Tabor College announces first endowed positions

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Tabor College provost Frank Johnson (left) and President David Janzen (right) stand with the recipients of the endowed chairs: Daniel Creamer, Al & Dotty Warkentine Professor of Mathematical Sciences; Melinda Rangel, Marvin Sellberg Professor of Business Administration & Entrepreneurship; and James Titah, Allen Hiebert Chair of Sciences. Photo: TC

Tabor College officially unveiled its first fully funded endowed positions in its 115-year history. The celebration was part of Academic Convocation, honoring the start of a new academic year and those chosen as namesakes and first-time recipients of these prestigious positions. Tabor also recognized over $5 million in endowed gifts to Tabor since March 2023.

“This is a significant chapter in Tabor’s storied history,” President David Janzen said. “These endowed positions celebrate the lifelong impact of great faculty on Tabor students. We are honored to acknowledge the namesake of these three positions and recognize the outstanding work of each faculty member chosen as a recipient. These generous gifts are instrumental in supporting our faculty and freeing up money to fund student scholarships and other operations of the college.”

As part of their selections, each professor will be afforded research and study opportunities to expand on their professional pursuits and educational opportunities for Tabor students.

“An endowed position is one of the highest honors you can bestow upon a faculty member,” Provost Frank Johnson, Ph.D., said. “We are honored to recognize those who faithfully gave to Tabor and the outstanding work of our professors in their service to students.”

Melinda Rangel was named Marvin Sellberg Professor of Business Administration & Entrepreneurship. She has taught at Tabor since 2019 and serves as associate professor of business administration and M.B.A. program director. Before Tabor, she was an administrator for Newton USD 373 and an adjunct professor at Bethel College and Baker University. Rangel completed her Ed.D. in educational leadership at Wichita State University.

“I’m truly honored to be named to this position,” Rangel says. “It’s a significant milestone in my life and teaching career, and I am humbled to be part of Tabor’s history as the first recipient of this award. The opportunities to research and provide experiential learning opportunities that impact students are exciting. The business department faculty at Tabor works hard to bring real-world, applicable learning to the classroom, and this recognition honors that work. I’m grateful to Bryan and Lavonne Kroeker for their generosity and support of Tabor and to Marv Sellberg for the path of excellence he paved for us to follow.”

Daniel Creamer was named Al & Dotty Warkentine Professor of Mathematical Sciences. Creamer came to Tabor in 2020 and serves as department chair for science and mathematics. Before coming to Hillsboro, he was a visiting assistant professor at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. Creamer completed his doctorate in mathematics at Texas A&M University.

“It’s exciting to be in a place where the strength is its people,” Creamer says. “The faculty and the staff have been some of the best people I’ve ever worked with. With these gifts, we can highlight how the donors and outside supporters are a part of that same strength. I particularly look forward to taking students to conferences to show their work. None of this matters if we aren’t serving them.”

James Titah was named Allen Hiebert Chair of Sciences. Titah began teaching at Tabor in 2020 and is an associate professor of chemistry. Before Tabor, Titah’s teaching and research experience ranged through many universities in Canada and the United States. He earned his doctorate in chemistry from the University of New Brunswick in Canada.

“I am delighted to be honored with the Allen Hiebert Chair of Sciences, the first science chair in the history of Tabor College,” Titah says. “This award will significantly impact my teaching, student mentoring, professional development, and research and collaboration. It will enable us to engage more students in undergraduate research and take them to conferences and industrial visitations essential to their career pathways and graduate studies. Praise God for this blessing.”

Included in the $5 million in endowment gifts that Janzen announced is an award from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of a $1 million Endowed Scholarship Fund, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the foundation. The scholarship funds will be given out in perpetuity, beginning in the 2024-25 academic year.

A $10,000 scholarship will be awarded annually to a minimum of three students. Eligibility requires that students must be full-time, hold a 3.0 GPA, and be residents of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, or Texas. Students may also apply annually if the requirements continue to be met.

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