May 29, 2017 Newsletter


Now THESE are what you would call impressive college education outcomes:

  • 100% job placement
  • 100% pass rate for the Fundamentals of Engineering exam
  • 100% acceptance rate to grad school
Bob Harder, GFU Engineering Dept 052417

Bob Harder, PhD, and dean of the GFU College of Engineering, told us about the program.

Under the leadership of Dean Bob Harder, GFU’s College of Engineering has come a long, long way.  We learned all about the outstanding results, growth and development of what is now the largest undergrad major at the university from Bob at our meeting last week.

The mission of the program is to “prepare technically competent and broadly educated engineering students for a life of responsible service emerging from a Christian worldview.” The focus is on “hands-on” learning. “We start students early on building, designing, putting a full system together,” he said.

Most of you will remember our meeting room at the old dining hall (the one before Canyon Commons) at GFU. Know what it is now? The Engineering Innovation Center.  The building was remodeled, and now has what Bob called a “Maker’s Hub” in the center. It includes a computer design lab, machine shop, welding and woodworking shops, a paint booth and a tool room.

Bob outlined what he called “Program Distinctives,” many of which rely on the new hub:

  • Freshman Principles–students have to use the machine shop and get certified in skills like welding
  • Servant Engineering during Junior Year
  • Senior “Design Engineering Clinic.”  Five to seven students are assigned to a team with two faculty, and do design-build projects for sponsors. He gave an example of an innovative equipment project to help Norpac Foods maximize the potential from pumpkin seeds

Some highlights of the program’s history:

  • 1988-1999– “We were a ‘wannabe’ program,” he said. “Our students had to transfer to other schools to finish up.”
  • 2000– The school welcomed the first freshmen in mechanical and electrical engineering
  • 2004– First graduates: 7 in mechanical and 2 in electrical engineering
  • 2006–Computer engineering added to the degree program
  • 2009 – Civil engineering added
  • 2013– The College of Engineering established

The college has 450 students now, which is still small in comparison to some schools. Cyber Security is the newest addition to the degree program.

The Engineering School is a also participant in the Chehalem Valley Innovation Accelerator for business start-ups currently housed in CPRD office space. “GFU is known for its transformational curriculum, cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset, and design/build experiences,” Bob concluded.


Mike Caruso presents PHF Pin to Dr. Eric Burgquam 052417

Mike Caruso presented a Paul Harris Fellow pin to Dr. Eric Bergquam.


Mike Caruso recognized Dr. Eric Bergquam for being a Paul Harris Fellow “Plus 3,” which means he has donated more than $4000 to the Rotary International Foundation.  Congratulations and thank you, Eric!





Denise Bacon introduced Jason Holcombe, a GFU grad and realtor who has been in Newberg for 9 years and is interested in learning more about Rotary.

Grant Gerke introduced Shannon Buckmaster, who attended her third meeting in a row.  Shannon is the head of Tunes on Tuesday, and works for Mary Kay Cosmetics. Her application for membership in our club has been turned in.  Looking forward to officially welcoming Shannon.


Paul Jellum is a new beekeeper! If you see any swarms, please let him know……


Om Sukheenai is organizing a committee to help with setup and take down of our annual installation dinner at Methven winery (NOT the new tasting room) on June 22. If you can help, please contact Om.

The St. Paul Rodeo needs 20 volunteers to help with traffic mitigation on July 4.  Please let Grant Gerke know if you can donate a few hours.