Bridgewater College honors distinguished trio

Item by Mary K. Heatwole

Bridgewater College presented three Merlin E. and Dorothy Faw Garber Awards for Christian Service during the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference held in Richmond.

Receiving the awards at the College’s alumni luncheon on July 13 were Daniel Rudy, a 2008 graduate from Mount Airy, Md., Claire Gilbert Ulrich, a 1978 alumna and Dr. Dale V. Ulrich, provost and professor of physics, emeritus, both from Bridgewater.

Rudy, a licensed minister, will attend Bethany Theological Seminary this fall. Majoring in philosophy and religion at Bridgewater College, he was active in the Brethren Student Movement, the Student Ministry Board and the deputation teams, which provided programs for churches throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. He represented Bridgewater College in the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges and Wachovia Bank sponsored Ethics Bowl and traveled to Palestine as part of a Christian Peacemaker Team delegation.

Claire Ulrich, a graduate of La Verne (Calif.) College, also attended Bridgewater College with the Class of 1978. A certified public accountant, she worked with accounting firms and as chief financial officer for a medical practice. She has been active in the Bridgewater Church of the Brethren, serving as its first female moderator. She’s held most of the jobs in that congregation and currently serves on the board of administration and as a deacon, a Sunday School teacher and a 50-year member of the church choir. She tutors with the Skyline Literacy Council, is an advocate for the Hispanic community, hosted international students and worked with the Community Mediation Center. She also performs with the Round Hill Recorder Consort.

Dale Ulrich, a graduate of the University of La Verne, earned a master’s degree at the University of Oregon and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Virginia. He retired from Bridgewater College in 1999, after 38 years of service; he taught physics, served as dean of the college for 15 years and as provost for nine years. Early in retirement, he was interim director of Brethren Colleges Abroad in Kerala, India. Since 1977, he has given many hours volunteering with the Brethren Encyclopedia project. After co-editing the encyclopedia’s fourth volume, he spent the last year coordinating the denomination’s 300th anniversary celebration and the 2008 Brethren World Assembly in Schwarzenau, Germany. He has worked on the preservation and restoration of the John Kline Homestead in Rockingham County; is a past president of On Earth Peace Assembly; and he organized and advised the Brethren Student Movement that involves Brethren college students from the Central Shenandoah Valley.

The Garber Award for Christian Service, established in 1998, recognizes life-long Christian service and exemplary commitment to Christian values. Merlin Garber, a Church of the Brethren pastor, was a 1936 Bridgewater alumnus. His wife, Dorothy Faw Garber, was a member of the Class of 1933. Both are deceased.

Previous winners are Merlin E. Garber, ’36; Myron S. Miller, ’47, of Richmond; James M. Bryant, ’59, of Bridgewater; Janet Estep Whetzel, ’61, of Dayton; Jonathan L. Brush, ’99, of Weyers Cave; and Christopher W. Zepp, ’00, of Bridgewater.

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