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Fairbankses, Weghorsts Recognized at General Assembly 2017

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio Two iconic awards were presented at Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s Alumni Luncheon on Sunday, June 25, 2017, during the General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene in Indianapolis, Ind.

Photo of Drs. E. LeBron and Anne Fairbanks

Drs. E. LeBron and Anne Fairbanks were awarded the Citation of Merit, the highest award given by the university. After LeBron accepted the MVNU presidency in 1989, the Fairbankses were instrumental in the growth and expansion of the main campus as well as academic programs, enrollment, and more.

“The university is delighted to present our highest award to Anne and LeBron Fairbanks. We are deeply grateful for their years of service and the dramatically positive impact they have made in the life of our community. They shaped our campus facilities and programs, but more importantly, they shaped lives through their kindness and thoughtfulness, modeling lives of leadership and service to others,” said Travis Keller, Director of Alumni Relations.

In his 18 years as MVNU President, LeBron oversaw the purchase of 121 additional acres of property, the rise in enrollment from 1,050 to over 2,600, the start of Executive Center for Lifelong Learning (EXCELL) graduate and professional studies program, and witnessed the $11 million operating budget grow to over $40 million.

The Fairbankses also had a hand in developing MVNU’s campus with Thorne Library and Learning Resource Center, the finished R. R. Hodges Chapel and Fine Arts Center, The Jetter School of Business, additions to Hyson Campus Center which included renovated facilities for the School of Theology and Philosophy and the Jetter School of Professional Studies, respectively, the construction of the Clarence and Jennie Moore Center, and expanded student housing in Redwood, Cypress, and Rosewood, and the addition of the William and Evelyn Prince Student Union.

After retiring from MVNU in 2007, LeBron was elected in 2008 as education commissioner for the Church of the Nazarene, and formally retired in 2011. Soon after, he founded BoardServe LLC as a consulting resource for not-for-profit governing boards and their leaders.

Both LeBron and Anne attended Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tenn., for their undergraduate degrees. LeBron received three master’s degrees, a Master of Arts from Scarritt College in 1967; a Master of Divinity from Nazarene Theological Seminary in 1970; and a Master of Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1971. In 1976, LeBron was designated a Fellow in Pastoral Leadership Education by Princeton Theological Seminary, earning the Doctor of Ministry degree from Nazarene Theological Seminary in 1978. He is a 1991 graduate of the Harvard University Institute of Educational Management and was a Research Fellow while on sabbatical in 1999 at Yale University Divinity School.

Anne was honored in 2006 by the Mount Vernon Nazarene University Board of Trustees with the Doctor of Laws and Letters degree for her exemplary service and leadership to the university community.

The Fairbankses have one son, Stephen (’98), and reside in Florida.

Photo of Dr. Chris and Brenda Weghorst

Dr. Chris (’84) and Brenda (Radaker ’84) Weghorst were awarded the Alumni Achievement Award. Since departing from MVNU with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Chris attended the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo where, in 1989, he earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences. Chris later served as postdoctoral and staff fellow at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Md. He currently serves as a tenured professor and the Associate Dean for Research at The Ohio State University College of Public Health. Chris has received the MVNU Medallion Award and the Nazarene Distinguished Service Award. He is a Jimmy V Foundation Scholar, Research Fellow for the American Cancer Society, and author or co-author of over 100 scientific journal publications.

Since her departure from MVNU with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Journalism, Brenda interned for WKYC in Cleveland and later became the Community Affairs Director at WTVG in Toledo, Ohio. She also worked as producer and director for Cable 8 out of Columbia, Md. Currently, Brenda leads the office at Dependable Dental Staffing in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. She has received the Nazarene Distinguished Service Award from her church.

The Weghorsts have four children, Bailey (’15), Logan (’17), Malone (’19), and Carson.

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education to more than 2,200 students from 28 states and 17 countries/U.S. territories.