Remembering Dr. Thomas H. Stebbins (NC '56)

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Friday February 16, 2018

The campus community was informed that 1956 Nyack College alumnus Dr. Thomas H. Stebbins passed away on February 15, 2018. Dr. Stebbins was the former executive vice president and COO of Evangelism Explosion International.

Nyack College is where Dr. Stebbins met and fell in love with Nyack alumna, Donna Stadsklev (1953). The two were married in 1954 and of that union became the parents of four children—Jennifer, Jeff, John and Janice. Son Jeff lovingly shared a reflection on his father’s life with these words:  “For more than 60 years, Dad was passionate about seeing as many people as possible put their faith in Jesus, have assurance of eternity in Heaven, and grow into mature, reproducing believers. Many thousands of Vietnamese, Chinese, Americans and others will be in Heaven partly because Dad surrendered his life and honed his evangelistic skills to become an effective servant in God’s hands. Part of his effectiveness derived from Mom’s unwavering love, trust and support. We kids know that, without Mom, Dad could have done little that he did.”

Missionaries to Vietnam for two decades, Thomas and Donna Stebbins were named Nyack College Alumni of the Year in 1999 for their faithful service to The Christian and Missionary Alliance. At Nyack’s 2008 Homecoming, the lives of alumni who were martyred in 1968 while serving in Vietnam were honored; Dr. Stebbins’s sister, Ruth Stebbins Thompson and her husband C. Edward Thompson are among those whose names were engraved on a memorial bench installed at Shuman Hall. In 2011, the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (also known as Tin Lanh Church) celebrated its 100th anniversary in Da Nang City. Dr. Stebbins, who was born in Hue, Vietnam was invited to speak at the centennial festivities.

In 2013 when Nyack presented an honorary doctorate to Dr. Thai Phuoc Truong, a former executive board general secretary of the Tin Lanh Church, Dr. Stebbins was invited to introduce Dr. Truong at the Commencement Day President’s Hall of Distinction Brunch.

A great servant leader, passionate about kingdom-building and spreading the gospel, is now numbered in the great cloud of witnesses. Our hearts confidently rejoice that Dr. Thomas H. Stebbins heard the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Family and friends will celebrate his life at Alliance Community Chapel, 600 S. Florida Avenue, DeLand, FL on Tuesday, February 20 at 2:00 p.m. 

Memorial gifts in honor of Dr. Stebbins can be sent to The Christian and Missionary Alliance, ATTN: Thomas H. Stebbins Scholarship, 8595 Explorer Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80920. The funds will be used for tribal students at the C&MA Seminary in Vietnam. 


A Faith Journey Profile for Black History Month: Deborah Walker

Posted by Joshua.Way on Friday February 16, 2018

At Nyack College, we’re observing Black History Month 2018 by presenting a series of short profiles written by members of our faculty and staff. The features pay homage to an African American individual who inspired and encouraged their faith journey. These personal experiences are illustrations that affirm the widely adopted practice of mentoring in our campus community. These are our four February features.

Name a person who had a significant influence on your faith journey.

Mrs. Margarite Syphax of Arlington, VA. Mrs. Syphax was my first mentor. I met her at Mt. Olive Baptist Church, when I lived in Fairfax County, VA.

Share how this individual helped shape your life as a Christian.

Mrs. Syphax's home was like a second church, which was located down the block from Mt. Olive Baptist Church. The Syphax home was a popular gathering place for young adults who considered her a "second mom." She was the ultimate Titus 2 woman. Her ears to listen and her shoulder to lean or cry on were always available, especially to young women—married and single—for encouragement, wise counsel and tough love. Ultimately, she pointed us to the Word of God. This pillar of the church and community, with her husband, owned W.T. Syphax Enterprises, a construction and property management company that received recognition from community organizations and in the African American-owned magazines, Ebony and Black Enterprise, as well as the Washington Post.

During one of the many gatherings in her home, Mrs. Syphax shared a book with me, “A Daily Guide to Miracles and Successful Living Through Seed-Faith,” where I first read a "Believer's Prayer.” It is still on a bookshelf in my home today with her note on the title page: “Let the reading of this book change your life into a very positive joy. My prayers will continue on your behalf. Victory is yours!!” Her words and these words in the book arrested my attention: “The church is not the Savior; water baptism is not the Savior; philosophy is not the Savior; reformation is not the Savior, Jesus is the Savior.” This marked the beginning of my faith journey more than 30 years ago.

This reflection prompted me to search for Mrs. Syphax. I recalled that her husband had passed away after their 43-year union and that she later remarried. My treasure hunt for a photo she included in a Christmas card years ago was unearthed from a storage box. Her radiant smile drew me in once again. With information written on the back of the photo, my Google search began. Not only was her home number listed, but she answered the phone! To my delight, I learned that the now Mrs. Margarite Vallery would turn 95 years old on February 11. She is also looking forward to celebrating her 25th wedding anniversary in June. Just as glorious as the phone visit, and enjoying the familiar high energy in her voice, is hearing that she is still deeply in love with the Lord.

Deborah Walker
Director of Publications & Media Relations
Office of College Relations

Nyack College New York City School of Music Ensemble Performs at The Kennedy Center

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Friday February 16, 2018

“Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey,” a program of classic and traditional spirituals featuring five-time Grammy-winning opera star Kathleen Battle, was recently presented at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. 

Eight of the 16-member ensemble that accompanied Ms. Battle included students, alumni and faculty of Nyack’s New York City School of Music. Student Stephanie Fisher (pictured) served as one of the two chorus conductors.

Other Nyack performers included Nicole Vega, Andre Rogers, Kalia Baptiste, Jazmen Reyes, Chris Anthony, Prof. Willana Mack, Prof. Cliff Smith and Prof. Darryl Jordan. The evening’s first encore was a trio performance of “Angels Keep Watching Over Me,” which featured Mr. Anthony and Ms. Fisher.

Nyack College singers were also selected in 2016 to grace the Metropolitan Opera House stage with Ms. Battle for her epic return to performing after a more than two decades absence.

Reviews of the performance praised the exquisite program

Feb 17: Empower Open House at Alliance Theological Seminary Rockland

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Thursday February 15, 2018

Want to find out why 129 women from 51 different churches carpooled or booked flights to gather for a multicultural, cross-generational, transformational experience?

Get an answer firsthand by attending an *Open House on Saturday, February 17 starting at 9:00 a.m. at Alliance Theological Seminary, 350 North Highland Ave. in Nyack, NY for Empower, a one-year certificate program for women. This cohort-format course is offered through a partnership between The Christian and Missionary Alliance Metro District and Nyack College/Alliance Theological Seminary.

Attend a class. Talk to current students, alumni and faculty of the program.  Get more information today! 


*The next Open House will be held on Saturday, April 21.



Nyack New York City School of Music Student on "Harry" TV Show

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Thursday February 15, 2018

Amanda Maysonet ('19), Nyack College New York City School of Music vocal performance major, was recently a member of a back-up vocal ensemble on the talk show, "Harry," hosted by Emmy and Grammy Award-winner, Harry Connick, Jr. (at keyboard, Amanda on his right).

Amanda gave a stellar performance in the lead role of Maria (pictured above) in Nyack's 2016 off-Broadway production of "West Side Story" at the American Theatre of Actors in Manhattan.

Congratulations to Amanda on this wonderful opportunity!