Greenville University has announced the winners of its 2018 Alumni Awards. This year’s honors go to Distinguished Alumnus David Crandall ’61 of Greenville, IL; Outstanding Young Alumna Yvi Martin ’01 of St. Louis, MO; Dr. Gene A. Kamp Loyalty Awardees Galen and Ella Peters of Greenville, IL; and Briner Salt and Light Awardee Lesley Burbridge of Malibu, CA.
The University’s Loyalty Award received a new name this year: the Dr. Gene A. Kamp Loyalty Award, in recognition of the late Gene A. Kamp ’53 (pictured right), who dedicated countless volunteer hours to Greenville University in his retirement. Gene served the University for more than 20 years, including years of service to the Alumni Office. Generations of G.U. graduates remember him fondly.
Distinguished Alumnus Dr. David Crandall ’61
Crandall faithfully followed the call to serve others worldwide as a physician.
He married Linda (Mountz ’61) Crandall after earning his bachelor’s from G.U. He received a medical degree at the University of Illinois in Chicago and was immediately drafted into military service during the Vietnam era.
Crandall later provided medical care in Africa. He practiced medicine in Rwanda first, then Burundi, often juggling a heavy load of general surgeon duties and administrative duties while short-staffed and under-supplied.
After these years in Africa he re-entered the military, providing relief to patients at hospitals in Germany, Hawaii, Italy, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia.
Now retired, he sits on the board of Friends of Hope Africa University in Burundi, and has returned to Africa several times. Through it all, Crandall has remained devoted to his family, who accompanied him on every assignment, no matter how far.
Outstanding Young Alumna Yvi Martin ’01
Martin serves as on-site pastor at The Gathering UMC in St. Louis. Her early work in the nonprofit world transitioned into ministry when Yvi served as youth pastor at North Decatur UMC in Atlanta, Georgia. She then became the associate pastor at King’s Way UMC in Springfield, Missouri, followed by her current role at The Gathering.
Martin has also taken a lead role as board chair of the Missouri UMC’s Mozambique Initiative, which partners Missouri churches and Mozambique churches to focus on water safety, health outreach, education, micro-finance and social services. She sits on the board of Kingdom House, a St. Louis community organization helping economically disadvantaged persons achieve economic independence.
A graduate of Candler School of Theology with a master of theological studies and a master of divinity, Martin lends her talents as an adjunct professor in the Bastian School of Theology, Philosophy, and Ministry at G.U.
Dr. Gene A. Kamp Loyalty Awardees Galen and Ella Peters
Galen and Ella Peters came to Greenville University in 1971, having already served on the mission field in Newfoundland. Galen taught math at G.U. from 1971-2003. Ella served as a nurse at McCracken-Dawdy-Hall Family Practice until she assumed gardening duties at G.U. in the late 1990s. For two decades, the campus has bloomed under her steady hand each spring.
The couple host guests in their home regularly, “adopting” college students and community members for fellowship and meals. They purchased a people mover to help handicapped individuals make it to church on Sundays. Ella taught Sunday School for 40 years, and Galen regularly participates in the church choir. Galen has also served as president of the local Farm Heritage Museum.
Briner Salt and Light Awardee Lesley Burbridge ’89
Burbridge has achieved a prominent career in public relations, working on numerous film and television projects and representing top talent including music artists, athletes, authors, producers and other celebrities.
She first stepped into the Christian music industry through her involvement in the student-run Agape Festival at Greenville University. The event connected her with Word Records in Nashville, where she later worked as director of publicity.
Eight years later, inspired by the potential publicists hold to promote Christian messages in media, Burbridge broadened her PR work beyond music. She stepped out on her own to build PR firm L.A.B. Media. She is now executive vice president at Los Angeles-based Rogers & Cowan, one of the largest entertainment PR firms in the world.
Burbridge considers her career in media to be a mission field, utilizing publicity work as a mouthpiece for media that spreads the message of Christ.
Selection for Greenville University Alumni Awards is based on a formal nomination and review process. For additional information about nominating alumni for the 2018 Alumni Awards, contact the Alumni Office at 618.664.7119 or email@example.com.