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Alumni of the Year 2015

Each year, the Alumni Association Board chooses alumni from the honor classes to be recognized during the Homecoming Banquet. Recipients are honored for outstanding contributions in areas such as community, church, and professional service. 

The honorees were recognized at the 2015 Alumni Homecoming Banquet on April 23. Full biographies will be included in the Summer issue of The Westwind.

Russell Staples '55

Russell Staples graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Walla Walla College School of Theology in 1955. Unlike most college students, Russell had already spent 10 years in ministry in South Africa by the time he received his bachelor’s degree. He then earned a master’s degree in theology and divinity. He spent 10 years at his post in Africa working with the World Council of Churches on a united theological seminaries program.  Staples earned a doctorate in systematic theology with ancillary studies in social anthropology at Princeton University in 1971, and shortly after was called to work at Andrews University for the Institute of World Missions to teach and prepare missionaries for work in Africa. Russell taught at Andrews until 2009.


Russell has been often recognized for his skills as a professor, theologian, and missionary.

Kenneth Kelln '60

Kenneth Kelln, a 1960 Walla Walla College graduate, is a Walla Walla native. He studied gastroenterology at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine where he also met his wife, Marilynn.  Kenneth studied mission medicine in Nicaragua for 10 weeks as an elective course. He later dedicated years of his life to mission medicine work for the General Conference in Nigeria. During their first five years in Africa, Kenneth and Marilynn welcomed their three children, David, Rebecca, and Debbie. Kenneth and his family have traveled extensively from their home in Ogden, Utah, to Nigeria and throughout the United States for both work and church purposes.

Kenneth and Marilynn are active in their church in Ogden. He enjoys spending time with his children and two grandchildren.

Robert Kyte '75

Bob Kyte has put his mind for business to work for the Adventist Church. He graduated from Walla Walla College in 1975 with a degree in business administration. He went on to earn a law degree from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Bob is currently the president and CEO for Adventist Risk Management, Inc., and its affiliates, which provide risk insurance services for the Seventh-day Adventist Church throughout the world. His most recent project has been serving on the board of the Bible Translation Institute, which sponsored the translation of the Bible into the contemporary Russian language.

Bob and his wife, Nancy, recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. They have been active in church life throughout their careers. Traveling to see their nieces and nephews takes them all over the United States and Canada. Bob enjoys skiing whenever he can.

Andrea Hawkins-Daarud '05

2005 graduate Andrea Hawkins-Daarud has always had an interest in both mathematics and medicine. Andrea graduated with a major in mathematics and a minor in physics. She has a doctorate in computational sciences, engineering, and mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin where the focus of her research was mathematical modeling of tumors. Andrea married fellow WWC alumnus, Justin Daarud, ’07 in 2010. Andrea currently studies glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer, at the University of Washington. She hopes to continue researching at the intersection of mathematics and medicine to help bring about better treatment plans for patients.

Andrea enjoys reading, camping, gardening (when the weather in Seattle allows), and drinking coffee with friends. In August, 2014, Andrea and Justin welcomed their first baby, Eric Scott.

Page maintained by Alumni | Last update on June 18, 2015