A new academic year has begun and as with last year, three times a month you will be receiving in your inbox a story of some member of the Andrews community, someone I or the other storytellers (provost, chaplains, new VP for diversity & inclusion) want you to meet. The individuals in our stories are part of the rich mix of the Andrews University story—each of them brings his or her unique qualities and gifts to make this University a better place. (You can find all of the past stories in Stories of Andrews at andrews.edu/stories.)
For my first story this year I want to introduce you to an individual who is taking on a new responsibility on campus that might be important to you. This year Rubén Pérez-Schulz will be one of the two ombudspersons; this means that he (and Elynda Bedney, our other, longstanding ombudsperson) will try and help you resolve a campus challenge where normal processes seem not to work.
Let me share his story.
One of Rubén Pérez-Schulz’ parents was from Chile and one from Argentina and Rubén has had the opportunity to live in both countries. He was born in Argentina, later meeting his wife there, but he lived much of his early life and career in Chile. He also lived in Australia for a year, studied and worked in Canada and then moved to the U.S. and Andrews University in 2006. A true world traveler!
With strong modeling on both sides of his family of passion for faith and service, it is not surprising that Rubén, along with his three brothers, has chosen that same route. Now, whether serving in his role as head elder of the Berrien Springs Spanish Church, assisting students as assistant dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, or teaching as assistant professor of Spanish, Rubén’s motivation remains that of a servant-leader: to see those he serves find their own paths of faith and service. As I listened to Rubén during over an hour of engaging conversation, I wrote down the following phrase that seemed to encapsulate his approach to life, “Every opportunity is a path to better service.”
Rubén’s life has not been one of dramatic events, but rather his story is inspiring because of the consistency of his faithfulness, his commitment to God’s leading and his evident joy in embracing fully the goodness of God’s gifts. I do hope that by reading his story further you will get to know him better and will discover, as I did, the depths and strengths of this teacher and leader on our campus.
Thank you, Rubén, for sharing your story and living the spirit of Andrews in your faith, responsibilities and relationships.