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Alumni Connections

Alumni News and Life Events  |  Alumni Award Winners 2007  | 
Marriages, births, and deaths information  |  Alumni Highlight - Larson the Liaison

Alumni Award Winners

Jack Rea

Jack Rea (’70)
Christian Service Award

Jack Rea’s ministry spans more than 30 years and two continents. He and his wife, Celesta, currently live in Hong Kong, where Jack serves as provost for the United Wesleyan Graduate Institute. He has pastored a church in Ohio, served as a missionary in Taiwan, and worked as general superintendent of Rocky Mountain Yearly Meeting of Friends, overseeing a six-state area. He also worked at the Houston Graduate School of Theology and formed the Houston-based Coalition for Hispanic Ministries.

Sam Farmer

Sam Farmer (1952-54, ’92)
Outstanding Alumnus

Sam Farmer has served the university since 1988, when he joined George Fox as vice president for development. He continues to volunteer as an assistant to the president, and he assists local organizations, including the Friendsview Retirement Community Association and the Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce. Before arriving, Farmer worked for 27 years with Custom Food Products, a Chicago-based company. He has helped lay the foundations of several mission enterprises, invested in the lives of mission families, and participated in mission activities around the world.

Harold and Nancy Thomas

Harold Thomas (’69), Nancy Thomas (’67)
Heritage Award

Harold and Nancy Thomas have dedicated their lives to missionary service. They served the Aymara people of Bolivia, South America, from 1972 to 1989 before cooperating with the Bolivian Friends Church in theological education, leadership training, social development projects, and church planting. From1999 until recently, they served as founders and co-directors of the Center for Intercultural Studies, a master’s degree missiological program at the Bolivian Evangelical University in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. They continue to work as missionaries appointed by Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Church.

Jimmi Sommer

Jimmi Nicole Sommer (’97)
Outstanding Recent Alumna

Jimmi Sommer has a passion to serve, volunteering in community organizations that range from the Junior League of Boise to the Idaho Foreign Film Festival. Last year, she became the Twin Falls regional director for U.S. Sen. Michael Crapo, representing him in an eight-county region in southwestern Idaho. She graduated from George Fox with a degree in international studies and earned a master of public administration degree from Boise State University in 2001.

John Conner

John H. Connor (’77)
George Fox Evangelical Seminary Alumnus of the Year

John Connor and his wife, Margie, work with the Department of World Missions of the Wesleyan Church, an organization they joined in 1970. John was a principal at the Pilgrim Wesleyan Seminary in Zambia, Africa, taught theology in the Philippines and Korea, and was a consultant for church development in 26 countries with Global Partners, a mission arm of the Wesleyan Church. He has written three books and, as director of the JESUS Film Partnership, trains teams to use the film for evangelism and church planting.

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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


Larson the Liaison

Robby Larson

Meet your new alumni director
Robby Larson, the new director of alumni relations, needed just two days to get into the spirit of his new position. "I started on a Wednesday, and by Friday I had bought a George Fox hat and was cheering on the Bruin basketball teams," he says.

Larson, 28, arrived in January from California Lutheran University, where he was director of student programs. He grew up in Portland before attending Pacific Lutheran, from which he earned a marketing degree in 2000, and Cal Lutheran, where he earned an MBA in 2002.

Larson says he’s honored to provide services and events that promote relationship between the university and its 18,000 alumni. "I’m at a place that honors Christ and is rich in tradition," he says. "My job is to keep alumni connected to what we’re doing here and remind them why George Fox is such a special place."

Keep in touch with Larson: Call 503-554-2130, e-mail, visit
Keep in touch with the Journal: Send current news to George Fox Journal, 414 N.Meridian St. #6069, Newberg, OR 97132; call 503-554-2126; e-mail

In Memory

Bali Memorial

Megan Heffernan (G96), a free-spirited young alumna who died in the 2002 Bali terrorist bombing, was remembered last October in London at the unveiling of a memorial for the 202 bombing victims. The Prince of Wales led the tributes at the ceremony in St. James’ Park. Heffernan’s name is written in the stone wall behind a five-foot marble globe carved with 202 doves, each representing a victim of the bombings.

Westmont Bound

Gary Beebe

Westmont College named Gayle Beebe (G81) its eighth president in February. For the past seven years, Beebe served as president of Spring Arbor University in Michigan, where he was instrumental in improving campus facilities through a $45 million capital campaign. Prior to leading Spring Arbor, Beebe served as dean of the graduate school of theology at Azusa Pacific University. He and his wife, Pam (Hagen) (G87, MA90), have three children: Anna (14), Elizabeth (12), and Ricky (8).