In this issue…
CBU honors President Ronald L. Ellis for 20 years of leadership
California Baptist University honored President Ronald L. Ellis for two decades of service in a series of events this week under the theme “Celebrating 20 Years of Great Commission Leadership.”
Receptions by faculty, staff and students expressed thanks to Ellis for his vision for turning a small Baptist college into a thriving university.
Dr. Dawn Ellen Jacobs, CBU vice provost and professor of English, recalled that Ellis brought a plan to transform the institution when he became the fifth president of California Baptist College on Nov. 1, 1994.
“There were about 40 of us when he came in 1994,” Jacobs said. “We cared about our teaching and enjoyed relationships with our students, but President Ellis brought a sense of purpose and a vision for something more. Under his leadership, we matured as a faculty. We became a university.”
“I was present at the board of trustees’ meeting where he was elected,” said Dr. Mark A. Wyatt, vice president of marketing and communication. “All of us who have observed and have been part of the CBC/CBU family over the past two decades know the amazing impact that Ron Ellis has had on this place.”
Speaking at a reception with CBU staff, Ellis compared building the university to assembling a puzzle.
“Putting the pieces of the puzzle together is how we have built CBU,” he said. “There are the building blocks: getting the right people—getting champions to direct key programs and offices and efforts; getting the right programs to offer in the marketplace. Of course, getting the housing to come online, the food, the classrooms. It’s kind of like a big puzzle. It’s really difficult to do if you don’t know what the picture looks like.”
CBU’s board of trustees honored Ellis at a dinner at which about 120 friends of the university gathered, including present and former trustees, donors and community leaders.
Dr. Mary Crist, professor of education in the Division of Online and Professional Studies, brought remarks as a faculty member who has served throughout the Ellis presidency.
“Dr. Ellis is a man of faith and vision, an inspirational leader, and a man with a good sense of humor,” she said. “He came here because he felt God’s call to lead a Baptist college, especially one that was struggling. God equipped him with a vision needed to be a phenomenal “turn around” present. The results are obvious today.”
Mike Poma, recently elected chair of the board of trustees, commented that it is an exciting time to be part of such a vigorous enterprise.
“I am eager to see what unfolds at CBU in the days and years ahead as the Lord blesses this university through one of the most effective leaders in higher education today,” Poma said.
Walt Crabtree, immediate past chair of the board, announced gifts from the trustees to Ellis and remarked, “I have been looking forward to this evening for quite some time. As you know, it is an occasion that has been two decades in the making.”
Others who brought testimonials during the dinner were: Dr. E. Glen Paden, retired pastor and president emeritus of the California Baptist Foundation; Dr. Anthony Dockery, pastor of St. Stephen Baptist Church in La Puente and a former chair of the CBU board of trustees; and Dr. Ronald O. Loveridge, former mayor of Riverside and professor of political science at the University of California, Riverside.
Dr. E. Bruce Heilman, chancellor of the University of Richmond and a longtime friend and mentor of Ellis, was keynote speaker for the celebration dinner.
Ellis also will be honored by CBU alumni during homecoming festivities Nov. 7-8.
Under Ellis’ leadership, California Baptist College officially became California Baptist University in 1998. New schools and colleges have been established, including the School of Music, School of Nursing, College of Engineering, the College of Allied Health and the College of Architecture, Visual Arts and Design. Today, the university comprises 10 colleges and professional schools, offering 158 undergraduate majors/concentrations and 41 master’s degree programs.
Enrollment has grown from 808 in the fall of 1994 to 7,957 in the fall of 2014, more than a 900 percent increase. About 75 percent of CBC/CBU alumni graduated during the Ellis presidency.
To view the video retrospective of Ellis’ leadership, click here.
CBU celebrates Arbor Day by planting trees on campus
About 40 students, faculty and other volunteers celebrated Arbor Day by planting 10 trees at California Baptist University Nov. 15. It was CBU’s first Arbor Day observance.
Although Arbor Day traditionally occurs in the spring, CBU celebrated early to become part of Tree Campus USA, said Christopher Carlberg, senior environmental science major and president of the Environmental Science Club. Tree Campus USA is a program by the Arbor Day Foundation that recognizes campuses that effectively manage their trees, promote student involvement and develop connectivity with the community through forestry efforts. Carlberg said there will be another tree planting closer to Arbor Day on April 24. He was pleased with the turnout at the first event.
“It’s good to get out here and get everyone working,” Carlberg said. “Our goal as a club is to engage and learn about the environment. So if people can learn how to plant a tree, that’s a big plus.”
Though there were minor setbacks — mostly due to unplanned encounters of shovels and pipes — the group finished planting the Jacaranda and Chinese pistache trees in less than two hours.
The group was broken into teams of five or six students. Students with more experience were quick to help other groups with the project.
Dr. Bonjun Koo, professor of environmental science and adviser of the club, facilitated the effort. Through encouraging words and constant teaching moments, Koo kept his troops of volunteers going.
“All of us realize the importance of trees, and we are proud to participate in the first Arbor Day event on campus,” Koo said.
Danielle Brubaker, senior English major, become aware of the event through the campus-wide email.
“I got excited because I have never planted a tree before,” Brubaker said. “I wanted to participate in this so I could come back in 20 years and show my kids and friends that I helped plant these trees on campus.”
When the last tree was put into the ground, a prayer was said over the campus.
To Brubaker this event showed that “we have students who not only care about each other but care about God’s earth, who care about making it better and preserving it and showing the city of Riverside that our campus is gorgeous.”
CBU packs it up for Operation Christmas Child
Nearly 700 California Baptist University students and staff participated Nov. 13 in the Operation Christmas Child’s Packing Party.
Operation Christmas Child, sponsored by the Samaritan’s Purse ministry organization, sends shoebox-sized gift boxes to children in need. The 600 boxes that were packed during the CBU event will be sent to children in Africa, Asia and South America. The participants chose whether to pack a gift box for a boy or girl, then moved from table to table choosing donated items, which included school supplies, toys and clothing.
“It is great to hear stories of those who have received boxes, and you know you are really making a difference in their lives,” said Jayde Cordes, nursing senior, as she packed her box.
Other students had more personal reasons for participating.
“When I was in India over the summer for ISP, I met a girl who received a box through Operation Christmas Child,” said Rebecca Rex, an early childhood studies sophomore. “She still had the box sitting in her living room. I got to see the impact it can make.”
“This is one of my favorite fall events because it is for such a great cause, and it is rooted in a spirit of giving and being a part of something centered around God’s love,” said Julie Dobbins, Operation Christmas Child Committee head and event organizer. “There are a lot of people who helped with coordinating the event. It was really a campus-wide effort.”
Members of Associated Students of California Baptist University, Office of Spiritual Life, the men’s and women’s soccer teams and the baseball team were among the volunteers.
“This is my first time doing charity and it’s great,” said soccer player Daniel Westholm, a business freshman. “It’s nice to help, especially when you do it with your friends. It can be fun and nice at the same time.”
“It is not just a box. When a child gets a box of gifts, they also have the chance to hear about the gift of salvation and be a part of a discipleship program,” Dobbins said. “It is the first time a lot of them have heard the gospel, so we get to be a small part of spreading God’s word.”
CBU take time to remember veterans
Students, staff and faculty at California Baptist University took time on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, to remember those who have served.
The CBU orchestra performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey, a military veteran, took the stage.
“I want to recognize all the veterans tonight and thank you for your service, and applaud those families of veterans for their sacrifice,” said Bailey.
Organized by ASCBU, the event featured speeches by Bailey and CBU senior and veteran Jacob Williams, as well as a special remembrance of Marine Lance Cpl. Sean Neal.
Williams, who served in the Army for more than two years, reminded the crowd of the gratitude they owe to service members overseas and at home.
“As a veteran on this campus, I get to spend everyday by the men and women whom soldiers have fought and died for,” Williams said. “It is a reminder to me of the countless thousands who have paid the ultimate price, so I can walk on this campus and get an education.”
It took a team to organize the event, said Trent Ward, ASCBU executive president.
“I orchestrated a committee of those from ROTC, Community Life and the School of Music. It was a campus-wide effort,” he said. “It is important to honor those who deserve to be honored.”
ASCBU also provided T-shirts for Lancer veterans and gave others an opportunity to write a message to those in the service.
The night ended in a special remembrance of Marine Sean Neal who died Oct. 23 as the first casualty in the war against ISIS. Neal, a Riverside resident and La Sierra High School graduate, died in a non-combat-related incident in Baghdad.
“It was emotional. It touches your heart with gratitude for those who lost their lives and are losing their lives,” said Genesis Sandoval, a freshman business administration major. “It helps you understand what Veterans Day is all about.”
Homecoming and Family Weekend attracts 7,500 to campus
Homecoming at California Baptist University drew an estimated 7,500 alumni and friends to Homecoming and Family Weekend activities Nov. 7-8.
The Anniversary Reunion Tea held Friday afternoon recognized the classes of 1954, 1964 and 1989, who celebrated their 60th, 50th and 25th reunions.
The 2014 Alumni Dinner held that evening showcased the incredible growth of world-wide relations and partnerships under the leadership of Dr. Ronald L. Ellis during his 20 years of service to CBU.
Christian music artist Jonathan Thulin, a Swedish-American recording artist and songwriter, provided the entertainment.
Eva De La Rosa (’02 and ’07) received the Distinguished Service in Christian Ministry Award. De La Rosa has been helping women for years. She founded California’s first Christian Women’s Job Corps. She is executive director of the California Woman’s Missionary Union & Women’s Ministries. In this role, she oversees women’s ministries and missions groups for more than 2,200 churches, providing training and leadership development. She also serves as education director at New Hope Community Church in El Monte, where her husband is pastor.
Josh Moss (’03 and ’07) was honored as recipient of the Young Alumni Achievement Award. Moss started teaching with Alvord Unified School District in 2003. In 2007, he became program manager, overseeing after-school programs and activities for at-risk youth within Alvord USD.He has worked his way up and became principal at a middle school this past summer. He also teaches as an adjunct in CBU’s education credential program.
Sue (nee Rogers) Etheridge (’68) received the Alumna of the Year award. When she left CBU in 1968, she was one semester shy of graduating with a degree in Spanish. She returned to college to get her bachelor’s and then her master’s in art therapy. For the next 24 years, she worked in the federal correctional system as an art therapist, providing psychiatric assessment and treatment of inmates through the analysis of their artwork. Earlier this year, she was honored as an “Unsung Hero of Compassion” by the Dalai Lama Foundation. Today she works in the state prison system.
Dr. James Forkum (’69) was recognized as the recipient of the highest honor given by the CBU Alumni Association: the Lancer Medal for Lifetime Achievement. His career has included positions as professor, head coach, academic and athletic administrator, admissions director and recruiter at numerous colleges around the United States. He was inducted into CBU’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1987 for men’s basketball. In August 2014, Jim and his wife, Sherry (’73), began a new adventure at Schutz American School in Alexandria, Egypt. Jim will establish and oversee the first official interscholastic athletics league in Alexandria.
Saturday featured the fifth annual Block Party. The program included the artisan walk, live entertainment, gourmet food trucks, interactive booths and children’s activities.
Saturday night’s program included meeting former NFL players, including Kermit Alexander. It also featured the crowning of seniors Joshua Perez as Mr. CBU and Catherine Rice as Ms. CBU. More than 4,000 people cheered for the men’s and women’s intramural teams competing in the Fortuna Bowl. In a rematch from last year’s game, the Bus Drivers women’s team beat SWAT, 18-0, while in the men’s contest, The Webelos beat Fruit of the Boom, 8-0.
Chapel speakers share their story of hope
Jay and Katherine Wolf are on a mission to share their story of hope. They were on California Baptist University’s campus this week to share that story in chapel.
Jay and Katherine met at a college in Alabama, married after they graduated in 2004 and then moved to Southern California. In 2007, they had their son, James. Six months later, without any warning, Katherine had a massive stroke. She was 26.
“There are these moments in our lives where everything changes,” Jay said. “As much as we want to, we can’t ever go back. That day for us was April 21, 2008. That’s the kind of world we live in. Our ability to control it is just really an illusion. We don’t know where we’re going to end up this afternoon.”
Katherine was in a coma for two months and was in hospitals and rehabilitation for about two years. She had to re-learn how to swallow, to speak and to walk. She is deaf in one ear, has double vision and facial paralysis. Since her stroke, she has had 11 surgeries, including one for a brain aneurysm.
A low moment for Katherine came about seven months after her stroke.
“I remember thinking, God made a mistake here. This isn’t what was intended. Surely God messed up, because God would never have allowed this in my life. This could not be God’s plan,” she said. Then the Bible verses she had learned since she was a child came to her. “In that deep dark moment of wondering, the deep truth of the Lord was impressed on me. I almost heard the ridiculousness of that. God doesn’t make mistakes.”
Jay and Katherine have started a full-time ministry called Hope Heals. They want to share their story of hope and joy with people and point them to the kingdom of God, they said.
“Maybe you don’t have it figured out, you don’t have a job yet, or you don’t know what’s next for you. None of us do,” Jay said. “There’s a great hope in that. You don’t have to have it all figured out. God is taking us on a completely different trajectory than we ever thought our lives could be, and yet it’s so much better.”
The School of Christian Ministries hosted Dr. Robert Yarbrough, professor of New Testament at Covenant Seminary, for its first annual School of Christian Ministries Lecture Series. Yarbrough is the past president of the Evangelical Theological Society and has authored many books, including 1-3 John in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Baker, 2008).
Dr. Anthony Chute, associate dean and professor of church history, contributed a chapter titled Life and Ministry of William Rogers for the book, A Noble Company, edited by Terry Wolever (Particular Baptist Press, 2014). Chute also served as moderator of the Baptist studies session for the Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in San Diego Nov. 19-21. In addition, several faculty members presented papers, including Dr. Chris Morgan, dean and professor of theology: Baptists and the unity of the church; Dr. Adam Co, associate professor of theology: Understanding the doctrine of union with Christ within the kingship motif of scripture; Dr. Scott Key, professor of philosophy: Toward an epistemology of value: Wisdom and trust in Aristotle’s ethics and the Gospel of Mark; and Dr. Greg Cochran, director of applied theology: The priority of ministry to the persecuted church: A reorientation of the paradigm for biblical justice
Dr. Jeff Cate, professor of New Testament, published a book review on Stanley Porter’s How We Got the New Testament: Transmission, Translation in the September 2014 edition of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society.
Dr. Mitch Hovey, director of the M.S. in Education program and professor of education for Online and Professional Studies, and Cammy Purper, assistant professor of early childhood education for Online and Professional Studies, were keynote speakers at the Division of Children and Family Services 4th annual Early Childhood Education Conference held Nov. 7th at the Riverside Convention Center.
The School of Nursing’s Chi Mu honorary society chapter has officially been recognized by Sigma Theta Tau International. The endeavor was a three-year process that culminated in a vote at the STTI Biennial Conference in Indianapolis, Ind., representing more than 490 chapters in 85 countries. Eighty-three CBU students were inducted into the Chi Mu Chapter on Oct. 24. Honorees demonstrate both academic and professional success and must be among the top students in their class. Sarah Divine-Cooter (’14) was named the new charter president.
CBU faculty and staff won four awards at the Public Relations Society of America, Inland Empire Chapter’s Polaris Awards ceremony Nov. 19. Dr. Mary Ann Pearson, associate professor of public relations for Online and Professional Studies; Dr. Patricia Hernandez, assistant professor of communication studies for OPS, and CBU/Online alumnus Robbie Silver won a Capella Award in the community relations category for the internship program with the Riverside Downtown Partnership. CBU’s Division of Marketing and Communication received three Capella Awards: one in the multi-media communications category for the We Believe in Excellence promotional video (http://vimeo.com/86330682); in the feature story category, Our Biggest Fan (http://issuu.com/cbu_publications/docs/v58_i2_roundtable_magazine_winter14); and in the annual report category, the 2013 Scholarship & Service publication (http://www.calbaptist.edu/explore-cbu/news-events/scholarship-service/).
CBU student Jonathan Truitt, a senior accounting major, was honored Nov. 7 by the California Society of Certified Public Accountants for outstanding scholastic achievement during the Inland Empire Chapter’s student leadership and scholarship event at Chaffey College in Chino.
The College of Allied Health hosted Dr. Bernard Hennig Nov. 10 as part of the continuing Distinguished Lecture Series. Hennig is director of the University of Kentucky’s Superfund Research Center. He also served as a guest lecturer to two nutrition and food sciences courses and engaged in dialogue related to research with the faculty of the College of Allied Health.
Leontine Armstrong, an adjunct professor of English, presented a paper titled Diana’s Emotions: Transformations in Transition for the Goddess at the Pacific and Ancient Modern Language Association Conference, which met in Riverside Oct. 31-Nov. 2.
Dr. Bonjun Koo, professor of environmental science, served as a judge for the student competition posters session for the wetland soils division at the International Annual Meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America and the Soil Science Society of America in Long Beach Nov. 2-5.
Dr. Tim Luther, professor of political science, presented a paper titled Ghostly demarcations: Derridean specters of justice in Clint Eastwood’s westerns at the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association Annual Conference, which met in Riverside Oct. 31-Nov. 2.
Heather Hamilton-Stilwell, assistant professor of journalism, presented Don’t miss these stories! Covering those who live on the Margins and Athletes who pray: Sports reporting that goes beyond the court or field at the College Media Association/Associated Collegiate Press Conference in Philadelphia Oct. 29-Nov. 2.
Dr. Daniel Prather, professor of aviation science, provided airport operations training at the Redmond (Ore.) Municipal Airport Oct. 29-31. In addition, Prather facilitated the airport’s annual table top emergency exercise, which was based on an active shooter in the airport terminal scenario.
Dr. Jeffrey Barnes, dean of academic services and associate professor of humanities, made a presentation to the Corona Rotary Oct. 31 titled Fear not: Lessons from the Salem witch trials. He also presented a paper titled The enrollment and retention connection at the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers’ Strategic Enrollment Management Conference in Los Angeles Oct. 28. CBU’s comprehensive retention plan, which Barnes co-wrote with Steven Neilsen, director of student retention, was the focus of the presentation.
Dr. Melissa Croteau, associate professor of film studies and literature, chaired a panel titled Lights and shadows: The challenges of teaching film in the Christian academy at the 2014 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture in Waco, Texas Oct. 25. In addition, Michael Eaton, associate professor of film studies and film production, served on a panel titled Integrity: Integrating faith within Hollywood careers.
Male employees in financial aid are participating in “Movember.” Each November they grow mustaches to raise funds and awareness for men’s health. The ladies of the office contribute to men’s health by donating funds; in turn, the men shave.
Dr. Dirk Davis, academic dean for Online and Professional Studies; Dr. Riste Simnjanovski, assistant academic dean for OPS; Dr. Tom Schneider, assistant professor of English for OPS; and Dr. Mary Ann Pearson, associate professor of public relations for OPS, represented CBU at the Palm Desert Century bicycle ride Nov. 14. Pearson set a personal best for distance at 32 miles, while Davis, Simnjanovski and Schneider completed the metric century route (100 km., 62 miles) in less than four hours.
Jennifer DeCuir, receptionist for University Advancement married Brandon Ellis on Oct. 25 in Laguna Beach.
Julie Goodman-Bowling, assistant professor of anthropology, and her husband David welcomed a daughter, Elizabeth Grace, on Oct. 6. The baby weighed 6 lbs. 10 ozs.
Dr. Matthew Rickard, associate professor of bioengineering, and his wife Christina welcomed a son Oct. 21. Rocco Sebastian Michael Rickard weighed 6 lbs. 5 ozs. and measured 18 inches. Rocco’s siblings include Anthony, age 6, and Sienna, age 4.