Campus honors eight during homecoming, October 11

Thu, 2007-10-11 08:10 -- univcomm
October 11, 2007

chapel.jpgAnderson University will honor distinguished alumni during the Homecoming chapel/convocation on Thursday, October 11, at 10 a.m. in Reardon Auditorium. Persons to be honored are David L. Coolidge (Distinguished Alumni Award); Ken & Mendy Nehrbass (Distinguished Young Alumni Award); H.L. Baker (Distinguished Service Award); Loren & Elouise Sutton (John H. Kane Loyalty Award); Paul Yerden (Outstanding Music Award); and Caitlyn Krontz (Alumni Council Scholarship). Anderson University’s 2007 Homecoming celebration is scheduled for October 12-13.

Coolidge.jpgThe Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to David L. Coolidge. Coolidge graduated from Anderson in 1957, with the stage already set for his music ministry. He was ordained in 1958 and began serving at Park Place in 1959 as an associate pastor and minister of music and worship, incorporating graded singing and handbell choirs, and orchestra. He completed his master's in sacred music at Christian Theological Seminary in 1966.

He has served on the Church of God's national committee on worship and the arts, chaired the International Convention's music committee, and worked on two general hymnal committees, helping prepare new hymnals. He served as treasurer of Church of God Fellowship and as a member of the Madison County Ministerial Association. He was the acting conductor of the AU Choir from 1970-71 and conductor of four AU Tri-S choirs touring in Europe and Africa. Coolidge became pastor emeritus of worship and the arts at Park Place Church of God in 1999.

AU recognized him as an Honorary Doctor of Sacred Music in 2002. He has held memberships in the National Choristers Guild, American Choral Directors Association, American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, and Kiwanis International. He continues his service through a worldwide e-mail ministry of communication and pastoral care. He and his wife Shirley (B.S. '60, D.S.M. '02) have two children and three grandchildren.

Nehrbass.jpgThe Distinguished Young Alumni Award will be presented to Ken Nehrbass and Mendy (Stone) Nehrbass. Ken and Mendy have been ministering since 2002 with the speakers of "Naha" on the volcanic island of Tanna, part of Vanuatu. Having earned his BA from University of California, Irvine, Ken earned his M.Div. from Anderson University School of Theology in 1999. Mendy earned a B.S.N. from AU in 1998.

After earning their degrees, they worked as a pastor and a nurse in California, started their family, and began linguistics and cross-cultural training with Wycliffe Bible Translators/Summer Institute of Linguistics. In 2002, they began their work on Tanna. They have been developing an alphabet for speakers of "Naha," teaching literacy, translating the New Testament, and finding creative ways to share the Gospel (the population has a low literacy rate and little technology).

They have hosted short-term mission groups, helped secure reliable water supply for 3 villages, and constructed a hurricane-proof church building in response to Cyclone Ivy's destruction. Mendy also home-schools their 4 children and works as the area nurse, delivering babies, treating wounds, holding health education workshops, and teaching AIDS awareness. They plan to finish translating the New Testament by the end of 2013.

Baker.jpgThe Distinguished Service Award will be presented to H.L. Baker. Baker came to Anderson from Sand Springs, Oklahoma. He established an outstanding athletic record and was very active in student life. He was a member of SGA, a Booster, captain of the baseball and football teams, All-Conference in baseball and football, and voted Outstanding Senior Athlete.

After graduating, he served his country in the Indiana National Guard from 1961-68 and was named Outstanding Enlisted Man in 1967. He has served AU since 1961 in many capacities: financial aid counselor, director of financial aid, assistant dean of students, and dean of students. He completed his master's in counseling at Ball State in 1969.

After his retirement from AU in 2001, he helped with Kids Connection through Alternatives Inc., which provides after-school programs for underprivileged children. AU was thrilled when he returned in 2006 as a development officer, and he continues to serve today. He is also devoted to his home church, Madison Park Church of God, where he serves in many ways. He and his wife, Sandy, have two adult children, Brent and Becky, both AU alumni, and three grandchildren.

Suttons.jpgLoren & Elouise (Collins) Sutton are this year's recipients of the John H. Kane Loyalty Award. In 1985, Loren and his wife, Elouise, formed Custom Built By Sutton, LLC. However, long before that, and since, they have been constructing not only residences, but also churches, a family, and Anderson University. Loren graduated from Southeastern Bible College in 1957. He and Elouise moved to Birmingham, where he began a long pastoral career, receiving ordination in 1959. Sutton worked throughout Alabama, sometimes building new congregations and new church buildings. He also served as state youth director for 8 years.

In 1974, Sutton resigned as pastor to work at Anderson College as the southern region representative, eventually becoming the field representative for the 12 southeastern states, recruiting and guiding hundreds of students. In 1975, he was awarded an Honorary Alumnus Degree from President Reardon. In 1981, the Sutton's returned to Airview Church of God in Opelika, Alabama, still working part-time for AU's development office.

In 2003, the Sutton's became pastors emeritus, and the mayor of Opelika declared June 8th "Loren C. Sutton Day." In 2006, the Sutton's began pastoring another church in Alabama. They continue to build homes, serve their church and state, and invest in Anderson University through continued donations. They have four children (three of whom are alumni), two grandchildren (both alumni), and two great-grandchildren.

Yerden.jpgThe Outstanding Music Award this year will go to Paul Yerden. Yerden has been a music ministry leader since graduating from Anderson College in 1959. He served as minister of music and worship countrywide, led conferences, taught church music, and produced Christian Brotherhood Hour. He has ministered in 65 countries with his wife, Rita Jo (Hankins) Yerden '59. They have three children and eight grandchildren. He currently ministers to senior adults at North Hills Church of God in Phoenix.

Krontz.jpgThis year's Alumni Council Scholarship Recipient is Caitlyn Krontz. Krontz, daughter of alumni Mary Piper '83 and Mark Krontz '82, graduated from Calhoun Christian School in Battle Creek, Michigan. She played varsity basketball, volleyball, soccer, and track, distinguishing herself as a leader. She was involved in theater and musical ensembles in her school, church, and community. Her volunteer activities include mission trips, food service, and childcare. She plans to become a doctor.

For more information about Anderson University’s 2007 Homecoming celebration, contact the office of Alumni Relations at 765-641-4100 (phone), 765-641-3888 (fax), (e-mail), or visit the AU web site at

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.