Honored Alumni 2008

Find out more about the Honored Alumni Awards program, including past winners, selection criteria, and nomination forms for the 2011 awards.

Heritage Award | Outstanding Alumnus | Outstanding Recent Alumna | Christian Service Award | Seminary Alumnus of the Year

Heritage Award

Paul Thornburg (BA '54)
Paul ThornburgPaul Thornburg's passion for education took him to Europe and Africa during an educational career that spanned more than five decades. After earning degrees from George Fox and Kansas State Teachers College, he studied in Belgium to prepare for an assignment as an instructor at a teacher training school in Kibimba, Burundi. He later spent four years teaching pastors at Central African Evangelical Seminary in Mweya, Burundi. Upon his return to the United States in 1978, Thornburg served as associate pastor of Friendswood Friends Church in Texas before returning to Africa in the late 1980s. This time, he spent four years in Rwanda training pastors, and later, beginning and administrating a high school in Kidaho, near the Ugandan border. Thornburg also has developed a system of counseling, "transitional analysis," that traces the development of a person by examining the areas of truth, time, and passion in their lives.

Outstanding Alumnus Award

Gayathri Ramprasad (SPS '01, MBA '03)
Gayathri RamprasadHope. That is what Gayathri Ramprasad brings to those battling chronic illness. Her successful battle in overcoming mental illness taught her the power of hope in the healing process - and she takes that message to audiences as a mental health consultant and professional speaker. Ramprasad is the founder and president of ASHA ("hope" in Hindi) International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting global mental health awareness and fostering communities of hope and recovery. She is also president of Mind Beautiful, a mental health consultancy. Born and raised in India, Ramprasad suffered generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks as a teen, then suicidal depression as a 25-year-old mother in America. She emerged bringing a message of hope and healing, sharing her story with patients, families, healthcare providers, and organizations as a speaker at regional, national, and international events.

Outstanding Recent Alumnus

Matthew Gerber (BA '03)
Matthew GerberMatthew Gerber's self-described occupation is "global citizen." Since 1997, he has lived and worked in more than 50 countries on six continents. After graduating from George Fox, he founded TeamWorks International, a humanitarian aid organization that helps community leaders design, implement, and evaluate programs. He managed international development projects from Nicaragua to India, worked with corporate executives and subsistent farmers, and partnered with groups ranging from religious congregations to prison inmates. After four years as CEO of TeamWorks, he was recruited by Portland-based publishing company Arnica Creative to create a charitable foundation with a mandate to promote health, literacy, and leadership worldwide. Gerber serves as director of business development with Arnica Creative and is a regular keynote speaker at conferences for Rotary International, educational institutions, and community organizations around the world.

Christian Service Award

Donald J. Armstrong (BA '78)
Donald J. ArmstrongDonald Armstrong's love for the people of Tanzania motivated him to spend 16 years in the East African country as a missionary with the Church of God. Together with wife Caroline, Armstrong built schools - at the high school, secondary, and primary levels - that currently enroll more than 800 students. During his tenure in the country from 1989 to 2005, he helped the Tanzanian Church of God grow from 79 to more than 300 congregations. He raised funds to help congregations build 50 church buildings and graduated more than 120 students from the Bible Training School (Babati Bible School) he developed as a training ground for pastors. Armstrong also founded the Tanzanian Children of Promise child sponsorship program that provides food, clothes, and medical care to more than 750 children. Since 2005, he has served as associate pastor of the Cloverdale Church of God in Boise, Idaho.

Seminary Alumnus of the Year

Stanley W. Cuyler ('68)
Stanley W. CuylerStanley Cuyler's career in the military and the ministry took him from small-town middle America to countries all over the globe. After beginning his ministry as a 15-year-old youth pastor in his native Michigan, Cuyler embarked on a journey that led him to ministerial jobs in Oregon and, eventually, a chaplaincy in the U.S. Army. He was an active duty Army chaplain during the 1980s, serving in locales throughout Europe, and later worked as a chaplain in hospital and prison settings in the U.S. His years in active duty included stints in war-torn Bosnia and Kosovo. Cuyler retired from the U.S. Army with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. Among the awards he earned were one Legion of Merit, two Purple Hearts, five Army Commendation Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, and one Humanitarian Service Medal. Since 1994, he has worked for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a chaplain.

Find out more about the Honored Alumni Awards program, including past winners, selection criteria, and nomination forms for the 2011 awards.