Submitted by Jerrold Ritchey
October 2022

My close relationship with Burman began in 1986 when I decided to go back to school to finish a business degree. Canadian Union College (at the time) became Cecelia’s and my home along with 3 young children. After the first year, I was offered the position of Director of Student Finance while continuing to finish a BSc in Business Administration.
Jerrold and Cecelia Ritchey
Five years later, we moved to Kelowna where I sold real estate and was doing quite well, but felt the pull to work directly for the Lord. I was offered an opportunity to manage the Eastern Canada Adventist Book Center. We made the major move, living initially on the Kingsway College campus. With a great team, our ABC became quite successful financially and more importantly in fulfilling our mission to help spread the good news and supply Eastern Canada–Ontario to Newfoundland–with Christian material and vegetarian foods. During this time, Cecelia was employed initially at Kingsway College, followed by working in the Ontario conference Trust Services department for most of the 11 years that we lived in Ontario. 

Feeling a need for a new challenge, I applied for a position at Burman University in 2007. I was hired by Andrea Luxton as the Vice President for Advancement, a challenging position. It was a pleasure working with Dr. Luxton and the administration team at Burman.
Cecelia applied for and was hired by the Student Finance Office, where she excelled at working with and encouraging the many students that she met. Her gift of hospitality led to many Sabbath dinners with student guests and others.
My work involved helping plan and raise funds for campus improvements and most rewarding was establishing new scholarships and presenting them to deserving students. I truly enjoyed working on some of the smaller things on campus such as the statue of The Sower–the last project completed by sculptor, Alan Collins, and the two elegant entrance signs that give distinction to entering the campus. 
Working with Vic Fitch Sr., the great Advancement Office personnel, and Administration, the “Committee of 100” was re-established in 2007 and the annually-selected and funded projects have benefited, and continue to benefit Burman University greatly.
Working for, and with alumni was also very rewarding. Countless hours of planning, organizing, and implementing multiple homecoming weekends and other events with a great team resulted in unforgettable memories for me and hopefully for many alumni and others who attended as well.
Two of the last things that I was involved with at Burman that stand out are, first, working with Elmar and Darilee Sakala, whose vision and funding helped establish the Sakala Student Success Centre and second, an idea drawn on a napkin to convert the old Administration Building smokestack to a clocktower handed to Darrell Huether, who made it happen.
Turning 65 meant time to turn a new page. So, after 10 years serving CUC/Burman, it was retirement time for myself and Cecelia. The next 5 years were as busy as ever with a move to BC and starting a home building project on an acreage with a wonderful view. Much involvement in the local Salmon Arm church and school was part of life for both of us and many new friendships were made.
We now find ourselves back in Lacombe–renewing friendships and making new ones–while watching four grandchildren attend CHCS and PAA with our son and daughter-in-law living nearby.
Once again being involved directly with the “Committee of 100” and helping to promote membership and projects is indeed an honour for both of us! I look forward to re-connecting with our newly-appointed Co-Vice Chairs, Morley and Wendy Kutzner, as well as with each one of you…the members who support this initiative! 
Now, being truly retired, we are looking forward to doing some travelling to visit our two daughters in the US as well as some sunny locales, especially in the winter season. While I enjoy golf and yard work, Cecelia enjoys walking, cooking, and hospitality. God has been, and continues to be, very good to us. We enjoy our church fellowship and the assurance that Jesus is coming back soon! It is our desire to rise up to meet Him.
Watch for the next newsletter with an introduction to our Co-Vice Chairs, Morley and Wendy Kutzner
Dear Committee of 100 Friends,

We have had a good start to our new academic year. We officially opened our Fall academic term with 363 students which is up from last year. Our new students numbered 106 which is about 20 more than this time a year ago. We also saw an increase in international students which is a good sign that we may be returning to normal with international travel which had been severely restricted during the pandemic. And some really great news is that we experienced the highest retention rates we have ever had – 84% of our first-year students returned from last year along with 82% overall. This speaks well of our students being happy here on campus. While we still have a way to go on the enrolment front, we are cautiously optimistic in this area since we have put extra resources into the Marketing and Enrolment Services department which includes an additional enrolment advisor. As well, a comprehensive strategic enrolment management plan has laid the foundation for future growth. 
. . . . . Loren Agrey
Students and faculty are enjoying the new library which the Committee of 100 so generously pledged $200,000 towards. While the grand staircase is the area designated to enshrine this gift, the Committee’s donation, along with so many others, helped this 21st-century library become a reality on our campus. For this we are most grateful. In August, I had the privilege of giving a tour of the new library, along with the rest of campus, to the Mayors and Councilors of both the City of Lacombe and the Town of Blackfalds. They were very impressed with our facilities and indicated a desire to continue to collaborate with Burman in a variety of ways. 

As I look across the beautiful sweeping fields of grain and the beautiful lakes that surround the Burman campus, I am reminded of the goodness of God as He has blessed this institution for well over 115 years. As we remember His goodness in each of our lives as well as on our campus, we take time to thank Him for all He has done. May this season of Thanksgiving be one of joy and gladness having celebrated together with family and friends. 


Loren Agrey
The new library at Burman University was dedicated on June 4, 2022. Alumni, the campus, and community, including local politicians, donors, librarians, university administrators, the university chaplain, students, and members of the creative and construction team—about 600 people in all—met at the College Heights Church to rejoice in the completion of a structure that was created to foster joyfulness and intellectual purpose. 
From there, they walked a few steps to the library itself for a dedicatory prayer and ribbon cutting. The library doors were opened and people flowed in, eager to experience the new building for themselves. Donors served as hosts and informed faculty and staff were guides. As guests moved from the Fitch Forum on the main floor to the makerspace on the lower level, they chatted with Clarence and Beryl Grosso or to Cliff and Ann Tym, hosts on the “Staircase of Service,” funded by the Committee of 100.
. .. . Eric Rajah
The library, a space where questions are nurtured, where creativity is exercised, and where wonder at God’s mysteries is encouraged, is a blessing to students at Burman University as they prepare for service.
They did it! In a campaign called “The Inside Story,” the Burman University Student Association planned to raise $500,000 for library furniture and technology. Thanks to their inspiring efforts and matching funds provided by a generous donor, they reached their goal. The library is furnished—and much closer to being finished.

“This is excellent,” you say. “The entire library project will be $6 million; the student campaign raised $500,000. How much still remains?”

The answer is simple—and encouraging: besides the commitments that have been pledged, there is only $208,000 remaining of a $6 million goal.

We are thankful to God for His leading, to our students for their involvement, and to our many donors for their care and commitment.

With gratitude,

Eric Rajah
Membership Period: January 1 - December 31

Members in 2021: 83

Members who have renewed for 2022: 55


  • Co-Chairs: Jerrold and Cecelia Ritchey (2022-2026)* 
  • Co-Vice Chairs: Morley and Wendy Kutzner (2022-2026)* 
  • Secretary: Diane Pearson (2020-2024)*
  • Treasurer: Clarence Grosso (2020-2024)*
  • Board Member: Jeff Brown (2015-2023)
  • Board Member: Randy Chernipeski (2022-2026) 
  • Board Member: Elaine Sankey (2017-2025)
  • Board Member: Gloria Stenhouse (2020-2024)
  • Ex-officio: Loren Agrey, President*
  • Ex-officio: Darrell Huether, Vice President, Financial Administration*
  • Ex-officio: Diane Southcott, Director, Donor and Alumni Relations*
  • Ex-officio: Senior Development Officer*

*Member of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee serves as the Nominating Committee.

Do you know somebody who you think might enjoy hearing about the opportunity of becoming a member of the Committee of 100? Would you be willing to share the ways that the past funded projects of the Committee have benefited students and the student experience on campus? If so, please contact either Jerrold and Cecelia Ritchey email: or Shannon Bechthold email: and request brochures that have been produced for sharing! 

Together – let’s grow the membership!
US donors are now able to receive USD tax receipts
You can also mail your donation to
Committee of 100, Burman University, 6730 University Drive, Lacombe, AB T4L 2E5
or call Shannon Bechthold
(403) 782-3381, ext. 4161 or (800) 661-8129 ext. 8.
Committee of 100 • (403) 782-3381 ext. 4161 • (800) 661-8129 ext. 8
6730 University Drive, Lacombe, AB T4L 2E5 •