News Release

9/11 Panel features John Ashcroft at Evangel University

October 11, 2016 | Paul K. Logsdon


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Evangel University is presenting a special panel discussion commemorating the 15th Anniversary of 9/11, on Thursday, Oct. 20, at 7:45 p.m.

The public is invited, admission is free, and there will be opportunities for questions from the audience.

The 9/11 Panel highlights the first night of Evangel’s 2016 Homecoming weekend. It will be held in the Barnett Fine Arts Center, located just north of the Robert H. Spence Chapel, facing Glenstone Ave.

“Our 9/11 Panel promises to present an in-depth look at that fateful day’s impact on the world, from three unique perspectives,” said Dr. Carol A. Taylor, president of the University.

Featured speakers will be three members of the extended Evangel family.

  • Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft’s role in the aftermath of 9/11 is well documented, but this conversation promises to be a unique look behind the scenes. Ashcroft is the son of Evangel’s second president, Dr. J. Robert Ashcroft (1958-1974), and both of his brothers graduated from Evangel.
  • Former U.S. Congressman Todd Tiahrt (R-KS, 1995-2011) was one mile from the Pentagon when it was hit, and was onsite examining the damage early the next morning. Tiahrt was a member of the Military Construction Subcommittee, which had oversight of the reconstruction of the Pentagon. He graduated with a degree in business administration from Evangel in 1975, and later earned his MBA from Missouri State.
  • Dr. Mark Hausfeld, current president of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, was serving as the head of Teen Challenge in Pakistan, 200 miles from the home of al-Qaeda, at the time of the attacks. Hausfeld graduated from Evangel in 1980, and he later earned his master’s from AGTS.

Moderating the panel will be the Rev. John Lindell, pastor of James River Church.

Speaker spotlights

One of the most high-profile and experienced Attorneys General in the nation’s history, John Ashcroft led the U.S. law enforcement community through the challenging and transformational period following the tragic attacks of September 11, 2001.

In the years to follow, his Justice Department initiated a tough anti-terrorism campaign that has assisted in disrupting more than 150 terrorist plots worldwide, dismantling terrorist cells in cities across America, and convicting 191 individuals in terrorism-related investigations.

WEB 2013-09.17 Ashcroft & students

Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft meets with student leaders at Evangel University (Sept. 9, 2013). // Photo by: Paul K. Logsdon (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Ashcroft was raised in Springfield, Mo., and graduated from Hillcrest High School in 1960. He then graduated with honors from Yale University in 1964, and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago in 1967. Prior to entering public service, Ashcroft taught business law at then-Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield.

Today, Ashcroft serves as chairman of The Ashcroft Group, LLC, which provides confidential strategic consulting and crisis counseling to major international corporations.

Todd Tiahrt served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1994 to 2011. The morning of 9/11, he was heading into Washington and was about to pass the Pentagon on I-395, when the plane struck. Early the next morning, he was in the Pentagon, “Ground Zero,” touring the damage.

“I saw the front landing gear in the C-Ring,” he said. The Pentagon is made up of five rings, and the plane crashed completely through the outer ring, the E-Ring, then through the D-Ring and into the center or C-Ring, he explained.

In addition to his work with the Military Construction Subcommittee, Tiahrt also served on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. For an extended period, he was the only member of the House to sit on both the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

A South Dakota native, Tiahrt graduated from Evangel University in 1975 with a degree in business, and while working for Zenith Electronics Corporation as a project engineer, he earned an MBA at Missouri State.

Todd met his wife, Vicki (Holland ’76), while they were students at Evangel. Today, he has a consulting businesses in Wichita, KS, Todd Tiahrt, LLC, and advises various companies on aviation, aerospace, defense, energy issues and government relations.

Dr. Mark Hausfeld was living in Islamabad, Pakistan, on 9/11, a city about 200 miles away from the al-Qaeda base in Khost, Afghanistan. Mark and his wife, Linda, were serving as the directors of Teen Challenge Pakistan, a program they started in 1997 geared toward heroin addicts from Christian and Muslim backgrounds.

“We left Pakistan one week after 9/11 with all of our workers,” said Hausfeld. “This event gave a whole new focus on security for those who serve in that part of the world.”

A native of Dayton, Ohio, Hausfeld earned his B.A. from Evangel University in 1980, an M.Div. from AGTS in 1983, and a D.Min. from Northern Seminary in 1992.

Mark and Linda (Lestarjette ’82) met while they were students at Evangel. Together, they have more than 30 years of ministry and education experience, both in the United States and abroad. He has taught at AGTS since 2007 and has functioned as the seminary’s director of the Center for Islamic Studies since 2010. He was named president of AGTS in the summer of 2015.