TrustHouse Founder Hand-Picks Successor | Business Wire


Dr. Brian Gardner

Dr. Brian Poplin ’97 graduate of IWU is selected as new CEO.  TrustHouse Founder Hand-Picks Successor | Business Wire.

Dr. Poplin comes to TrustHouse most recently from Medical Staffing Network Healthcare, LLC, where he has served as President and Chief Executive Officer since April 2013. The dynamic leader was previously with Aramark Healthcare Technologies for 19 years, where he was an integral part of the team that created a market-leading technology services company within the healthcare sector.



Are You Praying For IWU?

Join Dr. Jim Lo’s Prayer E-newsletter. Sign up by sending us a message – - and ask to be added!

Allow me to share a reality: There are times when it seems as though God is nowhere to be found. Students have come to tell me that sometimes they cannot feel God being near them. I have felt this way. Job, in the Old Testament, also felt this way. But in chapter 23 I was reminded that God is still “there”. That when I do not “feel” His presence I am to still closely follow His steps and keep His ways… I am not to depart from His commands and I am to still treasure His Word. Faith in God will allow me/us to eventually “come forth as gold”. (Thank you Lord for this reminder)

Pray for…

  • our students to stay focused on God even in the midst of Finals week.
  • our graduates as they seek for employment/ ministry opportunities.
  • safe traveling mercies as students leave the IWU campus for the Summer.
  • those who are traveling to other countries to serve, teach, minister and encourage.
  • God to lead ‘us’ to the right person to be the next Dean of the Chapel (I will be heading back to the classroom next year as well as serve in the role of “University/Campus Pastor”).
  • those who will be entering into less than ideal situations after Spring semester; that they will sense God walking with them.
  • IWU’s conference service team. (this summer IWU will be hosting thousands of visitors).
  • the hundreds of high school students who made spiritual responses during IWU’s Fusion youth conference. Pray that they will grow in their relationship with the Lord.
  • IWU student ministry teams as they minister at camps and conferences.
  • students to be led to enroll at IWU where they can be equipped to serve God in a hurting world.

Thank you so much for your ministry of prayer. I love the words of William Law when he wrote, “He who has learned to pray has learned the greatest secret of a holy, happy and productive life.”

Rev. Dr. Jim “Umfundisi” Lo+

Dean of the Chapel- Professor of Religion

Indiana Wesleyan University

Bowman House Reunion and Celebration

Two-year-old Uriah asks, “Can we go to the lobby?” He loves playing in the lobby of Bowman House, where his father, Luke Johns (’11), is the Resident Director. Luke and wife Lauren (’11) are expecting their second child in June.

Luke, who became the RD in 2012, is no stranger to Bowman. As a student, he lived in Bowman for four years, filling the roles of resident, Events Coordinator, RA, and ARD. “I climbed the ResLife ladder,” he explains.

Luke Johns

Luke Johns, RD of Bowman House

Bowman had a strong impact on Luke, because it’s “set up to mentor young men and teach them what it means to live in community.” Jared Begg, the former RD, was also a positive influence: “There’s a temptation in Christian culture to fake it. You want to look the part. But [Jared] didn’t try to make us think he had it all together.” Jared’s openness inspired Luke to be equally honest when he became an RD.

On a typical day, RDs have one-on-one meetings with 2-3 students, plus several business meetings, packed in around office hours and hours spent in the hall, interacting with residents. Fulfilling an RD’s role is a never-ending responsibility. “You could work 60-70 hours a week if you wanted to,” Luke says.

To balance his schedule, he counts on the ResLife staff to help mentor residents: “My target audience is my staff … The majority of my time is spent developing [them] so they can develop the residents.” Staff involvement is instrumental in providing a positive influence in the lives of Bowman’s 100-plus young men.

Following thirty years as a comprehensive female hall, Bowman became an all-freshman boys’ residence in 1996. The dorm now hosts events geared toward helping young men live faith-based lives according to its five pillars: Discipleship, Honor, Excellence, Leadership, and Tradition.

Luke’s favorite tradition is the beginning-of-the-year House Retreat. After watching White Squall together, staff and residents camp out at Ketcham Woods. “We play games … We go over the pillars of Bowman House and tell stories,” Luke says.

The community-building that begins at the House Retreat continues all year. When moving on to other dorms as sophomores, former residents tend to remain friends and roommates. “A lot of times, they travel in packs,” Luke says. But he hopes that they will open the Bowman community to include others.

Bowman is unique in how it brings young men from diverse backgrounds into close proximity and works to draw them closer to Christ. Its powerful impact on its residents is obvious, especially as they grow and influence the rest of IWU’s campus. However, following the 2014-2015 academic year, Bowman will no longer be open to undergraduate housing.

Bowman Hall

Bowman House functioned as an undergraduate residence hall for 49 years.

To commemorate Bowman House’s rich history, the dorm is hosting the Bowman House Reunion and Celebration. On Friday, April 10th at 6:30 p.m., Bowman alumni are invited to Ketcham Woods for an overnight camping trip to reminisce about past Bowman retreats over a bonfire, games, and the Bowman Book. Next, Bowman alumni are invited to the Henry West Banquet Rooms from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 11th for a banquet and time of sharing memories. The celebration will move to Bowman House at 8:30 p.m., where all are welcome to hang out, look at old pictures, and join in Roots-A-Palooza (a.k.a. Brew Night).

Honored guests include Todd Jensen, Rob Dawson, Nate Beals, and Jared Begg, all former Bowman House RDs. Luke hopes dorm alumni will also participate in the event with current IWU students, connecting generations of Bowman Boys as they celebrate one of IWU’s most beloved dorms.

Check out the event details here!

Written by Megan Emily. Megan is a senior English/Writing major and a former resident of Shatford House, the sister dorm to Bowman. She operates Earthworms, a blog about finding hope and security.


Upcoming Concert at Phillippe Performing Arts | Music Division

IWU Orchestra Concert to Feature Concerto Contest Winner

The IWU Orchestra will perform their Spring concert on Wednesday, April 8 at 7:30pm. The concert will feature Anna Uecker, violin, winner of the IWU Orchestra Concerto Competition performing Ralph Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending. The program will also feature Professor Mary Grogan performing Italian opera arias, music from the films The Godfather and Lord of the Rings and classic Broadway hits, West Side Story, The Phantom of the Opera, and Les Misérables. Tickets are $3 per person or 2 for $5.

via Division Of Music | CAS | Academics | Indiana Wesleyan University.

Wind Ensemble Reunion | Division Of Music | CAS |

Wind Ensemble to Celebrate 20 Years!

The Indiana Wesleyan University Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Michael Flanagin and Dr. Chris Lessly will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the group on Friday, April 17, at 7:30 in the Phillippe Auditorium. The first half of the concert will feature the current members of the wind ensemble playing the music of Bach (Toccata and Fugue in D Minor), David Maslanka’s Give Us This Day, and Dello Joio’s Scenes from the Louvre.

The second half of the concert will include alumni from not only the last 20 years of the wind ensemble but also Brass Dimensions as well as instrumentalists from the days of the IWU Concert Band. We expect to have 85-90 current and former members on stage to play American Overture, Variations on a Korean Folk Song, Riders for the Flag, and many more favorites from the ensemble’s past.

The concert is free and everyone is invited to a reception with the alumni following the concert. The reception will be held outside of Baker Recital Hall.

via Division Of Music | CAS | Academics | Indiana Wesleyan University.

IWU Golf League Celebrating Its 10th Year!

arbor trace

The IWU Golf League plays weekly at Arbor Trace Golf Club, located just ten minutes north of IWU’s Marion campus. Laughter can be heard for miles! The course is owned by IWU alum Jack Hart and serves as home course for many IWU friends. The league is turning ten this summer. To celebrate, Arbor Trace is inviting all IWU-affiliated men and women to be part of the IWU Golf League and is switching to Tuesday nights to allow for Wednesday night church commitments. IWU faculty, staff, retirees, alumni, and their invited friends and spouses can join the IWU Golf League at Arbor Trace! (Joining means simply showing up.)

Regardless of talent level, you’ll fit in. Jerry Pattengale (’79) founded the league and still is only a mediocre golfer! Collectively, Mike Roorbach and Dick Sprowl have 45 years on Jerry, and they can still beat him. (By the way, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Mike putt.) Jerry’s league co-director is John Blake, who has also surpassed him in skill and personality.

We’d love for you to join us once a week through the summer, or as your schedule permits. You will be in for some of the most memorable scrambles you can imagine! We create new foursomes each week and give you a chance to win one of our ten nightly prizes as a team or as an individual. Earn points for each night you play, plus points for longest putt, longest drive, and more. Compete all season to win the trophy, or just come have fun!

Members over 60 get to use forward tees (with photo ID, for folks like Bob Tippey who still hit it 300). While using forward tees two weeks ago, John Blake hit the icy pond with a shot that put him into Arbor Trace’s comedic history. His decision ranks with Jim Brunner convincing his foursome to try to hit through a 30-foot spruce tree, Dr. Keith Newman’s drumming the forest with ProV1s, Terry Munday’s two-fairway hook, and Daryn Bronsink’s wardrobe. Don’t miss out on the chance to watch the entertainment yourself!

arbor trace 2

Rates are $9 for nine holes, with special passes available if you buy ten rounds. For membership information, please visit Arbor Trace’s website.

The IWU Golf League will begin playing at the end of April and continue through the end of August. Due to scheduling needs, our first two weeks will be on Wednesday at 5:30. The rest of the summer, we’ll meet on Tuesday nights at 5:30, to help out those who have Wednesday night church commitments. Our schedule:

Opening Nights: Wednesdays, April 29 and May 6 at 5:30PM

The rest of the summer: Tuesdays at 5:30 PM, starting on May 12

Last Night: Tuesday, August 25, 5:30 PM

And keep in mind, these scrambles are to help folks get to know each other, and to mix the great golfers like almost-pro Austin Conroy (IWU golf coach), Keith Ruberg (former club pro), IWU golf veteran Adlai Deisler, and former college coach Lorne Oke with, well, you know—most everyone else. It’s a hoot. And, we start with prayer, which may be why only one person has been hit in ten years. (She finished her round!)

Please put your name on the list at Arbor Trace for email updates and Jerry’s follow-up narratives, if that’s what you call them. Reach us at the Arbor Trace website, or call 765-662-8236 and ask for Jack Hart or Doug Piper, club pro. Don’t forget – if Scott Turcott won the league a few years ago, anyone can win.

We look forward to golfing together this summer! Thank you for choosing Arbor Trace and helping us celebrate ten years of fun and games in the Marion community!

arbor trace 3

Emily Byrer: Connecting Alumni in the North East

Following her ’00 graduation, IWU alumna Emily Byrer lived in locations where alumni rarely met to share experiences and had little, if any, organized interaction. The problem continued when she moved to the Northeast. So when the IWU Alumni Board of Directors nominated her to be on an advisory council geared at connecting New England alumni, she jumped at the opportunity.

Emily has always loved connecting people. As a freshman and sophomore, she resided in Shatford House. “That really made my college experience,” she says. “I still talk to those girls.” Emily – a marketing and business administration major with an art minor – was also a publicity coordinator for the Student Activities Council. As part of SAC, Emily was “a catalyst for bringing people together and creating memories.”

Emily Bryer

Emily Byrer (’00) hopes to connect alumni in the Northeast.

Post-graduation, she worked in the hotel industry for several years before opening her own company. MICAH:6 offers diverse services, including marketing, fundraising and event management, culinary services, and investment consulting. Says Emily, “I took the relationship building [I learned at IWU] into the professional world, and I positioned MICAH:6 as a way to bring people together, whether that’s corporate events, fundraisers, [or] dinner parties … There’s value in making connection[s].”

Now, Emily is bringing her relational skills to the New England advisory council, one of several regional councils that meet a few times each year to promote homecoming involvement and alumni engagement in their respective regions. Emily is excited to serve the 100-plus alumni in her area. Because she was previously unaware how many alumni live in the Northeast, she believes others may be making the same mistake; she hopes to help them locate and connect with each other.

“My goal would be to set up a quarterly networking or family event,” says Emily, although geography will affect event planning. “Because New England covers five or six states … there may be pockets of alumni 150 miles apart,” she explains. “There may not be one central networking opportunity. It may be a series of little events.”

Developing such events will take time. However, Emily believes social media can help alumni make connections during the interim. She suggests that alumni use the Alumni Portal, where you can search for other active alumni by city or zip code. Recently, she also launched a New England Alumni Facebook.

Most of all, she wants to create an established group of active alumni, so new alumni arriving in the region won’t have to start from scratch. “The biggest goal is setting up something that can continue, sustaining either a core network or way of getting information out,” she says.

The advisory council needs the help of local alumni to do that. The council would love to know about any events already happening in New England, no matter how small or informal they may be, and to be involved in those. As Emily says, “You never know where the next opportunity is coming from.” To tell the council about a current event or offer suggestions, contact Emily at


Written by Megan Emily. Megan is a senior English/Writing major and a member of the John Wesley Honors College. She also operates Earthworms, a blog about finding hope and security.

Mr. Canary Company birdfeeders feed more than birds | Fox News Video

Marion  community featured on national news – Fox News. “This is the best kept secret.” says Christina Mowery (IWU Graduate of 1970) - Mr. Canary Company birdfeeders feed more than birds | Fox News Video. For more information on Mr. Canary click here.

From their website: When Jan and her sister Christina Mowery began their company in 1995, they had no idea where their journey would lead. They knew everything would work out 1.) because, they were raised to believe they could do anything, and 2.) they didn’t waste time trying to identify the “how” and “when”. Christina has since retired from Mr. Canary, but both Jan and Chrisitna are proud of our products and they are proud of the workers who make them. Embracing an innovative business model in which Mr. Canary subcontracts the sourcing, assembly, packaging, and shipping of its products to a human services organization’s workshop in their hometown of Marion, Indiana, Jan is energized knowing that the Mr. Canary brand supports over 100 workers with disabilities having meaningful work everyday.

Fox News Blog.


Faculty Spotlight: Meet Umfundisi Jim Lo


Dr. Jim Lo may be IWU’s Dean of the Chapel, but to students, he’s better known as Umf. The nickname is short for an African word, umfundisi. “It means one who is a teacher, but it actually means more. It means one who wants to become part of someone’s life,” he explains.

Umfundisi discovered his love for teaching while in the Army, when he taught a seminar for 200-500 fellow soldiers. Although the Army later granted him a full college scholarship, he turned it down and left the Army to become a pastor. He soon enrolled at IWU because, “I realized my B.A. wasn’t enough … I had much more to learn.” 

As a grad student, he recalls, “I felt that the education I was getting here, I was able to apply into ministry right away. I also had some wonderful mentors at that time.” One of those mentors was Charles Carter, who encouraged Umfundisi and his wife, Roxene, to follow God’s call to overseas ministry.

Once he earned his M.A. in Ministerial Education in 1982, Umfundisi and Roxene moved to Africa, ministering for thirteen years in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Zambia. 

The couple planted churches in Zimbabwe. But soon, “we realized that missionaries didn’t need to be doing the church planting. We needed to be training nationals to be church planters.” Umfundisi began working on leadership development and literature production, creating training materials for African pastors and churches.

Although he loved Africa, he hoped to return to IWU: “When I was here in the master’s program, one of the things I [told] the Lord was that one day I would love to teach here.” However, Umfundisi believed IWU was too racially homogenous to hire a Chinese-American professor. 

He had no idea what God had in store. When he brought his teenaged sons to visit IWU, he also planned to visit his friend Dr. Keith Springer, who was out of office that day. Umfundisi left a note with the administrative assistant and prepared to leave. 

However, she recognized his name and informed him that IWU had sent a letter the week before, inviting him to start an Intercultural Studies program. He had an impromptu interview with the university president and division chair that day. Because Umfundisi and Roxene had already committed to spending a year ministering in Cambodia, IWU held the position open until their return. 

Umfundisi taught Intercultural Studies for 10 years and created World Impact, a program that allows students to go overseas for an extended time. “Too many students were stating that they wanted to be missionaries, but had very little cross cultural experience,” he explains. World Impact gives those students a chance to gain intercultural experience and explore God’s call in their lives.

Being a professor is Umfundisi’s “sweet spot in ministry.” He especially enjoys watching students and professors interact: “Those distinct lines of boundaries [between professors and students], we don’t necessarily have those here … I think that’s part of the beauty of this university.”

Today, Umfundisi remains in contact with students he taught ten or twenty years ago. He loves knowing he has students all over the world who will stay connected as alumni. “[Being an alum] gives you identity,” he says. “It gives you a sense of belonging … You really do feel as if you’re part of a big family.” 

Written by Megan Emily. Megan is a senior English/Writing major and a member of the John Wesley Honors College. She also operates Earthworms , a blog about finding hope and security.