Commencement Awards (May 2015)

At the May 9, 2015, commencement, Warner Pacific honored the following people with awards of academic and personal excellence.

A.F. Gray Award: Kelsey Davisson

AF Gray award - Kelsey Davisson 2015Albert F. Gray, the first president of Warner Pacific College, demonstrated the living example of a godly life, a disciplined mind, and a warm and loving heart. In 1940, he declared that the College seeks to impart to its students, knowledge of the great facts of religion and build into their personality those noble characteristics of love, faith, loyalty, devotion—in short, the graces of the spirit—that they may be well qualified to serve Christ and His church.” In order to uphold and honor these timeless principles, the College presents the A.F. Gray Award each year to a student who clearly exemplifies those high ideals.

As a worship arts leadership major and drama minor, Kelsey personifies servant leadership. She served well as co-president of the student-led  Choral Studies Council; as both a performer and student director of drama productions; and as Chapel Arts Coordinator. She leads with intelligence,  intuition, self-differentiation, and empathy.

Kelsey is a kind, attentive, compassionate, and articulate young woman.  She is the daughter of two alumni and has a rich history with the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.). As such, she has been formed by the stories of the College in the life of her family and community. She is rooted to our past with a deep understanding of our urban Portland context, and with a hunger to explore global perspectives.


Wilma I. Perry Award: Yvonne Edwards

Wilma Perry award 2015 - Yvonne EdwardsDr. Wilma I. Perry embodied many wonderful qualities that Warner Pacific College considers of high value for its graduates of the Adult Degree Program. In her lifetime, Dr. Perry served as pastor of the Friendly Street Church of God in Eugene, OR, following years of service as an itinerant preacher and evangelist. Furthermore, she earned a doctorate in psychology from the University of Oregon as an adult student and joined the faculty at Warner Pacific College, where she also directed the College’s Center for Human Services. She was known for her speaking and teaching abilities, and as a gifted, published scholar. Dr. Perry’s life was one of service, academic excellence, integrity, and transformation.

Marshall K. Christensen Award: Alexandra Kathleen Sindorf

Alexandra Kathleen Sindorf - 2015 Christensen awardThe Marshall K. Christensen Award for Excellence in Scholarship, named in honor of the College’s fifth president. This award is presented a graduating senior who best embodies the values characterizing academic life at Warner Pacific College. Faculty members nominate students whom they recognize as having not only benefited from our academic program of study and co-curricular activities but also ones who have made significant contributions to their classmates and colleagues.


Milo L. Chapman Award: Gimena Olguin

2015 Chapman award - Gigi OlguinWarner Pacific College’s is a place “Where Faith and Scholarship Lead to Service.” As a Liberal Arts institution we are committed to the development of the whole person. Throughout their four (or more) years at Warner Pacific, students are given an opportunity to become learners and servants both inside and outside of the academic classroom, on our campus, and in the community. Many students go beyond the basic requirements of learning and enhance their holistic education by participating in a variety of experiences that allow them to integrate all they are learning about themselves, their world, and their faith. Following the model that Christ set before us of tangibly loving the community in which they live, students are able to put feet to their faith and realize the joy of serving.

The Milo L. Chapman Excellence in Service Award is named for a man who served Warner Pacific College as a model of servant hood to this community. His association with the College spanned 46 years. During these years, he filled the position of President three times, served as Dean, and in addition taught classes on a consistent basis.  Milo was a man of wisdom who listened. He was a counselor, encourager and mentor.  He was a man of great faith in God. His life was a life of service.


Traditional Undergraduate Outstanding Students Recognition:

These honors and awards were presented to students at the April 30, 2015, Honors & Awards Chapel.

Adult Degree Program Outstanding Students Recognition:

  • ADP Outstanding Student for Excellence in Liberal Arts Leadership and Service: Bradford Eugene Batchelor
  • ADP Outstanding Student for Excellence in Christ-Centered Leadership and Service: Ly Doan
  • ADP Outstanding Student for Excellence in Diversity Leadership and Service: De’Wana Kashaija
  • ADP Outstanding Student for Excellence in Urban Leadership and Service: Kateri M. Shrider

Presidential Citation was given to:

Dr. Cole Dawson, in recognition of his exemplary service as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty (2005-2015)

Faculty Emeritus Citation was presented to:

  • Sandra Ahlquist

Caldwell Award for Service (faculty):

  • Bart Valentine

Presidential Citation 2015 - Dr. Dawson

Dr. Cole Dawson

Faculty Emeritus 2015 Sandra Ahlquish

Sandra Ahlquist

2015 Caldwell Award - Bart Valentine

Bart Valentine


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WPC hosted a graduation reception on May 1, for students of closed Heald College in Portland

Heald College graduation program hosted by Warner Pacific at Mt. Scott Church of God May 2015Just days before almost 100 Heald College students in Portland were to celebrate achieving their academic dream of obtaining a college degree, they were hit with the news that Heald was closed and the graduation ceremony was cancelled.

On April 27, Corinthian Colleges, Inc., which owns Heald College, “ceased substantially all operations and discontinued instruction at its remaining 28 ground campuses,” displacing approximately 16,000 students. The closure included Corinthian’s 13 Everest and WyoTech campuses in California, Everest College Phoenix and Everest Online Tempe in Arizona, the Everest Institute in New York, and 150-year-old Heald College–including its 10 locations in California, 1 in Hawaii, and 1 in Oregon. Heald College was a regionally accredited for-profit business offering programs in healthcare, business, legal, and technology.

Excited graduate of Heald College coming to the graduation program hosted by Warner Pacific at Mt. Scott Church of God May 2015For over nine years, Warner Pacific’s Adult Degree Program (ADP) partnered with Heald College. During that time, Enrollment Staff set up informational tables at Heald’s Portland campus on a quarterly basis, presented in their classes, and worked closely with their career placement services to help students who wanted to pursue baccalaureate degrees after finishing their programs at Heald.

Several local colleges and universities quickly responded to provide Heald students with options to finish their degree programs. Warner Pacific College recognized the need for graduating Heald students to have some opportunity for celebration and decided to reach out to plan a graduation party for those students who were left with no public acknowledgment of their accomplishments

Heald College graduates at reception hosted by Warner Pacific at Mt. Scott Church of God May 2015On Friday evening, May 1, over 300 people gathered at Mt. Scott Church of God (Portland) to celebrate the academic and personal achievements of those who successfully earned degrees from Heald College.

Despite the feelings of frustration and loss resulting from the closure of the college, friends and family were extremely appreciative when plans for the graduation reception were announced. “With everything that has happened I’m so happy Heald graduates get the recognition they deserve,” one person posted on Heald’s Facebook page.

A former Heald administrative staff member attending the reception expressed, “I want to extend a tremendous thank you to Warner Pacific for hosting this event. Our students have been heartbroken by recent events. This gesture of kindness says a great deal about your commitment to our community.”

Everyone is extremely grateful to Mt. Scott Church of God for opening their doors to this celebration. Denise Douglas, Co-Senior Pastor at Mt. Scott explains, “We heard about the need from Dr. Andrea Cook who is part of our church community. She asked if we could help by providing space to honor the Heald College graduates and their families. We were thankful our calendar was clear (which was unusual) and we could respond with an, ‘Absolutely!’ We did so because it would be crazy not to share what God has given us to bless our community.”

Heald College graduate with family at reception hosted by Warner Pacific at Mt. Scott Church of God May 2015With nothing but blessings and friendship, Warner Pacific celebrated with Heald graduates and their friends, providing a place to gather and take photos while remembering the hard work and looking forward to a bright future.

“It was such a privilege to see the Warner Pacific team come together to serve on Friday evening! Their heart for adult learners was evident as they cheerfully sacrificed personal time to provide a celebration for those impacted by Heald’s abrupt closure,” commented Dr. Lori Jass, Associate Vice President for Warner Pacific’s Adult Degree Program. “I am profoundly grateful for President Cook’s leadership, not only because she inspires us toward service, but also because of her passion for Portland and our neighbors. Her prayer of blessing for the Heald graduates was a deeply moving experience that few will soon forget.”

View photos from Heald Graduation buttonPastor Douglas adds, “We hope the community guests felt their hard work was acknowledged and honored. We hope they felt celebrated by their friends, family, and community. We hope they felt like we cared about their circumstances because we did.”

Congratulation graduates!

About Warner Pacific:

Warner Pacific College is an over 75-year old private, Christ-centered college of over 1,400 undergraduates and graduate students in Portland, Ore. In 2014, the College welcomed its largest class of incoming freshmen. Warner Pacific was recognized as a top college and best academic value in the west according to the 2015 U.S. News and World Report. Established in 1937 by the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), Warner Pacific offers 29 undergraduate majors and 5 graduate programs in business, education, ministry, and music at 6 campuses across the Portland metropolitan area and online. Warner Pacific provides all students with a welcoming and inclusive space to dream, achieve, and flourish

About Mt. Scott Church of God:

Mt. Scott Church of God is a community of care that transforms lives. Founded in 1924, Mt. Scott is located Lents neighborhood of Southeast Portland on the border of Happy Valley.

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Social Entrepreneurship Program presents first cash awards for Capstone Projects

Warner Pacific Social Entrepreneurship capstone project competition 2015

Gimena Olguin, Arnie Kainu, Kristi Gifford, Ben Bohannon, Emily Potts, Liz Bohannon, Luwam Kahassay, Carolyn Walker, Anthony Sims

On April 29, two Warner Pacific seniors were presented with the first Social Entrepreneurship (SE) Capstone Project awards.

During their senior year, students in the SE program identify a need within the community and create a small business to meet that need. This is their Capstone Project.

Students presenting Capstone Projects this year included:

  • Luwam Kahassay: Art Cart, helping people engage their creative side
  • Anthony Sims: KooksLife, using business strategies to help skateboarders (apparel)
  • Gimena Olguin: UniME, United Minority Entrepreneurs
  • Kristi Gifford, GU Fitness Wear, serving women 18 to 50 years of age to live motivated and active lives
  • Emily Potts: VEAS, using photography to help people appreciate the complexities of life
Warner Pacific Social Entrepreneurship winners with Drs. Cook and Martin 2015

Dr. Andrea Cook, Warner Pacific President, with Anthony Sims, Gimena Olguin, and SE professor Dr. Roger Martin

The business plans for each Capstone Project were judged by Arnie Kainu, President and CEO of NTT Centerstance; Carolyn Walker, Partner at Stoel Rives LLP and practicing in the Labor and Employment group; and Ben and Liz Bohannon, entrepreneurs and owners of Sseko Designs, both of whom were recently featured on “Shark Tank.”

Presented with first place and cash award of $5,000 was Gimena Olguin; second place and cash award of $3,000 went to Anthony Sims. The cash awards will help both graduating seniors fund their business plans and become real-world social entrepreneurs.

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Please support our food drive for Take Action, Inc.

Annual community food drive

take action logoAll month long, we are collecting donations for Take Action, INC.

Make a difference in the lives of children who are experiencing hunger in our community. Every Friday, Take Action, INC., provides backpacks full of food to children who face food insecurity at home on weekends.

PLEASE give generously to the food drive at Warner Pacific College.

We will deliver the food to local elementary schools, ensuring that children in our community will have enough to eat during the weekend.

Your donations will allow these elementary students to return to school on Monday, nourished and ready to learn; increasing their self-esteem and laying the groundwork for a brighter future.

Drop off donations all month long at:

Warner Pacific’s Adult Degree Program Centre 205
2600 SE 98th Ave., Suite 200
Portland (cross street is SE Division)

Warner Pacific’s Tabor Campus Admissions Office
2219 SE 68th Ave.
Portland (cross street is SE Division)

Thinking about continuing your education?

Now through May 31, when you apply for an adult degree program at Warner Pacific, we’ll WAIVE your application fee when you make a non-perishable food donation to Take Action, Inc. At Warner Pacific you can get the healthcare, business, or education degree with the flexibility busy adult learners need. Pursue your degree and help out a worthy cause at the same time!

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Seniors honored for academic achievements and personal excellence

2015 Warner Paciifc Social Science Seniors honoredAs the 2014-15 academic year draws to a close, students, staff, and faculty gathered for the annual Warner Pacific Honors and Awards Chapel (April 30, 2015).

In recognition of the College’s graduating seniors who best exemplify the values and goals of Warner Pacific College as demonstrated by overall performance academically, spiritually, and as a member of the Warner Pacific College community, the following students were recognized:

Awarding Department/Program Student
Humanities: History Jordan Wilcox
English Katie Scribner
Business Thompson White
Business Joshua Franklin
Education Hannah Switzer
Drama Zechariah Dirdak
Drama Melissa Sondergeld
Music Kelsey Davisson
Natural Science & Health Anh Ngo
Natural Science & Health Almir Celebic
Health & Human Kinetics Scotti Jo Helmick
Biology Brianna Cowin
Sports & Recreational Management Josh Black
Religion & Christian Ministries Garrett Eastwood
Religion & Christian Ministries Jace Schwartz
Human Development Katie Scribner
Psychology Kathryn Conyers
Social Work Rosemary Bishop
Urban Community Development Alexandra Sindorf
Outstanding HUM 410 Thesis Jace Schwartz
Outstanding HUM 410 Thesis Alexandra Sindorf
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Bridgetown releases third CD (Free concert on May 2)

Warner Pacific's Bridgetown releases third CDJoin us as we celebrate the release of Bridgetown’s third album, Treasure.

Saturday, May 2, at 7:30 pm
McGuire Auditorium (2219 SE 68th Ave., Portland)

  • An evening of music
  • Meet the group
  • Purchase your copy of Treasure
  • Free event open to to everyone!
  • No RSVP
  • Listen to the CD sample on Bridgetown’s Facebook page
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Celebrating Coach Fagan’s Retirement (May 2-3)

Former Warner Pacific soccer alumni, fans, and friends, please join us as we celebrate Bernie Fagan’s retirement from 26 years of coaching at the College.

We have a full weekend of festivities planned, to help you connect with your beloved coach and fellow players.

Spread the word!

Please RSVP no later than 5:00 pm on Thursday, April 30.

Warner Pacific retiring soccer coach Bernie Fagan
RSVP button

Retirement Celebration Schedule

Saturday, May 2
3:00 – 7:00 pm Open House Hosted by Bernie and Susan Fagan Bernie and Susan Fagan’s home: 4015 NE Wistaria, Portland OR 97212
7:30 pm Portland Timbers Game vs. Vancouver Whitecaps Providence Park: $35 per ticket (Limited tickets available. Price is discounted due to group sales and obstructed view.)
Sunday, May 3
2:00 – 4:30 pm Soccer Alumni Scrimmage and BBQ WPC Home Pitch at Portland Adventist Academy, 1500 SE 96th, Portland OR 97216: Bring your chairs and blankets for this picnic style BBQ.  $15 per adult, and $10 per child
5:30 pm Post Game Alumni Gathering with Bernie and Susan McMenamins Edgefield, 2126 SE Halsey St., Troutdale OR 97060 (This is a no host event. Alumni and family are welcome to join us. While you will order on your own, please RSVP so we can add you to the reservation.)


Questions, please contact the Director of Alumni: Serena Cline at or 503.517.1026.


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Dr. Andrea Cook named a 2015 Orchid Award Winner by the Portland Business Journal

Dr. Andrea Cook, President of Warner PacificWarner Pacific College President Dr. Andrea Cook was recently named a 2015 Orchid Award Winner by the Portland Business Journal, which will honor her during their “Women of Influence” awards ceremony on Thursday, April 16.

The Orchid Award honors and recognizes the region’s most influential women professionals with strong records of innovation, outstanding performance in their respective fields, and meaningful contributions to their communities. Nominations for the award were judged on three criteria: professional accomplishments, community leadership, and awards and milestones.

“Equitable access to higher education is central to the mission of Warner Pacific College and its president, Dr. Andrea P. Cook,” comments Judith McGee, Chair/CEO of McGee Wealth Management and a friend of the College. “Through specially tailored programs, first-generation students at Warner Pacific are achieving their higher education goals, paving the way to a brighter future. With love, respect, and accountability, Dr. Cook has nurtured a partnership with the Portland Leadership Foundation, creating the Act Six Leadership & Scholarship Initiative Urban Track, which provides full-need scholarships to under-represented, first-generation students in the Portland-metro area.”

Tom Mears, Chairman of The Holland, Inc., and member of the Warner Pacific Social Entrepreneurship Advisory Board, adds: “Under Dr. Cook’s leadership, the College has embraced its identity as an urban campus dedicated to serving the City of Portland. Dr. Cook is actively involved developing partnerships and collaborative relationships in the Portland area. She serves on the boards of Oregon Campus Compact, the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and on the national leadership council for the Church of God, Warner Pacific’s partnering church denomination.”

In recent years, the College has embraced innovations to assist and encourage scholarship and leadership as well as adapt to changes in higher education including adding a Social Entrepreneurship major, developing First-Year Learning Communities, offering Portland’s first undergraduate loan repayment assistance program that enables students to flourish in the career of their choice after graduation, and embracing transfer students from the many local Community Colleges.

On September 20, 2009, President Cook, a native Oregonian, was inaugurated as Warner Pacific’s seventh – and first female – president. Dr. Cook is the recipient of the Oregon Latino Agenda for Action’s Ally for Excellence Award; the Adventist Health Foundation’s Heroes of the Heart award for service to the Portland Community; and the Northwest Nazarene University’s L.E. Wesche Outstanding Educator of the Year award.

Dr. Cook is joined by 24 other exemplary Portland women being honored as Portland Business Journal as Women of Influence.

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President’s Tea ~ Saturday, April 18

Warner Pacific President's Tea 2014 by Kai Hayashi Dr. Andrea Cook, President of Warner Pacific College, our Act Six Scholars, and everyone at Warner Pacific thanks you for joining us on a beautiful Saturday morning for our sixth annual President’s Tea & Scholarship Auction.

We’d also like to extend a heart-felt thank you to our special guest, Liz Vice (singer and a pure Portland gem) and to our student speakers, Bronson Enos and Luwam Kahassay.

We are tallying up the amount you raised to support our urban and diverse student-leaders. All proceeds from the tea, auctions, and paddle raise benefit Act Six scholarship students.

view-photos-green-buttonPhotos from the April 18 event are available on our Facebook Page. Please tag yourself and share the photos.

For more information, contact the Office of Advancement at 503.517.1114 or email.


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Warner Pacific has a new Men’s Soccer Head Coach

On Friday, March 13, Warner Pacific Director of Athletics Jamie Joss announced that Chris Thoms will be the new head coach of the Knights men’s soccer program.

Thoms is a well-known club coach and individual trainer in the Portland area, working with Portland City United and Southside soccer clubs, as well as his own training and consulting business. His playing career spanned international professional opportunities in England, the Netherlands, and Thailand. He also competed domestically with the Salem Surge.

Read more…

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