Correction: In the General News section of Nyack Nation: Fall 2017, an incorrect photo was included for Stephen M. Pogue, Jr. Below is the corrected version. We apologize for the error.

  A newsletter for alumni of Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary
Fall 2017  

Welcome to Nyack Nation--a publication created just for you filled with the latest achievements and life events of Nyack & ATS alumni. Please share your news and stories on our website or by emailing them to And keep the conversation going on Twitter and Facebook using #NyackCollege and #NyackCollegeAlumni. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Homecoming Weekend

Nyack Rockland's 2017 Homecoming is this weekend, and registration ends tomorrow at midnight!

Founder's Day Chapel, Running Warrior 5K Run/3K Walk, the All-Alumni Dinner celebrating the classes of '67, '77, '87, '92, '97 and '07, Annual Alumni Homecoming Concert, athletic games and more await you!

Check the Homecoming webpage for schedule and registration. We hope to see you on the Hillside!

Who's Returning to the Hillside for Homecoming?  *

Mary Lu and Doug Anthony ('87) are excited about returning to Nyack to celebrate their 30th year class reunion. Here's a recent blog post from Mary Lu. It's just a sample of the kind of stories alumni will have to share when they meet their classmates on the Hillside. This husband and wife team's extraordinary ministry outreach sprang from saying "Yes!" to God. Mary Lu says, "I look forward to hearing stories from dear friends about their own journey of saying "Yes" to our ever faithful God! 
Remembering Dr. Rexford Boda, 
President Emeritus (1933-2017) *

Saying "so long" to the pillars in our campus community is always a bittersweet occasion--bitter because their transition creates a void; sweet because we know to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
Nyack College President Emeritus, Dr. Rexford Boda, went home to be with the Lord on Friday, August 4.
Dr. Boda served as 10th president from 1988 to 1993. Prior to being appointed president of Nyack College, he served on the faculty of Canadian Bible College (CBC) as director of General Studies (1965-1971), academic dean of Canadian Bible College/Canadian Theological Seminary (CTS) and became president of CBC/CTS in 1979.
Countless memories of Dr. Boda will be recalled by faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the College. The 1958 alumnus so loved sharing Nyack history, that he was often called upon to write or speak about his alma mater. The College's alumni magazine featured his recounting of the graduates martyred in Vietnam because of their faith. Dr. Boda was a lecturer and campus tour guide at more than one Homecoming Weekend. He was tapped to represent the College as narrator of The 14th Annual John Scott Armchair Walking Tour sponsored by the Historical Society of the Nyacks and The Friends of the Nyacks. The slideshow, "Nyack College--High on a Nyack Hill," was presented at the Valley Cottage Library in Rockland County in 2009.
Dr. Boda earned a Master of Science in education from SUNY Cortland, a Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary and two Bachelor of Science degrees--from Nyack College and Cornell University. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by Canadian Theological Seminary. A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to him at the Nyack College Alumni and Friends Luncheon during the C&MA General Council in 2013.
Of all his accomplishments, family remained the pinnacle of his life--as a husband to his beloved Jean for nearly six decades, and as a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
A celebration of Dr. Boda's life took place on August 12 at Good Samaritan Community Church in Kissimmee, FL.
Rev. G. Palmer Pardington, III 
to Be Memorialized  *

Rev. G. Palmer Pardington III, a descendant of Rev. George Palmer Pardington for whom Nyack Rockland's Pardington Hall is named, recently passed away at his Oregon home. Mr. Marshall Davies Lloyd, the great grandson of the Pardington patriarch, informed Nyack President Michael Scales of the family's loss.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Pardington family as they prepare to memorialize Rev. Pardington, who is from the lineage of a Nyack College patriarch," said President Scales. "Our Rockland campus School of Music, housed in Pardington Hall, proudly bares the family name."
To read the complete obituary published by the family in The Oregonian, click here
Remembering Robin Luce *
Robin Luce, former Office of Student Development administrative assistant on the Nyack Rockland County campus, went home to be with the Lord on May 25, after a brief time in hospice care.
Many wonderful things can be shared about Robin's compassionate presence that established her as a pillar of the campus community. However, even before her retirement in 2009, she was publically recognized as a true treasure when the following introduction was read announcing the 2006-2007 Missionarian yearbook dedicatee. Read a tribute to Robin, written by Nyack's Dean of Library Services and her dear friend Linda Poston.

Retirement Wishes for Bruce DeGroot 

Bruce DeGroot retired in July from the Nyack College Facilities Department. When he joined the team more than 19 years ago, he brought his knowledge of HVAC and numerous skills that we have depended on through the years. Occasionally he has stayed with boilers to keep them going on cold, winter nights. Other times, Bruce worked to keep air conditioners running or replaced those that could no longer be repaired. He helped in every aspect of our operations. He acted as interim director while we waited for a new director several years ago. Anyone who came in contact with Bruce found a knowledgeable, soft-spoken and kind man.
Many student workers and younger staff relied on him to answer questions and to patiently teach them new skills. He treated everyone with respect and sometimes a touch of fatherly correction or encouragement. When we began to use the TMA Work Request System, Bruce added that to his multiple responsibilities. He was extremely patient with office staff as they strived to learn the system as well.
In a note to Bruce, David Jennings, executive vice president and treasurer, wrote: "Know that your presence will be missed, but that you have made an impact on all of us who have worked with you. On behalf of the College, faculty and staff and thousands of students, we thank you and recognize your years of faithful service to our community and Jesus."
We wish him well in all that God has prepared for him in this retirement phase of life, and hope he takes time for some well-deserved rest. 
Written by Doug Walker, Director, Nyack College Facilities
AGSC Alumni...Where Are They Now? 

The following AGSC alumni are working at Redeemer Counseling Services (RCS) in Manhattan.  Pictured are: (front row L-R) Ralph Yoon, Michelle Park '12, Debra Connery Smith '12, Lorraine Schaefers '11, Rebecca Beidel '13, (Back row L-R) Daniel Conti, Rosalin Brueck '10, Linda Foran '12, Raymond Corbo '12.

Nyack Alumni Plant New Life Tabernacle  in Rockland County!

JP Ilarraza '11, Tahira Abdullah Ilarraza '13, Heather Hall '13, Jaquan Eason '15 and Randy Garcia '19 launched New Life Tabernacle at the Regal Stadium 12 in Nanuet, NY on September 17. The group credits Nyack College for "playing a huge role in their lives and preparing them for this calling." Their mission statement is, "New Life Tabernacle exists so that many people will experience new life in Christ by seeking God, living his Word, and spreading the Gospel so that others can experience new life." Learn more about their ministry

'56 Milton Pierce was a missionary in Burkina Faso (1958-1988); in Cote d'Ivoire (1999-2000); and in Mali (2004-2005). Following his retirement, Milton served in jail ministry. His wife, Nancy (Kennedy '55), passed away on October 11, 2015.

'71 Donald Paine completed the Independence Day Run in Pittsfield, PA in 47 minutes. This small town holds a great celebration parade and run each year to celebrate all those who have given their lives in acts of bravery so that others can live in freedom. Don continues his recovery following a serious car accident in June 2016. 
'80 NC, '85 ATS Stephen Westergren has been serving with The Christian and Missionary Alliance since 1986. He is currently living in Chiang Mai, Thailand, serving in member care of International Workers in Asia Pacific and North and Central Asia regions.

'85 NC, '14 ATS Dan Bailey , director of admissions at the Rockland County campus of Nyack College, was named to the Class of 2017 Central Athletic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Hall of Fame. In an August 31 announcement, CACC Commissioner Dan Mara stated that the 2017 honorees "will go down as some of the most historic figures in conference history and it's fitting that we recognize that with induction into the conference's Hall of Fame." Read more here

'86 George "Chip" Hammond 's book, It Has Not Yet Appeared What We Shall Be: A Reconsideration of the Imago Dei in Light of Those with Severe Cognitive Disabilities, was published in July 2017 by P&R Publishing.

'96 Robert Stuercke has been working at Rockland BOCES since January 2016 as a teaching assistant in their district-based developmental disabilities program at Pearl River High School in Pearl River, NY. A guitar and drum instructor, Bob plays bass and drums at Church at the Bridge in Newburgh, NY and has been playing bass with Mercy Shore, who recently performed at Creation Festival in Mt. Union, PA. '96 Emily Stuercke has been teaching children with special needs at the Jesse Kaplan School on the Rockland BOCES campus in West Nyack, NY, having taught at Primetime for Kids in New City, NY for 10 years. She teaches piano at New City Music School. Bob and Emily have four children and have resided in Cornwall On Hudson, NY for the past six years. 
'01 ATS Lt. Col. David A. Bowlus was installed as chaplain at Fort Leonard Wood, MO in July. David is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, Alliance Theological Seminary and the U.S. Army War College. He was commissioned as an armor officer in 1993. He felt the call to ministry, received a seminary education and returned to the army as chaplain in 2002. He has served as a battalion and regimental chaplain and has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan seven times. 

'01 ADCP Sean Pica , founding member and executive director for Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison, was a featured speaker at Ossining Public Library for the Westchester Library System's kick off at the first of six public programs entitled "Community Conversations: Criminal Justice, Yesterday and Today." 
'01 Geoffrey Reiter is an assistant professor of English at The Baptist College of Florida and associate editor at Christ and Pop Culture. After receiving his bachelor's degree from Nyack College in 2001, Geoffrey earned a master's degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2005 and a Ph.D. from Baylor University in 2010. He recently published an article in Christianity Today entitled "In the 'DuckTales' Reboot, Family Remains Scrooge's Riskiest Adventure." 
'01 ADCP Ronald Thompson was welcomed as the new pastor of Townley Presbyterian Church in Union, NJ. He holds a bachelor's degree in organizational management from Nyack College and a Master of Divinity degree from Cairn University. Ronald and his wife, Vyonnia , recently celebrated 37 years of marriage. They have two adult sons and three grand-daughters. 

'02 ADCP Andrew Iwaskow was appointed executive vice president of human resources at Tailored Brands, Inc., the American retail holding company for men's clothing stores, which includes the Men's Wearhouse and Joseph A. Bank brands. With 25 years of corporate human resources experience, he held leadership roles with companies such as Toys "R" Us; Staples, In c; Party City, Inc; and PetSmart, Inc. 

'02 Isa Couvertier "Isa Agape"  released a new single "Hope" that is available for order at iTunes. To read more about Isa, visit her website at

'03 ATS Jeremy Bergevin
served in Mongolia with The Christian and Missionary Alliance for three terms. He and his wife, Renee, have five children. 
'05 ADCP Elijah Kahn and wife, Valerie, were appointed as commanding officers for the Salvation Army's Trenton Citadel Corps in July. Majors Elijah and Valerie Kahn have been Salvation Army officers for 21 years. Major Elijah Kahn said, "We're looking forward to familiarizing ourselves with all that is taking place in this great city, and the Greater Mercer County area. We know there is a lot of work to be done in our community, and that The Salvation Army can be an instrumental part of making those improvements. We are here to serve and to be a part of this community." To read more, click here

'06, '09 ATS A.R. Bernard was a guest on Oprah's "SuperSoulSunday" on OWN. Watch the complete interview here. He was also interviewed by Daystar on the topic of "Bridging the Faith-Culture Gap." 
'06 Shameka Hamlet played the role of Liz in a Christian play entitled, After the  Storm , written and directed by Dionne Watson and performed at the White Plains Performing Arts Center. An encore performance is scheduled for la ter this year.

'07 Charles Audino was appointed as editor of Wheaton magazine in August after working in the marketing and editorial departments at North Park University. Following his graduation from Nyack College, Charles was editor at PR Newswire and later earned a master's degree in the history of Christianity from Wheaton College. 
'07 ATS W. B. Wagner  has been leader of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Lisbon Falls, ME since 2007, having been ordained an Episcopal priest at St. Matthew's by Bishop William Love. Rev. Wagner holds a degree in religion from Boston University and law and accounting degrees from Georgetown University. After several positions in accounting, he became the executive director of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of Greater New York where he served for 15 years.
'10 NC, '13 ATS Josh Edward was appointed as senior pastor at Riverside Community Church (RCC) in Nutley, NJ. Josh began serving at RCC as an intern in 2012 and successfully launched a youth program. He was brought on as assistant pastor in 2016 with the intent of stepping into the senior position within a year-and-a-half.    

'10 Stephen M. Pogue, Jr.  was appointed as assistant coach of the University of Hartford's women's basketball team. Before joining the Hawks, Steve was a member of the women's basketball coaching staff at Bridgeport University. He also worked as an assistant women's basketball coach for four seasons at Nyack College. A four-year member of the Nyack's men's basketball team, Steve helped the Warriors reach the 2010 NCCAA National Championship game.

'11 ATS Sarah Samson is serving as executive pastor of administration and ministries at Bedford Community Church in Bedford Hills, NY.

'12 Eric Brown opened Boxer Donut & Espresso Bar (formerly Gypsy Donut) at 140 Main Street, Nyack, NY. 
'13 Alyssa Rice-Cruz , a third grade teacher, will present a paper at the 2017 National Educational Research Association conference during a poster session. Alyssa has a strong body of research in technology-infused lesson planning and collaborated with Dr. Marie C. White (Nyack College NYC) on presenting her work and applying her expertise in the urban classroom setting in the Bronx, NY.

'14 Pearl Hale 's book, Bruised Too be Used, was published in July 2016 by Xlibris Publishing. Taken from the Xlibris webpage, "This book is about the many people I came across in my life who had a lot of brokeness in their past, heartfelt stories of abuse that have left bruises that take years to heal. Bruises in the form of physical and emotional strongholds imposed on them from their family background, relationships, in leadership and life experiences etc. This book helps people understand that the things that they went through can become a powerful gift to help others through their faith in God." 
'15 BS, '16 MSW Miriam Airoldi earned a master's degree in social work at Nyack College and is now a licensed clinical social worker. 
'16 Lauren Lebo graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in nursing and left Nyack to pursue her passion for serving. While holding down her role at Blythdale Children's Hospital in Valhalla, NY, Nurse Lebo returned to Nyack College in a new role--head coach of the women's lacrosse team. "I am excited to come back to Nyack as a coach because Nyack has influenced me in more ways than I can say. The lacrosse program has played an irreplaceable role in my life, and I am looking forward to being able to pass on the things I have learned to the team I will now coach. Not only do I love to compete, I love that at Nyack we can compete without losing the focus on integrity and character. I'll strive to help build a team that achieves excellence, but has a foundation in Christ," says Lauren.

Congratulations to the happy couple!
'15 BS, '17 MS Felicita Ruiz and '16 Shervin Johnson announced their engagement on August 12. The groom-to-be planned an elaborate "magical" proposal at Disney's Magic Kingdom. The happy couple is planning a 2018 wedding.

Congratulations to the happy families!

'06 Matthew and  '05 Rebecca (Xiong) Cheung  welcomed baby boy Levi Samuel on June 23. Levi weighed 10 lbs., 8 oz. and measured 22.75 inches long. Big brother Josiah (4 years old) and big sister Emily (2 years old) are excited to welcome their new brother!

'09 Eve (Kulberg) Droma , and husband, Ciprian, welcomed baby girl Arame Fanica on June 15, 2017. Arame weighed 7.1 lbs. Eve describes her as "an absolute delight!"

'09 BS, '17 MBA Yee (Yang) McLeod and '09 Stedford McLeod welcomed baby boy Ryu Immanuel on August 24. Ryu weighed 7 lbs. 13 oz. and measured 20 inches long.

'15 AGSC Nichole Knott-Craig and husband, '15 Chris, welcomed their second daughter this summer. Lilliah Joy (name derived from Matthew 6:27-29) was born on July 9 and measured 21 inches long.

Condolences to the family and friends of the following deceased alumni.

'42 Charis (Cooper) Clerico , 100, passed into the presence of her Lord and Savior on August 21, 2017. Charis served for several years as director of Orlando's Primrose School and was a faithful member of the First Alliance Church of Orlando where she coordinated weddings, church conferences and directed the children's and nursery programs. Charis was a highly respected needle-pointer and quilter with exhibitions in many Orlando locations. In recent years, Charis was a resident of the Alliance in Deland, FL, where she became well-known for her knitting expertise. Dozens of lap robes and blankets were given to friends and family and in May 2017, she was declared an "Everyday Hero" by Channel 13 NewsTV, Daytona Beach, in recognition of the hundreds of baby blankets she had knitted and sent to children in Mali, West Africa. The above photos were taken at the 2017 Nyack/ATS Alumni & Friends Luncheon in Deland, FL this past February, where Charis's 100th birthday was celebrated. 

'42 George Smith Rawding , a retired minister of The Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, went home to be with the Lord on April 29, 2017 at the age of 99. An ordained minister, George was actively involved with ministries at the C&MA Church in Shamokin, PA for 50 years. He served churches in New Brighton, Woodchopper and Canton, PA and was the founding pastor of the Elysburg Alliance Church.

'42 Annabel (Sanger) Sparks passed away on June 11, 2017 at the age of 95. A memorial service was held at Countryside Baptist Church in Clearwater, FL.

'48 James Riccitelli , 89, went to be with his Lord and Savior on January 28, 2017. He attended Nyack College before becoming a missionary in Burkina Faso, Africa where he and his wife, Ruth (Windisch '44) served for 16 years. Jim was the founding pastor of the Berean Fellowship and served in that position for 28 years until his retirement. Beginning in 1967, he produced radio programs for WPOS-FM, which he continued producing even after his retirement to Florida in 2009. He has written and published three books: Sing a New Song, When Music Divides the Church; You May Now Kiss the Bride; and Authenticate Your Faith, Here's How and Why

'53 Betty Jean Clark , 89, passed away on September 6, 2017. She received her degree in Christian education from Nyack College in 1953. Betty Jean retired from Grand Union in 1990 after 34 years of service as a bookkeeper and checker. She was a member of the Grand Union 25 Year Club, past member of the Clark Mills Historical Society, Kirkland Seniors, Hope Alliance Church and The Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, where she served as a Sunday school superintendent and youth worker.

'53 Gerald E. McGraw passed away on July 18, 2017. Gerald began his studies at Nyack College in the fall of 1950 and earned his diploma in 1953. He earned a BA degree from Houghton College in 1954 and went on to attend four more schools of higher learning: Wheaton College, Chicago Divinity Graduate School, Southeastern Baptist Seminary and New York University, earning a total of six degrees including an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. He and his wife, Martha, served in several churches in Pennsylvania before Gerald began his teaching career at Toccoa Falls College where he taught from 1968 until 2001. Gerald was an avid writer having published textbooks, articles, manuals and papers. He and Martha retired and moved to The Alliance Community for Retirement Living in Deland, FL in 2003.

'61 Jack H. McGarvey  passed into the presence of the Lord on July 15, 2017 at the age of 80. He attended Nyack College, Clarion State College and the University of Connecticut, where he obtained a graduate degree in education. A prolific writer, Jack published hundreds of articles about education, child development, computers, gardening and travel. As a middle school English teacher, he was instrumental in the formation of the Junior High/Middle School Assembly within the National Council of Teachers of English and authored that group's position statement that led to its acceptance in professional teaching organizations. After retiring, he moved to southern Arizona. Throughout his retirement, Jack devoted many resources to helping Mexican and Central American migrants.

'61 George K. Tregaskis went home to the Lord on March 2, 2017. After graduating from Nyack College, George earned a master's degree from the State University of New York at Oneonta and a doctoral degree in education at the State University of Albany. George was a veteran who was stationed with the U.S. Navy on Guam and Saipan. George was employed in the Bureau of Curriculum Development New York State Education Department for over 20 years. He was ordained as a chaplain and served for a number of years in the Pastoral Care Department at A.M.C. He was a member of St. Boniface Episcopal Church in Guilderland, served as a sub deacon and was a member of the vestry. George held many civic positions and was the recipient of the 1982 N.Y.S.E.D. Community Service Award.

'62 Ruth E. (Longberry) Lott , 80, passed away on October 27, 2016. Ruth was a member of Sparta Evangelical Free Church, a former member of the Park Evangelical Free Church in New City, NY and a former member of Trinity Evangelical Free Church in Teaneck. Ruth is survived by her husband, Leroy Lott '63, a daughter, son and two grandchildren.
'67 Audrey Marie (Blackwood) Kowles , 72, went home to be with her Lord on July 22, 2017. Audrey graduated from Nyack College and received her master's degree from Russell Sage. She spent almost her entire working life teaching special education for NY State, first at the Mary E. Davidson School at Letchworth and when Letchworth Village was closed, she continued her teaching working with the residents in group homes. Audrey and her husband, '67 Robert Allan, celebrated 47 years of marriage at the time of her passing. 

'78 Jeffrey L. Williams passed away on April 5, 2017 at the age of 60. Jeffrey built his life around family, faith, learning, advocacy, pursuit of justice, charitable acts and love. He was a father, teacher and soon-to-be grandfather who treasured his children. He was a legal aid lawyer for over 34 years, advocating in ways to stabilize neighborhoods. Here is just a glimpse of what his family, friends and colleagues thought of him: "didn't judge other people; one of the world's truly good people; a very loyal friend, always willing to help in any way; strong faith in God, loved his church, loved to teach Sunday school; he believed there was always an extra place at the table." 

'94 Phaly Tol , 45, went home to the Lord on July 7, 2017. Phaly served as program director at J&D Residential and Day Support in Chesterfield, VA. He had a strong Christian faith and attended Swift Creek Baptist Church in Colonial Heights. He is survived by his wife, '93 Rebecka (Haden), two daughters and three sons. 

'01 Sabrina (Ocasio) D'Agostino , 36, passed away on October 5, 2016. Sabrina was a loving wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister and sister-in-law. She was the beloved and devoted wife of Andrew R. D'Agostino III and loving daughter of John Ocasio and Elizabeth (Acevedo) Ocasio.

'09 AGSC Carmen Moore went home to be with her God and Redeemer in June 2017. Her friends described her as, "a truly amazing person; her life was an example of love and good works."

'13, '14 ATS Aliceteen Taylor , went home to be with her Lord on June 23, 2017 at the age of 76. Aliceteen was a member of Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Manhattan for over 50 years. Aliceteen is survived by a daughter and a son.

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*Featured articles written by Deborah Walker