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Where Are They Now?

Where Are They Now?

Through the years names have changed, buildings have been built and razed, and faculty, staff, and students have come and gone. The one constant, besides Jesus Christ, has been change.  The people are what made the Fort Wayne campus. Students, faculty, and staff most likely came despite the buildings.

The FW Alumni Center loves to connect with our alumni, and you often ask about former faculty and staff – “Where are They Now?” These people want to reconnect with you too hopefully at events like our upcoming Homecoming in September or at other events sponsored by us.

If you would like to reconnect, click here and we will provide you with contact information if it has been provided to us.


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Dick Baxter g70 served 42 years on the Fort Wayne campus primarily as Joy Gerig’s assistant in the Christian Service Department and later as an Associate Dean of Students directing Taylor World Outreach and the Career Services Department. He did not stray far from campus even after his retirement in 2007.

He continues to volunteer on the Alumni Council and as one of our FW Alumni & Friends Resource Center Facebook page administrators. He often posts pictures that need to be identified. These photos then appear in our Virtual Archive on our website (http://fw.taylor.edu) after being identified.

Off campus, Dick has formed Jamaica Upriver Outreach (www.jamaicaupriver.com), a not-for-profit organization, that supports feeding 24 Jamaican children a hot lunch five-days a week. To do this, he continues taking teams generally twice a year to Jamaica.

Additionally, Dick continues to mentor men in their walk with Christ here and in Jamaica. He and his wife, Ruth (Landes) fs64, a nurse, who teaches CPR to medical professionals and works as a home health care nurse with children who have disabilities, live in Fort Wayne.

Dr. Dave Biberstein g66 served FWBC then TUFW as Director of Pastoral Ministries from 1982 to 2008, appointed as an assistant professor and later as a full professor. While in this position he developed a progressive curriculum, insisting on more practical experiences through internships. He spent many days on the road during summers visiting and interacting with the interns and their sponsors. During this time he also pastored several churches including a discipleship pastor because he wanted to keep fresh in ministry. Before coming to FWBC, he taught 18 different classes at Jamaica Theology Seminary. 

Since 2008 he serves as Minister of Pastoral Care at Pathway Community Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Dr. Biberstein misses the opportunity of drawing from campus graduates to serve in Christian leadership in the areas of Christian education, youth, various organizations, and more. He found it personally rewarding to see graduates launched into various ministries and finds it frustrating for the churches to go without this valuable resource.

Dr. Biberstein and his wife, Joleen g67, live on a farm and enjoy gardening, good movies, reading, taking care of their granddaughter, and traveling. They have visited every state in the U.S. as well as Israel, Europe, Scotland, London, and Wales. Dave and Joleen visited Biberstein, Switzerland, and saw a castle dating back to 1280. The crest was found on all bumper stickers in this town as well as a singing group called Sisters Biberstein. Their son duplicated the official crest on the castle—a beaver chewing wood—and added the name “Biberstein,” and this is now on their garden fence. “Biberstein” means “industrious stone,” emphasizing perseverance.

Dr. Biberstein can be contacted at djbiberstein44@gmail.com, 260-244-4854, or 260-610-2744. He is on the reunion committee this year for the class of 1966. He and Joleen will be there to celebrate!

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Eunice Conrad began her teaching at Fort Wayne Bible College in 1957 and retired from Taylor University Fort Wayne in 1995 – 38 years of ministry to hundreds of students. 

Eunice continues to live here in Fort Wayne and is active in her church, First Christian Church.  She still has a heart for young people and tries to help the youth at her church. 

One of the little unknown stories we discovered is that Eunice began taking voice lessons from another former Fort Wayne campus staff member, Marlene Everson in 1995. She continues getting together with Marlene each week for voice training.  She even has a recital coming up soon.  Her comment was, “The days are not long enough to get everything done.”

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Pam Dykehouse fs09 came to Taylor University Fort Wayne in 1997 where she first held a position in the bookstore. There she managed and worked with many students from the college. By 2009, Pam had moved to a position in the business office.  As an employee of TUFW, Pam was given the option to take any class that she wanted free of charge. She took advantage of this opportunity multiple times. 

Now, Pam is the office manager at Stuart Richardson Deposition Services in downtown Fort Wayne. “I do a lot of similar things as I did at Taylor: answer phones, greet people, and handle things that need to be handled," Pam says. She has also taken a few online classes on Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Pam and her husband Tim continue to live in Fort Wayne. They volunteered often at the Alumni Center during summer 2009. Tim helped to reconstruct the cornerstone of Founder’s Hall. That stone now sits in front of the Alumni Center, representing the legacy of the college.

Though since beginning her job as office manager she has not been able to volunteer at the Alumni Center, she attends as many alumni activities as she can, including joint Fort Wayne-Upland campus activities like alumni night at the TinCaps. "Life has a way of giving you experiences that allow you to just connect with people, maybe on a deeper level than you had an opportunity to before," Pam explains.

While Pam keeps in touch with people she knew over Facebook, she especially enjoys attending alumni events because they give her the chance not only to reconnect in person but also to meet new people she may not had known well during her time at TUFW.

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Bill Gerig g61 grew up on the Fort Wayne Bible College campus, so some remember him as a boy, teen, and/or as an adult. After graduating from Fort Wayne Bible College in 1962, he and Joyce (Wiggles) fs61 moved to Sierra Leone, West Africa, where they served as missionaries with World Partners for 15 years.

Upon return to the USA, he served in Correspondence Studies and eventually Alumni Relations until his retirement in 1997. The Gerigs then moved to Glendale, AZ to assist his parents, Dr. Jared g29 and Mildred (Eicher) g28 Gerig, former president and first-lady of FWBC. Bill was one of the Resident Managers at Glencroft Retirement Community until 2005.

When they moved back to Indiana, he began volunteering at First Missionary Church, the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission, where his daughter, Sharon Gerig g89 works, and eventually at the newly formed Fort Wayne Alumni & Friends Resource Center. After Kari Reynolds g98 left to take a teaching job, he began working quarter time as our secretary. He also is the president of the Fort Wayne campus Alumni Heritage Association.

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Dr. Grant Hoatson came to Fort Wayne Bible College to teach Radio and Television broadcasting and Journalism in 1958-59. He also produced the radio program “Crossroads” on WOWO.

During that time he met one of his Broadcasting students, Patti (Witt) g59. After his class, they began dating and eventually married. She became the acting Dean of Women after her graduation, and he was named the Director of Public Relations and Alumni Coordinator while continuing to teach.

In 1984 he accepted a role with St. Petersburg Junior College in Florida and Patti served as an instructor in Speech. They both retired from SPC in 1996 and they continue to live in Seminole, FL.

The Hoatsons continue to keep active by teaching Bible studies in their apartment complex and their church. They are also taking a course in Personal Life History Writing.

Reflecting back, Grant said, “we loved our time at FWBC. The fellowship among faculty and staff was precious to us.”

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Joe Jones

Dr. Joe Jones, former associate professor and department chair of Criminal Justice at TUFW from 1995-2001, has been chosen to be the president of Fresno Pacific University in Fresno, CA. He will begin work July 1, 2017.

Dr. Jones has a proven record as an educator, leader and administrator with a number of outstanding Christian colleges and universities,” said Donald Griffith, chair of the FPU Board of Trustees, on the FPU website. “He brings with him a very clear vision of Christian higher education and a history of being an advocate for biblical justice, racial reconciliation, urban leadership training and intercultural learning.

Click here to read the full release.

Dr. Jones, wife, Yvette, also worked for TUFW in the Samuel Morris Scholars program.

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Michele Mallet Wells

Michele Mallet WellsDr. Michele (Mallett) Wells h09, MSW, LCSW served as assistant/associate professor of social work from 2003 through 2006. Recently, she completed a PhD in organizational leadership from Regent University and, since leaving the Fort Wayne campus, has been associate professor inthe master of social work program at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. She is doing presentations at professional conferences and has co-authored (along with Wanda Lott-Collins and Sharon Bryson) an article published in the International Journal of Social Work Education entitled “The Significance of the Supervisory Relationship in Field Practicum.”

Michele misses the enthusiasm of the students and the collegiality among the faculty, who were also true friends. Michele would enjoy having a reunion/seminar and can be contacted at michele.wells@asbury.edu or 106A Bellevue Avenue, Wilmore, Kentucky 40390.

Katherine Miranda

Katherine MirandaKatherine Miranda h09 served from 2000-2009 as director of Hausser Residence Hall and new student orientation at Taylor University Fort Wayne. She also served as associate dean of students and director of residence life as well as associate registrar. After leaving the Fort Wayne campus, Katherine and her husband, Rui, and their two children moved to Florida, where she served as student advising manager and registrar manager at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. She then worked as registrar at Cambridge Institute of Allied Health and Technology. Currently Katherine is assistant registrar at Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown, Ohio, where she is enjoying reconnecting with old friends.

Speaking of reconnecting, Katherine would enjoy a reunion of resident advisors, directors, and orientation leaders. Katherine is a graduate member of Bible Study Fellowship International. She is open to sharing a devotion/seminar/topic if she can attend an event or coordinate a visit. She says she has plenty of life lessons to share! You may contact her at 1620 Charl Ann Drive, Alliance, Ohio, on Facebook as Katherine Marie Miranda, or by emailing kathie.miranda@gmail.com.

Steve Morley

After graduating from Fort Wayne Bible College, Coach Steve Morley g65 assisted his dad for two years from 1965-1967 before taking over full-time as a coach, where his team eventually won the NCCAA II National Basketball Championship. Before leaving in 1987, he had served as a coach, athletic director, and an Instructor of Physical Education.

After leaving FWBC, he repeated the enormous feat of winning another national championship in 1997 at Southwestern College in Phoenix, AZ, where he eventually became a Dean of Students. Upon retirement, he relocated to Kearney, NE, where he continues to live.

“Coach” has served as an elder in his church, until health issues caused him to resign. He continues to teach Bible class periodically, and occasionally he fills the pulpit when the pastor is gone. He also heads up the Compassion Ministry (“a true laugh to my former players, I’m sure,” Coach wrote) for his church.

“I have said many times that Fort Wayne Bible College is the people, not the campus and buildings. I miss the students and my peers more than anything else,” he concluded.

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Rose Ann Nickel ha96 came to Fort Wayne Bible College in 1962 with her husband, Dr. Ted Nickel ha96, and then worked together until their retirement in 1995. Most of the years she worked in the library, where she enjoyed contact with students, faculty, and staff.

After retirement she and Ted traveled to Sierra Leone to see and experience the ministry of their daughter Janet Nickel g74.  They also spend time in Europe in a European study tour.

Rose Ann also has been very active at First Missionary Church, Fort Wayne, in many different roles over the years.   She directed the children’s church, worked with the ladies’ ministries, coordinated the church prayer chain, and served as a Deaconess on the church board.

Her husband Ted went to be with the Lord in January 2012. Unfortunately, she fell recently and now is in rehab at the Lutheran Life Villages here in Fort Wayne. 

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Jay Platte g69

After retiring in 2006, Dr. Platte began volunteering at Matthew 25 Health and Dental Clinic, especially in the areas of Patient Assistance and computer work. In 2009 he divided his volunteering between the clinic and the Fort Wayne Alumni Center where he now serves as Archive Coordinator. When his wife Shirley g69 retired, they took a retirement trip to Italy. His two grown sons are married, the older having seven children and the younger, one.

After teaching, administrating, and directing multiples groups and concerts for 39 years, Dr. Jay Platte g69 retired in 2006. While he continues to teach online courses, he spends the majority of his time volunteering.

Since June 2006, he volunteers with Patient Assistance at Matthew 25, also responsible for the web and publications. In the afternoon he has volunteered over 5,000 hours as the Archive Coordinator and web-master. He also serves on the Alumni Council.

“As I have had the privilege to digitize recordings, documents, etc., I have the privilege of recalling the wonderful work students, faculty, and staff did,” Jay wrote recently. “I marvel at the quality of the ‘product’ this small college produced, all to God’s glory.”

Just in the past five years, Jay has put together 14 DVD and 18 CD projects, assisted with publishing six books, edited multiple videos, and provided Memory Books and video reviews for 50th class reunions for four Homecomings. He has also brought together a Singing Collegian reunion for the first 3 years in August, 2014. He also has led several Sunday Sings.

Jay and Shirley (Mertz) Platte g69, a retired teacher and a local organist, still live close to the campus.

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Roger Ringenberg

Roger RingenbergDr. Roger Ringenberg was an assistant/associate professor of Bible and Missions from 1983-2009. After leaving the Fort Wayne campus, he taught as adjunct professor at Grace College Fort Wayne from 2011-2013 and since 2013 has continued to teach at Crossroads Bible College Fort Wayne. He and his wife, Carol, are planning to serve as volunteers with International Projects, a missions organization that teaches English and leads Bible Roger and Carolstudies with international students. The couple enjoys traveling in the United States and overseas as well as spending time with their four children and twelve grandchildren. Roger serves as deacon of missions at First Missionary Church. He misses the real sense of community with the former faculty, staff, and traditional and nontraditional students on the Fort Wayne campus.

You may contact Roger at rgringenberg@taylor.edu or rcringenberg@hotmail.com. His address is 1016 W. Rudisill Blvd., Fort Wayne, Indiana 46807, and he can be reached by phone at 260-456-5725 or 260-515-4373. 

Dr. Ringenberg is on the Fort Wayne Athletic Hall of Fame committee. He and Carol led Lighthouse trips and would enjoy a reunion with those involved.

 

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Rev. Ron Scharfe came to Fort Wayne Bible College in 1970 to serve as the Librarian and Bible teacher. After leaving Summit Christian College in 1992, he taught Philosophy, Ethics, and Religion and Culture at IPFW until his retirement in 2004.

Two blessings for Rev. Scharfe were being asked to be the baccalaureate speaker and the administration asking him to be a chaplain for the faculty different years. The greatest highlight was being in the classroom teaching the Word of God.

 “It is very precious thinking back to my time at the Fort Wayne campus,” Professor Scharfe said in a recent phone interview. “I look back with a lot of gratitude.”

Now, he is involved in pulpit supply preaching in different churches. He has also taught overseas in a number of different countries: Japan, Ukraine, Netherlands, Russia, Bermuda, and Jamaica. He continues to live in Fort Wayne, IN.


Tami Solak ha05 was an enthusiastic TUFW staff member who loved the students and alumni. She worked tirelessly on Homecoming and Family Weekend and during Phonathan making special connections and friendships.

She worked at TUFW for 10 years. Upon leaving in 2009 she cared for a dying Grandmother and for her growing family of grandchildren. God has also opened a door for her to begin an apprentice program upholstering furniture.

The Solaks live in Fort Wayne but travel often to care for aging parents and grandchildren, all but one living in Michigan. Tami continues to serve on our Fort Wayne Alumni Volunteer Prayer Team.

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Dr. Tim Warner g50 taught at Fort Wayne Bible College from 1953 to 1955, before he served in Sierra Leone from 1956-1959. Agreeing to teach missions at FWBC on furlough would turn into a longer assignment. He didn’t leave until 1980, after serving as President for nine years.

Upon leaving FWBC in 1980, he joined the faculty of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He then joined the staff of Freedom in Christ Ministries in 1992, where he continues to this day, even though he does not travel as much anymore due to advancing age, now 89.

Tim and Eileen Warner

“The privilege of relating to so many students over the years and having an impact on their lives through my life and teaching is the rewarding element in my tenure 

at the college,” Dr. Warner explained. “A highlight was in the early 1960s, the Student Missionary Fellowship got tired of my Africa stories, so they sent me on a five-week tour of mission fields in South America.”

Dr. Warner married his Taylor University classmate, Eileen g49, when she was 87 and he was 86. They live in Fort Wayne.

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