Date: July 8, 2011
Griggs University & International Academy, which has operated in Maryland for more than a century, is about to have a major “excuse our dust” transition moment over the next month.
During the weeks of June 20–July 18, Griggs University & International Academy will be physically moving its operations from Silver Spring, Md., to its new home on the campus of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich. In November 2010 Andrews assumed ownership of this more-than-a-century-old international distance education institution. When operations officially transfer to Berrien Springs in July 2011, several new employees for Griggs University & International Academy will join the Andrews University community as part of a newly established School of Distance Education.
The School of Distance Education will operate out of the Lake Union Conference Building, which Andrews recently purchased. On June 1, 2011 Andrews University took ownership of the Lake Union Conference building, but will share it with the Union until they build a new facility for their operations. The wing occupied by Griggs University & International Academy will be named Griggs Hall, in honor of Frederick Griggs, a leading Adventist educator at Andrews and elsewhere. When the Lake Union Conference relocates, Andrews will begin utilizing the entire building and the building in its entirety will be renamed Griggs Hall. In addition to housing Griggs, the new Griggs Hall will also house the School of Distance Education and other University services.
Griggs University & International Academy educates more than 4,400 students ranging from preschool to university graduate level in the United States and around the world, including locations such as Africa, India, Central America and Asia. Now that Griggs is owned by Andrews University, the number of students that the University educates in Southwest Michigan and around the world now approaches more than 10,000.
“While it's difficult to leave our Maryland home, it's exciting to move to Michigan and join with Andrews University in pursuing a variety of distance education initiatives that employ the best in distance teaching methods, that make use of affordable emerging technologies to serve all students, whether it is a young preschooler in Michigan, an MBA student in Vietnam or senior citizens in Venezuela. Already, Andrews offers a rich heritage of diversity as one of the Top Ten ethnically and internationally diverse universities in the country. Now, with our partnership, Griggs and Andrews can implement a whole world policy—by making Adventist education truly accessible and as affordable as possible to people wherever they are,” says Alayne Thorpe, currently interim president of Griggs University and dean of the proposed Andrews University School of Distance Education.
The majority of operations at Griggs University in Maryland will close on July 14 and resume on the campus of Andrews University on July 18. However, Griggs will keep a small office open in Maryland to oversee Griggs’ contracts with Job Corps both in Maryland and across the United States. Job Corps is a government-run program that offers high school diplomas and job skill training to at-risk students.
As this significant transition and move takes place, students and other contacts of Griggs can expect some communication and shipping delays throughout the process, even as the institution remains committed to consistently and effectively responding to the students and families they serve as best they can. Current departmental email addresses for Griggs University (griggs.edu) will remain active and continue to be processed for several months after the move. The toll-free phone number for the institution remains the same: 1-800-782-4769. Additional contact and other transition information updates will be posted at www.griggs.edu and www.andrews.edu/distance.
On June 1, 2011 Andrews University took ownership of the Lake Union Conference
Last November, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists transferred ownership of Griggs University & International Academy to Andrews University. Over the past several months, a Transition Team has been working to prepare both campuses for the physical move led by Patricia Mutch, a former Andrews University academic vice-president who came out of retirement to oversee the transition. Along the way, key hires were made for Griggs University and some of those new employees are playing a central role in the relocation planning and moving logistics.
In 1901, it took 16 boxcars to relocate Andrews University to Berrien Springs from Battle Creek, Mich. Today, it will take at least five moving trucks to transfer Griggs University to Andrews University. Packed away in those moving trucks will be nearly every piece of Griggs University and its history, including Griggs archives that date back to 1909. “We are literally replanting our roots in Berrien Springs,” says Thorpe, “where we look forward to flourishing like the grape vineyards in southwest Michigan.”
Several individuals will be joining Griggs University at its new Michigan location and two previously announced hires will begin their duties. La Ronda Forsey will serve as associate dean and principal of Griggs International Academy, and Janine Lim will be associate dean for university-level use of teaching technologies. In addition, the following have also been appointed: Lynley Bartlett, director of affiliation & extension programs (replacing Charles Tidwell); Loring Bearce, bookstore supervisor; Glynis Bradfield, director of Student Services; Steven Fox, assistant registrar/testing; Ethan Jones, project manager; and Stephen Rivers, associate director of affiliation & extension programs.
Thorpe concludes, “Andrews University and Griggs University are setting a new whole-world policy for Adventist education—every interested student in every corner of the globe deserves access to a quality, values-based Adventist education. Now, we can offer them that access from Griggs and Andrews, institutions that share the same goals and mission to serve the world field. To quote Shakespeare, this is a ‘Perfect marriage of true minds.’”
-Written by Keri Suarez, media relations specialist, Office of Integrated Marketing & Communication