Alumni Connections

Alumni News and Life Events  |  Marriages, births, and deaths information

1950-59 | 1960-69 |1970-79 | 1980-89 | 1990-99 | 2000-09 | 2010

Truth and Love

Arthur O. Roberts

Arthur O. Roberts (G44), a man whose legacy at George Fox spans more than five decades, spoke at this year's spring undergraduate commencement ceremony.

The esteemed professor at large is a Quaker scholar, historian, professor, author, minister, small-town mayor, poet and 1944 graduate of then-Pacific College. Roberts has been influential both as a professor and administrator at the university, including helping George Fox establish academic credibility, and he was instrumental in selecting its current name.

Roberts delivered a powerful address on truth and love, "Working as a Team." When folks try to follow truth without love, truth gets skewed into elitism and bigotry, he explained. When folks try to love outside parameters of truth, love degenerates into a tangle of private preferences. "When love and truth work together, freedom is maximized and truth prospers amidst diversity," he said.

You can read his speech here.

1950–59

Hubert Thornburg (G52) and his wife, Vivian, were featured in a half-page "How We Live" section article in the March 10 issue of The Oregonian as they reached 70 years of marriage. Headlined "An Unbreakable Bond" and subtitled "A 70-year marriage thrives with respect, forgiveness and fervent apologies," the story tells of their marriage in Haviland, Kan., move to Oregon in 1948 and careers in teaching and as pastors.

Verne Martin (G54) received front-page treatment in the Newberg Graphic in February, featured because of his interest in preserving history of the Newberg area. He returned to his hometown last year after a teaching career that included 10 years in Sherwood, Ore., and 27 at Twality Junior High in Tigard. It was there in 1972 that he was named Oregon's Teacher of the Year. He retired in 1991 but now spends some time supervising student teachers for George Fox's Master of Arts in Teaching program. Involved in the Newberg Historical Society, he wants residents to do more in preserving the history around them, especially involving Ewing Young, influential in development of Oregon's statehood.

Volunteer of the Year

John Lyda

It's difficult to go anywhere on George Fox University's Newberg, Ore., campus and not see some of the volunteer work of John Lyda, named the school's Volunteer of the Year for 2011 at a banquet on campus May 25.

The 1958 George Fox graduate has worked officially and unofficially for his alma mater since 1973. His paid work came to an end in 2000 after 18 years of service, many as superintendent of new construction, but he remains a fixture on campus. As a volunteer for the last 11 years, he's continued to assist on a variety of projects.

"My dad set the example – I remember him coming home from church camp being filled with joy over the volunteer work he was doing," Lyda said. "I figure, if God gives me these gifts, I want to use them. I can't work seven days a week or even five, but I get out and help when I can."

"Retirement" hasn't slowed Lyda down much. Instead, he's recently helped with some significant campus building remodels at the Villa Academic Complex, Lemmons Center, Center Street House and Fry House.

In addition, he's assisted with campus projects that include the creation of a new high jump area near the track, siding of the Little Red Schoolhouse, landscaping near the Munn House, work in Hess Creek Canyon, and, most recently, supervision and construction of the just-completed gazebo in the canyon.

Lyda's contributions have saved the university untold thousands of dollars, according to director of plant services Clyde Thomas. "Every time I call him he's always willing to come in," Thomas said. "He loves to come in and be available to us."

1960–69

Carolyn (Hampton) Stansell (G66) is the new coordinator for the Road Scholar program (formerly known as Elderhostel) at George Fox's Tilikum Retreat Center. It is an educational program for adults, who come to spend a week from May through October at Tilikum for learning on various themes. Helping her with the program is Ron Stansell (G65, MDiv75).

Kent Thornburg (G67) was featured as the first guest speaker for George Fox's new Dalton Lecture Series, sponsored by the Department of Biology and Chemistry. He spoke on campus Feb. 22 on the topic "New Science Wrestles an Old Problem: The Roots of Human Disease." He discussed how understanding of the differing roles of the human genetic code and the regulation of gene expression have shown how vulnerabilities for disease arise and spread from one generation to the next. He is director of Oregon Health & Science University's Heart Research Center and serves on numerous committees and boards for the American Heart Association, National Children's Heart Foundation and multiple international bodies.

22 years of Doughertys

There will be something missing when classes begin in the fall. For the first time in 22 years and over parts of four decades, there will not be a Dougherty enrolled at George Fox.

When Kyler Dougherty walked across the stage April 30 to receive his degree, he was the seventh – and last – of the Springfield, Ore., family to graduate from the university. His father and five siblings who preceded him were there to greet him as he ended the line.

"What an amazing journey this has been for our family," his mother, Shirley, wrote in a thank-you letter addressed to several school administrators. "We will be eternally grateful for your godly investment in our children in so many varying ways."

The George Fox connection began in 1968 when father Douglas Dougherty began classes at George Fox Evangelical Seminary, at that time called Western Evangelical Seminary. He received an MDiv in 1972 and, for the last 30 years, has been pastor of the Springfield Church of God, assisted by his wife.

While some parents may ponder how they are going to afford even one child in college, the Doughertys, on a pastor's salary and with a stay-at-home mom, found ways. "If you're where the Lord wants, and you're doing all you can do, God is going to provide – one step at a time," Shirley says.

It didn't hurt that all six children were valedictorians when they graduated from Thurston High School in Springfield. That started the financial ball rolling with scholarships. Then each worked in the summer. All held campus work-study jobs during the school year. And there were both institutional scholarships and aid from donors and off-campus-based scholarships. Loans also were a part of the packages, but Shirley proudly points out they were minimal – and some children already have paid them off. "God always met the need," she says.

They kept family ties strong despite the 100 miles between Springfield and Newberg. The parents believe they averaged about 15 trips each year for the more than two decades. That adds up to about 66,000 miles traveled – enough miles to have gone more than two and a half times around the world. "Had the roads not been resurfaced many times since we've been traveling back and forth to Newberg," Shirley wrote, "we are confident you could see grooves on the roads where the Dougherty family has traveled back and forth to Newberg."

Colleen Conroy

From to left to right:
Kyler Dougherty (G11), seeking work in graphic design; Danae (Dougherty) Moore (G06), with Luke-Dorf (community mental health agency), living in Newberg, married to John Moore (G06); Derek Dougherty (G04), mathematics teacher and head soccer coach at Eagle Point High School, Medford, Ore.; Ryan Dougherty (G00), director of undergraduate admissions at George Fox University, married to Meredith (Jessup) Dougherty (n98); Heidi (Dougherty) JohnsonM (G97), stay-at-home mother of three in Boise, Idaho; Chad Dougherty, who attended Lane Community College, designer at the Register Guard, Eugene, Ore.; Kevin Dougherty (G93), assistant professor at Baylor University, Waco, Texas, married to Kimberly (Cain) Dougherty (G95).

1970–79

Stuart Willcuts (G72) has moved to Jerusalem to assume management of the Palestinian Community Assistance Project, which targets Gaza. The USAID-funded project, in cooperation with Mercy Corps, is a cooperative agreement with a $100 million budget over three years. It is the largest single injection ever of U.S. taxpayer monies into Gaza. He has the title "Chief of Party" (a USAID title), and spends two to three days a week in Gaza with a 65-person team. He previously was Middle East regional director for Mercy Corps, based in Amman, Jordan.

1980–89

Edwin Brown (G81) and Susan (Boden) Brown (n82) live in Walla Walla, Wash., where both work for Walla Walla Environmental. He is territory manager and she is controller for the firm that developed insecticide paint additives. It now has 14 U.S Environmental Protection Agency registrations for products that stay current with regulations and show respect for the environment.

Darcy Weisner (n81) is superintendent of the Clarkston, Wash., School District, taking office July 1, 2010, after four years as principal at Walla Walla (Wash.) High School. He is in his 29th year in education, the first 21 as a classroom teacher and the last seven in high school administration. The district has 2,700 students in eight schools, 253 employees and a $23 million budget.

Darleen (Mock) Ortega (G84) in March received the Judge Mercedes Deiz Award from the Oregon Women Lawyers Foundation. It recognizes individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to promoting minorities in the legal profession and community. Ortega has been a judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals since 2003, the first woman of Hispanic heritage and the first woman of color to serve on the court. The award goes to "a person who has influenced minorities to pursue legal careers, opened doors for minority attorneys, or advanced opportunities for minorities within the profession." Prior to being appointed to the court, Ortega practiced law in Portland for 11 years, specializing in complex civil cases and appeals.

Jim Fleming (MA88) is the new chief information officer for Pacific University, Forest Grove, Ore., overseeing technological infrastructure. He began in February. He was with George Fox University for 22 years, most recently as director of administrative computing, but previously serving as associate dean of students and registrar.

1990–99

Quake Survivor

Katherine Heasley

When the epic and devastating 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami savaged parts of Japan on March 11, it nearly claimed alumna Katherine Heasley (G96).

For three days Portland television stations reported Heasley was missing and interviewed her worried parents in Hillsboro, Ore.

Then the good news reached them: she had survived the tsunami that wiped out Kamaishi City, where she had been living and teaching English for two and a half years.

Heasley stood on a nearby hill and watched the unending ocean roll in. "All those of us on the hill could do was watch helplessly, praying that it was only a dream," she says.

"The wave, when it came, was merciless. It threw cars around like toys and lifted whole houses right off their foundations. My apartment building was knocked down, broken up and then dragged back out to sea, along with everything I owned except the clothes on my back and the contents of a small bag I'd grabbed on my way out," Heasley says.

Heasley's apartment was a literal stone's throw away from the water. She had joked with her family that if a tsunami ever hit, she'd have to move fast. Alerted by warning sirens, she did.

She recalls the roar of the water and the sound of collapsing buildings that could be heard for miles away. Heasley spent the night at a shelter, along with a few hundred of her fellow Japanese neighbors. There was no electricity and no phone service, and not even cell phones would work. She worried about how to let her family know she was alive.

Heasley spent the following week at the Kamaishi Seawaves rugby clubhouse. She had become friends with the team captain's family, and they allowed her to stay with them. Rugby club families had gotten together to share warmth, shelter and food at the clubhouse. "I helped where I could, because there was no way out of town," Heasley recalls.

Quake-Survivor2

After a week, Heasley was able to hitch a ride out of town with some American soldiers helping with relief efforts. Her sponsoring company found a place for her to stay until she could leave for the United States. "To my relief, I found that all my teachers from my program had survived," she says. "To my sorrow, not all of my Japanese friends had. Some of my students still haven't been found.

"For those of us who lived through it, the tsunami has left an indelible impression on us. It's easy to believe what you've built is permanent, but the truth is, it can all be swept away in an instant."

Melissa (Bullock) Thomas (G92) is George Fox University's new registrar. She began in February after serving five and a half years as associate registrar. She joined the office in 2003 as assistant registrar, served as interim registrar twice while searches were underway, and was the lead person in the office as it transitioned between 2008 and 2009 to the new PeopleSoft database. Previously she was with the Northwest Yearly Meeting as youth program coordinator and membership coordinator for the Sherwood, Ore., YMCA.

Kevin Dougherty (G93) returned to campus spring semester as a visiting scholar in residence while researching as part of National Science Foundation grant. He is assistant professor of sociology at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, joining the faculty in 2005. The three-year research project is on entrepreneurial spirit, seeking to understand the social significance of religion in the world today.

Aaron Downs (G96, MEd97) is leaving his alma mater, West Linn (Ore.) High School, to become the new principal at Wilsonville (Ore.) High School next year. He was a social studies teacher and basketball coach at West Linn before becoming assistant principal two years ago. Downs was one of two finalists, selected from 13 original applicants, to head the 990-student school. The other finalist was Carlos Sequeira (G92), Wilsonville's assistant principal.

Andy Dunn (G96, MBA04) began a new position of director of purchasing and administrative services at George Fox on March 14, moving from his position as director of university stores. He has been on campus since 1996, when he started as textbook clerk with the bookstore. He was named manager in 1999, and his title changed when the store was outsourced in November 2010.

Tim Goodfellow (G97) in May began as programmer analyst in George Fox's Department of Institutional Technology, leaving his position as director of student housing in the Office of Student Life.

Teg McBride (MA98, PsyD01) is a major in the U.S. Air Force, serving as commander of survival, evasion, resistance and escape medical flight at the Survival School at Fairchild Air Force Base. He is certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology and has current research projects involving increasing the efficacy of special forces selection, effect of stress and fatigue on the robustness of intelligence, and increasing the usefulness of psychological debriefs after stressful events. He and his family live in Spokane, Wash.

2000–09

Glimmer of Hope

glimmer of hope

Some of the best fundraisers around may be a pair of George Fox graduates who say even they don't understand their success.

Jeff (G02) and Kristen (Meier) Greene (G02), over a span of six months last year, raised $297,000 to return a favor to the country that gave them their two adopted children. If that accomplishment isn't enough, they've already raised another $280,000 toward a second $493,000 project.

The Beaverton, Ore., couple said they were inspired by what they found in Ethiopia, the country where their children, Tigist, 7, and Mihiretu, 4, were born. They were from a destitute village and the couple, visiting before adopting in 2008, was shocked and saddened by the thought of anyone – especially children – living in such conditions.

"We had a strong calling to give back to the country that has given us so much," Jeff says. "We found people filling their water jugs from dirty ponds and streams." There was no health care. They saw a school with 2,700 students sharing 20 classrooms, some with no furniture and students sitting on rocky ground. The Greenes knew they had to help and connected with the organization A Glimmer of Hope.

Their first campaign was for the community of Dali. With their successful fundraising they provided 16 furnished classrooms, 12 latrines, a three-room health clinic and seven clean water points. Jeff witnessed the results last October.

glimmer of hope glimmer of hope

Now the Greenes are raising funds for Tercha, the administrative capital of the Dawro zone, located in the same region as Dali and suffering the same deplorable conditions. The current source of drinking water for most of the town is a spring that collects in dirty pools of water that also serves as drinking water for animals. "To witness mothers filling their jugs with this water to be taken home and drunk by their children is a pretty emotional sight," Jeff says.

"We have used every available resource to continue raising money," Kristen says. "We were amazed at the impact our story had on others and how generously they wanted to give."

Jeff is a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, in Lake Oswego, Ore., and has been with the firm for four years. Kristen stays home with their children and works nearly full time on the fundraising campaigns. Kristen majored in psychology at George Fox and Jeff, who played basketball for the Bruins in the 2000 and 2001 seasons, majored in mathematics.

The Greenes' project is the second largest in the nation for A Glimmer of Hope (aglimmerofhope.org), based in Austin, Texas. The nonprofit organization concentrates its work only in Ethiopia and has an endowment that covers all operating expenses, enabling all funds received to go directly to projects.

Jordan Green (G01) is changing Idaho schools. He is the new assistant coach for the University of Idaho women's basketball team, leaving behind Idaho State where he was assistant coach since 2004. Until 2008 he worked under coach Jon Newlee, who he is now rejoining at Idaho. The three-time Bruin team captain will coordinate recruiting and team travel, have scouting responsibilities and work with Idaho's post players.

Lisa (Roberts) Singleterry (G01) received a Master of Arts in Teaching in May from Multnomah University and also received a music endorsement. She will continue to teach music at Portland Christian Elementary.

Jared Valentine (n01) has been named head coach for men's basketball at Warner Pacific College, Portland, succeeding his father, Bart. He has been assisting with the program for 10 years, also working in financial aid and student affairs since 2003. He will continue in his current position as interim assistant dean of student affairs.

Eric Bell (G03) lives in Spokane with his family, where he is with Ganz USA as regional manager for six Western States. The Canadian-founded firm provides plush toys, giftware, collectibles and seasonal gifts to about 30,000 gift, specialty and department stores in the United States and Canada.

Katie Fox (G03) in February passed her Washington exam and now is a licensed social worker, living in Pasco, Wash., where she has opened a private practice. She sees individuals, couples and families and plans to focus in the geriatric field with baby boomers.

Gary Nafziger-Meiser (MA03), on his own, has established a development project in Zambia, beginning with a tree nursery in the badly deforested Mapangazya District. This year five additional village nurseries are underway, with hopes to have nearly 38,000 trees planted by season's end. He also is working to introduce rocket stoves, which effectively use twigs and field rubbish instead of large wood chunks for cooking and water boiling. This saves both trees and improves air quality. He makes annual trips to help with the project, using vacation time from his full-time position as custodial supervisor for the Boise School District.

Andrew Brittell (G04) and Stephen Brittell (G04) and their wives have opened Velour – Fashion Recycled, a fashion retail shop in Newberg. The brothers continue to record and produce music with their band, Brightwood, while helping with the store that opened April 1. It buys, sells and trades "gently used" and "pre-loved" clothing, accessories and some home décor pieces.

Kimberly (Hayes) Brandt (G05) in February was named the new city leader for CRAVE Portland, a branch of the national organization that supports female-owned businesses, connecting small business owners with customers. It emphasizes community, connection and adventure with business chats, symposiums and parties and events. In production is the second edition of "CRAVE Portland: The Urban Girl's Manifesto," showcasing more than 100 Portland women and their businesses. She is founder of Billede Design, a Portland photo styling and event design studio.

Raymond Leach (DMin06) is chaplain with the U.S. Army's 181st Infantry Brigade at Fort McCoy, Wis. He began his service career in 2004, but has been in the ministry since 1992, pastoring churches in New York, Indiana, Montana, Idaho and Iowa. He has traveled to Hungary twice, Portugal three times and to Spain and Peru on missions trips. He served 16 months as a chaplain in Iraq, then extended for two years at Fort Lewis in Washington, preparing troops and unit ministry teams for combat deployments, before transferring into the Army reserves for his current mission.

Sheri Philips (SPS06) left George Fox after 14 years. She started at the university as director of alumni and parent relations, then became executive director of alumni, parent and church relations before moving on to serve as executive director of advancement and, most recently, as executive director of university relations. She plans to spend time fulfilling her dream of developing, coaching and mentoring women on their personal, professional and spiritual journeys. She will continue on a part-time basis to coordinate Selah (women's conference) and Kaleo (youth workers conference).

Sean McKay (MEd07) began in March as the new director of administrative computing at George Fox. He continues to hold his title as chief information security officer.

Shane Bassett (EdD08), principal at Glenfair Elementary School in the Reynolds School District in east Portland since 2007, has been announced as the new principal for the district's Sweetbriar Elementary School, starting with the 2011-12 school year.

Stephen Pick (G09) and Caleb Thurston (G10) have completed their theatrical career at George Fox, but they aren't done with drama, establishing Valley Repertory Theatre, based in Newberg. They plan a season of performances beginning in September. Thurston is serving as executive director and Pick as artistic director. They hope the theater company will be a bridge for graduates of university theater programs throughout the area who haven't yet made the leap to larger professional theater outlets.

Kimberly Walters (MAT09) and her husband, Clayton, are preparing to move this September to Kuwait, where she will be teaching sixth grade math and science on the girls campus at American Creativity Academy. This school year she has taught sixth grade math and seventh grade social studies at White Mountain Middle School in the Eagle Point (Ore.) School District. The prior year she taught math at Lahaina Intermediate School on Maui, Hawaii.

2010

Nathan Glancy (MDiv10) and family in March returned to Mozambique as he became country director for Samaritan's Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to those who are hurting. He is responsible for project development and implementation and staff management. He previously was in Mozambique for three years with OMS International, serving as director of Every Community for Christ, training pastors and planting churches. They have been in Oregon for the last year.

Chris Skinner (MBA10) began May 31 as the new police chief of Richland, Wash., picked from a pool of 41 candidates to guide the city of 47,000, one of the Tri-Cities in Eastern Washington. He has been with the Hillsboro, Ore., Police Department for the last 10 years, the last three as deputy chief. Previously he was with the Benton County Sheriffs Office in Oregon for 10 years. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

Rebecca Turba (G10) is in Cape Town, South Africa, working with Bridges of Hope Academy. She teaches English, art and math at the school, home for 50 orphans, ages 12-18. She lives with the students, mentoring them through Bible studies and after-school programs, with the goal of enabling them to move on to universities and become leaders in South Africa.

Rising so Fast

Rising-so-Fast

Alex Post (G10) has come a long way since he began his music career by beat boxing into a tape recorder at age 15. Recently, Post won third place in the Hip Hop/R&B category of the International Songwriting Competition, an annual contest for aspiring and established songwriters.

Post's winning song, "Falling So Fast," came from a 17-track album titled Ace and Pearl, written by Post and jazz musician Erin Elizabeth Aubrey. Their song stood out among 15,000 submissions from 115 different countries, impressing a group of judges that included famous singers and songwriters.

Post and Aubrey's collaboration began after they met at the Contemporary Music Center, part of the Best Semester program. They spent a week recording tracks that fused Post's hip-hop experience and Aubrey's jazz vocal and piano skills. The result: smooth jazzy hip-hop with film noir undertones.

"I heard her perform a song one night (at CMC) and told her that her music would be perfect for sampling and making hip hop beats out of," Post says of Aubrey. "She then goes on to tell me she loves hip hop, even though she is a southern belle from eastern Tennessee with a thick southern accent."

His reaction to winning third place in the songwriting competition: "Not too bad for a white dude and a southern country girl."

Next up for Post is the release of Brass Knuckle Bullies, a mix of folk, jazz, funk and hip hop on which he teamed up with Dominique Berho (G11). "It's gonna be fire!" Post says.

Listen to "Falling So Fast" and read a Q&A with Post at this link.

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