Ryan and Emily Walker of Windsor receive Olivet's 2013 Young Alumni Award

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Emily and Ryan Walker, recipients of Olivet's 2013 Young Alumni Award

BOURBONNAIS, IL (11/09/2013)(readMedia)-- Olivet Nazarene University presented its third annual Young Alumni Award to Ryan and Emily (Schmidt) Walker of Windsor during the morning chapel service on Friday, November 8, as part of the 2013 Homecoming & Family Weekend activities.

Ryan is part of the third generation of his family to work for Walker Manufacturing, their family-owned business. When speaking with Olivet students during a business seminar this week, he reminded them that God calls people to serve both in mission work and in business.

Both Ryan and Emily are 2006 graduates of Olivet. Ryan earned a bachelor's degree in business management, and Emily earned a bachelor's degree in biology. They joined the ministry of SEND International in 2007. SEND's mission is to reach Native Americans and plant churches in rural Alaska and northern Canada. Teachers and pilots are important for these efforts.

In the fall of 2008, Emily began teaching middle school science at the public school in Chevak, Alaska, and Ryan was working as a pilot for SEND. When the math teacher left the school, Ryan began teaching there also. Together, they built relationships with the students and their families - and the community.

The following year, Ryan became the aviation teacher at the high school. He was able to give the students experience in a field that is important to their way of life. The next year, he and his students built a Rans S-6S airplane together. Many of Ryan's students have professed faith in Christ and continue to be part of a local Bible study.

Each year, during Homecoming celebration, Olivet honors one outstanding female and one outstanding male recipient with this award. Recipients are chosen by vote of the Alumni Board, and must have graduated from Olivet within the last 10 years. These awards are underwritten by alumni Mel and Judith (Tucker) Sayes, 1973 Olivet graduates, of Little Rock, Ark.

Olivet Nazarene University is an accredited Christian, liberal arts university offering more than 100 areas of undergraduate and graduate study, including the Doctor of Education in ethical leadership. Olivet has one main campus in Bourbonnais, Ill. - just 50 miles south of Chicago; three additional sites: Rolling Meadows and Oak Brook, Ill., and Hong Kong; and more than 100 School of Graduate and Continuing Studies learning locations throughout Chicagoland and the Midwest. From Oxford to Tokyo, hundreds of Olivet students also experience the global classroom each year, whether through study abroad opportunities or worldwide mission trips.


More ONU news is available at Olivet.edu, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo and Instagram. Licensed University photos and official logos available upon request.


Laura Warfel

Public Relations Specialist

Olivet Nazarene University

Bourbonnais, Ill.