Seattle Adventist Woman To be Honored

October 01, 2002 | Patricia Benton

Verla Rae Kwiram of Seattle is being honored this month by the Association of Adventist Women (AAW) for her contributions to church, profession, family, and community.

Kwiram and nine other Adventist women from across the nation will receive AAW’s “Outstanding Achievement Award,” during the 20th annual AAW Conference, in Portland, Ore., Oct. 17-20.

“Verla is a prime example of a woman dedicated to serving her family, community, and church. What makes her so ‘above and beyond’ is the way she does it—with stamina, humor, time commitment, and wisdom. Verla tackles hard issues with grace,” says Helen Thompson Zolber of Walla Walla, Wash.

Shortly after their 1954 marriage and move from the West Coast to Boston, Verla and Alvin Kwiram began their lifetime of creating a supportive network for Adventist scholars. A group scattered around the country founded the Association of Adventist Forums (AAF) in 1964.

For more than 30 years Kwiram has nurtured graduate students, minorities, and young people in the Green Lake Church in Seattle. In addition to roles in children’s Sabbath schools, Kwiram—an astute businesswoman who manages the family real estate holdings—has also served as treasurer and church board member.

An unofficial church hostess, most Sabbaths she organizes a potluck meal for 30 or more.

“Quite simply, Verla cares about the women, men, and children in this world who need love and encouragement. Doing the work that lies closest to her, she has created a life of achievement,” says Karla K. Walters, one of Kwiram’s early “adopted” graduate students. •