The 2008 U.S.News & World Report annual collegiate rankings lists Huntington University 7th among the Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the Midwest region. Huntington also ranked 5th in the Best Values category. This ranking is based on the percentage of students receiving need-based grants, the average cost of tuition after receiving those grants, and the average discount from the total cost.

“The cost component has been a result of working hard as a campus to keep recent tuition increases well below the average for other colleges and universities to impact the sticker price while also offering increased financial aid to positively impact the net price that students actually pay to attend Huntington,” says Jeff Berggren, HU’s Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing (right).

Tuition for fulltime undergraduates increased just three percent for the 2007-2008 year, the third consecutive year for low or no price increase. That compares to an average 5.9 percent increase nationally at four-year private colleges. About 90 percent of Huntington University students receive financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, loans or work-study assistance.

Berggren says he hopes “families that would love to send their children to a high-quality, Christ-centered university, but don’t explore Huntington because of cost, will now give us a good look as part of their college selection process.”

HU_newresidencehall.jpgHuntington University broke ground for a new residence hall on July 12. Construction will be completed in time for the fall 2008 semester. The facility is designed to house 150 undergraduate students, mostly freshmen and sophomores.

The university’s current housing capacity is 718 beds, including residence halls, Forester Village apartments, and two campus-owned houses. During the 2006-2007 academic year, Huntington was at 93 percent of its housing capacity. For the 2008-2009 year, the university won’t have enough housing for the number of students they expect.

The building, designed by the InterDesign Group, Inc., will sit across from Miller and Meadows halls with the front entrance facing Lake Street. It will have 154 beds, mostly for freshman and sophomore students, and will cost $6-7 million.

The general contractor is Fetters Construction Co. of Auburn, Ind., which also built the Science Hall and renovated Brenn Hall.

Parkview Huntington Hospital has awarded a $75,000 grant for Huntington University’s new nursing program. This gift is in addition to Parkview’s $100,000 grant in February 2006.

“We could not imagine starting a program without the support of Parkview Huntington Hospital,” said Dr. Norris Fr5iesen, vice president and dean of the university, “and we anticipate a long-term partnership. Parkview Huntington Hospital not only provides financial support like this grant, but will also work with us to provide hands-on training for our future nurses.”

The funds will be used for start-up costs for the nursing program.

“This partnership enhances our already strong ties with the university and addresses the national shortage of experienced nurses,” said Darlene Garrett, chief operating officer for Parkview Huntington Hospital. “The stability and quality of our nation’s health care system relies on a sufficient supply of well-educated and skilled nurses. The addition of a nursing degree program at Huntington University is a major step toward meeting these needs.

Lutheran Hospital of Fort Wayne, Ind., donated 12 beds to Huntington University’s nursing clinical lab. The beds are the same type used in Lutheran’s clinical care areas. They were placed in two classrooms in the newly renovated lower level of the Science Hall, eight beds in one room and four in the other.

Read more about Huntington University’s nursing program.

Huntington University GraduatesOn May 19, Huntington University awarded degrees to 200 students during Commencement Exercises. Four new programs at Huntington University saw their first graduates walk the aisle

  • Marci Roller, an elementary teacher in Andrews, Ind., received the Master of Education degree. The program, begun in 2005, now enrolls 15-25 students each term.
  • Six students received degrees in Social Work.
  • One student, Jason Latino, received a degree in Digital Media arts. “Our goal is for students to be making films, images, and projects that will find their way out into the campus community and beyond,” says instructor Steve Leeper. “By the time a student graduates from the DMA program, there is every possibility that his or her work will already have established a presence on the Internet, in festivals, and even within the media industry. With the advent of the Internet, there are literally hundreds of venues available for digital media.”
  • Jason Rahn and Matt Gerlach comprise the first graduating class of Recreation and Sport Ministry majors, a program started in 2004 which prepares students to plan, direct, and initiate church-based or community recreation programs and to use recreation and sports as a tool for outreach.

Roger Skinner receives honorary degree from Huntington University
HU Board Chairman Ed Souers (left) and Dean of the College Norris Friesen (right) conduct the hooding ceremony for Roger Skinner.

Huntington University awarded four honorary degrees at its 2007 Commencement Exercises on May 19. Among them was Roger Skinner, a United Brethren endorsed missionary serving as USA executive director of OMS International. He was awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree for his long-time enablement of missionaries to serve around the world. He then delivered the Commencement address.

Skinner holds a degree in philosophy from Huntington University and a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He and his wife, Mary Lou, served as OMS missionaries in Ecuador from 1973-1995, initially in evangelism and church planting, and later at Evangelical bible Seminary and in a pastoral role. They returned to the US in 1995 to work at the OMS International headquarters in Greenwood, Ind., where they now live.

Previously, Roger Skinner received the Alumnus of the Year award from Huntington University and was inducted into the HU Athletic Hall of Fame.
Other honorary degrees went to:

  • Homer Hiner, former president and CEO of Hiner Transport, and his wife Marjorie Hiner. They received a Doctor of Commercial Science.
  • Dr. Carol a. Clark, who practices obstetrics and gynecology in Anderson, Ind., received the Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Dave RahnDr. Dave Rahn, professor of youth ministries at Huntington University, has collaborated with Youth for Christ to create a series of materials for young adults focusing on how to build relationships with Jesus Christ and their friends.

The program, titled “3Story®,” was first introduced to students at the Youth for Christ DCLA conference in 2003 and 2006. DCLA is a conference that is held in both Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles for middle school and senior high students. The program proved to be effective and had many students asking how they could take the program back to their friends.

“‘3Story®’ is a way of understanding and seeing how we lean into key relationships that influence us,” said Rahn, “especially as we lean into the key relationship – a relationship with God.” Rahn and YFC took the curriculum from DCLA and polished it into a set of eight one-hour sessions. Each session is used mainly in a small-group setting and includes resources to stimulate discussions and support clips.

The “3Story®” curriculum, published by Zondervan and Youth Specialties, is available at YouthSpecialities.com and booksellers nationwide. The kit includes the two-disc curriculum course and five participant guides.

The Indiana State Board of Nursing has approved Huntington University‘s application to begin offering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program in the fall of 2007. The board announced its decision at a meeting in Indianapolis on March 15.

“Nursing will be a very strategic addition to our academic programs and will expand our ability to educate students to impact the world for Christ,” said Dr. G. Blair Dowden, president of Huntington University.

This state approval process involved providing extensive evidence of the appropriateness of the curriculum, the faculty, the nursing director and resources to support the program.

“I want to congratulate Dr. Pat Pierce, who authored our lengthy application to the State Board of Nursing and has worked tirelessly to lay the groundwork for our nursing program,” Dowden said. Pierce is the university’s interim director of nursing. In January, Huntington announced that Margaret Winter had been hired as the director of the Department of Nursing.

Next, the university will seek professional accreditation for the new program from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. CCNE is an independent accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency. CCNE assesses baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs.

Meanwhile, construction on the university’s nursing facilities will be completed in the coming weeks. The program will be housed in the lower level of the state-of-the-art, 93,000 square foot Science Hall. Equipment and supplies will be moved in before classes begin in the fall.

Dr. G. Blair Dowden, president of Huntington University, is the 2007 recipient of the Charles Morris Athletics Administrator of the Year award presented by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

He is the first president to receive the award, which is given to administrators involved in all of phases of NAIA athletics programs.

“I am humbled and thankful for this incredible honor,” Dowden said. “I accept it on behalf of my fellow NAIA presidents and on behalf of all who are involved in our athletic programs. These are the individuals who work hard to ensure integrity in athletics on our campuses.”

Dowden received the award on March 18 at the 66th Annual NAIA National Convention for his service to the association.

Dowden, who is in his 16th year as Huntington’s president, has served the NAIA at the conference, regional, and national levels. From 1997-1999, Dowden was the founding chairman of the Mid-Central Conference Council of Presidents. He also has been a presidential representative to the NAIA’s Regional Management Committee. In 2001, he served as chairman of the NAIA Council of Presidents and then continued as a member of the NAIA Council of Presidents Administrative Committee from 2002-2005.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 14 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past eight years, Huntington has produced 57 NAIA All-America honors and 122 All-America Scholar Athlete honors.

Huntington University has pledged $250,000 to the Huntington YMCA to help build swimming pool facilities in the new YMCA building, which will break ground this spring next to Parkview Huntington Hospital. When the new YMCA opens in 2008, HU will close its own pool.

HU spends about $60,000 a year on its own pool (supplies, chemicals, utilities, routine labor, lifeguards, etc.). Plus, the pool needs over at least $217,000 in short-term repairs and upgrades. So over an eight-year period, HU will spend over $800,000 on its pool during the next ten years.

The YMCA will give university students and employees free recreational access to its swimming pool facilities, allow aquatics classes to use the facilities free, and provide recreational use by participants in summer conferences held at the university for the next ten years.

The pool will be called “Forester Pool,” named after HU’s mascot.

HU’s pledge will enable the YMCA to expand the pool from 6-8 lanes and to increase the size of the warm-water recreational and therapy pool.

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Christina Warner (second from the left) and her class at the Wadi Qilt on the way to Jericho and before reaching St. George’s Monastary.

On the Eastern side of the Mount of Olives, past the separation wall, Huntington University student Christina Warner sits across the table from a Muslim family, who share stories about their lives after the start of the second uprising.

“The family has lost close family members, either because they were killed or jailed, since the beginning of the intifada,” said Warner, a senior Bible and religion major from Bloomington, Ind. “They were incredibly welcoming, and I was honored to be able to sit and listen to their stories.”

This family is one of millions of people who have suffered great loss because of the intifada. Since the separation wall has been erected, the people are cut off from the basic resources of the land and economy that would help them to survive and support their families.

There are many organizations that help the community. The local Mennonite Central Committee office in Palestine supports 15 organizations that help the Palestinian people while they are under Israeli occupation. Warner has joined in on the daily meetings, which has given her the chance to see firsthand what they do as well as help provide her with a better understanding of the current political and social situation.

“These organizations provide basic education, conflict resolution, jobs, agricultural resources and water,” Warner said. “They also support a couple of Israeli organizations which educate the Israeli public about the living conditions of Palestinian refugees, comparing the current quality of life with the quality of life before the occupation and displacement of the Palestinian people.”

Warner is involved in a study abroad program at Jerusalem University College on Mount Zion, next to the Old City. The Jerusalem University College is a small American Christian college that specializes in biblical archaeology, history of the Bible and the Middle Eastern cultures, religions and modern politics.

Each of Warner’s classes involves participating in one field study. The field studies are basically field trips throughout Israel. The students must pay close attention to what they see and learn so that they do well on their tests.

“So far I’ve been on field studies throughout biblical Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho and Central Benjamin Plateau, an area that the Israelites crossed to get into Canaan,” said Warner.

Although, like most college students, Warner goes to classes and does homework. In her free time she roams around Jerusalem. She goes to a local lecture, works in the garden, spends time with MCC or goes to the New City, West Jerusalem, which is mostly Israeli homes and businesses, with other students.

Most of the city isn’t much different from the cities in the United States, but each section has different social customs. East and West Jerusalem have very diverse cultures.

“The dynamics between men and women are much different,” said Warner. “The conservative atmosphere and most of the Orthodox faiths here tend to view women as less than men, but it’s not taking too long to learn how to hold my own while being respectful.”

In West Jerusalem the primary language is Hebrew, but in East Jerusalem the primary language is Arabic. Although, most of the people speak English, the professors are fluent in the languages, but Warner plans to learn a bit of both Hebrew and Arabic while she is in Israel.