Bob Mendenhall Receives SAC Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Bob Mendenhall was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the annual meeting of the Society of Adventist Communicators on October 18.

Dr. Bob Mendenhall was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the annual meeting of the Society of Adventist Communicators on Oct. 17.

The Society of Adventist Communicators honored Dr. Bob Mendenhall with a Lifetime Achievement Award this weekend in Washington, D.C. at its annual convention. Mendenhall retired in June after 45 years of service to Southwestern Adventist University.

Some of Mendenhall’s most notable achievements were the founding of Southwestern’s communication department and establishment of the campus radio station in the early 1970s. Through the course of his career, he served as president and later secretary for Adventist Radio Network, directed and produced the news coverage for several world sessions of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and received honors such as the Presidential Citation of Excellence (1985), the Zapara Excellence in Teaching Award (1995), and Alumnus of the Year at Monterey Bay Academy (2013).

“Bob is a natural and consummate communicator and organizer,” says Chris Blake, associate professor of English and communication at Union College. “In addition, he has been at it for 45 years. Who else, besides Methuselah, has put in more years? He has done a marvelous job of connecting Adventist communicators with real-world networking and opportunities.”

During his career, Bob has trained many students who, in turn, have trained a number of younger professionals now active in Adventist communication. Former students have worked for Faith for Today, the Voice of Prophecy, Three Angels Broadcasting Network, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Los Angeles SPCA, and Adventist Health System.

“In many ways, it’s this multiplying effect from Bob’s beginning the radio station and communication major which has molded the shape of Adventist professional communication,” says Andrew Woolley, professor of English at Southwestern and long-time colleague.

The Society of Adventist Communicators is an organization for the socialization, continuing education, recognition, and nurturing of Seventh-day Adventists whose careers are in fields of communication. The society is comprised of Adventist communication professionals, students, freelancers, editors, teachers, technology specialists, administrators, producers, photographers, small business owners, and others from North America and beyond-in fields such as broadcasting, marketing/public relations, print/publishing, electronic media, education, and health care.

“Bob is one of those professors who takes a personal interest in his students even long after they’ve left his classroom,” says Ken Shaw, Southwestern president. “He has taught, befriended, and mentored generations of communicators. We value the contributions and dedication he has shown Southwestern Adventist University and are proud to see him receive this honor.”

As Mendenhall accepted the award, he attributed his success to “God and His amazing grace, and to my wife Bev and her own marvelous graciousness.” He then recounted his very first day of class. As he walked into the classroom some 45 years ago, he thought, “This might be fun.” And as he left his classroom 50 minutes later, he recalls, “I said to myself, ‘I want to do this for the rest of my life.’ I found my calling at Southwestern.”

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