Asbury College Announces Leadership Transition
Dr. William Crothers Named President During Transition
The Board of Trustees of Asbury College is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. William Clark Crothers as its president for the next academic year. Dr. Crothers will assume the position on July 1.
Dr. Crothers served as president of Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, N.Y., from 1981 to 2002. He facilitated a renaissance at the school, more than tripling enrollment, expanding facilities, increasing recognition for academic quality, balancing the budget and substantial growth in the College’s endowment. In addition, graduate level programs were introduced, including the establishment of Northeastern Seminary.
Crothers was born, raised and educated in Michigan. He earned a B.A. degree in business administration at the University of Michigan-Flint College, a M.B.A. in finance from Western Michigan University and a Ph.D. in higher education administration at Michigan State University.
In addition to his various roles at Roberts Wesleyan College, he served as director of institutional research and executive director of university planning at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He also was the executive vice president of Bethel College in Indiana.
He and his wife, Rilla Vannest, a registered nurse, have three married daughters—Vanessa Stallkamp, Stephanie LeVan, and Michelle Read—and several grandchildren. They recently returned to their home town of Davison, Michigan where Dr. Crothers served as the managing partner of Presidential Leadership Associates, a consulting firm for non-profit organizations.
Vice President of Institutional Advancement accepts new challenge
Reverend Robert T. Bridges ’69, vice president of institutional advancement, announced his decision to move to a new position today. Bridges will be the executive vice president of RTS Foundation at Reformed Theological Seminary, with full campuses in Orlando, Fla., Charlotte, N.C., and Jackson, Miss., as well as emerging campuses in Washington, D. C., Atlanta, Ga., and Boca Raton, Fla., and a virtual campus.
He leaves the College after more than five years of service to his alma mater. Under his direction, the institutional advancement division has seen increased giving in his time of service. Bridges was responsible for the development, alumni and public relations offices. Changing the philosophy of giving at the College from small gifts to major gifts, he increased unrestricted funds from $1.2 million to $1.9 million. He was the editor-in-chief of the College’s alumni magazine, the Ambassador, and was responsible for the over-all direction of alumni events.
Currently, he is responsible for the $14-million “Building Windows of Opportunity” campaign, which includes funding for the $10-million communications arts building. He has also been a vocal advocate for a stronger endowment program and is working toward increasing funds in that area, which he believes is the financial future of Asbury College.
Bridges has been involved in development for more than 27 years. He maintains his ordination with the United Methodist Church and was vice president at the Asbury Theological Seminary for 15 years. In addition to his responsibilities at the College, he is also a consultant in resource development having worked with hundreds of organizations and institutions over the last twenty years. Bridges and his wife, Candy Sommer ’72, will continue to reside in Lexington. He will continue to serve in his present capacity until August 31st at which time he will begin his new position.
President Paul A. Rader said, “Rev. Bob Bridges has made an outstanding contribution to Asbury College during his years as Vice President for Institutional Advancement. Annual giving has been raised to an all-time high under his leadership. The department has been positioned for continued effectiveness in providing the needed resources for the advancement of the College. We thank God for his service and pray God’s signal blessing on him as he moves to new challenges.”
Provost Announces Retirement
Friday, May 5, 2006, Dr. Ray Whiteman announced his retirement from Asbury College. The provost and chief academic officer for 12 years, Whiteman filled the position as second in command of the College. As chief academic officer he has strengthened the faculty and furthered the efficiency of the registrar’s office, ensuring the excellence of our academic programs.
“Dr. Ray Whiteman is a consummate professional in his role as provost and chief academic officer,” said Paul A. Rader, president. “He is a broadly knowledgeable and highly skilled administrator, and an indefatigable worker. He has brought our academic programs to a whole new level of effectiveness. It has been a joy to be associated in the work of the college. Ray Whiteman is one of the godliest men I know. Asbury owes him a debt we can never pay for his unwavering loyalty to the mission and purpose of the college and his unstinting labors on her behalf.”
During his tenure at the College, many changes have taken place on campus. He began with re-structuring the pay scale for faculty, as well as providing computers for each faculty member. He made provision for faculty professional development and encouraged faculty participation in their professional guilds. He guided the College through its accreditation process, initiating annual assessments for each academic area. During his tenure, the college obtained NCATE accreditation, as well as NSWE accreditation.
Dr. Whiteman gave direct oversight to the construction of the Kinlaw Library facility, the newest structure on Asbury’s campus which houses the library, a learning resource center and the campus information services department. He facilitated development of the graduate program, which offers degrees in the field of education. In the fall of 2005, the ACHIEVE adult degree completion program also became a reality under his supervision.
Whiteman has also worked with the admissions office in order to garner more prospective students. Under his supervision of this area, the College has received the most applications in its history. An advocate for the College, he was integral in the development of the admissions effort at Ichthus, a Christian music festival.
Whiteman and his wife, Jean, a professor in the English department, will be retiring effective July 1, 2006.
Gray Named Provost
Dr. Sandra Gray will be the provost beginning July 1, 2006.
“Dr. Gray has served the College and its students faithfully for the past 17 years,” said Dr. Paul A. Rader, president. “We are elated that she has agreed to take on the duties of the provost. Dr. Gray is an exceptional professor and faithful servant of the Kingdom. I am confident that she will take on these new duties with as much joy and vigor as she has shown in the classroom and as a mentor, counselor and advisor.”
Gray holds a B.B.A., M.B.A. and Ph.D. in public administration from the University of Kentucky.
Having joined the Asbury College faculty in 1989, Gray is currently a professor of business management and chair of the department of business and economics at the College.
In addition to her appointments at the College, Gray has taught several courses on international trade and financial markets in Russia, China and Austria. Last summer, she led the College’s first business-related mission trip. Gray and a team of 12 business students taught basic business skills to community members in Choluteca, Honduras. The team, named “Kingdom Business,” helped several citizens to launch new businesses, even loaning them start-up money through a micro-loan program. This year, another team will return to the city to continue the ministry.
She has spoken nationally and internationally on business and economics, but also on faith and prayer. In 2000, she served on the Committee for Education, “Educating for a Culture of Peace” at the United Nations.
Throughout her career at Asbury College, Gray has served on numerous college boards and planning committees. She was the vice chair of the faculty from 2003-05, and is currently a member of the faculty development committee and president of Dawn Trades Investment Group.
In addition to her work at the College, Gray has led singles’ and women’s retreats for the past 11 years and serves as a board member to the World Gospel Mission and Messiah Ministries.
Prior to her appointments at Asbury College, Gray worked in the banking industry.
Gray is a member of Financial Management Association, Delta Kappa Gamma and Christian Business Faculty Association.
Gray and husband, Ken, live in Nicholasville.
Brockinton Embraces New Opportunity
Dr. Joe Brockinton, vice president for student development, announced that he has accepted a position at Southern Wesleyan University in South Carolina beginning July 1, 2006.
Brockinton has played a vital role at the College for more than 23 years. A member of the class of 1974, he began his career at Asbury College in 1984 as a full-time instructor in the Physical Education Department. One year later, he became the dean of men, moving into the dean of students position and then into the vice presidential role. Known for his outstanding leadership in this field, Brockinton has had significant impact on this area at the College, implementing a discipleship model of tough love matched by mercy and grace. He has served as a consultant for many other sister institutions, leading the way in the field of student development.
Willa-sue Ling ’76 Brockinton began working at the College in 1989 in order to prepare for the College’s Centennial celebration. The director of conference services, Brockinton has greeted visitors to our campus from all over the world. Her “designer’s touch” has been felt all across campus.
The Brockintons have invested in the lives of students their entire career. They have led Bible studies and mission trips, been class advisors to the Agape Class of 2004, attended campus events far too numerous to count and have opened their home and lives to our student body.
Dr. Brockinton will be the vice president of student life and Willa-sue will be the assistant director of conference services at SWU.
"Dr. and Mrs. Brockinton have been models of Christ’s love and grace, touching the lives of students for more than twenty years," said Dr. Paul A. Rader, president of Asbury College. "Their great love for Asbury College and her students has been evident in all they do. We will miss their presence on this campus and wish God’s blessing on their service at Southern Wesleyan."
Troyer New Vice President
Dr. Mark Troyer will be the vice president for student development beginning July 1, 2006.
"We are delighted that Dr. Mark Troyer has accepted the position of vice president for student development and will have a key role in the leadership team here at Asbury College," said Dr. Paul A. Rader, president. "He has been uniquely prepared for the position into which he now moves. The leadership development program, which he has championed, has become a hallmark of the College, garnering national recognition. Asbury students will be well served by the giftedness, experience and commitment of Dr. Troyer."
Currently associate dean of leadership development at the College, Troyer has 20 years of higher education experience. He received his B.S. in communication and counseling from Grace College, M.A. in student personnel administration from Ball State University and Ph.D. in educational policy studies from the University of Kentucky with a primary research area of leadership studies. As an adjunct faculty member, Troyer teaches leadership-related courses in the communication arts department.
In his 16 years at Asbury College, he established a nationally acclaimed leadership program. Garnering the initial funding from the Kellogg Foundation in 1991, Troyer developed an intentional, multi-faceted leadership program that incorporated, among other components, service-learning, seminars and adventure experiences. He has consulted and spoken nationally on leadership development and teambuilding at higher education, non-profit and corporate institutions. He has served on local and national boards both in leadership and student affairs.
His awards and recognitions include the Ruth E. Bamford Award for Distinguished Service given by the Association for Christians in Student Development; the Leadership Jessamine County Honorary Alumni Award for more than 10 years of service to the community in this program; a Citation for Excellence from the Kentucky Governor’s Office for Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts and many numerous student development/leadership recognitions.
Troyer has made a significant impact on the Asbury College community. He has served as the Student/Faculty Council advisor for 16 years and as a member of numerous departmental review teams and other specially assigned committees. He is often called upon to speak at retreats, as well as lead teambuilding activities across the campus. Most recently, he provided leadership for two different student and community teams in a hurricane relief effort to Pass Christian, Miss.
Troyer and his wife, Diane, also an educator, are the parents of twins Brian and Randy, 15, and Lisa, 12.