WNIT Features Grace Engineering Program

March 29th, 2018

WNIT (PBS-South Bend, Ind.) featured Grace College’s new engineering program on its March 28 “Education Counts Michiana” episode.  Beginning in fall, 2018, Grace will offer a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Management and a Bachelor of Science in Design Engineering Technology.  For more information about the new engineering department at Grace College, visit here.  To watch the WNIT story, click below.

New Study Reveals CCCU Schools Generate $60 Billion Annually

March 26th, 2018

The following is a March 26, 2018 press release issued by the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), of which Grace College is a member. 

A groundbreaking new study from Philadelphia-based consulting firm Econsult Solutions, Inc. analyzes the significant economic impact of Christian higher education in the United States. Commissioned by the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), the study calculates the impact on the national economy of its 142 Christian colleges and universities across the country, collectively educating 445,000 students, employing 72,000 faculty and staff, and serving 3.5 million alumni around the world. The study finds that through their operations, capital investments and additional alumni earning power, these institutions generate more than $60 billion in economic impact each year (equivalent to $166 million generated per day for the U.S. economy).

At a time when higher education is under heavy scrutiny for its value proposition, the study’s findings are particularly pertinent—not only do Christian institutions profoundly affect the lives of students through their shared commitment to advancing faith and intellect for the common good, they also benefit the national economy and deliver a significant return on investment to the federal government.

“Christian colleges and universities provide a unique and valuable place for students to discern their vocation through the study of their chosen discipline,” says CCCU President Shirley V. Hoogstra. “They also develop a deeper relationship with God, with their peers and professors, and with their surrounding communities. Our rigorous academics and educational missions shape students who act for the public good—often at a cost to themselves—out of a love for Jesus Christ and for the world around them. The results from this report are powerful and illuminate a bright future for Christian higher education.”

“This report helps us understand the role of Christian colleges and universities, not only for faith-based scholarship and personal spiritual formation but also as a major economic engine in the U.S., supporting local jobs and generating federal tax revenues,” adds Lee Huang, Senior Vice President & Principal of Econsult Solutions, Inc. “Christian higher education’s value proposition to its participants, as well as to community and society, is very strong. Our nation and our communities need more of what these institutions do, which is act as anchors of economic activity, serve and engage with their immediate neighbors, and add intelligent and service-oriented graduates to tomorrow’s workforce.”

Key Findings from Report:

• CCCU institutions are responsible for more than $60 billion in economic impact each year.
• For every $1 in federal grant money a student receives, CCCU institutions provide $5 in aid to that student through grants and schol­arships.
• The student loan default rate for graduates from CCCU institutions (6.3%) is nearly half the national average (11.5%).
• Even though they are tax exempt, CCCU institutions still generate $9.7 billion in federal tax revenue each year. For every $1 in federal grant money a student receives, CCCU institutions generate more than $20 in federal tax revenue.
• 1 in 3 CCCU students are first-generation college students.
• 50% of CCCU students come from families that make less than $50,000 per year.
• While approximately one in four college students across the country volunteer, more than one in three CCCU students participate in community service while enrolled. CCCU students perform an estimated 5.4 million community service hours per year.

This report was generously sponsored by America’s Christian Credit Union with support from Fieldstead and Company.

For additional information and to access the full report, visit cccu.org/economic-impact.

Grace College Senior’s Book Teaches Acceptance to Local Students

March 26th, 2018

Grace College senior and children’s book author and illustrator Asia Weimer shows Jefferson Elementary School second-graders how to make an illustration for their own writing. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union.

The following story was published on March 23, 2018, in the Warsaw Times-Union.  

A Grace College senior’s children’s book this week helped Warsaw Community Schools elementary students learn about accepting others’ differences.

Asia Weimer’s book, “Apartment Friends,” started as an art project at Grace. Weimer wrote the 36-page book and did all the illustrations, then had it self-published.

“It’s a story about these two friends that meet and they don’t share a common language, so they have to problem-solve how they become friends even though they can’t communicate,” Weimer said. “It’s a sweet story about empathy, getting to know somebody.”

The characters come together by drawing pictures together. The languages the characters speak are left ambiguous so children who read it can apply it to their own circumstances.

The little boy in the book, Everest, is modeled after Weimer’s younger brother, who is growing up in Thailand with their parents. She said he’s having the same situations in real life as her characters do.

“He speaks English at home with my parents, but when he goes out he’s often playing with Thai children, and so they kind of just come up with their own ways of playing together without that common denominator of language, which is really cool,” Weimer explained.

“Kids, from what I’ve seen, are just naturals at this, and I think as adults we … have a harder time because we do most of our communications verbally. But maybe we can take some cues from them and learn from that. We shouldn’t necessarily just put up boundaries right away, knowing there’s a difference between two people, but overcoming that and finding common ground is super important,” she said.

A GoFundMe page generated more than enough money to have 100 copies printed in December. Only a couple are left.

“I went into this thinking, ‘I’ll get a copy of books printed just for my class, submit them, get my grade,’ but as I worked on it more, I was like, ‘Wow, this could actually turn into something I actually want to distribute,’” she said.

Grace College senior Asia Weimer (back row, center), who wrote, illustrated and self-published “Apartment Friends,” poses with Jefferson Elementary second-graders in Tami Williamson’s class, along with (back row, L to R) Grace College Assistant Professor Richard Wanjema, Warsaw Community Schools Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert, Grace College Associate Professor of Education Dr. Rachael Hoffert and Williamson. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union.

Her Grace art professor, Richard Wanjema, encouraged her to have a “big” number of copies printed. Weimer found the number of people supporting her effort encouraging and gave most of the donors a copy of the book as a thank-you. The remaining copies she’s been selling online.

Wanjema said Weimer is a real “go-getter” and self-motivated, so it wasn’t hard to encourage her.

“My main concern was finishing the project in the time scope we had, which was a very few weeks,” he said. “So we kind of debated and talked about the colors so it’s manageable, and then leaving the story to be able to shine and bring out what she wanted to talk about,” Wanjema said.

“Dr. (Rachael) Hoffert was helping me with the script because … I wanted it to be read by like a first- or second-grade audience pretty easily, maybe with some help. There’s a couple of words in here that are a little more difficult. She was great in helping me do that,” Weimer said, adding that it helped her apply what she was learning in her art and literacy classes at Grace.

On Wednesday, Weimer read her book and explained the process of making it to second-grade students at Madison and Leesburg elementaries. She then helped students create their own illustrations for papers they were writing. Thursday, she did the same at Jefferson and Claypool elementaries.

“The kids’ response has been phenomenal,” said Hoffert, who is an associate professor of education at Grace. “They’re able to sort of pick out the theme, and then they’re able to create a piece of artwork just like a real author does. They see that process.”

She said Weimer’s book promotes acceptance even with two kids not speaking the same language. She shared that with her husband, WCS Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert, “and he was like, ‘That’s what we want to promote in the schools.’”

To read the complete article, click here.

Grace College Offers Kauffman FastTrac for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

March 14th, 2018

Do you have an idea for a new business? Or, do you already have a small business and wonder what to do next? Kauffman FastTrac is a flexible course with a solid framework to support aspiring and new entrepreneurs. The Grace College School of Business and the William P. Gordon Institute for Enterprise Development, a legacy FastTrac affiliate, is pleased to offer the 10-week course this spring.

Kauffman FastTrac will meet from 6 – 9 p.m. each Thursday night from March 22 to May 31 in the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center, 610 Wooster Rd., Winona Lake. It will be taught by three Grace College School of Business faculty who are certified Kauffman instructors. The cost for the 10-week program is just $75.

“We are very excited to offer this outstanding class to the community and hope that many will take advantage of the opportunity to become equipped to own and operate a business,” said Dr. Alan Grossnickle, director of the William P. Gordon Institute for Enterprise Development and associate professor of business at Grace College. “The Kauffman program has a terrific reputation and is sure to change the lives of some – if not all – participants.”

Kauffman FastTrac was created by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the largest foundation in the world devoted to entrepreneurship. Mr. Kauffman was an entrepreneur and humanitarian who was committed to helping young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, get a quality education. FastTrac was birthed from his belief that building enterprise is one of the most effective ways to realize individual promise and spur the economy.

This immersive 10-week course is designed to provide information, tips, exercises, and tools to help aspiring entrepreneurs think through all aspects of their business idea and set them on the road to success. Throughout the class, students will:

• Discover how your business concept matches your personal vision.
• Align your business concept with a real market opportunity.
• Find your target market and discover your competitive advantage.
• Determine the unique features and benefits of your product or service.
• Learn how to set realistic financial goals for your business.
• Define your company’s brand and marketing.
• Learn how to manage business functions and develop an organizational culture.
• Determine the steps to profitability.
• Identify potential sources of funding for your business.
• Launch your business.

To register for FastTrac at Grace College from March 22 – May 31, or for more information, contact Dr. Alan Grossnickle at 574-372-5100, ext. 6091 or grossnae@grace.edu.

Grace College Wind Ensemble to Present ‘Greetings from Europe’

March 14th, 2018

The Grace College Wind Ensemble will present “Greetings from Europe” on Friday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m., in the Winona Heritage Room, 901 Park Ave., Winona Lake. The free concert will feature well-loved pieces from some of Europe’s most famous composers.

Mr. Eric Criss directs the 70-member ensemble, comprised of the area’s finest local, student and professional musicians. According to Criss, “Audience members will delight in hearing such favorites as ‘Scheherazade,’ ‘The Pines of Rome,’ Holst’s ‘Second Suite in F’ and highlights from ‘The Sound of Music.’” The concert will also feature trumpet soloist Barry Frisinger in “La Virgen de la Macarena.”

The concert will include several familiar pieces that are sure to entertain the entire family. “‘Greetings from Europe’ is a multigenerational experience you won’t want to miss,” Criss said.

Grace College Welcomes Prospective Students, Parents to Lancer Days

March 9th, 2018

Grace College invites prospective students and their parents to attend Lancer Day – a day designed to introduce the school to families looking for the right college fit for their student. Upcoming Lancer Days will take place Friday, March 23 and Friday, April 6 at Grace College, 200 Seminary Dr., Winona Lake, Ind.

Lancer Days begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. followed by a student and faculty panel discussion. Then participants discover what Grace College has to offer by attending chapel, touring campus, and eating lunch at Alpha Dining Commons. The day officially concludes with a faculty fair at 2 p.m. However, students and parents may choose to take advantage of complementary tickets to sporting events during their visit. In addition, high school juniors and seniors may spend one night in a residence hall.

“At Lancer Days, students survey the academic departments and majors at Grace, learn about student activities and clubs, discover financial assistance opportunities and see first-hand how Grace College is making quality, Christian education attractive and affordable,” said Cindy Sisson, vice president of enrollment management and marketing at Grace.

During their visit, families will hear about new academic programs and see current construction projects on campus. Grace College has recently launched majors in agribusiness, engineering, chemistry, nursing and worship arts. In all, Grace College offers more than 70 undergraduate degrees in both traditional four-year and accelerated three-year degree formats.

Students and parents will see the new Dr. Dane A. Miller Science Complex which is scheduled for completion this summer. The complex is part of the $37 million comprehensive Aspire Campaign for Grace College & Seminary. To date, more than $32.5 million has been raised.

To register for a Lancer Day or to schedule an individual campus tour, go to www.grace.edu/visit, email visit@grace.edu or call 866-974-7223.

Former Grace Wind Ensemble Director Headed to Carnegie Hall

March 8th, 2018

The following is an article from Times Union Online, published March 7.   Martin Becker directed the Grace College Community Wind Ensemble for 15 years.  He retired last year.

Leiff Hall (L) and Martin Becker. Photo from Times Union Online.

Retired Grace College and Warsaw Community High School band director Marty Becker will be a guest conductor next week at Carnegie Hall.

Becker was asked by one of his former students, Leif Hall, to share this experience. Hall graduated from WCHS in 1994 and started in band on trumpet under Becker’s mentorship in the fifth grade. Hall also came back to Warsaw Schools and taught middle school band for a couple of years.

Becker said, “There is no greater honor or reward in teaching than seeing a former student achieve success. I am so proud of Leif and all he is accomplishing with his outstanding band program in Houston. I am thrilled and honored that I get to share this experience with my former student.”

Hall teaches at Tanglewood Middle School, an International Baccalaureate school and one of 287 public schools in the Houston Texas Independent School District. The school serves 811 students in sixth through eighth grade in the Galleria Aria of Houston. Under Hall’s direction, the Tanglewood Band program has grown in membership and has earned high ratings at all music festivals since 2011, according to a press release from Becker.

The Carnegie Hall Performance is the result of submitting an audition recording. Bands, orchestras and choirs from across the nation audition to perform each spring. The Directors Choice Premier Performance Invitational is a once-in-a-lifetime concert event at the world-class venue, according to the release.

The performance will be at 8 p.m. March 14 at the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall, New York City.

March Madness Descends Upon Winona Lake

March 6th, 2018

March Madness is fast approaching Kosciusko County. Grace College is set to host the 2018 NCCAA Div. I Men’s and Women’s Basketball National Championships this month.

The unique national event, held March 14-17 at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center, features 16 premier men’s and women’s college basketball teams in the nation. The MOCC will host 24 basketball games over four days, culminating with Championship Saturday to crown both a men’s and women’s national champion.

Wednesday and Thursday of the national tournament consists of eight games apiece, tipping off at 8:30 a.m. and running until after 10 p.m. Last year’s tournaments saw Colorado Christian take the men’s national title and Greenville (Ill.) win the women’s banner.

Tickets for the event are $30 for a four-day pass or $10 for a one-day pass. Children and students can purchase a discounted $5 one-day pass. Call (574) 372-5100 ext. 6266 for ticket or sponsor information. Visit the official tournament website at www.GCLancers.com/nccaa for more information.

On Tuesday, Grace will host the national tournament banquet for participating teams. The speaker this year is Indiana basketball legend Kent Benson, the 1976 NCAA champion from Indiana University and former No. 1 NBA draft pick. Banquet tickets to hear Benson speak are available by calling Grace’s athletic office.

This year’s tournaments are unique because the NCCAA is celebrating its 50th year in existence. Additionally, this marks Grace’s 10th straight year hosting a national basketball championship.

The Kern Family Foundation Grants $200,000 to Grace College & Seminary

March 6th, 2018

Grace College & Seminary is pleased to announce it is the recipient of a $200,000 grant from The Kern Family Foundation. The grant will be used to expand Grace’s blended seminary degree program which allows students to earn a bachelor of arts in biblical studies and a master’s in divinity in five years.

The Kern Family Foundation, based in Waukesha, Wisc., endeavors to enrich lives by developing the formation of good character, increasing educational achievement, promoting the value of work and instilling an entrepreneurial mindset.

Betsy Mackett, program coordinator at The Kern Family Foundation, said “The unique seminary program at Grace aligns very well with our mission as well as our intentional focus on systematic change and long-term programs. We believe students who complete the five-year degree program at Grace College & Seminary will be well-equipped with the academic skills and virtues necessary to make meaningful contributions in the world.”

The $200,000 grant, which will be dispersed in $40,000 increments each year for five years, will provide for the hiring of a part-time program director, marketing efforts to promote the program, scholarship dollars and spiritual formation for students.

“We are thrilled to have earned the support of The Kern Family Foundation,” said Dr. Jeff Gill, vice president and dean of Grace Theological Seminary. “This grant will allow us to take the five-year blended degree to the next level, to reach many more prospective students and ultimately make a significant impact for the Kingdom of God.”

For more information about the Grace College & Seminary blended seminary degree program, call 574-372-5100, ext. 6438.


Grace wins NCCAA Midwest Region

March 5th, 2018

Lady Lancer Kyannah Stull

In the final tuneup before the NCCAA National Championships, Grace’s women’s basketball team beat Concordia 75-69 on Feb. 28.

The Lady Lancers (18-15) will enter the national tournament as the champion of the NCCAA Midwest Region. Grace hosts NCCAA Nationals at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center from March 14-17.

The complete tournament field, game schedule and brackets for the national tournament will be revealed on March 11.

Four players scored in double figures for Grace, led by 16 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals from Vironnica Drake.

In the first quarter, Grace began to gain separation from the Cardinals (20-13) with a 10-1 run. Kelsie Peterson and Brooke Sugg both hit triples, and Kaylie Warble scored four points.

Grace led 24-17 after one quarter and increased that cushion to 41-30 by halftime.

The Cardinals whittled away at Grace’s lead and only trailed by four late in the third quarter.

Concordia eventually tied the score at 56-56 with 6:30 remaining in the contest, setting the stage for a tightly-contested finish.

Lexi Minix put Grace back on top with a pair of free throws on the next possession, and Sugg followed that up with a 3-pointer to extend the lead.

Warble maintained the Lady Lancers’ momentum with six points over the next two minutes, bumping Grace’s lead back up to nine.

Concordia did its best to claw back with a pair of 3-pointers over the final minutes, but Grace secured the regional win from the free throw line.

Warble racked up 15 points and 11 boards off the bench, and Sugg tallied 14 points, 3 assists and 2 steals.

Micaela Box scored eight points to go along with three assists, and Kyannah Stull added two points and five boards.