Each year, the College takes time to honor alumni who make a significant impact on their community and profession. The alumni chosen for these awards are recognized for their professional excellence, service to community, and lifestyle that promotes the spirit and mission of Roberts Wesleyan College.
Roberts Wesleyan College celebrated its alumni on September 19, awarding two alumni with honors. Dr. Elvera Berry ’63 was honored as the 2016 Alumna of the Year and Dr. Jesse Wenger ’03 was honored as the 2016 Young Alumnus of the Year.
Dr. Berry is Professor of Communication at Roberts Wesleyan College. After completing her BA at Roberts in 1963 with a German major and a double minor in Music and Spanish, she joined the faculty in 1964 and has served the College ever since.
Over fifty-two years, Dr. Berry (Dr. Mrs.) has taught more than 12,000 students, more than thirty different courses, and is best known as a dedicated and exacting teacher. Her commitment to generations of students includes life-long mentoring and the invitation to full participation in professional academic conferences. Under her support more than fifty Roberts undergraduates have presented papers alongside established scholars.
“Dr. Mrs. occupies a unique and probably unprecedented stature among faculty in the history of Roberts Wesleyan College. Her achievements and commitment are unlikely ever to be replicated. If you wish to see her at her absolute finest, just inquire about her former students who’ve gone on to successful and meaningful careers. Her joy in their accomplishments is tangible and contagious,” said Michael Landrum, Professor of Music & Performing Arts.
Dr. Wenger is currently Fellow Physician in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at the University of Washington’s Seattle Children’s Hospital where he cares for critically ill children. He is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, and the American Board of Internal Medicine. He is a member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and has teaching responsibilities in subjects like Diabetic Ketoacidosis/Status Asthmaticus. Jesse has also contributed to multiple publications.
“I remember Jesse fondly, as one of the pre-med students in my Counseling Theory and Practice course. Jesse’s natural ability to blend stellar interpersonal skills with genuine caring made it clear to me that he would someday be a Christ-like, compassionate physician who could minister not only to the physical needs of his patients, but also to their emotional and spiritual needs,” said Dr. Julie Grimm, Dean to the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The awards were presented in Chapel in front of family, friends, students, faculty, and staff.