Alumni - Clarks Summit University



CSU Alumni Family

Since our school started in Johnson City in 1932, over 13,000 people have attended Baptist Bible Seminary, Baptist Bible College and Clarks Summit University. As a member of the Clarks Summit University Alumni Association, you are part of a global family now living and serving in all 50 states and in over 70 foreign countries. We remain committed to our mission of serving students by preparing them for lives of significant service for the cause of Jesus Christ in a variety of ministries and careers.

Our Alumni Services Department, working with the Alumni Association’s Executive Council, serves to represent the alumni family by:

  • promoting positive connections between the university and alumni,
  • providing regular communication pieces to our alumni and
  • planning opportunities for the alumni community to gather both on and off campus to renew old acquaintances and to develop new friendships.

Our goal is to continue to serve as a resource to our alumni through a wide range of services and events.

We are very thankful for the Alumni Executive Council and their leadership of the Alumni Association. They meet on campus three times each year for prayer, planning, brainstorming, representation and preparation of various alumni events and initiatives.

Request Transcripts and View Archived Catalogs.

To request your transcript, or view archived CSU or BBS catalogs, begin at the Registrar’s page.

Alumni Association’s Constitution

Read and download the Clarks Summit University & Baptist Bible Seminary Alumni Constitution and Bylaws.


Contact Us

Alumni Office
Clarks Summit University

As a graduate of Clarks Summit University, you have many benefits available to you.

  • A first-rate education.
  • Friends and colleagues who will last a lifetime.
  • Skills and knowledge to serve Christ throughout your life.
  • And a new family – the Clarks Summit University (BBC&S) Alumni Association, more than 13,000 members strong.
  • Discounts for furthering your education through CSU Online or Baptist Bible Seminary.

Our Purpose…

We exist to promote a unified fellowship among the alumni family and to foster the interests and advancement of Clarks Summit University toward the achievement of preparing men and women for Christian ministry careers to the glory of God by:

  • Prayer and personal involvement.
  • Financial support and student recruitment.
  • Godly and consistent representation of Clarks Summit University before the public.

We also provide a means of communication through the Alumni Executive Council to the administration and Board of Trustees in matters of mutual concern for maintaining the welfare of Clarks Summit University.

Who are Alumni?

Voting members are all graduates and all who have satisfactorily completed at least 12 credit-hours in any division of Clarks Summit University.

Associate members are spouses of alumni and those who have taken less than 12 credit hours.
Honorary members are those who serve on the Board of Trustees, administration, and faculty of the school.

Join the Alumni Association.

It’s free and easy. Join the Alumni Association today to stay current with all the happenings at Clarks Summit University and connected with all your friends.

Opportunities to serve…

As an alumnus, you have a unique ability to give back more than just financially to Clarks Summit University. There are many different areas where your gifts and abilities can help support and promote the institution.

Be a part of the family.

God has chosen to use appreciative and supportive alumni and friends to uphold and advance Clarks Summit University and its mission. These significant groups are valued contributors to the school through their lives and resources. Clarks Summit University is blessed by each of them.

To view a list of ways you can be a part of the family, please click here.

Alumni Council

The Alumni Executive Council is responsible for the leadership of the Alumni Association. It is made up of nine elected members. They function in cooperation with the Director of Alumni & Church Relations. The Alumni Council follows the Alumni Constitution and Bylaws voted on and approved by the Alumni Association.


Each year, awards are presented to our alumni. These are presented to an individual or individuals who “have completed at least 10 years of faithful and profitable Christian service vocation.”

To see the criteria for these awards as well as past award winners, please click here.

Meet the current members of Clarks Summit University’s Alumni Association Executive Council. Members are nominated by and voted upon by members of the alumni association.


Mark Steckiel (1981, 2009)
Council President

Pastor, Fellowship Bible Church
Spouse: Janis Keller (2009)
Troy, PA
Send email

Dave FoxDave Fox (1984)

Pastor, Berean Baptist Church
Spouse: Cindy Zwald (1983)
Springfield, IL
Send email

Image of Mark MeyersMark Meyers (1985)

Pastor, Grace Bible Church
Spouse: Kim Duncan
Warrenton, MO
Send email

Image of Kelly HaightKelly Haight (1981)

Direct Support Professional
Johnson City, NY
Send email

Image of Lynze MewhortLynze Mewhort (2009) 

Spouse: Nate Mewhort
Columbia Cross Roads, PA
Send email

Image of Sherrie HollowaySherrie Holloway (1985) 

Clarks Summit University
Clarks Summit, PA
Send email

Beth Kuhar Welman (1984)

Children’s Ministries Coordinator, Heritage Baptist Church
Spouse: Chris Welman
Clarks Summit, PA
Send email

Rev. Brian King (1992)

Associate Director, Northeast Fellowship
Spouse: Judy King
Windsor, NY
Send email

Laura Gardoski (2010)

Head of Youth Services, Abington Community Library
Clarks Summit, PA
Send email


Alumni Awards

The Clarks Summit University Alumni Association presents special alumni awards each fall at the annual Alumni Bible Conference. The Alumnus of the Year, Outstanding Service Award, Young Alumnus Service Award and Athletic Hall of Honor recognizes those among us deserving of special honor.

God has greatly used many of our alumni around the world in a variety of capacities to bring honor and glory to His name. The Alumnus of the Year has been presented every year since 1967, the Outstanding Service Awards were first given in 1984 and the Young Alumnus Service Award was first given in 2016.

It is the great privilege and responsibility of the alumni family to participate in the selection of the annual alumni award recipients.

You may also contact the Alumni Department at 570.585.9202 or alumni@ClarksSummitU.eduThe deadline for nominations is May 31 each year. The Alumni Executive Council makes the final award selections. Members review all nominations.

Alumnus of the Year Award

Each year, one individual is awarded the Alumnus of the Year Award. Clarks Summit University alumni nominate individuals during the spring. The Alumni Association Council selects the award winner.

Candidates must have:

  • Received a degree from Clarks Summit University.
  • Completed at least 10 years of faithful and profitable Christian service in their profession.
  • Demonstrated loyalty to Clarks Summit University, its programs and/or its students or graduates.
  • Cultivated an evident pursuit of Christ-centered thinking and daily lifestyle that honors Him.
  • Hold an evident dedication to developing the life of Christ in others.

Outstanding Service Award

Each year, four individuals are awarded Outstanding Service Awards. Clarks Summit University alumni nominate individuals during the spring. The Alumni Association Council selects the award winners. Candidates must have:

  • Received a degree from Clarks Summit University.
  • Maintained a quality association with Clarks Summit University for at least 10 years.
  • Cultivated an evident pursuit of Christ-centered thinking and daily lifestyle that honors Him.
  • Hold an evident dedication to developing the life of Christ in others.

A few examples of ministry/professional areas of potential award winners are: Pastor, youth pastor, educator, missionary, deacon, women’s ministry leader, lay worker, counselor, other significant ministry.

Young Alumnus Service Award

Candidates must have:

  • Received a degree from Clarks Summit University within the past 5 years.
  • Cultivated an evident pursuit of Christ-centered thinking and daily lifestyle that honors Him.
  • An evident dedication to developing the life of Christ in others.

Athletics Hall of Honor

Clarks Summit University’s Defenders Athletics program established The Hall of Honor in 2006. The distinction recognizes former student-athletes, coaches, administrators, special individuals and teams. Membership is based on excellence in athletic achievement and demonstrated Christ-centered values while involved in the university’s athletics programs.

Induction is the highest athletic honor the university bestows. Membership not only recognizes extraordinary achievement, it also sets an example of the distinct Christ-centered values and attributes the Clarks Summit University athletic programs desires to cultivate in present and future participants.

Visit the CSU Defender Athletic site for details.

Alumni Award Recipients

2018 Outstanding Service Award Recipients:

Tammy Beideman

Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Beidman became a Christian at the age of 5 after a children’s service at summer camp. She was the first person in her family to attend college, and her parents could not understand why she wanted to go. After hearing about Clarks Summit University, Beidman was determined to become a Defender.

While at CSU, Tammy studied elementary education and met her husband, Brian. They now live in Maryland she have three children: Malina, Callan and Deacon. Beidman taught school for 10 years, but she became interested in repurposing vintage furniture. What started as a hobby eventually became a small business.

In 2011, Beidman opened Sweet Elizabeth Jane, a vintage-inspired lifestyle store on Main Street in Ellicott City, Maryland. The philosophy behind Sweet Elizabeth Jane is to create experiences for the community. Her vision was to transform the 100-year-old Caplan’s Department Store building into a gathering space for the community. Her shop became known for the elaborate window displays, winning numerous awards and recognitions. The everchanging assortment of merchandise and store events brought in many visitors and the store affectionately known as SEJ grew quickly.

A catastrophic flood in July 2016 completely destroyed the store and everything inside. This challenge did not cause her to lose hope, though, as she was determined to recover her losses and reopen by the holiday season. Through hard work and support from her community, Beidman was able to bring SEJ back to life.

In 2017, she was named Maryland’s Small Business Person of the Year. Just prior to the award’s ceremony, yet another flood caused some minor damage to the shop. However, Beidman continues to believe in hope, and Sweet Elizabeth Jane has become the store known as being “flooded with hope.”

Ken Riley

Ken Riley is the executive director of Lake Ann Camp in Michigan where he has served since 1986. Riley’s passion has been to create a place where the Spirit of God is free to move in the hearts of campers. He has done this by helping to create a place where the intentionality of the camp programs show respect for individuals no matter their gifts or abilities.

Riley finds great joy in seeing campers and staff serving the Lord around the world in a myriad of occupations and ministries. Over the years, he has been involved in helping Christian camps in twelve different countries around the world, some of which he helped to start.

Prior to Lake Ann Camp, Riley pastored in Pilot Mound, Iowa, and Silverdale, Washington. He also served as the chairman of his township’s zoning board of appeals for 24 years and on Clark Summit University’s foundation board for more than 20 years. Christian Camp and Conference Association (CCCA) has sought Riley out for various leadership roles and speaking opportunities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Leadership and Christian Education from Faith Baptist Bible College and a master’s degree from Baptist Bible Seminary.

He and his wife Margy have three daughters, two sons-in-law and three adorable grandchildren plus one on the way. They are proud that their children all love the Lord and seek to honor Him with their lives.

Chris Brown

Brown came to know Jesus at the age of 10 at a summer camp in upstate New York. He grew in his faith as he was involved at his local church in Hollisterville, Pennsylvania. Alumnus Nate Osbourne encouraged him to go to Bible college before going off to study architecture. Chris intended to just get a one-year bible diploma at Clarks Summit University and then transfer to Penn State main campus, but God had other plans.

Brown graduated from CSU and started on staff at First Baptist Church in Horseheads, New York, as a youth pastor. He always had a desire to use technology in ministry and merged the two while on staff at the church. Seeing the potential for technology and global missions, Brown joined Gospel Literature Service to help local and international ministries with technology.

Stepping out from there, he joined Baptist Church Planters to add a focus on the needs of church planters in the area and internationally. Now he is a full-time, missions-supported founder and director of the non-profit ministry called Technology Ministry Network. He is supported by churches and individuals to come alongside those in ministry to help them with their technology needs for the sake of the Great Commission.

Brown has always said, “what a joy it is to serve the way you are made… and I was made a geek.”  He has travelled to help hundreds of ministries and missions organizations around the globe.

His favorite passage is Psalm 1, and his favorite quotation is, “My greatest fear is not that I will be a failure, but that I will succeed in that which does not matter.” He is thankful for his wife and her willingness to follow him and help with the different ministries he has been able to be a part of. Brown and his wife have four children, two of whom are current students at CSU.

Below are previous Outstanding Service Award recipients.

2017 — Michelle Hammaker, Craig Miller, Bill and Kathy Brittain
2016 — Derek Mosher, Dan Cruver, Mike Bacon
2015 — Tim Ahlgrim, Russ Schelling, Mark Stuenzi, Ruth Nearmyer Trott
2014 – Mark Meyers, Ray Rouse, John Saucier, Christine (Bujnak) Warner
2013 – John Frey, Kristi Walker, Dennis Wilhite
2012 – Rev. Doug & Cheryl Boisvert, Pastor Patrick McGoldrick, Sue Lodico, Sgt. George Peach
2011 – Fran Weddle, Dr. Robert Kelleman, Ruth Rising
2010 – Ken and Arlene Updyke, Richard Blades, Martin Eaton
2009 – Dr. Don Whipple, Sherrie Holloway, Michael and Kim Ryall
2008 – James R. Howell, Wanda Southworth Leffel, Dr. Colin Smith, Mel Walker
2007 – Dr. Steve Viars, Dr. Rodney Decker, Jane Schmitz, Darlene Knafel
2006 – Joseph Flatt, Kennard Mosher, Delores Woods, Wilbur & Nona Janowski
2005 – W. Robert Mattox, C. David Barrows, Doris Youmans, Martha Lentsch
2004 – Carl Hills, Harold Green, Elizabeth Jones, Mary Shellhammer
2003 – Glenn Seaver, RoseLee Bancroft, Carl & Wilma Abbott, Bob Marsh
2002 – Donald Shirk, Saleen McElwain, Tim & Barb Vermilyea, Donald Moffitt
2001 – Harold Comings, Ellen Glanville, Dick & Ruth Gelina, Eddy Smith
2000 – Chris Hindal, Robert Lightner, Tim & Helen Matchett, Jacquelyn Mitchell
1999 – Victor Decker, James Grier, J. Murray Murdoch, Larry & Jacqui Armstrong, Verna Hollenback
1998 – Terry Zebulske, David Boehning, Andy & Diane Large, Bethel McGrew
1997 – Richard Alhgrim, James Lytle, Polly Strong, Lena VanGilder
1996 – Barry Stewart, Cheryl Fawcett, Paul & Elaine Kintner, Gerald & Thelma Strope
1995 – Willis Hull, Christopher Davis, Fred & Rachel Whitman, Beryl Kach
1994 – James Jeffery, Earle Harriman, Linda Short,
1993 – Donald McCall, Richard Engle, Paul Weimer
1992 – James Vogel, David McClain, Donald Bond
1991 – Richard Christen, Joyce McNamee, George Chadwick, Beverly McElwain
1990 – Karl Smith, Valerie Wilson, Artus Larkin, Harry Dodd
1989 – R. Craig Golden, Clara Crumb deRosset, C. Lloyd Button
1988 – Floyd Drake, Martha Green, David Moore
1987 – R. Eldon Brock, Jesse Eaton, Carl Elgena, Donald Trott II
1986 – Marylou Brownell, Warren Birdsall, Benjamin McGrew, Charles Vermilyea
1985 – Charles Cuthbertson, Patricia Brannen, Robert Hayden, Robert Gromacki
1984 – Mary Thompson, Rev. & Mrs. M.O. Burman, David Layhe


2018 Alumnus of the Year

Jeff Howell

Jeff Howell had the privilege of growing up in a Christian home wherein his father, a Baptist Bible Seminary graduate, served in the pastorate for over 40-years, and his mother led him to Christ at the young age of 4-and-a-half.

When Howell was in eighth grade Coach Jim Huckaby and the Defender Five spoke at the church where his father was pastoring. Afterwards, they came over to their house. The guys (Zac Wilcox, Dave Spink, Stu Tripler, Bob Mueller and Duane Early) surely had no idea the impact they made that day on young Jeff. His goal from that point on was to go to Clarks Summit University and play for Coach Huckaby. In the fall of 1982, he came to CSU, although he never played basketball.

His time at CSU was marked by the influence of godly faculty. They modeled a deep and committed love for Jesus and helped foster in him a desire to know the Lord and His Word more deeply. During his years at the college and the seminary, the Lord gave him relationships that have lasted a lifetime, forging strong friendships and bonds of teamwork and accountability. Howell graduated from CSU in 1986 and BBS in 1992, and many of his mentors through those years are now some of his closest associates and friends in ministry.

Howell and his wife Jenny met while students at CSU; they celebrated 32 years of marriage this year. He admits that, without a doubt, she has been the single greatest influence in his adult life. Her absolute loyalty, unwavering love and ability to make him laugh have been hallmarks of their years together.

God has blessed them with eight wonderful children (including sons-in-law), Bethany, Heidi (married to Zachary), Benjamin, Emily (married to Mitchell), Anna and Kaela. The eldest four have all graduated from CSU, and Anna is a junior this year. Kaela intends to enroll and arrive here on campus in Fall 2019. God has allowed three generations of Howells to graduate from CSU.

For the last 25 years, Howell has served as senior pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania. He and his family have served CSU in multiple capacities over the years. Currently, Howell is making a difference on CSU’s Board of Trustees.

2018 Young Alumnus of the Year

Aleisha Buchanan

Aleisha Buchanan is a middle school health and physical education teacher and athletic director at an international school. She graduated from Clarks Summit University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Bible and health and sports science with an emphasis on Pre-Athletic Training.

While at CSU, she was on the softball team where she learned valuable lessons from coaches Dr. Bill Higley and Rachel Wiren. The summer after graduating, Buchanan worked with Teen Leadership Conference where she had the opportunity to invest in the lives of teens. The time spent serving at the conference was highly influential to her as she transitioned into life after CSU.

After returning home she became involved in coaching and helping out with athletic events at her old high school. In her first year of coaching the middle school girls’ basketball team, Buchanan helped them to go from a winless team the previous season to being first in their conference.

After a few years in that position, she felt the Lord leading her to go on and do something else. She discovered an international school in China and immediately applied for the position. She was accepted and spent the next two months preparing to move to China. During this whole process she felt an incredible sense of peace. She knew this is where she needed to be.

Buchanan has worked for TLC International School for three years and loves every opportunity she has there to witness, invest in the lives of her athletes and to be a part of changing the school to help students grow academically, socially, emotionally and spiritually.

Below are previous Alumnus of the Year recipients.

2017 — Mel Walker
2016 — Kelly Haight (’81)
2015 — Marty Dittmar (’75)
2014 – Glen Lavy, Esq.
2013 – Cheryl Fawcett
2012 – Rev. Jim Showers
2011 – Dr. Paul Plew
2010 – Jeff Hash
2009 – Chaplain James E. May III
2008 – Dr. David Crandall
2007 – Dr. James M Grier
2006 – Donald Trott
2005 – R. Eldon Brock
2004 – Floyd Donald Drake, Sr.
2003 – Carl Elgena
2002 – Charles Ware
2001 – Robert Gromacki
2000 – R. Craig Golden
1999 – David McClain
1998 – Ken Rudolph
1997 – Jesse Eaton
1996 – David L. Moore
1995 – Charles Vermilyea
1994 – Willard Stull
1993 – Benjamin McGrew
1992 – Gordon Lewis
1991 – Wilbur Strader
1990 – Manfred Kober
1989 – Austin Plew
1988 – Robert Hayden
1987 – Helen Finch
1986 – Harold & Patricia Miller
1985 – John White, Jr.
1984 – Nina & V. Ben Kendrick
1983 – G. Heath Bobbett
1982 – Friedhelm Loescher
1981 – Mark Jackson
1980 – Kenneth Elgena
1979 – Bernard Bancroft
1978 – G. Arthur Woolsey
1977 – Mead Armstrong
1976 – Daniel Gelatt
1975 – Ruth Haycock
1973 – Cass Santos
1972 – Jessica Minns
1970 – Douglas Christen
1969 – Albert Williams
1968 – James Jeremiah
1967 – Merle Hull


Graduation doesn’t mark the end of your Clarks Summit University experience. It’s just the beginning of new opportunities as an alumnus!*

We want to help you stay connected to your friends, mentors and classmates.

Save the date!
Alumni Day: October 4, 2019
Homecoming: October 5, 2019


 Quick Links

*You are an alumnus if you graduated from or completed at least 12 credits in any division of Clarks Summit University. (We’re glad you’re in the family.)

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