Dr. Nancy Petta has taught the Concepts of Wellness class almost 200 times and now she is retiring. We are witnessing the end of a golden era like those times when bank tellers knew your name and the Huskers were winning.
Nancy was new to Adventism and had worked at Dakota Adventist Academy only one year when she got a call from Union. Would she be willing to teach part time and manage the pool at the brand new Larson Lifestyle Center? She agreed and shared a moving truck with the academy chaplain, Rich Carlson, who was also moving to Union with his family.
As you might expect, health is vital to the director of the Health and Human Performance Program and one way that she encourages people to stay healthy is through sports. Nancy explains, “People want to stay healthy and fit, but that’s a small part of it. You find something that you can do. Why do people like certain sports and not others? Because they can do them… If you can find something that you’re good at, then it becomes part of your lifestyle.”
Students comment that she is “firm but fair.” “Nancy Petta has made the simplest of classes interesting and even enjoyable,” said sophomore Delanie Kamarad. “She has pure passion and a heart to teach her students with enthusiasm and humor.”
In Concepts of Wellness, Nancy teaches students that you should work hard and reward yourself for good work. It makes you wonder how she plans to reward herself after 40 years of teaching at Union. Her answer is that she looks forward to traveling. As the professor heads down the road to new adventures, she is remembered by generations of students who just might be enjoying a more active, healthier life because of her.