Party of the century: Tabor marks 100

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Board chair Lyndon Vix (at podium) addresses the crowd that gathers for the dedication of the Centennial Plaza.?

The dedication of a new focal point on campus?Centennial Plaza containing the sculpture, ?Called to Serve??was the highlight of the Tabor College Cen?tennial Homecoming Cel?ebra?tion this past weekend.

?The Centennial Plaza is in a perfect location, where everyone can see and experience the mission of Tabor College,? said President Jules Glanzer. ?The ?Called to Serve? sculpture is inspiring, contemplative, moving, and one cannot help but be touched by its message.?

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An large inflatible in front of the S.L. Loewen Science Building entertained youngsters and their parents.

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The living presidents of Tabor College pose for a photo with sculptor
Sandra Storm (from left) Vernon Janzen, LeVon Baltzer, Jules Glanzer,
Larry Nikkel, H. David Brandt.

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President Emeritus Larry Nikkel expounds on the significance of the ?Called to Serve? sculpture.

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A mother and her kids enjoy a photo op with the Tabor Bluejay.

Former presidents Vernon Janzen, LeVon Balzer, H. David Brandt and Larry Nikkel were in attendance at the dedication ceremony, as were representatives of the college?s additional presidents.

They joined scores of alumni and friends surrounding the Centennial Plaza, which was transformed into a garden of engraved pavestones and flowers. At its center is the new sculpture created by Sandra Storm, a nationally known artist and Tabor alumnus.

?For many years to come, this plaza will convey to both the campus community and to visitors that Tabor College is a place where service to God and to others is nurtured and cherished,? said Lyndon Vix, Tabor board chair.

In addition to receiving a new sculpture during the celebration, the college also received a Centennial Poem, titled ?Seed for the World,? written by Menno?nite author and poet Jean Janzen, of Fresno, Calif., and a Centennial Quilt, created by Karen Hauff, of Shoreview, Minn.

Hauff, a 1966 graduate, is a member of the college?s board of directors.

Two graduates of the college were honored during the celebration. Andrew Owen, a 1994 graduate serving as a missionary in Thailand with Mennonite Brethren Missions/Service International, received the Alumni Medallion Award.

Jonah Kliewer, a 1955 graduate and emeritus professor of voice and choral music, received the Alumni Merit Award. He died July 12 after a battle with pancreatic cancer at age 75.

The Centennial Plaza was conceived by Nikkel, who began the project before his retirement as president last year. He led the project to completion as the first president emeritus in the history of the college.

?The story of Tabor is a story of God?s faithfulness to a faithful people,? Nikkel said. ?It is entirely appropriate for Tabor to mark this milestone with the dedication of a plaza upon which the core values of Tabor College are presented with such clarity and power.

?I would suggest that not only has Sandra Storm captured this spirit of service in her sculptures, she has also given us the visual symbols of the gospel itself.?

For Glanzer, the dedication ceremony marked the highlight of an unforgettable weekend.

?For the past 100 years, God has led Tabor College through the hands of the presidents listed on the plaza,? Glanzer said. ?They have shepherded Tabor with integrity of heart and with skillful hands.

?I am standing on the shoulders of many great men who have led Tabor,? Glanzer added. ?Their commitment, sacrifice, and service have been extraordinary.?

In attendance at the ceremony were the following past-presidents or representatives:

  • First president Henry W. Lohrenz (serving from 1908-1931) was represented by his granddaughter, Lucy McAllaster from Afton, Minn.

  • Second president Peter C. Hiebert (1932-1934) was represented by Ron Braun of North Newton. Hiebert served as chair of the Mennonite Central Committee for 42 years; Braun served in the same organization for 20 years.

  • Third president Abraham E. Janzen (1935-1942) was represented by his niece, Evelyn Ediger from Topeka.

  • Fourth president Peter E. Schellenberg (1942-1951) was represented by his son, Richard, from Wichita.

  • Fifth president John N.C. Hiebert (1951-1953) was represented by his daughter Phyllis Martens from Fresno, Calif.

  • Sixth president Leonard J. Franz (1953-1954, 1956-1962) was represented by Marvin Kroeker of Ada, Okla., who served as a member of the history faculty during the Franz presidency.

  • Seventh president Frank C. Peters (1954-1956) was represented by William Johnson, Hillsboro, a member of the faculty during the Peters presidency.

  • Wesley J. Prieb (interim president from 1962-1963) was represented by his daughter, Judy Harder, Hillsboro, a current faculty member.

  • Eighth president Roy Just (1963-1980) was represented by his daughter, Jeanne Janzen from Fresno, Calif.

  • Ninth president Vernon Janzen (1980-87) now lives in Fresno, Calif.

  • Vernon Wiebe (interim president, 1987-1988) was represented by wife Rubena of Hillsboro.

  • Tenth president LeVon Balzer (1988-1994) now lives in Bella Vista, Ark.

  • Clarence Hiebert (interim president, 1994-1995), was represented by wife Ferne of Hills?boro.

  • Eleventh president David Brandt (1995-1998) now lives in Mechanicsburg, Pa.

  • Twelfth president Larry Nikkel (1998-2007) lives in Hillsboro.

  • Jules Glanzer, 13th and present president, was inaugurated in May.

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