A nation’s cultural heritage is at stake. Some of Ethiopia’s most precious manuscripts have been locked away and inaccessible, with no backups in case the originals are destroyed. Now 175 of them are a little safer than they were — and more will be safer soon.
Steve Delamarter, professor of Old Testament at George Fox Evangelical Seminary, spent three weeks in Africa digitizing and cataloging manuscripts. After limited success renting manuscripts in Nairobi, Kenya, his approach changed when Elsabet Giyorgis, director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, offered access to the IES inventory.
“There are probably only one or two libraries in the world with more materials than the IES,” Delamarter says. “It is not just the quantity — it is the quality of the manuscripts. They have royal manuscripts; they have some of the oldest manuscripts. They have it all. And they are kept in conditions that invite disaster.”
With the help of seminary student Jeremy Brown and local staff — and despite lapses in electricity — Delamarter digitized 175 manuscripts in the IES, about 10 percent of its collection. Many were made in the 15th century.
The handwritten manuscripts contain not only the literature and liturgy of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, but also details about marriages, births, deaths, business transactions, land grants, and other historical and sociological information.
Delamarter was invited to return and digitize manuscripts at the Patriarchate Library and Museum, which houses a collection of about 400 pieces and has jurisdiction over manuscripts in the churches — with possibly 35,000 manuscripts in the Addis area.
To read more about Delamarter’s pursuit of ancient manuscripts, read the story in the Spring 2005 issue of Journal
Best in the West
A new college ranking released in August by Forbes.com ranked George Fox University in the top 25 percent of “America’s best colleges,” second among Oregon institutions. Among schools in the 105-member Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, George Fox received the highest ranking on the West Coast.
For a fifth consecutive year, The Princeton Review honored the university as one of its “Best in the West” schools — a designation that went to 120 colleges and universities in 15 western states and 630 institutions in four regions nationwide.
The rankings consider academics, quality of life, admissions selectivity, and financial aid. George Fox students were invited to participate in an online survey hosted by the magazine. “My advisor is very interested in how I am personally doing and lets me know that he cares about me,” an engineering major said in the survey.
Ryan MacKenzie (G07, top) and Meg Moline (G07, bottom) finished their senior years working for organizations that offer help and hope to Thai youth and women.
Serving women and at-risk children in Thailand
Playing with kids on the street ... teaching English to Hill Tribe villages ... reaching out to women in bars ... and showing youth that someone cares about them.
These were ways George Fox students on a May Serve trip to Thailand demonstrated the faithfulness God requires — showing justice, mercy to our broken and flawed world.
The trip, led by professors Roger and Sue Newell, was organized after George Fox alums Kelly Riechers (G06) and Brittany Quinn (G07) spoke in chapel about their work helping women and children in (or at risk of entering) the sex industry in Thailand. Eighteen students signed up to help them for three weeks.
After attending a few language and culture classes, the team played with neighborhood children, went on prayer walks, visited families in the slums, and picked up trash on the street while working at the Garden of Hope Drop-In Center in the red-light district. Female team members taught English to women and visited women in bars.
After two weeks at Garden of Hope, the team assisted Remember Nhu, another ministry that focuses on at-risk children. Ryan MacKenzie, a senior biology major from Redmond, Ore., recounts his time teaching English in the Hill Tribe villages, one area of the organization’s ministry: “I was given a class of 20 fourth-graders and left alone for the day. It was extremely draining, but fun.”
With few tools and scavenged wood, Ryan spent a couple of days helping build the roof, doorframe and door for a cement block shower for the orphanage. “I made a level out of a water bottle,” he says. “But the trip was mostly about building relationships, and in doing so to show God’s love, grace, mercy, and justice to those in need.”
Dot Tobey, a senior writing/literature major from Salem, found it hard to leave. “I was content to just play with these kids, feed them dinner, wipe their noses, and see to it that they knew someone cares for them,” she says. “I guess the biggest thing I’ve been seeing is the importance of patience and journeying with others even when situations seem hopeless. Maybe great faith means believing that God is moving even when answers don’t seem immediate or imminent.”
Under new management
Ken Armstrong, a former dean at Anderson University in Anderson, Ind., is the new dean of George Fox’s School of Management.
Armstrong served most recently as the Austin/Cooper Endowed Professor of Global Business Studies at Anderson. As dean of the school’s College of Professional Studies (1995–2003), he oversaw the School of Education, the School of Nursing, the Department of Computer Science, and the Falls School of Business.
Previously dean of Anderson’s Falls School of Business (1991–2003), he was instrumental in developing the school’s MBA and doctor of business programs. He also worked for more than a decade at Olivet Nazarene University as a professor and department and division chair. Armstrong earned a doctorate from Northwestern University and an MBA from Central Michigan University.
Dirk Barram, former interim dean, returned to the classroom full time as professor of business.