Gabe Dunbar: Higher Education
By: Kendra Housel
Gabe Dunbar graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2009, receiving his bachelor’s degree in mathematics. The summer before his senior year of high school, Dunbar spend a large portion of his break visiting various colleges with his dad. His two older sisters were attending Taylor University and Huntington University at the time, so he made a point to visit those universities, as well as others that were near by. IWU was what felt like the best fit for him; he felt “excitement and peace” upon stepping foot on the IWU campus.
According to Dunbar, his time at IWU was “everything he had hoped for and more.” He looks back on his time at IWU as a time of deep growth in his relationship with Christ, as well as a time where his friendships flourished and he was equipped to pursue his future goals. Dunbar felt that IWU’s atmosphere made it very easy to be focused on Christ; His presence was always very evident on campus.
He spent a lot of time in worship and contemplation, which greatly contributed to how he solidified his relationship with Christ. Much of his growth spiritually resulted in a greater understanding of the importance and use of spiritual disciplines. Attending bible classes and chapel services also served to encourage him and expand upon the fundamental truths of Christian faith.
Since leaving Indiana Wesleyan, Dunbar has had a diverse number of opportunities. He spent a small amount of time immediately after graduation working for Auto-Owners Insurance Company. He then got his masters degree in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University. His experience in graduate school kindled a new passion in him for working with college students and helping them to discover their own passions.
This is Dunbar’s sixth year working in higher education after getting his masters. He spent five years at Siena Heights University. Currently, he is in the middle of his first year serving the military and nontraditional students at Bowling Green State University. Dunbar feels like his time serving as an RA at IWU gave him a good base line understanding of student affairs. Further still, IWU helped him to value the opportunities present in a liberal arts education and higher education environments in general.
When asked how his faith influenced his career, he said that “it influences everything.” At one point in his life, Dunbar felt God calling him to full-time ministry. He now realizes that God has called him into full-time ministry. Dunbar said, “Every interaction, every conversation is a chance to empower and encourage in the name of love… not every conversation involves Jesus’ name, but they do involve His presence.”
Dunbar has some wonderful advice to share with current students: “Nothing in life is perfect. If you wait for the perfect college, the perfect relationship or the perfect job, you are going to be disappointed.” He encouraged students to stay grounded and focus on joy, which comes from the Lord, rather than chasing after momentary happiness.
Written by Kendra Housel, a writer for the Alumni Center. Kendra is a sophomore Education and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. She is also a member of the University Chorale. She is passionate about serving Christ through writing, singing and caring for others.