26 July 2023 |
La Sierra University announced the passing of its founding president, Dr. Fritz Guy, who died from an acute cardiovascular event on July 25, 2023, in Longview, Washington, at the age of 93. Born in St. Cloud, Minnesota, in 1930, Guy attended La Sierra College (now La Sierra University) in 1948, where he eventually switched his study focus from physics and English to theology. After pastoring in the Southeastern California Conference and earning his M.A. and B.D. degrees at the SDA Theological Seminary at Andrews University, he joined the La Sierra faculty in 1961. After several roles in academic administration, he became the president of La Sierra University during its re-organization phase from 1990 to 1993, following its separation from Loma Linda University.
As president, Guy played a crucial role in the formation of La Sierra University’s identity and mission. His leadership focused on “enlarging human understanding in a contemporary Seventh-day Adventist Christian context,” and he supported the development of robust faculty governance. Following his presidency, he returned to teaching and significantly contributed to the development of the university’s general education program. Among many honors, he was awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2002, named Alumnus of the Year in 2012, and received the Charles Elliot Weniger Award for Excellence in 2009 in recognition of his long career in ministry, theology, writing, and education.
Guy’s influence extended beyond his presidential role. He was a dedicated teacher and mentor, committed to fostering the professional careers of women in ministry. His service to the church and community was vast, including contributions to the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s 1980 Statement of Fundamental Beliefs, volunteering at the Inland AIDS project, and providing support to the Adventist LGBTQ+ community. An accomplished scholar, he founded the Association of Adventist Forums, and authored and co-authored several books advancing Adventist theological understanding.
Beyond his professional life, Guy had a personal connection with La Sierra University. He was married to Marcia J. Specht, the niece of La Sierra Professor Walter Specht, and their three children and their spouses are alumni of the university. The Guy family established the Marcia Specht Guy Memorial Prize in honor of Marcia, who died in 2006. Guy loved La Sierra University and viewed it as a beacon of hope in the Adventist world. His contribution will be remembered through his insightful, generous, and rigorous approach to education and faith.
Dr. Fritz Guy’s full obituary can be read at the La Sierra University website.
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