Ken and Joan Austin, owners and founders of the A-dec dental manufacturing company based in Newberg, blessed George Fox University through many generous contributions over the years. Through scholarships, gifts to the university and the recent donation of their family home and land, they have helped George Fox thrive. Ken has served on the George Fox Board of Trustees since 1986 (currently as an honorary member) and has added his wise counsel to the university through many major events. The Austins' donation of 23 acres of land to the university in 2003 was developed into the Austin Sports Complex. In addition, since 1987, the family has annually funded an Oregon Symphony concert in George Fox’s Bauman Auditorium as a gift to the Newberg community. A flower garden on campus, in front of the Stevens Center, is dedicated to the memory of Joan’s mother Esther Zemke. Joan passed away in 2013.
Read more about Ken Austin in this 2014 feature in the George Fox Journal
Robin Baker, the 12th president of George Fox University, graduated from Grand Canyon University in 1980 with honors in history and political science. His love of history led him to pursue a masters in history from Hardin-Simmons University and a doctorate in history from Texas A&M. He excelled in academics at each of these institutions, earning high honors. In 1999, Baker came to George Fox University as provost. During his eight years in that role he oversaw the addition of 13 undergraduate and nine graduate programs. He is passionate about the globalization of education and helped institute the Act Six scholarship and leadership initiative at George Fox. He also has taught classes in history at the university. His research primarily focuses on the American Civil War and Reconstruction, 19th-century American political/quantitative history, and the history of the southern United States. He also takes a great interest in the works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Baker was inaugurated as president of George Fox on March 6, 2008.
Read more about Robin Baker in this 2007 feature in the George Fox Journal
Ken Beebe is the executive director at Twin Rocks Camp and Conference Center on the Oregon Coast in Rockaway Beach, overseeing the operation of this 350-bed Christian camp that annually serves 14,000 campers of all ages. He is one of the top leaders for the American Camping Association for the Northwest. His leadership has trained and equipped many of his employees to later direct other camps around the nation. Ken blends professionalism, personal connections and spirituality in dynamic ways.
Beebe serves as a member of the Northwest Yearly Meeting Administrative Council and is a current George Fox board trustee. He is also on the boards of the Christian Camp & Conference Association and the Friendsview Retirement Community. He coauthored, with Denny Rydberg and Robin Ann Dursch, Building Community in Youth Groups (Group Publishing, 1985).
Beebe earned a master’s degree in public and private management from Yale University in 1987 and has served as an associate director of a nonproﬁt wilderness camping ministry, as a client services administrator of a Boston-based shelter for the homeless, and as the associate director of a Portland-based organization that assists the homeless.
LeAnn Nash graduated from George Fox College in 1980. On Dec. 27, 1986, she married Ken. She has a master’s degree in education from Oregon State University and worked as a registrar assistant at George Fox and in the financial aid and admissions departments at Yale and Boston universities. She also was an administrative assistant at Harvard.
At Newberg Friends Church, LeAnn served as clerk of the Senior Services Committee and Ken was clerk of the Stewardship Committee. Currently, she teaches Sunday school at Netarts Friends Church and he is secretary/treasurer of the board of directors of Barclay Press. Both Ken and LeAnn were part of the George Fox President’s Council.
David Brandt was the 11th president of George Fox University, assuming the position on Aug. 1, 1998, and serving until 2007. As a youth in Manitoba, Canada, Brandt wanted to become a high school physics teacher, and he went on to study physics in his undergraduate education. After gaining a bachelor's degree he went on to get a PhD in physics from the University of Oklahoma. Prior to George Fox, Brandt served as president of Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kan., from 1995 to 1998. He was also vice president and provost at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minn., dean and vice president for academic affairs at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., and professor of physics at Gordon College in Wenham, Mass. Upon arriving at George Fox in 1998, one of Brandt’s goals was to promote diversity and work through differences of culture and background among people at the university. In 2015, a new residence hall, Brandt Hall, was named in honor of David and his wife Melva, who were on hand to dedicate the building and help students move in.
Read more about David Brandt in this 2007 feature in the George Fox Journal
Raymond Cheung graduated in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in business and economics after only three years of study. Soon after graduation he became a CPA and an auditor. In 2011, Cheung was named to the George Fox Board of Trustees; his nomination was renewed in 2014. Cheung is a shareholder in the Portland-based Geffen Mesher & Company accounting firm.
Read more about Raymond Cheung in this 2011 feature in the George Fox Journal
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Richard J. Foster is a prolific author and theologian whose 1978 book Celebration of Discipline was named by Christianity Today as one of the top-10 religious books of the 20th century. After growing up in Mississippi, New Mexico, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado and California, he became a Christian as a teenager and earned a bachelor’s degree in religion and philosophy at George Fox College in 1964. He later earned a doctor of pastoral theology in New Testament and social ethics from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1970. In the late 1980s, he founded Renovaré, a nonprofit that helps individuals and churches worldwide grow in Christ through the practice of classical spiritual disciplines. Foster has also served in a variety of ministry positions, including as a pastor on staff at Newberg Friends Church. In addition to the dozen books he’s authored, coauthored or edited, he’s written numerous magazine articles, taught spiritual formation classes at several universities, and spoken in venues around the world. Foster and his wife Carolyn have two children, Joel and Nathan.
Read more about Richard Foster in this 2014 feature in the George Fox Journal
Shortly after graduating from George Fox in 1973, Peggy Fowler embarked on a 35-year career at Portland General Electric that culminated with her promotion to CEO in 2000. Upon her retirement in 2009, she left as one of Portland’s most respected business figures, revered for her leadership atop one of the city’s flagship corporate entities and for her civic contributions as a member of several public and private boards and organizations. Fowler is credited with guiding PGE through the Enron era and for serving as a reassuring presence to employees, many of whom saw their 401(k)s devalued when Enron filed for bankruptcy. When the Portland Business Journal asked Oregon CEOs to identify the executive they most admire, Fowler’s “radical grace under pressure” made her the overwhelming choice in 2005. Fowler has also served on the George Fox Board of Trustees (1991-2006) and the Oregon Independent College Foundation Board of Trustees. She was named George Fox's Alumna of the Year in 1998, and in 2015 she was recipient of an Oregon History Makers Medal, awarded by the Oregon Historical Society.
Read more about Peggy Fowler in this 2015 issue of the George Fox Journal
Former U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield left behind a vast legacy of service to his country, his state and to George Fox University. Hatfield spent a half-century in political life, serving as an Oregon legislator, secretary of state, two-term governor and five-term U.S. senator. Upon his retirement from the Senate in the mid-1990s, he embarked on a career as an educator, joining the George Fox faculty in early 1997 to teach courses that focused on American history since World War II, the Vietnam War, the American legislative process, Christians in politics, public policy, and political courage and activism.
Hatfield’s teaching tenure at George Fox spanned 10 years. In addition to teaching at George Fox, he supported the school as a trustee from 1961 until 1988, at which time he became an honorary trustee. He also spoke at numerous campus events, including the dedication of the Herbert Hoover Academic Building in 1977 and the dedication of the renovation of the same building in 2006. He also donated more than 100 books and memorabilia about Hoover – with whom he formed a close relationship during his years as a student at Stanford – to the university for inclusion in what is now the Hoover-Hatfield Library.
In terms of his legacy, Hatfield was a man committed to peace. Many will remember him as the man who broke ranks with his fellow Republicans for his early opposition to the Vietnam and Gulf Wars – and for his role in coauthoring the legislation that brought the troops home from Vietnam. At George Fox, Hatfield's dedication to peace came to light in his address at the installation of then-president Edward Stevens in 1984. In 1985, the school opened its Center for Peace Learning (now the Center for Peace and Justice) in response to the challenge Hatfield had made in his address the year before. Hatfield died in 2011.
Read more about Mark Hatfield in this 2011 remembrance in the George Fox Journal
Roy Hiebert, known affectionately across campus as “Grandpa Roy,” was a supporter of George Fox University for four decades. Hiebert worked as a member of the plant services staff, where he cherished the relationships he built with student employees. When he retired, “Grandpa Roy” continued those relationships, coming to campus daily to offer a listening ear, a word of advice, engage in a fun conversation, and show love to students. Many on campus received flowers from Hiebert that he brought from his personal garden to share with students and employees. Hiebert passed away in 2016 at the age of 92.
Read more about Roy Hiebert in this 2015 feature in the George Fox Journal
The future president of the United States, Herbert Hoover, attended Friends Pacific Academy, the precursor to George Fox, for three years beginning in 1885. That fall, Hoover, recently orphaned in Iowa, moved to Newberg, Ore., to live with his uncle and aunt, Dr. Henry John and Laura Ellen Minthorn. From Newberg, he worked briefly in Salem, Ore., before joining the first entering class at Stanford University in 1891. After graduation, he started work doing geological surveys and enjoyed a successful career as a mining engineer and consultant. He would ultimately be named Engineer of the Century, live and work on five continents, and direct some of the greatest humanitarian projects of the early 20th century. He was elected the nation’s president in 1928. Hoover considered himself an alumnus of the college, donating to the school and encouraging others to do so also. Hoover donated many of his personal books to the George Fox library; they remain in the school’s collection to this day. Newberg held a special place in Hoover’s heart, as he returned throughout his life to fish, spend time with old friends, and visit Evangeline Martin, his childhood Sunday school teacher, and longtime President Levi Pennington.
Read more about Herbert Hoover and his connection to George Fox
Barry Hubbell has spent more than 50 years behind the scenes at George Fox, creating publications, producing events, promoting the university, and serving as a sounding board for presidents. A 1964 graduate, he has given nearly his entire career to his alma mater. Hubbell has been director of public information, director of college relations, sports information director, and executive assistant to the president. Hubbell spent 22 years as sports information director. After leaving the president's office in 2003 after 15 years, he worked part time as communication specialist and university archivist for three years. Since his retirement in 2006, Hubbell has served as alumni news editor for the George Fox Journal magazine and served as a volunteer on campus while lending his knowledge to many university endeavors. Hubbell was honored as the Alumnus of the Year in 2009 and has been inducted into the George Fox Sports Hall of Fame.
Read more about Barry Hubbell in this 2006 issue of the George Fox Journal
Esther (Winters) Klages, alumna of George Fox via Cascade College, was a vital member of the campus community for many years. Klages volunteered her time, energy and enthusiasm to the support of the school, a college she loved dearly. Klages is remembered on campus for the dining hall and plaza named in her honor, as well as a plaque on the Centennial Tower – a structure made possible by her generous contribution. Esther also took the time to stuff envelopes for campus mailings, offer a listening ear to students, and attend many events on campus. She loved to see the college thrive.
Read more about Esther Klages' legacy in this 2005 issue of the George Fox Journal
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Photo by Fritz Liedtke
Dale Rinard graduated from George Fox in 1967 with a degree in business and economics. Following graduation he and wife Nancy (Newlin) Rinard moved to Reedley, Calif., where Dale served his alternative service as a psychiatric aide in a private psychiatric hospital owned by the Mennonites. After completing his alternate service obligation, Dale began working in executive leadership at psychiatric hospitals, which included administering clinics, addiction treatment programs, and community mental health centers in California and Arizona.
While in California, he earned a master’s degree in public administration from Golden Gate University. Notable achievements include implementing progressive mental health services in several California counties; creating a national award-winning mobile crisis intervention service; working as a turnaround executive for a California psychiatric hospital in financial trouble; opening a new psychiatric hospital in Arizona; and serving as a chief executive officer. His last 17 years as president and CEO for TERROS Behavioral Health Services in Phoenix saw Dale rescue this nonprofit corporation from financial ruin in 1995, when he grew the organization from no cash in the bank, 110 employees and a $4 million budget to $9 million in cash, 450 employees and a $35 million budget, making it one of the largest behavioral health organizations in Phoenix.
During this time his visionary leadership included the creation of two new specialty behavioral health nonprofit corporations. He also served as board chair during the first few years of their successful development and ongoing operation. His retirement left all three organizations in strong financial condition, and with outstanding reputations. Special recognition was given him on his retirement by the National Council for Community Behavioral Health as Visionary Leader, and he was recognized at the 2012 national conference in Chicago in front of his national colleagues. His community involvement included serving on six nonprofit community organization boards of directors and often carrying leadership roles, including board chair. His church work included more than 30 years of service on two different church boards and serving in such roles as treasurer and finance committee chair. He participated in several missions trips to Mexico, the Bahamas and Costa Rica. He also served as a board member of an international mission organization. Rinard was named Alumnus of the Year in 2013.
Arthur O. Roberts, a 1944 graduate, is credited with renaming “Pacific College” “George Fox College,” when a letter he wrote persuaded the board to select “George Fox” as the new name in 1949. A prolific Quaker writer, Roberts spent many years on the faculty of George Fox College after receiving his doctorate from Boston University in 1953. While at the college he was instrumental in researching Quaker historical themes and developing the George Fox College Peace Center. Some of his writings include Tomorrow Is Growing Old: Stories of the Quakers in Alaska; Through Flaming Sword: The Life and Legacy of George Fox; and Children of the Light: A Christian Musical, based on the journal of George Fox. During his many years as a professor of religion and philosophy and dean of faculty at George Fox, Roberts also participated in the Quaker Theological Discussion Group, Quakers Uniting in Publications, Friends World Council for Consultation, and the American Friends Service Committee. He contributes significantly to several publications about Quaker concerns. His relationship with the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends is deep, particularly with the formation of such programs as the Chicano Ministries (Mexican-American ministries) and Elderhostel at Tilikum, a retreat center that for years was affiliated with the university. Recently the Roberts Center, which houses the physical therapy, psychology and education departments, was renamed in honor of Arthur and his wife Fern (Nixon), a 1942 graduate.
Read more about Arthur and Fern Roberts in this 2015 feature in the George Fox Journal
Scott Rueck is the winningest coach in George Fox women's basketball history, posting a record of 288-88 as head of the program from 1996 to 2010. A seven-time Northwest Conference Coach of the Year (’00, ’01, ’05, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10) and three-time West Region Coach of the Year (’08, ’09, ’10), he guided the Bruins to seven NWC championships (’00, ’01, ’05, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10), including back-to-back 16-0 conference records in 2009 and 2010. He reached the pinnacle of his career at George Fox in 2008-09, when he led the Bruins to a 32-0 record and an NCAA Division III national championship. For his accomplishments, Rueck was elected to the George Fox Sports Hall of Fame. Many have noted that he ran the basketball program as a family, endlessly encouraging his athletes and others. He left George Fox to become head coach of the Oregon State University women's program, taking a program in disarray and eventually leading the squad to an NCAA Final Four appearance in 2016.
Read more about Scott Rueck's championship season in this 2009 issue of the George Fox Journal
Clyde Thomas is director of plant services at George Fox. He grew up in Quincy, Wash., before moving to Newberg in 1974, when he enrolled at George Fox College, graduating in 1978. Although he did not attend the school until the 1970s, Thomas’ connections with the university extend as far back as 1909, when his maternal grandfather Oliver Wheeler taught at Pacific College. During his time at George Fox, Thomas worked as a groundskeeper. He was hired as the grounds superintendent in 1983 and as director of plant services in 1990. Despite his role as director he remains close with colleagues in plant services, frequently getting out of his office to join them and work on projects around campus. It is because of his strong Christian faith that he has chosen to stay at George Fox and minister to those on campus. Thomas is also known for his passion and commitment to the Hess Creek Canyon, as he has done extensive work to propagate native plants.
Read more about Clyde Thomas' work in Hess Creek Canyon in this 2006 issue of the George Fox Journal
Dr. Kent Thornburg, a 1967 graduate of George Fox, is the M. Lowell Edwards Chair, professor of medicine, director of the Center for Developmental Health at the Knight Cardiovascular Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, and director of the Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness. An internationally known and widely published researcher, he studies the roles of the placenta and the intrauterine environment as programming agents for adult-onset chronic disease and leads studies on maternal diet and body in regulating fetal growth in women of Oregon. He is the principal investigator on National Institutes of Health-funded studies, including maternal-fetal signaling, training in translational cardiovascular research, thyroid hormone and heart development, and placental function. He collaborates with scientists in England, New Zealand, France, Finland and Australia. He recently joined George Fox University as an honorary professor of life sciences. A longtime member of the George Fox Board of Trustees, he formerly served as board chair.
Read more about Kent Thornburg's work in this 2016 feature in the George Fox Journal
Arthur (back row, fourth from right) and Gwen (back row, third from left) Winters.
(front row, second from left)
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