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Alumni Awards

Susan (Boklaga) Pereira g87 receives
the Fort Wayne Alumni Heritage Association 
2014 Alumna Award for Personal Achievement

On Sunday afternoon, October 26, 2014, Susan Pereira g87 was presented the Fort Wayne Alumni & Friends Heritage Association 2014 Alumna Award for Personal Achievement by Michael Mortensen who made the presentation on behalf of the Alumni Council. Notable among Susan's many accomplishments was her advocacy for children with the courts and social agencies, her academic achievement and her numerous professional accomplishments. The presentation was witnessed by many of her classmates and spouses, Dick and Ruth Baxter, Bill Gerig and Jay Platte. A reception was given in honor of this occasion.

                  Arlene Motter Receives Fort Wayne Alumni Heritage Association
2013 Alumna Award for Distinguished Service

At the October 6, 2013 Sunday SingArlene Motter g67 was presented with the Fort Wayne Alumni 

Arlene receiving award

Heritage Association 2013 Alumna Award for Distinguished Service to the Association. This award, presented on behalf of the Alumni Council, is awarded to those who have given exemplary service.

Arlene has served regularly at the Fort Wayne Alumni and Friends Resource Center as a researcher and scanner of slides and photographs, scanning well over 2000 slides and counting. Often the subjects in the photo are not identified so Arlene switches tasks and through research identifies a person(s), place, event and date. Her work is painstaking and difficult but so necessary to accurately identify people, events and dates for those interested in finding information regarding past happenings on campus. She is an archivist’s dream due to her skills, diligence and passion for the work.

Those of us who work at the FW Resource Center enjoy what we do because of the people we work with and for the common bond in Christ that we have. We are deeply grateful to Arlene for being a part of this team and for her tireless efforts in continuing to establish the record of “God’s Own Planting”.

Each year the Fort Wayne Campus Alumni & Friends Heritage Association identifies, selects and honors three to five alumni and friends for either personal or professional achievement or for service to the Resource Center or to the Association. It is an honor to be able to have the opportunity to recognize such individuals.

Dr. David Biberstein g66  "Distinguished Alumnus for Service to his Alma Mater"

FW Celebrates 2011 David Biberstein accepts Alumni Award from Michael Mortensent

Dr. David Biberstein g66 receiving the "Distinguished Alumnus for Service" award
as presented by Michael Mortensen g91

Dr. David Biberstein is no stranger to the Fort Wayne campus, as he taught here for 26 years.  In addition to being a professor, he has been and is a pastor, friend, missionary, discipler, and mentor.  He graduated from Fort Wayne Bible College in 1966, where he majored in Bible and Theology.  As a student, among other things, he traveled with Dr. Jay Platte, Dave Brown and Phil Logan as a member of the Ambassadors (their CD is now available online at the Fort Wayne Store).

After graduation, Dave went to Israel and then to Kenya before returning to marry Joleen (Herman) in 1967.  The newlyweds went to Trinity in Deerfield, where he received his Master of Divinity.  The Bibersteins were called to Kingston, Jamaica where David pastored and taught at the Jamaica Theological Seminary.  Pastor Biberstein then pastored in York, PA and Celina, OH, before returning to his alma mater, the place where his grandma was one of the first graduates in the early 1900s.  He received his Doctorate of Ministry from Trinity in 1990, while teaching at Fort Wayne.

As a beloved professor, he was remembered in this way recently on Facebook:

  • Recent grad wrote:  “That there is a difference between someone who preaches and someone with a pastors’ heart. Love that Guy!”  He and Joleen created the Pastors’ Heart Award.
  • According to another former student, “Dr. B also known as ‘Beebs,’ said, ‘Bloom where you are planted,’ and ‘the fact of ministry is more important than the place of ministry’.  As circumstances over time moved me out of places I thought I was called to those words came back reminding me I am called to touch lives for Him wherever I am and the location is less than important. His warm love for all who knew him stays with me!"

Often while carrying a full-load of teaching, he also served as the Preaching Pastor of congregations at Aboite Missionary, First Missionary in Berne, his home town, just to name a few.  Now, “in retirement” he is the Seniors Pastor and Director of Congregational Care at Pathway Community Church here in Fort Wayne, where he serves on a pastoral staff that includes several of his former students.

Pastor Dave has two boys and one granddaughter and continues to live on his farm outside of Columbia City, often a hot spot for non-traditional students each fall to congregate for an annual hayride and cookout.

With all of these connections and areas of service, it should surprise no one that Dr. David Biberstein is being recognized by the Fort Wayne Alumni & Friends Heritage Association today and is named the “Distinguished Alumnus for Service to His Alma Mater."

Dr. Timothy "Tim" Erdel g73  "Distinguished Alumnus for Service"

As presented by Michael Mortensen

It was in the late summer of 2004, that this man and I sat at Prairie Camp, where he proposed an idea for aDr. Tim Erdelvirtual Fort Wayne Athletic Hall of Fame.  While I thought it was a great idea, I was not sure how we were going to pull it off, but he persisted and gave sacrificially of his time, talent and treasure to see what we now call the Fort Wayne Campus Athletic Hall of Fame come to life in 2008.

Shortly after that first induction, the announcement was made that the TUFW campus would be closed in May of 2009.  Alumni questioned if this inaugural class would be the last – would it be “one and done?”  But, with this man’s help and a few others, we were able to induct our second class in 2009, and on April 1, 2011 we inducted our third class.

In addition to his writing, he has made scores of phone calls and has written numerous emails to interview, encourage and support the Hall of Fame and its members.  This is on top of an overload teaching schedule, work as an archivist and historian.  This year he had to have eye surgery, which added to his load, but he persisted.

On behalf of the Fort Wayne Alumni & Friends Heritage Association who unanimously approved, it is my honor to bestow the Distinguished Alumnus for Service to the Fort Wayne Alumni & Friends Resource Center to Dr. Timothy Erdel g73, for his years of Christian service, humble spirit and generous heart.

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