AU honors four during commencement

Thu, 2006-05-04 14:59 -- univcomm
May 4, 2006

Anderson University will honor four persons with honorary degrees during commencement exercises, Saturday, May 6. The 3 p.m. program will be held in the Ward Fieldhouse of the Kardatzke Wellness Center. Speaking during the commencement ceremony will be John Pistole, deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Anderson University’s baccalaureate service will take place earlier that day in Reardon Auditorium at 10 a.m. Speaking during Anderson University’s baccalaureate service will be Rev. Dale Fontenot, senior pastor of New Life Church of God in Palmetto, La. Both events are open to the public.

Other events scheduled on Anderson University’s May 6 commencement day include the hooding ceremony for the Falls School of Business at 12 noon in Byrum Hall. In addition, the hooding ceremony for the School of Education will also be conducted at 12 noon on May 6 (as well as the certification ceremony for the Teach in Indiana Program--TIP) in Schield dining room of the Olt Student Center.

Also scheduled will be a special chartering ceremony for the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society at 12 noon on Friday, May 5, in Reardon Auditorium. The traditional pinning ceremony for the School of Nursing will be conducted on the same day at 6 p.m. in Byrum Hall.

Receiving honorary degrees during commencement will be:


Gwyn Richards holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in music from the University of Michigan. He has worked in higher education since 1974, beginning as the director of choral music at Montana State University. During his career, he has served as the assistant dean of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and associate dean at the University of Southern California. He joined the faculty and staff at Indiana University in 1992 and filled the roles of director of admissions and associate dean of admissions and financial aid. After serving as interim dean, he was named dean to the School of Music at Indiana University.


The Rev. Martin D. Grubbs attended Anderson University and graduated with degrees in sacred music and religious studies. In May of 1981, Grubbs joined the staff of Crossings Community Church (then known as Westridge Hills Church of God) as minister of youth and music. In September of 1985, the Rev. Grubbs became the fifth senior pastor of the then 26-year-old church. At that time, the average attendance was 143. In the last 17 years, the church has grown significantly with more than 4,000 people now attending weekly services. The Rev. Grubbs also teaches and trains pastors through Equip, a non-profit organization that trains Christian leaders around the world. He is a member of the Anderson University Board of Trustees.


Dorothy Nelis Nicholson received her bachelor’s degree from Anderson University in 1946 and later earned a Master of Science in Education from Indiana University. Mrs. Nicholson spent her career working with children. As an educator, she worked as the director of children’s work for the National Board of Christian Education of the Church of God, as children’s director at Park Place Church of God and Park Place Children’s Center, and as a nursery school teacher. For 15 years, she served as a curriculum writer and adviser for Warner Press. She represented Anderson University well during her husband Robert Nicholson’s presidency from 1983 to 1990. She is the author of four books.


John S. Pistole is a 1978 graduate of Anderson University. He earned an advanced degree in law and practiced as an attorney for two years before joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He began as a special agent in the bureau’s Minneapolis division and was later transferred to the New York division. He rose through the ranks of the FBI, earning promotion to a supervisor in the organized crime section at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., then to field supervisor of a white-collar crime and civil rights squad in Indianapolis, and then to assistant special agent-in-charge in Boston. He returned to Washington, D.C., in 2001 and now holds the title of deputy director, the highest-ranking FBI official not appointed by the President of the United States. In March, the FBI honored Mr. Pistole with the 2005 Presidential Rank of Distinquished Executive.

Anderson University is a private, four-year, Christian liberal arts institution of approximately 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, the university offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs of study in business, education, music and theology.