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
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
Windsor, NY
Send email

Laura Gardoski (2010)

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

Billy Mulligan Alumni Council MemberBilly Mulligan (2001)

Owner, 29 Second Video
Spouse: Julie (2003)
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

2019 Outstanding Service Award Recipients:

Gil Thomas

Growing up in Erie, Pennsylvania, Gil decided to attend Clarks Summit University. He was active in the Collegians brass quintet and graduated from CSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Bible in 1982. He then earned his Master of Ministry degree (in 1998) and Doctor of Ministry degree (in 2016) both from Baptist Bible Seminary.

Gil and his wife Denise spent 23 years in Portugal as missionaries with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism. While in Portugal, Gil was involved with church planting, serving as a field team leader for 14 of those 23 years. Gil and Denise later returned to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to serve at the headquarters of ABWE. Gil is now the international director of Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship—a strategic training ministry of the mission. He has written and developed multiple resources for Good Soil.

Gil travels extensively around the globe assisting missionaries and national leaders with evangelism and discipleship resources. He says the best part of his job is “training people and seeing them grow, reach and disciple others.” He is proud to be a CSU alumnus because of the training and passion for ministry that was instilled in him during his time here. Gil and Denise have been married 36 years. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Their son and daughter—Jonathan and Sarah—graduated from CSU in 2007.

Dave Cunningham

Originally from Springfield, Illinois, Dave left the land of Lincoln to attend Clarks Summit University. During his time on campus, Dave served as residence hall president and played on the men’s basketball team. He graduated in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in Bible. Dave has been married to his wife Kathy for over 32 years. They have three adult children and three grandchildren.

Before becoming a pastor, Dave served as an administrator in state government and coached high school basketball for 10 seasons. Over the years, he has had the privilege of serving as a pastor in five different local churches, two of which he planted or replanted. For the past eight years, he has served as the founding and lead pastor of GraceLife Church in Annville, Pennsylvania. He says, “It has been such a blessing to watch God work as our church has substantially grown each year of our existence.” Two years ago they purchased a 40,000-square-foot building situated on 12 acres. Dave says, “It has served as a wonderful facility to reach our community with the gospel.”

Dave is the founder of a sports ministry called “Sports4Him” which assists local churches in reaching people with the gospel through the avenue of athletics. As a pastor, he works hard at promoting a relational ministry paradigm. Dave says, “It is a joy and privilege to be used by God to bring honor and glory to Him.”  Dave loves CSU for many reasons. First, it is where he developed an abiding love and a thirst for studying God’s Word. Second, it is where he developed many deep and lasting friendships. Third, it is where he grew up as a young man and developed a passion for ministry. CSU will always have a special place in his heart.

Matt Pollock

Matt grew up outside of Philadelphia in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Following high school, Matt enrolled at CSU to pursue an education degree with the goal of giving his life to Christian education. He accomplished that goal as he graduated from CSU in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in Bible and Secondary Education-History. Matt was on Defender Five, a team that traveled to represent CSU through basketball, for two summers. Shortly after graduation, Matt married his wife Rosemary and returned to his high school alma mater to be a Bible and History teacher as well as basketball and soccer coach. Working with middle and high school students for the next five years was as fulfilling and rewarding as he had hoped.

In 1990, Matt moved to Lancaster, California, to take the role of high school principal and a coach at Bethel Christian School. He had stayed connected to CSU by assisting with Teen Leadership Conference. In 1992, Matt returned to CSU as financial counselor and assistant coach for men’s basketball team. Within a year, he moved into the Office for Student Development, serving as associate dean of students. Matt and Rosemary moved into the center of campus life with their four daughters. They served as resident directors in Barndollar from 1993-1998. Interestingly, all four daughters graduated from CSU, and Rosemary earned her Associate of Arts along the way. Matt also earned his Master of Science in Counseling Ministries degree from CSU in 1998.

When Dr. Friedie Loescher, one of Matt’s mentors, retired, Matt became dean of students. Five years later, Matt accepted the offer to become headmaster at Grace Baptist Academy in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he is still serving. To sharpen his leadership skills, he is investing in further studies at CSU as he earns his master’s degree in educational administration. With only two classes remaining, he anticipates graduating this May. He says his favorite part of his job is: “a toss-up between developing strong relationships with students and also the wonderful experiences of working closely with wonderful teammates.” He is proud to be a CSU alum. As he continues to stay connected to many other alumni, he says that it is abundantly clear that God has used CSU in powerful ways to develop highly skilled, deeply committed servants of Christ all over the world.

Kathy Compton

Kathy’s journey to earning her degree at CSU was not the traditional route. Kathy worked to put her husband Gary through school while she was a mother of two small children. In 1979 she added two babies to her growing family. It wasn’t until 1998 that Kathy decided it was time to complete the degree she had started. She took full-time course loads for two semesters while working full time. She (finally) graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Bible.  

Kathy played a very special role on campus at CSU. She was resident director for 11 years in Woolsey Hall–a role she cherished then and now. Kathy recalls, “In the fall of 1978, I had 74 girls in my dorm, and several rooms had three girls per room. We had a great time. There is nothing like having your disciples live under your roof!  I was a bridesmaid in several weddings during those years, and I am still in contact with some of my ‘girls’ who are now grandmothers!”

Kathy served in a variety of significant roles at CSU during her 40 years here–many of them part time while being “full time” mom and dorm mom. In 1989 Kathy became the president’s assistant—a role in which she served as “air traffic controller” for CSU’ president’s office. Moving from secretary to administrator was wonderful and challenging for Kathy as she learned much about leadership, relationships, and loving as Christ loves. An exciting aspect of her time at CSU was her vital role in creating the Summit Magazine as a full-size college piece. Taking it from the baby stages and serving as editor for ten years was a tremendous experience for Kathy.

Kathy states, “I loved the people God brought into my life during my years at CSU: students, staff, faculty, administrators, donors, chapel speakers, and trustees. We maintain friendships with many of those people even now because of the relationships formed during my CSU years. CSU prepared me to know God’s Word through classes, especially Principles of Bible Study. I have taught women’s Bible studies using what I learned in that class in 1978 and later in grad school when I took the advanced Principles course. I often say that class taught me how to read and study the Bible, but it also taught me how to read and study everything else, including people. I could never have had the ministry I had at CSU without my husband’s support!  We were and are a team.”

Although retired, Kathy remains active as she leads a small group with her husband Gary, being involved in women’s Bible studies and continuing to write. The Comptons reside in Kettering, Ohio, and are active in their local church. Kathy and Gary have been blessed with four children and their spouses—five of whom are CSU alums. They have eleven grandchildren ranging from ages 5 to 24 years old.

Below are previous Outstanding Service Award recipients.

2018 — Tammy Beideman, Ken Riley, Chris Brown
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

2019 Alumnus of the Year

Jack Spates

Jack was born in New York City but shortly thereafter, his family relocated to Smithtown, New York, on Long Island. While in high school, his friends signed Jack up for the wrestling team as a joke. Jack ended up trying out for the team, and the rest is history. As a high school athlete, Jack became a standout wrestler—going undefeated his senior year. No surprise, Jack was the New York State wrestling champion and named All-American his senior year. 

Following his successful high school career, Jack headed to Western Pennsylvania to attend Slippery Rock University. As a 118-pound wrestler at Slippery Rock, Jack was the College National Champion as a sophomore and the NCAA National Champion runner up as a junior. Jack finished his collegiate wrestling career with 118 wins and only 8 losses. After college, Jack enrolled at Baptist Bible Seminary where he earned his Master of Divinity degree in 1980.

While a seminary student, Jack coached the wrestling team at CSU. For more than three decades, Jack served in various assistant and head coach positions for college wrestling teams including CSU, the University of Pittsburgh, United States Military Academy at West Point, Cornell University and most notably, the head coach at the University of Oklahoma. While at wrestling powerhouse, Jack led the Sooners to four top-3 finishes in the NCAA tournament and two top-4 finishes, with a total of 12 top ten finishes. His team also won two Big 12 Conference championships. Jack has received numerous honors including Big 12 Coach of the Year and National Coach of the Year. In addition, Jack has been inducted into five Hall of Fames including the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, the Slippery Rock University Hall of Fame, and Western PA Hall of Fame.

Jack retired in 2011 from OU but has remained very active within the sport, working as a television commentator for OU matches and participating in wrestling camps and Leadership Academies for the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA). He currently leads the OU wrestling Bible study and disciples wrestlers and others. Jack is also part of a church planting team with Hope Community Church in Norman, Oklahoma, and is engaged with Elam Mission to Iran. Jack is a frequent speaker at men’s and youth retreats, FCA Huddles, and various campus ministries. Jack and his wife Barby reside in Norman, Oklahoma.

He has gotten where he is today by “the grace and mercy of our Lord.” He is thankful for the opportunities he has had to “proclaim the good news that no matter who you are or what you’ve done that Jesus can redeem and transform you.” Jack remembers CSU’s faithful determination to seek to develop young people who live and love Jesus with a heartbeat to share Him with a broken world. He is grateful for its growth and development through the years while staying true to the fundamentals of the faith. He encourages current students with a truth he has learned “to live in light of the truth that God loves you! He is for you and wants to use you in the transformation of lives, marriages, families and a world! It is His way that truly brings life, not the way of the world, flesh and the devil.”

2019 Young Alumnus of the Year

Chris Kish

Following high school, Chris left his home in LaGrange, Ohio, to attend Clarks Summit University. While at CSU, Chris was involved in leadership and athletics—serving as dorm president, as a resident assistant in Ridley Hall, Student Leadership Council member and playing on the baseball team. He graduated from CSU in 2016 with his Bachelor of Science degree.

Kish moved to San Diego, California, in March of the following year to help start Sandy Feet Church, with the mission to be “Real People Finding True Hope in a Messy World,” through small groups called Missional Communities. In addition to seeing many people come to faith in Christ and be baptized, Chris had the privilege of leading one of his friends to Christ and then discipling and baptizing him. Chris also served in a unique ministry in San Diego. Christian Surfers is an international ministry that helps surfers know Christ. Chris’ chapter launched another chapter that grew from four people to over 100 college-age adults, with multiple salvations and baptisms.

Kish plans to remain in full-time ministry on the East Coast and will continue to partner with Christian Surfers in evangelism to surfers and the beach community. Chris is grateful to CSU for the investment that faculty and staff made in his life as he uses his training and passion for God’s kingdom.

Below are previous Alumnus of the Year recipients.

2018 — Jeff Howell, Aleisha Buchanan (Young Alumnus)
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 2, 2020
Homecoming: October 3, 2020


 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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