Alumni

National Award Caps Remarkable College Experience

Erik Mendoza has been playing basketball for as long as he can remember. Like most kids, he learned the basics from dad in his front driveway. But unlike most kids, Mendoza began attending the Chicago Bulls Training Academy when he was 8. It was the '90s in Chicago. The Bulls were heroes; Michael Jordan was a king.

Mendoza, a die-hard Jordan fan, stayed at the academy until he was 15. After playing all four years of high school, he was ready to compete at the college level. A small school didn't appeal to him. He definitely wasn't planning on going to Multnomah.

erik_main‘Jesus has changed my life’

Mendoza’s step-dad and step-grandfather had attended MU. They had great things to say about the close-knit school in Portland. So despite some misgivings, Mendoza decided to visit.

Ultimately, it was the people that won him over.

"I was excited to move out West," he said. "And I had this curiosity about my faith."

Mendoza had been raised in the Church, but he was uncertain about what he'd learned there. Things changed when he moved onto campus his first year.

"When I came to MU, I was tired of an empty life," he said. Four years later, Mendoza is a different man. "Jesus has changed my life," he said. "He has given me so much peace."

Mendoza was also given endless opportunities to mature as an athlete and a Christ follower. His heart for others did not go unnoticed: This year, he was honored with the Pete Maravich Memorial Award, a national honor that annually recognizes an outstanding NCCAA senior who has shown excellence in competition, skill, academics and service.

‘I didn’t want to leave’

A year into Multnomah, Mendoza wasn't sure he was going to stay. He had developed a strong interest in business and marketing. At the time, MU had yet to launch its business program, so Mendoza considered transferring to a different school. He couldn't do it.

"I had made such good relationships here," he said. "I didn't want to leave."

The more he spoke to people about his interest in marketing, the more he felt a pull toward a psychology degree. Ultimately, he decided he could stay at MU and work toward the business world.

‘I've learned so much’

And that's exactly what Mendoza has done. During his sophomore year, he began working as a product tester for one of the world's top sports brands, Adidas. Every couple months, he'd take a pair of prototype shoes home and "wear the heck out of them." Over the next several months, Mendoza would take detailed notes on how the shoes felt, performed and stood up to countless hours in the court. Then he’d submit his observations to Adidas before starting the process all over again.

After two years of testing shoes, Mendoza interned in the product development department. The rapport he's built with Adidas, coupled with the experience he's gained at MU, has opened several doors for him. Since graduating in May, Adidas has hired him as a full-time retail marketing specialist for its basketball, baseball and football divisions.

"I have no marketing experience," Mendoza said. "But through earning my psychology degree, I've learned so much about how people work. To translate that into marketing has not been that hard; it's actually given me a boost in how I view marketing."

Mendoza hasn't only learned how people think, he's also come to appreciate others more than ever. His second major, Bible & Theology, has helped him do that. "I love the layout of the program — that you get to go through the whole Bible in four years," he said. "And I appreciated the teaching. The professors are fantastic; they make it such a strong program, and they relate the Bible to real life."

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A better and stronger person’

But it's the basketball team that's been the driving force in Mendoza's life these past four years.

"The team was the catalyst for me being at this school, learning what I've learned," he said. "It was always the one constant thing in my life."

Mendoza thrived while playing for the Lions. He served as team captain for three years. Basketball coach Curt Bickley puts a heavy emphasis on missions and community service; he's accompanied Mendoza and his team on mission trips to the Czech Republic and Taiwan. Mendoza has also volunteered, alongside his teammates, at Providence Children's Hospital for the past four years.

"All these things make the basketball team more than a basketball team," he said. "Coach Bickley is a fantastic role model. He creates men. He'll be blunt with you. But if you stick around, you'll come out a better and stronger person. He's one of the people here who has impacted me the most."

‘It’s been a good four years’

It was because of Bickley that Erik was nominated for the Pete Maravich Memorial Award.

"It never crossed my mind that I'd be nominated," Mendoza said. But Bickley had been impressed by Mendoza's growth during his time at MU, and he recommended him to the group of coaches that determines the award-winner.

The coaches voted for Mendoza.

When Bickley called him with the news, Mendoza was shocked. "I hadn't known I was even nominated until he called me and told me I'd won," he said. "I was pretty blown away."

The award seemed to come at the perfect time.

"I had been really anxious and scared about my basketball career ending, and I was trying to ignore it," he said. "It was bittersweet — but amazing — to see how God wrapped up my time here: The season came to an end, I made my last shot and then I found out about the award.

"I felt like it was God's way of saying, 'You've done a good job here, but it doesn't have to be sad. It's been a good four years, but it's time to move on to the next phase.'"

MU Celebrates its 50-Year Alumni during Graduation Week

Comments Off Written on May 7th, 2014 by
Categories: Alumni, Events
Every year, Multnomah honors its graduates of 50 years by inducting them into our 50-Year Alumni Society. To applaud this important achievement, we have a special day of celebration planned on Friday May 9, 2014. This year will mark our 13th annual celebration.
MU's 50-Year Alum Society

MU's 50-Year Alum Society

The day's events

The day's activities will include baccalaureate chapel, a special luncheon and induction ceremony, a 50-year class reunion and tour of the campus. The day will conclude with participation in Multnomah's graduation ceremony at Rolling Hills Community Church. It will be a wonderful time to reconnect with friends and review the Lord's faithfulness over the last 50 years.

'These society members are a testimony to us and to the generations that have followed'

I think there is something very special about this half-century mark that underscores the legacy of a Multnomah education. I believe it's a tangible expression of our rich heritage that truly demonstrates God’s faithfulness throughout the generations and the vitality of our daily relationship with Him. These 50-Year Alumni society members are a testimony to us and to the generations that have followed.

In speaking with Bill Kramer, one of this year’s 50 year society members, I was so encouraged by his heart for our graduates and his desire to encourage them in the journey ahead. I hope you enjoy his story and words of wisdom.

Encouragement to the Class of 2014 from 50-Year Society member Bill Kramer

Class of 2014, you’re not finished yet. Be ready to let Him amaze you. He delights in doing more than you can imagine. He will put before you opportunities that will force you to totally depend on Him. You are His servant. You are called to glorify Him and Him alone.

I completed my work at Multnomah in 1964. On November 28, 1967, Cadence International asked me if I would be willing to open a ministry with the U.S. Air Force in Ubon, Thailand. Their goal was for me to be in Thailand by the first of the year. That was in 30 days.

'God amazed me'

I had known for years I would end up somewhere overseas. But I was thinking, “Who will support me? I am a nobody.  I’m a farmer from Kansas.” One truth I had not grasped was that God is in charge. He delights in taking a nobody to show that He is somebody. What He does, He does for His glory.

I had 30 days to get my passport, my visa and my financial support. To my knowledge, my 70-year-old dad was not a believer. Every time I would bring up the subject, he would say, “I don’t want to talk about it.” I wanted to go back to Kansas to see my parents and talk to my dad one more time before I left for Thailand.

50YearAlum_main2

Bill and Jeannette Kramer

God amazed me. My support came in. My passport and visa were in order. And what thrilled my heart most was that my dad received Jesus a few days before I returned to Portland and departed for Thailand.

'We have found your wife'

Then God started to amaze me by the growing number of men he brought to my ministry. When I had been in Thailand for about a year, a close friend who was teaching at an elementary school wrote to me: “We have found your wife.”

My future wife, Jeannette, had been in Cameroon, Africa, teaching at a teacher training college, but was now teaching at the same school as my friend. I started writing to Jeannette. Our relationship via letters grew so naturally.

After five months, I proposed, and she accepted. In September of 1969, I returned to the States to meet  and marry Jeannette. As the aircraft  began its descent on the Portland Airport,  it hit me that there was a woman down there that I loved and was looking forward to spending the rest of my life with. Yet we had never met. That was almost 45 years ago. Jeannette was perfect for me.

'He is about to write His story on your life'

We were with Cadence for 23 years. We have worked in Thailand, Korea, Japan and Spain. God has given us fruit who are serving Him all over the U. S. and some overseas. We worked in pastoral ministry for another 20 years. For the last four years, we have been providing pastoral counselling and Bible Study materials for men in four different prisons.

God took me, that Kansas farmer, and amazed me by doing what I could have never imagined. He is about to write His story on your life.  Let Him, and you will be amazed.

— Bill Kramer

Multnomah University Updates — Winter 2014

Presidential Search

Subsequent to Dr. Dan Lockwood’s announcement of his intended retirement, MU’s Board of Trustees formed a search committee and launched a nationwide search for a new university president. After Lockwood stepped down from the presidency November 1, 2013, the board appointed Dr. Wayne Stickland as interim president.

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A Message from Dr. Wayne Strickland, MU’s Interim President

Multnomah is in a time of transition. It is times like these that remind us to maintain our mission and yet move forward with innovations that allow us to be more effective in our execution of Christ’s mission for us. We must continually assess the challenges and opportunities before us. We have the rare opening to raise the outreach and impact of Multnomah. Read the rest of this entry »

Change, Challenges and Opportunities

These past few months have been characterized by change — a season that has marked me, shaped me and continued to challenge me towards a deeper dependence on Jesus than I have ever known.

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You’re invited to MU’s free 2014 Athletics Alumni Day

This Saturday, February 15, Multnomah Athletics is hosting a special Athletics Alumni Day to celebrate all past and current MU athletes. This event is free, and everyone – alumni, students, staff and faculty – is invited and encouraged to bring friends, family, neighbors, youth groups and anyone else who will enjoy the day. Come prepared to dive into 12 hours packed with games, competition, camaraderie and lots of fun. Read the rest of this entry »

Chapel Series Tackles Sex, Lies and Recovery

Blake Williams, Multnomah alumnus and Executive Director of Pure Life Alliance, invites you to next week's chapel series.

I can still hear Dr. Pamela Reeve’s words: “You have a serious issue. You’ll need to stay out of ministry for at least a year.” These were not the words I wanted to hear when I was four months from graduating from Multnomah Biblical Seminary with my MDiv. I had been grappling with sexual sin for almost two decades, and I had just confessed it all to Dr. Reeve. Now, more than 14 years later, God has turned my story into one of sexual redemption and hope. Read the rest of this entry »

Dead Sea Scrolls Expert Speaks at MU

Dr. Robert Duke, noted Dead Sea Scrolls scholar, spoke before a crowd of students, alumni and faculty on Wednesday, January 15, on the Multnomah University campus. Duke, who graduated from MU in 1996, credits Multnomah with sparking the passion for biblical languages that led him to a career focused on analyzing ancient texts."Multnomah is a very special place to me," he said. "It was my springboard."
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Listen to Dead Sea Scrolls Expert Via Live Stream

Dr. Robert Duke, who graduated from Multnomah in 1996, will present his research on the Dead Sea Scrolls at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 15. Michelle Peel-Underwood, director of Alumni Relations, provides details below.
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Being Transformed Into His Image

Comments Off Written on May 30th, 2013 by
Categories: Alumni, Faculty, General, Students

"And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."
II Corinthians 3:18

“Dr. G” – As He is Affectionately Known

The auditorium erupted into applause and a standing ovation as Dr. Garry Friesen, this year’s commencement speaker, was introduced and presented with the special honor of Professor Emeritus by Multnomah’s President and Board of Trustees. The influence “Dr. G” has had in the lives of students, faculty, staff and alumni alike is remarkable.  The evening was especially significant for our Multnomah community in light of Garry’s retirement announcement after 37 years of teaching on Multnomah’s faculty.
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