“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38 [TNIV]).
This verse still excites me and terrifies me. What if God sees fit to direct me to someplace with no running water or toilet paper? I’m not a camper. I grew up with a mom whose idea of camping was Motel 6. I find it difficult to respond as Isaiah did in Isaiah 6:8: “Here am I. Send me!”
Yet, I have repeated Isaiah’s words, and I know many others who have as well. I work with them. I am related to them. I have been mentored by them. I walk with them.
God provides. I have seen the rainbow promise. I listen to our students as they share their stories of redemption, grace, love, mercy and peace. I have seen the answer of prayer to a mighty, all-powerful God.
I’m guessing that you have as well.
Preparing students for God’s service is what Sterling College has done for the past 125 years. Whether that service is in a hospital, classroom, board room, living room or far away land, God continues to use SC to prepare people for His service.
We have a number of students going on mission trips this summer where our students will broaden their worldview as they respond to God’s voice by exclaiming, “Hear am I. Send me!”
We have a bulletin board in the Student Union highlighting our alumni who are serving in Christian Service abroad. If you would like to be included in that display, please send a photo, a brief description of your work, and perhaps an email address through which students may contact you.
As you support our students, I pray that you also consider how you might respond to God in your own life with Mary’s words: “May it be to me according to your word.”
All Glory be His, Amy Thompson '96
Staff and Students Visit Tobias Leadership Conference
Ben Swihart ’09, Campbell Hall resident director, and Karin Swihart ‘08, director of marketing and presidential communications, took four students to the Tobias Leadership Conference in Colorado Springs at the end of February. They were able to attend thanks to the generosity of alumni, providing both meals and lodging. Dorinda (Gates) ’02 and Greg Beeley hosted the students for three nights in their home.
Emily Walker '14, an elementary education major, said "If we had not found an alumna who was willing to open her home to us, the school wouldn't have been able to provide us with this opportunity and I would have missed out on an excellent chance to grow as an individual and as a leader. I am so thankful to be attending a school in which the alumni are still willing to contribute so much."
The students all reported that the conference was an excellent chance to hear speakers from across the nation on the topic of leadership across multiple disciplines, from fitness and ecology to complexity leadership in corporate management. It was also a great chance to network with professionals in many fields, and provide a great representation of Sterling College. As the only undergrad students in attendance, they quickly became the talk of the conference, increasing the student’s opportunity for connecting with professionals across the country.
Other alumni, Tom ’71 and Susan (Pollock) ’70 Gibb, welcomed the SC group into their home for supper on Saturday night, filling their bodies with food and their minds with pranks from years gone by. It was a wonderful weekend, made possible, in part, by the love and hospitality of Sterling College alumni.
Upcoming Alumni and Parent Events
23 March – Kansas Prayer Breakfast in Topeka
Area friends of the College are invited to join us at the Ramada in Topeka for the annual Kansas Prayer Breakfast at 6 a.m. Sterling College will have a significant presence at the Prayer Breakfast, and we would like to invite you to join us for both the Prayer Breakfast and for a short Sterling College gathering immediately following the breakfast. At the gathering you will hear from President Maurer. We will also be joined by Dr. Marvin Dewey, vice president for institutional advancement, and Susan Sankey, our new director of annual giving.
Sterling College has purchased three tables to accommodate 25 guests. If you would like to attend, please RVSP by March 7, 2012 to Theresa Teufel in the Advancement office at 800.346.1017 ext. 219 or 620.278.4219.
31 March – PLAY BALL!
All living in or traveling to the Phoenix, Arizona area should grab their gloves for a day at the ball park. We will start at 10:30 a.m. in Surprise with a complementary tailgate party prior to the 1:05 p.m. game between the Kansas City Royals play the Arizona Diamondbacks. Tickets to the game are $20. Be sure to reserve your ticket by March 15 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 800.346.1017 ext. 219. Credit cards are welcome.
13 April – Mississippi Valley Alumni Chapter
All in the Quad Cities area of Iowa/Illinois the weekend after Easter should stop by the First United Presbyterian Church at 801 16th St, Moline Illinois. A potluck dinner at 6:30 p.m. will be followed by a presentation from Amy Thompson ’96, director of alumni & parent relations.
14 April – Missouri Valley Alumni Chapter
All in the Omaha area are invited to the home of Rev. Bob ‘54 & Barbara Meanor to meet Amy Thompson ’96, new director of alumni and parent relations, and to celebrate all things Sterling College. Mark your calendar now and watch your mail for more details.
21 April – Rice Country Ladies Alumni Tea
Rice Country Alumni ladies are invited to join us for a morning tea from 10;00-11:30 in Heritage Chapel on the third floor of Cooper Hall. More details to follow.
19-20 October – HOMECOMING
“Connecting to the Past, Looking to the Future”
Debate Team selected for National Parliamentary Debate Tournament of Excellence
The debate team has achieved another significant milestone. Senior Jessica Brayton of Lyons, Kan., and junior Nolan Chaney, of Hutchinson, Kan., have been selected to participate in the National Parliamentary Debate Tournament of Excellence (NPTE). (read entire story)
Do you know someone getting ready to choose a college?
It’s never too early to encourage someone to attend SC. Jim Turner ’62 has been talking about SC to his pastor’s boys for a couple of years now. The oldest, James Hishmeh, has already made his first campus visit as a high school junior, and his brothers, Jack and Nathan, are geared up and already thinking about what lies ahead after high school. You can make a difference in a student’s college decision.
Remember that we have an alumni admissions referral reward and contest. For every student who lists your name as his or her referral on the SC Admissions form – you receive a 25% discount coupon to the SC bookstore (these coupons cannot be combined). There is no limit to how many coupons you may receive. The alumna or alumnus who refers the most students who matriculate to campus in the fall will receive a Sterling College afghan.
We want to help you recruit to YOUR College. Let us know how we can best assist you in sharing how God changes lives here at SC. Contact Marge Jones at email@example.com or Amy Thompson ’96 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is your old garden party t-shirt about to bite the dust? Does your sophomore mug have a broken handle? Do you finally have an office with walls where you can hang your diploma, which you would like to have in a beautiful frame? Perhaps it’s time to update your SC items with something new from the Sterling College bookstore. If you are in the area, bookstore manager Debbie Staton would love to visit with you. The bookstore is open from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. M-F (except Wednesday when it opens at 11:00 a.m. after chapel). You can also shop online.
Over 20 Years of Theatre Workshops
Sterling College hosted over 230 high school students at their annual High School Theatre Workshop on Friday, Feb. 24. Students participated in morning workshops on scene painting, costuming, choreography, sword fighting, and improv., along with other related topics. In the afternoon, students watched the SC production of Much Ado About Nothing.
Pictured are the SC Alumni who brought classes to participate in the workshops along with their mentors, Diane DeFranco-Kling and Gordon Kling. (L to R) Lauren Peck ’08 of Poteau, Okla., Shairlyn (Casey) Wasinger ’96 of Scott City, Kan., Lex Rhoadarmer ’88 of Clearwater, Kan., DeFranco-Kling, Kling, Betsy (Halloran) Dutton ’82 of Sterling, Kan., Greg McGlynn ’86 of Goddard, Kan., and workshop coordinator Sasha Hildebrand ‘01.
Schedule for Sterling Chorale Spring Tour
Sterling College students have a rich tradition of touring the country on a bus, singing God’s praise, mingling with alumni and recruiting new students. This year there is a strong focus on recruitment as the chorale heads west. If you are in the area or know students at the following locations, please encourage them to attend the performances and visit with our students.
Tour schedule as of Feb. 28, 2012:
Thursday, March 8th
11:30 a.m. - Liberal High School Performance, Liberal, Kan.
1:30 p.m. - Elkhart High School, Elkhart, Kan.
7:30 p.m. - First Presbyterian Church Performance, Liberal, Kan.
Director of Alumni & Parent Relations, Amy Thompson ’96, will be hosting a reception following the performance at the church, which happens to be her home church._
Friday, March 9th
10:30 a.m. - Goodwell High School Performance, Goodwell, Okla.
5:00 p.m. - First Assembly of God Church, Tucumcari, NM 505.400.5946 or 575.461.3830
Sunday, March 11th
10:00 a.m. - Sing in worship at Knox Presbyterian Church
225 S. Hill Ave, Pasadena, CA
3:00 p.m. – Knott’s Berry Farm performance, Buena Park, Cali.
Monday, March 12th
7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. - Norco High School performances
2065 Temescal Ave, Norco, CA 92860
Tuesday, March 13th
7:40 a.m. - Santiago High School Performance
1395 Foothill Pkwy, Corona, CA 92881
12:30 p.m. - Centennial High School Performances
1820 Rimpau Ave, Corona, CA 92881
7:00 p.m. - St. Mel’s Catholic Church Performance
4160 Corona Ave, Norco, CA 92860
Wednesday, March 14th
9:00 a.m. - Calvin Christian High School Performance
2000 N. Broadway, Escondido, CA 92026
12:15 p.m. - Clairemont High School Performance
4150 Ute Dr., San Diego, CA 92117
Thursday, March 15th
9:30 a.m. - First Baptist Church High School Performance
411 N. Warren Ave., Winslow, AZ 86047
Don Reed Resigns from 38 years of Service to SC
Don Reed’s history with the College goes back to his days as a student; he graduated from Sterling College in 1968. After a stint in the Navy, Don returned to Sterling College to earn his teaching credentials before teaching speech, debate & theatre at Lyons High School, Lyons, Kansas. He then began his tenure at Sterling College 38 years ago. During the years, he has served as director of public relations, director of development, vice president of advancement, and most recently as the director of gift planning. He has also led several campaigns, including the campaigns for Mabee Library, Cooper Hall renovation, and the Athletic Stadium renovation.
Over his 38 years, Don gained an in-depth knowledge of many of our donors. So it is not surprising that Don has served as the “resident historian” for advancement, providing information about alumni and friends. “Don has been a good colleague. I will miss his friendship and counsel. He has been a valuable and valued member of the advancement team and has served Sterling College well,” remarked Dr. Marvin Dewey. Reflecting on Don’s tenure at the College, Dr. Maurer says, “Don has a deep, abiding commitment to Sterling College and his legacy is a powerful one. He has served with integrity, and we are grateful for his long and faithful service.”
Don has deep ties to the College. Outside of his time in the Navy, he has always lived in Sterling, Kansas. During his childhood, his parents rented rooms to male students. Don and his wife, Linda (Rodman) ’69, met at Sterling College, all of their children attended Sterling College, and they, too, met their spouses during their student days. Now, we look forward to the next generation of “Reeds” at Sterling College.
Rather than retiring, Don will work as a regional planned giving officer for the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA, for which he has served as a board member for a number of years. Their President, Jerry O’Neal, once worked at Sterling as dean of students. Don’s territory will include the mid-western states, a territory that will allow him to work from his home and live in Sterling.
Don has been a lifetime member of the local Reformed Presbyterian church in Sterling and is excited to serve his denominational seminary; for him the new responsibility is a calling. He loves his church and RPTS. Dr. Al Cureton ’76, former co-worker and current Board member at Sterling College, reflects that this “is a great opportunity for Don to serve his denomination while helping to plant a strong foundation in planned gifting, thereby securing a strong future for RPC Seminary.” For those of us who know Don, this decision reflects his heart.
Don’s work at Sterling College will continue through May. Over the next few months, Don will focus his time on completing current planned giving conversations, facilitating a couple of seminars with John Griffin (a planned giving expert that SC retains), making appropriate transitional documents, and providing counsel as the College begins to look for a new planned giving officer.
Where do you live?
The Alumni Directory is a great opportunity for you to update your information so that you are receiving the most up-to-date information from your alma mater. Please take 10 minutes to call Publishing Concepts, Inc (PCI). Publishing Concepts is one of the top companies in the industry and is happy to assist you in updating your information and offering you the option to purchase the new alumni directory, which will be delivered in October or November of this year.
The price is higher than previous directories because of the work done by this outside company. We want to provide our alumni with a quality product, and we believe this is the best way to do so. The direct number to PCI’s customer service is 800.982.1590 if you have any questions.
Alumni Interview: Ralph Gilmore
The purpose of these interviews is to connect alumni with people who may have lost touch with old friends.
Sterling College: When did you graduate from Sterling College?
Ralph Gilmore: I didn’t graduate. I went to Sterling for two years – the fall of ’39 until spring ’41. I belonged to the UPC. Sterling was a member of that denomination and we had a couple of ministers at our home church who were graduates of Sterling. I knew Dr. Kelsey, the president at that time, and I respected him. He was a part of our church at one point. I also heard the Sterling College men’s vocal quartet at a nearby church. They put a little pressure on me and I verbally committed myself that night. I was the first member of my family to go to Sterling. My sister went to Sterling after I transferred to Iowa State. I wanted to farm and needed information about the Midwest near Illinois.
SC: What were your major and minor?
RG: I don’t remember having a major. I took quite a bit of science – biology and chemistry for two or three semesters. I also took astronomy from Dr. Bell as an elective.
SC: What activities were you involved with while on campus?
RG: I was a member of a Gospel team. There were six or eight of us who would go out on the weekend to a church and lead the service. I participated in the choir and theatre. I also had a doll and performed ventriloquist acts. During the choir’s intermission, I would bring out, Rudolph, and he and I would have a little conversation. I was in a couple of plays under the direction of Professor Root. We performed one of Wilder’s plays. I was also involved in intramurals like table tennis and shuffleboard.
SC: What residence hall did you live in?
RG: Do you know how old I am? I’m almost 90. The only dorm Sterling had at that time was Campbell, and that was for the women. The men stayed in homes of families around Sterling. I stayed with Reverend C.T. Carson, right near the campus.
SC: What are you doing now?
RG: I’m retired. I was farming until a few years ago. I still live on the farm.
SC: Where do you live?
RG: I live about 40 miles south of Moline, Ill., and about 12 miles from the Mississippi River in Illinois.
SC: Do you have children? What are their names? Did they go to Sterling College?
RG: We have three married daughters. Two of them graduated from Sterling and then continued on to get their master’s degrees. Our oldest daughter went to Sterling two years and then went to Iowa State. My daughter, Glennys Doane ’73, is on the Sterling College Board of Trustees; and another of my daughters, Linda Tank ’76, is on the National Advisory Council for the College. My grandsons, Ian Sparks and David Tank, are currently attending Sterling as students.
SC: How did your experience and time at Sterling College shape you?
RG: It was during my student days that I really became completely aware of the faith. I enjoyed the Bible core-curriculum classes. I was a Christian before I went to Sterling, but I became much stronger in my faith. I think it helped me to realize how important it was to be around Christian people and have them as your closest friends. What shaped me more than the school was the woman I married, Merna Vincent [fs43], who went to Sterling when I did. We’ve been married for more than 66 years. Apparently, we’re able to get along well.
SC: What did you enjoy or appreciate most about Sterling College?
RG: I appreciated the Christian company that I was with at the College. I probably appreciated it more later, when I was at Iowa State and had to find Christian friends. I enjoyed the chapel services. We went to chapel every day, as it was required. I felt that it was a good time to meditate and to learn from Dr. Kelsey, who spoke at almost every chapel. Faculty members were also exceptionally warm. In a big school, the professors are not nearly as close to their students. Faculty members have a lot of influence on whether students decide to stay or leave.
SC: How are you remaining involved on the campus?
RG: I was on the Board of Trustees for 39 years. I enjoyed it and appreciated the contacts that I made there, mostly the men and women who were on the Board. I felt fortunate to have been asked to be a member of the Board.
SC: Do you mind if we include an email address so people can contact you?
RG: I don’t mind. It’s email@example.com.
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Sterling College is a Christ-centered, four-year college located in Sterling, Kan., with a mission to develop creative and thoughtful leaders who understand a maturing Christian faith. For more information, visit www.sterling.edu.