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55 years of Grace

Paulette Sauders

Warm retirement wishes to the English Expert and Fervent Friend, Paulette Sauders

This spring marked the last semester for Professor of English and Journalism Dr. Paulette Sauders before she retired. Over the course of her 55 years at Grace in the Humanities and her four years as a student, her path has crossed with thousands of individuals — students, colleagues, peers, senior administration, and community members — who have been touched by her love for English, her commitment to Grace College and her unwavering devotion to Christ. 

We want to give just a fraction of these individuals a platform to share thoughts about this beloved Humanities professor and the impact she’s had on their lives.

 Dr. Sauders, we love you!

Dave Holden (BA 20): Dr. Sauders taught English and Journalism, but really her courses were all masterclasses on humility, patience, and love. She showed me that clear, concise writing not only reads better but also has the greatest impact on one’s audience, and she did so with immense grace.

Sarah Rice (BA 11): One of the things I’ll remember about Dr. Sauders from my time at Grace is her door. It is ever open to her students, and she always greets you with a smile when you stop by. I took her Shakespeare course as a graduating senior not because I needed it, but because I wanted one more of her classes under my belt. My years at Grace were as wonderful as they were, in part, because of her. Thank you, Dr. Sauders, for your classes, and for Canada and for England. Most of all, thanks for having an open door and a loving heart! 

Dr. Bill Katip: It is hard to think of a person whose life more fully exemplifies the mission of Grace College than Paulette Sauders.

Calla Andrews (BA 88): I have known Paulette Sauders as a fellow church member at Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church, as my professor when I was an undergraduate student in the English department and as a colleague. Her character remains consistent: She continues to be hard working, considerate, kind, loyal and dedicated to excellence in herself and in others. And who can forget the dimples?

Terence White (BA 64): What a pleasure it is to honor our colleague and college classmate, Paulette Sauders, on reaching 55 years of continual teaching at Grace!

It was obvious, from our earliest days as Grace freshmen in 1960, that Paulette was a serious student with a good mind, and plenty of drive and motivation. In addition to her other interests (literature, C.S. Lewis, etc.) I have greatly appreciated her commitment and attention to the importance of training young journalists through our programs at Grace.

She has been invaluable in her teaching of editing, her own editing assistance with that ready red pen, and with her alertness to professional and beyond-the-classroom opportunities for training young journalists. I want to thank her for the privilege of working under her as my department chair, and I want to commend her for continually promoting and supporting the journalism program, including the obtaining of scholarships, the promoting of internships, and the personal involvement in professional activities such as journalism job fairs, attending Evangelical Press Association conventions, and much more.

The ultimate measure of a teacher’s success is the impact her/his students make on the world. Paulette’s students are daily making this a better world, both in their professional expertise and in living the Christ-life as they saw it modeled in her. Congratulations, Paulette — it’s been a pleasure and a privilege to partner with you over the years!

Dr. Lauren Rich: While the length of Dr. Sauders’s employment is impressive enough, it is by no means her most significant achievement. During her 55 years, she has accomplished more than many faculty could achieve in twice that time. Dr. Sauders is a beloved teacher whose classes on topics ranging from Shakespeare to editing have inspired generations of students. I am humbled by the steady stream of alumni stopping by her office; it’s inspiring to hear about her impact on their lives—an impact that transcends the academic skills she taught them to include the way she cared for them and supported them through difficult times.

Katelynn (BA 18): “My experience with the Go Encounter trip to England with Dr. Sauders can be described in one word — effortless. As someone who came into the trip with a lack of travel experience, I found comfort in Dr. Sauders attention to detail and knowledge on the trip. Going to England with such an experienced traveler made the trip so much more enjoyable. On the many walks through London and in the chaotic streets of Oxford, I knew I could trust Dr. Sauders to direct our path. Some of my favorite memories were sitting next to her at dinner and listening to her share about her travels. Because of Dr. Sauders, I am more open-minded to international travel than I ever was before.”

MariJean Sanders (BA 11): Going far above and beyond the duties of a classroom teacher, Dr. Sauders makes a point to connect her students with opportunities to follow their passion. Because of her initiative, during college I had the privilege to attend Shakespeare plays in Stratford, Canada, read a paper at Butler University’s undergraduate research conference and interview for real journalism positions as an undergraduate student. She has an inexhaustible wealth of knowledge in her field, and her generous spirit seems to never tire. 

Hannah (England BA 18) Carter: Dr. Sauders, no matter how many marks you made on my papers, your heart always stood out more than your red pen. I am so thankful for the way you balanced high standards with Christ-like love and grace. Whether it was in a class, at a Sounding Board meeting, or just in a casual conversation, you made me feel loved and pushed to my limits at the same time. Thank you for teaching me lessons about English and about life that I will never forget. I know your light will continue to shine wherever God takes you from here.

Charlette Sauders (BS 90): Since Paulette Sauders is my mom, I grew up on the Grace College campus. I attended Grace College as a student in the late ‘80s and remember many friends and acquaintances complaining that my mom made their “papers bleed red” with her red pen. They would say, “your mom is nice, but I used to get A’s in English, and now I don’t.” I let them know that my mom rarely gave A’s, but that I hoped they were learning a lot! I took English Composition from another professor on purpose — I knew Mom would be harder on me so that it didn’t appear that she was playing favorites. 

I became my mom’s co-worker in 1999 when I came to work for Grace College as the Controller. Everyone still had nice things to say about my mom, but the subject of the red pen and bleeding papers still came up! I left Grace College for a while, but came back in January 2008 as her co-worker again, but this time as the Director of Financial Aid. We don’t work together directly much, but we see each other at school functions. I know that Mom has had many, many students over the past 55 years. Though she may not remember every name, she remembers them nonetheless. She’s now teaching 3rd generation students of alumni. I know she enjoys hearing from past students and enjoys knowing what they’re doing and especially if they ended up using their English major in a meaningful way. 

It’ll be difficult for my mom to let go of full-time teaching and transition into retirement. Grace College and its students have been part of her life for 55 years — pretty much all of her adult life! But I hope all of the fond memories and well wishes will help with the transition.

Tagged With: Department of Humanities, English & Journalism, School of Arts & Sciences