MNU news

Sun Valley Indian School Visits MNU

SVIS Students Experience MNU

By Britney Lews ('16)
July 24, 2014

Eight students from the Sun Valley Indian School (SVIS) in Arizona enjoyed a change of scenery and Coach Rocky Lamar’s Basketball Camp at MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) in June.

The principal of the school, Kris Miller who also brought his wife and two children, drove the students and graduates who attended the event. Their trip included a multitude of outings: a visit to College Church of the Nazarene, a Royal's Game, four days of basketball camp, and many great dinner parties in the homes of MNU staff and faculty. Seemingly, the visit was far more than fun and games. The goal was to provide spiritual and physical development through productive summer activities for the students, to expose them to a university setting, to help them dream big, and to promote the mission of the Sun Valley Indian School to the Midwest.

Once the basketball camp had ended, the group left MNU to travel to St. Joseph, Mo., where they celebrated The Fourth of July with Miller’s family.

However, a visit to MidAmerica Nazarene University wouldn’t be a real visit without an official tour from the admission counselors. Two of the graduates that attended the trip were interested in the university and what it had to offer. Not only that, but Coach Lamar offered them a small scholarship to be team managers for the MNU Pioneer basketball team.

“What a time they had,” said Jo Lamar, professor of education.  

The SVIS kids had a great deal of fun, and many professors in the School of Education made sure of that by donating goodies such as cookies and pizza, and also providing fun activities like zip lining and swim parties. As hoped, the students and graduates had the opportunity to take their dreams and put them into action. They explored opportunities that they didn’t know they had before, and they did so at MNU.

Sun Valley Indian School students with sponsors Michael Welch, Ryshen Spean-Austin and Principal Kris Miller.

In 1968, Gertrude Jones founded the Sun Valley Indian School in hopes to provide a boarding school for Native American children. What once started on 5 acres of land has now expanded to over 70 acres, and her dream continues to live on in the hearts of staff and volunteers who make a difference in the student’s lives every day.  For more information about SVIS visit the website:

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