Alum Coming Home

William Young. Coleen Tooley. Monica Kibler. Ashlyn Craig. What do these four people have in common? They are all alumni who came back for Point Loma Nazarene University’s (PLNU) 2024 Homecoming.

Young graduated with his bachelor’s degree in religion and psychology in 1956, back when the school was Pasadena College. After Pasadena College became PLNU, Young came back and worked at PLNU in various roles for almost 20 years.

“I had recruitment, admissions, financial aid, church relations, [and] I was on the president’s cabinet,” Young said.

While working here, Young said he also received his master’s degree in education administration from PLNU.

Young said since he came back as an adult, his time at PLNU was influential and had a lasting impact on him. He said he worked as a bus driver for the track and field team and the women’s softball team for four or five years.

Young said he still does his best to cheer on the sports teams at his alma mater. However, he said it can be hard to come to anything other than the home basketball games since he is currently the main caretaker for his 90-year-old wife who has Parkinson’s disease and scoliosis.

Tooley graduated in 2005 with an education major and a psychology minor. Now, she works at Coastal Christian School in Pismo, California as a special education teacher.

Tooley said that her time at PLNU was one that she thinks of fondly. She was part of the Abba’s Arms prayer group, where she said they prayed for the school and its leadership, and countries on the 44th parallel, which is made up of the countries on the 44th degree of latitude, including a few countries in Europe and Asia, the United States and Canada. Tooley said that someone brought in a book about the 44th parallel, so Abba’s Arms started praying for it. “A handful of countries saw Jesus being brought to them,” said Tooley.

One professor who stood out to Tooley was Jim Johnson, a retired professor (‘21) who taught in the Department of Psychology and the School of Education. Johnson taught Tooley’s Intro to Teaching class.

“He was the very first professor in my major,” said Tooley. “He kind of, like, brought me under his wing.”

Tooley said that several psychology professors were influential when she was a student, including Kim Schaeffer.

“One day I had him, and the night before I had a rough night,” said Tooley, “and [Schaeffer] saw it on me, and he’s like ‘Let’s go outside. Let’s have class outside in the Greek.’”

Before coming to PLNU, Kibler, a 2018 business entrepreneurship graduate, said she went to pastry school. She had a booth at the Homecoming Market where she was selling her baked goods, like brownies and cookies with Bobby B’s face on them. But she said she is known for her coffee cakes. Kibler’s baked goods can be found at thekiblerelf.com or on Instagram @thekiblerelf_.

“I wanted the business side just in case I wanted to change career paths,” said Kibler. “Also, if I ran my own business, I would have more of the understanding of the behind-the-scenes part of it.”

As a third-generation PLNU student, Kibler said she grew up going to Homecoming events at Point Loma.

Brad Kelle, professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, was one of Kibler’s standouts. She said that “he’s just a lovely, smiley [guy]” and that he has “good vibes.”

Craig is a 2021 visual art graduate who now has her own business where she sells her art. At the marketplace, she was selling handmade jewelry, such as earrings and necklaces. Craig’s jewelry and artwork can be found at ashlyncraigart.com or on Instagram @ashlyncraigart.

Reflecting on her time at the school, Craig said, “You cannot find a better place to be an artist. The view is incredible. The painting deck in Keller is great.” 

Craig said that she had several professors in the Department of Art & Design who were noteworthy in her time at PLNU, including Karah Lain and Lael Corbin.

“I was a huge fan of both their art and just them as people,” Craig said. “They’re so kind, so generous with their time, and just awesome people.”