This year’s Alumna of the Year Award recognized Louella DeVries ’93, president and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor at Olive Branch Counseling Associates in Oak Forest, Illinois.
Congratulations, also, to the honorary alumni award recipients. They include:
Louella DeVries ’93
Louella holds a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from the Adler School of Professional Psychology. At Olive Branch, she provides psychotherapy and counseling to clients as well as clinical supervision for other therapists. Louella is married to fellow alum Dr. Michael DeVries ’74, professor of psychology at Trinity, and serves the children and women of Huaycan, Peru, through the Light and Leadership Initiative, an organization started by their daughter Lara ’08.
Louella started at Trinity in 1972 as an art studio major, married Michael in 1973, then left to enter the workforce while Michael pursued graduate studies. In 1977, Michael was asked to join the Trinity faculty.
When she first visited Trinity, she said she never dreamed of psychology as a career, but during her time as a stay-at-home mom, Louella started to feel a call to a career outside of the home and to a career in psychology—a call she tried “very hard to ignore.”
“Ignoring that call was simply not in the plan for me. I knew I was supposed to become a psychotherapist in order to answer that call,” said Louella. So, she returned to Trinity in 1992 as a wife and a mother of four very active children. “People often ask how I changed from art to psychology. I simply changed the medium that I work in; it’s still a creative process.”
As a student, she was deeply influenced by a number of professors, including her husband Michael. “Michael had the ability to put it all together so it made sense. Theories of Personality was a class that set the stage for my graduate school work and laid a foundation for my practice of clinical psychology,” said Louella. “I have been blessed to have Michael's academic influence as well as his influence in my personal life.”
Since her graduation, her involvement with Trinity has been ongoing; she has served as an adjunct professor, clinical supervisor at the Cooper Counseling Center, Interim leader, and keynote speaker at the annual alumni conference. She also oversees the internship program through which Trinity students have served at Olive Branch for over 10 years.
Of her role as an alumna, Louella said, “We are all representatives of our school, and that is a pretty heavy responsibility. When I get the opportunity to speak up about Trinity, I do so. I received a great education there and so did my children.”
The DeVries have four grown children: Julia, Anna ’ex 03, Jonathan ex ’06, and Lara ’08. They are members of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago.
Keith and Bev Bruxvoort
Keith Bruxvoort is the vice president of finance for grocery chain Strack & Van Til, LLC, and is a member of Trinity’s board of trustees. He serves as the board president of Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Indiana and has been involved in Rotary of Highland, the water board of Highland, and the Elim Christian School board.
Bev Bruxvoort has been a Meals on Wheels volunteer for several years and volunteers at the ETC resale shop for Highland Christian School. She also runs the nursery ministry at the Coffee Break program at First CRC of Highland where she and Keith are members.
The Bruxvoorts’ initial connection to Trinity was established when daughter Kara ’03 enrolled as a freshman. “It’s amazing to see all of the changes that have happened since we first brought Kara to campus,” said Keith. “The College has grown, and not just the facilities. The overall development of the school has been amazing, and it has stayed true to its values; that’s important.”
Son Ryan ’06 liked Trinity’s friendly atmosphere and participated in track and field and cross country. The Bruxvoorts’ youngest daughter Erica lives in Mishawauka, Indiana, with her husband and teaches in the public school system.
Kara and Ryan’s involvement in sports was a spring board for Keith and Bev’s involvement in the College; Kara’s success on the basketball court earned her a spot in Trinity’s Hall of Fame in 2009. The Bruxvoorts have attended myriad events over the years, including many basketball games and track meets, as well as Trinity Business Network events, golf outings, and Jubilation! fundraisers.
Their connection has remained strong, and the Bruxvoorts believe it is important to continue their support of Trinity. “We look at where the college is going and its goals and we want to help,” said Keith. “We see how our kids benefited. Even though they didn’t get to use the ArCC or the new gymnasium, the next generation of students can. When you give, it is almost as if you’re giving exponentially because of all the lives that each Trinity student will touch.”
Tim Timmons is director of Trinity’s physical plant and has served the College for 17 years. Before coming to Trinity, Tim worked for 12 years at a steel plant where he was promoted to general foreman. He later returned to school for training in the HVAC program at Moraine Valley Community College and became a tradesman. His first role in maintenance at Trinity focused on HVAC work, but he was soon promoted to assistant director of maintenance. He also served as interim director before accepting the position he has now held for seven years.
With his first job at Texaco at the age of 12, Tim has always possessed a strong work ethic that he said fits in with the hard-working environment on campus. He greatly appreciates a work environment where co-workers share his faith.
“[Trinity] has meant many things to me over the years, both exciting and challenging,” he said. “It’s a place where I continue to learn and grow. It is also great to be surrounded by people who love the Lord and really care about each other.”
Tim has the opportunity to work year around with student workers on the maintenance crew and has come to know many faculty and staff members over the years. Sharing in their lives—witnessing everything from marriages to professions of faith—is one of his favorite things about Trinity.
“I don’t just look at the task but at the whole person,” he said. “We have to help every single person on this campus, whether it’s a student, staff member, or guest, we are involved in everyone’s life here.
I get to serve and help others every day in this job and want to be a trusted sounding board who cares for people.”
Tim and his wife Lisa have been married for 28 years and have been blessed with son Timothy, age 10.
Mark Ward, former associate provost and professor of business, is the vice president for academic affairs at the University of Dubuque. Mark and his wife, Dr. Annalee Ward, former chair of the communication arts department, served the College for over 25 years.
Mark and Annalee were living in Oak Park, Illinois, before coming to Trinity, Mark was employed in the business sector and Annalee working in Chicago and teaching evening classes at DePaul. Hearing of an opening for a business professor at Trinity, Mark applied and joined the faculty in 1984.
He began as instructor of business, teaching ethics, management, and economics. Becoming deeply immersed in the academic community, Mark began developing the First Year Experience for new students around 2000 and became director of First Year Forum. In 2004, he accepted a new role as associate provost.
Mark’s contributions to the College have endured as has Trinity’s impact on him. He said that although he received his education from the three institutions he attended, a greater education came from Trinity. “It’s where I learned how to think Christianly; it was a very forming experience.”
That experience extended to the Ward’s family, as well. The Ward’s children grew up on Trinity’s campus and daughter Emily graduated from the College in 2009. Ward said he is “very touched” by the honor, noting that although he is not involved on a day-to-day basis with the College, Trinity was—and still is—a part of his family’s identity “in a way no other place can be.”
Mark said he misses the community at Trinity. “An ethos of Trinity is that people know how to be Christ to each other. There are a lot of caring people in the world, but those at Trinity know how to do it well,” he said. “Trinity really does provide a holistic education to students in a way that most institutions can’t.”