Carl Wilkens ’81
Rwanda was a much different place when Carl and his family arrived four years earlier after Carl became the head of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International in the small African country.
By 1994 the American embassy issued an evacuation order. Carl was determined to stay and help his Rwandan workers, so when his wife and children boarded an evacuation camper bound for Nairobi, Carl stayed behind. Carl was the only American to remain in Kigali while the genocide claimed 800,000 Rwandan lives.
The war-torn streets of Rwanda were a far cry from Carl’s upbringing in the Pacific Northwest. Carl earned a degree in industrial technology from WWC in 1981. He married his college sweetheart, Teresa (Appley) Wilkens, a 1981 business administration graduate, and they embarked for the mission fields of Zimbabwe.
After 12 years in Africa, Carl has many stories to tell. He has been featured in two films, documentaries and American Radio and National Public Radio productions. Carl has shared his story in nearly 100 different locations.
His humanitarian work has been recognized with several awards including the Digitas Humana Award from Saint John’s School of Theology Seminary. He was also awarded a Medal of Valor by the Simon Weisenthal Center in 2005.
Carl has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Baltimore. He and Teresa have three children; Mindy and Lisa, both WWC students; and Shaun, a senior at Milo Adventist Academy in Days Creek, Ore., where Carl now serves as chaplain.
Jason Wells ’96
After graduating from WWC in 1996 with a degree in English, Jason accepted a position at Tualatin Valley Junior Academy in Hillsboro, Ore., teaching music, English, history, and Bible. He directed Ring of Fire, the nationally acclaimed handbell group he formed in 1997.
Music, however, is only one of Jason’s many skills. A talented writer and photographer, Jason served as the Mt. Ash editor during his junior year, creating a book that became one of publisher Delmar Corporation’s signature display pieces.
After eight years of teaching at Tualatin, Jason spent another year at Portland Adventist Academy before parlaying his multi-media skills into his current position as assistant director of corporate communications at Florida Hospital in Orlando, Fla. Jason and his team are responsible for producing national television commercials, corporate communication pieces, and two internal television channels.
The most exciting new role in Jason’s life, however, is doting dad. He and his wife, Heather (Schmunk) Wells, a 1999 nursing graduate whom he met at WWC, recently had their first child, a daughter named Sidney.
Marvin Robertson ’56
For more than 40 years, Marvin Robertson dedicated his life to teaching young people to glorify God through music.
Thirty-three of those years were spent as dean of the school of music at Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tenn.
Marvin’s distinguished career began many years earlier at the age of six when he enrolled in piano lessons through the Lincoln, Neb., public school system. As a child and teenager, he studied at both Union College and the University of Denver. He continued his musical studies at WWC, while pursuing a degree in piano performance.
Upon graduating in 1956, Marvin accepted a position at Auburn Adventist Academy. He returned to his alma mater five years later to oversee the musical education program, and to direct the Rogers School and Walla Walla College Academy choirs.
After three years, Marvin accepted the call to chair the music department at Southern Missionary College, and became its dean when it transitioned into a school of music.
For 27 years Marvin served as the Minister of Music at the Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church. He was also a co-founder, charter member, and officer of the International Adventist Musicians Association.
After the fall of communism, Marvin returned to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe to establish music curriculum and teach at Zaokski Theological Seminary.
In 1994, Robert received the Distinguished Service Award from Southern for his years of teaching excellence. Marvin retired in 1999, and was granted professor emeritus of music status. He holds a master’s degree in music from Colorado State College (now University of Northern Colorado) and a doctoral degree in music education from Florida State University. He continues to serve in musical capacities, including his role as minister of music at Port Charlotte Seventh-day Adventist Church. He is married to Jean and they have four children and eight grandchildren.
Gina Marie Lindsey ’76
Gina Marie, 1976 communications media graduate, went to work for an engineering firm and became involved in subdivision zoning and platting work. She later became a transportation planner with the State of Alaska Department of Transportation.
In 1993 Gina Marie was recruited to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to serve as its aviation director. For 11 years, Gina Marie was responsible for the operations, maintenance, and strategic and financial planning of the airport. In recognition of her work the Gina Marie Lindsey Arrivals Hall, was named in her honor.
Gina Marie was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to the Executive Council for Next Generation Air Transportation System and the Airport Cooperative Research Board, and was the first woman to chair the North American arm of the World Board of Directors for the Airport Council International.
According to Gina Marie the best thing she ever did was being a mom to her son, Jeremy, who was a freshman at Tulane University when he died at the age of 18.
She currently serves as executive vice president of McBee Strategic Consulting, a government relations and business consulting firm.