Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ambassador College Pasadena Reunion - the First 30 Years!

Ambassador College Pasadena Reunion - the First 30 Years!
To celebrate our unique experiences and friendships as AC students
Who: Students who attended AC Pasadena anytime between 1947 & June 1977
When: Friday, February 27 - Monday, March 2, 2015
Where: Pasadena Hilton Hotel
The AC Pasadena Reunion Committee is pleased to announce the upcoming Reunion of students from the first thirty years of the Ambassador College Pasadena campus. It will take place Friday, February 27, 2015, through Monday, March 2, 2015, at the Pasadena Hilton Hotel, only one mile from the campus.

For those of you who have not been back since your college days, you will be pleased that the main campus still looks essentially the same, with most of our iconic structures and landscaping still intact. The only major losses at this time are the Fine Arts & Science classroom structures and the Library. Nevertheless, a stroll from Ambassador Hall past Terrace Villa to Mayfair still yields the same stunning views of sloping lawns, huge trees, streams, formal gardens, and the lower campus structures, including the Auditorium.

Pasadena has changed for the better, including "Old Town," which is now vibrant - even "trendy" - the center of night-life in the San Gabriel Valley. You can still see the Rose Bowl (site of one AC year-end track meet), The Huntington (Gardens/Library/Art Museum - much expanded and improved), Caltech, the Norton Simon Art Museum, the revitalized Civic Auditorium/City Hall quadrant, JPL, and much, much more.

Our Committee currently has six folks (and looking for more!) who are planning this very special weekend. There will be a full range of activities, including visits to the former Ambassador College campus - and, most importantly, the opportunity to become reacquainted with friends from your college years!  All weekend at the Hilton there will be a dedicated Hospitality Room, replete with memorabilia such as Envoys, Portfolios, and pictures, as well as plenty of chairs for informal gathering, chatting, and catching up on the ensuing decades since we last saw each other.

In February 2013, sixty-five met in Las Vegas for the first-ever multi-day AC Pasadena Reunion. The idea had begun with Joe Bauer and Bill Hughes 20 months earlier.  Although, sadly, Joe died before the actual event, Bill went on to organize an enjoyable and successful reunion. At the conclusion, there was enthusiastic support for an expanded reunion two years hence in Pasadena - and Bob Gerringer and Carol Stephenson Taylor volunteered to coordinate that effort.

The Pasadena Hilton (168 S. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101) has set aside a limited number of rooms at a discounted rate of $125 plus tax for up to two people per night (additional $10 plus tax each for a third or fourth person). Penalty-free cancellation is allowed up to 24 hours before arrival, so there is no risk in reserving now, which will also help us determine if additional rooms need be set aside. To book your room at the special rate, you will need to contact the Pasadena Hilton directly. You can email Stephanie Vasquez at or speak to anyone at 626-584-3208, or leave a voice-mail.  In your email or voice-mail, mention the 'Ambassador Reunion', and provide your name, check-in and check-out dates, and phone number.

Also, please forward this email to other former AC Pasadena students from this era, and/or send us their names and email addresses, and, if possible, maiden names and years attended. [Please note: all email addresses will be kept strictly confidential, only accessible by a subset of the Reunion Committee.] We now have over 450 email addresses; however, we need many more to reach everyone from those thirty years. We do not want anyone left out!

We have created a survey which will provide us a preview of the potential number of attendees; this data is vital for our planning efforts, so please Click Here to take the survey.  Thank you in advance for timely responses to the survey and for forwarding and/or sending other students' contact info to us.
Please take a look at our website Much more information and features will be forthcoming between now and the Reunion in 2015, however, in the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, please contact us at 

We really hope to see you all in 2015.

Warmest regards,
Bob Gerringer (    and
Carol Stephenson Taylor (

Reunion Committee members and year each began attending AC:
Cledice Decker (1959)                                  Bob Gerringer (1967)
Jean (Ehlert) Updegraff (1964)                    Roger Hoffman (1969)
Carol (Stephenson) Taylor (1966)              Margaret (Dill) Zola (1970)


Byker Bob said...

I won't be attending.


DennisCDiehl said...

Would seem like a reunion of the survivors of the deadly serpent attack on the Children of Israel in the wilderness, to me. If Moses showed up they'd probably want to stone him for starting the whole mess.

I can imagine sitting around the table wondering why Moses yelled at us about making graven images of anything above, on or beneath the earth then making a bronze serpent that we had to look to to save out butts. lol

Or about how short time was and then building a multimillion dollar Tem..Auditorium


Anonymous said...

I would like to see many photos and updates on their lives posted.

Byker Bob said...

Those of us who post here that attended AC might enjoy it amongst ourselves, but the potential for someone like a Dave Pack, who also attended during that era, to show up and spoil it all, is just too much of a risk. If a person decided to do this event, you'd want to come away with positive memories, and not like just about every other memory of it which has tainted one's life.

Also, there would be a lot of lip biting as one indulged in diplomacy. Imagine, as an example, some starry eyed person "lovingly" recalling and describing those whom many of us know as being awful sons of bitches.
Spend big portions of your life, and money and timemon therapy to correct this awful stuff and to become "normal" end then ending up having temper malfunction when having it all back in your face.

And, that's just our side, from our perspective. Imagine those who are still deeply indoctrinated being confronted by us! That wouldn't be a pleasant experience for them, either. No, I think I'll try to make it as pleasant an experience for those who end up attending by simply taking self out of the equation. If my brothers and sister want to attend, I guess that's up to them.


Allen C. Dexter said...

No, thanks! I don't have that kind of money to waste to begin with, and there aren't too many people left alive that I'd really want to practice extreme diplomacy around. I'm in a different world and life now, and there's no sense in dragging the painful past back into it.

Joe Moeller said...

Reunions such as these are bound to be awkward. This is not just a normal college or high school reunion.

It would involve everyone delicately probing to where they were philosphically, whether current atheist, or protestant or Sabbatarian.

It would then involve each person judging the other (at least in their own minds) in order to justify their current stance in their own soul, whatever it may be.

Oh, Im sure there would be some nostalgia, but since the entire institution is destroyed, its actual goals and purposes crushed, it would also be bittersweet to anyone as to the vanity and temporariness of life.

It would involve afterwards a mental judgement about others and how "they ended up" on the religious or non-religious scale, and Im sure a bit of gossiping.

How do I know all this?--- This forum is a sort of "Reuninon" of the COG isn't it? What do we find?... expressions of judgement, superiority, pity, and general disrespect for our various positions. Few play well with others here, and there certainly is a wide variety of worldview here that is aggressively defended, many times with lack of human compassion, or common decency.

If I were an Auschwitz survivor, I doubt I would go to any reunions. One of the reasons would be that I would not want to have this as the definition of "who I was" or have this as my unique identity.

If I was an AC grad, I would be the same way. AC was a failure, not just because of its demise , but because it produced a mindset of egomaniacs and people who thought they were the "master race".
If I was not of that mindset anymore, I would distance myself from the whole menagerie and would not want my "AC" status to be any defining characteristic of me in the present.

As a current Sabbatarian, I have often wondered if there will be no progress in the COG until every last AC grad , with only a very small percentage exception, is gone from the scene. This is how polluted and toxic I believe an AC education was and still is upon the COG culture.

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Joe Moeller said...

Interesting that Margaret Zola, who was one of the original publishers (with John Trechak) of the Ambassador Report is one of the coordinators for this event.

Jean Updegraff is a UCG member, I believe.

A various curious mix of coordinators indeed!

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Assistant Deacon said...

Love the caveat, Joe.

"As a current Sabbatarian..."


Britain W. Stevenson said...

Oh brother. What's the point.

Glenn said...

I think my wife and I will attend. Might be our last chance to see some old friends. We attended a reunion of Big Sandy graduates last September and had a good time even though we did not know many people other than relatives. I will be 70 in a few months and frankly don't give a damn about which church people now attend, if any, or who was a big shot way back when. Dave Pack, Rod Meredith, Gerald Flurry and others would be openly mocked if they showed up and tried to tell everyone how important they are, IMO.

Glenn Parker

DennisCDiehl said...

Oh thank you Jesus if I was there and Dave Pack showed up....

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be hilarious if it were on a Saturday, they had Christmas decorations up, and only "unclean meats" were served... by openly gay people hopping around in Easter Bunny outfits?

But seriously, I won't be attending either, but I would if the above criteria were met.

Sweetblood777 said...

Includes a visit to where it all started.

I wonder if they realize that most of the buildings have been torn down?

If one uses the same logic that Yahweh had left the Jews due to them killing Yahshua, and showed this by having the temple torn down, then what does it mean for the HWA groups that their 'home' has been torn down?

Byker Bob said...

My best memories of the place involve occasional ditching of Bible class to ride borrowed motorcycles in the Arroyo, Saturday night visits with a co-ed of like mind to a local park to smoke cigarettes or cigars and drink Southern Comfort, secretly listening to Cream and Jimmy Hendrix after everyone else had observed "lights out", detours with a bud from the dances at places like the Palladium to a liquor store and then chugging Colt 45 before returning to the dance, Thanksgiving at the home of the disfellowshipped parents of one of my best friends who was later expelled, secret rendezvous in the formal gardens with a pretty coed and some Southern Comfort, ditching sabbath services to sunbathe on one of the Olcott Place roofs, drinking homebrew at the home of someone's relatives and then crawling up the bank of Ivy to sneak back into Olcott just before Saturday night curfew, having secret vehicles furtively kept off campus, and learning how to French kiss up on Mount Wilson with a girl who was not a student.

The problem is, a very very small handful of people were trustworthy enough be involved in this stuff. People repenting and ratting on themselves could get you caught. The other parties to all of the activities described above have never surfaced on any of the WCG dissident forums, and they would be the ones I'd really enjoy comparing notes with at any sort or reunion. My search for them is one of the primary reasons why I'm even on these forums and blogs, although participation has been very therapeutic in other ways.


Joe Moeller said...


"Ambassador The Last 15 Years"

Reunion of all Ambassador College students from Big Sandy and Pasadena from the last 15 years (1999-2014) to be held at the Moeller Ranch in Cody, WY , April 1st, 2014.

Air fare, accommodations , food, entertainment and drink all provided gratis by the Moeller Family.

Also, please forward this email to other former AC Pasadena students from this era, and/or send us their names and email addresses, and, if possible, maiden names and years attended. [Please note: all email addresses will be kept strictly confidential, only accessible by a subset of the Reunion Committee.

Joe Moeller (Reunion Pastor General)
Cody, WY

Black Ops Mikey said...

Elitist at best.

Yes. Attend. Go to remember your superiority over the rest of us who never attended.

Bring knives, guns and whips just in case. Bows and arrows might be useful if you know how to use them (as opposed to PCG ministers who don't but teach youths at summer camp).

This is just another bad stupid idea that wastes time, energy and money.

And when you come, bring your own bottled water: California has a drought, you know.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Will there be a dart board containing a photo of little Joey Tkach - the multi-millionaire who absconded with the WCG assets contributed for a lifetime by all our parents and who shrunk the Church so there could be no more Ambassador College?


UT, The Reigning Being of Being Banned by Banned by HWA said...

Gusto! I enjoyed the way you, Byker Bob, described the spitfire joys of life, despite, or spitting in the face of, Armstrongism!

Byker Bob said...

The funny thing is, UT, it would anger me when some of the more serious students would describe me as being "unconverted", or "carnal". Also, there seemed to be different behavioral standards for the different campus locations. My one brother sailed through Texas, graduation although doing some of the same stuff I did. By the time my sister attended in Pasadena, I understand that some students were actually smoking marijuana on campus. And, then HWA shut the Pasadena campus down for a couple of years, and when it reopened, it became a much more controlled environment again for when my youngest brother attended. When it became accredited as a university, one of my relatives sat on the board of directors.


Anonymous said...

wow, to begin with I thought it was this year, only a few weeks from now, but I have a whole year to make up my mind and practice diplomacy. Might be ok, at least it is a warm location, and some of those people on the list left WCG at some point.

Bricket Wood is having a reunion in May, they expect everyone to get along, seems like a tall order but you never know. They really want people to be positive, like "it was the best time in my life" and I found my beloved wife there and lifelong friends etc.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:28, that positiveness you commented upon would be the way the reunion would go naturally if AC had been a normal college, or actually God's college. Even the people going to the reunion of one of my public high schools made comments very close to your quotes.

I dare say that you'd probably also hear positive comments from people going to Bob Jones University or Liberty University reunions. Ambassador was just really strange.

Possible comments at Ambassador reunion: "Boy, it only prepared me to work in one place. When I got laid off during a cutback, It was hell rushing around getting proper training for a career that would continue the lifestyle my wife and kids and I were used to. I don't know what we're going to do for retirement, because we only started paying into the Social Security system about 25 years ago, and will probably only be collecting about $1,000 per month."

Or, "I met my first wife here, but the ministers had great influence on who I chose. We figured the end was coming soon so it really wasn't that important, but then they kept postponing the end and even though we got their counselling, our marriage did not survive. I hate that for our kids, because they are the ones who really got robbed."

How about, "Yeah, we're some of the loyal survivors who have endured life, but it almost seems as if the bad boys who got out early on have done better with their lives, are happy and that. They don't even seem to share our angst over the end! And, we had to watch our entire culture just destroyed as if it were nothing."

Finally, "Man, what a cloistered worldview we were taught! When I started getting involved with the diversity and multiculturalism in the secular workplace, I had a hard time relating. And, don't get me started about ethics, because I didn't even have any for dealing with "the world" until getting out there and into a secular job."

Retired Prof said...

I think somebody has blown my chance for glory. Another member of the class that enrolled in 1959 sent me an e-mail informing me that Cledice Decker listed me as "deceased" in one of her updates, and assuring me he had advised her to correct list.

Just think what a sensation I could make at the reunion if the error had stood. I could take the podium and proclaim that the fact that HWA was still dead and I was resurrected showed that God had actually appointed me, standing there right before them, to lead them into their World Tomorrow. I would advise them to follow the precept of Paul and my own example: they should work out their own salvation. They could skip the fear and trembling. No need to get all neurotic about it.

For that advice I would request that they send me ten percent of their income, but I wouldn't be a dick about it. I would tell them, "It's your money. Do whatever the hell you want to with it."