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Valerie Phillips Passes Away

Date: January 18, 2012

Memorial Service Information
A memorial service for Dean Valerie Phillips will be at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012. The service will be held in the main sanctuary of Pioneer Memorial Church and arrangements are being handeled by Allred Funeral Home of Berrien Springs, Mich.

Live streaming will be available below at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012.

View the memorial service printed program.

Valerie Phillips: March 7, 1955-Dec. 18, 2011
Valerie Phillips, assistant to the dean for University Towers, passed away in her home on December 18, 2011. The cause of death was hypertensive cardiovascular disease. She was 56-years-old. 
Dean Phillips dedicated 31 years of her professional career to Andrews University. She joined the Andrews family in 1980, first as an assistant dean and, since 1986, as an associate dean of women for Lamson Hall. In August of 2011, she transitioned from Lamson Hall to serve as assistant to the dean for University Towers.
Born March 7, 1955, in Stoneham, Mass. to Richard and Beth Phillips, Valerie graduated in 1972 from Union Springs Academy in Union Springs, NY. She studied behavioral science, religion and English at Atlantic Union College, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1978. While in school, she was a volunteer at Worcester Memorial Hospital in Worcester, Mass. In 1978, she took an assistant chaplain position at Battle Creek Sanitarium and Hospital where she stayed until 1980.

In 1980, Arlene Friestad, who was then dean of women at Lamson Hall, invited Valerie to speak at the first annual Womanhood Week at Andrews. Dean Friestad was so impressed by Valerie she invited her to join the residence hall staff at Lamson Hall.
Dean Phillips not only ministered to the ladies in her care at Andrews, she shared reflections and insights gained from her experiences as a regular columnist for the Adventist Review.
Valerie was known for her warm and compassionate spirit, her quick wit and exceptional wisdom, and care for her students. At the 2011 Faculty Staff Awards Banquet at Andrews University, Valerie was honored for 30 years of service. In her award tribute, Frances Faehner, vice president for Student Life, said of Valerie, “Among her many unique gifts, Valerie makes an intentional effort to note and remember the special interests (favorite food, collections, etc.) of her residents. She is known for countless acts of unexpected kindness that are especially meaningful to students missing the comforts of home and family.”

Following Valerie’s passing, students and alumni alike recalled her infectious happiness, continual smile, and endless devotion to the students in her dorm. Michaela Jeffery, an alumna who returned to Lamson Hall in 2011 as the Womanhood Week speaker, remembered her genuine care for the well-being of her girls: “She was able to see what was good in people, celebrate that, and help refine the other stuff.” Current student Sonia Perez wrote that Valerie “could touch both your heart and mind with the wit and wisdom of her words. She could make you laugh, smile, blush or cry. In the memorable beauty of her life she will leave a hole in the hearts of many. I was honored to have her as a mentor and friend.”
Dean Phillips is survived by two sisters and one brother.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Valerie Phillips Scholarship Fund at Andrews University, c/o Mary Nell Rosenboom, Office of Development, Griggs Hall, 8903 US Highway 31, Berrien Springs, 49103. Online donations may be made at

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