The complete Huntington University chapel program on November 19, 2015, when four generations of the Merillat family–including matriarch Ruth Merillat–participated in a panel discussion led by HU president Sherilyn Emberton.

Ruth Merillat will celebrate her 95th birthday on January 18, 2016. Over the years she and her late husband, Orville, who passed away in 1999, have been a huge blessing to Huntington University and to many United Brethren churches and ministries across the world. Orville and Ruth started a cabinet company in 1946 which grew to become Merillat Industries, the world’s largest cabinet manufacturer.

On December 29, Ruth suffered a minor stroke. The family announced, “After a brief hospital stay, Ruth is now at home and getting some much-needed rest to help with her recovery. She has received countless flowers, cards, and well-wishes from her vast network of friends, and would like to thank each and every one of you for your thoughts, kindness, and prayers. As you can imagine, this is an important time for Ruth and our family as we work toward providing her with the 24-hour care she now requires.”

On November 19, Huntington University hosted four generations of the Merillat family on campus. Ruth Merillat, Richard & Lynette Merillat, and Tricia (Merillat) McGuire, along with her two daughters, were part of a panel on the subject of giving. Dr. Sherilyn Emberton, president of HU, led the panel discussion during the morning chapel. The video above includes the entire chapel.

The Merillats, members of Trenton Hills UB church in Adrian, Mich., first gave to Huntington University in 1968–a gift of cabinets for a house the college owned. In 1972 they led the campaign for the new Merillat Physical Education Complex, and gave toward nearly every building constructed in the 1980s and 1990s.

Three buildings on Huntington University’s campus are named after the Merillat family: The Merillat Complex (PLEX), the Merillat Centre for the Arts (MCA) and RIchLyn Library (a combination of the names Richard and Lynette).

The Merillats have contributed toward many other Christians organizations, and to numerous United Brethren causes–missionaries, church construction, church staff, national office staff and equipment, and much more.

Dr. Sherilyn Emberton (third from left) and other Huntington University staff wishing Ruth Merillatt a happy 95th birthday.

Dr. Sherilyn Emberton (third from left) and other Huntington University staff wishing Ruth Merillat a happy 95th birthday.


A group of Huntington University Occupational Therapy students decided to spend their January Term in Haiti. This trip is about offering mobility options and fittings to Haitians in need. This is the second year that a group of Occupational Therapy students have made this trip.

Nate Short, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, has accompanied the students during both trips. HU partners with Wheels of the World, a program created by Joni and Friends International Disability Center, for this project.

HU mascot Norm the Forester.

HU mascot Norm the Forester.

Huntington University is participating in a student-led food drive called “U Can Crush Hunger,” which has a goal of raising 125,000 pounds of food. It is sponsored by the Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana, Inc.

The Oct. 19-31 drive is a friendly competition between five colleges and universities: Huntington University, IPFW, Indiana Tech, Ivy Tech, and Saint Francis. The goal is for each school to collect 25,000 pounds of food.

Although Huntington University is the smallest of the participating schools, they hope to win this “food fight” while helping to alleviate food insufficiency in Huntington County.

Students, faculty, staff, administration, alumni, community members and friends are encouraged to donate to the campaign. There are three options:

  1. Drop off canned food in the barrels located in the lower level of the Habecker Dining Commons or the first floor of the Loew-Brenn building.
  2. Donate. Each $1 = 3 pounds of food!
  3. Text HUcrush to 74574. You’ll receive a response text that will direct you to an online form where you can text to give. Again: $1 = 3 pounds of food!

The official numbers have been released for fall 2015 enrollment at Huntington University. The total enrollment of 1,273 students is the largest enrollment over the past five years, with a 5 percent increase from 2014. Over 120 students identify as members of a United Brethren in Christ congregation.

The numbers are as follows:

  • Residential Campus Undergrads – 934.
  • Professional Programs – 78.
  • Graduate Students – 261 (+126 from 2014).
  • Total Enrollment – 1273 (+64 from 2014).

Some notes about the current student body.

  • There are 47 international students, which is an increase from 38 students in 2014. International student enrollment is at its highest point since the 1980s.
  • Overall student diversity is at 10% of overall student enrollment.
  • The largest area of growth comes from graduate programs in Counseling with the launch of the Townsend Institute, and the development of the Master’s in Organizational Leadership.
  • The growth in graduate programs was further fueled by the addition of 32 new students in the Doctorate of Occupational Therapy program, for a total of 64 students. The program accepts a maximum of 32 new students per year.
  • Strong numbers in programs like Digital Media Arts, Business, Nursing, Ministry, and Education continue to provide the foundation for undergraduate offerings.
  • The University successfully launched the Haupert Institute for Agricultural Studies this fall. It now has 16 students, of whom 12 are first-time freshmen.

On Friday, October 23, another Townsend Institute Symposium will be held at Huntington University. Registration starts at 8 am and the day concludes at 4:30 pm.

Two counseling trainings will be held in the morning, both led by Institute Fellows.

  • 8:45 am. Dr. Les Parrot–psychologist, professor, and author of several books–will address the subject, “Treatment and Resolution of Depression.”
  • 10:30 am. Nancy Houston a certified sex therapist and an associate pastor, will address, “Utilizing and Developing the Drives to Build Character Structure.”

In the afternoon, two Leadership trainings by Institute Fellows will address, in two parts, the topic “Building a High-Performance Culture.”

  • 1:15. Dave Brown, board chairman of Athletes in Action and former CEO LensCrafters, will speak on Part 1 of “Building a High-Performance Culture.”
  • 3:00. Fred Smith, founder and CEO of The Gathering, a community of Christian givers, will lead Part 2.

In addition, there will be Q&A times with Dr. Townsend throughout the day.

CEU’s will be available ($40 for 1.5 hours and $75 for 3 hours).

The Symposium is free, but registration is required. Please register by 2 pm on October 22.

The last Symposium for 2015 will be held December 11th.

americas-best-hopeAmerica’s Best Hope is about building godly leaders in the marketplace–men and women hungry to grow and lead spiritually, professionally, and personally. On November 13, you’re invited to Huntington University to view a simulcast of the 4th annual America’s Best Hope conference occurring live in Indianapolis. HU is one of 16 simulcast locations across the country.

A line-up of world class speakers–including the presidents of Tyson Foods and Hobby Lobby, Christian writer Lee Strobel, and comedian Michael Jr.– will address what defines a godly leader and how to practically integrate faith and vocation.

Past speakers have included Francis Chan, coaches Tony Dungy and Tom Crean, and Dr. John Townsend from Huntington University’s Townsend Institute.

Date: Friday, November 13.
Time: 8am – 4 pm (doors open at 7am).
Location: Merillat Centre for the Arts at Huntington University.
Cost: $29. Includes lunch in the newly-renovated Habecker Dining Commons at HU.

The official numbers have been released for fall 2015 enrollment at Huntington University. It is the largest enrollment over the past five years, with a 5 percent increase from 2014.

The numbers are as follows:

  • Residential Campus Undergrads – 934.
  • Professional Programs – 78.
  • Graduate Students – 261 (+126 from 2014).
  • Total Enrollment – 1273 (+64 from 2014).

There also are 47 international students, which is an increase from 38 students in 2014. With the launch of the Haupert Institute for Agricultural Studies, there are 16 agribusiness majors, 12 of whom are first-time freshmen. Another area to note is that there are 32 new students in the Doctorate of Occupational Therapy program for a total of 64 students.

The growth in the Graduate programs was fueled by the second entering class of doctoral Occupational Therapy students, the development of the Master’s in Organizational Leadership, and the launch of the Townsend Institute.

The 2015-2016 school year is a record year for international student enrollment at Huntington University. There are a total of 47 international students representing 24 different countries. Of those, 23 students are new this year.

International students are considered to be any student coming from outside the United States. They may be students with international citizenship or students who are U.S. citizens living abroad.

International students help “broaden the worldview of our entire campus community,” says Daniel Solms (right), vice president for enrollment management & marketing. “Engaging with students from Europe, Asia, South America, etc. allows our students, as well as faculty and staff, to better understand the world we live in, helping us to become better at relating to others and assisting with world concerns.”

Shoshannah McKinney (right), as the international admissions counselor for the past three years, carries specific responsibility for international recruitment. Previously, international admissions was absorbed by other admissions counselors; no one person was focused on recruiting and supporting those students. “My sole region or territory is focused on international students, so I can give those prospective students a lot more focus and attention and walk them through the process, which is much different than that of a domestic student.”

During the past three years, she has seen a steady enrollment rise from 37 to the current 47 international students. She works part-time in that role, while also serving as associate director of the Institute for TESOL Studies.

Huntington University has gained international students through athletic recruitment, word-of-mouth from alumni, and the HU website. HU has also had a focused recruitment effort in China for the past three years, capitalizing on HU’s existing partnerships with schools and individuals in China, and on McKinney’s own experience living in China.

There were no Chinese student at HU during the 2011-2012 academic year, and hadn’t been any for several years. But over the past three years, HU has had:

  • 8 fulltime Chinese students.
  • 22 Chinese university students.
  • 12 Chinese high school students visit HU for one month during January Term.

To better serve these students, HU expanded the international orientation program. They started an international mentor program and are exploring ways for students to practice English.

This year’s new Intensive English Program will enable HU to accept students who need additional tutoring and support with the English language before they begin their classes.

Having this international population, says McKinney, “brings the world to HU in a sense and allows our domestic students, faculty and staff a cross-cultural experience right here. This better prepares them to go into the world to be all things to all people and to be loving and compassionate representatives of Christ.”

john-townsendAbout 400 people attended the first Symposium for the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling on August 29. It was a great way to kick off this major new program at Huntington University. Participants received top-tier leadership and counseling training by Dr. Townsend (right) and several of his colleagues and fellow authors.

A second Symposium will be held later this month:

Date: Friday, September 18.
Time: 8:30 am – 5 pm.
Location: Merillat Centre for the Arts, Huntington University.
Cost: Free.

On Friday, September 18, Huntington University will host the second Symposium for the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling. Dr. Townsend will be joined by these Institute Fellows, either in person or by video:

  • Ray Hilbert, CEO and co-founder of Truth at Work, an association which helps Christian business leaders build strong organizations.
  • Richard Halderman, CEO of Teays River Investments, a food and agribusiness company with over 1,200 employees.
  • Daniel Amen, M.D., psychiatrist, brain disorder specialist, best-selling author, founder of the Amen Clinics.
  • John Baker, co-founder of Celebrate Recovery with Rick Warren, on pastoral staff at Saddleback Church, popular author.
  • Jim Daly, President and CEO of Focus on the Family, and popular author, including the book Finding Home.

Although this training event is free, but you will need to register.

Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) are available through the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) for two presentations (one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon). The cost is $25 per hour ($50 for 2 hours total). Check the schedule for more specific information about CEUs. You must preregister and pay for CEUs prior to the event.

There is limited seating for a luncheon with Dr. Townsend, the Institute Fellows and Faculty. It will include a Q&A period.

Dr. John Townsend

Dr. John Townsend

Huntington University’s Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling is kicking off its first year by hosting an opening training event on August 29.

Registration for the event begins at 8:00 a.m. in the Merillat Centre for the Arts, with the welcome starting at 8:30 a.m.

New York Times best-selling author Dr. John Townsend will give counseling and leadership training on his Character-Plus-Competency model in the morning. It will be followed by a luncheon at College Park Church, 1945 College Ave., Huntington. Townsend will speak on both topics again in the afternoon. The day ends at 5 pm with a meet-and-greet with Townsend, faculty, and Institute Fellows.

Townsend has assembled a few of his colleagues to be Institute Fellows, who are experts in their field and a few bestselling authors, to add value to Institute students. Institute Fellows Dr. Gary Oliver, Dave Lindsey, Wayne Williams, and Steve Arterburn will speak live at the opening event. The other five speakers–Kenneth Blanchard, Drs. John and Julie Gottman, Dr. Henry Cloud, and John Ortberg–have each created a special video to be shown at the event.

“We are really excited that we can bring such world-class leaders to Huntington University to train not only our students in the Townsend Institute but area leaders,” said Scott Makin, Director of the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling.

This is the first of monthly training events that will take place through the Townsend Institute. Upcoming events will take place on September 18, October 23, December 11, January 22, February 26, March 11, April 29, and May 12.

There is no charge to attend the opening event. However, reservations are required. There is a $12 charge for the luncheon, and seating is limited to the first 200. Reservations and pre-payments are required by Monday, August 24.

The first of its kind, the Townsend Institute offers degree programs based on his Character-Plus-Competency model. The curriculum is biblically based, addresses the internal world of the leader and client, and uses the latest neuroscience research. It focuses on training the adult learner to help others grow and heal in the personal, relational, behavioral, and professional aspects of life. It is designed to be practical and skill-based, allowing the student to become a practitioner who is competent both in theory and technique.

The Institute offers a Master’s in counseling, a Master’s in organizational leadership, and credentials in executive coaching, counseling, and organizational leadership. More than just learning the Townsend model, students in the programs will also be personally taught by Townsend. He will lead sessions that demonstrate the different modules from his character growth model. The program is offered onsite at the Huntington and Fort Wayne campuses, as well as online.

“Dr. Townsend and I have been so excited by the overwhelming response to the programs that the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling is offering this fall,” Makin said. “We have had three times the amount of students enrolling than our highest goals. We will have nearly 120 students in the fall, and we still have room for more if students contact us within the next three weeks.”

The program is drawing both national and international students. For the online programs, students from all across the United States and international students from Africa and Holland are enrolled. There is still space in the program, and applications are due by August.