“The 16 years I spent at Hartland Institute (1995 to 2011) afforded me tremendous opportunities for spiritual growth. Most striking of all my encounters at Hartland was to observe Dr. Standish working with the students. His spirit was a clear reflection of the spirit Jesus showed towards His erring disciples. His life also mirrored the life of Barnabas who defended Saul, convincing the disciples in Jerusalem of his being a genuine follower of Jesus, despite his former life as a relentless persecutor. Barnabas also defended John Mark and took him under his wings to train him for ministry. Dr. Standish will always be remembered for demonstrating those Christlike traits toward the immature, the spiritually weak, and the seemingly hopeless students whose lives were transformed because he saw them, not for who they were, but for who they could become. Praise God for a man who advocated for His children.” —Jefferson Gordon (former staff)
“Dr. Standish was like a father to me. I looked up to him as a man of God. In addition to being president of several Adventist institutions and author of many books, he was a humble man who condescended to answer questions from a poor student like me. He spoke with conviction and power but had a gentle side that made me feel loved and gave me confidence to reach a higher standard. As a history lover, I’ve never met someone who could equal Dr. Standish in his mastery of history. He often began his conversations by referring to some past event, starting with the exact year, day, and even the weather conditions.
He’s deeply missed by me and so many others. He was human and made mistakes, but his influence will continue to challenge, inspire, and strengthen thousands in the present truth.” —Jesse Ravencroft (alumnus)
“Dr. Standish’s life showed me the amazing work of grace that God does in a man’s life. He showed me Jesus by his loving presence and kindness, and his books helped to strengthen my faith in God and His church. He’ll be missed by myself and all those in New Zealand and Australia for the way he stood for the truth.” —Kahn Ellmers (current student)
“Dr. Standish was an unforgettable warrior for God. We loved his wealth of stories so much that we’d intentionally ask him questions in class that would launch him into story-telling. One day, when Alexandra was a toddler, she climbed up into my lap and demanded a story. I’d just begun when Dr. Standish came and told her it was time to go home. She protested that she was in the midst of a story. I’ll never forget his suggestion to her: “Ask for the conclusion paragraph.” To me, this one phrase sums up Dr. Standish’s sharp focus in life and echoes the wisest man who said, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments.”
He always had a theme song for his classes. Every time I sing ‘Oh, For a Closer Walk with God,’ I hear his booming voice. A father of students; a visionary, reformer, author, teacher, evangelist—a giant for God. He stood in his lot and his life was not in vain.” —Suzanne (Harpine) Boykin (alumna)
“I’ll always remember when I met Dr. Standish almost seven years ago. After sharing one of the most touching messages I’d ever heard, he said a prayer for me that brought me so much hope. Little did I know that his last mission trip (South America, 2016) would help me become the missionary and follower of Christ I am today.
I never understood how he held such a high view of me until I realized Jesus gave Dr. Standish the talent not only to help people understand truth, but also to see potential in young people. He had the ability to see the Paul in me long before I stopped being Saul of Tarsus. Today I celebrate the life of a man who changed my life so radically that it’ll never be the same again. His respect for me as well as his belief in whom I can become through Christ’s help will remain with me the rest of my life. I’m honored to carry the Standish legacy wherever the Lord sends me.” —Vanesa Esteche (current student)
“I still remember when the pastoral evangelism students would gather weekly in Dr. Standish’s office, where an appointed student would share his or her vision. Afterwards, Dr. Standish would open his Bible or read a statement from the Spirit of Prophecy to encourage us to be faithful to the Lord and His message. Those impressions are still vivid in my mind. Thank you so much, Dr. Standish, for your inspiration and example to all of us. We’ll see you in the resurrection morning.” —“Canny” Seyong Han Tay (alumnus)