More about Alumni Awards
2006 Alumni Honor awardees, from left: Al
Deeter, Mel Holmes,
Chris Douglas, Art Gilbert and Bill Eberly
Three Manchester College emeriti professors, an inspirational Church of
the Brethren youth leader and a South Bend community enthusiast and
mentor are the latest recipients of Manchester College Alumni Honor
Awards. The Alumni Association honored the five during Alumni Days, on
June 1, with an evening of testimonials, a reception and banquet.
Allen C. Deeter, 1953 peace studies alumnus and professor
emeritus of religion and philosophy, well-known for his leadership in
expanding Brethren Colleges Abroad, honored for his extensive service to
international understanding, peacemaking, teaching and mentoring.
Good Douglas, 1974 Spanish alumna, director of the Youth and Young
Adult Ministry of the Church of the Brethren, honored for reaching young
people through faith, and in appreciation for her recruiting of students
to Manchester College.
William R. Eberly, 1948 biology alumnus and professor
emeritus of biology, who devoted three years to writing the newly
published The History of the Natural Sciences at Manchester College,
honored for a lifetime of dedication to the sciences at Manchester
Arthur L. Gilbert, 1953 accounting alumnus and professor
emeritus of accounting, who led expansion of the accounting department
and master’s of accountancy degree at Manchester, honored for his
dedication to his students, his profession and the program.
Melvin L. Holmes, 1963 sociology alumnus and trustee, who
is enormously involved with the South Bend community, honored for
exemplifying the College’s mission of graduating students of ability and
Allen Deeter taught religion and philosophy at Manchester College
for 40 years, while serving as executive director of international
studies for Brethren Colleges Abroad. He fostered development of eight
of the 11 overseas programs. Dr. Deeter also led the College’s Peace
Studies Institute, was associate academic dean for nine years, and
served on the national board of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.
His travels for international understanding and personal life-long
learning span 53 countries.
Chris Douglas has spent more than 20 years teaching youth about
service and faith. Under her leadership since 1985, participation in
youth and young adult programs has grown remarkably, led by the Church
of the Brethren’s flagship National Youth Conference and exciting
expansion of youth and junior high work camps. Douglas has a talent for
identifying gifts in youth, making her an effective and engaging mentor.
As director, Douglas has considerably expanded the congregation’s Youth
and Young Adult Ministry. She continues to send many young adults in the
direction of a Manchester College education.
Bill Eberly began teaching biology at MC in 1955 and, under his
leadership, the College purchased the Koinonia Environmental and Retreat
Center, which brings hands-on environmental learning to thousands of
school children in the area. Even after retirement, he continues to
lecture, at the College, on other campuses and for community groups.
Dr. Eberly was instrumental in the early planning of the newly dedicated
$17 million Science Center. In The Story of the Natural Sciences at
Manchester College, published last fall after three years of
research and writing, Dr. Eberly shares fascinating details –
including the name of every MC science graduate.
Art Gilbert’s students remember him as a great professor
dedicated to fully preparing them for their chosen profession. Says
Gilbert: “I was an accountant who happened to be teaching.” He brought
Manchester College to the forefront in accounting studies during his 40
years at the helm of the program, with creation of a bachelor’s degree
in accounting, and a master’s component as requirements for CPA
Gilbert and his wife Ellen spend countless hours volunteering on behalf
of MC. They step up to help the College meet its challenges, and to
generously fund scholarships that support Manchester’s accounting
Mel Holmes continues to give his life to serving his
community. He is a retired senior buyer at A.M. General Corp. in South
Bend, where he developed, implemented and audited the federal
affirmative action program for all the vehicle maker’s facilities.
Holmes serves in a number of community programs – from Youth Services to
the public library to parks and neighborhood boards – and is a mentor
and leader toward intercultural relations.
A current member of the Board of Trustees, he also has served on
Manchester College’s Alumni Board, Centennial Campaign, and made many
on-campus class presentations as a successful role model for
African-American and Hispanic students.