2014 Honored Alumni
Find out more about the Honored Alumni Awards program, including past winners, selection criteria, and nomination forms for the 2011 awards.
Len Renfer (1982)
Len Renfer, valedictorian at the 1982 George Fox graduation, earned his degree in chemistry. He subsequently graduated from medical school at Oregon Health Sciences University in 1986 and completed his residency in urologic surgery, including nine years of military service to pay back his medical school scholarship. He has been in private practice is Salinas, Calif., since 1995. Len is married to Kim Walker (’82), graduation salutatorian.
In addition to his professional work, Len started doing short-term medical missions work in 1999 in Papua New Guinea. In order to make the medical clinic encounter as effective as possible for lasting strategic spiritual fruit, Len joined mission agency e3 Partners in 2007 as the chief medical officer, coordinating and leading short-term medical evangelism and church planting projects on a monthly basis. After providing free medical care, the gospel is presented to the villager. A very tight, integrated group of like-minded local believers then follow up with the villager so that a new village church is planted from the people who responded to the gospel message. The strategy is hugely successful. A typical trip involves working in four-five villages, sharing Jesus with 500 to 1,000 people, usually resulting in an average of four new church plants. Teams get to share Jesus with Muslims in Indonesia, Hindus and Buddhists in Nepal, Muslims and animistic peoples in South Sudan, and indigenous Indians and religious background folks in Ecuador.
Len also serves as an elder at his church and has counseled and preached at local juvenile hall for about 10 years.
Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award
Adam Puckett (’04)
Adam Puckett graduated from George Fox with degrees in accounting and business administration. He is partner at Delap, an 82-year-old accounting firm that employs 90-plus individuals. Adam made partner when he was 30, becoming the youngest partner in Delap history. He has become a recognized expert is partnership taxation and consulting within the accounting industry.
During Adam’s tenure at Delap, he has helped increase recruitment efforts of George Fox students and graduates. The company now has nearly 20 George Fox alumni on staff. He also serves as the clerk of stewards at Tigard Friends Church, and is a new member of the George Fox University Board of Trustees. He is a donor, volunteer and a vocal supporter and advocate for George Fox.
Adam is the founder of an entrepreneurial business service called Revmode, which is reimagining the way accounting services are delivered to meet the needs of small businesses by moving beyond tax compliance and providing true financial mentorship. Adam also serves on a strategic advisory board of CCH, which is the leading provider of account and tax software in the world.
Adam has been married to his high-school sweetheart, Brook, for 10 years and they have two beautiful children, Michaela (5) and Josiah (3).
Marnie Grimmell (MA, ’04)
Since graduating with a master's degree in school counseling from George Fox, Marnie Grimmell has been making a difference in our state as a professional school counselor and as a leader of professional school counselors. From 2004 to 2008, she worked as a school counselor in the Salem-Keizer School District. While in that position, she led the effort for South Salem High School to receive the Recognized American School Counseling Association Model Program (RAMP) Award, the first Oregon high school to receive this award. This is the highest honor a school counseling program can be awarded in the U.S. Marnie was personally recognized for her leadership by receiving the Oregon School Counseling Association’s School Counselor of the Year Award.
From 2008 to 2012, Marnie was the counseling program associate in the Salem-Keizer School District, coordinating professional development for 105 district school counselors. While in that position, Marnie had the vision for, and then advocated at the state level with the Oregon Teacher and Standards and Practices Commission (the licensing body for all Oregon educators), an in-district continuing licensure program for professional school counselors. This monumental effort on her part has provided training in advanced school counseling competencies for numerous school counselors and has received rave reviews from participants who recognize its impact on their work. Marnie also contributed to the 2010 publication, School Counselor Accountability: A MEASURE of Student Success, 3rd ed. This contribution to professional literature is widely used in training programs and in school districts around the country. Currently, Marnie is serving as a professional school counselor at Chemawa Indian School in Salem, Oregon
Starting in 2011, Marnie has given back to George Fox’s Master of Arts in School Counseling program by teaching Strategies in School Counseling and Action Research. Students appreciate her expertise and passion for the work of school counselors. Her impact on school counseling in Oregon has been, and continues to be, significant. All of Marnie’s work as a school counselor and on behalf of professional school counselors comes from a heart centered on serving the Lord. She knows from personal experience the difference that caring adults can make in the lives of children and is, therefore, passionate about being a top-notch school counselor herself. She is equally passionate about equipping other school counselors to best serve children. Marnie is married and is blessed with one daughter and three sons.
Christian Service Award
Ken Beebe (’82)
Ken Beebe graduated from George Fox with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He subsequently continued his educational training and received a master’s degree in public and private management in 1987 from Yale University.
He 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. Ken's outstanding leadership has trained and equipped many of his employees to later direct other camps around the nation. He recently taught a class on leadership at a middle school retreat and was outstanding and humble in his presentation. He clearly loves God and works tirelessly for students at each of his camps to leave with a deeper love and understanding of Jesus. Ken blends professionalism, personal connections and spirituality in dynamic ways impacting God's Kingdom.
Ken serves as a member of the Northwest Yearly Meeting Administrative Council and is a current George Fox University 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).
Seminary Alumnus of the Year
Patrick Vance (MDiv, ’79)
Pastor Patrick Vance exemplifies everything the seminary stands for in terms of character, spiritual formation, expository biblical preaching and pastoral leadership. He is a graduate of Seattle Pacific University, holding a BA in biblical literature and speech communication. In 1979, he graduated with honors from Western Evangelical Seminary and holds a Master of Divinity degree.
Pat grew up in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. At the age of seven months, he became the youngest baby in the U.S. to become an amputee, losing his right leg below the knee due to a birth defect. When he was 10 months old, Pat began walking on an artificial limb that was built by the UCLA Medical Center. After that, his father left his draftsman job with Lockheed Aircraft and learned how to build artificial limbs that Pat used from his childhood and well into his adult years. From 1985 to 2005, Pat was a regular participant in various prosthetic studies, donating his time to student education and prosthetic research through the University of Washington Medical Center and Seattle Prosthetic Research Foundation.
Pat became a follower of Christ at 17 and was active in the LA Jesus People Movement. He toured with the Continental Singers during the summers of 1968 to 1970. Pat met his wife, Cathi McDowel, through the Continentals, and he proposed to her in a sidewalk cafe in Paris. They now have three children – Christina, Michael, and Elizabeth – and five grandchildren.
Pat has been a youth pastor at the Eastside Free Methodist Church in Bellevue, Wash., and a senior pastor at the Free Methodist Churches in Centralia, Wash., (four years), and Lynnwood, Wash., (three years). In 1981, Pat was special liaison to the Hungarian Evangelical Methodists. He left active ministry in 1987 and began a career in the insurance industry, which he still works in to this day. In 1994, Pat returned to ministry as the senior pastor of the Warm Beach Free Methodist Church in Stanwood, Wash. He continues to lead this group with deep appreciation for the grace of God in his life.