Two of my favorite things growing up were reading Bible stories and memorizing Bible verses. Weird, I know! But these two activities were associated with an experience of belonging, creativity and words of affirmation.

Read José Bourget's story

My earliest memories are all connected to education.

Read Alayne Thorpe's story

What do you do when God doesn't answer your prayer?

Read Tony Yang's story

One of my earliest childhood memories is the fire in my belly to become a pilot. I had never boarded an airplane or visited an airport, but I was, interestingly, inspired by the birds that I'd see flying in the sky.

Read Jephthah Ndlovu's story

Being raised as a Roman Catholic in Ecuador was just part of the norm or tradition, and bearing a name that friends used to make fun of at times while in primary school was just something that did not bother me. I did not care.

Read Christian Guana-Jarrin's story

My life really started in high school in Jamaica. I was in an Anglican school at the time and determined to be a doctor.

Read Newton Hoilette's story

High school was ending, and I had to make a decision to go to college somewhere.

Read Ale Pineda's story

I was a broken, lost soul with very little support and no real family. It was God’s divine power and love that saved me just when I needed it the most.

Read Tanya Thomas's story

My parents had unanimously decided on my name before I was even an idea...Dominique means "belonging to God."

Read Dominique Gummelt's story

From all available information, Esther Harriott Ottley was the first person of color and the first woman of color to have graduated with a BA in mathematics from Andrews University, class of 1954.

Read Esther Harriott Ottley's story

I was born in Rochester, New York, the child of Jamaican parents. I didn't realize it until later, but my parents sacrificed so much in coming to the United States to give my brother and me the life they wanted for us.

Read Jordan Smart's story

Since I was 6 years old, my goal in life was to become a professional soccer player.

Read Joakim Hjortland's story

Identity is something I have struggled with most of my life.

Read Eva Milliner's story

Unbeknownst to me, God was always preparing me for a life of public ministry.

Read Hyveth Williams's story

I was seeking to discover what the animal bones tell us about living—the social world behind the bone discoveries. As I did this research I realized that my calling was not just about the past and bones but about how what we learn from the past can help us create strong communities in the present.

Read Øystein (Sten) LaBianca's story

Read the inspiring story of how God made it possible for Gabriela to attend Andrews University

Read Gabriela (Gabi) Melgar's story

At the time I didn't know bulimia was an illness. To me, it was just common sense. If I wanted to lose weight, and food was stopping me, then I needed to get rid of the food. I lost 60 pounds in two months. Fueled by the fast results, I kept doing it while also exercising at a high rate. Inevitably, this lifestyle was unsustainable, and one day I literally collapsed from malnutrition and exhaustion.

Read Jessica Felicio's story

Starting over was not easy. The difficulty we experienced as immigrants has fueled my family's passion to serve others.

Read Lhorraine London Polite's story

I have moved around a lot with my family. None of that was ever planned. Every day I ask myself, "What does the Lord want me to do today?" and then I try to listen and do what God wants of me.

Read Ruben Perez-Schulz's story

When the refugee crisis started, I ignored the media. Finally, I made myself read the articles that talked about the reasons the refugees were desperate enough to leave everything they had known. The articles about how they travel hundreds of miles to get on a boat and attempt to make it to a shore called Lesbos. The articles that showed a 3-year-old Syrian boy who drowned trying to make it. I knew God was pressing on my heart: I had to go and I had to find a way to help.

Read Teela Ruehle's story

She said, “It sounds like you are going to have to choose between your religious convictions and your career.” A fear that I had never experienced before began to cripple me. What was I going to tell my parents, my girlfriend, my friends? I began to get bitter, and felt as if God had let me down. To that point, my relationship with him was highly dependent on the religious rituals I had been keeping since I was a child. I assumed that those actions gave me special privileges and favor with God. Now I was about to lose my dream of becoming a lawyer all because of my commitment to another one of those empty rituals: Sabbath.

Read Michael Nixon's story

Some of the core values I remember my parents instilling in me were “don’t limit yourself,” “be resourceful” and “don’t just try; do.” I did not realize the true importance of these values until my freshman year at Andrews University.

Read Ben Regoso's story

I visited many offices on campus, trying to figure out how taking a year off would affect me. Things seemed to be working out well and I was quite ready to take a year off with my thorough planning. However, God had a different and a better plan for me.

Read Heaven Shin's story

In 2006, we relocated to South Africa for my mum to complete her master's degree. It was a new land where the other kids looked at me differently because of my darker complexion and apparent accent. I still had a loving sister though and a caring mother. I had all I needed to be the happiest child anyone could ask. So it was that until the age of 11, my life was truly blissful, and I was content in my bubble of school, Mama, Dada, and Maria.

Read Jessina Wangui Marenga's story

I have always known that I wanted to become a missionary; however, I assumed that when I went to serve I would be an adult, already equipped with a professional degree that I could use to help others. Instead, God sent me to be a missionary much sooner than I expected.

Read Bruna Barbosa's story

Honestly, if anyone would have asked me two years ago if I would go to Andrews University, I would have simply said no! My faith in God was weakening and I wanted to leave the church more than anything else. Being that I was the only one in my family to pursue post-secondary education, there was a lot of added pressure and stress on my back; screwing up was not an option. I needed something in my life to go right.

Read Sarah Brockett's story

I enjoy being a role model to the women studying in engineering. Women in engineering are an underrepresented group. I want young women to know that if you are good at what you do, the career path in engineering will be bright.

Read Hyun Kwon's story

Your average Native Alaskan young person has experienced physical, emotional, verbal and/or sexual abuse, and I am no exception.

Read Chad Angasan's story

When I was 6 years old, I witnessed the plundering of the village where I lived with my uncle.

Read Wol Bol Wol's story

When it became time to think about college education for our children, my wife and I came to Andrews University. I am still here—more than 14 years later!

Read Harold Schmidt's story

When I entered college my freshman year I was an excited, focused 17-year old. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life—or so I thought. I had an extensive ten-year plan that outlined every aspect of my life. By my sophomore year, I was thriving. I was excelling at the top of my class, serving in student government and padding my resume with extracurricular activities. But something was missing. I was so successfully independent that I didn’t need to be dependent on God. So with my ducks in a row, and my confidence at an all-time high, I was in the perfect position to receive a divine wakeup call.

Read Nia Darville's story

My life goal is to alleviate poverty in Madagascar.

Read Joel Raveloharimisy's story

The 17-year-old who had not been ready to work with babies and with death, ended up in the children’s hospital in Atlanta, dealing with pediatric oncology—children with cancer. For 14 years I worked with families and staff who were struggling with the tremendous emotional burdens attached to suffering and, too often, the death of children. Despite the tragedy, you learn to see God’s hand moving amongst the suffering, often seen in the simple and real faith of the children themselves.

Read Johnnathan Ward's story

A couple of years ago, I accepted a call to serve as a student missionary in Chile. That experience taught me things about myself I’d never realized before. For example, eating things late at night makes me feel bad when I wake up in the morning! I learned other, deeper things, too. I’m passionate about helping people, especially when it comes to their relationships with God. I want to be sure people understand the reasons for their faith. We all need a solid picture of what faith is all about, and I want us all to come to the place where we are willing to give Christ everything, no matter what that means.

Read Zack Babb's story

Those in the Hispanic community thought I was too American and the Americans thought I was too exotic and foreign. I felt like my sense of belonging was merely patches sewn into the American flag.

Read Sharyl Cubero's story

Even before my mom was diagnosed with cancer I had already begun heading down the road of examining how my hair defined me.

Read Sarah Stelfox's story

Though some of my neighbors were farmers like my family, most were professionals who worked in Burlington, the closest city to Charlotte. While the town itself was not that culturally, racially or religiously diverse, it did possess a strict socio-economic structure and attitude concerning someone’s place in that structure and community. As a dairy farmer’s daughter who wore homemade, hand-me-down, church-rummage-sale clothes and smelled of cow manure, I quickly understood my place in New England society.

Read Stephanie's story

In 2013, left a COO position in Barbados to enter the Seminary. One of my classes, SEEDS (Church Planting) with Tom Evans, exposed us to a piece of software called Ministry Profile which generated demographic data for communities by ZIP code. One ZIP code changed my life: 49022. Benton Harbor, Michigan.

Read Carlisle Sutton's story

About Stories of Andrews

In August 2016, in her first University Convocation address as the sixth president of Andrews University, Dr. Andrea Luxton shared her idea that life is a story:

“Today's chapter is about each of us at Andrews University and how each of our individual stories intersect with the story of Andrews. Andrews will be changed because of your story. You will be changed because of the Andrews story. We will all be changed by the stories of each other—if we choose to engage.”

As a college graduate holding a degree in English, with a doctoral dissertation on the biblical book of Hebrews and Milton's “Paradise Lost,” President Luxton has a passion for great literature. Stories have played a major role in her education, her development of thought and her career.

This passion is sparked in a significant way here on the campus of Andrews University, where stories walk the halls, fill offices and classrooms and shape who each of us are today. The idea behind Stories of Andrews is to tell those stories so that we can all learn from them and understand our role in the development of each story's characters and plot.

The diversity of Andrews is not just in the myriad ethnicities, nationalities, cultures and heritages that coexist and cross paths every day. There is a diversity of stories at Andrews that is unparalleled and invaluable.

Inspired in part by the popular Humans of New York project, Stories of Andrews aims to tell the stories of students, staff and faculty as they intersect here on campus and beyond. To create connections that aren't possible individually due to the pull of life we all experience. To engage in conversation, not just monologues.

“Stories like these are the spirit of Andrews. You are Andrews. We are Andrews. Together, we are the spirit and story of Andrews.” – Andrea Luxton, president, Andrews University

Choose a

Dr. Andrea Luxton


Dr. Christon Arthur


Chaplains Jose Bourget, June Price and Michael Polite