News and Events
GSEP Celebrated Spring 2006 Education Graduation
July 6, 2006 - The Graduate School of Education and Psychology's (GSEP) education graduation took place Saturday, July 8, at 10:30 a.m. at Alumni Park on the Malibu campus. William F. Austin, founder and chief executive officer of the Starkey Hearing Foundation and Starkey Laboratories, gave the commencement speech. John C. Holmes, director of government affairs of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), was honored as the Distinguished Alumnus.
About William F. Austin
William F. Austin is the founder and chief executive officer of Starkey Laboratories, the world’s leading manufacturer of custom hearing instruments, with over $500 million in annual sales, employing 3,700 people in 26 countries. After launching the company in his basement in 1967, the business quickly grew and by 1973 it was the world’s largest provider of custom in-the-ear hearing aids.
Mr. Austin has guided Starkey Laboratories with a sincere respect for the individual, always placing the client first. His primary concern for his clients led him to pioneer numerous customer service innovations, many of which have become common practice in the hearing-aid industry. These include offering flat charges for repairs, free-trial and warranty periods, battery recycling, as well as developing the first custom telecommunications headsets.
One of Mr. Austin’s proudest accomplishments is the establishment of the Starkey Hearing Foundation in 1983, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the gift of hearing to those can least afford a hearing aid. Each year the foundation distributes over 20,000 hearing aids to needy children and adults. Mr. Austin regularly makes overseas missions to countries like El Salvador, Mexico, and Panama to personally perform fittings on hearing-impaired children. He has said his reward is in the smiles of each person who is helped to hear again.
Mr. Austin is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Humanitarian of the Year award from both the National Association for Home Care and Hospice and Variety International. Through Starkey Laboratories, Mr. Austin provides scholarship support for graduate students pursuing careers in audiology. His most treasured accolade is a personal letter of thanks from Mother Theresa for his help in India.
William Austin’s headquarters are in Minneapolis where he resides and works with wife Tani.
About John C. Holmes
John C. Holmes is director of government affairs at the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). Headquartered in Colorado Springs, ACSI is a Christian nonprofit organization. Its mission is to enable Christian schools and educators worldwide to educate children and young people with the mind of Christ through a comprehensive program of school accreditation, teacher certification, and leadership development.
As the director of government affairs since 1985, Dr. Holmes works as ACSI’s advocate on Capitol Hill lobbying members of Congress concerning religious liberty in America. Prior to his tenure at ACSI, Dr. Holmes served as the principal and superintendent of Unified Christian Schools of California under the auspices of the Florence Avenue Foursquare Church in Santa Fe Springs, California.
In addition to his current position, Dr. Holmes actively serves in local church ministry as assistant pastor at the Hope Christian Foursquare Church in Washington, D.C., with earlier assistant pastorships at Florence Avenue Foursquare Church and Halpine Church in Rockville, Maryland. He was also the founding pastor of the New Life Foursquare Gospel Church in Westminster, Maryland, from 1985 to 1998.
Dr. Holmes has been honored by the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, receiving its 25-Year Pastoral Service Award. He is active in the larger community of Christian service through the Associates for Research in Private Education, the Christian Stewardship Association, the National Association of Evangelicals, and other organizations. He has published articles in the ACSI Legal/Legislative Update, The Mean Time, Foursquare World Advance, and other publications.
Mr. Holmes earned his bachelor’s degree from Spring Arbor College in Spring Arbor, Michigan. He received his master’s degree in education from the University of Akron, and completed his Ed.D. at Pepperdine’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology in 1983.
John C. Holmes lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife Charlene.