HAPPY NEW YEAR - MUNSIL FAMILY UPDATE
December 31, 2011
Two benefits of this season have been enjoyed in abundance at our home. First, we have had our entire family together for two weeks! And second, we have enjoyed reading Christmas cards, photos and letters, along with Facebook postings, from so many friends. Here is our update:
This was a milestone year for Tracy. First, she became Dr. Tracy Munsil with the successful completion and defense of her doctoral dissertation. Her husband, mother- and father-in-law and seven of her eight children were able to watch her defense, described by one member of her dissertation committee as among the best he had seen in a 40-year career. For me, it confirmed what I’ve been telling people since I met her – she is way smarter than me. Her topic – the political ideas of Mercy Otis Warren, the foremost female intellectual and supporter of the American Revolution – was a fascinating study of the necessary connection between virtue and liberty in order to maintain a republican form of government. After teaching full-time for a year in the ASU School of Politics and Global Studies, she was lured away to help form a new Political Science Department at Arizona Christian University, where she holds the rank of Associate Professor and chairs the General Education department. Her year concluded with preparing and teaching a 6-week Biblical Worldview and Culture seminar at North Bible Church, our home church, to an average of around 100 adults and teens each Wednesday night. In addition, in 2011 Tracy celebrated a milestone birthday (although she looks a decade younger than the chronology), and together we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.
Our oldest son Will is completing his third year of law school at ASU, where he has exceeded his father’s GPA (not difficult) and looks forward (ha) to the bar exam next summer, while interning at the Maricopa County Attorney’s office. He maintains sanity by writing for the State Press as a columnist, and more importantly by running a high school football and baseball program at Scottsdale Preparatory Academy. His football team, with small numbers and in just its second year, made the jump to AIA competition and shocked the state with an 8-2 record and a close loss on the road in the state quarterfinals, establishing numerous all-time Arizona records while averaging nearly 60 points per game. He even got some good press.
Our oldest daughter Leigh completed a year-long fellowship at the Dallas Morning News, where she had numerous front-page stories and covered the World Series and the Super Bowl. We were delighted to have her back in Arizona for a month before she began her dream job in her desired location – as a web producer for Politico in Washington D.C. She enjoys life inside the Beltway, and is now being given more opportunities to write for “44” – the section of Politico devoted to covering President Obama.
Anne is in her senior year at Arizona Christian University, where she is a four-year starter for the women’s basketball team and, having averaged 10 points per game through her entire career, is one of the leading scorers and 3-point shooters in school history. More significantly, she remains the only Munsil to have received an “A” in every class ever taken at every level as she prepares to graduate with her degree in Biblical Studies in May. She scored well on the LSAT and is preparing her law school admissions material now, while continuing as a barista at Starbucks. She interned during the summer for Congressman David Schweikert.
Michael is in his junior year at ACU, doing well academically as he progresses toward his degree in Secondary Education. While serving as an assistant high school football coach on his brother’s staff at Scottsdale Prep, he decided he may want to resume his playing career and is discussing eligibility and possibilities with several college football programs. His experiences working with young men on the football field seem to be confirming his desire to teach and coach at the high school level after college. He continues to enjoy singing in the ACU Chorale.
Laura is in her sophomore year at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. She continues to work multiple jobs – Harkins Theatres when in Arizona, and a food services job and a video editing job on campus – to help pay for an elite college education at one of the “little Ivy’s”. She survived a power outage due to an early fall snowstorm, and a bout with pneumonia, and continues to make outstanding progress on her Film Studies degree.
Hard to believe, but Ellen is in her senior year at Scottsdale Preparatory Academy, where she will become part of the first graduating class in school history. Last year she received the most prestigious award for leadership in her class, and has served as a varsity captain in volleyball, basketball and softball. She continues to coach gymnastics and serve on the Governor’s Youth Commission, and went through the interview process and received a Congressional nomination to West Point, Annapolis and the Air Force Academy. We should know soon where she will be headed for college.
Shortly after I completed last year’s Christmas update, Kaye had to undergo unexpected emergency surgery. All went well, but this setback caused her to miss a basketball tournament, where her team lost every game. When she returned two weeks later, Kaye and Ellen’s team never lost again en route to the Charter Athletic Association state championship, and Kaye – who scored a career high 34 points during one playoff game -- was named the state’s Player of the Year. The hospital experience confirmed for Kaye her desire to go to medical school, and she was selected for a summer internship at Scottsdale Healthcare. She continues to receive excellent grades and provide leadership at her school.
Matt is in his sophomore year at Scottsdale Prep, and continues to do well academically while excelling in multiple sports. During the just-concluded football season, Matt was chosen by coaches and the Arizona Republic to the all-state team for his division. In a close playoff loss on the road, Matt set all-time Arizona single-game records for catches (19), receiving yards (279) and touchdowns (6) in a game – and had two more TD catches called back on penalties. He also made 25 tackles, intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble. Matt was the MVP of the boys’ varsity basketball team last year as a freshman, and Outstanding Pitcher on the baseball team.
As for me, in November I accepted the Board of Trustees invitation to remain as President of Arizona Christian University beyond my original two-year commitment. I’m thrilled at what God is doing to build a thriving Christian liberal arts university in Arizona, and I am so excited to witness the passion of our students to grow in their faith and dream big dreams with God. It was exciting to visit with President George W. Bush at our March dinner event, and we look forward to a special time with Rev. Franklin Graham in February.
We are grateful for God’s faithfulness through the years, and so thankful for the love and encouragement of so many of you who have enriched our lives with your friendship.
Happy New Year!
HAPPY PRESIDENT'S DAY -- SEE PRESIDENT BUSH MARCH 16!
February 21, 2011
I've had a busy first few months as President of Arizona Christian University!
First, we changed the name from Southwestern College to Arizona Christian University, which better identifies where we are and who we are.
More recently, we announced that our 50th annniversary celebration speaker would be the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush!
You can find out more about the event at www.acubushdinner.com. I hope you will join us!
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO BUILD CHRISTIAN LEADERS OF INFLUENCE!
December 30, 2010
Many of you stood with me through important battles in the past, and I am grateful.
You know I have dedicated my life to fighting for the conservative Christian values that make America great.
At The Center for Arizona Policy, with your help we quickly built the most powerful pro-life, pro-family organization in the country.
Then in 2006 we stood up and warned Arizona about economic downturns, an impending budget crisis and problems at the border, and we won a Republican primary for Governor in a huge upset. In a bad year for conservatives, we laid a foundation for a political resurgence by running an unflinching, principled campaign based on traditional American values.
Now it is time for our movement to recognize this truth -- we must do more than fight political battles one election at a time.
We must strategically re-take the mountains of influence that shape our culture. To do that, we have to equip and inspire a new generation of leaders.
That is one reason I am so excited to become President of Southwestern College! Imagine with me a strong Christian college in Arizona that will:
-- Continue to inspire future pastors, counselors, missionaries, and worship leaders with a biblical foundation and leadership skills that will influence generations;
-- Produce top-notch public policy experts equipped with an understanding of America’s heritage of faith and freedom;
-- Train entrepreneurs in the prosperity-producing principles of economic freedom;
-- Equip educators with a biblical worldview that prepares them for teaching truth to the next generation;
-- Prepare graduates for careers of influence in social media and on-line communications.
With your help, Southwestern College will be all of that and more!
Southwestern is a fully-accredited college celebrating its 50th year, with a strong heritage of producing graduates who are leaders as pastors, business owners, teachers, musicians, and family and marriage counselors. In recent years, we have added pre-law and pre-med emphases.
Now we are adding degrees in political science, communications and biology as we become the leading Christian liberal arts institution in the southwest.
Ethical leaders are desperately needed in our nation right now. And not just in the churches – we need leadership in public office, in the media, in business, law and medicine. Restoring American greatness requires a long-term commitment to producing leaders who can transform culture.
I would be so honored if you would do two things to help this vision become a reality today:
1) If you have children, grandchildren, friends or neighbors who are in high school, tell them about the new vision at Southwestern College and encourage them to apply! Visit www.swcaz.edu for more information.
2) Please prayerfully consider your most generous, tax deductible year-end contribution to a College committed to building Christian leaders who can help us regain influence in society!
Thank you so much for your friendship and support! I hope so much that you will join me again in this new adventure! Happy New Year!
MERRY CHRISTMAS 2010 FROM THE MUNSILS!
December 24, 2010
(L-R): Matt Munsil (14), Ellen Munsil (17), Michael Munsil (19), Leigh Munsil (22), Tracy and Len, Will Munsil (23), Anne Munsil (21), Laura Munsil (18), Kaye Munsil (15).
Christmas Eve 2010
Every year our family watches “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Christmas Eve.
We laugh at the same things, nod off at the same point, and mist up near the end when Harry Bailey says, “A toast to my big brother George: The richest man in town.”
That’s how I feel this year. Like the richest man in town. Not in material wealth, to be sure, but rich in relationships. Blessed by loyal friendships I don’t deserve, and surrounded by a family that continues to amaze me.
It all starts with family. God carefully chose to send His innocent, helpless infant son into a human family to be protected, loved, nurtured and equipped to face the challenges that lay ahead for the Messiah.
I am blessed to be part of a family of strong individuals who, connected by shared values, vision and faith, continue to exceed any expectations or dreams a husband and father could have for those who bear his name.
We have issues, flaws and failures like any family, but are blessed to be able to work through them in a safe environment of grace that begins with my wife Tracy.
It has been a few years since we did a full update. Feel free to skip the following not-so-brief update on our lives in 2010:
My parents, Lee and Linda Munsil, celebrated their 50th anniversary this year and continue to provide encouragement, blessing and an example of faithfulness and commitment to family for our generation and for our children's generation.
Tracy completed her coursework for her doctorate in Political Science at ASU and passed her comprehensive exam and her dissertation topic defense. She also wrote 200 pages of her dissertation, and was able to do original research at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston on her topic – Mercy Otis Warren, the foremost female thinker and writer on the American Revolution. At the same time, she was asked to join the ASU faculty as a full-time Lecturer in their School of Politics and Global Studies. She has just completed her first semester of full-time college teaching, handling four sections of political science classes at ASU with her characteristic commitment to excellence, while encouraging and helping students above and beyond the call of duty. Somehow she still manages to prepare meals, run a household and snap photos at kids’ sporting events.
Will is mid-way through law school at Arizona State University, seeming to enjoy it more following a summer in Austin, TX as a Blackstone fellow of the Alliance Defense Fund. At the same time, he became at age 23 the head high school football coach at Scottsdale Prep Academy. In its first year of high school football, with no seniors and without a single player who had ever played high school football, Will managed to lead the team to an 8-3 record and a 40-38 loss in triple overtime in the state championship game. He remains the head high school and junior high baseball coach, and still finds time to write a weekly political column for the ASU newspaper, the State Press.
Leigh, 22, graduated with honors from the Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU, having served a year as Editor in Chief of the newspaper. She immediately took a job at The Dallas Morning News in Texas, and after a fun trip down I-10 and moving into an apartment, forced Dad to say a sad goodbye. She has already had numerous front-page stories, and was awarded the Lyn Nofziger award for excellence in journalism. More significantly to her sports-loving family, she was at every World Series game in Arlington and on the field when the Giants clinched. And now – yes, she has a press pass and will attend her first NFL game in February -- this year’s Super Bowl in Dallas!
Anne, 21, is now a junior at Southwestern College, and continues on the Servant Leader full scholarship with a 4.0 GPA in Biblical Studies. For the third straight year, she is a starter on the women’s basketball team, and recently hit a career-high 5 three-pointers in a game against The Master’s College in California. During the spring and summer she began her coaching career with the Wolves, a club team formed by younger sister Kaye.
Michael, 19, is a sophomore at Southwestern College, having transferred from ASU in the summer. He is an Education major, desiring to teach and coach, and is already gaining valuable experience as the head junior high football coach at Scottsdale Prep, and as an assistant coach for the varsity. He coaches linemen and serves as a disciplinarian during practice. During games, he focuses on keeping Will from getting ejected or flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. He also enjoys singing in the College Chorale.
Laura, 18, graduated as the valedictorian at Scottsdale Basis High School, and was accepted to one of the “little Ivy’s” – Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. That’s a long ways away, geographically and culturally, but after inspection during Christmas break she still seems to be our Laura. She is a Film Studies and English Literature major, and loves her classes and her new friends. She works two jobs on campus and also writes for the school newspaper.
Ellen, 17, is a junior at Scottsdale Prep, and the former gymnast is now a very popular gymnastics coach. Despite her protestations that “I am not a basketball player,” she managed to secure triple doubles (double figures in points, steals and rebounds) in her first three games this season, and at last check was leading all high school girls in Arizona in steals per game. She was also a captain of her high school volleyball team that went to the state championship. She is a member of the Arizona Governor’s Youth Commission, and was recently accepted to Valley Teen Leadership.
Kaye, 15, was also accepted into Valley Teen Leadership. She remains a top student in her sophomore year at Scottsdale Prep. After a phenomenal basketball season as a freshman, averaging more than 20 points per game, and after club basketball games took her to San Diego, Portland and Seattle this summer, Kaye has suffered from shin splints that have kept her sidelined through volleyball and the beginning of basketball season. But she is back now and making up for lost time, which is a relief to us because she was driving everyone crazy.
Matt, 14, is a freshman at Scottsdale Prep, and a record-setting wide receiver for his brother’s high school team. In his second varsity game, Matt set a record for most receiving yards in a single game in the history of Arizona high school football, catching 14 passes for 341 yards and 6 touchdowns. He was honored by the Arizona Cardinals as the Arizona high school Player of the Week. He finished the season second in the state in receiving yards with more than 1,200, and was the leading freshman wide receiver in the United States by a wide margin. I had a chance to coach his Junior All-Star baseball team, and Matt was the winning pitcher and hit a 380-foot homerun when we defeated the defending Little League World Series champions in the district tournament. Despite sports success, he remains well-rounded as a good student and enjoys singing in an honors choir. Plus his older siblings and friends keep him grounded.
As a student, I enjoyed school but couldn’t wait to get my degrees and get on with life. Now I find myself back in the world of academia, having accepted an appointment as President of Southwestern College, a fully accredited Christian college celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. And I couldn’t be more excited at working to build a thriving college in Arizona that will maintain its commitment to equipping Christian leaders in the church, in business, in education and in other areas of influence. I also continue to practice law at Mueller, Drury & Lawrence, as we focus on helping homeowners stay in their homes or sell their homes in a way that is best for them and the community during these troubling economic times.
So there it is – more than you wanted to know about all things Munsil. One thing my law practice has done is make me aware of the breadth of financial hardship being suffered by so many in our community. If you are struggling, rest assured that you are not alone, and that we will come out of this. The elections of 2010 were a referendum on failed liberal economic policies, and I remain hopeful that the “genuine and permanent moral reawakening” envisioned by President Teddy Roosevelt will yet bring America back to a new era of economic greatness, world leadership for freedom, and philanthropy for individuals and nations in need.
September 27, 2010
The following press release is being issued today by Southwestern College:
September 27, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LEN MUNSIL APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF SOUTHWESTERN COLLEGE
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- The Board of Trustees of Southwestern College is pleased to announce the appointment of attorney, public policy expert and experienced non-profit leader Len Munsil as the 6th President in the 50-year history of Arizona’s only fully-accredited, non-profit Christian liberal arts college.
Munsil, 46, was founder and first President of The Center for Arizona Policy, growing it rapidly into the nation’s largest and most influential state-based policy organization. In his only run for elective office in 2006, he came from behind to win a contested primary for the Republican nomination for Governor of Arizona. In the general election he received more than half a million votes but lost to incumbent Gov. Janet Napolitano.
“Len Munsil has the experience, vision and energy to lead our College forward at this pivotal time,” said Dean Borgman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “He has been involved at the school for more than 15 years as an adjunct professor and Board member, and we are delighted he has accepted our invitation to serve as President.”
“I am honored to have this chance to lead Southwestern into its second half-century,” Munsil said. “This is an exciting time in our history. I believe we are poised to explode into a new era of growth and influence as a top-notch liberal arts college in the Southwest, while maintaining our ‘intentionally Christian’ heritage.”
Munsil’s appointment, by mutual consent, will last until a permanent President is chosen. The Presidential Search Committee, with Munsil as a member, will work to recruit a permanent President for the College by not later than the Fall 2012. Dr. Brent Garrison resigned in August after 15 years as Southwestern College President.
Munsil brings a unique perspective to the position of College President. Not only has he been a Board of Trustees member, he and his wife Tracy have both taught political science classes at the school, and the Munsils are parents of two students at Southwestern – Anne, a junior Biblical Studies major and member of the women’s basketball team, and Michael, a sophomore Education major.
Southwestern College, founded in 1960, is a non-denominational Christian college nearing 500 students for the first time in its history. The College offers degrees in Behavioral Health, Biblical Studies, Business Administration, Christian Ministries, Elementary and Secondary Education, Music Education and Music Ministry.
Recently the College added emphases in pre-law and pre-medicine, along with a fully accredited Adult Degree Completion program. The College competes in athletics at the NAIA level, and added baseball this year with the hiring of former Major Leaguer Thad Bosley.
Munsil will continue his Of Counsel relationship with the law firm of Mueller, Drury & Lawrence.
CHRISTIAN ETHICS AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
August 28, 2010
The Sunday Viewpoints section of the Arizona Republic is carrying a point-counterpoint on illegal immigration, including an article I wrote.
A longer version of the Republic piece can be found at this link.
An even longer and more detailed critique of the "Principles of Just Immigration Reform" White Paper prepared by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention is available here.