Susan Marleen Pervier Zork
Susan Zork taught for over thirty years as an Assistant Professor of Religion at Andrews University. She is also a published composer and well-known recording artist. Additionally, she has been active in ministering to the needs of faculty and students at AU and has enjoyed a ministry on and off-campus that has positively touched the lives of many persons of all ages.
Susan was born in Maine, one of five children of Felton and Rita Georgette Pervier. Music was a central activity in the family of seven children. Rita sang often, yodeled at church parties, played accordion, and also conducted the choirs at regional camp meetings. Her musical talent and influence led many in her family and subsequent generations to be active in music.
Susan began singing publicly at age five and composed her first songs during her high school years. She met Stephen (Steve) Zork at Atlantic Union College, where they sang together before beginning to date. They married at the end of their sophomore year and then completed their degrees, hers in elementary education and his in music. Following graduation in 1977, they worked at Maplewood Academy in Minnesota, where she served as dean of Girls and their three sons, Nicholas, Benjamin, and Timothy, were born.
They then worked at Auburn Adventist and Shenandoah Valley academies where Susan served as girls' dean and also taught religion at the latter. When Steve accepted a position at Walla Walla College, now University in 1989, she worked in the Registrar's office. While they were at Auburn, a daughter, Jasmine, was born. Also while at AAA, Susan recorded an album, Small Wonders, which included songs she had written and that Steve had arranged accompaniments for, using various instruments and ensembles. Initially released by Chapel Records in 1984, it as well as individual tracks, has been available online since 2010.
The Zorks moved to Michigan in 1991, where they have been associated with Andrews University recently as an Assistant Professor of Religion and he since 1991 as Director of Choral Studies. During their time at AU she has continued to sing in his choirs as she has through the years. In addition to being an award-winning teacher of religion classes, teaching more than 400 undergraduate students each year, she is extensively involved in on-campus activities, ranging from providing food to mentoring, counseling, giving inspiring talks, and participating in a wide variety of campus programs.
Susan completed an M.A. in religious education at AU in 2001 and is a doctoral student working on a Ph.D. at AU. She has served as the faculty sponsor of the Andrews Ministerial Association, a student organization for religion and theology majors. She was chosen to speak at the AU graduation Consecration Service in 2005, when her talk was titled, "Which Way to Glory?" She received the Andrews University Student Association Teacher of the Year Award in 2006.
She has traveled throughout the U.S. providing concerts, presenting seminars, and speaking at academy weeks of prayer, conferences, retreats, and church services. She was listed as one of the "best of the best" performers on a DVD of music from Net '98 and in 1999 was a featured soloist on a CD released by the Andrews University Singers titled I Love to Tell the Story.
Susan and Steve speak and perform frequently, presenting seminars and concerts on a wide variety of topics, stemming from the heart with a Christ-oriented focus. The Zorks and three of their four adult children are well known performers on campus, in the U.S., and elsewhere.
Sources: Biography at the AU website and information provided by Susan Zork, 2013; Obituary for Rita Georgette Pervier, Brackett Funeral home, March 2013; Pam Beitzel, "Washington Couple Blend Talents to Produce an Original Music Album," North Pacific Union Gleaner, 18 February, 1985, 10; Fall 2021 Andrew University Focus, personal knowledge.