News - Campus Community Honors Outstanding Alumni

Campus Community Honors Outstanding Alumni

By Rachel Heston-Davis

Greenville University honored three outstanding alumni during Homecoming Chapel last week. This year’s honorees include a plastic surgeon with a heart for children born with cleft palates, an operatic soprano who uses her art to glorify God and a couple whose exemplary loyalty to Greenville University includes four decades of gracious service to their alma mater.

Hope, Healing and Servant Leadership: Distinguished Alumnus Dr. Paul Heath

Paul_Joan HeathDr. Paul M. Heath ’72 (shown at left with wife Joan) provides hope and healing for the body through his expertise in plastic surgery, and maintains focus on the spiritual hope and healing of Christ. As an undergraduate at Greenville, he completed a triple major in three years. He founded his clinic, Midsota Plastic Surgeons, with Dr. James Smith in 1983 and now serves patients by providing a range of facial and body procedures. Paul returned to school for an MBA in order to give his patients the best possible experience at Midsota. For more than 25 years, Paul has taken his clinic staff on annual trips to Guatemala to provide reconstructive surgery services, primarily to children born with cleft palates or disfigured by burns. He is affiliated with several hospitals in the Minneapolis area, including Mayo Clinic. He and his family—wife Joan and four daughters—remain involved in local church life. He is affiliated with many medical groups including the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Midwestern Association of Plastic Surgery and others.Sarah Toth with Filby

Cultivating God's Gift: Outstanding Young Alumna Sarah (Coleman '06) Toth

Sarah (Coleman ’06) Toth (pictured at right with President Filby) has traveled the world and committed to ongoing education as a professional opera singer. She obtained a master of music in vocal performance from Ithaca College in New York and a master of music in opera studies from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Australia. She currently lives in Germany for the purpose of further study. Sarah performs operas, recitals and oratorios internationally, including a role in the world premiere opera Mayakovsky in 2014. In addition to operatic roles, she has performed soprano solos in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Handel’s Messiah and Orff’s Carmina Burana. Sarah regards her vocal abilities as a tool to glorify the Lord. She has written a devotional, “Breath and Spirit,” which examines the spiritual connection between learning her singing breath and learning about the Spirit.

Raising the Bar for Sacrificial Service: Loyalty Awardees James and Susan Claussen

James ’59 and Susan Claussen ’86 (pictured below) have remained loyal supporters of the University since they met and married here in the late 1950s. Jim served on the Board of Trustees from 1975 to 2011 and has served on a number of other board committees and Claussenstask forces, including the Advancement Committee and Almira Manor Board. The couple have shared generously of their financial resources and are annually listed as members of Greenville University’s President’s Society, Heritage Circle and H.J. Long Society. They attended and hosted a remarkable number of alumni events over the past 40 years in Greenville, near their home in Florida, and in other areas of the country. Jim and Susan are part of a large family of Greenville University alumni, including sons, brothers, sisters and nephews. The couple live in Winter Haven, Florida, where they established the family’s furniture business in the 1970s and remain active in their local church.

If You Know Deserving Alumni . . .

Selection for alumni awards is based on a formal nomination and review process. For more information about nominating alumni for the 2018 awards, contact Cyndi Oglesby at 618-664-7119 or

You can honor a dear friend, classmate or favorite professor by making a gift to the Greenville University Fund in his or her honor. Click here to give.


This story was published on October 23, 2017

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