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About Gary

I'm thankful for the opportunities that I have had over the years, serving as a professor, pastor, military chaplain, and guest speaker for public events, commencements, clubs, organizations, and community ceremonies.  I’ve enjoyed teaching religion, humanities, world cultures & geography, art appreciation, philosophy, communication, and history.

After high school, I received a diploma from the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, did my general studies at the Worthington Campus of Penn State University and earned the Bachelor of Religious Education and Bachelor of Theology degrees from Clarks Summit University (PA), and Master of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. I have a Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Philosophy degree from The California Graduate School of Theology, and a PhD in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (Higher Ed Administration) from Michigan State University.  I have also completed additional graduate studies at Aquinas College and post-doctoral work at Eastern Washington University.

I've had the privilege of teaching for more than 40 years, including summer or fall courses at schools in China, Russia, Ecuador, and Uganda.  I have written 20 books, including Exploring Humanities Around the World; and Master of Disaster - The Life and Works of Shipwreck Artist Ed Pusick, which I co-authored with my wife, Lois. I was a Gold Medallion Book Award nominee for my first book, published by Accent Books.

I have traveled to all 50 states and 100+ countries on all 7 continents and have addressed conventions or conferences as a guest speaker in India, Uganda, South Korea, France, Honduras, Russia, Israel, and in various locations in the U.S. including San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix, Detroit, Columbus, East Lansing, Scranton, and Grand Rapids. 

On a more personal note, I am married 50+ years to Lois (Thornton), have 4 children: Heidi (& Steve), Greg, Andrew (& Becky), and Jared (& Rachel); and 2 grandchildren: Jacob and Lily (children of Greg). Thankfully, all my family live close to my home in Grand Rapids, MI. Currently, I am the Dean Emeritus of Arts and Sciences at Montcalm Community College, President Emeritus of the Michigan Liberal Arts Deans Association, and have been a Board Member of the Midwest Institute for Intercultural and International Education, the Flat River Historical Museum, Montcalm Life-Long Learners, the Heritage Village Association, the College of Arts and Sciences at Ferris State University, and the M.S. Panwar Community and Technical College of Solan, India. I also served as the Chairman of the Montcalm Area Humanities Council, and MCC's representative to the World Affairs Council, and Chairman of the Board of the Rural Pastors Institute of Uganda, based in Jinja.

 

I love to travel, enjoy and create art, listen to and perform music, read and write, go biking or hiking with my wife and family, spend time with my grandkids, and volunteer as a tram-narrator tour guide at the Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.

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