MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon Nazarene University faculty and staff members were honored for their years of service at the annual University Dinner on Monday, with highlights of the university’s 50th anniversary. During the event, President Henry W. Spaulding II, Ph.D. reminded attendees that going into the new academic year, “we have reason to hope.”
“We are hopeful because of the quality of life on this campus. Because of our mission, the good work we share, and the quality of life in our community, the grace of God gives us reason to hope,” said Spaulding.
“Remember the words of the official from the City of Mount Vernon 50 years ago as the city handed over the property to the college – ‘God had a hand in this!’ That was true in 1968 and it is true in 2018. God defines our mission, makes the good work of faculty and staff possible, and holds this community together. His hand is evident every day on this campus,” Spaulding added.
Founding faculty member Richard Fairchild spoke on his experience at Mount Vernon Nazarene College in 1968 as a biology professor, his first job out of college. After three interviews in the Lakeholm Parlor, Fairchild was hired and eventually used the carriage house as his classroom, as “God initiated every bit of this” from a college to a university.
Several significant awards were handed out during the festivities. Mrs. Bonnie Van Winkle, Campus Visit Specialist, was honored as Outstanding Staff Member of the Year. Dr. Brenita Nicholas-Edwards, Professor of Social Work, Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness, was recognized as Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year.
Other faculty and staff members were also honored:
5-year award: Krissta Hadsell, Ben Haws, Catie Hayes, Justin Nowicki, Brooke Overholt, Bonnie Pickett, Tim Radcliffe, Amy Reeves, Caleb Reiss, Jill Smith, Mike Valentine, Krishana White; 10-year award: Karla Adu, Angie Compton, Ben Cook, Debra Garee, Jennifer Gotschall, Steve Jenkins, Susan Morningstar, Brent Overholt, James Smith, Brett Wiley;
15-year award: David Baker, Christine Church, Adam Diener, Kathy Griffith, LaVern Secrest, Scott Tarrh, Mike Traugh, Kenna Williams;
20-year award: Denise Hess, Brenita Nicholas-Edwards, Lori Schlingerman;
25-year award: Gina Blanchard, Esther Carpenter, Stan Park;
30-year award: Judy Clevenger, Sandy Helman, Kevin Hughes, Denny Taylor;
45-year award: Roberta Simmons, the longest serving staff member.