Lashaunda Yates

The Heart of America Athletic Conference has selected Lashaunda Yates as the A.O. Duer Award winner for the 2014-15 academic year.  

Read More about Yates

Darcy Volz

Darcy Volz, a Solah House senior, shines as a leader. She is the Assistant Hall Director for Walker Hall, from Whitehall, Montana, with Community of Christ roots and comes from generations of Gracelanders. 

Read More about Volz

Oscar Chang

Born and raised in Kuching, Malaysia, Oscar knew he wanted to go to college in the U.S. and applied to several schools with the help of his tennis coach. Graceland was his choice. 

Read More about Chang

John SellarsThank You...

for being a part of the Graceland community!

Because of your generous support, great things are happening for GU!

  • Graceland moved to a first-tier academic level in several national surveys.
  • Graceland received top recognition for innovative programming from the American Council of Education.
  • Graceland’s School of Nursing’s online master’s program is now rated among the top 10 nationally.
  • The Gleazer School of Education’s online master’s degree is recognized among the top five nationally.
  • Princeton Review recognized Graceland again in their “Best in the Midwest” listing.

As notable as those institutional achievements are, Graceland has never been about the institution itself. Our pledge to the students is, “our passion is your success.” In this issue, we have included several stories about how Graceland made a difference in the lives of students. ere are many more of these stories to be told! Each of these students has been transformed by internships during their “Graceland Experience.” Their transformation is possible through the Graceland connections of alumni, faculty, administration, family and friends as we stand together in our passion
to help our students succeed. We are the Graceland community – it takes all of us.

Thank you for making Graceland a special place in higher education. If you would like to share your success story, please email me at I hope to see you in October at homecoming!

John Sellars, PhD, CPA

Building Character in Community

Harry AshenhurstStudent success...

When I think of these two words, I think about building character in both the individual and the community. I believe that it is the character of an individual and the community that will give definition to student success. So, what do I mean by character?

Character in an individual is about integrity, openness, being able to think critically and constructively. It is about adaptability, problem solving and making good decisions. An important mentor in my life, Paul Booth, would tell me, repeatedly, that the way to help people is to "teach them how to make good decisions in life." Sounds like a no brainer, doesn't it. But being able to make good decisions means being able to think critically from a solid value base. It means being able to challenge assumptions and biases. It means being open to new possibilities and to be able to put decisions in a context that treats everyone with respect and worth. This is not so easy when we throw in all  the stressors and pressures that hit people in their daily lives.

Character in community goes to the centrality of a liberal education. It challenges us to create a learning community that is interdisciplinary, teaches us how to be a continuous learner, gives people the opportunity for engagement of new ideas with faculty, staff, other students and the larger world. It engages the whole life of the student and provides ways for them to reflect on their values and beliefs, and search for new and creative ways to live healthy and productive lives in their community.

There are hundreds of stories of how Graceland builds character in the individual and community. We are reading about some of those personal stories in this issue of Horizons. How many more we can share.....

Harry Ashenhurst Signature

Graceland Memories!
Remember the Graceland mailboxes? 

Now you can have your own GU mailbox.

All proceeds will go to the Alumni Endowed Scholarship fund.

Decorative mail boxesArtist Tim Sundell ’09, who benefited from the Alumni Endowed Scholarship while he attended Graceland, was happy to handcraft the boxes for his alma mater.

Each handmade hardwood mailbox is branded with the Graceland University logo and features those little glass doors with combination locks that we all loved. Mailboxes will be available for purchase on a first-come basis at homecoming, and supplies are limited. Own a piece of Graceland history.

“Retrace your memories” at homecoming. Purchase a GU mailbox as a souvenir and support the Alumni Endowed Scholarship fund. 

For more information email Jeanne Davis at

Alumni Board of Directors

Samuel Smalldon ’78 - President
Cal Closson ’82  - Vice President
Lara Guscott ’08  - Secretary
Kevin Brunner ’86  - Faculty Representative
James Varvaro ’81  - Communications Volunteer
Michele Black ’81
Joseph Booz ’86
Dan Hanton ’65
Jenny Jackson ’10
Kasey Johnson Steen ’08
Rosa La Puente-Flowers ’97
Joseph Postnikoff ’83
Brian Shantz ’69
Stacey Powell Slifka ’96
Chris Voggesser ’93
Jeannine Andersen Ward ’84
Dr. Mike Wiley ’83
Brent Wouters ’88
David Yost ’67 


John Sellars, PhD, CPA President
Steven L. Anders, PhD ’73
Dean, C.H. Sandage School of Business
Kathleen M. Clauson Bash, PhD
Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness
R. Paul Davis, MA ’81
Vice President of Business Services
Kelly W. Everett, BA ’77
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Tammy E. Everett, PhD ’79
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty
Claudia D. Horton, PhD, RN ’86 Dean, School of Nursing
Scott Huddleston, EdD
Interim Dean, Edmund J. Gleazer School of Education
David Schaal, MA ’80
Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
Jodi L. Seymour
Executive Assistant to the President
and Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees
Brian White, PhD ’92
Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Joe Worlund, MA ’80
Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management and Athletic Director 

Board of Trustees

Harry J. Ashenhurst, PhD ’70 - Chair
W. Gary Howard, PhD ’64 - Vice-Chair
Cheryl F. Hansen ’77 - Secretary
Cherry M. Hartnett ’73 - Treasurer
Robert G. “Bob” Ackerley
Susan Bevington ’89
Hon. Leonard L. Boswell ’55
John A. “Jack” Cave ’68
Denise Dudley, PhD
Ronald E. “Ron” Gillilan, MD
Sharon Graybill ’84
Laurie Heintz ’85
Tom Hiles ’82
Karen Jewell, JD ’76
Susan Johnson ’76
Michael D. Lewis, JD ’90
Kay Johnson Mussell, PhD ’63
Becky Savage ’74
David Seda ’83
Mickey Seeman
John Sheehy ’79
Dennis Shields, JD ’77
Samuel G. “Sam” Smalldon ’78
Michelle Waite ’83
Robert L. “Bob” White ’77
Janet Ward Worthington ’81
K. Michael “Mike” Zabel, MD ’84 


Jeanne Davis '81


Steve Edwards '96
Tiffany Smith '06


Michael Gruich
R. Paul Davis


Aaron Neeley '03
Brooke Sutherland '03

Horizons, Volume 31, No. 2

Horizons (USPS 0884-8939) is published three times a year – spring, fall and winter – by Graceland University, Lamoni, Iowa. Send address changes to: Horizons, Graceland University Alumni Programs Office, 1 University Place, Lamoni, IA 50140. The magazine is distributed without charge to alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the university. Free copies are available upon request. Direct inquiries to the Alumni Programs Office at the address above, call 866-GU4-EVER, or on the university’s website: