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Homecoming Honorees

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Alumnus of the Year

Ken Finch (BBA ’78)

Kenneth A. Finch was born in Portland Oregon. After graduating from Enterprise Academy in Kansas, Ken attended Southwestern. He received his BBA with a concentration in Healthcare in 1978. In 1981, Ken received his MBA in Management from Avila University in Kansas City, Missouri.

Currently, Ken is the Chief Executive Officer for the Southwest Region of the Adventist Health System. He serves on many boards and committees, including Southwestern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Southwestern Adventist University, and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, to name a few. He is also the Chairman of the Board for Central Texas Partners in Health, and the president of the Killeen Independent School District Education Foundation. Furthermore, he is the president of the Hawaiian chapter of the Health Care Financial Management Association, and a board member for the Executive and Personnel Committees for the Hawaii Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

Ken is married to Pam, a registered nurse at Texas Health Huguley Surgery Center in Burleson, Texas. He has two daughters: Angela and Kimberly. Ken’s hobbies include auto racing, water skiing, golf, tennis, windsurfing, sailing, reading, classic cars and sports.

Regarding his experience at Southwestern, Ken says, “I had more fun than I should have. I am thankful that Southwestern had a program for Healthcare Administration. This program brought me to Texas!”

Alumna of the Year

Lou Ann Cross (’58)

Lou Ann (Hill) Cross was born in Greenville, Texas. She attended Jefferson Junior Academy in Jefferson, Texas, followed by Southwestern Junior College from 1956-1959. Lou Ann received her bachelor’s degree from Union College in 1960. In 1974, she received her nursing home administrator’s license.

Lou Ann has been the managing partner for House Cross Associates. She has owned and operated five nursing homes in the Killeen area for 40 years. Her mission was to give long term care and be a positive Christian influence in the nursing home business.

Lou Ann’s greatest joy and accomplishment is her three children: Lisa Cross, a graduate of Loma Linda School of Medicine who has offices in Hollywood, California, and Killeen, Texas; Lane Cross, an engineering graduate from DeVry University who now owns and operates a ski lodge with his family in Red River, New Mexico; and Lorne Cross, a graduate of Loma Linda School of Medicine who lives with his family in Portland, Oregon, and is Medical Director of Acadia Healthcare. All three of Lou Ann’s children also attended Southwestern Adventist University.

Lou Ann especially enjoys her seven grandchildren: Sydney, Joel, Brandon, Samuel, Josh, Luke and Adam.

Lou Ann believes in Christian education. She is a Pathfinder Master Guide and has worked with the Pathfinder Clubs in all of the cities in which she has lived. She is actively involved in Sabbath School and church in her local Killeen, Texas church. She is also a certified Master Gardener and a Texas Master Naturalist. Her hobbies include working in her yard and enjoying her pets.

In retirement, Lou Ann enjoys her family, the Southwestern Alumni group, and traveling with friends. She supports and assists many elderly in her community. Her compassion and tender heart are a source of encouragement in their needs.

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Alumni Hall of Fame

Dr. Randy Gilliam (Att ’71; FFS ’98-’11)

Randy Gilliam was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma. After graduating from Ozark Academy, he attended Southwestern Union College from 1969-1971. He graduated with his BS in Elementary Education from Colorado University in Boulder, Colorado, in 1973. He completed his EdD in Elementary Education/Administration from Oklahoma University in 1987. His Doctoral Dissertation was entitled “A Longitudinal Study Comparing Mathematics and Reading Scores of Students.”

From 1973-1985, Randy was the principal and a teacher at Parkview Adventist Academy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. After thirteen years as principal/teacher at Burton Adventist Academy in Arlington, Texas, Randy became a professor for Southwestern Adventist University, serving as Chair of the Department of Education and Psychology from 1998-2011. In 2012, Randy became the vice-president for the Department of Education at the Southwestern Union of Seventh-day Adventists where he remained until his retirement in 2017.

In 1992, Randy was the recipient of the Zapara Award. The qualifications for receiving this award include spiritual credibility, concern for students, commitment to quality, and relationships with colleagues.

Randy is married to Dana whom he met at Southwestern. Together they have 3 boys: Ethan, a physical therapist at Arlington Memorial Hospital in Arlington, Texas; Justin, a registered nurse for Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas; and Damon, a principal at Nile Union Academy in Governorate, Egypt. Randy and Dana are also grandparents to three grandchildren: Aubrey, Bryce and Peyton. Randy says, “Southwestern gave me a strong foundation to proceed with my formal education and prepared me for my life’s work in Adventist education (44 years). But most and foremost, I met, courted, and dated my lifelong spouse, companion and best friend on Southwestern’s campus.”

Alumni Hall of Fame

Luz Arauzo (FFS ’72 -‘06)

Luz Alva Arauzo was born in Lima, Peru. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, and her master’s in Languages from Texas Christian University. During this time, Luz received the honor of Phil Sigma Lota – the highest honor given in Languages. After receiving her master’s degree, Texas Christian University asked Luz to teach. Luz accepted the offer for one semester; however, in 1972, she began to teach at Southwestern. During her years at Southwestern as a teacher and chair of the Language Department, Luz successfully recruited many students from South America. In fact, one year she recruited 25 students from Puerto Rico and 17 students from Venezuela! After 34 years of service, Luz retired from Southwestern in 2006.

Luz married Dr. Arturo Arauzo in 1947. In 1971, they moved to the Keene area where Arturo practiced in Keene, Cleburne, and Huguley Hospital (now Texas Health Huguley) as the one and only psychiatrist for many years. Luz and Arturo had three children: daughter Lyris and husband David Barroso have three children and live in Cedar Lake, Michigan; son Dr. Art Arauzo and wife Dorene live in Plano, Texas, and have three children; daughter Nilsa and husband Mickey Johnson live in Keene, Texas, and have two sons.

In 2014, Luz published “Through the Fire” by the Review and Herald Publishing Association. She is currently working on another paper entitled “Miracles in the Classroom.”  Luz is active in public and community activities. She participates in a missionary group called “Loops of Love” that knit prayer shawls for charity. Luz has traveled extensively. Her travels have taken her to Peru, Chile, Argentina, Japan, England, France, Italy, Vienna, Germany, Greece, Poland, Thailand, and more.

Regarding Southwestern, Luz states, “I had the privilege of working under the leadership of Mr. Leroy Leiske, Dr. Calvin Gordon, Dr. Don McAdams, Dr. Marvin Anderson, and Dr. Don Sahly. They were all wonderful leaders, visionaries, and great friends. Under their direction, I was able to witness many great accomplishments like the growth of Southwestern Adventist College into the great Southwestern Adventist University that it is today, offering a variety of great new programs like the Gift of Prophecy Art Contest that went around the whole Adventist educational world, providing friendship, knowledge, and universal Christian unity. I am very proud to be a part of the history of Southwestern Adventist University.”

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Young Alumnus of the Year

Dr. Chris Petr (BS ’08)

Christopher P. Petr was born at Huguley Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. He attended Chisholm Trail Academy, and after his 2003 graduation, he attended Southwestern. In 2005-2006, Chris participated in a one-year Spanish language exchange program at Universidad Adventista del Plata in Argentina. Chris graduated from Southwestern in 2008 with a degree in Biology. Immediately following, Chris studied Spanish in the fall semester of 2008 at the Universidad Adventista de las Antillas in Puerto Rico. In the spring, he continued his studies in Spanish at the Universidad de Montemorelos in Mexico. In 2009, Chris moved to Loma Linda and attended Loma Linda University School of Medicine, receiving his MBA in Health Care Administration in 2013, and his Medical Degree in 2014.  Christopher is currently the Academic Chief Resident in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Program for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, Texas.

Chris has received several honors and awards, including Wil Alexander Whole Person Care Award in 2014, Best Specialist in Comprehensive Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2015, and Best Teaching Award in 2017.

Christopher has traveled abroad and volunteered extensively. He participated in a three-week observation tour in Malamulo Adventist Hospital in Makwasa, Malawi. He performed a clinical rotation at Seventh-day Adventist Medical Centre in Bangalore, India. In 2010-2011, Chris participated weekly in a mentor program for at-risk teen boys in San Bernardino, California.

Christopher is married to Sabina Mauricio from Los Angeles, California, who also received her BS in Education from Southwestern Adventist University.

Christopher says, “During my time at Southwestern, besides getting an education that set me up for success in my professional life, I got to study in a spiritual environment. I made lifelong friends, including my life partner.”