Anderson University recently honored Dr. Fred Shively and David Neidert with John A. Morrison Awards for their commitment and service to AU. In addition, the university presented the MOSAIC Award to Dr. Stuart Erny, and the inaugural Golden Compass Award to Dr. Merle Strege. The awards were presented May 9 during the university’s annual faculty/staff recognition luncheon.
The John A. Morrison Awards recognize faculty and staff who go beyond excellence in performance and have demonstrated a commitment to something larger than self. Each year, one staff and one faculty member are selected from nominations by their colleagues and announced at the annual recognition luncheon. Nominees for the Morrison Award should demonstrate a commitment to the university’s mission and core values. Dr. John A. Morrison was Anderson University’s first president, serving in that role from 1925-1958.
[Photo: 2013 John A. Morrison Award recipients Dr. Fred Shively (left) and David Neidert are pictured with AU Provost Dr. Marie Morris.]
The MOSAIC Award was established in 2012 to recognize individuals within the university who embody the ideal of “modeling and promoting a work-learning environment in which all persons feel welcomed and affirmed on the journey toward intercultural competence.”
The Golden Compass Award was created this year to honor a current faculty or staff member who has made outstanding contributions to the teaching and development of the first year Liberal Arts Seminar.
[Photo: Dr. Fred Shively and his wife, Kay.]
For more than 35 years, Dr. Fred Shively has faithfully served the students of Anderson University. Shively, who is retiring this year, has taught Bible and ministry courses at Anderson University, at both the undergraduate level and in the School of Theology. In addition, he has served as director of the Anderson University Center for Ministry Education. Committed to both the church and the academy, Shively has served as pastor of three Church of God congregations and in more than 20 interim pastoral assignments in six states. Additionally, he has been a minister of music in four congregations. Shively taught at Fuller Theological Seminary, Arlington College, Warner Pacific College, C.E.M.D.I.D. (Costa Rica), and Mediterranean Bible College (Beirut, Lebanon). He is the author of The Widening Witness: A study of the Book of Acts and Jesus: Savior and Lord, both published by Warner Press. He has written numerous articles and contributed to several books.
Shively is a frequent traveler, having led more than 70 groups through the Anderson University Tri-S Program, Vacation Samaritans, as well as congregational and other mission trips. As one seeking biblical reconciliation he is active in the Peace Fellowship of the Church of God. Shively is a fully engaged member of the Anderson University community, having served on a variety of committees, giving addresses to various groups, speaking in chapels, and frequently serving as worship leader. Shively’s service in the Anderson community includes serving as chair of the Board of Directors of the Christian Center, member of the Program Team for the Park Place Community Center, chair of the Outreach Committee at Park Place Church of God, chair of the Staff-Parish Relations Committee, member of the Board of Worship and the Arts, and member of the Sanctuary Choir, Men’s Ensemble and Hand Bell Ringers. In addition to local service, Dr. Shively has served in a wide variety of positions in the national work of the Church of God, as well as in state ministries in California and Oregon.
"Most of all, Dr. Shively has a heart for students," said Dr. Marie Morris, provost. "Through his time here at AU, he has influenced the lives of generations of students to go out into the world to make a difference."
[Photo: David Neidert is pictured with members of his family, from left: daughter-in-law Caitlin Neidert, daughter Sarah King, and wife Rhonda Neidert.]
David Neidert began his service at Anderson University in 1978. Since that time, he has filled a number of roles, including director of human resources, director of auxiliary services, director of the Center for Christian Leadership, and currently serves as the director of student development for the School of Theology. In addition to his many administrative duties at the university, Neidert has served as an Anderson University adjunct professor, teaching in the areas of leadership, archaeology, and Bible for the School of Adult Learning, the undergraduate Department of Religious Studies, and the School of Theology. He also serves as the director of the Gustav Jeeninga Museum of Bible and Near Eastern Studies.
In addition to his service at Anderson University, Neidert is an author and public speaker. His books include Four Seasons of Leadership and Discovering You: First Steps for Developing your Emotional Intelligence (co-authored with Dr. Rebecca Haskett). He has also published several curricular pieces for the Center for Christian Leadership. Neidert’s speaking engagements in the areas of personal mission development, civic engagement, and personal leadership have taken him throughout the United States and abroad, and include an impressive clientele including The International Management Council of the YMCA of the USA, The National Association of Educational Buyers, The National Association of College Administration Services, The National Association of Community Leadership, and The United Way of Indiana.
[Photo: Dr. Stuart Erny and Dr. Brent Baker.]
In nominating Neidert for the award, his colleagues shared, "his love for both church and academy are evident in his research, writing and teaching. His familiarity with both print and electronic media helps the seminary to communicate our mission of forming women and men for the ministry of biblical reconciliation. ... He is indeed a life-long learner and strives to assist others in their pursuit for knowledge. He is one of those unique persons who seeks to help others feel good about themselves."
In the 12 years since he joined the AU staff, Dr. Stuart Erny has consistently been involved with students who come from diverse backgrounds or hold diverse perspectives.
"This comes somewhat naturally through his experiences as an MK raised in Taiwan and his own two years of service, along with his wife Christine, as missionaries with the organization Word Made Flesh," said Dr. Brent Baker, vice president for student affairs.
Erny has served in a variety of roles on campus, including co-founding and leading AU-East Africa efforts, serving on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration Committee, serving as a mentor to freshman football players who are young men of color, and providing friendship and advocacy to many students in need of acceptance, assistance, and faith-focused conversation. In his role as director of campus ministries, Erny works to provide a variety of service opportunities for students. This fall he will assume co-leadership of the PACT program, along with Dr. Dan Allen.
[Photo: Dr. Marie Morris and Dr. Merle Strege.]
Recognized for outstanding service and leadership in the Liberal Arts Seminar over the last 10 years, Dr. Merle Strege, professor of historical theology, has "consistently embraced the course, not as a burden, but as a cherished part of his teaching load," said Dr. Marie Morris, provost. Strege is "one of the most skilled faculty in leading a Socratic seminar, introducing students to an intellectual experience that is truly one of the hallmarks of higher education, and consequently, nurturing students’ critical thinking skills, pushing them to examine their assumptions, testing their claims of value or belief, and thinking creatively about both problems and possible solutions."
Strege's influence also extends to fellow faculty, many of whom he has mentored in ways to engage students in meaningful exploration of difficult texts. Strege is identified by colleagues as one who "lives the notion of vocation as a spiritual, intellectual, and professional response to personal calling, challenging students to recognize the intimate connection between the way we think and the way we act in this world."
Strege has been on the faculty of Anderson University since 1980, and has taught in both the School of Theology and the undergraduate Department of Religious Studies.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of about 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.