2013 Honored Alumni
Find out more about the Honored Alumni Awards program, including past winners, selection criteria, and nomination forms for the 2011 awards.
Dale Rinard (1967)
Dale Rinard graduated from George Fox University in 1967 with a degree in business and economics. Following his graduation he and his wife Nancy (Newlin) Rinard (GFU67) 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, God clearly directed Dale into the path of executive leadership of psychiatric hospitals, which included administering clinics, addiction treatment programs and community mental health centers in California and Arizona. While in California, he earned his master’s degree in public administration from Golden Gate University.
Notable achievements include implementing progressive mental health services in several California counties, a national award-winning mobile crisis intervention service, a turnaround executive for a California psychiatric hospital in financial trouble, opening a new psychiatric hospital in Arizona, and serving as chief executive officer. His last 17 years as president and CEO for TERROS Behavioral Health Services in Phoenix saw Dale rescue this nonprofit corporation out of 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 to 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 mission trips to Mexico, Bahamas and Costa Rica. He also served as a board member of an international mission organization. He and his wife are retired and living in San Diego near their daughter, son, their spouses and two grandchildren.
Outstanding Alumnus Award
William Schniedewind (1984)
William Schniedewind is a professor of biblical studies at UCLA, serves as the chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and holds the Kershaw Endowed Chair of Ancient Eastern Mediterranean Studies. He received a BA in religion from George Fox University (1984), an MA in historical geography from Jerusalem University College, and a PhD in Bible and Ancient Near East from Brandeis University (1992). He has been a visiting scholar at the Hebrew University and a research fellow at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. He is the author of five books, including How the Bible Became a Book (Cambridge University Press, 1994), which has been translated into seven languages. He is married with two daughters.
Outstanding Recent Alumnus
John C. Davis (2005)
John Davis is a fourth-generation Oregonian, a native of Clackamas and Washington counties, a husband, a father, and a business and real estate attorney. He also serves his community as a state representative (District 26) in the Oregon State House of Representatives, taking office in November of 2012.
In his practice, at McEwen Gisvold LLP, John assists entrepreneurs, nonprofits and businesses in complex and multi-state transactions involving business law, finance, real estate and estate planning. He represents entrepreneurs, lenders, buyers, sellers, nonprofit organizations, landlords and tenants. He maintains a commitment to pro bono legal services, serving both individuals in need and nonprofits.
In law school, John clerked for the Willamette University General Counsel’s Office and assisted various scholars in editing legal texts. He graduated first in his law school class and was valedictorian. In addition, John created the Northwest Small Business Law Blog, which tracked business-related legal decisions and articles relevant to Oregon and Washington businesses. He was also the founding president of a nonprofit organization, Emerging Leaders of Oregon, which he is still involved with, and works with Young Life. Previously, when attending West Linn High School, he served as an Oregon vice president for Future Business Leaders of America and ran a successful computer consulting firm, which he owned and operated until entering law school.
John graduated summa cum laude from George Fox University in 2005, then dedicated a year of service through the AmeriCorp VISTA program, where he served as programs director for a community nonprofit. John’s wife, Sarah (Boehr), is a 2004 George Fox graduate and works as a nurse in the pediatric intensive care unit at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. He enjoys playing golf and tennis, being involved with Grace Chapel in Wilsonville, traveling, reading and, last but not least, finding great joy in joining Sarah to raise their 15-month-old son.
Christian Service Award
Fred Van Gorkom (1979)
Starting in July 1983, one month after graduation, Fred was sent by Christian Veterinary Mission to communist Ethiopia, to work with the Somali Returning Refugee project of the League of Red Cross Society. God preserved him while being shot at, run off a road over a cliff and doing secret discipleship Bible studies. After the first six months, they asked him to be in charge of the whole project, with a budget more than $1 million.
In 1985 Baptist Mission of Ethiopia asked him to cover for the furlough of their veterinarian. In 1986, newlyweds Fred and Vicki returned to serve the next 16 years with SIM mission in southwestern Ethiopia, in the remote bush as pioneer veterinary church planters among nine tribes of semi-nomadic people. Living in primitive conditions, they raised their four children, planted fruit trees and forages, tested drought-tolerant crops, trained Community Animal Health Workers at the vet clinic, and improved the veterinary infrastructure with things like solar-vaccination refrigerators. Fred used Jersey cattle to improve milk production and built roads and schools. He worked with surrounding communities to construct more than 60 ponds, hand-dug wells and protected springs.
But as he trained people to correctly treat the animals for their own people, his passion grew for church planting. Fred partnered with courageous Ethiopian evangelists, men and women who were literally laying down their lives for the Gospel — and had the privilege of watching the Living God move whole cultures from darkness to light; from war, wife-beating, and child sacrifice to loving, peace, health, and harmony. Through it all, the Lord’s inexplicable peace and almighty power mercifully held them fast. Regardless of the challenges, God planted his church in every tribe!
Currently, Fred is at the CVM Headquarters in Seattle working as the Africa Regional Director, overseeing long- and short-term missions in Africa. He recruits, trains and places individuals in Africa and mentors other veterinary missionaries. Someday, God willing, the VanGorkoms would love to return to Africa.
Seminary Alumnus of the Year
Matthew Thomas (MDiv 1982)
Since he first began his life in ministry, Matthew has had many significant accomplishments, including developing the global ministry mission, vision and strategy currently employed by the Free Methodist Church USA. He also organized the first fully accredited Free Methodist Seminary in a creative-access country, directed the formation of Asia Pacific Free Methodist Missions Association (APFMMA) in 1992 that now serves as the second-largest missions sending agency in the global Free Methodist Church, and produced constitutions for the governance of Free Methodist ministries and parachurch organizations in four countries.
In addition, Matthew inaugurated the annual conferences of missions origin in Myanmar, Cambodia, China and Nepal, and launched the following programs in the FMCSUA: a fully organized abolition organization; a fully collaborative global partnership program that includes more than a dozen organizations; and a self-guided development program that contributes to the growth and health of church leadership. Also, since he was elected as bishop in 2007, the FMCUSA has increased in its number of churches, fellowships and church plants from 959 to 1154. Global FMC membership has grown from 700,000 to more than 1 million.
Matthew has also written numerous articles for publication in the Discipleship Journal, Light and Life Magazine, Eternity magazine, Asia Christian Journal, Wesleyan Advocate, Kardia and other general and academic circulars, journals, and periodicals. He has also been a frequent conference and seminar presenter on the topic of church growth, evangelism and church planting and leadership development around the world. He also worked as an adjunct professor at Western Evangelical Seminary in 1980 and currently serves as an adjunct professor at Seattle Pacific Seminary.
Find out more about the Honored Alumni Awards program, including past winners, selection criteria, and nomination forms for the 2012 awards.