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Happy Retirement!

Karen Johnson

Ruth Strum
This fall, the Clearwater Christian College family said goodbye to two long-time employees—Ruth Strum, the Director of Financial Aid, and Karen Johnson, the Confidential Assistant to the Vice President for Student Life, retired with a combined total of 44 years of service to the college. They will both be incredibly missed, but the college family has been blessed to have them for so long.

“Working at CCC has been an enriching experience for me,” said Ruth. “It has taught me to trust the Lord more fully. Because of my position as financial aid director, I have had a number of opportunities to be involved in setting financial aid policies in the southeast region of Florida. Serving on a national committee for graduate and professional issues was exciting.” Ruth came to CCC in the fall of 1995 when past president Dr. George Youstra contacted her about an open position in the financial aid department. “He asked me to prayerfully consider accepting the position. When I accepted the position, the Lord gave me a perfect peace. I thank the Lord every day for the opportunity to be a part of the ministry at Clearwater Christian College.”

One of Ruth’s favorite duties at CCC was serving as the Florida State President for the Financial Aid Administrators. Serving two terms as president of the FAA, Ruth was able to travel around the country representing Florida, CCC, and ultimately the Lord. She also served on the executive board for the Southern Association for Financial Aid Administrators, an organization that establishes policies and procedures for financial aid administrators in the region. Ryan McNamara, the new director of financial aid, said, “Ruth really cared about the students she worked with and was a great boss. She will be missed by all.”

Karen Johnson is still fascinated about how the Lord led her and her husband to CCC in the late 1970’s. After moving to Florida in 1980 due to health concerns of her husband, the Johnson’s prayed for God to lead them to a place where they could serve Him. “The following summer we received a phone call from Dr. Spotts asking us to join the staff at CCC,” she said. “It has been great serving the Lord surrounded by His people who are committed to serving Him. Good memories of building relationships, counseling, and watching students grow spiritually will follow me as I retire.”

"CCC has affected my life and ministry in so many ways. It has been a wonderful part of my life for the past 30 years. Those years have been filled with God’s blessings in many ways and I have enjoyed serving with the great faculty, staff, and students.” Karen began as the Dean of Women and served in this position for seven years. Maintaining her position in the Student Life department throughout the entire scope of her employment at the college, Karen’s favorite times were ministering to students and watching them make good choices while growing spiritually. Mr. Ryan Dupee, vice president for Student Life, said, “Karen Johnson is a joyful servant who reflects the presence of God—always.”

Dr. Richard Stratton, president of CCC said, “We will miss Ruth and Karen here at CCC. They were both excellent employees and both gave their time, energy, and love to our students for God’s glory. May those of us who are continuing to serve here emulate their example of grace-filled lives.”

Ruth and Karen, you will be missed!