost of Grace College since 2007.

As Katip steps into his new role, he is implementing some structural changes to the institution’s senior leadership team. Manahan will assume the role of senior advisor to the president during the academic year 2013-2014, taking some time in the fall semester as a sabbatical. Dr. Jeff Gill was named vice president and dean of the Seminary and School of Ministry Studies, and joins the Grace College and Seminary senior leadership team.

Dr. James Swanson, vice president of Student Affairs and Academic Services, now has additional areas of responsibility that focus on developing student life. The school’s retention rates have improved yearly under Swanson’s guidance. Cynthia Sisson received a promotion from dean to vice president of Enrollment Management, and Associate Provost Dr. Carrie Yocum stepped into her new role as vice president of Administration and Compliance. Thomas Dunn, accepting his new title as vice president of Strategic Initiatives and Planning, will hone his focus on institutional growth and innovation, which is integral to Katip’s strategy. Grace will be seeking to fill the three remaining openings in the senior leadership team (vice president of Financial Affairs, vice president of Advancement, and vice president of Academic Affairs) in the coming months.

“Dr. Manahan made sure the college and seminary remained true our mission through drastic changes,” said Katip. “I commit to that same fortitude, also acknowledging that our methods must be adaptable. Higher education is in line for radical changes and we have to pray for wisdom daily to find new ways to express it.”

Deployed Military Chaplain Surprises Graduating Daughter at Commencement

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Grace Brethren military chaplain Major Billy Graham (U.S.Army) surprised his daughter, Katie, Saturday morning during her graduation from Grace College. He has been deployed in Afghanistan for the last nine months. Fort Wayne, Ind., television station, WANE, caught the story on tape, which appears below. Click here to view the video report.

Local graduate gets big surprise walking across stage

Winona Lake, Ind. (WANE) – Saturday morning a graduate at Grace Seminary College got a big surprise walking across the stage.

Katie Graham had her diploma in hand, her professor had just turned her tassel, and then, she looked across the stage and froze.

A man was running towards her with outstretched arms. The man was her father who she hadn’t seen in nine months.

” I was like, no way, no way, and then lots of oh my gosh, oh my gosh. I think I said it like six times,” Katie said.

Chaplain Billy Graham had just come back from a nine month deployment in Afghanistan.

“I really didn’t think I’d be able to make it home because my deployment was supposed to go for several more weeks,” Chaplain Graham said.

However, with the help of his commander, he was able to come home early. When he found out the good news, he began his plan of surprising his daughter for her graduation.

His family helped him keep his homecoming a surprise, and Grace College helped the ceremony reveal go smoothly. Chaplain Graham said he even pretended to Skype his daughter Friday night to make her believe he was still overseas.

The dad and daughter both agree the surprise made the special occasion even more memorable.

“Oh yeah, priceless, there we go,” Katie said.

Katie also said the surprise was also sentimental because her father is also a Grace graduate.

Grace College and Seminary’s 75th Anniversary to be Recognized Before Indiana State Senate

Friday, March 8th, 2013

On March 12, 2013, Senator Jim Banks will be presenting a resolution to the Indiana State Senate honoring Grace College and Seminary’s 75th year anniversary and achievements as an institution. The resolution will be read before the Indiana State Senate in Indianapolis, and representatives from Grace will have the privilege to attend the event at the capitol.

The resolution notes the history of Grace College and Seminary, as well as several of Grace’s achievements such as graduates of Grace’s accounting program receiving a ranking of 10th out of 793 institutions nationwide for the first-time pass rate on the Certified Public Accountant exam in 2012.

The resolution also highlights Grace’s recent implementation of more affordable education options for students. One of these options reduces cost by 25 percent through one of the nation’s first successful three-year accelerated degree programs. Another program being recognized is a $7,800 per year associate degree program for city youth now available in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.

“We are honored that Grace College and Seminary’s 75th Anniversary will be recognized before the Indiana State Senate,” said Dr. Ronald Manahan, president of Grace College and Seminary. “I think it acknowledges the passion and hard work we have invested to give our students quality, affordable options for their education. We are excited to continue innovating and addressing students’ needs.”

World Champion Ironman Scott Rigsby Speaks at Grace College

Monday, February 4th, 2013

On Friday February 1, 2013, Scott Rigsby, world champion Ironman and double amputee, gave an inspirational speech to kick off Transition Exploration Day held at Grace College.

Rigsby spoke to the Grace College student body, and special guests about the importance of seeing each individual’s purpose as a part of God’s bigger plan. “You will give up if your life isn’t a role in a bigger story,” he explained. “You will give up if you’re doing it only for yourself.” He used accounts from his own remarkable life to inspire students to overcome fears and obstacles and make their dreams a reality.

Despite the fact that he lost both legs in a collision with a semi when he was 18 years old, Rigsby now holds world records for double below-the-knee amputees in the Full Marathon, Half Ironman, and International Distance Triathlon. He was the first double-amputee on prosthetics in the world to finish an Ironman distance triathlon. He is now involved in speaking events around the country and counseling wounded US troops.

The event was organized by the Grace Chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children and the Office of Student Affairs, and was held at the Orthopaedic Capital Center. Students from Warsaw High School, Bremen High School, and Tippecanoe High School attended. After hearing Scott Rigsby speak, the high school students had the opportunity to participate in a group photo with Mr. Rigsby and go to a Transition Expo with area businesses, agencies, and educational institutions displaying opportunities and resources for students’ future plans.

Nocturnal III: The Mission – Huge Success

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

The Grace College Student Veteran Organization in partnership with ML Motorsports, Wish for Our Heroes and KCV Cycling hosted Nocturnal III: The Mission on Oct. 27, 2012.  With over 500 in attendance, the adventure race extravaganza was a huge success for participants and contributors alike.

Matt Metzger gives directions prior to the start of the road vs. trail bike race.

This year’s event incorporated some first-of-its-kind races, including a road vs. trail bike race, a pet-friendly three-mile run, and “The Mission” – a high-adrenaline in-the-dark obstacle race that took participants through the winding trails of the Winona Lake Trails, canoeing in Winona Lake, and crawling over hay bales and stacks of logs. Prizes were given to teams with most participants, best costumes, and top finishers, as well as door prizes awarded at random.

The race results are as follows: Road Bike Race Winners: Female – Erica Baker, Male – Evan Hansen; Bike Race Winners: Female – Andrea Lehr, Male – Matt Morgart; Run Winners: Female – Stacy Fisk, Male – Eric Cusick; and Mission Winners: 1st place – Team Busse, 2nd place – Plowboys.  The largest team was Boy Scouts of America Troop 453, who entered 14 participants.

In addition to the races, the event offered children’s activities including a Boot Camp bounce house provided by the National Guard, a full meal provided by the Mike Metzger family and the Army National Guard, and representatives from the Navy, Army National Guard, and the Grace College Admissions Team.  In the back of a Navy SUV an entire gaming system was set up for all to enjoy SoCom, Madden, Guitar Hero, and a flight simulator.  A helicopter from Parkview Samaritan Hospital landed at the start line of the trail run and took off as the runners started the race.

A bike race participant crosses the finish line in costume.

“It was great to see the civilian and military communities work together to support veterans pursuing that next assignment into higher education,” said Scott Shaffer, Veteran’s Affairs Professional at Grace College & Seminary. “The support from the Army National Guard and U.S. Navy was incredible.  They brought the entertainment for those in attendance.  So many people stopped by to see what was going on at Rodeheaver and to see their family members finish The Mission.”

Local businesses and families sponsored the event through cash donations, in-kind donations and prizes.  Sponsors included Metzger Trucking, the Warsaw YMCA, SYM Financial Advisors, Relentless Martial Arts Academy, Wyndham Garden, the Dane and Mary Louise Miller Foundation, Wildman Business Group, Lake City Radio, LeSEA Broadcasting, Oldies 98.3, Crouse Body Shop, Papa John’s, Lake House, Trail House, Culver’s, Shoe Sensation, Pet Supplies, Wal-Mart, 1000 Park Bãk∙afé, Rabb Water, Boathouse, Martin’s Supermarket, Buggy Shop Bakery, Giverny Fitness, Army National Guard, US Navy, and the Mike Metzger family. The event wouldn’t have been possible without countless volunteers including Amy Evans, Matt Livengood, Karen Wood, Bethany Cockburn-Atkins, Lorraine Deffenbaugh, Rod Ginter, Bill Holder, Dihana Bowen, Bob and Sue Cockburn, Alexi Demopolis, Greg Demopolis, Cara Roe, Susanna Wolf, Mike Cusick, Rob Bishop, Brandt Cox, Joe Romie, Dan Murphy, the Grace Student Veteran’s Organization, Grace Sport Management students and more. Thanks to all who sponsored, volunteered, and participated in the event.

Donations from local businesses as well as racer entry fees totaled over $4,000, which went towards the Grace Military Fund to assist Grace students who are veterans or military dependents with their schooling.  Additionally, the cash proceeds from the day were donated to a local family as an act of kindness.  Following the final race of the night, a large group of racers and supporters made their way through Winona Lake to surprise the family with the donation right at their home.

“For me, the coolest part of the night was when all of the racers took money to a neighbor,” explained Matt Metzger, co-director of Metzger Outdoors. “The recipients were overwhelmed with joy.  It was truly a chance to obey God’s command to love your neighbor. The night gave the racers a chance to let their lights shine (in more ways than one)!”

The event also benefited Wish for Our Heroes, a non-profit dedicated to helping active-duty military families from all branches of the U.S. military.

Nocturnal III: The Mission was a tremendous success that Metzger Outdoors and the Grace College Student Veteran Organization enjoy partnering with each year.  For more information on The Mission: Nocturnal III or other upcoming races, please visit:

For more information on Grace College’s Military program, please visit:

<<view more photos from the event>>

Veterans Day Discounts 2012

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Veterans eat free. Olive Garden Restaurants offer a free meal (with proof of service) from a list of several entrees on a special menu. This special is scheduled for Monday, November 12, 2012. Additionally, some Olive Garden restaurants will also give out a $10 gift card to veterans for a future visit.
Military Veterans and Active-Duty Service Members will be able to eat free at any Applebee’s across the U.S. on Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11, 2012. There will be six entrées available from the menu. Guests will be asked to show one ore more of the following as proof of Service: a U.S. Uniform Services Identification Card, a U.S. Uniform Services Retired Identification Card, Current Leave and Earnings Statement, Veterans Organization Card, a photograph in uniform, or wearing a uniform in person. For more information about Veterans Day at Applebee’s, visit the Applebee’s website.
Golden Corral’s 9th annual Military Appreciation Monday dinner will be held on Monday, November 12, 2012, from 4 to 9 pm in all Golden Corral restaurants nationwide. The free dinner meal is a special “thank you tribute” to any person who has ever served in the United States Military. If you are a veteran, retired, currently serving, in the National Guard or Reserves, you are invited to join us for Golden Corral’s Military Appreciation Monday dinner. To date, Golden Corral restaurants have provided over 2.2 million free meals and contributed over $3.3 million to the Disabled American Veterans organization.
Free meal, Veterans Day, Sunday, Nov 11, 2012. Chili’s is offering all Military Veterans past and present their choice of one of 6 meals. This offer is available during business hours at participating Chili’s in the U.S. only. Dine-in from limited menu only; beverages and gratuity not included. All Desserts priced $5.oo for Veterans and active duty military. Simply show proof of military service.
Free meal, Veterans Day, Monday, Nov 12, 2012. Offer varies by location; our local Texas Roadhouse is offering a free meal from opening until 4pm. Other locations may vary in offer, hours, or availability. Call ahead to your local restaurant for more information. Visit the web site for locations and participation.
Free six inch Sub. Many Subway locations offer a free six inch sub to military veterans on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2010. However, Subway restaurants are franchises, so this offer may only be available in select locations. Please contact your local Subway for more information regarding Veteran’s day specials.
Free doughnut. Available only at participating Krispy Kreme stores. Offer available to all active-duty, retirees & veterans on Veterans Day, Sunday November 11, 2012. Be sure to call ahead to verify your local Krispy Kreme is participating.
All-you-can-eat Pancakes. Participating Denny’s restaurants will be offering an all-you-can-eat pancakes meal on Monday, Nov 12, 2012. Remember to call ahead and verify that your local Denny’s is participating.

Veteran’s Day weekend, Cabela’s outdoor store is offering their employee discount to all veterans, active duty military and reserves, law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel on Nov. 11 and 12. Dubbed a “Hometown Heroes” event, eligible shoppers will need to check in at a table at the store to receive a coupon for the discount. The discount varies from 5% to 50%, depending on item. Some items may be excluded.
The 10% military discount is available to: Active-duty military members, National Guard and Reserve members, retirees, honorably discharged veterans and immediate family members of all those groups are eligible. Customers requesting a discount must be able to show a valid military ID card or other proof of military service (a DD Form 214 or VFW membership may qualify).
Free haircut to active-duty military & veterans. Offer only available at select locations on Veterans Day, Monday, November 12, 2012. Additionally, offers 20% discount on all services and products to Military and Veterans everyday. Sports Clips is currently participating in the Help-A-Hero program which provides free call time to deployed or hospitalized military personnel. Please call to verify local participation.
This year Sleep number is offering a couple of discounts. Among these are $600.00 off on all I8 or M7 beds, 30% off all bedding items, and 0% interest on 24 months financing. This is only available to military and veterans. This special is going on now through Nov. 18. Contact your local store for more details.
Free car wash to Veterans on Veterans Day, Monday, November 11, 2012.

**The following companies offer discounts, but you may find that NOT all locations participate**



Burger King

Carl’s Jr.

Chevy’s Fresh Mex




Dunkin’ Donuts



Long John Silver’s


Panda Express

Pizza Hut


Red Robin


Taco Bell




Best Western Choice Hotels

Continental Airlines Cruise lines (most)

Hyatt Hotel

Marriott Hotels

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts
Car Care:


Checker Auto Parts

General Motors

Jiffy Lube

Kragen Auto Parts


NAPA Auto Parts

Super Sonic Car Wash
Cell Phone Service Discounts:





Clothing and Shoes:


The Children’s Place

Dress Barn

Fanzz (10%)

The Finish Line

Foot Action (15%)

Foot Locker (20%)

Hot Topic

Jos. A. Bank




New York & Company

Pac Sun


Timberland Outlets (active duty only)

Wilson’s Leather


Upcoming Adventure Race Benefits Grace College’s Student Veteran’s Organization

Friday, October 19th, 2012

The Grace College Student Veteran’s Organization is excited to partner with Metzger Outdoors, ML Motorsports, Wish For Our Heroes and KCV Cycling in hosting Nocturnal III: The Mission.

This year’s races, which will be held during the afternoon and evening of Oct. 27 in Winona Lake will  include a road vs. trail bike race, which will be held at 3:30, a night time, pet-friendly three-mile run at 6:30, and, the night’s biggest surprise, “the mission” – a secret-mission obstacle race, to be held at 8:00. Participants should expect the unexpected, but may want to come prepared with a flashlight or headlamp, reflective gear, long pants, thin gloves, and eye protection. Teams are encouraged to participate together in “The Mission,” and team size is unlimited.

Participants are welcome to take part in any or all of the events, and may register online at “Nocturnal Warriors,” or those who compete in all three events, will be eligible to win a $500 cash prize at the end of the night. Funds raised from this year’s registration will go toward supporting Grace’s Student Veteran Organization,s and a gift for an anonymous family in need. In addition, Nocturnal III will benefit Wish For Our Heroes, a non-profit dedicated to helping active-duty military families from all branches of the U.S. military.

Prizes will be awarded for the largest team, team with the best costumes, and for top finishers. The event will also include door prizes awarded at random.

Last year’s races, Nocturnal II: Military Edition, attracted more than 300 attendees and raised more than $7,000 to benefit the Grace Student Veteran’s Organization, as well as a local family in need of financial assistance. Metzger Outdoors and Grace’s Student Veteran Organization expect an even greater turnout for this year’s adventure races.

For more information or to register for the event, visit

Grace College Named a “Military Friendly” School for Third Year

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

For the third consecutive year, G.I. Jobs magazine has recognized Grace College and Theological Seminary as a “Military Friendly” school for 2013. The list of named schools is a product of years of research across government agencies and private entities, as well as a survey administered by G.I. Jobs. The 2013 Military Friendly Schools list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members and veterans as students.

Scott Shaffer, Grace’s Veteran’s Affairs Professional, emphasized the importance of this ranking as Grace has made considerable effort in the past several years to intentionally serve military students.

“Grace is fairly new to reaching out to the military and being placed on this list three years in a row is an excellent first step in showing our commitment to the nation’s best,” he said. “Service men and women deserve exceptional service, and by being a military friendly school, veteran and dependent students can trust that Grace will be up-to-date on the latest benefits and that we will do our part in making sure they receive what they have worked so hard to earn.”

Grace’s military friendly initiatives in the past several years have included the formation of a student veteran’s organization, the building of a student veteran’s resource center, financial aid and scholarships for military students, and college credit for military service, as well as training in military chaplaincy.

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 and hybrid-online graduate degrees, on-campus and online degree completion programs, and highly affordable, easily accessible two-year degree programs in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.  The 180-acre main campus is located in the historic resort town of Winona Lake, near Warsaw, Indiana.