Dr. Eric Ash
Part of a Grand Plan
Dr. Eric Ash, a 30 year veteran of the United States Air Force, grew up in Gunnison, CO. One of his jobs during this time was President and Commandant of the Community College of the Air Force. It was there that Dr. Ash met Dr. Elane Seebo, Wayland’s Vice President for External Campuses.
“We worked well together, and eventually she retired from her civil service position to go back to her roots in Oklahoma and Texas—specifically to serve at Wayland in Wichita Falls. I was familiar with Wayland, because it had been very supportive of CCAF, particularly during its accreditation reaffirmation efforts. I had also had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Jim Antenen at a meeting in Corpus Christi. Jim and I had a connection, because he too had been a president of CCAF and was now serving as the Dean at [the Wayland Campus in] San Antonio.”
Antenen suggested that Wayland would be a good fit for Ash after retiring from the Air Force, but Ash wasn’t sure if he could leave the mountains and snow he had grown up around.
“He [Antenen] mentioned that Wayland actually had presence in Alaska, so I should try for something there. Years later, when I was retiring from the Air Force, I found out that the dean position in Anchorage was open. I prayed, applied for the job—and God provided. I’ve been blessed to serve for 10 years.”
Ash said the thing he likes best about Wayland is serving in a place where they can start each day and meeting in prayer, where they can share the Gospel with the lost and where they can celebrate their faith in everything they do. He added that his favorite aspect of teaching is using a Christian worldview to positively impact lives.
“What staggers my mind is how God worked things in my life with a grand plan that I simply did not understand as I was going through it. Several of my Air Force assignments that I tried to avoid and did not enjoy were critically important toward my arrival at Wayland. If someone had asked me what my perfect dream job and location would be after leaving the Air Force, I would have described exactly where I am today. I know this because not long ago I read something I had written 25 years ago: ‘After the Air Force, I want to teach and be in leadership of a Christian school, living where there are snowy mountains.’ In Anchorage I ski to work off a mountain all winter, and there isn’t a more loving and honorable Christian institution in Alaska than Wayland.”