2010 Honored Alumni

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

Verne Martin (BA ‘54)
Verne MartinVerne Martin has dedicated his life to educating young people. He spent 37 years as a junior high school teacher, coach and athletic director in the Sherwood (1955-65) and Tigard-Tualatin (1965-91) school districts. He was named Tigard Teacher of the Year in 1971 and earned Oregon Teacher of the Year honors the following year. More recently, he taught at the Southwest Indian School in the mid-1990s and joined George Fox University’s School of Education in 2007 to serve as an adjunct supervisor for student teachers in the master of arts in teaching program. Martin has also volunteered his time and talents to numerous church, community and missions organizations, including Sherwood Friends Church, Twin Rocks Friends Camp and Conference Center, Union Gospel Mission and the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends. His service to Twin Rocks – on which he served on the board of directors for more than 30 years – spans 60 years, and his membership at Sherwood Friends began in 1955.

Outstanding Alumnus Award

Dan Nolta (‘63 BA)
Dan Nolta Dan Nolta sees himself as a minister wherever he goes — whether that be as the trainer of chaplains all over the world or as the leader of a home Bible study for nearly 40 years. After serving as a pastor at three Friends churches from 1963 to 1984, Nolta spent 20 years as the full-time chaplain coordinator for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department in Washington. As a chaplain he responded to thousands of crises, and as a volunteer with the American Red Cross he traveled to New York City after the 9/11 disaster. In 2001 he founded a chaplain’s training academy, which has trained more than 300 police and fire chaplains to serve in the Northwest. He’s also taken his faith and experience around the world, consulting with and/or training chaplains in South Africa, England, Kenya, Guatemala, the Philippines, Estonia, New Zealand, Burundi, Latvia, Jamaica and Canada. He has served as the interim executive director for the Tacoma-Pierce County Chaplaincy and as the president of the International Conference of Police Chaplains which he is currently serves an international liaison.

Outstanding Recent Alumna

Courtney (Heck) Rodriguez (BS ‘03)
Courtney Rodriguez Courtney Rodriguez is putting her social work degree into practice in Guatemala, where she works with the Kids Alive International organization. Kids Alive’s primary objective is to rescue at-risk children and provide them with holistic care through homes, care centers and schools. In 2005, the organization gave Rodriguez the go-ahead to develop an independence program that teaches young women important life skills such as budgeting, driving, job maintenance, relationships, sewing and cooking. She has since helped establish two Independent Houses, at which young people are trained in an effort to break the cycle of poverty so prevalent in the country. Her success in Guatemala opened the door for Rodriguez to help missionaries from the Dominican Republic and Lebanon establish the independence program in their countries. She also has taught English at the care center associated with her church, and she and her husband, Tono, assisted in organizing the Luis Palau Festival that visited Guatemala in 2009.

Christian Service Award

Stephen Cadd (BA, ‘76)
Stephen CaddStephen Cadd is using the music and drama training he received at George Fox to spread the gospel in the Philippines, the country in which he was raised by missionary parents. In 1995, he began Sword Productions, an evangelistic film and television production company for which he continues to serve as president. The ministry produces movies that share Christ’s love in a way that resonates with specific people groups in their own language. He has produced eight full-length feature films, music videos, television shows and other presentations — all with Christian messages relevant to the culture. He helped make the first evangelistic movie in Tagalog, the national language of the Philippines, and in 2003 made the first Christian movie in Mongolia — a move that led to the formation of production companies in Mongolia, Cambodia and Vietnam and the development of projects slated for Nepal and Indonesia. Ultimately, Sword Productions provides local churches the tools to share biblical truth to their nation, telling their own stories to their people using the local language and culture.

Seminary Alumnus of the Year

David A. Rupert (B.Div. ‘67, M.Div. ‘72)
David RupertDavid A. Rupert has logged nearly five decades in ministry, serving as a pastor and in positions of leadership in churches and organizations all over the nation. Ordained in the Free Methodist Church, he was an assistant pastor in Oregon and New York in the early 1960s before serving as a senior pastor in three churches in Oregon and California between 1967 and 1984. He later served as superintendent of the California Conference of the Free Methodist Church (11 years) and as superintendent of the Gateway Conference in Illinois (six years). All the while, he remained active in community, denominational, school and governmental organizations, including stints on the board of trustees at Western Evangelical Seminary (now Portland Seminary) and Seattle Pacific University. Most recently, Rupert was an adjunct professor at Spring Arbor University in Michigan in the early 2000s and a minister to senior adults at South Church of the Nazarene in Lansing, Mich., from 2002 to 2007. He now lives in Tennessee with his wife of more than 45 years, Lois, and continues to volunteer in his local church.

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