GIAL began classes in Fall 1999, with 62 students, and presented its first graduating class in 2000. David Ross served as GIAL’s President since its inception. Since then, 320 degrees have been awarded, including B.A.’s in International Service and M.A.’s in Applied Linguistics, Language and Cultural Studies, and World Arts. GIAL alumni serve in language development, literacy, Bible translation, and world arts in more than 75 countries, touching innumerable lives.
According to GIAL Board Chairman, Denny Morrow, “Creating something that lasts is a rare talent! Dr. David Ross has done just that as the founding President of GIAL. Founders need to have a combination of extraordinary vision to keep marching toward the goal, strength of will to never give up, and a mature spirit to remember that we are all servants. Dr. Ross and his family have been taken to the far corners of the world in cross-cultural service. They have personally seen that the hand of grace is extended to all and that people love to hear good news in their own language. It is this simple truth that has shaped GIAL under his leadership. For two decades, Dr. Ross has been modeling humble leadership and mentoring others… The language of the heart truly matters. This heart language is the formative emotion attached to words, the core that recognizes beauty, and ultimately, the affirmation of the “truth source” that becomes one’s inner compass. This is why linguistic study is crucial. David Ross isn’t finished yet. He has many roads yet to travel and we now release him to do significant work yet to come. We offer our gratitude and our blessing.”
David’s wife, Rosemary, has also served GIAL faithfully all these years. She has volunteered as a phone receptionist and job trainer in the International Health Services clinic on campus for more than 14 years, hosted countless people in her home—including many GIAL students and faculty and staff members—connected with individual students each term and prayed fervently with and for them, traveled with David on recruiting trips, and supported him in his many varied roles as President. One student shared, “Rosemary Ross has been a big encouragement to me in my journey to the field.”
David and Rosemary are greatly loved and will be profoundly missed by everyone at the school as they transition from GIAL to take the next step. We send them with our deepest gratitude for their dedicated service, and with our heartfelt prayers for His guidance, wisdom, and strength for them. As one student said, “May the faculty, staff, and students of GIAL not forget the lessons we have learned under the guidance of Dr. Ross and how his presidency has been illustrative of the importance of prayer and humble reliance on God.”
To honor David and Rosemary’s many years of service to GIAL, guests were given the opportunity to contribute to the Tozer Endowed Scholarship fund in their honor. As a result, more than $14,000 was added to the fund. The interest from the fund is used to provide scholarships for students in need of financial assistance – a fitting legacy for a couple who has given so much of themselves in the preparation of the next generation of cross-cultural servants.