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"I am sure that many of you have seen information this academic year that refers to the 50th-anniversary celebrations for an archaeological dig site in Jordan. Or maybe it has just passed you by. Actually, it is a big deal. Over the Christmas break I had the opportunity to talk to one of the individuals who has been involved in this site since its early days. But the interview was about more than the dig in Jordan—it was about one of our faculty who has spent the vast majority of his career at Andrews University and, through that career, has lived his passion for bringing change and hope to both individuals and communities. Øystein LaBianca was a native of Norway, and when he first moved to the United States with his family as a teenager, it was to Battle Creek. That was the first of many explorations to new cultures and environments. His academy years were spent in three different schools, including Bogenhofen in Austria. His college/university years also saw him traveling the world, particularly in the Middle East, experiencing different cultures and communities. But it was here at Andrews University, just as he finished his undergraduate studies, that a new world opened up to him. It started with animal bones. And it led him to discover a calling that has impacted his career ever since, giving him a unique slant to service as a professional and an Adventist. His initiatives included early service-learning programs on campus and turning “Genesis” into a word of hope for many single parents. You can read more of Sten's story in Stories of Andrews at Thank you, Sten, for your example to this community of how to create opportunities of service from your own unique talents and interests. You truly live the spirit of Andrews!"

Andrea Luxton

Publication Date



Berrien Springs, MI


Applied Behavior Analysis | Archaeological Anthropology | Near Eastern Languages and Societies

First Department

Behavioral Sciences

Øystein (Sten) LaBianca