Thursday, April 19, 2012

Juniata College president Tom Kepple to retire.

Juniata President Thomas Kepple
Photo by: courtesy of Juniata College
Thomas R. Kepple, under whose presidency the campus of Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., was transformed by an ambitious building plan and the most successful capital campaign in the college's history, plans to retire May 31, 2013. Kepple was named president July 1, 1998, and will have finished his 15th year leading Juniata by 2013.

Kepple came to Juniata from the University of the South, where he specialized in overseeing large-scale construction and renovation projects and longterm strategic planning. In the 15 years he led Juniata, the college's central campus has been reimagined, renovated, and in some cases rebuilt to consolidate arts, sports, and classroom instruction around a central quadrangle. Among the transformative changes:
  • Construction of the 88,000-square-foot William J. Von Liebig Center for Science.
  • Construction of the renovated and improved Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts.
  • Renovation of historic LEED-certified Founders Hall, the 1879 building that was Juniata's first campus building.
  • Closing of 18th Street, which established a central quad and central walkway that links almost all of the main buildings on campus.
  • Creation of a new multimillion-dollar Raystown Field Station, transforming the original field station into a major instructional site for the environmental science program.
Kepple points to Juniata's student accomplishments as his personal touchstone, including a marked uptick in national and international awards received by Juniata students. Juniata's athletic teams also have been successful during Kepple's tenure, earning six of Juniata's seven national championships in the past 15 years.

The completion in 2005 of Juniata's largest capital campaign, the Uncommon Outcomes Campaign, raised more than $103 million, making it the largest capital campaign in Juniata's history. Last year, Kepple also initiated the "Changing Lives to Change the World" endowment initiative, which is focused on raising Juniata's endowment to more than $100 million.

Academic programs have been significantly expanded, including reinstating a theater department and reconfiguring an existing computer science program into a more widely specialized information technology program. Additionally, renovation of the college's former science center into Brumbaugh Academic Center transformed one wing into Dale Hall, a wing designed to generate collaboration and synergy between the business, IT, and communication departments.

The college's business department introduced a major program in entrepreneurial instruction, much of it focused on the Juniata Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and the Bob and Eileen Sill Business Incubator.

Juniata also embarked on two major initiatives to diversify the college's student body demographically and geographically. First, the college started a Global Engagement Initiative that established a Global Community Living Community, international student clubs, introduction of more international courses into the college's core curriculum, an international language outreach program and helped establish international student exchanges. Secondly, the enrollment office made a concentrated effort to expand its recruiting of domestic minorities. Today about 12 percent of the student body represent minority groups.

Many of Juniata's innovative academic programs and improvements to the college's infrastructure have made news on a national scale, which subsequently has helped raise the college's national profile. The Princeton Review noted in 2010 that "Juniata College has catapulted from regional to national status in the last decade."

Kepple and James Lakso, Juniata provost, also oversaw a faculty turnover of nearly 60 percent during the Kepple presidency. As a result the college dramatically expanded successful academic programs in theater, environmental science (now Juniata's fastest growing major), and information technology. Juniata also added faculty in digital media, art, and instrumental music. The college also added or hired new faculty to bolster the institution's established strengths in the sciences, business, religion, peace and conflict studies, and history.

President Kepple is founding chair of the Tuition Plan Consortium, vice chair of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's higher education transition team, founding chair of the new Landmark NCAA Division III athletic conference, and has chaired the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the New York Times/Chronicle of Higher Education President's Cabinet, NCAA Division III Presidents Advisory Committee, Brethren Colleges Abroad, Princeton Review (Advisory Board), He was awarded the Westminster College Outstanding Alumni Citation in October 2000. In 2011 he was awarded the honorary degree doctor of humane letters from Elizabethtown (Pa.) College.

-- John Wall of the Juniata College staff provided this release.

Source:4/19/2012 Newsline

May 6 is Youth Sunday

May 6 is Youth Sunday in the Church of the Brethren. The theme for 2012 is "Bridging the Gap" (Romans 15:5-7). Worship resources along with a poster, congregational activity guide, bulletin covers, and much more are available to download from

Source:4/19/2012 Newsline

"Empty Bowls" Dinner

Stone Church of the Brethren in Huntingdon, Pa., on April 13 hosted an “Empty Bowls” dinner featuring hundreds of bowls created by the Juniata College art department. The dinner raised money for various Huntingdon County food banks. According to a release from the college, participants got “not only soup and bread, but also a hand-made ceramic soup bowl from the college's renowned pottery program.” Sponsors included the Mud Junkies, the college's ceramics club, the Art Alliance, PAX-O, the college's peace studies club, and the Catholic Council. A 4-H group and a Girl Scout troop also created bowls for the event. The release noted this is the sixth year Juniata has been involved in Empty Bowls, a nationwide event designed to focus attention on world hunger.

Source:4/19/2012 Newsline

Manchester College Church Matching Grant Program

Manchester College’s Student Financial Services has shared a notice about its Church Matching Grant Program. The college is located in North Manchester, Ind. Churches planning to participate in the program need to access the recipient roster for the 2012-13 academic year, the notice said. Go to . Click on “Church Matching Recipient Roster.” Complete and submit the roster no later than June 1 to be guaranteed Manchester College matching funds. The notice asked churches to be aware that they must follow IRS regulations regarding contributions that flow through charitable organizations, and that “this program is not intended to allow families to pass money through a church so that their child can receive the matching scholarship.” For more information contact Student Financial Services at 260-982-5066 or

Source:4/19/2012 Newsline

Bridgewater College Presidential Search Committee

Bridgewater (Va.) College has announced a search committee for its next president. President George Cornelius announced March 6 that he will let his contract with the college expire at the end of this academic year. Executive vice president Roy W. Ferguson Jr. will serve as interim president. The search committee includes Judy Mills Reimer, former general secretary of the Church of the Brethren, along with chair G. Steven Agee, judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; Debra M. Allen, certified public accountant and treasurer of Sidney B. Allen Jr. Builder Inc.; William S. Earhart, certified public accountant and treasurer of Heatwole/Miller real estate management and development company; Michael K. Kyles M.D., orthopedic surgeon on the staff of Halifax Regional Hospital; Robert I. Stolzman, partner in the law firm of Adler, Pollock & Sheehan; James H. Walsh, partner with the law firm of McGuireWoods LLP; W. Steve Watson Jr., Lawrence S. and Carmen C. Miller Chair of Ethics and associate professor of philosophy and religion; and Kathy G. Wright, logistics coordinator for Philip Morris USA Inc.

Source:4/19/2012 Newsline

Bridgewater College Alumni Awards

In more news from Bridgewater College, five alumni including three Church of the Brethren members will be honored as part of the annual Alumni Weekend celebration April 20-22. At the annual banquet of the Ripples Society on April 20, Dr. J. Paul Wampler (class of 1954) and Doris Cline Egge (1946) will receive the 2012 Ripples Society Medals. At the Alumni Awards ceremony on April 21, the Distinguished Alumna Award will be presented to Dr. Elizabeth Mumper (1976). The Young Alumna Award will be presented to Emila J. Sutton (2002). The West-Whitelow Humanitarian Award will be presented to Dr. Kenneth M. Heatwole (1979).

Source:4/19/2012 Newsline

McPherson College in Final Four Appearance

The McPherson (Kan.) College Bulldogs recently celebrated a first Final Four appearance. “With a come-from-behind victory with less than a minute to go against Dordt College in the NAIA DII Men’s Basketball Tournament, the Men’s Basketball Team logged the first Final Four appearance for Bulldogs Basketball,” said an e-mail newsletter for McPherson alumni. “They lost to the No. 1 seed Northwood University in the semifinals, but achieved a run that will go into the record books of MC Athletics.” Watch the comeback at

Source:4/19/2012 Newsline

Juniata College Film Wins Prize

“The thing to remember about zombies is that they're brain-dead hulks prone to staggering around aimlessly,” reports a release from Juniata College, “so it's doubly amazing that a group of Juniata College filmmakers were able to enliven the living dead long enough to complete a movie that won the college a $12,000 prize.” Juniata earned first place recognition for "Showtime," a zombie film created for "Show Us Your ETC," a contest sponsored by ETC Inc. (Electronic Theatre Controls). The company specializes in theater lighting. For first prize the firm bestowed a theatrical lighting board on Juniata's film team, which will control lighting and effects lighting in the Suzanne von Liebig Theatre. The equipment is worth more than $12,000. "This was filmed right before finals in December so many people on campus were walking around like zombies anyway," says Gus Redmond, a sophomore from Bethesda, Md., who originated the project when he discovered the online contest on the ETC website.

Source:4/19/2012 Newsline

Juniata College: "Acting Together on the World Stage"

Several Juniata College professors and a documentary film producer will discuss how theatrical performances and dramatic rituals can become a tool for peace and resistance in regions afflicted by violence, poverty and oppression. The panel discussion takes place after screening of the documentary "Acting Together on the World Stage" at 7 p.m. April 25 in Neff Lecture Hall on the Juniata campus in Huntingdon, Pa. The film and panel discussion is free and open to the public. The event is sponsored by the Baker Center for Peace and Conflict Studies and moderated by Celia Cook-Huffman, the Burkholder Professor of Conflict Resolution.

Source:4/19/2012 Newsline

Thursday, April 05, 2012

2012 Senator Paul Simon Award

Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., is one of five institutions to receive the 2012 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization from the National Association of International Educators. A release reports that Juniata will be profiled in the upcoming NAFSA publication, "Internationalizing the Campus 2012: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities." Members of Juniata's international office will accept the award at a Capitol Hill event during International Education Week in November. Juniata programs and initiatives that were recognized by the association include establishing a Global Engagement Initiative that led to the formation of an intercultural learning assessment committee and the Global Village Living and Learning Community, and the dedication of faculty and staff to provide students with transformative international experiences such as teaching and advising international students and traveling to international campuses for study-abroad or summer programs.

Source:4/5/2012 Newsline

2012 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

In addition to Bridgewater (Va.) College, two more Brethren-related colleges report being named to the 2012 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll: Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., and Elizabethtown (Pa.) College. The honor roll reflects all service done by colleges in the previous year, and is given by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Source:4/5/2012 Newsline

Bridgewater College Celebrated Founder’s Day on April 3

Bridgewater (Va.) College celebrated Founder’s Day on April 3, marking 132 years since the founding of the school. The college presented three awards to faculty: James D. Bowling, associate professor of mathematics, received the Ben and Janice Wade Outstanding Teaching Award; Barbara H. Long, chair and assistant professor of health and human sciences, received the Martha B. Thornton Faculty Recognition Award; and history professor Brian M. Kelley, associate professor of psychology, received the Faculty Scholarship Award.

Source:4/5/2012 Newsline

Middle Pennsylvania District Youth

Youth in Middle Pennsylvania District are participating in a “Soup Kitchen and Service Workcamp” in Washington, D.C., on April 15-17.

Source:4/5/2012 Newsline

Monday, April 02, 2012

Speakers at National Young Adult Conference

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
June 18-22, 2012

Who will be joining us at NYAC 2012?

  • Greg Davidson Laszakovits

    What makes Greg tick? Jesus as prophet. Vibrant communities. Peace and justice. And letting the world's cares and worries fade to the background while screaming downhill on his mountain bike. "Now, those are God moments!"

    Before pastoring in E-town, Greg consulted church starts in Brazil and directed legislative affairs for the Church of the Brethren in Washington, DC. An Arizona native, he studied History and Political Science at Northern Arizona University, Peace Studies at Bethany Seminary (MDiv), and is a BVS alum.

  • Tracy Stoddart Primozich

    Tracy Stoddart Primozich is the director of admissions at Bethany Theological Seminary, and has been serving in her position since October of 2011. Tracy is a McPherson, and BVS Alum. Tracy is graduate of Bethany Seminary and a licensed minister in the Church of the Brethren, holding a master of divinity degree with emphases in youth and young adult studies and peace studies.

  • Josh Brockway

    Josh Brockway has been the Church of the Brethren's director of Spiritual Life and Discipleship since Jan. 4, 2010. He grew up in East Nimishillen Church of the Brethren in Canton, Ohio. Josh participated in Ministry Summer Service in 1998. He earned his undergraduate degree from Manchester College, and his first master's degree from Bethany Theological Seminary. He and his wife live in Elgin, Ill., with their son and baby daughter.
Due to unforeseen circumstances Paul Alexander is no longer able to join us for NYAC.

Questions? Feel free to contact Carol Fike, NYAC Coordinator, 847-429-4386 or

See you then!

Register online now!

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