Newsline Extra for April 8, 2009

“So also the Son gives life…” (John 5:21b).

1) Bridgewater College president Phillip C. Stone announces retirement
2) Donohoo ends service with church’s Donor Development department.
3) Dueck begins as denomination’s director for Transforming Practices.
4) Kobel ends service for General Secretary, to assist Conference Office.
5) More personnel announcements and job openings.

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1) Bridgewater College president Phillip C. Stone announces retirement.

Bridgewater (Va.) College president Phillip C. Stone has announced that he will retire at the end of the 2009-10 academic year, concluding 16 years at the helm of the institution. Stone took office on Aug. 1, 1994, as the seventh president of Bridgewater College. His retirement will be effective June 30, 2010.

In a letter to the college community, Stone wrote, “It is with bitter-sweet emotions that I announce that I will retire from the presidency of the College, effective June 30, 2010. The feelings are bitter because I shall so sorely miss being involved in the life of this wonderful campus community. The sweet part of my decision is the opportunity to have more time for my family, including my four wonderful grandchildren; reading; Lincoln research; travel; and, especially, spending more time in Germany where my wife and I have an apartment.” He thanked college employees and students for their friendship over the years and noted that being a part of the lives of Bridgewater students “has enriched my life beyond measure.”

Stone’s administration oversaw increased academic and athletic excellence, capital improvements, student successes, increased endowment, and expanded co-curricular opportunities. During his tenure as president, Stone–a member of the Bridgewater class of 1965–has overseen great progress and expansion in all areas of campus life, including undergraduate program growth, a nearly doubling of enrollment, and facility and technology expansion. Under his guidance, the college implemented its signature Personal Development Portfolio (PDP) program, elevated the quality of its faculty and staff and secured its financial underpinnings through the current Every Student, One Commitment Campaign for Bridgewater College.

James L. Keeler, chair of the Bridgewater College Board of Trustees, noted that Stone’s “leadership roles in the Church of the Brethren translated into a unique understanding of the church’s joint heritage with the college.” According to Keeler, a national search will be conducted to identify Stone’s successor.

Born in Bassett, Va., Stone attended the University of Chicago Graduate School of Economics and received a law degree from the University of Virginia. After 24 years of law practice with the Harrisonburg, Va., law firm of Wharton, Aldhizer & Weaver, Stone accepted the invitation to become president of Bridgewater College. In his law practice, he was involved in estate planning, corporate, and health law. He was elected a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, the American Bar Foundation, and the Virginia Bar Foundation. He was also listed in the first four editions of “The Best Lawyers in America.” In addition, he has held leadership positions in the Virginia State Bar, the Virginia Bar Association and other legal societies. In 1997, he served as president of the Virginia Bar Association. He has chaired the Virginia State Bar Committee on Ethics and its Disciplinary Board. He has been president or chairman of several bar groups.

Stone served as moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference from 1990-91, and also previously served as chair of the Church of the Brethren General Board. He has been a Bridgewater College Trustee since 1975. In 1987, he was honored as the National Churchman of the Year by Religious Heritage of America .

In addition, Stone is chair of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and has served as a trustee of the organization since 2007. He has been active in the NCAA as chair of the NCAA III Presidents Council (2004-06) and has served on a number of its committees. From 2005-06 he was a member of the NCAA Presidential Task Force on the Future of Division I Intercollegiate Athletics. He has taken an active role in local historical groups and annually conducts a ceremony at the local Lincoln Cemetery to commemorate the birth of Abraham Lincoln. He is founder of the Lincoln Society of Virginia and serves on the advisory board of the National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, as well as the advisory board of the Lincoln Forum. He was appointed by Virginia governor Mark Warner to the Commonwealth Transportation Board from 2002-05.

(Excerpted from a Bridgewater College press release written by Mary K. Heatwole.)

2) Donohoo ends service with church’s Donor Development department.

Bryan Douglas (Doug) Donohoo’s service as Special Gifts counselor in the Church of the Brethren’s Stewardship and Donor Development department ended on March 31. His position has been eliminated because of the economic recession and the budget reduction put in place by the Mission and Ministry Board. Each person whose position is eliminated because of the budget reduction is receiving a three-month severance package of regular salary and benefits and outplacement services.

Donohoo had served in the funding and stewardship area since he started work as Financial Resource Counselor for the Northeast on May 7, 2001. He came to work for the former General Board from Southern Ohio District, where he had served on the district board and on the New Church Development Task Force. He is an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren. During his tenure with the department, he has traveled extensively, meeting with donors and others interested in supporting the ministries of the denomination, encouraging Christian stewardship, and facilitating giving to the work of the church. His five-year service recognition in 2006 honored Donohoo in part for helping to “put the FUN in funding.” He has worked out of a home office in Englewood, Ohio.

3) Dueck begins as denomination’s director for Transforming Practices.

Stan Dueck began April 6 as director for Transforming Practices in the Church of the Brethren’s Congregational Life Ministries. The director for Transforming Practices is a new position created as part of a redesign of Congregational Life Ministries.

The plan for Congregational Life Ministries includes a staff configuration with four director-level positions: Transforming Practices, Intercultural Ministries, Spiritual Life and Discipleship, and Youth and Young Adult Ministries. The director for Transforming Practices will focus on helping leaders of congregations and other groups influence change, expand mission, cultivate evangelism, and assist the church through the process of transformation. The director will emphasize building capacity for leadership and developing networks to exchange services and resources throughout the denomination.

Dueck had served as a member of the Congregational Life Team since June 14, 1999, when he was hired as Congregational Life Team staff for Area 1. He brings skills as a strategic consultant for vision and mission, reorganization, leadership development, and cultivating healthy systems. A strength of his work has been the ability to help the church understand what is happening in the North American context through an evangelical Anabaptist perspective, and then to utilize that knowledge to connect to and express faith, history, and journey. He is an ordained minister.

4) Kobel ends service for General Secretary, to assist Conference Office.

Jon Kobel’s service as manager of office operations for the General Secretary of the Church of the Brethren will end on June 19, after which he will assume new duties as conference assistant for the Conference Office of the Church of the Brethren.

Kobel has filled the managerial post in the General Secretary’s office since June 1999. During his tenure, he has assisted current general secretary Stan Noffsinger as well as former general secretary Judy Mills Reimer, and has served as recorder of minutes for the denomination’s board. For a time, he will work alongside current conference assistant Dana Weaver as he learns the job. In September, the Conference Office will be moved to the General Offices in Elgin, Ill., from its current location at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.

The position of manager of office operations for the General Secretary is being eliminated because of the economic recession and the budget reduction put in place by the Mission and Ministry Board. Nancy Miner’s position as manager in the office of the Associate General Secretary of Ministry and Program/Executive Director of Caring Ministries, which she has filled since last September, will be modified to provide managerial assistance to both the General Secretary and the Associate General Secretary of Ministry and Program.

5) More personnel announcements and job openings.

  • Two employees of Brethren Press–Jean Clements and Margaret Drafall–are moving to half-time from fulltime positions. Clements serves as Yearbook specialist, and Drafall is a customer service resource specialist. Both work at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill.
  • The New Windsor (Md.) Conference Center is thanking a number of volunteer hosts. Dick and Erma Foust of New Lebanon, Ohio, served as hosts in the Old Main building from January through the first half of March. Al and Susanne Chrysler of Vassar, Kan., have served as hosts for Old Main and Windsor Hall since October. Art and Lois Hermanson of Kingsley, Iowa, have begun their 16th year as hosts, and will be hosting for Zigler Hall. Gloria Hall-Graham (nee Schimmel) and her husband, Ed, of Sebring, Fla., will serve as hosts for Old Main. First-time volunteers Tom and Mary Ellen Foley of Cape Porpoise, Maine, will be hosts for Windsor Hall.
  • McPherson (Kan.) College invites nominations and applications for vice president of Academic Affairs. The vice president of Academic Affairs will report directly to McPherson’s new president, Michael P. Schneider, and work closely with him in shaping the college’s future. Department and division chairs, the library director, registrar, and the Center for Academic Development report to the vice president. McPherson is a small college (500 fulltime students) focusing on career-oriented liberal arts, located in McPherson, Kan., about one hour north of Wichita. The college was founded in 1887 by members of the Church of the Brethren and remains committed to the values of the church: peace and justice, ethical behavior, and putting faith into action. McPherson’s mission is to develop whole persons through scholarship, participation, and service. The next vice president of Academic Affairs will be someone who is capable of inspiring excellence in teaching and learning; can provide innovative thinking and sound judgment to the complex process of strategic planning and academic budgeting; is committed to working collaboratively with the faculty on program development and assessment and encouraging professional development; embraces the mission of a church-related college and the values of the Church of the Brethren; possesses an earned doctorate, preferably in an academic area available at McPherson, significant undergraduate classroom experience, and a record of achievement as an academic leader at the level of department chair or higher. Nominations, inquiries, and expressions of interest, which will be held in the strictest confidence, should be submitted as a Microsoft Word attachment to Shane Netherton, Chair of the Search Committee, at Applicants should provide a letter of application, resume or curriculum vitae, and a list of references. Go to for more information. The search committee is being assisted by Dr. Thomas Scheye, former Provost and Distinguished Service Professor at Loyola University Maryland, who has served as a consultant to the college for the past five years. Questions may be addressed to him directly at Review of candidates will begin May 4, and continue until the position is filled. The desired start date is July 1.
  • McPherson College also seeks applications for the position of vice president for Advancement. The successful candidate will provide energetic and inspirational leadership, vision, and strategic direction for the college’s fundraising efforts including annual giving, capital campaigns, planned giving, scholarships, and other endowment opportunities; develop and coordinate a comprehensive marketing, advertising, and public relations strategy; and oversee the administration of alumni, church, and parent relations. The vice president for Advancement reports directly to the president and is a member of the president’s cabinet. The successful candidate will possess the following qualities: a bachelor’s degree (advance degree preferred); five to seven years of experience in advancement/fundraising; willingness to travel often to meet with external constituencies. Visit for a detailed job description. To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and reference list to Human Resource Manager, McPherson College, P.O. Box 1402, McPherson, KS 67460; or McPherson College is an equal opportunity employer.
  • Church World Service is searching for a new regional staff person in the Great Rivers Region. An opening is available to fill the vacated position of regional director supporting the work of CWS out of an office in Oak Brook, Ill. A detailed announcement is available from the Illinois and Wisconsin District Office, 309-649-6008. To apply, send a resume and cover letter to Church World Service/CROP, Attn: K. de Lopez, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515. Applications must be received by April 20.

Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren, or 800-323-8039 ext. 260. Cori Hahn and Karin Krog contributed to this report. Newsline appears every other Wednesday, with other special issues sent as needed. The next regularly scheduled issue is set for April 22. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. For more Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine, call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.

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