Bill Abeler '81
Term Expires: 2010
My plans were set. As a high school graduate (Anoka, MN), I was going to keep it simple and keep it cheap by heading to a community college two miles from home. Then my sister and a few of her Northwestern College classmates on staff at Camp Lebanon started talking to me in July about enrolling at NWC and giving the start-up soccer club a try. In the providence of God, Dr. William BeVier, the school’s Academic Dean, was the family camp speaker that month. In less than fifteen minutes he made my decision easy. My four years and one extra quarter there proved him right. Northwestern College was, indeed, a great place to mature and challenge a young man called into full-time ministry.
Academically, those were big days for the college as it finally attained accreditation. Drs. Hartill, Dunnett, Pittman, and Enns were my favorite professors and Dr. Ericksen, then the new Dean of Students, proved to be my most significant mentor. As it turned out, however, some of my best “education” came through extra-curricular involvement in soccer, journalism, and student government, especially my two years as NWSA President. My highlights could fill a yearbook and would feature soccer victories (I got both goals in our first-ever win over St. Paul Bible!), student leadership exploits (we rewrote the NWSA constitution!), and great times with friends (I had 16 different roommates!).
In time God led me back to Camp Lebanon (Upsala, MN) to serve as the Executive Director, a job demanding flexibility, versatility, creativity, and spiritual maturity. What a delight it is to look back over 22 year now and see that nothing from my college education (in and out of the classroom) was wasted! Writing, planning, sports, music, Bible teaching, team building, fundraising, loving kids, counseling—they are all part of my current duties. A younger and smaller Northwestern College gave me a chance to learn proficiencies in all of these … and more!
The greatness of Northwestern College arises from its acceptance to fulfill its call in promoting and teaching a biblical worldview in every academic discipline. The sweet Christian spirit that characterizes the Northwestern community can be credited in large part, I believe, to the school’s high commitment to the Scriptures, as demonstrated in the bible-major requirement for all students.