Simpson University’s 15th ‘Day of Service’ Focuses on Fire Recovery

REDDING, Calif.— Nearly 120 Simpson University students, staff, and faculty traveled to Whiskeytown National Recreation Area on Sept. 21 to participate in the university’s 15th annual Day of Service.

The Day of Service is a start-of-the-year tradition at Simpson, where classes for traditional undergraduate students begin the day after Labor Day.

This year’s service day had one focus: Carr Fire recovery efforts at Brandy Creek and the Camden House in the scenic recreation area just west of Redding.

“A year ago we experienced a tragic historic event here in Redding,” José Palos, Simpson University’s director of spiritual formation, told participants, who gathered at the cross near the center of campus for instructions before carpooling to Whiskeytown. “It was scary. I was here to see Redding come together and bond and unite – it was a very touching season. For us to be partnering with Whiskeytown to help them recover and get on their way to restoring its natural beauty is a huge honor.”

Students helped with cleanup, brush clearing, and spreading wood chips from downed and burned trees, among other tasks.

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area shared on Instagram: “It was fantastic to see Simpson University out in Whiskeytown last weekend to help in the park’s recovery efforts! Having so many hands from Simpson University enables park staff to open additional areas in the park. They were able to help clean the Camden House (including the curtains!), spread chips from hazard tree work, remove litter and micro trash from developed areas, and clear trails that were impacted by the Carr Fire. Thank you for your service!”

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When the Carr Fire swept into Redding in late July 2018, Simpson University opened its residence halls to first responders and its gymnasium to the Red Cross for an evacuation center. The university also served as a donation collection point for clothing and other items.

Last fall, the university launched a Carr & Camp Fire Scholarship program to help students and families impacted by the two Northern California blazes. The first recipients were welcomed to campus this month.

The Day of Service began in 2004 as an outflow of the “Gateway to World Service” motto the university has had for many years. The event has involved partnerships with numerous community organizations, with participants going out in teams to tackle projects ranging from landscaping to painting to sorting items and much more.

“Service is at the center of God’s heart,” Palos said, quoting from Philippians 2 about Jesus coming to earth as a servant. “So when we join in that heart of service, we have the opportunity to become more like Christ.”

Photos by Holly Kiker

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Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 8-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction.

Simpson is launching new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements, and it is offering new scholarships.

Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.

 

Simpson University Students Celebrate 2019 WorldSERVE Teams

With a long history of preparing students for missionary service, Simpson University relaunched a student-led missions program 25 years ago. The program continues today as WorldSERVE, which describes itself as taking students on a yearlong discipleship journey that includes a short-term service trip.

 By Hayley Wylie

REDDING, Calif.–Simpson University WorldSERVE students hosted their annual Celebration Night recently to share the adventures of their student-led mission trips during spring and summer breaks.

Nearly 30 students participated on trips to Thailand, Taiwan, India, the Philippines, and Chicago. Students served in a variety of ways, including working in youth centers, mentoring young people, helping with medical missions, and more.

On Sept. 19, they gathered in LaBaume-Rudat Hall to worship, share, and listen. A student from each team shared a testimony from their trip.

The first to speak was Autumn McCuller, a nursing student who went with other nursing majors to India. The trip involved medical missions work. Students were able to work at clinics and provide service to many people, as well as share the gospel.

One day out of the six-week-long trip, they served at a small community three hours from where they were staying.

“There were 300 people in six hours in a church no bigger than a garden shed,” McCuller said. “God is in India.”

The next to speak was Sarah Stoddard from Team Philippines. Stoddard shared that missions had been placed on her heart, but she was unsure what to expect from the trip.

“I had no idea what I was getting myself into,” she said.

Their trip dealt with relationship ministry, and the team worked hard to connect with other college students in Manila. “We loved on them. We taught them who Jesus is through our actions, through our love,” Stoddard said.

She also revealed that she still keeps in contact with the people she met in the Philippines.

“I still talk to them. This is a lifelong relationship that I now have,” Stoddard said.

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Next was Caleigh Roberts representing Team Thailand, whose focus was coffee shop ministry. They would often go to the same coffee shop and build relationships with people.

Roberts mentioned doing a prayer walk through a red-light district on one night of their trip. “It was so strange to feel Jesus in a place that I thought Jesus would never be,” she said.

Although going to Thailand wasn’t her original plan, she shared that she was happy she went. “God had a different plan. His plan is always better,” Roberts said.

Roberts encouraged other students to go in the future. “I know this makes a difference because it’s making a difference in me,” she said.

Annie Christopherson from Team Taiwan shared that she felt called to be a part of WorldSERVE.

“If God calls me to go, I’m gonna go,” Christopherson said. She shared that there were difficulties before going to Taiwan, but she believes, “God always makes a way.”

Overall, she described the experience as a positive one. “I didn’t know I could grow even more in God in just three weeks,” Christopherson said.

The last testimony shared for the night was by Bigane Perez from Team Chicago. The team worked for an afterschool program during spring break last semester. Perez said she was skeptical of the trip at first but ultimately ended up following the calling she felt from God.

“I have to be comfortable with the uncomfortable,” Perez said, sharing that she enjoyed her trip.

At the end of the night, Samantha Ulnik, a WorldSERVE intern, announced that WorldSERVE is planning on going back to Thailand, Taiwan, Chicago, possibly Mexico, and other places to be announced later.

Ulnik also revealed this year’s WorldSERVE theme, from Esther 4:14: “Perhaps you have been chosen for a time like this.” She encouraged Simpson University students to consider participating in WorldSERVE this year. “God is inviting you to something big,” she said.

Learn more about the WorldSERVE student missions program at simpsonu.edu/worldserve.

About the author: Hayley Wylie is an English major in her senior year at Simpson University. She is from Vacaville, Calif., and is editor-in-chief of The Slate, the university’s student newspaper.

Photos by Chyna Xiong

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Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 8-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction.

Simpson is launching new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements, and it is offering new scholarships.

Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.

 

 

 

Simpson University for Seniors Accepting Students for October Classes

REDDING, Calif. – Simpson University for Seniors is offering two courses in October for adults of any age.

The non-credit, no-homework classes, which begin Oct. 7, are taught on Simpson’s campus by university professors and professionals in their field of expertise. Classes meet from 10:20 to 11:20 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

The following courses are being offered:

10:20-11:20 a.m. – Birds of the Bible. This course explores the birds used in the Bible as examples representing life characteristics and salvation principles. Birds mentioned in the Bible will be compared to those found in Northern California. Presenter: Larry Siemens

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Muscovy – The History of Russia from Varangians to Tsars. Beginning with Cimmerians and Scythians on the Russian Steppes, this course will look at the coming of the Swedish Vikings, the establishment of Kievan Rus, the Mongol invasions, and the development of the vast Russian Empire under the tsars from Ivan I to Nicholas II. Presenter: Don Claspill

Two courses are offered each month through April. The cost is $95 per person, per course, or $145 for couples registering for the same course. Register online with a credit card at simpsonu.edu/seniorschool.

For more information, call Caitlin Griffin at (530) 226-4978.

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Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 8-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction.

Simpson is launching new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements, and it is offering new scholarships.

Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.

Simpson University Recognizes Constitution Day with Historic Visitors

REDDING, Calif.–Two Simpson University history students took an active role in promoting awareness of the supreme law of the land during annual recognition of Constitution Day on campus.

Students Paul Bigelow and Connor Rowe donned period costumes in the roles of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, both of whom signed the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. Carrying an American flag with 13 stars, they toured campus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., stopping to pose for pictures with students, staff and faculty, and handing out copies of the Constitution.

Their travels included a stop in a history class taught by Dr. Tim Orr.

“What’s so important about this document?” he asked the visitors after introducing them to the class.

“The whole fabric of the country is in this book, pretty much. All your rights, everything you do, all depends on this,” ‘Hamilton’ (Rowe) explained.

Each year, Simpson University’s History and Political Science Department sponsors an event in honor of the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution in 1787. Educational institutions that receive federal funding are required to recognize the Constitution during the week of Sept. 17 each year.

“Our goal was simply to bring campus awareness to the fundamental principles of self-government and civil liberties that the Constitution insures for all Americans, and to do it in a memorable way,” said Dr. John Ayabe, chair of the department.

Students and others were encouraged to post their photos on social media using the hashtag #SUConstitutionDay2019.

Learn more about Simpson University’s History and Political Science Department at simpsonu.edu/history.

Top photo: George Washington (Paul Bigelow), left, and Alexander Hamilton (Connor Rowe) pose with Simpson University’s provost, Dr. Dale Simmons, on Constitution Day.

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Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 8-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction.

Simpson is launching new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements, and it is offering new scholarships.

Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.

 

Simpson University Prepares for 15th ‘Day of Service’

REDDING, Calif.— For the 15th consecutive year, Simpson University students, staff, and faculty will partner with the community in the university’s annual Day of Service on Saturday, Sept. 21.

The Day of Service is a start-of-the-year tradition at Simpson, where classes for traditional undergraduate students begin the day after Labor Day.

This year’s service day will focus on one location with one purpose: Carr Fire recovery efforts in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. An estimated 130 students and others will help with rebuilding picnic tables and trails, as well as clearing brush.

“Because students, staff and faculty were affected by the Carr Fire, we felt it was appropriate to come alongside our beloved city of Redding and concentrate our efforts to help heal, rebuild and restore,” said José Palos, director of spiritual formation. “Since the epicenter of the fire was located only a few miles from Oak Bottom, the area where our Day of Service will take place, we saw this as a great opportunity to partner with Whiskeytown National Recreation Area.”

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Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, prior to the 2018 Carr Fire

When the Carr Fire swept into Redding in late July 2018, Simpson University opened its residence halls to first responders and its gymnasium to the Red Cross for an evacuation center. The university also served as a donation collection point for clothing and other items.

Last fall, the university launched a Carr & Camp Fire Scholarship program to help students and families impacted by the two Northern California blazes. The first recipients were welcomed to campus this month.

The Day of Service began in 2004 as an outflow of the “Gateway to World Service” motto the university has had for many years. The event has involved partnerships with numerous community organizations, with participants going out in teams to tackle projects ranging from landscaping to painting to sorting items and much more.

In 2012, the Day of Service launched a year-round “way of service” initiative, where smaller teams—comprising Simpson students, staff and faculty—helped out with immediate community needs throughout the school year.

“I believe that we here at Simpson University are blessed by God in a way that sometimes goes beyond our understanding because we are all so busy and engaged with our immediate responsibilities,” Palos said. “Day of Service is a time where, as an institution and community, we live by the words of the Apostle Paul in Acts 20:35: “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way, we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Photos by Holly Kiker and Chyna Xiong // Day of Service 2018

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Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 8-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction.

Simpson is launching new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements, and it is offering new scholarships.

Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.

Simpson University Welcomes First Carr & Camp Fire Scholarship Recipients

REDDING, Calif.—New Simpson University students Gabriel Gonzalez and Tommy Hail share an unbreakable bond: they and their families were displaced from their homes during the Carr and Camp Fires that ravaged Northern California last year.

They are also two of the first recipients of Simpson University’s Carr & Camp Fire Scholarship, created in 2018 as part of the school’s Legacy Scholarship initiative.

 

The Carr & Camp Fire Scholarship is specifically for students who were directly affected by the fires by helping them afford tuition. Students can be awarded up to $15,000 a year, with the potential for an additional $6,000 more through the Simpson University Matching Award. To learn about scholarship criteria or to apply for the scholarship, visit simpsonu.edu/carrcampfire.

“I think having a scholarship designed for people who were impacted by the fires is an incredibly gracious thing,” Hail said. “I believe that it is something that can open doors for people who might not have had the opportunity before. I most likely would have not gone to Simpson if this scholarship did not exist.”

Gonzalez and his family lost their home on July 26, 2018, when the Carr Fire jumped the Sacramento River and reached the Lake Redding Estates neighborhood. He packed a few belongings before he left for work, including his mountain bike, some clothes and electronics, but he did not grasp the magnitude of the fire.

“When the fire first broke out, the thought of it traveling from Whiskeytown, across the Sacramento River, to my house never crossed my mind,” he said.

Gonzalez said adjusting to life after the fire was difficult.

“At one point I tried to fill my void by just buying things, but that did not work, and I ended up returning everything I bought,” he said. “Ultimately God was the only one who has filled that void.”

 

Gonzalez was considering attending college out of state for a fresh start until he learned about the Carr & Camp Fire Scholarship.

“I never thought I would be able to afford college without taking out massive debt,” he said. “Once I heard about the scholarship and how much of a price difference there would be, I realized I would be foolish to not attend Simpson. I am a first-generation college student in my family, so this is a huge deal to me.”

Gonzalez plans to major in psychology and pursue a master’s degree in hopes of one day becoming a school psychologist.

Hail and his family were forced to evacuate when the Camp Fire tore through Paradise, Calif., last November.

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The view from the car as Tommy Hail and his mother head back to Paradise to rescue her cats on the day the Camp Fire started.

“The days right after the fire were really a roller coaster for me,” he said. “Some days I really felt strong. Other days I felt like I was crumbling down. I knew I had to lean on God, but as simple as the solution is, it can be very difficult.”

Hail and his family lived with friends and family for over seven months before being able to return to their home.

“While I’m still living in my house, it’s the only one on my block,” he said. “Living in Paradise is basically like living in a construction zone.”

Hail learned about the Carr & Camp Fire Scholarship while researching schools after attending at Butte College in Oroville, Calif.

“I decided to apply because Simpson offered biblical studies, and it was somewhere that wasn’t too foreign to me,” he said.”

He plans to study Bible and Theology with an emphasis in Old Testament.

Simpson University’s Carr & Camp Fire Scholarship is one of the school’s seven legacy scholarships. For a full list, visit simpsonu.edu/scholarships.

 

-Article by Elise Wilson / Photos courtesy Gabriel Gonzalez and Tommy Hail
Top photo: Gabriel Gonzalez’s family’s house after the Carr Fire.

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Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 8-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction.

Simpson is launching new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements, and it is offering new scholarships.

Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.

 

 

Simpson University Remembers Colleague and Alumnus Chris Peterson

REDDING, Calif.—The Simpson University community remembered staff member and alumnus Chris Peterson during a candlelight vigil Sept. 4 marked by tears, laughter, Scripture and prayer.

The service was held at the Veterans Memorial Garden on campus, a gift from the senior class of 2018.

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Attendees begin to arrive for a candlelight vigil for Chris Peterson at the Veterans Memorial Garden on Simpson University’s campus on Sept. 4, 2019.

Peterson, a chaplain in the Army Reserves, passed away Aug. 17. His parents, sister, brother-in-law and niece attended the 7:30 p.m. outdoor service on Simpson’s campus, as well as members of the Shasta County Veterans Services Office, American Legion veterans association and others.

Honking Canada geese flew in formation overhead as those who knew and loved Peterson shared memories and lighted candles.

“As we remember Chris’s life and mourn his death, we want to keep watch in prayer to the God of mercy and find strength in God’s presence,” said Mark Endraske, dean of students, sharing from liturgical readings. “In this time of loss, the family and our community will turn to God’s word as the source of faith and hope, as light and life in the face of darkness and death.”

Peterson graduated from Simpson in 2014 with a youth ministry degree. He earned a master of divinity degree from Fuller Seminary in 2017. He served in multiple roles at Simpson, including as a First-Year Experience leader, campus safety officer, financial aid technician, financial aid supervisor, assistant director of the Veterans Success Center, and acting director of the VSC. He also served as staff council president.

Prior to coming to Simpson University, Peterson served five years on active duty in the Navy aboard the USS Topeka, a fast-attack submarine stationed out of San Diego. He completed two Western-Pacific deployments and one Central-Command deployment. He was pending a title change to captain in the U.S. Army.

“He was an amazing man, and he has made us better people,” Simpson President Norman Hall said.

Coworkers and friends shared how Peterson was “quick to listen, slow to speak,” how he looked out for colleagues and took them under his wing. They talked about how he challenged them to think, ask questions and push forward. He was a “protector,” thoughtful and kind. He remembered names and personal details and looked beyond the surface in his interactions with others.

Family members shared that Peterson was born on Christmas Day, and that he had performed baptisms, weddings and more for relatives and friends. Even after long days on duty in the Reserves, he was “never too tired to play with his niece,” his sister shared.

Members of the Simpson community read Bible passages aloud, and José Palos, the director of spiritual formation, shared closing thoughts and prayed. Though he had not known Peterson personally, Palos said he was deeply moved by the example set by this man.

“We will carry him with us,” he said.

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Top photo: Chris Peterson, in the camouflage scarf, spoke at a Carry the Load National Relay leg that started at Simpson University on April 29, 2018. // Photos of Chris Peterson courtesy of his sister, Stephanie Church. // Candlelight photo by Bev Klaiber.

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Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 8-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction. In 2016, it launched a Veterans Success Center on campus.

Simpson has started new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements, and it is offering new scholarships.

Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.

Simpson University to Host College Quest Fair Sept. 12

REDDING, Calif. – Simpson University will host College OPTIONS’ annual College Quest information night from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, in the James M. Grant Student Life Center (gymnasium).

This free community event is open to everyone and is designed so that North State students and their families can explore higher education opportunities.

Representatives from colleges and universities across the U.S. (including UC Berkeley, Sacramento State, Chico State, University of Alabama, University of Nevada, Reno, and more) will be on site to showcase the unique features of their institutions. Simpson University will have information about its undergraduate programs.

At least five regional community colleges will also participate, and local high school and community representatives will be available to help families in planning for college, including where to find scholarships to help with college costs.

College OPTIONS staff will present financial aid and career exploration workshops at 5:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.

Power 94 will be broadcasting live from the event, and Dutch Bros will have a mobile truck on site, offering their signature coffee beverages for purchase.

“This is a great way for students and parents to get a taste of many different colleges and universities without having to leave Redding,” said Brad Williams, College Quest Planning Committee chair.  “These schools and their representatives are coming to us to help our families get their questions answered and gain knowledge about different career pathways, college entrance requirements, financial aid and more.”

The College Quest event has broad community involvement and support and is planned and sponsored by representatives from College OPTIONS, Dignity Health, Reach Higher Shasta, Merchants Bank of Commerce, Results Radio, Shasta College, Redding Electric Utility,  Shasta Regional Community Foundation, Shasta Union High School District, Simpson University, Golden Valley Bank, The McConnell Foundation, Dutch Bros, Redding Chamber of Commerce and Institute of Technology.

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College OPTIONS provides free programs and services to strengthen the college-going culture in the north state, by increasing opportunities for students to pursue post-secondary education and ensuring that all students and their families can make informed decisions about their education and their future. Visit www.collegeoptions.org for more information.

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Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 8-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction.

Simpson is launching new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements, and it is offering new scholarships.

Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow university news at simpsonunews.com.