Grace College Honors Nancy Weimer with Retirement Reception

June 27th, 2016

Nancy Weimer at her retirement reception on June 27.

Nancy Weimer began work at Grace College in 1975 in the Office of Supporting Services.  In 1977, then-President Homer Kent hired her as secretary to the president.  Nancy’s 41 years of service at Grace College has included work with four of the six Grace College presidents, most recently as executive assistant to President Bill Katip.  Weimer will retire July 15.  Today, Grace College hosted a reception to honor her.

All four presidents with whom she served offered words of appreciation to Weimer.

Dr. Homer Kent, Grace College president from 1976 – 1986, remembers fondly the day he interviewed Nancy, who was a recent Grace graduate at the time, and three years later when he officiated her marriage ceremony.  “I certainly made a good decision hiring Nancy.  She was very trustworthy with confidential information and to this day, she knows more about where everything is at Grace than anyone else on campus,” he said.

Dr. John Davis, who served as president from 1986 – 1993, recalls Nancy’s calm disposition and efficiency.  “She was always calm under fire.  Whenever there was a challenging situation, Nancy’s cool head and proficient work guarded against potential problems,” Davis said.  “She was an excellent assistant and ambassador for Grace College.”

Dr. Ronald Manahan, president from 1994 – 2013, commented, “Nancy had excellent judgment and good sense, was trustworthy and caring in her dealings with others, and had a remarkable knowledge of the institution.  Her integrity, faithful commitment to Grace’s mission, and deep relationship with God blessed me during all the years we worked together.”

Current President Dr. Bill Katip describes Nancy as “a walking encyclopedia of Grace College & Seminary.”  He commented, “Her ability and willingness to work with four different presidents and even more board chairmen is remarkable.  Nancy is the definition of a servant leader.  She always works quietly in the background doing important work for the college.  Her contribution to the mission and longevity of Grace College can’t be overstated.  She will be sorely missed,” he said.

Nancy has been married to Greg, also a former Grace employee, for 36 years.  The couple looks forward to partnering in ministry and traveling together upon Nancy’s retirement.


President Bill Katip presents Nancy and Greg Weimer with a special gift.


Nancy visits with guests during the reception held in her honor.


Nancy talks with colleagues from the School of Professional and Online Education at her reception.


Operation Barnabas Trains for Ministry on Grace College Campus

June 24th, 2016
Operation Barnabus students enjoy lunch while training on the Grace College campus

Operation Barnabas students enjoy lunch while training on the Grace College campus

Operation Barnabas (OB), a three-week ministry experience for high school students, spent the past three days at Grace College & Seminary preparing for summer ministry trips.  Forty-eight high school students from across the country participated, along with 14 staff members.

Operation Barnabas is a ministry of CE National, located in Winona Lake.  Each summer for the past 42 years, OB has trained high school students for Christian ministry and leadership.  During the 3-week experience, participants are equipped with biblical training, character development and practical experiences to impact people and culture for Christ.  After orientation and initial training at Grace College, students are sent out to rural and inner-city settings in Pennsylvania and Ohio to share the gospel and serve others.

This is the second year Grace has hosted OB orientation.  “We’re excited about the opportunity to come alongside the 2016 Operation Barnabas teams,” said Mark Pohl, director of admissions at Grace. “It’s a privilege to host OB students and leaders again as they prepare to serve Christ in tangible ways this summer.”  Grace supports OB through use of its facilities and with meals during the three-day orientation.  Six of the OB leaders are Grace College students and alumnus.

For more information about Operation Barnabas, visit operation_barnabas_group_5236__1

Neuhart named league’s SID of the Year

June 24th, 2016
Josh Neuhart

Josh Neuhart

The Crossroads League announced that Josh Neuhart of Grace College has been named the 2016 Sports Information Director of the Year.

The award is given annually and is voted upon by SIDs in the Crossroads League.

Neuhart wrapped up his fifth year as Grace’s SID. He oversees athletic communication, including: maintaining the athletic website, creating print publications, managing social media channels and releasing pertinent athletic information to the media and to the community.

“I feel humbled by this selection. We have an unbelievable group of SIDs in the league who push me to do better each day, so it’s an honor to be chosen by them for this award,” Neuhart said. “I have tremendous support from Chad Briscoe and the administration at Grace for which I’m thankful, and the wonderful local media members make my job enjoyable. It’s easy to be motivated when you’re working toward a greater mission, and that’s certainly the case at Grace College. It’s easy to come to work each day at Grace.”

Neuhart helped bolster awareness of the Lancers through various channels. On social media, he created a graphic featuring Grace volleyball player Kaitlin Kerrigan and her brother Ryan (NFL player). The piece appeared on both (LINK) and (LINK), and it reached over 40,000 people on social media.

Grace’s sport teams were also referenced via twitter by NBA superstar Dwyane Wade (LINK) and “The Bachelor” Ben Higgins (LINK).

“It’s exciting to see Josh be recognized for the excellent work he produces every day for the Grace Athletic Department. This award is a direct reflection on Josh’s incredible work ethic and commitment to Christian excellence,” said Grace A.D. Chad Briscoe. “We are blessed to have him lead our sports information office and are happy to have him honored in this way.”

Under Neuhart’s watch the live streaming of varsity home events grew tremendously, resulting in over 350,000 minutes of video watched on Grace’s YouTube page in 2015-16.

His department also brought in 10 national awards from the NAIA-SIDA Convention (LINK), including first place in the Infographic Contest.

Neuhart served as the SID for the NCCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships and also for the NAIA Opening Round for Grace’s women’s soccer team.

“Josh does a terrific job balancing and distributing game information while also capturing the personal aspects of the athlete and team behind the story. He is an excellent writer,” said Grace Vice President for Academic and Student Services Jim Swanson. “We are proud of him and congratulate him for this award.”

Winona Lake Named Among the Safest Cities in Indiana

June 23rd, 2016

The-Safest-Cities-in-IndianaAccording to a recent GraceConnect article, Winona Lake, home to Grace College and many other Grace Brethren affiliates, is number seven on the top ten list of the safest cities in Indiana.

The list was created by Safewise, a home security company, and is based on the most recent FBI Crime Report statistics from 2014, along with population data.

Two other Indiana cities on the list, Berne (at number five) and Columbia City (at number 20) are also home to Grace Brethren congregations. Bethel Brethren Church (Joe Nass, pastor) is located in Berne. Community of Hope Grace Brethren Church (Jeremy Wike, pastor) is located in Columbia City.

For the complete story, click here. Visit SafeWise to view the full list of Indiana’s safest cities.

Village at Winona Festival of Music to Present Patriotic Pops Concert

June 21st, 2016
Rania El-rah

Pops Concert vocal soloist Rania El-Rah

Bob Gray

Pops Concert trumpet soloist Bob Gray

Celebrate America Pops Concert, the second of six Village at Winona Festival of Music concerts this summer, will take place outside across from the Boathouse restaurant on Sat., July 2 at 7:45 p.m., just before the fireworks.  The concert will feature patriotic-themed music performed by an eighty-five member concert band including the Lake Area Community Band, Grace College Wind Ensemble and other professional musicians.  The concert is free and open to the public.

Martin Becker, Festival of Music coordinator, will direct the band along with Joey Shepherd, Lake Area Community Band assistant director.  The program will include music from John Philip Sousa, Leroy Anderson and John Williams.  The band will also play pieces from Disney and Broadway as well as Indiana composers including Hoagy Carmichael in tribute to the state’s bicentennial.  The Armed Services medley will salute veterans while young audience members will be invited to participate in another special portion of the concert.

Ms. Rania El-rah will make her debut performance as a featured soloist with an orchestra, singing “I Dreamed a Dream” from “Les Miserables.”  After a recent move from Indianapolis, Rania is taking the Michiana music scene by storm, regularly signing with Truth in Jazz Big Band and Vibe Nation.  A second vocal soloist, local hair stylist Luke Becknell, will sing Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.”  Bob Gray, past member of the United States Navy Band and current principal solo-cornetist with the Ohio Valley British Brass Band in Dayton, Ohio, will perform “Concert Etude” and “Believe in All Those Endearing Young Charms” on trumpet.  Former Warsaw resident Max Fulwider, now an accomplished performer and music instructor in Nashville, Tenn., will perform “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and Boots Randolph’s “Yakety Sax” on the saxophone.

In case of rain the concert will take place in the Winona Heritage Room.  Audience members are encouraged to arrive well before the 7:45 p.m. start time to get a good seat and bring their own chairs or blankets.

Grace College, Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts and the Village at Winona have partnered to bring the community high-quality, family-friendly concerts throughout the summer. The series, sponsored in part by the Esther Pfleiderer Charitable Trust and 1st Source Bank, will includes six concerts from June 18 through Sept. 3.  For details on all of the Festival of Music events, visit

PreUnion 2016

June 21st, 2016

Incoming freshmen get to know each other at PreUnion 2016.


Dr. Katip takes students out tubing on Winona Lake.

PreUnion, an annual, optional event for incoming Grace College freshmen, took place on Fri., June 17.

At PreUnion, students enjoyed a fun-filled day of sun, boating, beach volleyball and more.  PreUnion is a unique day at Grace when new students get to know the people they will walk alongside in the next chapter of their lives.  Those people include Grace College President Bill Katip.

“PreUnion is one of my favorite days of the year.  I always enjoy taking the students out on the boat and getting to know them by name before classes begin in the fall,” said Dr. Katip.

The incoming freshman class shared in fellowship over dinner and evening worship around the campfire before the day concluded.  For more information about PreUnion, click here.


Grace Earns 10 NAIA-SIDA National Awards

June 17th, 2016

SirRed_AthleticCampPressReleaseGrace’s website, media guides and design work resulted in a record 10 awards at the 2016 NAIA-SIDA Convention.

Grace’s 10 awards were the third-most in the NAIA and more than the rest of the Crossroads League combined (7).

Overall, two features of were honored. Additionally, 4 media guides, 3 graphics and 1 video received top-10 honors at the national level.

“These awards are a direct reflection on our sports information office,” said Grace Athletic Director Chad Briscoe. “Josh Neuhart and his student assistants work tirelessly and do an outstanding job promoting our programs and providing coverage of our events.”

Grace’s SID Josh Neuhart, who oversees athletic communication and website content, was awarded the No. 1 spot in the infographic contest for his design piece on Grace’s academic success.

Two unique facets of earned top-5 finishes in the Special Event Website category. The “Kessler NAIA Hall of Fame” was given third place, while the “2015 Soccer Championship Headquarters” was fourth.

A pair of splash pages won top-10 recognition, including fifth place for the men’s soccer promo for the Crossroads League Tournament championship game and eighth place for the women’s soccer NAIA Opening Round.

In the media guide realm, the combined men’s and women’s basketball guide placed third for winter brochures. The softball guide was eighth in the spring brochures category, and volleyball (seventh) and women’s soccer (eighth) each placed for fall brochures. All covers for Grace’s media guides were designed by Vincent Sell.

Finally, Grace won ninth place in the Video Publicity contest for a commemorative look at the 50th season for Grace’s men’s soccer program.

“It’s very humbling to be recognized by your peers for these awards. We have unbelievably fantastic coaches and student-athletes at Grace, so it’s a joy to point the spotlight on them every day,” Neuhart said. “Much thanks needs to be given to our A.D. Chad Briscoe for his support and to my tremendous staff of student workers, who selflessly serve the school.”

Donor to Match Gifts for Grace College’s New Track and Field Complex

June 16th, 2016

2015-16 Grace College Track and Field team with dignitaries at the April groundbreaking of the Bernard & Linnie Key Track and Field Complex.

A generous donor has offered to match up to $200,000 in gifts made toward the construction of Grace College’s new $1.5 million dollar track and field complex.

“We are excited to announce that all donations made to the Bernard & Linnie Key Track and Field Complex will be matched by an anonymous donor, up to the amount of $200,000,” stated Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace College. “Donors have already generously given $1.1 million dollars toward this project. We are grateful for this substantial pledge to help raise the remaining $400,000 of the project’s funding. We believe this new complex will be a great asset to our campus and community.”

The Bernard & Linnie Key Track and Field Complex is expected to be completed by fall of 2016. The sports facility will feature a 400-meter, nine-lane competition track; discus and hammer throw cages; high jump zone and pole vaulting facilities; long jump pits; javelin throw and shot put event areas; grandstand seating for 400 and a press box.

The name of the complex is in memory of Bernard and Linnie Key of South Bend whose lineage includes several Grace graduates. The Key family wished to honor Bernard and Linnie for their many years of generosity, service, and trust in God. The new complex will pay tribute to the Keys’ core values of “knowing the Word of God and running with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

“This addition to our athletics program will be a significant benefit to our athletes as well as the community,” stated Chad Briscoe, director of athletics at Grace College. “It will encourage our student-athletes in their pursuits, providing better training and hosting opportunities. We are excited to see how the new facility is used for the glory of God.”

For more information on the Bernard & Linnie Key Track and Field Complex, including how to donate to the project, visit or call 866-448-3472.

Knight, Elliott honored as All-Americans

June 14th, 2016
Clarissa Knight (left), Chandler Elliot and in action during a softball game.

Clarissa Knight (left), Chandler Elliot and in action during a softball game.

Clarissa Knight and Chandler Elliott were awarded All-American status after their sterling 2016 seasons.

Additionally, the pair was named Second Team All-Region for the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

Knight was a First Team NCCAA All-American and honorable mention for NAIA All-American. She was one of four Crossroads League players to appear on the NAIA All-American listing.

Knight led Grace’s offense with a .459 batting average, the second-highest average in program history. She produced 83 hits in 59 games, scoring 51 runs and driving in 40 more.

Elliott was a Third Team NCCAA All-American honoree. The sophomore had a balanced season, hitting .385 from the plate and posting a 4.56 ERA in 139.2 innings from the mound. Elliott had a team-best 12 doubles and notched 72 hits for the season. She, along with Knight, were the only Lady Lancers to play in all 59 contests.

In the classroom, five Lady Lancers were recognized as Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes: Amanda Bowman, Allison Franklin, Brittany Melzoni, Kati Gregory and Morgan Hutcheson. To achieve Scholar-Athlete status, a student-athlete must be an upperclassman and maintain a 3.5 GPA. Grace had the third-most Scholar-Athletes among Crossroads League institutions.

Grace College Alumni Thriving According to Gallup-Purdue Index

June 13th, 2016



The Gallup-Purdue Index recently released findings of its 2016 survey of more than 30,000 college graduates from across the country.  Grace College was one of 13 Hoosier institutions to participate.   Grace College outperformed the national and state institutions on almost every measure.  The complete Grace College scorecard can be viewed here.

Among the most significant findings are:

1. Grace alumni say they received excellent emotional support during their college years.

  • The strong majority (57%) of Grace College alumni believed “My professors cared about me as person” compared with just 28% nationwide and 36% of Hoosier grads.
  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Grace grads agreed with the statement “I had at least one professor who made me excited about learning” compared with 64% of national and statewide graduates.

2.  Grace alumni report high levels of well-being.

  • Among the five elements of well-being: purpose, social, financial, community and physical, Grace grads reported “thriving” by an average of 55% compared to 45% of national respondents and 46% of Hoosier respondents.
  • 63% of Grace alumni said they were thriving in purpose, compared to 54% of national and statewide survey respondents.

3.  Grace grads have more fulfilling jobs than other college graduates.

  • 50% of Grace alumni say they are “deeply interested in the work they do” compared to 43% of other college grads.
  • 37% of Grace grads report that they have the “ideal job” compared to 29% of all other graduates.

Conducted in January and February of 2016, this Gallup-Purdue survey sought to examine outcomes of college graduates beyond job placement and salaries by evaluating undergraduate experience, alumni attachment, well-being and workplace engagement.

Earlier today, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education issued a news release detailing statewide implications of the survey.  Commissioner Lubbers also offered comment on the results for Grace College saying, “The Gallup-Indiana survey results show a majority of Grace College alumni have a high opinion of their college experience and feel their higher education at Grace was worth the investment.  I commend Grace College for stepping up to be a part of this alumni satisfaction survey, and I’m confident they will use this information to drive even greater satisfaction and success for graduates in the future.”

Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace College, was encouraged by the survey results.  “The highly respected Gallup-Purdue Index shows that most Grace alumni are faring very well post-graduation.  While we acknowledge that improvements can and should be made in alumni satisfaction and value, the survey confirmed that Grace graduates receive a unique education characterized by real relationships formed.  Their college experience prepares them to be well-adjusted adults who make meaningful contributions to society and seek to fulfill God’s calling on their lives,” Katip said.