1997 Culture for Service Awards

Goshen College Bulletin, September 1997

The Alumni Board is pleased to announce the 1997 Culture for Service Awardees. They are Evelyn Burkholder Kreider ’36, Goshen; Vern L. Miller ’50, Cleveland, Ohio and E. Wayne Nafziger ’60, Manhattan, Kan., presently residing as a Senior Research Fellow at United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research in Finland. This is the eighth year the board has named alumni whose lives exemplify the college motto, Culture for Service, to receive this award.

Viewing “hospitality as a Christian grace,” Evelyn Burkholder Kreider has been known for years in the Goshen community as a warm hostess and loving neighbor.

The wife of retired GC Professor and Academic Dean Carl Kreider ’36, Mrs. Kreider explained that acting as an unofficial hostess was a duty that she and the president’s wife were expected to meet. She said, “Sharing yourself at your table was part of your Christian sharing. It was assumed that we would entertain campus people; I did it and enjoyed it. It was a pleasure and a very broadening experience.”

Kreider first came to Goshen in 1932 as a home economics student, where she met her future husband Carl. Mrs. Kreider graduated from GC in 1936 and taught high school home economics for three years. She then traveled to London where she married Carl, who was then a student at the London School of Economics. In 1940, the Kreiders moved to Goshen where Carl became a professor of economics.

Over the years, Mrs. Kreider has been heavily involved in the community and in various peace efforts. She served on the Peace section committee of Mennonite Central Committee, and is presently involved in Seniors for Peace and College Mennonite Church’s peace ministry. Additionally, she has been involved with such organizations as Church Women United, The Window, Interfaith Hospitality Network and “Hunger Concerns.” She and Carl have traveled extensively over the years and have lived in Japan, Ethiopia and Poland.

The Kreiders have been members of College Mennonite Church since 1940. They have four children: Alan ’62, Rebecca ’66, Stephen ’70 and Thomas ’79.

Vern Miller, retired pastor and church planter, received a calling toward the ministry when his brother Wilbur died while a student at GC in 1945. This event caused Miller to leave farming and pursue the ministry in honor of his brother’s ministerial vision.

While a student at GC, Miller spent three summers doing voluntary service in Cleveland, Ohio, which helped to shape his vision. At GC, Miller met his future wife Helen Hostetler ’51. In 1950 Miller graduated from Goshen College, and in 1951 he graduated from Goshen Biblical Seminary.

He and Helen were then led toward inner-city church planting. “The Mission Board asked us if we would go to Cleveland with the idea of heading a mission and planting a church,” said Miller. He began his ministry in 1951, planting Gladstone Mennonite Church in Cleveland. In 1957, Gladstone Church was moved to Lee Heights, and Lee Heights Community Church was formed. Miller received his M.A. in sociology from Case Western Reserve University in 1968.

Over the years, Lee Heights has flourished, growing in numbers and offering a multi-racial, socially-involved example for the wider church. The church has developed a day care and pre-school, a hunger center and senior center. Miller described Lee Heights today, saying, “The church is still growing, still inter-racial, with a preponderance of people from other faith backgrounds.” Church membership now totals approximately 350.

The Millers have five children: Robin, Renita, Rosina ’80, Rochele ’82 and Ryan. Miller retired from the pastorate at Lee Heights in 1993 and his son, Robin, is presently pastoring the church. Miller holds the position and title of pastor emeritus, where he ministers to seniors and occasionally preaches and counsels.

A university professor for over 30 years, E. Wayne Nafziger has distinguished himself internationally as a scholar of developing country economics. After graduating from GC in 1960 with a degree in social sciences, Nafziger completed an M.A. in economics from the University of Michigan in 1962 and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois in 1967.

In 1966, Nafziger became an assistant professor of economics at Kansas State University and married Elfrieda Toews. He earned the title of associate professor of economics in 1973 and professor of economics in 1978, both at Kansas State. On leave from Kansas State, Nafziger is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER) in Finland, where he has been since 1996.

Over the years, Nafziger has received countless awards, frequently offering him opportunities for international travel; his research has taken him to Japan, India, Hawaii, China and throughout the continent of Africa. Nafziger is a regular consultant to MCC regarding Third World concepts and issues.

Nafziger’s most recent book, The Economics of Developing Countries, was published in 1997. A prolific author, Nafziger has also written the following books: Entrepreneurship, Equity and Economic Development; The Economics of Political Instability; Class, Caste, and Entrepreneurship; and African Capitalism among others.

Wayne and Elfrieda are the parents of two children, Brian and Kevin. They have been active members of Manhattan (Kan.) Presbyterian Church.