Longest-serving seminary faculty member, Dr. Reuel Almocera, and campus physician and public health faculty member, Dr. Evelyn Almocera, are moving back to their home region in Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines, having retired after serving more than 36 years at AIIAS.
Reuel Almocera first came to AIIAS as a student and was called to serve the denomination as a pastor in his hometown. He joined the institution in June 1987 and has been a part of AIIAS ever since. His responsibilities have focused on two roles: teaching, and caring for the activities of the Ellen G. White Estate branch office, located in the Leslie Hardinge Library. In his role as the Ellen G. White Estate branch office director he has traveled all over the region for speaking appointments and is well known by many church leaders around the world. As a professor of Applied Theology, Reuel Almocera has shaped the lives of many pastors and church leaders. His work on committees has also been a valued influence on AIIAS decisions on campus and academic matters, as he has been able to help newer arrivals tap into his knowledge of the history of the institution.
Evelyn Almocera began her medical practice in 1991 as a private nondenominational worker. She then worked as the AIIAS Elementary School librarian and as a contract lecturer for the seminary. She moved to the AIIAS clinic with the responsibility of planning its operations while caring for emergency cases and attending to the deliveries of several of her colleagues’ babies. She enjoyed providing immunizations and annual physical exams for elementary and academy students, and noted that caring for adults and children from different countries led her to a better understanding of different cultural backgrounds and medical practices. Evelyn Almocera’s work as the campus physician has also involved liaising with local health and civic officials, connecting campus residents with health services they need, and seeing the campus through the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, she has taught students for many years as a faculty member in the Public Health department.
AIIAS Seminary Dean Ricardo Gonzalez expresses his sincere gratitude and recognition for Reuel Almocera’s contributions in the seminary: “I met Dr. Almocera when I first came to AIIAS as a student. When writing my dissertation, he was the director of the EGW Branch Office, a role he has kept for more than three decades. It has been a privilege and an honor to have served with him for several years. I appreciate his kindness, collegiality, wisdom, and commitment to the Lord and the mission of the church. In addition to his work at the EGW Branch Office, Dr. Almocera has served as the DMin Program Director for several years. Through his leadership, many of our students successfully completed their programs and today serve the church in many places and capacities around the world.”
“The number of people influenced by Dr. Evelyn Almocera is hard to count,” states AIIAS Vice President for Academic Administration, Richard Nelson. “They have gone on to distinguished careers and she has left an indelible mark on all of them. Just as recently as this last semester, Dr. Almocera was down in Mindanao teaching a group of 31 pastors in public health, mentoring them just as she has done all of these years. Dr. Evelyn has served AIIAS with distinction, and as she approaches retirement, I would like to say, ‘We thank you for your service.’”
Reuel Almocera developed a personal practice of planting as many trees as his age, every birthday. Many, many of those trees have grown up to provide the shade and fruit that are so valued on the campus today. Similarly, the Almoceras have planted many seeds of influence and guidance at AIIAS that will leave a lasting legacy.
As they embark on this new chapter of life, AIIAS President Ginger Ketting-Weller extends appreciation on behalf of the AIIAS administration for the Almoceras’ contributions: “Dr. Evelyn, as you retire from dedicated service at AIIAS for the past 31 years, I thank you for your devotion and commitment to the faculty, staff, and students of AIIAS. As a voice for healthy living, as a kind-hearted teacher, as an effective liaison with the community around us, and as a hardworking and courageous campus doctor, you have blessed us immeasurably. Dr. Reuel, I extend sincere appreciation for your 36 years of commitment, dedication, influence on the lives of our students, and your faithful service. So much of what AIIAS is and the beauty of the AIIAS campus is due to your stewardship. We wish you both happiness, good health, and God’s richest blessings in the years ahead. More importantly, we pray that your passion in the ministry will remain steadfast until Jesus comes.”