by Corey Dunn
As runners took their marks and started off at the sound of the air-horn, a smile appeared on the Rev. Nancy Schluter’s face as she followed the runners and walkers participating in the 5K race in her honor.
The Trenton Area Campus Ministries held the event on Sept. 13 at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) to commemorate Schluter’s 25 years as a chaplain at Rider. She retired from her position at the end of last semester.
The Trenton Area Campus Ministries is a non-profit organization that funds chaplains for campus ministries at Rider, Westminster Choir College, The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) and MCCC.
“The walk is a wonderful way for the board to honor the ministry of Reverend Schluter and her call to run the ministry and not be weary,” said Lori Neff, president of the Trenton Area Campus Ministries.
The Trenton Area Campus Ministry started out exclusively at Rider and has grown bigger with Schluter’s work as chaplain at Rider.
“I hope the walk raises awareness and creates more publicity about campus ministry,” Schluter said. “All students have a spiritual side, and campus ministry can help students get away from the materialistic world we live in today.”
MCCC student and 5K participant Michael Szubrowski said he had heard about the event through his church and the Christian club at MCCC.
Bill Schluter, Nancy’s husband, was at the 5K event to support his wife.
“The race is a tribute to the work my wife has done to campus ministry, which is not too well-known,” said Bill Schluter.
Rider juniors Michelle Mazzulla and Kenneth Jacobs both volunteered to help direct runners during the 5K.
“It’s a great achievement to have 80 people running for you at the end of your career,” said Mazzulla.
The walk included students from TCNJ, MCCC, area pastors, church members and even runners just looking to support a good cause.
Some runners wore team shirts, such as a group from International Business Research, a Princeton company. Others wore T-shirts that the Trenton Area Campus Ministries sold at the event.
“I’m excited about the race because it provides income for campus ministries,” said Greg Albert, associate executive presbyter for the Presbytery of New Brunswick. “It’s hard to raise money for the ministries.”
The winner of the overall race was Neil Van Aartjik with a time of 18:21. In first place for the women, which was announced after the overall winner of the race, was Gayle Ciallella with a time of 21:34.
The 5K concluded with a brief award ceremony in which winners were presented with a medal and congratulated for their hard work and participation. Nancy Schluter thanked everyone for coming and taking part in the 5K.
“The 5K is an appropriate way to honor Nancy,” said the Rev. Dawn Adamy, the new protestant chaplain at Rider. “It supports her 25 years of work.”