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Alumni Connections

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

1960 – 69

Lon Fendall (G64) has reduced to half time his work at George Fox as director of the Center for Global Studies and the Center for Peace and Justice. He has become a volunteer quarter-time director of Great Lakes Leadership Training, formerly named Great Lakes School of Theology. This Africa ministry by Evangelical Friends Mission trains pastors and leaders in their own communities in Burundi, Congo, and Rwanda.

Dee (Reeves) Bright (G67) lives in Granite Bay, Calif., as she continues to speak for women’s events and retreats. Her book Ahh…Men! How to Let God Meet the Needs Men Can’t (working title) is scheduled for release by Revell in summer 2008. She says that with honesty and humor the book debunks “the fairy-tale myth that the right man is the answer to a woman’s deepest needs for feeling loved and cherished, and it demonstrates how an intimate relationship with God is the best and only solution.”

1970 – 79

Stan Morse (G72), after 21 years as a member — the last 17 as chairman — in June stepped down from leadership of the Greenleaf (Idaho) Friends Academy Board of Trustees. He is a chemist at the Hewlett Packard Material Science Lab in Boise. He continues as a member of the George Fox board of trustees, where he has served since 1986. His wife, Ellen (Perry) Morse (n74), has led the Greenleaf school’s music department for more than 20 years.

Nick Sweeney (G76) is the new superintendent of Arrowhead Christian Academy and Redland Christian School in Redlands, Calif. He and his family moved to Yucaipa in mid-July. For the last seven years he has been principal of King’s West School in Bremerton, Wash.

Linda Byrd (G78) is now administrative consultant for Christian Camping International/Latin America. Based in Panama, she provides administrative consulting services to CCI association leaders, writes for the organization’s Latin America publications, and is developing education materials and training programs on creation for Central and South America.

Mark Gilderhus (G78) is the new pastor of Fir Lawn Lutheran Church, Sweet Home, Ore., and is a chaplain in the Oregon National Guard, 1249th Engineering Battalion, Salem, Ore. Ordained in 1982, he has 15 years experience as a parish pastor, then went into military service in 1996 as a reserve Air Force chaplain. In 1998 he became an active Army chaplain, serving in Iraq at a military hospital in Kuwait. After it was closed he left active duty to join the Oregon National Guard.

1980 – 89

Butch Hart (G81, MDiv91) and Sheila (Roberts) Hart (G83), after 11 years of ministry in Hemlock, Ind., have moved to Circle, Mont., where he is now pastor at Circle Evangelical Church and she will seek a dental hygienist position.

Todd Farmer (G86) received a doctoral degree in educational leadership in July from the University of Phoenix and is an assistant professor of physical education at Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb.

Dave Benson (G89) is in his fourth year as pastor of the Newberg First Assembly of God Church and has spearheaded its name change this summer to Family Life Church.

Tim Hyatt (G89) has opened Northwest Integrative Health Center in Newberg. A licensed naturopath after a four-year graduate program, he is emphasizing herbal medicine and other non-pharmaceutical methods, focusing on diet, exercise, nutrition, and physical therapy.

Andy Laveine (G89) and Dan Laveine (G91) are president and executive vice president, respectively, of Action Equipment Co., Newberg. After 40 years in business, the firm this summer moved to a newly constructed 80,000-square-foot building, tripling the size of its production area. The company manufactures vibratory equipment, primarily mechanical screeners and separators used in a variety of applications.

1990 – 99

Todd Bos (G91, MEd97), after leading the St. Paul (Ore.) High School girls track team to three consecutive state titles in 11 years as head coach, has resigned from his position. He has been at St. Paul since 1992, coaching teams to state titles in 1999, 2000, and 2001. He is now teaching math in the new Small Schools program at Newberg High School.

Robert Filback (G91) this summer received a PhD in international/intercultural education from the University of Southern California and has been hired as assistant professor of clinical education at USC’s Rossier School of Education. He is interim program lead for the master’s degree program in teaching English to speakers of other languages and teaching English as a foreign language.

Jill (Jamison) Beals (G92) won the Capital City Marathon women’s race on her first try on May 20 in Olympia, Wash. She finished the 26.2-mile hilly course in 3 hours, 11 minutes, and 37 seconds — 12 minutes faster than her nearest competitor. The mother of two knows what it’s like to run fast, winning the NAIA national 10,000 meters three times while a George Fox student and winning the Seattle Marathon the year she graduated with her best marathon time of 2 hours, 48 minutes.

Brian Hartenstein (G92, MAT04) won the 2007 Excellence in Education Award for Sunset High School, Beaverton, Ore., where he teaches language arts. His classes were featured in an Oregonian newspaper article for his work bringing Shakespeare to remedial students through modern translation and performance.

Irene Rose (SPS92) retired this summer after 20 years with the Newberg School District. She started as secretary to the superintendent and school board. Following her graduation from George Fox she was promoted to the position of human resources coordinator.

Judy (Rehfeld) Hall (SPS93) is chief administrative officer for the Oregon Legislature, Salem, Ore.

Myrna (Bonar) Jensen (G95) is news assignment editor with KTUU-TV in Anchorage, Alaska. In June she completed a two-week fellowship, primarily in Germany, in the German Study Program for American Journalists, sponsored by the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation and the RIAS Berlin Commission.

Madelyn Stasko (MBA95) in June was named a relationship manager and principal with the Commerce Bank of Oregon, based in Portland. She began her 30-year financial services career with U.S. Bank, holding positions in treasury management, investments, human resources, retail banking, and most recently as commercial banking relationship manager. She is on the board of Northwest Business for Culture and the Arts.

Glen Woods (MA96) is children’s pastor for Portland Open Bible Church (since 1996); works for Paulson’s Floor Coverings, Portland, in customer service and the warehouse; is a doctor of ministry (pastoral leadership) student at Western Seminary, Portland; and administrates a large Christian Internet Relay Chat network.

Ryan Chaney (G97) is owner of Focal Point Digital Media, Salem, Ore. In August he received a national Creative Excellence Award from the Wedding and Event Videographer’s Association at its national convention in Las Vegas, Nev. The award, for a July 2006 wedding in Portland, was in the category of wedding reception coverage. Cheney’s firm is the only full-time Salem production company specializing exclusively in wedding videography.

Jimmi Nicole Sommer (G97) is participating in the Junior Foreign Service Officer training program in Arlington, Va., near Washington, D.C., specializing in consular, Spanish, and area studies. In February 2008 she will leave for Matamoros, Mexico, where she will serve as a consular officer with the Foreign Service, U.S. State Department.

Katrina (Townley) Gavie (n98) is an investigator with USIS, an information and security services company headquartered in Falls Church, Va. The company provides background screening and risk management assessments and is the largest supplier of background investigations to the federal government. It is also the major source of background and drug screening services to commercial institutions nationwide.

Dianna Howell (SPS98, MBA student) is one of five former Linn-Benton Community College (Ore.) students in June to receive a Distinguished Alumni Award for accomplishments in their professions and through community service. She is branch manager for Barrett Business Services, Albany, Ore. Donovan Mattole (SPS98) has been promoted to director of corporate human resources for Nautilus, Inc. Headquartered in Vancouver, Wash., the company manufactures fitness equipment, including Nautilus, StairMaster, Bowflex, Pearl iZumi, Universal, and Schwinn Fitness.

Michael Ryan (SPS98, MAT00) is now one of less than one percent of Oregon teachers who have received national board certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization to advance the quality of teaching and learning. He passed the year-long voluntary assessment that measures teacher performance and the ability to increase student achievement. Ryan is a fifth grade teacher at Lee Elementary School, Canby (Ore.) School District. He has been with the district for seven years.

2000 – 07

Trevor Hurley (G00) has been named manager of the Salem, Ore., main branch of Wells Fargo Bank. He will oversee customer service, sales, training, and community involvement for the 12-member staff. He previously managed the Mount Angel, Ore., branch.

Debbie (Ross) Taylor (G00) is the new varsity girl’s soccer coach at Madras (Ore.) High School. This is her fifth year of coaching, the third at Madras. In addition, she is a mom, a custodian for her Madras Free Methodist Church, and a substitute teacher once a week in the Madras School District.

Katie (Pritchard) Hadley (G01) in May received a master’s degree in nursing from Pacific Lutheran University and is now a family nurse practitioner at Tacoma Emergency Care Physicians as an ER provider for two Tacoma, Wash., area hospitals.

Bryan Odegard (G01) and Lisa (Sutton) Odegard (G01) live in Seattle where she has begun her own full-time business as a personal chef.

Brinell (Anderson) Slocumb (PsyD01) in August became a full-time core faculty member in the clinical psychology doctoral program at Philips Graduate Institute in Encino, Calif.

Kelly Ballard (DMin02) is the new lead pastor at Cedar Mill Bible Church, Beaverton, Ore., with a congregation of about 2,400 members and a 12-member pastoral staff.

Steve Burchett (MBA02) is president and owner of Revest Funding LLC, in Vancouver, Wash., and recently joined the Washington Association of Mortgage Brokers. His firm provides nationwide mortgage brokerage services for investors and business owners.

Heidi (Vander Stoep) Kellar (G02, MAT03) and Nathan Kellar (G02, MAT03) are teaching in the Cup’ik Eskimo village of Chevak, Alaska. He teaches freshman English and history and she teaches middle school reading. This is their fifth year teaching and taking part in the local cultural activities.

Timothy Williams (G02) is a graduate student at Harvard School of Public Health. As a master’s-level social worker he has spent the last year working in practice and research settings in order to better understand and improve the physical and mental health conditions of HIV-infected children. This summer he was a principal investigator for a research study with AIDS orphans in rural Uganda.

Jessica Lebold (G03) in October returns to her work with Wycliffe Bible Translators in the Republic of Congo on the east coast of Africa. She was in Newberg while on furlough after 18 months in the Congo, based in Brazzaville, the capital. To prepare for serving she worked on her French in Neuchatel in Switzerland and now has begun to learn Lingala, a prevalent trade language used by various ethnic groups.

Laura (Steenson) Seratt (G03) has been hired as drama teacher at Reynolds Middle School, Fairview, Ore. It has 1,000 students in sixth through eighth grades.

Robin (Green) Spangler (G03) teaches second and third grade at Williams Ranch School in Penn Valley, Calif. She received a multiple subject teaching credential from National University.

Emily (Condie) Christensen (G04) and Brad Christensen (G05, MAT06) have moved to Cairo, Egypt, where she is attending graduate school for a master’s degree in teaching of English as a second language. She teaches part time on a graduate fellowship and he teaches middle/high school at an international school.

Joshua Hunter (G04) received an MBA in April from the Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and also received a master’s in public policy from the School of Business, with a specialty in international relations. He has started a construction company to build highend custom homes and development in the San Francisco area.

Virginia Krause (n04) received a doctor of pharmacy degree in June from the University of Washington School of Pharmacy and has accepted a practice residency at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Portland.

Jeff Pieper (MDiv04) has joined the Luis Palau Association. He serves on the staff of the Next Generation Alliance, a global network of evangelists the Palau organization started in 1998. He travels domestically and internationally to serve evangelists through teaching, preaching, counseling, and helping organize evangelistic events.

Brian Cottrell (G05) is teaching English with at Sanda University in Shanghai, China.

Heidi Janosek (n05) graduated in June from Western States Chiropractic College, Portland, with a doctorate in chiropractic medicine. She is now in private practice in southeast Portland and also supervises interns at the clinic at Western States.

Philip Lentz (G05) received a master’s degree in exercise and sports science in June from Oregon State University. He is an assistant athletic trainer at Pacific University, Forest Grove, Ore.

Jesse Merz (MAT05) is founding artistic director of the Columbia Gorge School of Theatre, a summer theater camp for students ages 8-18 from across the nation. In its 11th year, the camp offers training in acting, singing, and dancing, and produces more than a dozen shows each year. It is located on the 142-acre Blue Moon Ranch in White Salmon, Wash. He is currently teaching acting at the University of California, Davis, where he is also pursuing an MFA degree in acting. He serves as assistant artistic director for the THIRDeYE Theatre Festival.

Jessica Nims (G05) has been promoted to district manager for Kelly Scientific Resources, based in Seattle, Wash., managing the Washington State and Alaska area.

Dan Predoehl (G05) is a student resident director for Western State College of Colorado in Gunnison.

Josh Preister (G06) is assistant track coach for George Fox while continuing to prepare for participation in next June’s United States Olympic Trials. This June, in Dallas, Texas, at a U.S.A. Track and Field sanctioned meet, he topped the 7,000-point plateau at 7,106. He is now training for a mid-March meet in San Diego, Calif. This summer he completed a master’s degree in sports administration at the U.S. Sports Academy in Daphne, Ala. He has started his own company, Ultimate Track and Field, designed to expand the sport in Oregon.

Sharon Warren (MEd06) is the new principal at Englewood Elementary School in Salem, Ore. The school has 37 staff and 340 students. She joined the Salem-Keizer Public Schools in 1999 and has been at Keizer Elementary School since 2003 as an instructional coach.

Cynthia Sax (MAT07) is in her first year of teaching the fourth grade at Mary Woodward Elementary School in Tigard, Ore.

More Stories

G Traditional graduate
n Traditional nongraduate
SPS School of Professional Studies graduate
GFES Seminary graduate
PsyD Doctor of psychology graduate
MAT Master of arts in teaching graduate
MBA Master of business administration graduate
MA Master of arts graduate
MEd Master of education graduate
MS Master of Science
MDiv Master of Divinity
EdD Doctor of education


Grandpa Roy

Grandpa Roy

Three decades of students have known the lanky, smiling gentleman, but many don’t even know his last name. He’s simply “Grandpa Roy.”

“I’m beginning my 65th semester at George Fox,” Roy Hiebert tells the new freshman who joins him for lunch at his table in Klages Dining Room. It’s an opening line the 82-year-old Hiebert uses to introduce himself and start the conversation of why he’s dining with a roomful of students less than a quarter his age.

Nearly a third of a century from his start as a George Fox employee, and 15 years after his retirement from his work in Plant Services, Hiebert remains a campus fixture. Without official contract, but with a routine as regular as an employee, Hiebert is Campus Grandpa, with his “office” the dining commons. There he eats with students three meals a day on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and often Sunday afternoons. He’s not there just for meals on the house. “I want to pay for my meals,” he says. “I don’t want (students) to say ‘Oh, he just comes here for free meals.’”

He sometimes joins students already seated, but often he sits at an empty table and allows students to seek him out. It’s a routine that has not changed over the years. Hiebert says conversation topics remain basically the same: relationships with roommates or even potential spouses, coping with sorrow at the death of loved ones, career choices and life goals, and spiritual needs. Hiebert emphasizes he doesn’t give advice. “They just like to have an older person around to talk with them,” he says. They need someone to listen, to mull things over, he says.

Despite the changing hairstyles and clothing of students, Hiebert is hesitant in answering a question about what has changed about students. He’s now talking with students who are children of those he dined with two decades ago. “They’re still pretty much the same,” he notes. “But more and more they show the effects of media.”

“I bemoan the fact that they have a manmade society,” he says. “I grew up on the Montana prairie. They have trouble relating to the way I grew up.” Hiebert smiles when he says students now listen to “noise,” comparing it to the sounds of meadowlarks, crickets, and coyotes, as he grew up.

He observes that students now “talk together more by remote control,” using cell phone calls, e-mails, and text messaging rather than in-person conversation. “I kid them that my generation has hip and knee replacements and their generation is going to have thumb joint replacement.”

Hiebert now has given up the familiar old-style bicycle for which he had become noted by earlier students. He used it to ride from his home two blocks west of campus, then across campus. “I gave it up about five years ago,” he says. “It dumped me three times in one year.”

When he’s not with students he’s mostly tending his garden – especially the flowers. He’s become nearly as associated with them as with his mealtime presence. A couple of times each week in each season except winter, he brings flowers – hundreds of them – to give away. This fall he left hundreds of dahlias twice a week on a table at the dining room exit. They’re gone in just minutes, limited to one to a student. In the summer, without undergrad students, flowers are delivered desk to desk, building to building to employees. He also keeps the Bruin Den service counter supplied with fresh flowers.

Hiebert says he has no plans to retire anytime soon from his volunteer Campus Grandpa post. “I enjoy it,” he says. “I guess I’ll do it as long as I’m physically and mentally able.”

Perfect Match

Bill and Marilyn Jackson

Bill Jackson (G71), food service director at George Fox from 1981 to 1999, received a gift from his wife last December that saved his life. His wife, Marilyn (May) (G72), donated one of her kidneys so that Bill could receive a much needed transplant.

Jackson, whose kidney troubles began in 2004 as a result of high blood pressure, had several offers. Friends and family members, including the couple’s four children, were willing to part with a kidney. Marilyn, a teacher at Edwards Elementary School, was chosen.

“Out of the clear blue sky, she said, ‘I’m going to be the first one tested.’ Lo and behold, we matched. She was the first and only one to be tested,” Bill said.

The transplant took place last year at Oregon Health and Science University Hospital in Portland. Marilyn recovered well from the surgery. The prognosis is good for Bill, but he has taken a leave of absence from his job as food service director at Friendsview Retirement Community in Newberg to rest and give his new kidney time to recover.

Bill will remain on immunosuppressant medication for the rest of his life to prevent rejection of the kidney. He considers that a small price to pay for his life. And Marilyn is expected to have no lasting adverse effects from her donation. She just gets to keep Bill longer.

“We’ve even gotten closer,” Bill says, “and that seems impossible because we were always close. I am very, very fortunate.”