Northwest Nazarene University honored the retirement and service commitment of two distinguished faculty members, Mamie Oliver and Larry McMillin.
Oliver first came to NNU as an adjunct professor in the early 1970s and in 2000 started teaching full time, bringing more than 40 years of professional experience in social work to the position. Currently Oliver serves as pastor of the Mountain View Community Fellowship in Boise. She is the executive director of the Community Ministries Center; chair of the Committee on Women’s Affairs in Richmond, Virginia; the commissioner of Idaho Commission on Aging; and is a member of the Boise, Idaho, chapter of NAACP.
"Over the past five years, Dr. Oliver provided her MSW (Master of Social Work) students with quality instruction that was constantly being informed by her extensive community involvement," said one of Oliver's colleagues. "Students often commented that there was never a dull moment in her classes."
Larry McMillin, a native of Nampa, Idaho, and an NNU alumnus, joined the faculty of Northwest Nazarene University in 1987 and was a leader in the institution’s transition from an undergraduate liberal arts college to a comprehensive university with multiple graduate programs at the master’s and doctoral degree levels. He also led large continuing studies and concurrent credit programs.
After earning his undergraduate degree from Northwest Nazarene College, he continued on to earn a master of arts from Oregon State University and a doctorate of education from the University of Northern Colorado.
After serving several years as an elementary school teacher, McMillin moved into an administrative role as a language arts specialist for the Title 1 Migrant Summer Program. In the late 1970s he served as assistant to the superintendent for instruction and curriculum in the Nampa School District. From there McMillin moved to Bremerton, Washington, where he served as superintendent of schools for five years before heading back to his hometown of Nampa to develop NNC’s continuing studies program. The program was created to allow teachers throughout Idaho to take graduate-level continuing studies courses. This program became successful and expanded to the entire Northwest.
Enrollment for these programs grew dramatically until NNU became Idaho’s largest provider of continuing studies. McMIllin is credited also in the development of NNU’s adult online and adult and professional programs, which now serve students around the world.
Because of these efforts and dedication of service to his alma mater, Larry McMillin was conferred the title of Professor Emeritus of Education during the 96th annual Commencement Convocation, May 5.
--Northwest Nazarene University