Summer 2022
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Lasting Legacies

Five retiring employees reflect on what kept them at George Fox a combined 137 years By Sean Patterson

Dave Adrian

Dave Adrian 41 years

When someone has worked at one place for more than 40 years, you can forgive them if they lose track of how many titles they’ve held. Such is the case with Dave Adrian, the development officer who retired last December after dedicating his entire adult life to the mission of George Fox University.

After graduating from George Fox with a degree in Christian ministries in 1980, Adrian got the opportunity to work at his alma mater when Maurice Chandler, director of development, hired him as a “development associate.”

“I was a product of the Be Known promise before we ever officially adopted that brand,” Adrian says. “Maurice saw something in me that matched my talents and passions with the school’s needs and opportunities. As a result, I enjoyed a career of matching donor passions with university needs. I thank the Lord I was given the opportunity.”

Since those early days, he’s held a variety of titles – director of development, vice president of development, director of planned giving, and senior development officer among them. “After 41-plus years, I can’t remember them all,” he laughs. Common to all was a desire to help the institution flourish by generating gifts and maintaining healthy relationships with the university’s financial supporters.

Adrian’s love of George Fox comes honestly. During his college years he played basketball and sang in both the school choir and Dayspring, a touring ensemble. Along the way, he interacted with fellow students, alumni, church leaders and potential givers, making him uniquely qualified to join the development staff right out of college.

“I firmly believe in the mission, values, vision and promise of the university, and, as an alumnus, this is my school,” he says. “As such, I wanted to help all students have the same experiences I had, being challenged academically, socially, athletically and spiritually.”

“I was a product of the Be Known promise before we ever officially adopted that brand.”

He did so by connecting donors to what they were most passionate about. “Endowed and annual scholarship calls were always enjoyable for me, because we allowed donors to set the scholarship criteria based on their academic interests, geographical locations, extracurricular activities or denominational background,” he says.

Over the past 10 years, Adrian was instrumental in raising money for athletic facilities, including the soccer/lacrosse field, Stoffer Family Stadium, and making improvements to the baseball and softball fields. “As a former Bruin athlete, I thoroughly enjoyed calling on former Bruin athletes and those passionate about athletics,” he says. “It was a personal joy for me.”

He says he’ll miss two things the most: the longtime donors who became friends and the many colleagues “who believed in and encouraged me.” But Adrian doesn’t plan to go away. You will still see him at university events, athletic contests and his weekly “geezers” lunch on campus. He and his wife Pat also plan to travel more extensively.

Phil Smith

Phil Smith 30 years

Phil Smith retires this summer after teaching full time at the institution for 30 years, but the past three decades represent only a fraction of his George Fox journey.

In truth, Smith’s connection to the college began in the summer of 1965, when, between the fourth and fifth grades, he joined pastors from his church to attend the Yearly Meeting on campus. Years later, his impressive test scores in high school prompted numerous recruiting letters from colleges, but they fell on deaf ears: He had already made his choice.

“I applied to just one college,” says Smith, a 1977 George Fox alumnus who describes himself as a “GFU lifer.” “To be clear, I do not recommend this as a strategy for choosing a college!”

During his undergraduate years, Smith discovered a passion for philosophy under the tutelage of longtime professor Arthur Roberts, who “gave me a model of the Christian intellectual life and a sensible approach to epistemology that valued the senses, rational thinking and intuition,” he says of his mentor.

Smith went on to pastor a Friends church in Portland in the 1980s, while concurrently teaching part time at his alma mater. Later, after earning a PhD in philosophy from the University of Oregon in 1991, he decided to teach full time in 1992. Since then, he’s taught a wide range of philosophy and religion courses, as well as one health class, Introduction to Marathon Training, in which the “final” was to run a marathon or half-marathon, reflecting another of his life’s passions: running.

In a word, “community” kept him at George Fox all these years. “We seek to become an educational community that demonstrates the meaning of Jesus Christ,” he says. “I like the emphasis on ‘seeking to become.’ We are not there yet. We are on the way, which is an ongoing mark of Jesus’ people. We seek to be learners – all of us, including the professors – and we want our learning to honor Christ. For me, that has been an inspiring vision; I’m grateful to be part of such a community.”

Even as he “retires,” Smith will teach two courses, Logic and Virtue Theory, in the spring of 2023, and is considering teaching on an adjunct basis in future years. He also plans to shift his writing focus from philosophy to fiction, with the first project being a revision of his science fiction novel, Castles.

Eloise Hockett

Eloise Hockett 24 years

She’s traveled the world on behalf of George Fox, establishing educational partnerships in Kenya and presenting research both domestically and internationally, but College of Education professor Eloise Hockett’s most indelible memory in her 24-year career is the story of one student.

A few years ago, she learned of an undergraduate struggling to complete the requirements to earn a teaching license. As department chair, Hockett creatively crafted a plan to help him get on track, part of which involved setting up weekly accountability meetings.

“At first I was skeptical if the student would succeed, but he rose to the challenge and through sheer grit, determination and perseverance, met all of the requirements,” Hockett recalls. “I became a coach, mentor, mom, cheerleader and whatever was needed to help him maintain forward progress. I cried at graduation and his achievement.”

The alumnus, now teaching near his hometown and considered family, was one of the first people Hockett called to share the news of her retirement this summer.

“It’s also been so amazing to watch students work toward their goals, achieve those goals, and then go out into the world and make a difference for students in the field of education.”

Hockett began at George Fox in 1998 as supervisor of student teachers. In 2001, she became director of field services – the office that places student teachers into area schools – while continuing to teach on an adjunct basis in the Master of Education program. She became an assistant professor in 2006 and in recent years served as co-chair of the College of Education and director of undergraduate teacher education.

In addition to her teaching duties, Hockett frequently traveled to Kenya, where she helped develop a peace curriculum for Quaker secondary schools, delivered professional development training for teachers, and promoted education efforts for girls and women in rural areas.

On her George Fox experience, Hockett says she “truly enjoyed my colleagues” and that “the students kept me going.”

“I have gained lifelong friendships, especially from those who have mentored me along the way,” she says. “It’s also been so amazing to watch students work toward their goals, achieve those goals, and then go out into the world and make a difference for students in the field of education.”

In looking to the future, she plans to return to Kenya to continue her work and allocate more time for family, friends and travel.

Melissa Terry

Melissa Terry 22 years

For 22 years, Melissa Terry committed to several administrative positions on campus, most recently serving as chief of staff in the president’s office. She announced her retirement last fall, ending a career that left a lasting impact both logistically and relationally.

Fellow employees will recall her role as coordinator of numerous faculty conferences and commencement ceremonies, as the person who helped launch Serve Day and the Women’s Leadership Development Initiative, as co-leader of the Welcome Weekend planning team during the two pandemic years, and as organizer of the university’s 125th anniversary celebration.

Students remember her for other reasons – for her listening ear and for the friendship she offered over dinner or tea at her and husband Mark’s home. The Terrys opened their home to several students over the years and remain friends with many of them to this day.

“I enjoyed serving the university, collaborating with people, bringing them together and mentoring students,” she says. “My personal mission is empowering with commitment, integrity and light. I hope I lived that out.”

Terry was hired as an administrative assistant in the academic affairs office, was later promoted to executive assistant, and moved to the president’s office soon after Robin Baker took office in 2007, later being promoted to chief of staff. In addition to her administrative duties, she also served as board of trustees secretary. Melissa and Mark are looking forward to more travel and welcoming another grandchild in June.

Mike Magill

Mike Magill 20 years

When it came to getting acquainted with his students, Mike Magill had a simple formula: learn their names by the end of the first week of classes, and commit to memory at least one thing about each individual, whether that be their hobby or hometown.

“It seems that if I know their name and at least one thing about them, I can start connecting faster,” says Magill, who retires this summer after 20 years as a professor of mechanical engineering. “My class style is asking lots of questions. I like dialoguing with the students in class and using their names.”

Magill arrived at George Fox after teaching at Oklahoma State and Purdue. What he found – and what kept him in Newberg for two decades – was an engineering program with a Christ-centered focus that allowed him to freely express his faith and connect with students on a spiritual level. “Many years ago, I started praying out loud for my students before tests,” he says. “Year after year, students have commented about how much they appreciate it, so I’ve never stopped.”

During his tenure, Magill taught 15 different classes, served for 16 years as the engineering program’s faculty point person for recruitment, and was department chair for several years. He also led eight Juniors Abroad excursions and participated in several projects with Engineering Ministries International, including one trip that involved taking civil engineering students to Nicaragua to design a steel structure – a large horse arena – for a ministry for disabled children.

What he’ll miss most are his colleagues and his students, one of whom had trouble accepting the fact he wouldn’t see Magill after graduation. “In a moment of genuine emotion, I communicated to students that perhaps we might never see each other again and I would miss them,” Magill says. “It was dead quiet for several seconds, then one student said, ‘Dr. Magill, I’m going to come live with you.’”

Magill’s plans don’t include having students move in. Rather, they involve enjoying the slower pace of life in the mountains of Eastern Oregon, where he has moved with his wife Lisa, and continuing to volunteer with Engineering Ministries International.

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