Denison Magazine Spring 2023

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ISSUE 2 | 2023

Openingshot Station manager Kat Colvin ’23 at the controls of Denison’s student-run Doobie Radio.

The Doobie began in 1953 as an AM station, WDUB, and after a brief hiatus, returned in 1969 at 90.9 FM. During the 1970s, the Doobie broadcast about 17 hours of programming per day.

Many Denison graduates, including some you’ll hear from in this issue, have used their Doobie experience as an entry into the field of commercial broadcasting.

Today, the Doobie is one of Denison's most vibrant student organizations, boasting over 50 active DJs and an annual music festival, Doobie Palooza. The station streams globally, making Doobie vibes more accessible than ever.

Listen at



Denison’s network is one of strong and far-reaching connections. Just how far? We’re mapping it out in Six Degrees of Denison.


You’ve got to see what Christian Faur can make from the humble crayon. Trust us: Just flip to page 58.


Friendships forged on The Hill last a lifetime. See how our alums nurture their relationships over time and across (some pretty long) distances.

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“The deepest, most talented team that we’ve taken to nationals,” coach Gregg Parini says of the 2022-23 women’s swimming and diving team.



Because of publishing deadlines, we’re bound to be a bit behind. Please email us with anything we’ve missed at



Dining options for your next visit to Granville just keep getting better.


Zoe Meyer ’23 interviews hers to find out.



We celebrate the students who spend at least six semesters with the same roommate — and find out how they do it.



You tell us


How connections shape us




Since 1994, more than 340 students have earned scholarships through the generosity of Don ’54 and Teckie ’56 Shackelford. We ask what inspires them.


THE HILL Swing into summer



Eric Liebel takes us outside


LAST WORD No Boss? No fuss

Patton ’23 found inspiration for his Senior Seminar project inside a tin box in his grandmother’s basement.

The comments section

There’s nothing better than hearing from Denisonians. Send us your compliments, your complaints, your brilliant story ideas: We may reprint part or all of your letters in this section.


A very informative and diverse publication. I might suggest a little historical context via an editor’s note regarding the thank you note from fellow alum Jean Preston. I’m not sure everyone is aware of the Denison connection to the Olmsted brothers’ works. A sidebar clarification/amplification might have been helpful.

Fantastic idea, Jim, and a big miss on our part. Let’s make up for lost context: In the last issue, the lovely Jean Holman Preston ’55 shared her gratitude for all who attended a June 2022 party celebrating her leadership of the Preston Horticultural Fund, which helps Denison maintain the breathtaking beauty of The Hill. The event included a talk from the president and CEO of the National Association of Olmsted Parks. So what does that have to do with Denison? Well, quite a bit. Our campus master plan, devised in 1918 and still followed to this day, was designed by the renowned landscape architectural firm of Frederick Law Olmsted, the founder of landscape architecture and designer of such iconic spaces as New York City’s famed Central Park. According to the National Park Service, architect John Charles Olmsted (Frederick’s son) took the lead on the project, and he wanted Denison’s buildings “to be in harmony with the area’s dramatic elevation changes … so he created a series of terraces along existing curves, placing the academic quad at the heart of the campus.” After John Charles’ death in 1920, brother Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. took over the project.


After reading the latest Denison Magazine I wanted to reach out and thank you and your staff. While I thoroughly enjoy all issues of the magazine, I was particularly fond of this issue for two reasons. One was the article related to graduates of the 1990s, the other was the article on Denison grads working in the entertainment industry. As a graduate of the Class of 1997 and a cinema major, I was pleasantly surprised to see Greg Evans referenced in the first article and other cinema majors (Lyn Moncrief, Dan Ewen, Robert Levine) that I knew listed in the later article. I myself worked in entertainment related industries (stock footage research, film festivals, home video merchandising, and teaching history of cinema courses) for close to 20 years before deciding on a career change to nursing. I often wonder how many graduates end up switching careers after working in one field for a number of years — perhaps that question could be answered in a future article? Again thank you for the work you and your staff do.

Even through expansion, Denison has remained loyal to the Olmsted vision. And in 2022, the Professional Grounds Management Society recognized our fantastic grounds crew with a second place award among Olmsted properties — tied with the U.S. Capitol grounds.

A great magazine idea! If you see yourself in what Denis is describing — a career pivot after several years — please email us at

JOHN CHARLES OLMSTED, the lead architect of Denison’s campus, and an early campus plan from 1916.

Yes, please, do send me a print of the Japanese garden in your 2023 edition of Denison Magazine. It will speak to both my link to Denison and my link to things Japanese and as a thing of beauty all its own. When I was a theater major in the Class of 1959, I’d have spent HOURS soaking up this garden if it had existed then! And after DU, I did graduate work in Japanese at Stanford for two years. so it connects with that, too. My eyes were a weak point, though, and once I could no longer tell the difference between 24 and 26 stroke characters, I stopped my studies of Japanese. That was a major disappointment, of course, but it did open surprising doors to further thought, to a totally unexpected and transformational encounter and, two years later, to entrance into an Episcopal seminary. After graduation I was ordained deacon and priest and served as such for thirty years before retirement.

So naturally, I’m enthusiastic! And while service as a priest is what I was born for, I still have a fondness for things Japanese, still write haiku, and was still able to find the time to become an exhibiting photographer myself.

Cheers, thanks, and all the best to Denison and to each of you, and congratulations on your consistently stunning Denison Magazine!

Always happy to share our photography, and we’re even happier to hear the stories these photos spark. Keep ’em coming!

Dear Denison Magazine staff and contributors!

Volume 1, 2023, is truly outstanding. I had copied, from the emailed version, Adamʼs excellent commentary about the Hoaglin Center, and the article featuring Rex Elliott. Then it dawned on me, “Wait! All those articles are probably sitting in the magazine itself.”

*** YUP! They are all there — making for a quite amazing alumni magazine.

I will not bother you busy people with detailed rounds of applause for each article, but it is important to report that this issue strikes me as exceptional. From the p. 2 photo of the Front Drag to the p. 82 “Last Word,” the richness of content and the excellence of the photos was very impressive.

*** A minor observation is that Kay and I knew John Kessler, Tony Lisska, and Mike Jung well, and the line-drawings do not capture them properly. It may be an issue with optimal photographs, but...

*** The MAJOR point of this note is to commend all involved with the Winter 2023 Denison Magazine. It is a winner (!) and should reap recognition of that fact.

With cordial best wishes and applause,

Aw, shucks. We appreciate the kind words. And points taken on the line drawings — our artist is usually working from a limited selection of recent photographs, but we’ll look into some alternatives.


Not only do we hear from you, we want to see you! If you’re feeling nostalgic after reading this issue, send us photos from your time at Denison. You may appear in an upcoming story.

Relationships and connections shape us

This issue of DENISON MAGAZINE celebrates the relationships and connections that are an integral part of the college and the lives of our alums. Denison is defined by the people who come here, the relationships we form with each other, and the ways those relationships shape the college and our lives.

It starts with the friendships that our students develop with each other. At the end of each academic year, Anne and I host a dinner for graduating seniors who have lived together for at least six semesters. This year, that number represented 22% of our graduates! Our students are good friends to each other. And much of the learning and growth at Denison comes from peer-to-peer learning.

Those relationships extend to those that students create with faculty and staff. A graduating senior articulated the impact of faculty and staff relationships on her in the following way: “I am walking away knowing more about what I am capable of, and what I am passionate about, with a team of cheerleaders and mentors who see more in me than I am able to see in myself.”

What’s so inspiring about Denison is the way those relationships endure. Denison friends often remain best friends for decades. Alums often talk to me about the way their Denison friends have continued to anchor their lives.

And then there are the new connections — Denisonians who did not know each other but met after graduation. This includes the alums I met with a few weeks ago who connected at their 25th reunion and are now married. It also includes so many Denisonians who meet through professional interests and help each other grow and expand their careers.

This issue celebrates a few of the many ways relationships and connections between Denisonians take place and continue to add meaning to our lives.

You will find stories about the Denison friends who continue to get together annually (or more often), the alums who have helped each other get jobs and build careers, and the alums who share a love of Denison when their children attend Denison as college students.

We also celebrate the way alumni reach back to connect with current students through philanthropy. We recognize Don and Teckie Shackelford and all the

ways they are reaching back to keep Denison affordable for current students. They go beyond supporting students to connecting with them during their time at Denison and beyond.

You will find a story about the library renovations made possible by Sue Douthit O’Donnell ’67, who wanted to ensure this generation enjoyed and benefited from the library like she did as a student. And there is an inspiring story about Ed McNew and the Delta Upsilon Class of ’54 Memorial Award.

When I accepted the honor of becoming president of Denison, I knew that I would love the job, but I did not expect to develop so many deep relationships that have shaped my life. This includes a few faculty and staff friends, who have taught me how to play golf, and many alums who I have come to consider friends and who have enriched my life, sometimes in unexpected ways.

It also includes the two recent graduates who allowed me to preside over their wedding last fall. I will never forget the incredible joy and pride of standing on the platform with two people I knew as first-year college students as they exchanged wedding vows. As you would expect, they read their vows in front of a large audience of Denison alumni and parents.

A few weeks ago, I reached out to an alum about meeting during a trip to the East Coast and she wrote back, “I am actually on my way to a Denison wedding this weekend, both the bride and groom graduated with me in 2016! We also just purchased a home and the owner and listing agent both went to Denison! Denison is everywhere!”

We decided to dedicate this issue to relationships and connections because we have embarked on a new effort to rethink alumni and family engagement at Denison. As many of you know, a year ago we surveyed alumni to gauge how they want to stay connected to each other and the college. We are working to refresh alumni and family engagement programs.

Our goal is simple — we want to add meaning and value to the lives of our alums. Our efforts build on the strong foundation of relationships and connections that have long been a tradition and defining feature of the college.


1,085 Denisonians raised $337,055 as part of our annual Day of Giving on March 30, 2023. Your generosity supports these vital campus programs:





From the group chats to the golf tournaments, the happy hours to the happy birthdays, alums share how the friendships forged on The Hill last a lifetime.


Beth Wexler returned home from the hospital in March 1987 after delivering her first child, in need of some rest and tranquility.

The presence of the Denison Hilltoppers singing in her suburban Cincinnati basement did not qualify on either count.

The new mom knew how much the monthly gatherings of the Hilltoppers — Denison’s only all-male a cappella group — meant to her husband, Bill Wexler ’79, and the boys. But if ever there were an excuse to postpone, Beth figured the arrival of the couple’s first child would be it.

“She wasn’t happy,” recalled Wexler, a member of the original Hilltoppers in 1978. “I told her, ‘Maybe it’s a good thing for our first child to hear To Denison this young. Maybe he will wind up going to Denison one day.”

Eighteen years later, Bryan Wexler ’09 enrolled at the university. His brother, Andrew ’10, joined him on The Hill a year later.

Denison is a place where lifelong bonds are formed. And while official campus reunions remain popular,

alums aren’t waiting for special occasions to gather across the country and around the world to renew acquaintances. Golf outings. Ski trips. Weekend getaways. In the last issue of Denison Magazine, we asked alums to share some of their best stories about their get-togethers, and we were rewarded with plenty of tales of enduring friendships.

For instance, some of the Hilltoppers have been meeting at the Wexler residence almost monthly for 36 years.

“It’s mostly alumni from the Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, area, and the cast of characters has changed over the years,” Wexler says. “We usually get anywhere from four to 10 members, and the ages range from 19 to 66. Gabe Donnelly ’25, a current Hilltopper, joins us when he can.”

The Hilltoppers gather to drink “tuning fluid” before singing in the basement and eating a meal that’s often prepared by Beth.

“We’re here to support each other,” Wexler says. “We’ve had Hilltoppers pass away, and we’ve had videographers record songs that were played at memorial services. When the child of a Hilltopper gets married, we’ll sing at the reception.”

Leigh Taylor


In death as in life, Augustus Morgan ’12 unites people for a good cause. The 11th annual AMM Golf Weekend drew more than 30 players in support of the Augustus Morgan McCravey Memorial Scholarship.

Morgan, a gregarious and perpetually optimistic student, died July 5, 2011, as a result of a fall while in Spain. A communication major, Morgan was the most “inclusive person” that his friends knew. “He had a way of connecting people from all walks of life,” says Abe Freidin ’13. “The longevity of the event is a testament to his special character.”

Among Morgan’s many passions was golf. That’s why alums and friends of the Denison Phi Delta Theta chapter started an annual tournament at Denison Golf Club in his honor. The scholarship is awarded to a Denison student from Georgia or Tennessee — “Gus” was a Chattanooga native — with financial need. Freidin says, “We’re looking to attract the next generation of golfers to keep supporting the event.”


As their 40th reunion concluded, attending members of the Beta Theta Pi Class of 1957 made a promise to each other. “We decided we shouldn’t wait another 10 years to get together,” Peter Armacost says. Making good on their pledge, the fraternity brothers started meeting annually, with members acting as revolving hosts. They got together in Seattle, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, as well as Sun Valley, Idaho, and Charleston, South Carolina.

“We had 19 Betas in my graduating class,” Armacost says. “We were a close class, but as we began getting together more often, I gained so much respect for what these guys had accomplished in life and the impacts they had made.”

In 2019, eight surviving members reunited at the Granville Inn. The group, which met again two years later in Philadelphia, is down to four.

“We had never previously discussed whether it would be the last time we’d see each other,” Armacost says of the Granville meetup. “That was the first time it entered the conversation. We’re so glad we’ve had these times together.”



Alicia Henry ’05 calls them “life- changing moments,” and when it comes to her closest friends from Denison, she doesn’t want to miss them. Her group of alums loves to gather for weddings, baby showers, and new jobs.

“We talk a lot about having transitioned from being kids at college to having kids in the real world,” says Henry, a mother of three and the president of Denison’s Black Alumni Association. Her friends have traveled across the country in support of each other. New Orleans, Washington, D.C., New York, Columbus.

“We’re still very close almost 20 years later,” she says. “We’re always looking for that next moment to celebrate.”


For 14 years now, members of the Delta Upsilon fraternity class of 1973 have gathered at Phil Jacobs’ lake house to revel and reminisce.

These friendships began more than 50 years ago, and at this point, only one thing will break them. Proof of that are the two shot glasses — Jacobs had a number of glasses personalized for frequent attendees — that now remain unused and upturned during the gatherings at Lake Keowee, South Carolina. They belonged to Tony Gilene and A.T. Payne.

“When we lost Tony two years ago, we started a tradition of drinking a toast and having a little ceremony to honor our fallen comrades,” Jacobs says. Shortly after, they lost Payne.

The lakeside tributes are heartfelt but not meant to cast a pall over the gatherings, which have grown over the years from a long weekend to as many as six days. They break out fraternity and Denison memorabilia of all sorts — even an old mailbox pulled from Slayter — and hang a Denison flag on the back porch. They share life updates and relive memories.

“We all have different things that we remember,” Jacobs says. “The other great thing is that everybody has a different memory, and in some cases, conflicting memories.”


Today’s technology has made it easier than ever for Denison alums to remain in contact after graduation. No snail mail or expensive long-distance phone calls required. Sam Rice ’19 and seven friends embody the immediacy of connectivity.

The eight have been part of the same text chain since Rice’s sophomore year. And because they’re also gamers, they stay connected through Discord, an instant messaging platform.

“We’ve been in touch from the day we left campus,” Rice says. “We’ll share thoughts or memes or videos or news. Hardly a day goes by when we aren’t talking. We do get together on occasion, but the text chain allows us to communicate all the time. It’s so convenient.”



A love of baseball and Denison have united seven alums in a fantasy league that’s nearly 30 years old. The group has traveled the U.S. for its annual draft, with hopes of taking it to Vietnam — home of Keith Schultz ’91 — in the near future.

“Each spring, we get together and spend too much time acting like we are in our 20s again,” says Bill Knapp ’90.

Knapp was invited to join a random fantasy league in 1992. As other members dropped out, he began recruiting fellow Denison alums he got to know while living in Columbus, Ohio, after graduation.

“We didn’t run in the same circles on campus,” Knapp says, “and there was every opportunity for us to lose touch, but this league prevented that from happening.”

The Pure Prairie League as it’s called — credit to David Gillies ’91 for the homage to the country rock band with Ohio roots — also includes Todd Lawlor ’91 in New York, Teall Edds ’91 in Singapore, Jim Comeaux ’90 in Columbus, and Joe Leithauser ’90 in Granville. Two other members are siblings of Denison alums.

“We have become good friends,” Knapp says. “We have been to each other’s weddings, and I’ve been there for the births of several guys’ kids.”


If the Cal Cup could speak, oh, what stories it could tell. It’s been dropped, it’s been dented, it’s lived a harder life than members of the Rolling Stones. And each year, Beta Theta Pis from the class of ’85 can’t wait to get their hands (and names) on it.

Such is the allure of the Mo Gutridge Tournament, aka The Big Gut. The fraternity brothers have been participating in the annual event since 2002. Held in the fall, the alums have gathered at golf courses across the country, and even in Ireland, for the right to win the Cal Cup — named for Cal O’Callaghan, an original tournament organizer who died of cancer.

“One time somebody dropped the Cup, and someone says, ‘You ruined the thing,’” Dave Watt ’85 recalls. “But the rest of us agreed it looked better.”

The event usually attracts about 12 fraternity brothers. The tournament is named for a former Denison staff member, Maurice Gutridge, who worked in the chemistry department cleaning the equipment — “a colorful character,” Watt says, “who used to allow our fraternity to gather for bonfires at his farm outside of Granville.”


The first reunions of this group of ’61 Denisonians and their spouses started not long after graduation. They were geared toward winter pursuits and held in Lake Tahoe partly out of practicality; Charlie Glasser ’61 and his brother owned a motel there.

“We were younger then,” says Richard Lee Mathias ’ 61. “Most of us could ski. Somewhat.”

As the years passed, the annual events moved around to other outdoorsy locations: to Bend, Oregon; Steamboat Springs, Colorado; and northern Wisconsin. Last year they met east of Spokane, Washington. Sometimes, as many as 25 attendees fly and drive in from all corners of the country.

“We talk about old times and new times as well, about our kids and the world at large,” Mathias says. “We were friends there at Denison, and still are.”



Whether it’s virtual meetings or in-person gatherings, Denison Pride: The LGBTQ+ and Ally Alumni Association is connecting members of the community with greater frequency. The steering committee for the group, which has an email list of 150, meets regularly by Zoom to plan events.

Alums and allies have twice held gatherings in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod in 2016 and 2018. They’ve also connected virtually for events such as Drag Bingo in 2023.

Patrick Hewitt ’10, events chair, said excitement is building for an on-campus reunion next year celebrating the 35th anniversary of the organization’s founding. More than 50 alums, allies, and family members attended the 30th anniversary.

“People left with such a positive feeling,” Hewitt said. “Some people who showed up hadn’t come out when they were going to school at Denison. So, these events build connections that otherwise might not form between different eras.”


Denver might not be the first city that springs to mind when discussing high concentrations of Denison alums. Columbus, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., often top the lists.

But the Mile High City and its abundance of outdoor beauty and activities surrounding it are growing in popularity for those looking to relocate.

“It’s a mecca for young grads, and they stay,” says Laura Frame ’83, director of principal gifts at Denison and the mother of daughter Taylor ’14, who lives in Denver.

Denison-sponsored events are held multiple times a year, says George Gastis ’92, who moved to Colorado in 1995 with his wife, Laura Lee Deters ’91. The events attract between 20 and 40 alums, including a spring 2023 meeting with President Adam Weinberg.

Gastis is part of a group of eight to 10 Denisonians who get together annually to ski and snowboard. Meanwhile, a younger collection of alums also gather. Several members of the men’s 2011 NCAA championship swim team, including Carlos Maciel ’14, Eric Fisher ’14, Spencer Fronk ’14, Mike DeSantis ’12, and Callan Hetterich ’11, have helped turn Denver into Denison West. Marciel noted that four former women’s soccer players live in the region.

“It’s great having so many of us out here,” he says.


They crossed paths during their first year in 1990. By their senior year, Jane (Haller) Glennon ’94, Claire (Mackey) Thompson ’94, Nancy (Crane) Mullally ’94, Carrie (Latimer) Miller ’94, Janey (Martin) Hoag ’94, and Abby (Claggett) Dougherty ’94 were sharing a suite in Beaver Hall.

“Six women, one bathroom, one common room, and endless antics that we still retell to this day,” Dougherty says.

They agreed to gather every year after graduation. Sometimes the reunions are tied to major life events like weddings, four of which were to fellow Denisonians. They’ve met in Hilton Head, North Carolina, the Florida Keys, Nashville, Miami, and Austin. And they made a point to visit every suitemate’s home city.

“And 33 years after meeting as Denison freshmen, this year we’re headed back to where it all started, with plans to gather in Granville in the fall,” Dougherty says.



Among The Denison Singers, he is known as “WO.” Pronounced “whoa.” It is shorthand for Professor Emeritus William Osborne, who founded the organization of chamber singers in 1961. The group was a Denison institution until Osborne’s retirement in 2003, and that long run means generations of alums with a deep respect for their mentor and a shared interest in song that has not waned.

His retirement now two decades behind him, Osborne remains involved. He logs in for regular Zoom calls with alums and returns to conduct The Denison Singers reunion concerts in Granville that draw dozens of past members, many who attended Denison decades apart.

“WO — Dr. Osborne — is the center of it all,” says Valerie Bertoglio ’69. Osborne credits the continued life of the Singers to both Denison’s size and the nature of music performance. “It’s the kind of creative process that fosters this intimacy and collegiality,” he says. That so many of these friendships formed post-Denison was a wonderful and unexpected development for the Singers.

“I have many friends now who I never knew when I was at Denison because they were either before me or after me,” Bob Palmer '73 says. “We realized we had all had a very similar experience in the Singers, a binding and pleasurable experience. And WO is the glue.”


If you’re going to backpack 30 miles over four days in the Italian Dolomites, you’d best pick your companions wisely.

Inbar Scharf, Anna Farrell, Hannah Wertheimer, and Beth Neville, all 2013 graduates, stay in touch almost daily but remain committed to in-person reunions — and for those events, they go big. Scharf lives in Israel, and it’s nice to have three friends willing to cross the Atlantic for a rendezvous.

Only two of the four had backpacked before their September 2022 Dolomites trek, and Scharf says the experience reinforced how close they all have remained.

Where will the next big trip be? If Scharf has to guess, they’ll be headed to Finland; Farrell is moving there.

“It really feels like, even 10 years later, that I’m just as involved in their lives, and they’re just as involved in mine,” Scharf says. Whenever they are together, she says, “we feel like college roommates again.”


Investing in people: t he s hackelford p hilosophy



Adam Mallinger ’02 recalls the exact date of his life-altering moment — the day he received a letter from Denison notifying him of his full scholarship through an endowment from Teckie ’56 and Don ’54 Shackelford.

“March 18, 1998,” he says. “It was a Wednesday.”

Mallinger discovered a love for cinema in his four years at Denison and followed several classmates to Los Angeles after graduation. He’s now a staff writer for the television series Superman & Lois, and a co-author of a 2022 comic book on the same subject.

Twenty-five years after receiving his Denison scholarship, he mailed the Shackelford’s a copy of the comic book with an inscription on the cover:

For Teckie & Don, You gave me Denison and Denison gave me everything since! Thank you!

Adam Mallinger ’02

Not all heroes wear capes. Even someone who propagates the legend of Superman knows that to be true of the Shackelfords.

Mallinger is one of more than 340 students who have earned full or partial scholarships in their name since 1994. The Shackelfords’ benevolence is also evident in support of multiple capital projects, including Reese-Shackelford Common, the spacious lobby inside the Michael D. Eisner Center for Performing Arts, the president’s residence, and the Martha Grace Reese Miller Garden in honor of Teckie’s mother.

But Mallinger and other scholarship recipients, ones who remain in contact with the family, said the financial support is only a fraction of what endears the Shackelfords to so many Denisonians. It’s the investment of time, mentorship, and ingenuity that former students mention when discussing Teckie and Don.

“It’s one thing to give money,” says Rev. William J. Harris ’74. “It’s another to invest in people. That’s what the Shackelfords do.”


Don Shackelford is sitting in a Naples, Florida, condo, describing how he met Teckie at Denison, when he’s interrupted by the sound of a barking dog.

It creates momentary confusion for two visitors who notice that the family canines, Rusty and Mayzie, are dozing on the sofa.

“That’s Teckie’s phone,” Don says. “She loves animals, and that’s her ringtone.”

There are times when Don must feel like he lives in a kennel. With nearly 5,000 contacts, Teckie’s phone is forever barking,

At this moment, good friends Ann and Thomas Hoaglin — ’71 graduates whose names adorn the new Denison wellness center — are calling. Minutes later, it’s a campus

administrator confirming the date for the Shackelfords’ annual dinner for current scholarship recipients.

“I swear my mother has everyone’s number in the whole world,” their daughter Amy Louis says. “A lot of people grow isolated as they grow older. Not my parents. They love talking to people and getting to know them.”

Teckie began this March day with a visit to several Naples banks looking to open college savings accounts for three Serbian children — daughters of a restaurant manager whose bistro sits adjacent to the Shackelfords’ snowbird condo. She sometimes pays the girls $5 to walk Rusty and Mayzie through the boutique-lined streets of the resort town situated on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.

In Teckie’s mind, it’s never too early to start recruiting for Denison.

“Denison connections last forever,” she says, flashing her 1,000-watt smile. “Most of our best friends are still the ones we met there.”


Seated in their condo living room, Teckie playfully puts her husband of 67 years on the spot in front of visitors.

“It wasn’t love at first sight for you, was it?” “No,” Don says. “I thought you were a pleasant person.”

“He pursued me because I was dating a Sigma Chi named Tom Skidmore ’54 and Don was a Phi Gamma Delta. It was a competitive thing.”

“Tom Skidmore probably had the best grades in our class among the boys,” Don says.

“I think the only reason you were interested in me,” Teckie says, “is because you wanted to beat out Tom Skidmore.”

Fellow Denison alums say Don, a former university trustee of 36 years, was destined for success. They described him as whip smart and witty. Don co-hosted a campus radio show with Brad MacKimm ’54 and future U.S. senator Dick Lugar ’54.

The Shackelfords married in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in the spring of 1956, with Don already serving as an Air Force lieutenant and Teckie finishing her schooling at Denison.

Don’s dry sense of humor colors his memories of their big day.

“The minister was wearing muddy gardening shoes,”


Former Shackelford scholarship recipients Ray Walker ’22, Tima Kaba ’19, Benjamin Keller ’16 and Mitchell Tijerina ’18, and Cierra King ’20.


he says. “The people of Falmouth were so impressed we got married in their church that they sold it a few years later and turned it into a liquor store.”


Long before Don made his fortune in the financial sector and Teckie built her reputation in educational services, the Shackelfords learned the importance of giving back and paying forward.

Teckie’s parents, Everett and Gay Reese, were revered figures in Licking County for their community outreach and largesse.

David Reese ’62, the younger brother of Teckie and another prominent Denison benefactor, recalls his father’s favorite expression.

“There are three great things about money — making it, spending it, and giving it away,” David says. “Ingrained in us was a feeling of appreciation for what our parents had done for us and others.”

Teckie grew up on the Denison campus under the big blue tent where legendary professor Ed Wright staged his Denison Summer Theatre productions. Her mother was the business manager, and her family was the primary financial backer of summer shows that ran from 1947 to 1963.

After spending one year at Wheelock College in Boston, Teckie decided to come home.

“Denison was a highlight of my life, and so when I was ready to transfer, it was at the top of my list,” she says. “Plus, I had been in girls’ schools for four years and co-ed sounded good.”

Teckie never considered herself an exceptional student, but she understood the value of education. She taught junior high in Columbus, Ohio, and founded School Selection Counseling to assist students and their parents in choosing colleges and preparatory schools.

She also became a driving force for I Know I Can, a

program that ensures every qualified Columbus City Schools graduate gets a chance to attend college.

“I cannot stop when I see inequality,” Teckie says. “I have been a champion for the underdog all my life. I’m for immigrants, I’m for people of color, I’m for anybody who’s gotten a rotten deal.”

While the Shackelfords have donated money and time to many institutions, their first love is Denison. What they needed, however, was a person in power who shared their vision.

In 2016, they found their man.


President Adam Weinberg had been on the job for about three years when Teckie walked into his office in 2016 to pitch an idea.

The Shackelfords had been funding several full-tuition scholarships a year at Denison, but they wanted to expand educational access for Columbus students with financial needs.

“For years I had been trying to explain to universities in Ohio how important it was to give free scholarships to students,” Teckie says. “Nobody was listening to me until Adam came along. I will never forget sitting in his office and Adam saying, ‘I think we can do something here.’”

The meeting launched the Denison-Columbus Alliance in partnership with “I Know I Can.” The program enables up to 20 students from Columbus City Schools to receive a full-tuition scholarship to attend Denison each year.

In 2023, the Shackelfords established plans to create a $21 million endowment to keep the Columbus to Denison pipeline flowing.

“Adam has made an enormous difference in my feelings about Denison and my attitude toward giving to it,” Teckie says.

The I Know I Can partnership is one of four Denison scholarship programs funded by the Shackelfords. Currently, 84 students have scholarships from one of these programs.

It’s not just the quantity that thrills Teckie — it’s the quality of students Denison is producing. In 2021, three of the eight President’s Medalists (Maxwell Curtin, Jacqueline Figueroa, and Sara Abou Rashed) were Shackelford scholars. Ray Walker continued the trend in 2022.

“We knew the potential of these students,” Teckie says. “They just keep knocking it out of the park.”


Several years ago, Teckie’s daughter Amy received a frantic call from her mother. A former Shackelford scholar was interviewing for a job the next day and Teckie needed to buy her a dress and have it shipped overnight.

Amy explained the logistical hurdles involved before introducing Teckie to the world of Venmo.

“Denison is like a spider web of connections for my

DON SHACKELFORD ’54 met Teckie ’56 on her first day on campus after she transferred from an allwomen’s college in Boston.
“I have been a champion for the underdog all my life. I’m for anybody who’s gotten a rotten deal.”

parents,” Amy says. “I’ve got two siblings, but it feels like I’ve got hundreds of other step siblings because of how involved they are in the students’ lives.”

For the Shackelfords, it’s about more than hosting annual dinner parties for scholarship recipients and attending commencements.

They have invited students to their central Ohio home and used their network of acquaintances to help in job searches.

“Teckie is the truth and the light of my world,” says Cierra King ’20, who frequently speaks with Teckie and occasionally dines with her. “That’s a little lady with a big heart.”

Mitchell Tijerina ’18 and Benjamin Keller ’16 wanted to make a documentary on how the natural world influences the art, culture, and spirituality of communities in Peru, but lacked the funding. The Shackelfords learned of the project and donated money and then called some of Teckie’s 4,696 iPhone contacts, directing them to the duo’s Kickstarter account.

The six-part documentary, La Gente De La Tierra , is making the rounds at film festivals.

“I’m constantly amazed by their interest in my life,” Tijerina says.

Tima Kaba ’19 tells of how Teckie helped pay her moving expenses to relocate to Naples, where she works as a clinical research specialist. When Kaba’s uninsured mother developed back pains, the Shackelfords footed the bill for therapy.

“Teckie is an angel who walks among us,” Kaba says. Adam Mallinger, the writer of Superman & Lois , works in Hollywood, and when it comes to the Shackelfords, he references one of its greatest films.

“It’s like at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life,” Mallinger says. “All the townspeople are telling George Bailey what he did for them over the years.

“I’m staggered by the number of students the Shackelfords have helped. Think about the lives they have touched and multiply that by the generations to come. They have put a lot of goodwill out into the world.”

TECKIE’S LOVE FOR ANIMALS is such that her cellphone’s ring tone is a barking dog. Here she snuggles with her beloved Mayzie.


We Are Magic

Class of 2023, You all started off just like me. Insecure and self-conscious about your future plans. Wounded but bandaged, bandaged, but healing —

I’ve seen how you’ve struggled.

I’ve helped you wipe your tears.

I’ve seen your fears for the future but just know that I’m here.

Let me be your protector, let me tell you what I know. Listen to what I have seen and see how much you have grown.

You see, I’ve been watching you, Class of 2023, and I’ve seen the hard work you’ve put in.

I’ve seen you. President of a club, who took 18 credits a semester, and worked 15 hours a week.

I’ve seen you.

Student athlete who woke up at 5 a.m. each morning, lifting and practicing until you went numb. Going to class and then repeating it the next day.

I’ve seen you.

My art and STEM major babies who spent hours perfecting their crafts.

I’ve seen you.

International students from all over — walking up and down that hill. Every. Single. Day.

I’ve seen you — Class of 2023 and all those who fall in between, sharing all of your fun memories with me. And look at you now.

Look at you sitting in that seat. Waiting patiently to walk across the stage.

Class of 2023, May your year be filled with, “Congratulations! You’ve been accepted into”— May your confidence be so evident, heads turn when you walk.

May you be presented with so many opportunities, you struggle with which ones to pick.

May your dreams be your reality.

THE Hıll
YAZ SIMPSON ’23 was the student speaker at Commencement on May 13, 2023. This poem is an excerpt from her speech. To see more of the ceremony, including Simpson’s full speech — you really don’t want to miss it — scan the QR code below.

Denison Everywhere all at once

One night. Dozens of cities. Countless connections. The popularity of Denison’s annual gathering of alumni, family, and friends continues to soar. On Jan. 25, 2023, around the globe, more than 1,200 people representing 10 nations on four continents gathered to celebrate Denison Everywhere.

The event, a mini-reunion of sorts that debuted 18 years ago, allows Denisonians to celebrate the bonds formed on The Hill.

It’s grown quickly. While early Denison Everywhere events were held in about 30 cities, 2023’s gathering took place at 78 cities in nations including England, Georgia, India, Ireland, Japan, Spain, Sweden, Vietnam, Zambia, and the United States.

The Zambian meetup brought together just two alums, but it illustrates the spirit of the event.

“Something we always say is, ‘It’s not the number of people in the room, it’s the connections that are made,” said Gary Fleisner ’13, associate director for alumni and family engagement. “It’s about rekindling memories and showing the strength of the Denison community.”

Don’t miss Denison Everywhere when it rolls around again on Jan. 31, 2024. Interested in helping to hosting an event in your area? Email

22 ISSUE 2 2023


Show your love of Denison's home with Granville-themed items including coasters, coffee mugs, and clothing from Cedar and Thread.


Pretend you’re a kid again as you glide through the air on the newly installed swings at Silverstein Hall.



This crew neck sweatshirt is your perfect layering piece for chilly summer evenings — size up for an extra comfortable fit. From S to XXXL. See more at


Goumas is a Granville classic, where you can sink your teeth into a myriad of chocolate confections. A weirdly wonderful choice? The chocolate-covered potato chip — don’t knock it until you try it!

korn, patrick demichael


Whether you're grabbing a bite to eat or toasting a lifelong friendship, the options for your next visit to Granville just keep getting better. Four newcomers to the local dining scene offer a little something for everyone.

Grow Restaurants CEO and Granville resident Chris Crader recently opened two new spots in town: Station and Harvest Pizzeria. He brings vast experience in the restaurant biz — Harvest has four Columbus-area locations — and a passion for healthy and delicious food. Dig in with us as we explore a few new spots down The Hill.


454 S. MAIN STREET (right across from Station)

VIBE: Originally part of the Granville Mill and most recently a dance studio, the space was completely rebuilt inside: soft lighting, booths, tables, and bar seating for you to enjoy your new favorite pizza.

BEST MENU ITEMS: Any pizza, Buffalo cauliflower, and the kale caesar salad, with locally grown kale, hazelnuts, and parmigiano reggiano. Yum.



VIBE: This former train station has new life as a trendy coffee shop and cafe. Think rich wood floors, bright white walls, and exposed beams. Inside you'll find bar and table seating, and outside, a large patio right off the bike path.

BEST MENU ITEMS: A house-made croissant or pastry made right here in town and a latte to start your day.



Two more new go-to spots, Seek-NoFurther and The Lot, give off a cool but welcoming vibe — which makes sense when you know that co-owner Trent Beers is an art director turned restaurant and bar owner. Each is a perfect place to grab a drink with friends.



VIBE: Originally Gran-Villa Pizza, this spot serves nostalgia. Retro arcade games, pinball machines, and Skee-Ball occupy one side, with the brewery and restaurant on the other.

BEST MENU ITEMS: Lot-chos! That's waffle fries with all the toppings, the perfect complement to build-your-own burgers and hot dogs. Trust us



MAI CHAU KITCHEN moved their operation across the street into the former fire station. Read more about their transformation in our Summer 2022 issue.

THE PRETZEL SHOP opened in the original Whit's space.



126 E. ELM ST. (behind Park National Bank)

VIBE: This restored barn turned cidery welcomes you with outdoor garden seating, a bar area with garage doors for sunny days, and an upstairs space for socializing or event rentals. There's also an Airbnb on the property for your next visit!

BEST MENU ITEM: The cider, of course. There's also beer, wine, cocktails, and delicious nonalcoholic options. Guests are encouraged to bring food from area restaurants to enjoy with their drinks. Cheers!


The original Brews location, formerly Moe's Original BBQ, is under construction and will house a Mexican restaurant.


Art imitates ife

Jessie Kanelos Weiner ’08 moved to Paris just a month after graduating, and in 2013, she shared notes on these pages about hanging out at the famous Harry’s Bar with her fellow Denison Parisians.

During the intervening decade, Kanelos Weiner has experienced a creative renaissance. Today she’s

a successful entrepreneur and illustrator with a wide range of clients — Cartier, Free People, and Nespresso among them. She’s also the author of three books (with a fourth in the making), has expanded her repertoire to include visual essays, humor, and animation, and has even achieved one of her life goals — to be published in The New Yorker Not to mention becoming the mother of an adorable 3-year-old.


It became clear pretty quickly that I didn’t have the right connections to utilize my skills as a costume designer in Paris, so I began to look around me with different eyes. I saw a lot of

illustration work all over the city — and I always loved drawing and took studio art classes at Denison alongside my theatre major. In my free time, I just started sketching the world around me. I basically taught myself how to watercolor. At first, I wanted my work to be very realistic. Today, after 10 years of drawing, my work is looser and more whimsical, and much more conceptual and idea-driven. It's a lot like learning French. There was a moment when I knew the basics, then my “fear wall” fell down and I could just do it.


I think one of the greatest takeaways from studying theatre at Denison is being able to generate my own projects, whether that's by project managing, writing proposals, collaborations, or doing


visual research. For me, it really is about generating my own work and not waiting for someone to call me.

As an artist and a working mother, your time becomes limited. Sometimes it’s hard to be an artist and to feel productive. I’ve learned it’s important to give yourself grace.

YOU'VE WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED BOOKS IN BOTH ENGLISH AND FRENCH, CO-AUTHORED PARIS IN STRIDE AND NEW YORK IN STRIDE , AND YOUR PUBLISHER IS ASKING FOR ANOTHER. TELL US MORE. A friend and I decided to collaborate on the first In Stride book, and another author co-wrote the second with me. They’re about our favorite walks around each city with the twist of quirky illustrations instead of photographs.

The book I’m writing now is about how to tell your own story through watercolor. I’ve started teaching first-year drawing at a college this year, which meshes really well with writing the book. Many of the exercises I teach are inspired by my lessons with my studio art professor Ron Abram, and we continue to talk. I feel like we’ve come full circle — now I’m teaching 18- and 19-year-olds, too!


I’m a deeply curious person. I’m always looking at new ways of illustration for opportunities to apply my work to other formats. Humor is vulnerable. It’s not always comfortable sharing yourself, but it’s what I know. I can share something truthful that no one else can do. My work is

also my superpower. And that’s how I got into The New Yorker I’ve always been a big fan and I just started pitching to them. I must have sent them 20-30 ideas before I finally sold them a story a few years ago.


Routine is important. Every morning just after waking up I take a jog and notice things like the changing of the seasons, and little details in my neighborhood I didn’t see before. I continually choose to be inspired by Paris.

It’s important to stay in sync and pay attention, and find those moments when I see the wonder in the world around me.


Paris is my husband; New York is my lover.



Colin Ravin ’24 and Chase King ’24 team up with Chris Wolfington ’90 to make the case that the future of the college’s vehicle fleet is electric.

Friends since their first year, juniors Chase King and Colin Ravin decided last fall to put their environmental studies and economics double majors into practice.

“We wanted to do something that would have an impact on sustainability on campus,” Ravin says.

They brainstormed. Maybe a solar canopy over the parking lot at Silverstein Hall?

“That seemed a little too ‘big picture,’ and expensive,” King says.

They paid a visit to Jeremy King ’97, Denison’s director of sustainability and campus improvement (and no relation to Chase), hoping he would have some ideas. He did.

“I told them, ‘You know, Denison really needs

to look at electric vehicles and electric-vehicle charging,’” he says.

“It was something that was so obvious we didn’t really think of it,” Ravin says.

Jeremy King also knew a perfect alum to work with the pair. He connected them with Chris Wolfington ’90, who was coming to campus for ReMix, the annual entrepreneurial summit he was instrumental in starting at Denison in 2018. Wolfington’s experience in both energy and transportation ventures led him to start Ground Truth Energy, where he leads a team in the development of solutions to quickly and costeffectively electrify even the most complex of vehicle fleets.

“We wanted to do something that would have an impact on sustainability on campus.”
Colin Ravin ’24, left, and Chase King ’24 stand in front of Denison’s new Chevy Bolt.

“Jeremy was the catalyst in getting us together,” Wolfington says.

Wolfington used his expertise to show Ravin and King exactly how to build the case for electrifying Denison’s fleet of gas-powered vehicles. He worked closely with them week after week, advising that they should know their audience and anticipate every concern that the administration would have, from finances to feasibility.

“Chris was just the perfect connection for them,” Jeremy King says.

Wolfington and his two proteges crunched numbers, gathered emissions data, and compared maintenance and operational costs of internalcombustion and electric vehicles. They presented their findings to key administrators, who agreed to start by adding a Chevrolet Bolt to the college’s pool of vehicles.

“It was exciting for Ground Truth Energy to work on this with Denison,” Wolfington says. “In addition to the real world exposure for the students, this project offered Denison a way to move quickly to give their sustainability efforts credibility and exposure — and it saves money for the school.”

The Bolt arrived in 2023, and now students and staff can sign it out for use on official college business, such as trips to Denison Edge in downtown Columbus.

“Colin and Chase knocked it out of the park,” Jeremy King says. “They had done their homework and explained the benefits to Denison of going electric.”

“We could have been going in circles if it weren’t for Chris,” Chase King says. “His direction has proved invaluable.”

“Chris really kept his foot on the pedal,” Ravin says. Unable to resist, he smiles and adds, “not ‘foot on the gas.’”

Wolfington says the students stepped up.

“It has to be a natural motivation,” he says. “It definitely took some courage on their part to make that choice and decide to push.”

Ravin and King eventually met with President Adam Weinberg to share their project and their hopes for it going forward.

“He said it was refreshing to see students excited about something they initiated,” King says. “His first question after we debriefed was, ‘What’s next?’ That was just a really cool thing to hear.”


They are gathering the usage data from the electric car to help build their case for more EVs. And what started as a purely volunteer project is now earning them college credit.

“It’s become an independent study with me and Chase, and Chris and one of the econ professors, Katherine Snipes,” Ravin says.

Before they graduate, they are aiming for at least the campus public safety vehicles to be switched over to EVs. And they plan to find interested students to take the reins from them after graduation so momentum isn’t lost.

“When Chase and Colin started the year, they would never have guessed they were going to be doing an independent study on fleet-electrification, and here we are,” Jeremy King says. “This is the perfect example of how we provide students an opportunity to explore their ideas and their passions.”

CHRIS WOLFINGTON ’90 remains connected to Denison through many vehicles, including the university's ReMix entrepreneurship summit, which he helped create and implement.

“This is the perfect example of how we provide students an opportunity to explore their ideas and their passions.”



This whole project started with Kevin Bacon. Well, really the idea of Kevin Bacon, the ostensible center of the cinematic universe, an actor so prolific and connected that — the theory goes — anyone in the Hollywood film industry can be linked to Bacon within six acquaintances.

We thought maybe we could find the alum who links our network of nearly 30,000 living alumni.

As we all know, Denison is a place of great relationships. Those who call The Hill home are connected by a red thread that transcends time and space, and these connections lead to marriages and lifelong friendships and job recommendations and fabulous careers. That link is why you feel something swell in your chest when a Denison sweatshirt passes you in an airport, or why you greet a stranger in a Big Red ball cap with the

familiarity of a long-lost relative.

You are connected to something bigger.

And so Denison Magazine set out to map these extraordinary connections.

You might have received an email from us, and possibly it read like a chain letter. In a way, it was. We started with six alums and asked them to share what their Denison connections meant, and then we asked for the names of their closest Denison connections. These names launched more emails. The networks ballooned.

But we quickly realized a few things: One, this project was massive: It will never fit in these pages, nor will we complete it in mere months. Two, the experiment is highly imperfect: Do we have your current email address? Did we get caught in your spam filter? Did life get in the way of completing your new Denison homework?

All of this said, we did stumble onto some impressive connections and inspiring anecdotes.

A network that began with Kristy Clear ’10 quickly spawned a spreadsheet of more than 100 names, and more continue to pour in

every day. The connections for Jeff Forbes ’87 led us almost immediately to Mattie Stauss ’22 , a network unto herself — the fifth member of her family to graduate from Denison — who said this: “I have grown up witnessing firsthand the lifelong connections that are made up on The Hill through my dad ... Many of his best friends from Denison watched me grow up and were overjoyed and supportive when my brother, my sister, and I decided to attend Denison as well.”

We haven’t found Kevin Bacon yet, though we have some strong contenders. One respondent theorized that we’ll hit on the actual Kevin Bacon, and you know, that doesn’t feel too far-fetched.

We’re still going.

So enjoy the start of our Six Degrees of Denison experiment, and keep an eye out for an email from us in your inbox. It’s not spam. It’s your best friends calling.



Shea McMahon ’09


Vice president and director of the Columbus office for architecture firm SHP

“I owe most of the life around me to my time at Denison. My wonderful wife, most of my social circle, and the ambition to create this life are all directly tied to those four brief years in Granville.”

Dan Sweatt ’09 PHOENIX Marketing and Communications Manager, Fransmart

“My Denison relationships have meant everything to me. They have been my closest friends, my co-workers, my creative partners, my job references, my job successors, my game show audition partners, my bar trivia partners and even my wedding officiant.”

John Kester III ’09


Curriculum developer, University of Arkansas “An extended family and the opportunity to be a godfather.”

Kristy Clear ’10


Her career is in higher education, but currently she’s supervising two young ones at home.

“Being a Denisonian has absolutely shaped who I am.”


Anne Barngrover ’08


Faculty, Saint Leo University. She has also been part of Denison's Reynolds Young Writers Workshop for 15 years.

“I got married in Granville on July 30, 2022. The ceremony was at the Robbins Hunter Museum, and the reception was at the Granville Inn. My brotherin-law James Clear is also a 2008 Denison graduate; he and I were friends first, and then I introduced him to my sister Kristy when we were all on June-O staff in 2008!”

Alyson Thiel ’08 PITTSBURGH

Birth and postpartum doula, certified lactation counselor

“Deep friendships and mentorships.”

Lauren Mallett ’10


English & ELD teacher, Warrenton High School

“Returning to campus every summer to teach for the Reynolds Young Writers Workshop has been the single most constant ‘constant’ of my adult life. The bond we alum faculty share is...well...ours. I have Margot Singer to thank for hiring me in 2009. She changed my life.”

James Clear ’08 Author, Atomic Habits TRIVIA BUDDY




Owner, therapist, Flourish Child and Adolescent Counseling

Denison connections have led to “marriage, children, friendship, professional referrals, student volunteers for my business.”



Academic department director of professional development, the American Musical and Dramatic Academy



Middle school administrative assistant, The Wellington School

“Denison gave me not only lifelong friends, but it’s also where I met my husband!”


“My Denison network has been instrumental in connecting me with people in my industry, which indirectly helps with professional opportunities. I think the more direct connection between my Denison network and my professional life has been the skills I developed through interacting with Denison in different ways: the Alumni Council, interviewing prospective students, alumni events.”



Biology advisor, University of Pittsburgh

“My Internship at the Columbus Zoo while a student really changed my life.”


Broadway producer and director,

“A job lead, friendships.”




Lobbyist, California Teachers Association

“Denison has given some of my best friends and also given me a sense of serendipitous home when I run into Denison alums all the way in California.”


President, Westbeth Entertainment

“Both long term friendships and business colleagues.”

Cruse-Grasser ’09 Fencl ’08 Arnold Engelman ’74 Zuzik ’09 Chou ’09 Katherine Lenhart ’09 NEW YORK CITY
of sales, Adverity “Friends.” Blaskie ’09
Sharon Carr ’73

Dean Hansell ’74


California Superior Court Judge “Lifelong friendships.”

James Simon ’73


President, Simon & Associates

“I've made many friendships and met my wife, also an alum, through Denison. The Denison connection also has led to business prospects, and I have mentored recent Denison grads entering the field of communications. I've been a long-time, supportive alum in other areas and currently serve on the Denison Board of Advisors and as a co-chair for my upcoming reunion.”

Edward C. Scott Jr. ’85


Co-producer/owner of Driving Park, Ltd.

“My best Denison connections are lasting friendships. I rarely see my Denison colleagues but have stayed in touch with some since graduation and have tried to keep up with their endeavors, journeys, and progress.”


Adam Lebovitz ’12


Product design engineering manager, Skydio

“Lifelong friendships.”

Charlie Hartsock ’83


Co-Founder, CCO, CFO, SetJetters Inc.

“Denison connections have always been immediate and welcoming. Whether reaching out to others for a connection, or providing a conduit to students still on their path, simply having the bond of a Denison experience opens a pathway to being supportive to someone else’s journey. That said, I’ve always been terrible at networking or asking others for help. Don’t be me.”

Heather Page ’85

Cinema alum who recruited Marty Jones to Austin.

Marty Jones ’86


Studio director, Austin Studios/ Austin Film Society

“Denison has truly been the gift that keeps on giving throughout my postgraduate life! Every major opportunity in my life since leaving the Hill in 1986 has a Denison connection!”

Todd Stevens ’85


Owner, Ingo Films

“My Denison connections created a 42-year friendship with my former film professor, Michael N. Allen.”

George Hesse ’85


1st assistant cameraman

“Some of my best friends I met at Denison.”

Araia Tesfamariam ’00



Megan Fleming ’10


Translational Research Scientist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development

“My Denison connections have meant wonderful and long lasting friendships.”

Kristine Perry ’10


Staff attorney, the Environmental Law Institute

“My Denison friends are some of my best friends in the world — I can’t imagine my life without them! I’m also lucky that my sister is a Denison grad!”

Song Huang ’22


Program manager,

“My Denison connection has mainly meant career advice/ inquiry and friendship.”

Dana GrandmaisonGilligan ’02


CEO of my house

“Marriage to one, forever friends with 11 roommates, and forever teammates from the women’s soccer program.”

Matt Stoner ’91


Client manager, Alight Solutions, and Realtor, Watson Realty Corp

“Lifelong friends and a support system for the great times and the challenging times. Moving to Chicago right out of Denison, there were so many alums there together which made it so awesome and fun.”


GiGi Jones ’21



Onsite Account Manager, CDW

“My Denison connections have meant long-term friendships and mentorships with amazing people. My fellow Denisonians and I maintain communication both formally with Denison Everywhere events and informally with the recurring facetimes, check-ins, and life-updates. I am so grateful Denison exposed me to so many different people and personalities that’s aided in my growth in more ways than one.”


Tylil Spencer ’21 Martha Kamikazi ’21 Kabita Adhikari ’21 Abdulai Barry ’21 Dajia Dampeer ’18 Dorian LaceyGarita ’20

Aleks Panovska ’10


Analyst, U.S. Department of Justice

“Denison connections mean lifelong friendships that grow deeper with each passing year. I cherish the relationships I've built with advisors, professors, and of course classmates and friends I made while at Denison. To this day, those are still some of my closest friendships despite the miles between us. We've seen each other through marriages, divorces, children, career changes, milestone birthdays, and too many happy occasions to count.”

Lauren Haarlow ’90


“I owe my professional career to Denison connections, lifelong friendships, and many new and enduring friendships with Denison alums.”

Susan Leithauser ’90


(in the house I loved as a student)

Development officer, Denison

Nan Carney-DeBord ’80


Belén Gálvez ’21



“I started volunteering for Denison my first year, planning events for our class and raising money, and it all connected and had an impact. I married my classmate, whom I got to know after college when we both returned to recruit for our companies and assist with the reunion! Volunteering for Denison led to the two jobs I have had here.”

Kim Coplin ’85


Provost, Denison “Marriage.”

Chantielle Chapman ’21


Patient transporter, UMass Memorial Medical Center

“What my Denison connections mean to me are lifelong friendships!”

Neighborhood manager, EmployIndy

My Denison connections have become family. It has been two years since graduation and I still keep in touch with the people I met. We make it a priority to travel and stay connected which makes my relationships that much more meaningful. Not only did we make memories on campus but we continue to do so now. These are definitely lifelong relationships and one of my biggest takeaways from attending Denison!

Associate vice president and director of athletics, Denison Denison connections “have sustained me in many parts of life: friendship; mentorship; career advice; and I married my best Denison friend!!!”


Mary Frazell ’79


Retired administrator, Denison

“First and foremost, I am married for 33 years to a fellow Denisonian. Also produced several very close friends. Alumni referral helped with a job lead, too.”

Alexis Grimm ’20 Vanna Tran ’19 Tyecese Clarke ’21 Temitope Sholola ’21 Caeli Davis ’21 Mireya Gomez ’21 Ericia Bramwell ’20

Scott Halliday ’87


Senior Account Executive, Contender Solutions, LLC

“Some of my best friends in life are from my Denison connections. I'm reminded every time I speak with or see one of my college friends.”

Sullivan Ray ’22


Morningstar Development Program, Morningstar, Inc.

“My best friends and family have attended Denison, and these people mean everything to me.”

Melissa Riehl ’86



“My Denison connections mean a great deal to me. Marriage and family!”


Mattie Stauss ’22


Public affairs analyst, Forbes Tate Partners


Thomas Riehl ’85



“Marriage, lifelong friendships, and work connections.”

Caleb DeLong ’22


Law student, Suffolk Law

“My friends in Boston are Denison alumni who have made me feel at home living so far from where I was raised. My roommate is a Denison alum, and lawyers I have been able to connect with are because of the Denison connection.”

“My Denison connections have led me to the beginning of my career in Washington, D.C. After accepting my internship at Forbes Tate Partners (founded by Jeff Forbes ’87) in the summer of 2020, I knew that this was going to be a great place to start my career, and coming into the role as a full-time analyst has been very exciting and rewarding. The vast Denison network presents so many opportunities for life off The Hill, and that is so special.”


Maddie Kaufman ’22


Client Services Associate, Guidepoint

“My Denison connections have meant the world to me. My friends have become my family and there's no way I could succeed post-grad without them by my side. The memories we shared at school in addition to the memories we have made after are something I will always be grateful for.”


Jim Stauss ’86


Head Of Business Development, Homelend, Inc

“My Denison Connections are very important to me. They keep me in touch with old friendships, have helped me form new life long relationships, and have also been helpful in business.”

Frank Steinberg ’08


Partner, Forbes Tate Partners

Jeff Forbes ’87

CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND; works in Washington, D.C.

CEO of Forbes Tate Partners, a government relations and public affairs consulting firm

“Professor Emmet Buell took me to New Hampshire and I was hired by the Gore campaign in 1987 — the rest is history! Joe McMahon was a gem — he took care of students interested in government all the time — as did Chip Andreae. Great people inspired me to pass it on.”

“Most importantly, my Denison connections have provided many lifelong friends. I keep in close contact with many of my friends and teammates from Denison. Denison has also been important to my professional life, as I work at a firm with several Denison alums and regularly encounter other Denisonians across Washington.”

GET CONNECTED! AS YOU SEE, WE’RE JUST BEGINNING TO MAP OUT SOME OF THESE NETWORKS. YOU MAY BE UP NEXT! IF YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS OUT, START WITH THESE THREE STEPS: MAKE SURE WE HAVE YOUR CURRENT INFO! Update anything that’s changed in your life, including your email address, at WATCH FOR OUR EMAIL! If you’re tapped by a connection, we’ll send you an email titled “Six Degrees of Denison!” with instructions and a link to share your connections. EMAIL US! Want Denison Magazine to map your network in a future issue? Write to us at


With a national title secured and her record-breaking swim complete, Tara Culibrk ’23 burst into tears on the pool deck.

Four years of emotions poured out inside the aquatic center in Greensboro, North Carolina, site of the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. Her parents, who flew from Serbia to attend the meet, watched as Culibrk hugged Denison teammates in celebration of the women’s Division III title — the second in the program’s rich history.

“It was like a moment of magic,” said Culibrk, who set a Denison 100-meter freestyle record in her final swim.

“There are no other words to describe it.”

In 2019, she made the most important decision of her life, traveling to Ohio and enrolling at Denison. Culibrk was impressed with the campus and the high academic standards, and the swimming and diving program clinched her decision.

“You could just feel the unity on the swim team,”

Culibrk said. “You could sense the love and care they had for one another.”

That collective dedication drove the Big Red women to their first championship since 2001 and helped ease the sting from 2020, when one of Denison’s great teams was denied a title shot after the global pandemic canceled the NCAA meet.

Culibrk and Savannah Sargent ’23 were first-year qualifiers on that squad.

“It was absolutely heartbreaking, especially for the seniors,” Sargent recalled. “To win it this year and to have some of those seniors from the 2020 team in attendance was the best feeling ever.”

Denison qualified a maximum 18 swimmers and divers to the 2023 meet. The depth of talent proved pivotal in raising an NCAA banner that will hang in the rafters of the Trumbull Aquatic Center alongside the 2001 flag.

While the Denison women won only one event over the four-day meet — the 800-meter freestyle relay

“You could just feel the unity on the swim team. You could sense the love and care they had for one another.”
Caption: Denison swimmers embrace senior co-captain Tara Culibrk ’23 (center).

— they piled up points with an array of strong performances, including 21 top-eight finishes.

“We didn’t have star power on this team, but this is probably the deepest, most talented team that we’ve taken to nationals,” coach Gregg Parini said. “Our four senior captains (Culibrk, Sargent, Christina Crane, Emma Berdelman) did a remarkable job of galvanizing the team around the idea we could do something special.”


There’s a dollar bill that hangs in a Minocqua, Wisconsin, dive bar that predicted this Big Red victory.

Crane and former team captain Ariela Katz ’22 were visiting Berdelman in August 2022 when they went out for drinks at the Little Brown Jug, a joint that’s literally wallpapered in cash. The swimmers added to the collection, scribbling a personalized note in black marker:


Michelle Howell Simonelli ’15 was in agony — and the pain had nothing to do with the $1,400 last-minute plane ticket she purchased from Durango, Colorado, to Greensboro on the eve of the meet’s final day.

Simonelli was laboring with a kidney stone. Her former Denison teammates, who had invited her to join them in North Carolina, could not believe she was going to fly in her condition. But that team unity Tara Culibrk speaks of extends beyond the current roster.

“For years now, we’ve had the largest spectator contingent at national meets,” Parini said. “It’s just a wall of red in those aquatic centers.”

Fortunately, Simonelli’s health improved. She passed the stone before boarding her first flight and arrived in Greensboro just in time to watch the final session of the meet.

“We always told ourselves we wanted to be there when the Denison women won the title,” said Emily Schroeder ’12. “Nothing was going to stop Michelle from going.”

Schroeder, Simonelli, and three other teammates watched the Big Red hoist the championship trophy. Among other alums joining them were Katie Sprague ’01 and Mollie Parrish Zook ’02 from the 2001 championship team, and Hugh Morrison ’20 and Kailia Byerly ’20 from the squad that saw its chance at glory dashed by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Denison Women’s • S & D (Team) • Natty Champs ’23

“We manifested our national championship win right there,” Crane said, laughing.

Heading into this season, the Big Red had finished among the top-four teams at the NCAA meet for 13 consecutive years. That run included a third-place finish in 2022 when the women’s team went into the final day of competition trailing eventual champion Kenyon College by just four points before faltering down the stretch.

“That lit a fire under our butts,” Crane said. “We came back this year highly motivated.”

Sargent cannot recall a higher commitment level in her four seasons. Not only did the upperclassmen excel, but the Big Red enjoyed significant contributions from sophomores and first-year swimmers.

“As we were leaving the 2022 meet, we saw the Kenyon team jump into the water together,” Sargent said of the traditional championship celebration. “I told myself, ‘We’re going to be the ones doing that next year.’”

“It was good closure for us, especially since the seniors were first-year swimmers on our team,” Morrison said. “All in all, it’s totally deserving, and they should know how much love and support they have from the Big Red family.”

Two days after one of the greatest nights of their lives, the four captains sat in the Mitchell Center lobby and reflected on their four-year journey to the top of the NCAA medal stand.

“It took an entire year to get over the disappointment of 2020,” said Culibrk, a member of the victorious 800 relay team. “But our team never stopped believing in ourselves. The four of us held hands before we got up on the stand. It’s been such a ride, and it’s been all worth it.”

“But our team never stopped believing in ourselves. The four of us held hands before we got up on the stand. It’s been such a ride, and it’s been all worth it.”
The team holds the championship trophy aloft after the meet in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Pitching on an international stage


Over the 2022 summer break, Denison softball pitcher Sydney Silverstein ’25 had a good way to keep her skills sharp: She played international softball for Israel’s women’s national team at the 21st Maccabiah Games, a global tournament in Israel for Jewish athletes.

She and her teammates didn’t just compete — they took home gold (the first ever for Israel’s softball team) with a 2-1 win over Team USA. Silverstein pitched the last five innings.

That win was huge, Silverstein says.

“Everything that you worked toward — in that

moment — it paid off,” she says.

It’s not often that Denison fields a player who competes on a national team, says head softball coach Tiffany Ozbun. But Silverstein is just getting started.

Since joining Team Israel, she’s also had the chance to scrimmage against European Championship teams. This summer, she’ll play with the women’s national team in the Canada Cup. And despite some delays in getting her Israeli citizenship, which is required to play in the European Championships, she hopes to have the details worked out in time to play with the U22 team in Ireland next year.

“It was very intimidating at first, but once you embrace it, you kind of just go out there and you have fun with it.”


Silverstein, a double major in psychology and health, exercise and sports studies, got the chance to play overseas through connections she made playing youth softball.

She didn’t hesitate.

“There was really no thought process on if I was going to do it,” she says. “It was like, ‘How am I going to make this happen?’”

The international stage is demanding. It’s the same game, Silverstein says, but has minor rule differences, including one that allows pitchers to step into their delivery more — making for faster pitches.

There’s also the spotlight. The environment is louder and more energized, Silverstein says. “You’re on an international stage … you have a little bit higher pressure.”

She noticed the intensity during the team’s visit to Europe. While watching her pitch, her father ended up in conversation with the Czech Republic coach (whose team later won the championship), and the coach was able to recite where Silverstein played in high school, her pitch repertoire, and her plans to play at Denison.

“They’re very in-depth; they go all in,” Silverstein says. “It was very intimidating at first, but I think once you embrace it, and you kind of just go out there and you have fun with it, then it makes it a lot better.”

It’s a level of focus she’s able to bring back to Denison softball. Teammates back at Denison are able to learn from Silverstein, which enhances the program, coach Ozbun says.

“Anytime you get the opportunity to play the game of softball at the international level, you’re learning and growing from so many different coaches and teammates, and you just get to see the game in a different light,” Ozbun says.

Silverstein is happy to share what she’s learning with her teammates. She enjoys the family environment that’s inherent to softball. “The sport itself is truly a team sport,” she says. “You cannot do anything in softball without another teammate.”

Silverstein’s coaches both praise that team spirit. Listening to them talk about their young player can feel like having the same conversation twice.

“She is probably one of the kindest, thoughtful, giving people,” Ozbun says. If someone is out with an injury, she’s the first one to check in on them. “She wants to take care of people.”

“Sydney, to me, is just somebody that’s so full of joy, and you see that she loves the game,” Team Israel coach Leah Amico says. “She’s really somebody who keeps a team cohesive and working together.”

Silverstein’s positive and encouraging personality helped Team Israel connect, and her pitching — and lack of an ego — boosted the team, too, Amico says.

“I was really glad that she had the opportunity to come up big in the championship game,” she says. “What I loved about her, she didn’t pout when she didn’t get the start. But when I called on her, she was ready to go. She helped lead us to win the gold medal. To me, that’s a championship mentality.”

FROM LEFT: Coach Leah Amico and players Riley Shubb, Sydney Silverstein, and Kaia Glickman.


He’s worked as a sports and news reporter for the Columbus Dispatch for over 25 years and has covered the Stanley Cup Final, the NHL All-Star Game and Entry Drafts, as well the NCAA Frozen Four.


Denison's men’s club hockey coach, Jeff German, remembers that gnawing feeling as his team struggled to compete in the 2019-20 season against competition the program wasn’t ready for.

The Big Red jumped from Division III to II of the American Collegiate Hockey Association, which meant fewer games against the likes of Case Western Reserve and Saint Vincent College and more versus clubs such as Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State.

It didn’t go well.

Denison sprinkled in a few wins against DIII opponents but lost all 20 of its DII games.

“Is there a word below humbling?” German said.

“It was almost debilitating. It was almost to the point where I was thinking, ‘What have I done?’”

The talent wasn’t there yet, but the desire to improve was — and the process to turn the Big Red into a worthy competitor began that season with the first-year class.

They were the foundation that led Denison back to prominence this season by finishing No. 22 in the Southeast Region rankings with a 15-9-0 record.

The .620 winning percentage was 51st among 185 DII programs, and the Big Red reached the Atlantic Coast Collegiate Hockey League Elite Division semifinals, where they lost 3-0 to UNC Charlotte.

Senior defenseman Oliver Gignoux recalls his first-year season as a time when the seeds of optimism were planted by German.

“I always joke around with him that he likes to oversell things, but he’s kind of a visionary,” Gignoux said. “I think he was overselling it to the point that it actually became possible.”

With success comes respect, attention and, importantly, money. While the university covers some of the club’s budget, the rest comes from alumni donations.

Fortunately, the program has a lengthy list of potential benefactors.

Denison club hockey was founded in 1955 and through the years has seen interest peak and wane. The pendulum swung from operating like a varsity sport to resembling an intramural team.

“We’ve started an endowment that has commit-

‘What have I done?’

ments getting near half a million dollars,” said Bill Eaton, who played for Denison from 1980-84. “Why were we able to raise the money? Because people think what’s happening now is good. You’ve got a lot of alumni that are engaged now.”

The players don’t have to pay to play because of funding provided by the school and alums. That can’t be said at many schools, even large ones such as North Carolina.

“It’s super helpful. We wouldn’t be able to do it without them,” said goalie Jon Svendsen ’23. “The school is really behind us, moving along with us as the program continues to grow.”

He is appreciative of the opportunity to compete in college.

“I was looking for some -

have our own locker room, our own space, and the support not only of the Newark community but our alumni base. It’s pretty special.”

The current setup is far better than what Eaton experienced when he and his teammates, among them goalie Steve Carell ’84, practiced at Ohio State’s rink.

“Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 to 11 (p.m.), and then we’d drive back to campus about midnight,” Eaton said. For several years their home games were played in Findlay, Ohio. “We were basically a traveling circus show going to other rinks.”

German believes the combination of a nice facility, jumping to Division II, and support from the university

where that I could play club hockey,” he said. “Denison was appealing. Coach German definitely sold me on the program on where it was and what it could be.”

The team practices and plays at the Lou and Gib Reese Ice Arena in Newark, about four miles from campus. It was an open-air rink until being enclosed in 2005.

A milestone for the program came in the fall of 2017, when a locker room with 25 stalls was built exclusively for the team. Prior to that, the equipment was stored in a trailer next to the rink.

“We hear the stories of guys practicing at six in the morning and they’re coming in and they’re using the defroster to get their equipment out of the trailer and they’ve got a hair dryer warming up their stuff,” Gignoux said. “We can appreciate the fact that we

and alumni makes it easier to recruit more talented players with an eye on competing in the national tournament next season.

He wants to reach the standards from the glory days of the early 1980s under coach Seth Patton, when the Big Red routinely beat NCAA Division I schools.

“When those alumni come to watch us, they can't believe it,” he said. “It’s like, ‘I had no idea how good at hockey you guys are.’ That's what's happened now.”

“The school is really behind us, moving along with us as the program continues to grow.”


Going the extra kilometer for athletes abroad

Keeping student athletes fit when they're not on The Hill is a team effort.

Katy Crossley-Frolick doesn’t draw up last-second plays. She also doesn’t run practices, pick starting lineups, or shout words of encouragement to energize the weight room.

In fact, her best work in support of Denison athletics isn’t even done on this continent.

But for student athletes looking to remain in shape while studying abroad, Crossley-Frolick is another valuable resource committed to giving Big Red sports an advantage.

The executive director of the university’s Center for Global Programs is tasked with enriching the academic and cultural experiences of students traveling abroad. In recent years, Crossley-Frolick has undertaken another responsibility: She searches for institutions providing on-campus sports training sites.

She recently entered Denison into an agreement with the American College of Greece, which boasts state-of-the-art facilities, including an Olympic-sized pool. Crossley-Frolick is scouting similar

opportunities in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand — searching for places where Denison athletes can sharpen their minds and hone their muscles.

“There’s no reason our students can’t do both,” she said.

Keeping student-athletes fit while navigating a new country and culture is a team effort. Few liberal arts colleges have half of their juniors studying abroad the way Denison does. That percentage includes athletes who are away from their teams’ off-season conditioning programs and might not have easy access to gyms or the sports they play.

Crossley-Frolick is part of a network of administrators and coaches providing the best options for a school that’s won the last three North Coast Athletic Conference all-sports league trophies.

“Studying abroad adds to the overall Denison experience, and it’s really part of our DNA,” said head volleyball coach Carter Cassell. “But when

“Studying abroad adds to the overall Denison experience, and it’s really part of our DNA.”
james schuller LEFT TO RIGHT: Anna Lindower, Lucy Anderson, and Luke Fisher were among the Class of 2023 student athletes who made time to stay in shape while studying abroad during their junior year.

athletes get ready to go, we need to have hard conversations: ‘What are you going to do to stay active for four months? And what can we do to help ensure that happens?’”


When Luke Fisher ’24 and Clyde Bresnahan ’24 arrived in Lisbon, Portugal, in fall 2022, the Big Red lacrosse players assessed their workout options and emailed Beau Scott.

Scott is the head of sports performance at Denison. He trains not only the hundreds of athletes on campus, but also the ones embedded in studyabroad programs. Scott doesn’t want to receive the first phone call, text message, or email from overseas — those belong to parents and loved ones — but he wants to hear from athletes not long after the suitcases are unpacked and classes begin.

“When they get there, I want to know what they have access to as far as training,” he said. “We will modify their workouts from there.”

The sight of a well-equipped weight room on an overseas college campus is as rare as President Adam Weinberg wearing Kenyon colors. College sports aren’t prioritized abroad, where most athletics are run through club programs.

Fisher and Bresnahan were fortunate to locate a good gym near their school and follow Scott’s training plan.

“If they didn’t have the equipment we needed, Coach Beau improvised and gave us an alternative plan,” Fisher said.

Lucy Anderson ’23 was able to find a club volleyball team in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she could bump, set, and spike her way to game fitness. However, those stories are more the exception. Henry Gray ’20 joined a fencing club in the Czech Republic, but in order to wield his rented epee he needed to make a one-hour trip by train and bus.

Most student athletes don’t have the time for such long journeys. That’s why Scott’s improvisational workouts are so valuable to the Denison athletic mission.


As the men’s lacrosse team began its fall 2022 conditioning program, coach Eric Koch didn’t have a single player from his junior class on campus. All 13 athletes were participating in study-abroad programs.

Koch wasn’t perturbed by the absences. If anything, he was jealous.

“I love the fact they do this,” Koch said. “I pitch the opportunity to every recruit that comes for a visit. When I look back on my college career, among my regrets is not going abroad.”

One of the unique features of Denison is that almost all head coaches are members of the faculty, said athletic director Nan Carney-DeBord, so “they understand our strategic priorities and what makes us different as a university. They take the holistic approach to development.”

The cost for Denison students studying abroad is roughly equivalent to a semester on campus, Crossley-Frolick said.

Fisher had the chance to play lacrosse at the Division I level but chose Denison in part because of its robust global studies program.

“It’s a privilege to be part of that experience,” Fisher said. “How many chances do you get at that age to see the world and be surrounded by friends and teammates?”


Anderson and Anna Lindower ’23 embody the “going the extra kilometer” philosophy. In Lindower’s case, she went an extra 42.195 kilometers — the metric distance of a marathon.

It wasn’t enough for the cross-country and track athlete to run three to five miles a day while studying in Stockholm in spring 2022. Lindower decided to train for her first marathon.

She traveled to Vienna, Austria, and completed the 26.2-mile course in under four hours.

“Running is one of my passions, and I always wanted to run a marathon,” she said. “I had the time, so I figured why not try it.”

Cassell, the volleyball coach, was looking for club volleyball teams in Copenhagen for Anderson. He should have known the enterprising two-time All American was one step ahead of him.

“I stayed with a host family, and I had written to them about finding a place to play,” Anderson said. “By the time I got there, the father had connected me with a team.”

Perhaps the most resourceful story belongs to former Denison basketball player Patrick Keller ’16, who spent a summer in Bogota, Colombia. With no gym nearby, he strapped a bag containing 20 pounds of books to his back and ran 10,000 feet up Mount Monserrate.

“You can’t let yourself get out of shape,” Keller said. “Coaches back home will do everything they can to support you, but ultimately, it’s up to you.”

Luke Fisher, Lucy Anderson, and Anna Lindower agree their time studying abroad significantly added to their Denison experience. Lindower, who ran a marathon in Austria, is returning there to teach English to students.




There’s a small flaw in baseball, the game that has been called America’s pastime.

“You can’t play pickup baseball,”

says Jack Reaney ’22.

It’s easy to grab a friend or two to play pickup basketball. If you want to golf solo, have at it. Players can technically do the same thing with baseball, but on a diamond the size of a small farm field it requires a lot of creativity, like imagining “ghost runners” on the bases to allow successful batters to go hit again. Not to mention lots of stamina — fielding a routine fly ball to center can require an impressive wind sprint from the pitcher’s mound.


Denison has a varsity baseball team — a good one — so that’s one option for would-be players. But as Reaney notes, the team’s growing success is making it increasingly harder for players to walk on to the competitive roster. (Note: As we went to press, the men had just won their fourth straight NCAC tournament championship.) It leaves some baseball lovers without an outlet aside from playing catch, taking practice swings in a batting cage, or tracking down 17 friends.

So during the 2021-22 school year, a small group of dedicated Denison players made their own space for baseball, starting their own club team. The effort was spearheaded by a few leaders, including Reaney, then a senior; Matt Lehmann ’25, a firstyear who had tried out for the varsity team; and Andrew Fluri ’23, now a senior captain. Lehmann had connections with others who weren’t able to make the varsity team but still had the baseball itch.

This is the first club baseball team Lynsey Whisner, director of club sports, can remember in her years at Denison. In her experience, a club like this is unusual at a university this size. She’s watched the team thrive — driven, she says, by “that mindset that they’re not going to let it fail.”

“Those students that grew up always being part of a team and want that competition, they have that piece here without really having to be a part of a varsity team,” Whisner says. “So that’s what we try to provide.”


The new club team welcomed not only seasoned players coming off high school careers, but anyone interested in joining. It also broke traditional gender barriers, welcoming a few female students — “really good players,” Reaney says.

Bringing together polished high school players and others with far less experience, Reaney says, and “getting them all on the same field, and seeing the joy that baseball can provide, I think felt really gratifying … it’s a really incredible team sport.”

The scrappy team played anyone they could find, including a men’s league in Columbus, where team leaders recall getting shellacked by a team including former minor leaguers. But it didn’t matter. They were back out on the field.

“I just really wanted to play baseball again after I was cut,” Lehmann says, “and so it gives me an

opportunity to continue playing, continue pitching, and playing the sport I love.”

The team also forms a community on campus. “We hang out a lot outside of baseball,” Lehmann says. He enjoys being able to play without the pressure of impressing college recruiters. “It’s not super competitive like it was in high school and whatnot,” he says. “Just doing it for fun.”


It takes commitment to form a club team, from the startup paperwork to details such as organizing the schedule, transportation, and lodging on road trips. As current club president, Lehmann handles much of the behind-the-scenes work with the help of co-captains.

There are plenty of people on campus who want to play, Lehmann says, with about 30 students currently involved and a core of about 10 to 15 who participate regularly. They always have enough to field a full team.

They’ve been a team that will take on anyone, even if the final score is a little lopsided. Early on, they played club teams such as Xavier and Ohio State. Now part of the National Club Baseball Association, the team’s division includes larger schools like Youngstown State and Kent State. In its first spring series this season, Lehmann says, the team took two games out of three from Cleveland State — a school seven times Denison’s size.

“They are definitely very motivated. They’re very determined,” Whisner says. “The success of a team is really determined by the leaders of the club.”

Some club sports have endured at Denison –Whisner points to the ice hockey and rugby teams, which go back decades. Those who founded the baseball team dream of duplicating that success.

“I hope it goes for years,” Reaney says BY ANDREW SHARP

“Seeing the joy that baseball can provide, I think felt really gratifying … it’s a really incredible team sport.”

historyAlesson his own

With help from history professor Megan Threlkeld, Carter Patton ’23 tapped his family past for an inventive senior project on World War II.

ISSUE 2 2023

The Senior Seminar prompt called for an examination of the United States as a global power in the first half of the 20th century.

Carter Patton ’23 had an abiding interest in World War II, but he knew he needed to narrow things down.

“What could I find from this time period,” he asked himself, “that could really strike a passion in me?”

The answer to that question lay in a tin box in his grandmother’s basement.

Inside he found yellowing WWII era-snapshots, holiday cards from the 1940s, and a few flyers for U.S. Army social events. Mostly he found letters, more than a thousand of them. And within those letters he found the story of a young Army surgeon — his great-grandfather — who was separated from his wife and first child by an ocean and the winds of war.

Many of the individual letters seemed mundane. After poring over them for much of fall semester, Patton realized that taken as a whole, the correspondence told a story far more profound.

And at the heart of this historical and self-discovery, Carter Patton uncovered the passion he had been looking for.


He wouldn’t have found it without Denison, he says, particularly without the mentorship of history professor Megan Threlkeld.

Patton graduated in 2023 with a history major with a minor in chemistry and eye on medical school. He chose Threlkeld as his advisor in his first year.

“His level of enthusiasm for Denison was very high even then,” Threlkeld says.

Their teacher-student relationship grew over the years — “I am a frequent flyer in her office hours,” Patton says — and in the fall of 2022 he took his Senior Seminar with her.

“Every history major has to complete a senior experience,” Threlkeld says. “They can either do a two-semester independent senior research project, or they can do what Carter did, which is more typical, which is to take a one-semester Senior Seminar.”

The goal of the seminar is for students to design and carry out their own independent research project, choosing whatever topic they like within a general theme, Threlkeld says — which, in this case, was the United States becoming a world power during the first half of the 20th century.

“Carter spent the first maybe week or two the same way that every student does, which is to think, ‘Oh, I could do this, I could do that, oh I’m really interested in this, or maybe I’ll look at this,’” she says. “And then we were having a meeting in my office one day, and he said, ‘You know, my grandmother has these letters…’ and I’ll be honest, I was hesitant at first.

“I had a sense of how hard it would be in ways that he couldn’t, just because I’ve been through this process before,” Threlkeld says. “I’m a practicing historian. I work with sources like this, and I know that personal letters, no matter how much we like to romanticize them and think, ‘Oh those are the perfect historical sources,’ they’re actually very, very difficult to work with. And these letters turned out to be really difficult to work with.”


The letters in the box had been written by Patton’s maternal great-grandfather, Dr. Dennis Megenhardt, during the three years he spent overseas as an Army surgeon.

Megenhardt grew up in rural Indiana and graduated from Indiana University’s medical school. He married a nurse, Mary Virginia, and started a practice in Indianapolis. When World War II broke out, he decided to enlist. His daughter, Patton’s grandmother, was an infant when he left for Europe.

SENIOR CARTER PATTON was looking for a history project relating to World War II when he remembered a trove of family letters in his grandmother's basement.

“And then we were having a meeting in my office one day, and he said, ‘You know, my grandmother has these letters…’ and I’ll be honest, I was hesitant at first.”

The box she kept all those years was a treasure trove. It was made of tin and swaddled in plastic wrap. Tucked inside was assorted memorabilia, including 1,164 letters that Megenhardt wrote his wife, which he sometimes did several times a day. In March 1944, he wrote her more than 80 letters.

All had been stored in chronological order and secured with rubber bands brittle with age.

“Nobody in the family had really touched them,” Patton says.

Some of the letters referenced famous events of WWII, such as the Battle of the Bulge and D-Day, when Megenhardt wrote three letters to his wife: “This is what we’ve been waiting for,” he told her.

Others were personal. Megenhardt wrote of missing his wife and child, and of a peaceful afternoon that turned briefly to terror when, napping in a British field, Megenhardt leapt awake as a shadow passed over him. It was not enemy aircraft on a bombing run, but a soaring crow.

Rarely did he get into detail about his work, even though he was seeing up to 100 patients a day.

“Some days he would just be plowing through patients,” Patton says. “He doesn’t mention the medical stuff as much. He writes that whenever he thinks about it, it saddens him how many people he has to treat.”

But many of the letters were noticeably dry and routine. They included detailed lists of what he ate for dinner or which dignitaries visited his unit.

Threlkeld, from experience, knew why.

“One of the things you immediately have to think about is that this guy is being censored by the Army,” she says. “There is going to be a lot that he can’t say.

He’s also going to censor himself; there will likely be things that he doesn’t want to tell his family about because he doesn’t want to worry them. So he probably is not giving the whole picture of his experience in the way that we might think, when we imagine someone writing a letter that bares their soul and tells all their thoughts and feelings.

“These aren’t those kinds of letters,” she says.

Patton began to realize that as he waded through the pages.

“For Carter, one of the biggest challenges was just to embrace the tedium of having to sit with this pile of sources, and wade through them and read all the little details,” Threlkeld says. “He had to put in the time before he was able to start to see the bigger picture of the story these letters were telling him.”

As he pressed on, he realized that the contents of the letters didn’t matter so much. What mattered to his great-grandfather, beset by worry and uncertainty at a frightening moment in world history, was the grounding nature of the practice itself.

“These letters really helped him get through the war,” Patton says. “One of the main consistencies of his life was the act of letter-writing. It helped him process some of the things he was seeing.”

Patton’s recognition of that deeper theme was wonderful to see as an educator, Threlkeld says.

“He trusted me when I told him that he would eventually start to see the bigger picture, and he did,” she says. “And what he figured out in the end that was so great, was that it was the very ordinariness of the letters that made them special.”

“What he figured out in the end was that it was the very ordinariness of the letters that made them special.”
What felt like an overwhelming topic to Carter Patton grew focused under the guidance of history professor Megan Threlkeld. Inside an old tin box, Carter Patton found a collection of WWII memorabilia but mainly letters — 1,164 of them — sent home by his great-grandfather, an Army surgeon.


Patton titled his 30-page paper the way his great-grandfather always had ended his letters: Love + Kisses, Denny: The importance of letter writing for an American Army surgeon during World War II. With Threlkeld’s encouragement, he submitted it to several undergraduate history journals, and he learned in February that the paper had been accepted for publication by Ezra’s Archives , a journal published by Cornell University.

Patton gave members of his family copies for Christmas. They bonded over this newly fleshed-out family history, and Patton says the project has sparked in him an interest in genealogy.

“I unfortunately never got to meet my great-grandfather, but I do feel through this project that I’ve been able to connect with him,” he says.

And at Denison, Threlkeld says the relationships forged between students and professors make it a special place.

“It really is incredibly rewarding to me to be able to teach in this environment, where I get to see them not just as students in my class, but really as whole people,” she says. “Being in a smaller school, being in a liberal

arts college, being in a place that fosters that kind of relationship, helps me be a better teacher, because I get to know more of who they are.”

Patton has seen this firsthand all throughout his four years at Denison. When he presented his project to the history department faculty and senior students, he says, he was not surprised to see a music professor and biochemistry professor in the audience to support him.

“Even though they might be in other academic disciplines, your professors really care about you, and they will come out to events that they see as significant in your life,” he says. “They care about you so much that they’ll spend time out of their day going to something that you’re passionate about.”

“I unfortunately never got to meet my greatgrandfather, but I do feel through this project that I’ve been able to connect with him.”
Carter Patton's great-grandfather always signed off, "Love + Kisses, Denny." Patton's project highlighted the importance of letter-writing to those serving during wartime. WATCH A VIDEO ABOUT CARTER'S PROJECT:


Katy CrossleyFrolick

In support of these global efforts, Denison has embarked on a two-year partnership with the American Council for Education’s Internationalization Laboratory.

“Our goal is to be an internationalized campus, where having a global lens is part of who we are. We want to view everything— from facilities to faculty, and every curricular question—with a global view in mind.”

The center of campus is a heart-pumping, hamstring-tugging, 10-minute uphill walk from the Mitchell Recreation and Athletics Center. But it’s one Amanda Arnold enjoys making every other Thursday during the school year.

Arnold is a second-year assistant professor in Health, Exercise, and Sports Studies at Denison. While her teaching duties keep her busy in the Mitchell Center, Arnold takes advantage of the opportunity to meet at the Doane Library to exchange ideas and share experiences with other new faculty members.

She’s an eager participant in the Denison Teaching Seminar — a bimonthly gathering of the university’s new tenure-track professors — that’s run by the Center for Learning and Teaching. The innovative program is open to professors in their first three years at Denison, and while attendance isn’t mandatory, the turnout has been steady.

“I find it extremely helpful,” Arnold said. “The focus is on teaching, but we also learn about time management and how to prepare for our third-year reviews. Beyond that, it builds a sense of community.”

In his travels, President Adam Weinberg is constantly engaging with Denison alums. He’s often asked if the faculty is as good as they remember it.

“The Denison Teaching Seminar is designed to make sure this always remains true,” Weinberg says.


The seminar has been around for nearly a decade in some form, but under the direction of mathematics and computer science professor Lew Ludwig and biology professor Rebecca Homan, the focus has sharpened, and the buy-in from faculty has been greater.

Each month during the school year, Ludwig and Homan introduce a topic: grading, mid-term feedback, student advising, technology in the classroom, relationship building with students, and more. Two weeks later, the group meets to discuss the featured topic and the professors are encouraged to share their thoughts.

What the seminar does not include are outside speakers. That’s intentional.

“It’s transforming a teaching culture through peer mentoring,” said Ludwig, director of the Center for Learning and Teaching. “It’s set up around a ‘community of practice,’ so there is no expert in the room. The expert is the room.”

Denison’s faculty has grown larger and more diverse, and its members are spread throughout central Ohio, with some professors choosing to live closer to Columbus. Gone are the days when many faculty lived in apartments at Stone and King halls.

Today’s professors will soon be sitting on academic committees and collaborating on interdisciplinary projects. Getting to know each other through the semi -

Denison's Teaching Seminar introduces relevant teaching topics, stimulates discussion within the group, and builds community for new faculty members.

nar’s free-flowing format helps engender a sense of unity.


“One of the most important things to us is that it builds community beyond a single cohort,” Homan said. “Lew likes to say that if a person participates for all three years, they build relationships with five different cohorts.”


The Denison Teaching Seminar, in its second year, is thriving, regular attendees say, because professors find the format welcoming and the topics stimulating.

“It’s never boring, and there’s always something useful,” said Belinda Azenui, an assistant professor in economics.

Several new professors noted how engaged Denison students are in the classroom. They want to build relationships with instructors and understand why they are earning the grades they are receiving. That’s not always the easiest conversation.

“Even though the fields we’re teaching are sometimes wildly different, a lot of the issues are similar,” said Lucy McAllister, an assistant professor in environmental studies.

Ludwig believes the program, designed to graduate professors in time for their third-year review, is “the crown jewel” of the Center for Learning and Teaching.

“A lot of alums come back in part because they had an emotional attachment with a faculty member,” he said. “We want to make sure that never changes.”


Economics from every angle



conomics isn’t just about goods and services, supply and demand, dollars and cents.

EAs associate professor of economics, Zarrina Juraqulova discovered at a young age it is just as much about us, the opportunities we are given, and the choices we make.

Juraqulova earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics in her native Tajikistan and spent the next decade working there for organizations including the United Nations, Winrock International, and World Bank. Her pursuit of a Ph.D. brought her to the United States, specifically to Washington State University. She discovered Denison as a visiting professor in 2015 and quickly saw the merits of a liberal arts approach to education. Her two oldest children are also Denisonians — one a 2023 graduate and the other a current student — and she loves that they are encouraged to see the world around them from all angles.

“They can challenge themselves in terms of their religion, their ideology, their political standing,” she said. “Being in the liberal arts provides them with the opportunity to learn across all disciplines.”

“I am very happy being in academia, because in academia it is constant learning,” she said. “You’re always learning something new.”

You grew up in Tajikistan and witnessed the implosion of the Soviet Union as a child. How did that experience pique your interest in economics?

I was 12 years old when the Soviet Union collapsed, and I clearly remember the frustrations that many people had. They lost jobs, they lost money, they lost their savings. And overnight there was a new economic system. They didn’t know anything about a market economy, or how it functions. People were not ready for those big changes. Seeing all these drastic changes sparked my curiosity to learn more about the economy.

You’ve said the idea of a liberal arts college like Denison was new to you upon arriving in the U.S., but that you found yourself quickly drawn to that style of learning. Why?

I came to Denison as a visiting professor. Coming to Denison, I learned what it means to be a “liberal arts school.” In former Soviet Union countries, we don’t have liberal arts schools. I really like that in liberal arts schools, people appreciate the interdisciplinary approach to research, to the courses. I really like working with students and colleagues from various disciplines. I’m the kind of person who wants to learn about an issue from different perspectives.

You use that philosophy in your classes. You accompanied students on learning trips to Central Asia and last fall to the U.S.-Mexico border. You also infuse classwork with personal experiences from the decade you spent working on economic and social issues


in Tajikistan, often in rural areas and parts of the country that had been scarred by civil war. Why do you like this real-world approach to teaching?

I think the students appreciate when I share with them my professional experience and bring examples from my personal background. I worked as a volunteer for the United Nations Development Program to help implement rehabilitation projects in a war-affected area of Tajikistan. This experience opened the door to many professional career opportunities for me at other international humanitarian agencies based in Tajikistan. I have been fortunate to be part of programs that aimed to enhance local governance, ensure sustainable local economic growth, and strengthen livelihoods and employable skills for rural populations with high levels of poverty. It was a good experience because I obtained real-life/empirical knowledge by working with different people in the community.

You see economics through a human lens. You are on sabbatical this semester to further your research on the economic impact of reproductive rights in Central Asia, as well as child care issues in Kazakhstan. Why is it important to view economics in the context of social issues like child care and elder care, income disparity, gender politics, and diversity?

Economics is not all about finance, money, interest rates, or stock markets. Economics can also be used to study different issues, such as gender inequality and how it affects the economy. Economics is about people, their behaviors, and how their decisions also affect their future perspectives or their productivity. Our behaviors and choices affect our wellbeing and financial independence.

You recently started growing roses as a hobby. How did that come about, and what does it say about you?

I’m the kind of person who likes changes, but good changes, intellectual changes. Last year I started growing roses as a fun activity. It’s not easy to grow roses in Ohio because of the humidity. In Tajikistan, when we grow roses it is much easier. It doesn’t require so much care. Here it takes a lot of care, so I am learning how to effectively take care of them. That is just how I am. I’m constantly trying to learn something new, and move forward.

patrick demichael Juraqulova joined Denison in 2015 as a visiting assistant professor of economics and was granted tenure in 2022.

Eric Liebl is retiring this spring after 29 years of teaching molecular biology and genetics. Despite all the changes he’s seen in his time on The Hill, one thing has remained constant — his commute. So when he suggested that we step outside the walls of his office in Talbot Hall, we ventured into the Bio Reserve alongside him.

"One of the things that defines me as a person, and a Denison professor, is that I walk to work through the Bio Reserve every day (and I really mean every day; there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing). I live just east of the Reserve, so I have a 45-minute walk through the Reserve to campus in the morning and a 45-minute walk back in the evenings. These hikes are where I actually do most of my lateral thinking. If I’m struck by a good idea about how to present material in class, or if I have a research insight, it’s almost always something that comes to me during my walking meditation commute.”

While some professors opt for a briefcase or tote as their work bag, Liebl brings a hiking backpack. 1

“Everybody jokes that I'm going on a camping trip, but I say, well, how big is the trunk of your car? I have my rain stuff. I have a light. If you were going to drive to work in a convertible, would you not have a top for the convertible? Would you not have lights in case you have to stay later and it gets dark? I'm prepared to walk home no matter what.”

For over half a century, the Bio Reserve has served as a destination for both academic and leisure activities. 2

“It certainly makes me aware of the broad world of biology. I mean, I'm a molecular biologist and a geneticist, but I'm very aware

each week of how far the wildflowers are progressing. I always send a picture to the department when the skunk cabbage first comes up, usually through the snow. So although I’m a molecular biologist, I feel connected to my more organismal and ecosystem-oriented biology colleagues."

From hiking clothes to formal attire, Liebl is ready for a quick change. 3

“When I come into campus, I change into what I call the professor uniform. I have a collection of shirts, socks, and pants in my office, so I come in, I change clothes, and I wash up in the restroom, and then I'm ready for my job. And then when I go home, I have my muddy stuff that I put back on.”

With his mud-caked hiking boots on, Liebl is free to walk wherever he decides. On or off the trails. 4

“I have had some fun experiences walking around, but I've also seen stuff that a lot of people don't see. I mean, there was one year I ran into three box turtles. They were just crossing the path at the same time I was. It was crazy — the year of the turtle. Sometimes I walk back at night and then I see foxfire — these bioluminescent fungi. It was a long time ago, but I remember when the Hale–Bopp comet was clearly visible above the field station. So if you get away from the light, you see the things that you normally don’t see.”


Talbot Hall 221

1 3 2 4
james schuller BY EMMET ANDERSON '24
The Office
Christian Faur displays a photo-realistic portrait of American mathematician Julia Robinson made from crayons. The work is part of his tribute series featuring famous mathematicians.


From humble beginnings, Christian Faur has become an acclaimed artist who's found a home at Denison by carving his own niche.

Niki Landa ’23 was 11 years old when she saw a video of an American artist using physics and technology to create photo-realistic portraits made from crayons.

With a love for art and a steady hand for drawing clean lines, she was immediately captivated.

Landa came to Denison in 2019 from Israel to major in political science with plans to attend law school. She fed her creative impulses by minoring in studio art, enrolling in animation courses, and finding a “kindred spirit” in instructor Christian Faur, director of collaborative technologies for the fine arts.

One day while researching Faur on the internet, Landa made a startling discovery. Her favorite instructor and the American artist who made the portraits out of crayons were the same person.

“I could not believe it,” Landa said. “I knew he had done some crayon art, but I hadn’t realized he was the amazing artist behind the viral video.”

Faur is among Denison’s most enterprising and versatile faculty members.

He teaches studio art in the classroom. He works behind the scenes of stage productions to enhance their visual and audio quality. He’s responsible for maintaining and updating all lab computers for the fine and performing arts.

And when Landa applied to law schools and needed letters of recommendation written, Faur was among her first choices.

“You hear it said that everyone is replaceable,” said professor Lewis Ludwig, director of Denison’s Center for Learning and Teaching. “In this instance, you might need six people to do what Chris does. Either that or clone Leonardo da Vinci.”


He arrived on campus in 2001 and found the first place that felt, to him, like home.

Faur works in a position that showcases his array of skills and abilities to facilitate. He makes his acclaimed art, exhibited in galleries worldwide, in a home studio.

He considers Denison faculty his second family and touts the value of a liberal arts education.

“Students become very resourceful here,” Faur said. “They can jump from one career path to another if they want to because of how they have learned to learn.”

Resourcefulness and resilience are what drove Faur through a turbulent upbringing.

He and his sister grew up in New York City, in a single-parent home where change was constant and money was scarce. The family seldom stayed in the same house or apartment for more than 18 months.


As a child, Faur immersed himself in art and fantasy books. Nothing sparked his imagination like a new box of crayons.

“Seeing that many different colored crayons felt luxurious,” he said. “You opened the box, and there was so much potential.”

He spent three years in the Army, sending money home from Germany, where he was stationed. The GI Bill helped pay for college, but thoughts of attending art school weren’t practical given his finances. Faur studied nursing for nearly two years before pivoting to physics and mathematics.

He also became the king of the side hustle during his college years in California. He worked as a bellhop, a gas station attendant, and a bank teller. He stacked crates filled with Gatorade to the ceilings of a warehouse.

Faur always found time for his art, however, graduating from charcoal drawings to watercolors to oil paintings and beyond. As his projects grew more ambitious, he began to incorporate physics and technology into his pieces.

It was at Denison where he started using crayons, shredded paper, and crackers to produce photo-realistic works. It took him more than a year to perfect his first crayon portrait.

“This is where my physics degree came in handy,” Faur said. “Physics is all about solving problems, breaking down problems, one at a time. Otherwise, I would have been overwhelmed.”


In a Mulberry House lab filled with high-tech equipment, the most eye-catching feature is four bean bag chairs. It’s the first clue that Faur doesn’t run a typical classroom.

He began his teaching career in Pasadena, California, at the middle-school level. Faur quickly understood that students don’t learn the same way or at the same pace.

And so he allows them to stand up during class and walk around when they require an occasional break. They can even plop down on the bean bags and follow along on the projection screen as Faur guides them through an assignment.

Because courses in animation, graphic design, and virtual reality involve so many steps and keystrokes, Faur records his classes, giving students a chance to review what they might have missed.

“He has great strategies to engage different types of learners,” said Liv Gjestvang, Denison’s chief information officer. “He’s bringing some sensibilities from the art world into the ways he interacts with students.”

While Landa aspires to be a judge, she’s also a star pupil in her art classes. Faur’s expertise and the way he motivates students to push their creative boundaries convinced her to take her directive study with him in animation.

TOP: Christian Faur’s artwork is created in his home studio, and has been shown in galleries worldwide. BOTTOM: Niki Landa ’23 excelled in Christian Faur’s animation classes. When it came time for letters of recommendation to law school, she asked Faur to write one.

“It may not be my primary career, but art is for the soul,” Landa said. “I will never stop doing it. I love professor Faur’s classes because he gives us so much latitude to grow and explore.”


During their two decades of collaboration, professor emerita of dance Sandra Mathern-Smith cannot recall Faur ever saying no to one of her requests.

He excels at helping faculty members conceptualize and deliver on their visions for theatrical, musical, and dance productions. He can project a raging river across the stage and use AI-powered technology to produce revolving backdrops.

“Christian has this magical ability to expand time,” Mathern-Smith said. “I don’t know where he finds the hours in a day to do everything.”

Students like Landa see Faur’s impact firsthand in the classroom, but many others have no idea they’re benefiting from his technological wizardry.

He installed software in the computers at Mulberry House and the Michael D. Eisner Center for the Performing Arts, allowing students to complete virtually any task regardless of their artistic discipline. He’s also packed the devices with enough memory so they won’t see Apple’s “spinning wheel of death” when performing an operation.

“My job is to create something that is a doorknob — it works every time, and it’s stable, so faculty and students are comfortable taking risks with it,” Faur said.

From his artistic flair to his scientific acumen to his technological mastery, Faur’s fellow faculty members say they’ve never met anyone quite like him.

“He’s even a great cook,” Mathern-Smith said. “A real Renaissance man.”

“Christian has this magical ability to expand time. I don’t know where he finds the hours in a day to do everything.”
Christian Faur helps deliver stunning special effects and projections to Denison theatrical and musical productions.

Imet assistant journalism professor Doug Swift during a critical moment in my junior year — when I decided to alter my path and make a late switch to a journalism major.

“A crazy plan, that's for sure,” Swift said. He was all for it. A champion for chasing what drives you, Swift proved to be the ideal mentor for such a pivot.

With graduation quickly approaching, I sat down with Swift to talk about that decision and what the future holds . Our conversation, edited a bit for length and clarity, gives a glimpse of today’s relationships between students and faculty at Denison — and how the learning and impact goes both ways.

MEYER: I met you when I was switching advisors after I decided I wanted to completely pivot from psychology to journalism my last year of college. And I remember we met and we planned out the rest of my classes. And you didn't doubt for a second that I could do it. Even though you didn't know me. And that really got this fire in my belly going. Because you believed in me, I really looked forward to proving to you that I was worth that belief and that trust in my capabilities. I guess I'm curious to hear from you if you questioned whether or not I could do it in a year — if that was something you'd seen before?

SWIFT: No, I've never seen it. It's a crazy plan, that's for sure. Takes a crazy person to do a crazy plan. And I saw just enough crazy in you. And it felt right. That's my primary mode and that's how I've lived my life.

MEYER: By feeling?

SWIFT: Yeah, totally. 100%. I have no doubt that's what's going to help every single person at the most critical moments of their journey — make a move. It's not going to be sitting down and rationalizing something. It's going to be from inside. It felt like you knew what you needed to do in this last year. And my job was to help you do it and help it to go as smoothly as possible.

MEYER: Well, thank you. You really have impacted me a lot.

SWIFT: Good. You deserve that, by the way.

MEYER: What do you feel that you've learned from your students? How do you feel they teach you?

SWIFT: Well in the sense of what I teach, I’m asking everybody to enter into the creative process. Every time anybody does that, that's a learning experience. Not just for the person doing it, but for anybody who's around the person doing it. And that would include me. I'm just saying here's a path and if you go down this path, there will be some interesting things that'll happen, and I get to be a witness or a guide on that path. And so whatever they're learning, I'm kind of co-learning.

When you had the vision of putting a GoPro on the backs of those dogs so that you could actually see the people who experienced the therapy dogs, you know, I've never seen that idea. So I made sure we got a GoPro so that you could do it, right? So my job was to make sure that your vision could be carried out. And then to see what you got — I learned a lot from that.



MEYER: Since your multimedia journalism class, I've been fascinated by the way multiple mediums come together and how full and multi-dimensional that feels. Now I can't just write an article without thinking about a documentary and an audio story to go along with it.

SWIFT: That's cool.

MEYER: I've also learned how to do everything with heart. Because that's what you do. And that's been something invaluable for me. And something I'll practice for the rest of my life.

SWIFT: That's beautiful. After you went to talk to Alissia, the pastor I connected you with for senior research, she sent me a lovely email about what a beautiful, intuitive, intelligent person you were. When we send students out to community members, you know, we certainly hope that we don't make a mistake. She felt like you were drawing on her wisdom in all the best possible ways. And that's everything that we hope will happen, right? That community members are honored in that way and seen in that way. And then when you came back and talked to me about what you learned, you were excited and you had all these great notes. And it really filled in the blanks for me about what she was saying. You find good stories. You find stories that other people don't find, and you lead with your heart. Every community needs a storyteller like that.

MEYER: What do we hope for each other in the future? What do you see yourself doing?

SWIFT: Well, it's never been more clear to me that the way that I relate to other people is going to come through in the work I do and how I am within myself. It is the reason I teach storytelling — because it is fundamental to the one and only life I've been given on the planet. So I just want to hone my own craft and tell stories of meaning to the world and to those around me. And then, if that creates more mentorship possibilities, that's a wonderful byproduct. It just has to come from my own work, getting myself out there and making myself uncomfortable.

MEYER: Definitely. I could see you making all sorts of documentaries or podcasts or whatever medium it might be, and bringing in students. That's what you've been doing, bringing in students to your projects. And collaborating with them. And it just comes naturally for you. It just kind of happens. And that's what I wish for you. That kind of effortless beauty in collaborating with people.

SWIFT: I know what you mean. It's hard work, but it has an effortless feel because it's so in sync with inner energy and the way that inner energy wants to flow. What do you hope for yourself?

MEYER: I've spent all this time trying to figure out a finite answer for what I want to do. And I've been doing a lot of thinking, and I don't think I ever really want to know. I think that would be quite boring. I don't really want to land on anything ever. I know the area that I like, but within that area, I always want to explore. I always want to stretch myself. I always want to learn.

SWIFT: Well, I think that's the right frame of mind. Wherever you wind up, that community is gonna need somebody like you as a storyteller. What I would want for you is to find that path. Find those stories that you are very good at finding. And play.


‘Intellectual heart’ of campus b e ats stronger after library renovation


Sue Douthit O’Donnell learned at an early age that words and books mattered deeply.

Her father was a writer and editor, and her mother was head reference librarian at the State Library of Ohio. If a child asked O’Donnell’s mother how to spell something as simple as “cat,” she would make it a point to cite the dictionary.

“Here we are,” she might say upon finding the word. “Cat. C-A-T.”

“Both of them were very interested in books, and therefore libraries,” O’Donnell says.

When she and her husband, Bob, decided they were prepared to make a substantial gift to Denison, Greg Bader, vice president for institutional advancement, told them about much-needed renovations to William Howard Doane Library. It was a perfect fit.

“In our discussions, it became clear that Sue saw the library as the intellectual heart of campus,” Bader says. “She believes libraries are truly the essence of college campuses.”

The O’Donnells’ $7.5 million gift was announced in 2018, with $5.7 million earmarked for the library and the remainder set aside to grow the college’s narrative nonfiction writing program.

The O'Donnells' gift restored the original library entrance and the grandeur of the front desk area.

The library project came to fruition just as the COVID-19 pandemic slowed life, and library traffic greatly diminished.

Now, with campus life back in full-swing, the reinvigorated library is seeing its usage skyrocket. Between January and April of 2022, the library logged 17,000 visitors. During the same period in 2023, it saw 26,000 visitors. The improved, and in many cases all-new, study rooms are packed on a typical day, says BethAnn Zambella, Denison’s director of libraries.

Evidence of the O’Donnells’ gift can be found in all corners of the 1958 addition and in the original 1936 building, which has been renamed Douthit Hall. Reading rooms have been brightened, the faculty lounge retooled, harsh industrial lighting removed, and group study rooms added. But there are dozens of major upgrades not obvious to the casual visitor, including new roofs and an HVAC system that extends the library’s life for decades to come, Zambella says.

“It brought new life to the building, made it more accessible, more engaging as a space,” Bader says. “It honors the building’s past and ensures the library’s future.”

The improvements are evident as soon as you step through the main doors. Visitors are met with restored

but largely original terrazzo floors, rich wood paneling, and the overall sense of former grandeur that long had been obscured by a utilitarian but uninspired front desk area. For many years prior to the restoration, library patrons had been directed to use the side doors, not the dramatic main entrance as it was designed by architects of the 1936 building.

“We had these beautiful doors, and you couldn’t go in them,” Zambella says.

O’Donnell remembers going through those doors, and she was surprised to learn that they had gone unused for so long.

“I just couldn’t imagine not going up those steps,” she says.

She remembers her years at Denison fondly, and she hopes the facelift encourages students to spend more time in such a valuable campus resource for years to come.

“Libraries are truly special places, where people come together and collaborate,” she says. “I wanted to give back to Denison, and this was exactly the kind of thing I wanted to do.”

The Presidents Room on the first floor was given a thorough facelift. Updates made possible by the donation can be found throughout the library. Renovations created many new and improved study spaces. A plaque naming the original library building Douthit Hall has been placed just inside the main entrance.



66 ISSUE 2 2023

Thao Pham ’24 always admired how people could stumble onto things they enjoyed. No planning, no expectations. Just those random little discoveries that shape a hobby, a career, a life.

She wasn’t like that. She researched. She weighed options.

“Usually, I just pick from what I know,” she says.

But then she found herself nearing the end of high school in Hanoi, Vietnam, facing all kinds of questions about her future — where to go to college, what to study, what career path might fit her best.

And she found herself stumbling across some life-changing answers.

She discovered Denison at a college fair. After a long conversation with the recruiter about the economics department, the Knowlton Center for Career Exploration, and just the whole campus vibe, she knew it was right. She watched YouTube videos on economics majors and realized that felt right, too — an academic path that fit her plans for a career in business.

Then she happened upon a YouTuber who walks around college campuses asking what students are studying, and she noticed a puzzling number saying they were majoring in math.

“OK,” she thought, “why would you major in math?”

More videos followed. She learned that math majors weren’t just future teachers and researchers — they were working in all kinds of fields, especially business. She decided to go for it. A double major in economics and math.

“It’s the most unplanned decision that I’ve made in my education and career,” she says. “But I was like, OK, this is actually a terrific combination.”

And so it was set. Denison. Double major. A first semester online, disrupted by a global pandemic. Then a journey from tropical Hanoi to Columbus, Ohio, where she and a crew of international students were picked up at the airport and delivered to a Granville twinkling in its best winter splendor. A blanket of white surrounded the van, and when they arrived on The Hill, the driver giggled as Pham dipped her hand into the fresh powder and studied the flakes.

“Oh,” she said, “it looks like a flower!”

The snow, her first, was a surprise. Everything else was exactly as she’d hoped. Denison was full of the friendly students the recruiter had raved about and the vast opportunities that would shape her life. She joined the student investment club and through that organization, she discovered the opportunity to intern at the university’s investment office.

She knew she had a lot to learn, so she applied — and the investment office, which had never taken a first-year student as a summer intern before, gave her a shot.

“We were a little skeptical about hiring a first-year,” says Director of Investment Operations Nicholas Carangelo. “But the reason we brought her in was that right after the interview, she was like, ‘Tell me what I need to do — even if I don’t get the job, what’s helpful for walking down this career path?’ It just showed a lot about her dedication.”

At first, she seemed quiet, almost shy. By the end of the summer, Carangelo says, she was mentoring other students and taking on projects that exceeded the usual intern work.

“She’s very, very ambitious,” he says. “You could tell she was there to soak up as much as possible. I think she tackles every experience from the angle of, ‘What is the absolute most I can take from this?’”

She was a sponge that summer, and the experience cemented her path. Investment management was her calling. The following year she interned at 1607 Capital


Partners in Richmond, Virginia, while completing the Online Intensive Program with Girls Who Invest, a national nonprofit dedicated to increasing the number of women in portfolio management and executive leadership in the investment management industry.

Later she became a campus ambassador for Girls Who Invest and helped recruit Beril Gultekin ’25, an economics major from Ankara, Turkey. Gultekin completed the rigorous application for the 2023 summer program with help from the Knowlton Center and Pham, who also works as a peer career coach in the Knowlton Center.

Gultekin found out in January — she got in.

“It was really helpful for a student that goes to Denison to have those prior experiences,” Gultekin says, “and she was so helpful in answering any questions I had — how long did it take to finish courses, how is the program benefiting you as an alum, how did it improve you in different ways?”

This summer, Pham’s headed to New York for an internship with private investment firm Starwood Capital Group, an opportunity of such magnitude that Carangelo can’t overstate how impressive it is. “I would think that was almost impossible for someone from a liberal arts university,” he says. “I’m thrilled, very proud — but not surprised — that she’s doing this well. I think that Thao knows exactly what she wants to do, exactly what path she wants to take, and will 100% give her all.”

Well, maybe not exactly. The careful planner is still working out the details. Maybe there’s room for a few surprises — some more unexpected randomness to stumble upon.

“I know for sure I’m still going to be learning as much as I can in the investment field by being open to new opportunities as they come, and I’m excited about it,” she says. “But I don’t have a master plan of how I’m going to get somewhere. I just know I’m going to get there.”

Thao Pham ’24, left, helped recruit Beril Gultekin ’25, right, into Girls Who Invest, a national nonprofit dedicated to increasing the number of women in the investment management industry.

WHEN Wednesday, Sept. 20 – Friday, Sept. 22 WHERE Denison University LEARN MORE & REGISTER



At ReMix, Denison's annual entrepreneurship summit, alumni and students gather to discover new ideas, learn from peers, and celebrate that “something special” about Denisonians. Creators, visionaries, and innovators from a range of fields and industries provide the foundation for specially designed interactive sessions and workshops.



When Denison University was founded in 1831 as the Granville Literary and Theological Institution, it became the second Baptist college west of the Allegheny Mountains. In 1853, a Muskingum County farmer promised the college $10,000 to win naming rights. He came through with only $2,000, but the name had already stuck.

Deeper pockets could be found in the industrial cities of Dayton, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. The deepest belonged to Cleveland resident John D. Rockefeller. As a staunch Baptist, he was favorably inclined to aid churches and educational institutions affiliated with the denomination. A deep dive into the Rockefeller Center Archives in Sleepy Hollow, New York, the Denison University Archives, and the University of Chicago Library reveals the story of wooing and winning America’s greatest philanthropist.

Denison president Samson Talbot made initial success with Rockefeller in 1868, when Rockefeller was 29. He gave Denison $500, worth more than $10,000 today. His generosity may have been because the grandfather of his wife, Laura Spelman, was among the five who traveled from Granville, Massachusetts, at the beginning of the nineteenth century to establish the village. Two of Laura Spelman’s uncles were early trustees of Denison.

Six years later, Rockefeller’s connection with Denison was firmly established when he became a trustee. He was already a rich man, probably the richest in Ohio, and certainly the richest Ohio Baptist. He was also a devoted benefactor to Baptist causes, but hardly a free-wheeling one. He carefully studied the great number of appeals made to him, required detailed explanations of the need, and set firm conditions before writing a check.

One such appeal came from fellow trustee Henry F. Colby, who wrote to Rockefeller on Feb. 3, 1874: “May I not venture to express the hope that one of the largest gifts of your life will be made at no distant day (to Denison)?” His pitch came as part of a drive to raise $100,000 for the college. Rockefeller came through with $20,000 in two payments, more than twice the total he had given to Denison so far. But he did not make the second payment until he learned that $90,000 had been raised.

He was no doubt influenced by the favorable report he received from George O. King, pastor of the Euclid Avenue Baptist Church, the church to which the Rockefeller family belonged. On March 31, 1880, after a two-week teaching residence at Denison, King wrote to Rockefeller, “I had a good opportunity of judging the work done in the institution and was very much pleased and interested.”


Other Baptist colleges vied with Denison for Rockefeller’s largess, among them the University of Chicago. The wife of the president of the University of Chicago, M. E. Anderson, wrote to Rockefeller that the strain her husband was suffering from the serious financial duress of the college could be fatal. “The only way out will be either for some large-hearted man to interfere and straighten things up, or for us all to give up the ship,” she pleaded. Her appeal did not move Rockefeller to contribute.

He did continue to give to Denison. In late 1884, Denison president Alfred Owen wrote for money “for the advanced work in Natural History.” Rockefeller immediately sent $100. In Owen’s thank-you letter, he writes, “I have a faint conception of the pressure put upon you and felt exceeding reluctance to add to your burden.”

Soon after, President Anderson at the University of Chicago tried to add considerably to Rockefeller’s burden. In a letter of February 21, 1885, he outlined the financial morass of the institution and pleaded for a donation of half a million dollars. Rockefeller again declined to come to the rescue, and in 1886 the University of Chicago ceased to exist.

In what would seem a surprising turn of events, Anderson’s next position was as president of Denison University. He immediately began a drive to raise $100,000 for the Denison endowment. He approached Rockefeller in a letter of May 18, 1887, asserting, “We must enlarge and strengthen the departments of this University in order to make it most largely efficient.”

Trustee Colby pushed the sell harder several months later. “Denison is beyond comparison the best established Baptist college west of the Alleghenies,” he boasted in a letter to Rockefeller. “I wish we might have a building at Granville which in years to come might be associated with your memory.”

Colby emphasized Rockefeller’s buckeye connection, but Rockefeller, like many other Gilded Age millionaires, had moved four years earlier to New York City, putting himself many more miles from Granville. His attendance at trustee meetings had never been regular, and Colby ended his letter with a gentle chide: “We have regretted that your many engagements have prevented our having the benefit of your counsel in our trustees’ meetings.”

A year later, Anderson was still negotiating with Rockefeller over his contribution, noting in a Jan. 31, 1889, letter: “I don’t just like to see any money go past Granville further westward.”

The efforts of Colby and Anderson finally paid off. Rockefeller gave $25,000 toward a pledge of $100,000 (in today’s dollars, $3.5 million), half of the university’s fundraising goal. But the other half was not raised until fully a decade later, in 1900. By then, Anderson was long gone and Daniel B. Purington was Denison’s president.

Meanwhile, a forceful movement to resurrect the Uni-

versity of Chicago came from several quarters. From a Jan. 7, 1887, letter from Thomas W. Goodspeed, secretary of the University of Chicago Seminary: “To found this institution, in this place, will, it seems to me, be the glory of a man’s life.” Four days later, from William Rainey Harper, a former Denison faculty member and then Yale professor: “There is no greater work to be done on this continent than the work of establishing a University in or near Chicago.”

Two years later, E. Benjamin Andrews went even further, stating to Rockefeller his conviction “that the rearing of a noble institution of learning in that city was [of] the very foremost educational interest of our denomination in this age.”

These effusions are even more remarkable when one realizes that Andrews had been president of Denison from 1875 to 1879 and, upon his death in 1917, was interred in the campus cemetery.

But such high-flying rhetoric was necessary to break down Rockefeller’s staunch resistance. The onslaught was finally persuasive. On Sept. 26, 1890, Andrews wrote Rockefeller, “I have urged Harper to accept at Chicago and I rejoice as much as you or anyone in the outlook of the new University.” Andrews had by then become president of Brown University and would lead its transformation into a full-fledged university. Harper assumed the position of president at the University of Chicago in 1891 and during the next 15 years would lead the institution to realize the dream of Andrews and others. Rockefeller’s initial gift of $600,000 in 1890 and subsequent gifts totaling $35 million (worth $1.23 billion today) fueled that success.

After his largest donation to Denison, Rockefeller remained a trustee for another two years but had little further involvement and kept his checkbook closed. He resigned in June 1892. While his philanthropy extended to numerous other institutions, Denison was no longer among them.

During the progress of the 20th century, the two institutions divested themselves of their Baptist affiliation and became secular. Denison began graduate programs in the 1880s with the intention of building them into doctoral programs, but soon resolved to stay with a strictly undergraduate curriculum. Today, Denison’s endowment is over a billion dollars, impressive for a college with an enrollment of 2,300. The University of Chicago, with over 17,000 undergraduate and graduate students, boasts an endowment of $10.3 billion.

So here are two teasing questions: What if Rockefeller had remained a Denison trustee? What if Denison had lured Harper back as its president? Neither of those possibilities came to pass, and the future of both institutions followed different, though both successful, paths. Such are the vagaries of money.

“To found this institution, in this place, will, it seems to me, be the glory of a man’s life.”


a unique opportunity for student employees to do consulting work for internal Denison clients. The capital letters stand for Research, Engagement, and Design.


to internships and job opportunities through the experience gained in the program.


because it conducts research that uncovers insights about the student body. Denison can factor this into decisions on projects including housing and student meal plans.

In RED Corps, students ask questions and deliver answers


Julie Tucker recalls the first meeting with Amanda Fields ’25, who arrived in her office like a force of nature, a cyclone of good intentions and bright ideas.

It was the spring of 2022, a time when Denison was preparing to transition its student health care from Whisler Hall to the Ann and Thomas Hoaglin Wellness Center. Tucker, associate vice president of Student Life, immediately recognized Fields’ passion for the topic.

“Amanda had lots of innovative thoughts about wellness, and you could see she was invested,” Tucker said.

Fields was encouraged by the staff to channel her energy through RED Corps, a program founded in 2018 and operated by Denison’s Red Frame Lab.

In her first year as a RED Corp fellow, Fields found the endeavor a perfect fit for her ambitions in public health. In the spring of 2023, she was part of a team project that helped Denison students understand how to use their health care insurance.

“I went rogue my first year when I was trying to do it on my own, and you can wind up getting too close to the issue and feeling frustrated,” said Fields, a global health major. “There’s a big difference between advocacy and consulting.”



Denison established RED Corps five years ago to gain student feedback for an important campus project.

The program, which employs 12 to 16 students annually, teaches its fellows to research topics, work with teammates, develop creative data collection methods, synthesize data, and deliver polished presentations to on-campus clients.

“We were engaged in a housing master plan, renovating residence halls and building community within residence halls,” Tucker recalled. “We hired an outside consulting firm and they conducted an all-student survey and made recommendations. But none of their findings

Alex Pan ’24 interviews students about possible academic programs as part of his work with RED Corps.

seemed rooted in who we are as a campus. The recommendations just didn’t make sense.”

RED Corps formed just days after the meetings with outside consultants. The housing master plan became the first project for the inaugural fellows, and their research was so thorough that the outside consultant planned to incorporate it into future work with universities.

“It has become this beautiful student mechanism of how we gather feedback and deep insights,” Tucker said. “RED Corps has been important for how we gather opinions on the wellness center and student meal plans.”

RED Corps fellows canvas the campus for a wide range of student opinions. The data sometimes yields surprising results.

Take, for instance, the time students were asked whether building a bar for the social space at Moon Hall was a good idea.

“You would think you know the answer, right?” Red Frame director Steve Krak said.

But as a RED Corps team drilled deeper, asking follow-up questions, students discovered such a move would limit options for using the space.

Asking the right questions is a big part of the program’s mission.

“Working to get the perspectives of other Denison students is crucial,” Tucker said. “RED Corps teaches students to get well beyond assumptions you or your friends might have.”

This is a true consulting experience. There are times when clients adopt recommendations and times when, for reasons beyond the fellows’ control, they choose not to act on the recommendations while still taking into account the valuable insights.

Alex Pan ’24 loves the challenges RED Corps present. His group had Denison Edge as a client and helped investigate the feasibility of opening a co-op-style program in Columbus.

Administrators decided to table the project, but the information collected by Pan and his team should prove valuable if the university revisits the idea.

“This is why you hire consultants, and why you hire us particularly,” Pan said. “You hire us to find out what students think and what would have to be true to them to be receptive to an idea.”


Sophie Hudson ’21 spent three years in the RED Corps program, and that experience taught her many lessons — including not to fear failure.

Clients might balk on a project, but if data is properly collected and the scope of the work is understood, students succeed in their mission as consultants.

Hudson currently works as a supervisor for McMaster-Carr, a supplier of hardware, tools, raw materials, and maintenance equipment. Drawing on her RED Corps education, she’s constantly checking with clients and bosses to eliminate blind spots and surprises.

“What is the scope of the project?” she asks periodically. “What are the priorities, and have they shifted based on the information we have? Regular check points are important.”

Krak and Tucker assign RED Corps projects knowing that most will be “squishy” in scope and might involve clients who aren’t exactly certain what they want. Fellows are sometimes thrown curveballs in the process.

“When team members come into the lab concerned, I smile and tell them, ‘Welcome to the real world,’” said Krak, who worked 25 years at Battelle Memorial Institute solving science and technology problems for clients. “Then, I coach them by asking, ‘What can we draw on to make this work?’”


Denison's center for entrepreneurship, design thinking, and innovation provides opportunities for students to gain skills in consulting, project management, teamwork, and professional presentation.

Experiences include:

 Starting a business with a mentor in Red StartUp

 Consulting for real clients through Red Frame Consulting

 Improving a real client’s customer experience in the UX Design Workshop

 Consulting for internal clients as part of RED Corps

LEFT: Students offer feedback to RED Corps fellows. RIGHT: RED Corps fellow Jon Svendsen ’23, left, and Colleen Boyle ’24 worked on a team tasked with getting insights on campus common spaces.


The Roommate Dinner, a Denison tradition, honors some of the college’s deepest relationships

The four-year friendship of Andrew Lim ’23 and Nick Meyers ’23 started with a text message, as so many recent college roommate stories do.

But this pairing has its own spin. Meyers looked to his friend to share it.

“So I was at the World Yo-Yo Contest…” Lim began.

Theirs was just one of the origin stories shared at the 2023 Roommate Dinner, held April 18, 2023, in Knobel Hall. The dinner invitation from President Adam Weinberg was extended to 112 seniors who have lived together on campus for six or more semesters. Each was treated to a buffet and given a white Denison ballcap with “Big Red Roommate” embroidered on the back.

“This is one of my favorite celebrations,” Weinberg told the crowd. At a college that prides itself on meaningful relationships, “you represent that at its very best. These relationships only grow deeper over time.”

Some of these friendships began as random assignments. Others had known each other in high school. All found their own ways to navigate the challenges that are guaranteed to arise in any roommate situation.

Sam Secrest ’23 and Sully Janeck ’23 played football together at Bishop Fenwick High School in Middletown, Ohio.

“I was the center; he was the quarterback,” Secrest said. They played for Denison and roomed together all four years. The two laugh easily, clowning football plays for the roommate portraits offered at the dinner, but Secrest grew serious when he considered the notion of living without Janeck in the fall.

“I hadn’t really thought about it,” he said. “It will be weird. Really weird.”

Liam Watters ’23 and Christopher Pascall ’23 began rooming together as sophomores, as did Sophia YagerMotl ’23 and Miles Berry ’23. The two pairs, all friends, joined up as a quad for their junior and senior years.

All knew each other before becoming roommates.

“You have to be friends because it’s inevitable that you’re going to be annoyed at times whenever you’re living with other people,” Berry said.

It also helps to have some shared traits. Pascall said he and Watters were a good fit because “we both have terrible sleep schedules.”

Three of the four have the same taste in movies — eyeing Pascall, they teased that, as a cinema major, he has more rarefied tastes.

“It’s not a higher standard,” Pascall said. “Just a different standard.”

As for Lim and Meyers, they were a random pairing, and although Lim had mentioned yo-yoing as a hobby on his prospective roommate survey before his first year, Meyers is pretty sure he didn’t.

“I think it was just coincidence,” he said.

When Meyers texted to introduce himself on that fateful day, Lim mentioned in his reply that he was at the World Yo-Yo Contest in Cleveland.

Meyers’ response is now part of their friendship lore.

“He was like, ‘I also yo-yo as well,’” Lim said.

That was all it took. They lived in Curtis East their first year, moved on to Crawford and then Sawyer, and are finishing their Denison experience in an apartment in Upper Elm.

No roommate pairing is perfect, of course. But these two first bonded over yo-yos — they understand that for a friendship to work, you have to take the ups with the downs.

“These relationships only grow deeper over time.”



1960 s

1961 Clark Blaise , of New York City, has published This Time, That Place, a selection of 24 stories from five of his earlier short story collections. The book features a foreword by Margaret Atwood and has been praised by the likes of John Irving and Joyce Carol Oates. He writes that the opening story hearkens to a Denison writing class from his junior year that was taught by Paul Bennett. “I'd love for old friends with long memories to pick one up and tell me what you think,” he says.

1963 Judy Longacre , of Poughkeepsie, New York, writes from her home of 57 years that her grandson chose to attend a writing workshop at Denison in the summer after his junior year in high school. “He loved his experience, and we have fun talking Denison ’63 and ’22,” she writes.

Richard Seale , of Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, writes, “Ahh yes, the sweet taste of an earned retirement at last! To add some spice to my 80s, we have undertaken a major renovation of our Belhaven, North Carolina, cottage. That should take about a year. Linda and I hope to relocate to it to be near our farm, hunting lands and productive fishing, crabbing and boating waters. Come see us in 20 24.”

Rick Taylor, of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, has a new website,, that contains a plot summary of his book, Curse of the Klondike, as well as a few cemetery poems “which might appeal to you since death is approaching.” But all is not grim. “I’m loving retirement because it gives me the opportunity to write, write, write, which my wife, Shannon, tolerates (barely).”

1967 Bob Ashbaugh relocated from a 55+ community in Princeton, New Jersey, for a life of kayaking, sailing, and more volunteerism in Cornelius, North Carolina. Nearby Davidson College reminds him of Denison and was one of the magnets that led him to relocate there.

1969 Wayne Minich , of Richfield, Ohio, reports that eight members of the Sigma Chi Class of ’69 met in Hilton Head, South Carolina, from Sept. 24-27, 2022. Steve Gerdsen, Carl Girth, John Lathrop, Dick Meeks, Tom Meeks, Wayne Minich, Bob Negri

and Bob Stewart reminisced, looked at old pictures, laughed heartily and celebrated their 75th birthdays together as they resurrected their fraternal bonds of brotherhood.

1970 s

1973 Becky Banyas of Portland, Oregon, retired in 2022 from the State of Oregon's Arts Commission, where she managed large-scale public art projects at the University of Oregon.

Mary Louise McCullough is a newly retired pastor who recently moved to Erie, Pennsylvania, after 10 years in Nashville. Her husband of 22 years, the Rev. Mike Wilson, is pastor of two Presbyterian churches in Erie.

Jack Hire of Granville was presented the Dr. Allen Avery Service Above Self Award on Dec. 5 by the Rotary Club of Granville. Hire, a Denison employee for nearly 50 years, was recognized for his volunteer efforts at the Granville First Presbyterian Church and for going above and beyond expectations at the university. Hire has shared his technical talents at the church for years and proved to be a vital resource during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Without most of the live-streaming or the quality of the livestream, we would not have been able to worship together,” First Presbyterian Pastor Karen Chakoian said. “It is not an overstatement to say Jack helped save our church during COVID.” In bestowing the award, the Rotary also noted Hire’s commitment to and love of Denison. “‘Go ask Jack’ is a near constant refrain around the office because Jack knows the college well, its people, and its history, and can always be depended on to help without expecting accolades,” Rotarian Sue Cherney said. Hire said he was surprised to receive the award. “I am both honored and humbled by it,” he said. “I am just happy to have an opportunity to be of help to others in some meaningful way. This club honored my wife, Joy, with this well-deserved award nine years ago, and I like to think that I have learned from her how to serve within a community, whether it’s with this club, our youth, the university, or the church.”

Carl Moellenberg of New York City, has published an inspirational memoir, Carl Moellenberg's Story: Broadway and Spirituality as a Path to Survival . He is a 13-time Tony Award winner.

George Williams of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, received the Distinguished Service Award from Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital in recognition of 23 years as chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and his service as the 2019 president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.


1975 Stan Soloway of Washington, D.C., has been appointed by the Secretary of Defense to the Defense Business Board, which advises the secretary and senior department leadership on key operations and management challenges.

1976 Pam Van Arsdale of Bedford, New Hampshire, Kathy Stevenson Soloway ’75 , and Linda Smith Brockway ’76 fondly remembered The Evergreens Restaurant in Granville upon seeing a piece of red velvet cake at the airport in Cape Town, South Africa.

1978 Jane Lowry of Palo Alto, California, is a regional director of development for the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she helps cover the Bay Area and the greater New York area. She enjoys hiking and outdoor living in California and would love to connect with Denison classmates in greater San Francisco.

1979 Ken Lockyer of Hobe Sound, Florida, is managing director at Oppenheimer and Co.

An epic ride through the Grand Canyon

On a cool September evening, Mark Beckstrand ’77, Steve Curl ’75, Andy Gamble ’78, Neil Smith ’76, and Ray Yourd ’75 gathered around a campfire. Friends of more than 40 years, their conversation quite naturally turned to personal bucket lists, and in a moment of pure inspiration (some might say madness), they decided to take an epic journey down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Obviously, this idea was too marvelous to keep to themselves. “We invited Peter and Charlotte (Reynolds) Merrell (both ’78), John Daly ’75, and Randy Howell ’78 to join us,” Gamble said. The coterie included roommates, soccer teammates, fraternity brothers, and college sweethearts. Most began their relationships at Denison more than 50 years ago. A smattering of non-Denisonian spouses and friends completed the contingent.


Class Notes


1980 s

1980 Barry Dubinsky of Boca Raton, Florida, was named partner in the 100-attorney law firm of Groelle & Salmon, P.A., in South Florida.

1981 Alison Hardy of West Newbury, Massachusetts, is the owner of Window Woman of New England, Inc., and in February made another appearance on Ask This Old House.

Kasey Maier is president and CEO of the Waterfront Botanical Gardens in Louisville, Kentucky. She was the first employee of the gardens and has been instrumental in its construction atop a former city landfill and its opening to the public in 2019. The project, still in its first of three construction phases, is estimated to cost $60 million once finished.

In April 2023, the adventurers launched their 17-day expedition at Lee’s Ferry, Arizona, and pulled out at Diamond Creek, 10 miles upriver from Lake Mead. This legendary 226mile run is what’s known as a “big water” trip, with rapids that range from a relatively gentle 1 and 2 to white-knuckle, heart-stopping, 9 and 10. One raft flipped during a wild ride down class 10 Lava Falls. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Days typically began with a hot breakfast, packing up, and getting on the river for several hours. “We often stopped at a side canyon and hiked to a waterfall for a dip,” Gamble said. They camped in tents on sandbars. “Many of us slept under the stars.” Before hitting their sleeping bags, a veritable talent smorgasbord provided evening entertainment. Several musical instruments — including a cello — came along for the ride. Strains of John Prine wafted up canyon walls, and “California Dreamin’” was repurposed into the trip’s theme song, “Colorado Raftin.” Artist Steve Curl produced impromptu masterpieces. The crew also enjoyed a staged reading of a one-act play, and Daly, in a nod to Hal Holbrook ’48, performed as Mark Twain. It was a trip of a lifetime, Gamble said, and more importantly, “it bonded everyone together, and we realized that time spent with friends was the most important outcome.”

After a small, 40-year separation (we) are together again and happily in love.


Class Notes


1982 Rob Egan and his wife, Sharon Dobbins Egan ’83 , trekked through rainforests, snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef, and marveled at the wonders of deep space at the world-renowned Mt. John Observatory during a recent trip to Australia and New Zealand. They also attended a Penguin Parade at Phillip Island and La Boheme at the Sydney Opera House. “Enjoying the third third of life!” Rob writes.

1984 John Otis of Salt Lake City writes that “after a small, 40-year separation,” he and Lucy Taylor ’84 are together again and “happily in love.”

1985 Katie Ensign of Jacksonville, Florida, is vice president of community investment and impact at Baptist Health, where she leads the health system’s social responsibility efforts to improve the health of the community, contribute to the well-being of all community members, and eliminate health disparities through partnerships, civic involvement, responsible action, and charitable service.

Janet Howard of Amherst, Massachusetts, has released her memoir, Field Notes on Letting Go, and its associated workbook with writing prompts.

1986 Danny Friedman of West Hartford, Connecticut, is CEO and founding partner of WMGNA LLC, and has been appointed to the advisory board of the Miracle League of Connecticut. The Miracle League gives children with physical or cognitive challenges the chance to participate in recreational and sporting activities.

1987 Susan Callahan of Wellesley, Massachusetts, has started a private practice as an integrative wellness coach with a specialty in brain health. She has worked in wellness for 20 years, publishing Mothers Need Time Outs, Too , and says her expertise can help anyone wrestling with health and life issues.

Dana Levy of Salt Lake City is executive director of Survivor Wellness, a nonprofit organization that provides cancer survivors with lifelong access to affordable, high-quality, evidence-based integrative health care services and support in a home-like environment. She spent 20 years as a yoga teacher, trainer, and therapist, and 15 years residing in Japan, and is happy to be living and working in Utah with her husband, Zach Smith ’90 . Their son, Eli, is a sophomore in the business school at the University of Utah, where he is majoring in operations and supply chain management.

Bruce Harlamert of Wenham, Massachusetts, is a managing partner at Prime Residence Group.

1990 s

1993 Will Pearce of Sarasota, Florida, is director of solution engineering at ECS Federal.

Jacquie Stonis of Clifton, Virginia, recently published a children’s book, Love Everywhere .


Marriages: Kirsten Mogensen of Concord, North Carolina, married Christian Douglass Mogensen on family property in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, in September 2022 .

1995 Wendy Ward of Darien, Connecticut, is president of futuresTHRIVE, an early intervention mental health screening tool for youth.

1996 Cathy Weigel of Rutherford, New Jersey, is director of marketing communications for Sprott Asset Management, a Canadian company focusing on precious metals, uranium, and other energy transition materials.

1998 Jen Sacco of Hamden, Connecticut, is chair of the Department of Philosophy and Political Science at Quinnipiac University and a professor of political science and women's and gender studies. Amy Spears of Columbus, Ohio, with Ohio Roller Derby teammate Samantha Tucker, has published Collective Chaos: A Roller Derby Team Memoir with Swallow Press.

1999 Greg Driscoll of Lloyd Harbor, New York, is head of AMRS Credit Sales at Bank of America.

2000 s

2000 Mike Howe of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, is senior director of global sales at Shutterstock Studios.

2001 David Tulkin of Pacifica, California, is vice president of revenue at Lendflow, a financial technology startup.

2002 Gaurav Mittal of Cresskill, New Jersey, is CEO and executive vice president at Ethoca, a subsidiary of MasterCard.

John Wendle of Jensen Beach, Florida, is a journalist, producer, cameraman, and photographer based in Dakar, Senegal. He recently spent a week tracking critically endangered West African lions in Niokolo National Park for a story published by National Geographic.


2003 Matt Bolish of New York City, was named managing director of the New York Film Festival, the first in the festival’s 61-year history.


Births: Meg Herschelman and William Herschelman, a son, Graham Duffy Herschelman, in August 2021. The couple married on Sept. 10, 2022.

Elizabeth Storm and Ken Storm, a daughter, Vesper Mae Storm, in October 2022 . She joins big sister Skylar. That same year, Storm was the top salesperson at her company, The NPD Group, Inc.

Jed Finley of Wright City, Missouri, recently had his second co-authored book, Keeping It Real With Arthritis: Stories from Around the World , published, with Jed contributing his story about becoming invisible while living with chronic ankylosing spondylitis. His first book Made To Overcome: Chronic Illness Edition , released in 2020 , focused on the work of chronic illness and disability advocates. His work has been featured in The New York Times , Vanity Fair, and various web publications.

Dave Gedeon of Maplewood, New Jersey, has been appointed CEO of Bloomberg Index Services Limited. Gedeon joined Bloomberg in 2020 . He and LeeAnn Gedeon ’05 have three children.

Katie Gray of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, is a managing director at Deloitte, where she has worked since graduating from Denison. She married longtime partner, Charles Bates, on Oct. 22, 20 22. They have three children.

Scott Towler relocated in 2020 to Marblehead, Massachusetts, where he works as the assistant to the CEO and founder of the Life is Good apparel brand.


Births: Lauren Campbell and Chris Smithson, a son, Theodore “Teddy” Smithson, Jan. 12, 20 23.

Kate Hotler of Seattle, spent six years at Tableau, working as a UX designer on their research and development team, before moving to an internalfacing role designing technical learning for the software engineers. After leaving, she started a social innovation venture amidst the apple orchards of southcentral Washington. “I had planned on designing learning experiences for adults, as well as creating local opportunities for youth, and mixing them together in a cool physical space,” she writes. “I successfully achieved the two latter objectives, and may revisit the learning experience design for adults later. We basically opened

a 21st century one-room schoolhouse/rural learning lab in an old auto service garage, on the town square in this adorable tiny no-stoplight town. I am now tackling many of the challenges that I saw the community facing on a more systemic level. I joined the local planning commission for things like getting sidewalks for kids to ride their bikes to the program, and preventing rural gentrification while fostering livability and improving conditions around social determinants of health. I also have been made board president of the Yakima Valley Libraries Foundation.”

James Marks of Westerville, Ohio, is a sales director for Pabst Brewing Co.


Class Notes



Births: Owen Buckley and Katie Buckley, a daughter, Charlotte Merrill Buckley, in October 2022 . She joins her big brother, Brooks.

Amanda Styles and Doug Kershner, a boy, George Richard Kershner, on Dec. 23, 20 22.

Marriages: Anne Barngrover and Vedran Husic, July 30, 20 22.

Mariel Cunningham of Beverly, Massachusetts, is assistant director of prospect development at Harvard Law School.

Tori Ogrizek of Seven Hills, Ohio, is director of social and brand reputation for Leaf Home.

(cont’d pg. 81)

We basically opened a 21st century oneroom schoolhouse/ rural learning lab in an old auto service garage.

Class Notes


& I

Fraternity brothers past fuel Denisonians of the future

Awarded annually to seniors who have covered a portion of their expenses through on-campus employment and maintained a GPA of 3.2 or better in their major. Recipients must have certain majors and show involvement in the larger campus community.

Dave had a long career in newspapers and a much shorter one in corporate communications. He’s now a freelance writer/editor and lives in Cincinnati.


Delta Upsilon Class of 1954 Memorial Award supports Denison seniors in their final stretch

n the early 2000s, Ed McNew and the late Carl Jochens ’54, friends and Delta Upsilon fraternity brothers, wanted to do something to support Denison and honor their fallen brothers — specifically to help accomplished Denison students who really needed it.

“We had talked a lot about doing something,” McNew said in a recent phone interview from his home in Irvine, California. “And we finally managed to put something together.”

They and seven other Delta Upsilon fraternity brothers worked together, each chipping in a few hundred dollars to get the fund started. McNew and Jochens subsequently made larger gifts — in the neighborhood of $100,000, McNew said — and Denison helped create the award in 2005.

Since then, the Delta Upsilon Class of 1954 Memorial Award has helped about 20 students with “significant financial need” cover expenses in their senior year at Denison.

The award now totals more than $16,000 per year, and the memorial fund has grown large enough to support two seniors. This year’s recipients were Brian Stone, a financial economics major, and Moriah Aberle, a mathematics major.

The scholarships are given in a fall meeting arranged by Gillian Kennedy, Denison’s director of donor relations, with the students and their advisers. It’s a secret operation. The students aren’t told before the meeting what it’s about, so news of their well-earned good fortune comes as a surprise.

“It was set up under false pretenses,” said former recipient Maria Taylor ’19. “I thought it was about something else entirely. I was shocked and overwhelmed when I got the news.”

Several of the award recipients have gone on to graduate school in disciplines that include medicine, law, physics, and business — including Taylor, now a student at the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University.

“It’s made a significant difference in my life,” Taylor said. “It helped me make the decision to get into health care.”

These days, the surprise meetings with award recipients are recorded, and videos are sent to McNew. He’s thrilled to see them. He’s also heartened by the letters of thanks he’s received from award winners.

McNew is 90 and has lived in Irvine for 50 years. He’s one of the few remaining of the original nine fraternity brothers who chipped in for the award. His friend Jochens died in 2004.

After graduating from Denison, McNew, who grew up in Mansfield, Ohio, and later Detroit, served in the military before beginning a long career in sales for a couple of steel-making companies. He and his late wife, Louise, had three children.

McNew said he’s proud of what he’s been able to give back to Denison and “proud that I went there.” He hopes that people who are familiar with the Delta Upsilon award will be inspired to contribute or start something like it.

“Looking back on things,” he said, “I consider myself one of the luckiest people in the world, mostly because I met and married Louise. But Denison was a great experience for me. It’s a super university.”

To give to the Delta Upsilon fund or support Denison and its students in other ways visit

TOP: Ed McNew '54 and President Adam Weinberg. BOTTOM, CENTER: Scholarship recipient Brian Stone


Shea McMahon of Columbus, Ohio, recently was named a partner and vice president of SHP, a 122-yearold architecture and engineering firm focused on education, workplace, and community projects. McMahon is director of the Columbus office and sits on the firm’s board of directors.

2010 s

2010 Kelly Maryanski of Los Angeles recently completed a 2022 tour with Cirque International as an aerialist. She coaches and performs. She also is a luxury brand and live event illustrator.


Births: Lindsey (Korbel) Beer and Daniel Beer ’10, a son, Henry, Sept. 27, 2022.

Lauren Gaines and Zach Gaines , a daughter, Lillian “Lily” Gaines, in November 2022 . She joins big brother Noah.

Lauren Sabo and Dan Crawford , a daughter, Charlotte Aspen Sabo-Crawford, June 8, 2019, and a son, Lincoln Ajax Sabo-Crawford, June 28, 2021. Sabo also started her own law firm, Sabo Law LLC, in 2021. The firm focuses on education and special education representation for students pre-K through PhD.

Sara Bencic moved from Washington, D.C., to Denver in 2022 . She is a senior policy advisor in the Colorado Division of Insurance, focusing on health insurance policy.

Erin Rovelstad of Santa Clara, California, is a technical writer at Google.

2012 Chantal Contijoch of Rockville, Maryland, was recently featured in Authority Magazine about her career in the sustainability/ESG space. She also wrote a recent article on why businesses should continue to invest in this growing industry.

Brooke Felts of Columbus, Ohio, was named in September 2022 the director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Geomatics Emerging Scientist Consortium for Geomatics Education, Research, and Capabilities Enhancement (GEO-ESCON) at the Ohio State University.

2013 Emily Grigas of Astoria, New York, is an attorney at Haug Partners.


Marriages: Natalia Medina and Manny Santana , July 16, 20 22.

Miranda “Andy Russell” and Matthew Akins, May 21, 20 22. They now live in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where Andy is studying medicine at Penn State University College of Medicine.

Jordan Wilson and Emily Kohler, Nov. 4, 202 2. The couple lives with their yellow labrador, Charlie, in Cincinnati, where Jordan works as a digital advertising associate for VMLY&R Commerce.

Dale Ziobro and Mark Waterman , June 4, 202 2.

Marshall Crane of Chicago is a marketing representative at Philadelphia Insurance Companies.

2016 Maddie Hatten is a recruiter at Boston Consulting Group in London.

2017 Anne Miller Kackley of Powell, Ohio, graduated from the Ohio State University College of Dentistry in May 2022 and is working as a dentist. Her parents are both dentists, and she works with her mother in Dublin and her father in Upper Arlington. She married P.J. Kackley on Oct. 16, 2021. At Denison, she was a studio art major, a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, and an active alumni in the Columbus Kappa Alpha Theta chapter. She’d love to connect with any local Denison alumni.

2018 William Hibbard of Charlotte, North Carolina, is an inside sales manager at Townsquare Interactive. Jeremy Torres of Dorchester, Massachusetts, is assistant director of LBGTQ+ services at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

2019 Ember Bennett of Philadelphia is development coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design.

2020 s

2021 Benny Mandelbrot of Washington, D.C., is a sales development representative at FiscalNote.

2022 Basil Khan of Jenkinstown, Pennsylvania, is a recovery guide at Merakey in Philadelphia.

Class Notes






sons, Tim Daly (Randy) and Mike Daly (Cindy); and many other relatives, including grandchildren, greatgrandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.


Margery Hoffman , 98, of Cincinnati, Dec. 28, 2022. She was loved and cherished by many, including her parents, Charles Grimm and Lily Grimm, and her children, Jana Ruxton, Ritchie Zaeh, and Colley Bishop.

Kenneth Steketee, 98, of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, Dec. 26, 2022. Steketee brought his artistry to the dental practice he established in St. Clair Shores and was proud of the extensive wildflower garden he designed and maintained. Preceded in death by his wife, Carolyn Jean Jeffrey; one brother, Cornelius J. Steketee (Ruby); two sisters, Marjorie Van Egmond (Elmer) and Vivian Goodman (Sam); and one great-grandson, Anderson George Pittsley. He is survived by his children, Kenneth Steketee (Bonnie), Carol Pittsley, Susan Otis, and Jerry Steketee (Ann), as well as 12 grandchildren, 11 greatgrandchildren, and many other family members.

Julie Littlejohn , 96, of Brentwood, Tennessee, Nov. 2, 2022. Littlejohn was the oldest of two children and loved growing up in a bucolic rural town. She and her brother were raised during the Great Depression and taught to be good stewards of the land, frugal with their possessions, and active in their community and church. At Denison, she was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi, which enlarged her circle of friends and led to friendships lasting over 60 years. After Denison she caught a train to start her new life in Chicago, where she eventually met her husband of 68 years. Preceded in death by her husband, Howard Littlejohn; her brother, Jim Mills; and daughter Linda Sperry (Don). She is survived by a son, Jim Littlejohn (Lisa); a daughter, Amy Mills (Steve); and six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.


Louise McManus , 97, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Jan. 4, 2023. McManus survived scarlet fever, which claimed the life of her 7-year-old sister, and that tenacity and strength were hallmarks of her fulfilling and busy life. At Denison, she was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi. Preceded in death by her husband, Horace McManus. She is survived by three children, David Kim McManus (Beth), Martha Gay McManus Thomas, and Ralph Craig McManus (Connie), as well as six grandchildren.

Beth Owens , 97, of Pittsboro, North Carolina, March 3, 2023. At Denison, she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Preceded in death by her husband, Bennett Lee Owens ’49, and son Timothy Dwight Owens. She is survived by her brother, David O. Richards; children Christopher Lloyd Owens, Stephanie Owens Lurie, and Cynthia Richards Owens; sons-in-law Philip Bors and Mark Lurie; daughters-in-law Susan Owens and Sudarat Owens; and seven grandchildren.

Jane Nies, 96, of Orlando, Florida, and Southport Island, Maine, Feb. 5, 2023. Beginning in 1967, Jane summered in Newagen on Southport Island, surrounded by the nature that enriched her soul. At Denison, she was a member of Delta Delta Delta. She was the co-founder of Walking the Mourner’s Path, a church-based grief program that has since spread across the nation. She is survived by her husband, Perry Nies; four children, Nancy Nies (David), David Nies (Karen), Betsy Nies, and Jim Blauvelt (June); six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and extended family.

Dorothy Oliphant , 96, of Youngstown, Ohio, Dec. 5, 2022. At Denison, she was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi. Preceded in death by her husband, Paul E. Oliphant; and siblings, Albert L. Lamb and Merle Lamb. She is survived by her children, Anne L. Vacca (Jack), Gerald P. Oliphant (Kathleen), Thomas H. Oliphant (Charissa), and Randall E. Oliphant (Kym); seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.


Terry Daly , 98, of Solvang, California, Dec. 7, 2022. Daly was one of 11 children and spent his formative years working on the family farm in Michigan. He had a lifelong dream to catch a billfish and was finally able to complete this quest off the coast of Cabo San Lucas in 2004, while fishing with his son Tim. At Denison, he was a member of Sigma Chi. He is survived by his wife, Jo; daughters, Erin Marra and Kathi Hames (Bill);

Natasha Tall , 95, of Ithaca, New York, Jan. 7, 2023. Known at various times in her life as Pony, Pepette, Miet, Chacha, Mami, Grammy, and the Mayor of Court Street, Tall moved to Lausanne, Switzerland, when she was 2, and French became her native tongue. Her family returned to the United States when Europe became too dangerous for Jewish families. At Denison, she was a member of Alpha Xi Delta. She taught French and Spanish for many years at private schools. Later in life she returned to acting and was the “go to” actress asked to play older female characters in many Ithaca College senior student short films. She also was a main character in Invisible Ink , a full-length locally produced movie. She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Gerard Tall. She is survived by


two daughters, Diana Lamphier (Shane) and Kristina Andersen, a granddaughter, two cousins, a cherished niece and nephew, and many friends.

children, Steve Rauch (Cindy), David Rauch (Gretchen), Rebecca Mohler (John), and Tom Rauch (Jan); a stepson, Alan Seffens (Melissa); and many loving grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Jo Johnson, 95, of Dublin, Ohio, Dec. 27, 2022. At Denison, she belonged to Delta Gamma, captained the female powder puff tackle football team, and met her future husband, Charles "Chuck" Ernest Johnson ’50. She earned a master's degree in education from the Ohio State University at the age of 65 and taught the Gifted and Remedial Reading program in the Columbus Public Schools. She was happiest during football season, watching the Browns and Buckeyes. She played tennis until she was 85, had a flair for fashion, and liked to say, “The more sparkle the better!” It was a philosophy proven by her knack for covering anything that didn’t move with gold spray paint. She was preceded in death by her husband; daughter Sharon; and granddaughter Molly Tyree. She is survived by her son, Bryan Johnson ’79 (Ingrid), daughter Wendy Tyree ’80 (Larry); three grandchildren; and extended family and friends.

Nancy Longacre , 95, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Oct. 4, 2022. At Denison, Longacre met her first husband, David Skeggs ’47, an art student. They had five children and ran a home furnishings and interior design business until David’s unexpected death in 1973. Later, Longacre met and eventually married Richard Longacre. She was preceded in death by her husbands; a brother, Bud; a sister, Janet; son Jeffrey; and daughter Amy. She is survived by her remaining children, Gary Skeggs (Susan Griffin), Peter Skeggs (Beth Hutchins), and Polly Gillen; a stepdaughter, Judy Longacre; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Elly Martin, 95, of Penn Yann, New York, Nov. 24, 2022. A strong swimmer since childhood, Martin first became a lifeguard when a local Red Cross coordinator looking for young recruits inquired about the strongest swimmer among local boys and was told instead that the strongest swimmer around was a girl. At Denison she studied art and was a member of Chi Omega. She was preceded in death by a son, John. She is survived by her husband, Archer Nevins Martin II; three children, Archer, Stuart, and Andrea (Richard); four grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Jack Rauch , 96, of Columbus, Ohio, Dec. 7, 2022. Rauch was a doctor of osteopathic medicine who maintained a practice in his hometown of Logan, Ohio, for 40 years. Beginning in 1977, he served as the Hocking County coroner for 21 years and was appointed by the governor in 1983 to the Ohio State Medical Board. At Denison, he was a member of Phi Delta Theta. He was preceded in death by a brother, Charles Rauch, and a daughter, Martha McBroom. He is survived by his wife, Norma Rauch;

Bart Bawden , 97, of Placerville, California, Nov. 9, 2022. At Denison, Bawden met his future wife, Betty Joan Knapp ’51. The couple was proud to note that four generations of both families had attended Denison. After graduation, Bawden moved to California to work as a chemist but would use a local restaurant as a base from which to write love letters to Betty. He moved back to Ohio when she began her senior year at Denison, and that by February they were married. Bawden was a pilot who collected antique radios and cars. He was most fond of a 1947 Lincoln Continental convertible previously owned by Dr. Sam Sheppard, the Ohio neurosurgeon who was convicted at a high-profile trial in 1954 of murdering his wife, then acquitted of the crime at a second trial held in 1966. Bawden was preceded in death by a son-in-law, Jack McCollister. He was survived by his wife, who died 11 days later on Nov. 20, 2022. Both are survived by their children, David Bawden (Lori) and Joan Bawden McCollister; Betty’s brother, Charles L. Knapp (Lex); seven grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.


John Bryant , 96, of Jonesville, South Carolina, Nov. 9, 2022. Bryant served in the U.S. Navy in World War II. He had a lifelong love of photography and had his own darkroom while still a teen. He was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley “Jean.” He is survived by his children, Tim (Crystal), Joe (Margot), Liz, Cinthi (Nick), and Kathy (Rick); and five grandchildren.

Bob Ehlert , 93, of Cleveland, Nov. 20, 2022. At Denison, he was president of Lambda Chi Alpha and occasionally boxed with his gym teacher, Woody Hayes. He was preceded in death by his wife, Phyllis Ehlert. He is survived by his daughters, Carol McIntyre (Steve) and Anne Ehlert; three grandsons; and extended family and friends.

Dan McIntire , 94, of Overland Park, Kansas, Feb. 17, 2023. At Denison he was editor of The Adytum, president of Phi Delta Theta, and a trumpet player. He became a noted fighter jet pilot in the U.S. Air Force and flew “slot” with an early demonstration team based at O’Hare in Chicago. He was married to Jean Savage ’50 and later to Jan McIntire. He is survived by his daughter, Ann Moliassa (John), and son, David; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

1951 Betty Bawden , 93, of Placerville, California, Nov. 20, 2022. At Denison, Bawden met her future husband, Bart Bawden ’50. At Denison, she was a member of Delta Delta Delta. Betty




&was a skilled seamstress, an avid entertainer whose table settings were a sight to behold, and a theater lover who saved mementos from the many performances she attended in her lifetime. Bawden was preceded in death by a son-inlaw, Jack McCollister, and by her husband, Bart, who died on Nov. 9, 2022. Both are survived by their children, David Bawden (Lori) and Joan Bawden McCollister; Betty’s brother, Charles L. Knapp (Lex); seven grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and a number of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Jack Boyer, 93, of Tucson, Arizona, Feb. 15, 2023. Boyer’s parents had lost their firstborn son, Billy, to polio before Jack's birth, and from early childhood Jack declared his intention to become a physician and cure disease. He made good on that promise, earning money by delivering newspapers, working on a washboard assembly line, and making nose cones for use in World War II. He was accepted to Denison on a football scholarship and was a running back for coach Woody Hayes. At Denison, he also was a member of Sigma Chi. Boyer went on to Harvard Medical School and in 1958 began fellowship training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia. While there, he acted in the role of a submarine physician in the film On The Beach , directed by Stanley Kramer. He eventually joined the University of Arizona's new College of Medicine, where he launched the geriatrics, hematology, and rheumatology divisions and co-founded the Center on Aging and the Arthritis Center. Boyer was preceded in death by a son, Jim Boyer. He is survived by his wife, Georgiana Boyer; daughters, Leslie Boyer, Diane Boyer, and Connie Choza; son Quentin Boyer; and four grandchildren.

Mary Alice Cannon , 93, of Beachwood, Ohio, Oct. 28, 2022. At Denison, she was a member of Alpha Phi. She was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald N. Cannon. She is survived by her children, Beth Schneider (Keith), Gerald F. “Skip” (Kathleen), and John N. (Ellen); brothers, John and Thompson; 10 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Albert Dippel , 93, of Baraboo, Wisconsin, Jan. 13, 2023. At Denison, he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served three years as a cryptographer. He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Nita Joan; his brother-in-law, Gil; and sister, Evelyn. He is survived by his sons, Roger (Lena), Robert, Richard (Karen), and Ross (Christine); six granddaughters; eight great-grandchildren; two step-great-grandchildren; and many extended family and friends.

George Giese , 93, Yarmouth, Maine, Dec. 9, 2022. At Denison, he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. After his discharge from the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant, he worked for 20 years at his family’s New Jersey market, where

he became a skilled butcher before starting a career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He was a founding member of the New Jersey Whiz Skiers Club at the Mad River Glen Ski Area in Vermont. Preceded in death by his wife, Antoinette Giese, he is survived by two children, Susan Moore and George Giese, and four grandchildren.

Richard Mercer, of Kirksville, Missouri, Feb. 6, 2023. After Denison, he went on to receive his degree in osteopathic medicine. In 1999 he was recognized by the state of Missouri for holding a license to practice medicine in the state for 45 years. He was an avid American contract bridge player who attained the rank of Silver Life Master in 2016, and he was equally proud of his hole-in-one on the 17th hole at the Kirksville Country Club. He is survived by his wife, Bess Rose; daughter, Janis McManus (Jim); and extended family.

Elaine Salow, 94, of Novi, Michigan, Nov. 29, 2022. She worked as a linotype operator throughout high school at the newspaper owned by her father, and at Denison she was a member of Delta Gamma. Preceded in death by her husband, Ronald, she is survived by three children, Carol McLaughlin (Tom), Claire Klingelhofer (Herman), and Paul Salow; five grandchildren; two greatgranddaughters; a brother, Lowell Rowe (Karen); sister, Janet Marble; and many nieces and nephews.


Don Howland, 93, of Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 8, 2022. At Denison, he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta. In the U.S. Navy, he served as a navigator aboard the USS Leyte Gulf carrier. In addition to a long career in banking, he enjoyed volunteering, listening to Stan Kenton, and sipping single-malt Scotch. Preceded in death by his wife, Martha (Hickman) Howland, he is survived by two sons, Donald III and Peter; four grandchildren; and a great-grandson.


Jim Emanuelson , 91, of Columbus, Ohio, March 6, 2023. At Denison, Emanuelson was a mathematics major who completed every math class offered by the college. He was a member of Sigma Chi, president of the math club, and captain of the basketball team. He was voted most valuable player in 1952-53, holding the school record for most points scored for decades. His varied interests included building intricate model ships, constructing an enormous railroad display in the basement of a family home, and putting too much Miracle-Gro fertilizer on his tomato plants. Most recently he took up painting landscapes under the direction of the one and only Bob Ross. Preceded in death by his wife, Dolores Patricia Emanuelson, he is survived by three children, Jim Emanuelson (Karen), John Emanuelson, and Karen Rinne (JR); three grandchildren; and a greatgranddaughter.


Professor emeritus Francis Trevor Gamble , who flew daring nighttime missions off aircraft carriers as a U.S. Navy pilot and never lost his spirit of adventure in more than three decades at Denison, died Jan. 25, 2023, at age 94.

Known to friends and family as “Trig,” he made split-second decisions as a pilot for the Atlantic and Pacific fleets, as a dean of students at Denison (1970-79), and as a first-time Alpine skier at age 51.

“The older he got, the cooler things he got into,” his daughter Melinda Lovern said. “He took up sailing in his 40s, skiing in his 50s and running triathlons in his 60s. He used to tell me, ‘All I’ve got to do is finish the race and I’ll win my age group.’”

Gamble spent 33 years at Denison, where he taught physics and skiing for beginners and served in the administration. Partnering with students to conduct research on cutting-edge technology of the time, he published close to 30 academic articles on topics such as magnetic resonance, laser technology, and optical information processing.

Transitioning from a distinguished military career to the world of academia was very much on brand for a man who, according to his daughter, was “always reinventing himself.”

Gamble, a Montpelier, Vermont, native, enlisted in the Navy in 1946, retiring with the rank of captain. He served as a Navy pilot from 1948-56, logging more than 3,100 flight hours and flying 10 different aircraft.

Mary Ann Malcuit, his longtime administrative assistant at Denison, said Gamble was asked at parties to tell stories of landing planes at night on aircraft carriers.

Mild-mannered in civilian life, Gamble never was afraid to confront danger. In his role as dean of students, he once got wind of a rumble to take place in front of Slayter Hall between groups of

rival students. “It was like something out of West Side Story — the Sharks against the Jets,” his daughter recalled.

As the combatants began to gather, a quick-thinking Gamble summoned fellow administrator Mark Smith. Gamble and Smith stood near the flagpole for 90 minutes “just having a conversation,” Melinda said. The rival groups grew frustrated and walked away without a single punch thrown.

Gamble also was known as a champion of social justice. He helped facilitate needs of the Black Student Union, Malcuit said, such as securing use of a car that allowed students to drive to Columbus, Ohio, on weekends.

As a faculty athletic representative, Gamble also was integral in the formation of the North Coast Athletic Conference, which became one of the nation’s first athletic conferences to guarantee equity between men’s and women’s sports in the 1980s. He was later honored by the NCAC with a “distinguished co-founder” award.

In his retirement, Gamble continued his research in optical vision systems and optical computing. The old aviator loved sailing with his family that included his late wife, Carolyn Barber Gamble, three children, Melinda, Becky Pyle, and Trevor Gamble Jr., and seven grandchildren.

His years of adventure behind him, Gamble’s grandkids — three of which are Denison graduates — recall a man of simple pleasures: crunchy peanut butter with a banana, French bread pizza with a 7-Up, and a gin martini — hold the vermouth.

gisela goppel




Kathy Hughes , 94, of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Nov. 14, 2022. At Denison she was a music major and member of the Shepardson Club whose plans changed when she met Robert Hughes ’50. They were married in 1950 and moved to Philadelphia while Robert was in seminary. In 1954, they began a life of ministering together in small churches, and until age 89 she was an active church organist. She loved all shades of pink, except neon. She was preceded in death by her husband; daughter Debra Anderson; brother Raymond, sister Marjorie Miller, and Tigger, her beloved cat of 20 years. She is survived by children, Stephanie Colton ’73 (Steve), Gwenyth Peterman, David, Heidi Carr ’82 (Robert), Laurie Yeckle ’83, Daniel, and Gretchen Fiocca (Greg); 16 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.

Ed Weber, 91, of Maumee, Ohio, Feb. 27, 2023. He earned degrees in mathematics and music at Denison, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, captain of the men’s tennis team, and president of Beta Theta Pi. After graduation from Harvard Law School and two years in the U.S. Army, he returned to Toledo to practice law, where he taught at the University of Toledo for 12 years. In 1980 he ran for Congress and defeated 26-year incumbent U.S. Rep. Thomas Ashley. He served Ohio’s 9th District for one term before losing his seat to Marcy Kaptur, whom he held in great regard for her passion and dedication to their constituents. He is survived by his wife, Alice; his three children, Elenore Weber, Ford Weber (Cyndy), and Mary Due (Alex); six grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

Sam McKenney, 89, of Pittsburgh, Jan. 31, 2023. At Denison, he was a member of Phi Delta Theta. He went on to law school and spent his career in corporate law. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Karen Carlsen McKenney; sons, Douglas McKenney (Lori) and Scott McKenney (Jackie); daughter, Laura McKenney Tate; nine grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

Harry Rownd , 90, of Sarasota, Florida, Nov. 20, 2022. At Denison, he was a member of Phi Delta Theta and met the love of his life, Sally Mahan ’55. Rownd performed strategic planning and economic analysis for large corporations like Exxon and Belcher Oil but also took a turn as a small business owner when he ran a Carvel ice cream store in Bradenton, Florida, for several years. He is survived by his wife, Sara “Sally” Rownd; son, Stephen Rownd (Jo-Anne); daughter, Ann Shaler (Jim); three grandchildren; a greatgrandson; brothers, Bill Rownd (Darlene) and Bob Rownd (Gail); five nieces; and two nephews.

Molly Tegmeyer, 90, of Elmhurst, Illinois, July 27, 2022. At Denison, Tegmeyer was a member of Chi Omega. Preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, John “Jack” Tegmeyer, she is survived by a daughter, Paula Serfling Nugent (Brian); two grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.


James Barnhill , 90, of Findlay, Ohio, Dec. 30, 2022. At Denison, he was a member of Phi Delta Theta. He taught biology for 29 years in Findlay, riding his bicycle to school even on wintry days. He was a beekeeper who was happy to take his neighbors’ brush and yard waste and compost it at his farm. He is survived by his wife, Joyce; four children, Carolyn Barnhill, David Barnhill (Marsha), Susan Donley (Daryl), and Nancy Rook (Ron); five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren, and extended family.

Marilyn Biemond , 90, of Phoenix, Dec. 29, 2022. At Denison, she was a member of Delta Gamma. Preceded in death by her husband, Cornelius “Cork” Biemond, she is survived by her children, Albert Biemond (Sharon) and Heather Morris (Alex), and her five grandchildren.

Bob Cash , 90, of Long Beach, California, Nov 30, 2022. At Denison, he was a member of Sigma Chi. Cash was a professor of educational psychology at California State University, Long Beach, for 30 years. He was predeceased by his first wife of 45 years, Mary Cash, and he felt his greatest fortune in life was to fall in love twice. He died with his second wife, Mary Hester, at his side. He is also survived by his brother, Tom; three children, Rob, Cristy, and Mary Beth; and seven grandchildren.

Jane Turner, 89, of Hamden, Connecticut, Nov. 10, 2022. At Denison, she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. After college she worked in the U.S. Department of the Navy and sang in the National Cathedral Choir. She was preceded in death by her husband, Henry Turner Jr., a professor of history at Yale University. She was active in community affairs in New Haven and helped to block construction of an I-91 highway extension that would have ruined East Rock Park. The couple moved into Yale’s Davenport College in 1981, where Henry was master, and together they hosted many events, including Thanksgiving dinners for international students and receptions for college guests including Mr. Rogers, Bonnie Raitt, and German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. She is survived by her sister, Ann S. Ling; children, Bradley J. Turner (Felicity), Sarah Turner Ryan (John), and Matthew W. Turne (Abby Jo); seven grandchildren; and other cherished family.

Bob Woods, 90, of Westwood, Massachusetts, Jan. 17, 2023. At Denison, he was a member of Sigma Chi and met his future wife, Dolores “Dede” Duffy ’56, who died on Feb. 13, 2023. Woods served in the U.S. Navy for six years during the Korean War and went on to a long career in banking that took him around the United States and Europe. He is survived by three daughters, Suzanne Sullivan, Kim Duckett, and Lisa Guarino, and seven grandchildren.


1955Ricky Buck , 89, of Columbus, Ohio, Dec. 4, 2022. At Denison, Buck was a member of Delta Gamma. She volunteered her time and talents to many organizations and charities, and was a keen observer of politics actively engaged in campaigns in the 1960s and 1970s. She is survived by her sons, David (Elaine), Jeff, and Scott (Lee Ann); seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Lyn Cook , 89, of Golden, Colorado, Dec. 13, 2022. At Denison, Cook was a member of Delta Gamma. Preceded in death by her husband, Clifton Cooke, and brothers, Joseph and Robert Martin, Cook is survived by her son, Douglas Cooke (Marjorie), daughter, Jennifer Thompson (Ross); five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Dick Dunn , 88, of Olmstead Falls, Ohio, Nov. 21, 2021. At Denison, he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta. He is survived by his wife, Jane Dunn; children, Rick Dunn (Lisa), Kathy Dunn, and Jennifer Tullis (Gary); seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Sue Feasey, 89, of Pittsford, New York, Nov. 24, 2022. Feasey studied modern dance in the 1970s and was a lifelong practitioner of yoga and fierce advocate for women’s reproductive rights. At Denison, she was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi. Preceded in death by her husband, Raymond D.J. Feasey, she is survived by her children, David Feasey (Yana), Katherine Parry (Jamie), and Allison Feasey, and three grandchildren.

Paul Hoh , 88, of Reading, Pennsylvania, Jan. 19, 2023. At Denison, he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha. He led several Lutheran churches and hosted a Bible class radio broadcast in Pennsylvania for 17 years. Hoh was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 1965-66 term and to Reading City Council, where he served as its president. He also served in many volunteer roles, including as founder-president of the Berks County Prison Society, which named its volunteer award in honor of him and his wife, Mary C. “Kate” Hoh. He is survived by his wife; four children, Chris (Daniel), Robyn (Terrence), Eric, and Scott (Susan); and six grandchildren.

Jim Newkirk , 93, of Falmouth, Maine, Aug. 10, 2022. At Denison, he was a member of Phi Delta Theta. He had an eye for classic menswear and plaid pants. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and built a successful career in construction materials. He was preceded in death by his wife, Myrna; brother, Richard M. Newkirk; and sister, Jean Hoffman. He is survived by his children, James Newkirk Jr. (Kelley), and Susan Lewis (Brian); four grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Bonnie Emery , 87, of Brookfield, Wisconsin, Oct. 15, 2022. At Denison,

she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. She served as a school librarian for many years and cherished the theater, opera, and symphony. Preceded in death by her husband, John, and son Mark. She is survived by two children, John and Jody; two grandchildren; and other family and friends.

Severn Ker, 87, of Delaware, Ohio, April 23, 2021. At Denison he was a member of Delta Upsilon. Preceded in death by his wife, Patricia, he is survived by a sister, Margaret Gotz; children, Robert Ker and Holly Svec (Vance); and one grandchild.

Bob Stewart , 87, of Cincinnati, March 30, 2022. At Denison, he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta. He is survived by his wife, Susan Stewart; his two daughters, Robin (Bob) and Laurie Stanley ’88 (Ben); and two grandchildren.

Dede Woods , 88, of Westwood, Massachusetts, Feb. 13, 2023. At Denison, she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, and in the fall of her sophomore year she met Robert “Bob” Woods ‘54. They moved to Massachusetts, where Bob had a long career in banking and they raised three children. She belonged to not one but three garden clubs, and her talent for arranging flowers led her to contribute to displays at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where she also gave tours. Preceded in death by her husband, who died on Jan. 17, 2023, she is survived by three daughters, Suzanne Sullivan, Kim Duckett, and Lisa Guarino, and seven grandchildren.


Patricia Cochran, 87, of Hudson, Ohio, Dec. 1, 2022. At Denison, she was a member of Pi Beta Phi. Preceded in death by her husband, James B. Cochran, and her brothers, Barry A. Brandt and Frederick T. Brandt. She is survived by her children, Barry A. Cochran (Kathryn) and Roberta A. “Robyn” Koch (Robert J.); and four grandchildren.

Lynn Peterson , 86, of Cincinnati, March 22, 2022. At Denison, she was a member of Chi Omega. She is survived by her devoted husband, Roger; three daughters, Susan Downard (Jon), Sally Noble (Grant Kattmann), and Regina Blaize (Ben); a sister, Susan Macke (Tom); six grandchildren; and four great grandchildren.

Ted Taylor, 86, of Charlotte, North Carolina, Nov. 2, 2022. At Denison, he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta. He met his wife in law school and built a career in real estate in the Washington, D.C., area. He also was a founder and director of the Community Bank and Trust Co., now part of Bank of America. He also served as chairman of the board of First Commercial Bank. Preceded in death by his wife, Janice Powers Taylor, he is survived by his four children, Trent Taylor (Kim), Pamela Taylor Glass (Robert), Jason Taylor (Andie), and Brett Taylor (Lane); 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.




Patty Whalen , 87, of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, Feb. 5, 2023. She entered the world with her identical twin, Polly Templeton ’57. The two were inseparable, which meant that both would attend Denison, where Patty was a member of Alpha Phi. She met her husband, Malachy Whalen, on a blind date and married him in 1959. She was an enthusiastic player of tennis and paddle tennis and a member of the Trowel & Error Garden Club. She was preceded in death by her brother, Irvin W. "Sonny" Templeton. She is survived by her twin sister; children, Clark W. Whalen, Malinda W. Newman (Tim), and Claude T. Whalen; and five grandchildren.

Douglas Hoeft and David Greenlee. He is survived by his wife of 63 years; two daughters, Rebecca B. Theobald (Chuck) and Laura A. Bayless (John Lohmann); three grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; and his sisters, Mary B. Greenlee and Elizabeth B. Hoeft.

Barbara Christ , 84, of Mansfield, Ohio, June 23, 2022. At Denison, she was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi.


Nan Bond, 86, of Dublin, Ohio, Jan. 26, 2023. The daughter of the town doctor in West Lafayette, Ohio, Nan was a daredevil who raced her horse, Nelly, beside the trains that ran behind the family home. At Denison, she was a member of Chi Omega and the Ski Club, and her skiing was good enough for her to belong to the National Ski Patrol. She majored in music at Denison and could play the piano, violin, viola, and French horn, but her true passion was singing. She was a mezzo contralto with a magnificent octave range. She was active in Opera Columbus, performing for nearly two decades in operas including Die Fledermaus, Carmen, and Madame Butterfly. She was preceded in death by siblings Martha Mokry, Cherie Cole, and Clifford Briner. She is survived by her sister Beverly Craft; three children, Doug Bond (Betsy), Cherie Bond, and Holly Bond Meyer (Steve); four grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Suzanne Goetsch, 86, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 7, 2022. At Denison, she was a member of Delta Gamma. Preceded in death by her husband, Harold W. Goetsch.

David Rich, 86, of Philadelphia, Nov. 11, 2022. Ordained as an American Baptist minister in 1961, Rich devoted his life to his faith, serving on numerous religious boards and commissions throughout New England and the Northeast. At Denison, he was a member of Delta Upsilon. Preceded in death by his first wife, Ginny, he is survived by their children, Martha and Andrew; his second wife, Deb; three grandchildren; and other cherished family.

Barbara Weiss , 84, of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, Jan. 2, 2023. At Denison, Weiss was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi. Over her 33-year career with the Bill Sandy Co., she held positions in production and financial management for clients that included the major automakers. She retired as vice president of operations. During her working years, she became an active member of the Junior League of Detroit, serving as a trailblazer for other career women. Preceded in death by her husband, John E. (Jack) Weiss Jr., she is survived by her sister, Deborah Chiles (Stephen), as well as a nephew and niece and many cousins.



George Bayless, 86, of Kettering, Ohio, Jan. 17, 2023. As a child Bayless followed the circus whenever it came to town, earning admission by helping to feed the animals. His youthful habit of hopping trains laid the foundation for a lifelong interest in and advocacy for light rail transportation in Ohio. At Denison, he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha and met his future wife, Charlene Hagberg Bayless ’59. He had a passion for attending meetings, and his commitment to Kettering included multiple terms on the school board and a long relationship with the Kettering Holiday at Home celebration. He was preceded in death by brothers-in-law

Alan Brown, 83, of Las Vegas, Jan. 13, 2023. A U.S. Air Force veteran who served two tours in Vietnam and spent nearly 30 years in uniform, Brown never gave up on his passion for acting, a commitment that led to his breakout, late-in-life role in HBO’s critically acclaimed drama The Wire. For five seasons, Brown played Stan Valchek, the petty but politically savvy member of the Baltimore Police Department whose slippery and self-serving actions elevated him through the ranks from commander to commissioner. Brown’s love for acting brought him to Denison, where he received a full scholarship to study English and theater and was a member of Kappa Sigma. But he put his acting plans on hold after meeting his first wife, Barbara Eberz. He worked construction to support his family and served six years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force, volunteering for two tours of Vietnam. He retired from the Air Force Reserves in 1992 as a lieutenant colonel. He rekindled his love of acting in community theater, hired an agent, and began working as an extra, doing voiceovers for television and radio spots and finding supporting roles in the films Philadelphia, Beloved, Something the Lord Made, Red Dragon and The Replacements. Outside of his work on The Wire, his biggest television role was as Gen. Pollack on the short-lived series Commander in Chief. He is survived by his second wife, Janet Newhart; a sister, Constance Brown; brother, John; children, Christopher (AnnTrisha Ramrattan), Timothy (Teresa), and Jennifer (Bart Cerami); eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Steve Pew, 83, of Gull Lake, Michigan, Nov. 3, 2022. At Denison, he was a member of Phi Delta Theta and helped to organize reunions through the years. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and after Vietnam pursued a career in


Phil Torrens


Phil Torrens , who never ran track or cross-country as an athlete but coached both sports with great success at Denison, died Jan. 15, 2023 at age 76.

Torrens led the Big Red to multiple North Coast Athletic Conference championships in cross-country with the men’s and women’s programs. He also had the honor of seeing one of his best runners, Dee Salukombo ’12, qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics as a marathoner representing the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“Coach T was more than a running coach — he was a life coach,” Salukombo said. “Since I left Denison, I’ve remained close to the family and I’ve never run a race without calling him the night before.”

Torrens, who played football in high school, didn’t take up running until after marrying his wife, Sarah, in 1969, the same year he quit smoking. He did it to lose weight, never dreaming that running would become a passion and a life calling.

The Muskingum College graduate taught history and government classes at the high-school and middle-school levels while also coaching football. Eventually, Torrens transitioned to cross-country and track and field, and in 1979 joined the Denison staff.

A lifelong farmer, Torrens enjoyed simple pleasures: working the land on the family’s 500 acres, raising cows, pigs, and “his beloved” sheep, and drinking Coors Light.

“He was very old school in that way,” said his daughter Ellen Carter ’09. “He knew what he liked, and he worked for everything he had.”

His greatest joy, however, was coaching runners. Torrens endured a series of health episodes requiring surgeries to his heart, hips, and back, but none of the setbacks prevented him from coaching at Denison until his final days.

Although he may have been “old school” in his approach to life, his athletes remember him as a

progressive coach. Salukombo said Torrens valued the input of his runners, treating them as individuals. Brock Babock ’03, a member of Varsity D Association Hall of Fame, remembers Torrens as someone who understood the importance of education in the life of athletes.

“Coach really related to us,” Babcock said. “He knew that athletics was only part of the Division III experience at Denison. He would push us, but he knew that 99.9% of us were not going to compete professionally or in the Olympics. We were at Denison to get an education, and he treated us as student-athletes.”

Torrens served as the head cross-country coach until 2015, winning multiple NCAC coach-of-the-year honors, and was an assistant track coach during the same span. Over the past seven seasons, Torrens worked as an assistant in both programs.

“I did not fully realize Phil’s impact as a coach, mentor, and friend until I started working with him on a daily basis in 2011,” head track coach Mark FitzPatrick said. “I will be forever grateful for my time with Phil.”

Humility was so important to Torrens that he asked his family not to hold a public service. “He told me he never thought he did much in his life,” his wife, Sarah, recalled. “But after he died, we heard from so many people who said that he was an influence in their life.”

The family will hold a celebration of life ceremony in his honor July 15 on campus at Lamson Lodge.

gisela goppel




real estate. He hiked all 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail, mostly solo, and considered it his most profound personal achievement. Pew is survived by his first wife, Kathryn “Katie” Boles Pew; their sons, Steve and Scott (Ann Johnston); his second wife, Kathleen “Kathy” M. Keelan Pew; and one granddaughter.

David Porter, 83, of Long Grove, Illinois, Jan. 23, 2023. At Denison, he was a member of Delta Upsilon. He went on to law school and retired as assistant general counsel at the Northern Trust Company. He cheered for — and cursed at — the Cubs, and kept the bellies of his backyard birds full through the Chicagoland winters. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Anne, and a stepdaughter, Peggi Huiskens (Randal). He is survived by his and Anne’s children, Lindsay Porter ’86 (Matt Kozlowski), Sarah Marton (Matt), and John Porter (Natasha); his second wife, Oneita Craver; and seven grandchildren.

Jane Zimmerman , 84, of State College, Pennsylvania, March 2, 2023. At Denison, she was a member of Delta Gamma. She loved to entertain at her homes in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, once hosting a reception for children’s television icon Mr. Rogers. Her July 4 parties on the Vineyard were known throughout the island. She was preceded in death by her husband of 45 years, Robert K. Zimmerman, and is survived by her two children, Andrew Zimmerman (Laura) and Laura Sogor (Dani); a sister, Suzy Broadhurst (Jim); brother-in-law, Dave Zimmerman (Pat); and four grandchildren.

Bob Foster, 82, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Nov. 16, 2022. Foster was invited to try out for the Detroit Tigers after high school, but instead attended Denison, where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta and met and married Terry N. Foster ’63 . He balanced a long career in the law with years of community service, as his father had taught him of the responsibility for any good citizen to remain civically minded. He was an ace handball player and hosted “The Invitational” at their summer cottage in Michigan, where friends golfed, boated, and played spirited rounds of croquet golf, a game Foster created — complete with rule book. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Terry; sons, Mark (Melissa), and David (Katie); sister, Joan; five grandchildren; and many beloved nieces and nephews.


Bill Berger, 82, of New London, New Hampshire, Dec. 24, 2022. After graduating from Denison, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Berger married Jeanine Wight, his high school sweetheart and lifelong partner. For nearly 20 years they owned The Country Press, continued to publish The Kearsarge Shopper, and provided printing services to the region. He also served on a variety of business, civic, and philanthropic boards. Preceded in death by his sister, Sarah VanAntwerp, he is survived by his wife; sons, Steven (Kara) and Greg (Astrid); daughter, Sondra VanderPloeg (Ed); brother, Thomas (Ann); brother-in-law, John VanAntwerp; sister-in-law, Judy Wight Krieger; six grandchildren; and cherished nieces and nephews.

Bonnie Evans , 82, of Hudson, Ohio, Nov. 27, 2022. At Denison, she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega. After traveling the world with her young son, including living and working for a time in Australia, she settled in northeast Ohio where she worked as a microbiologist at Akron City Hospital. She is survived by her husband, Bob; her son, Loran (Sue); stepdaughters, Kathee and Kim (Glenn); and four grandchildren.

Bonnie Watlington, 82, of Annapolis, Maryland, Nov. 23, 2022. Raised on a Wisconsin farm, Watlington began her education in a one-room schoolhouse. Her upbringing in a big family led by adventurous and free-thinking parents made her fearless, funny, and independent. She met her first husband, David A. Jones ’61, at Denison. The couple divorced in 1970 but remained close friends. She remarried in 1976 to Tom Watlington. She was a social worker for 15 years and left the field emotionally exhausted, recharging herself through plants and gardening. She loved all nature, even the bugs. When she was 50 she joined the Annapolis Rowing Club and rowed for 13 years, winning many Masters races, including the Head of the Charles. She was preceded in death by her second husband, Tom; stepson Bill; sister Nancy; and brother David. She is survived by her daughter, Sarah Jones (Tim Quast); son, David Jones (Margaret Loftus); stepson Tom Watlington (Trish); stepdaughters, Sarah Watlington, and Ellen Watlington (Lena); son-by-choice, Andrew Forsyth; first husband, David Jones (Andrea); sister Penny Fille; brother Richard Nelson; three grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, and friends; and her beloved personal assistant, Erica Reyes.


Craig Allen, 81, of Ironton, Ohio, Dec. 4, 2022. After receiving his law degree, Craig returned to his hometown of Ironton to practice law for 56 years. At Denison, he was a member of Delta Upsilon. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Carol Brewster Allen; his daughters, Laura Southers (Mike) and Kathryn Schueren (Mike); his brother, Brian Allen (Judy); and many grandchildren, cousins, and nieces, plus a nephew.

Mary Lou Craigo, 80, of Beavercreek, Ohio, Jan. 13, 2023. She married Bob Craigo in 1968 and set off on an adventure following the sun in their Airstream trailer. Preceded in death by sister Jane Ann. She is survived by siblings Jim Tims (Anne), Jack Tims (Brenda), and Susan Jansheski (Bill).



John Happy , 80, of Denville, New Jersey, Feb. 24, 2023. Known for his accomplishments as a scientist whose study on the brain continued throughout his professional career, and as an athlete who completed over 33 marathons after picking up running at age 46. He was instrumental in the development of Clozaril, the first novel atypical antipsychotic drug to be approved in the United States. He was also known to climb mountains and volcanoes, and once, while sleeping on the summit of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano, realized he was probably the highest sleeping human for at least 5,000 miles in all directions. Happy is survived by his wife, Valentina, and son, John.

Bob Hooker, 79, of Wooster, Ohio, Nov. 27, 2022. At Denison, he joined Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and earned a bachelor’s in economics while also working to become an instrument- and commercial-rated twin-engine flight instructor. He married his Denison sweetheart, Elizabeth Stockton Hunt ’65 , a speech and hearing pathologist. A marketing professional, Hooker worked for IBM during an era in which the company dominated the computer market, and later Rubbermaid and the Wooster Brush Company. He was preceded in death by a grandson, James Hamilton Perkins. Hooker is survived by his wife, their children, Mary Catharine Stockton and Scott Hunt Hooker, and several grandchildren.

named for his grandfather, Jones was known throughout Toledo for his board service to cultural and community organizations. The mayor presented him with a glass key to the city in 2009. Jones wore three-piece suits as a matter of habit, to reflect the seriousness of the work at hand and respect for those working beside him. He was chairman of the Manhattan Group, founded as the Manhattan Building Co. in 1924, with holdings that include Kwik Parking and properties that include the Bell Building in downtown Toledo and buildings in Maumee’s Arrowhead Park. His tenure on the Toledo Museum of Art board, from 1989-2020, is believed to be the longest in museum history. At Denison, he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta. Surviving are his wife, the former Katherine Barnum Donley; stepdaughters, Sara Donley Bowen and Jordan Donley Beach; and four step-grandchildren.

Ralph Penny, 77, of Greenwich, Connecticut, March 10, 2023. Penny was a history major at Denison, where he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha. During three years in the U.S. Navy, he deployed twice to Vietnam. He remained in the reserves for 30 years. He was preceded in death by his brother William and sister-in-law Vivian. He is survived by his wife, Ann; stepdaughters, Kristen Bozza (Larry Gellman), and Kerry Funkhouser (Kurt); a brother, John (Janet); twin sister, Bonnie Verses; and many nieces and nephews.


Craig Fischer, 77, of Naples, Florida, Nov. 29, 2021. Fischer was a longtime orthodontist and member of the Pittsfield Rotary Club in Massachusetts. At Denison, he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

Bob Leahy, 78, of Fitchburg, Wisconsin, Jan. 13, 2023. At Denison, Leahy was a Kappa Sigma and met the love of his life, Jeffrie Leahy ’66 , in the spring of 1964; the two enjoyed a spirited relationship for almost 60 years. He traveled the world for years as part of his career with Eastman Kodak but was most content at home with his family and friends. He is survived by his wife; his daughter, Charlene Yager (Tom), and son, Ryan Leahy; his four grandchildren; his black lab, Murphy; and many other family members and friends.

Robert Geoff Littick , 78, of Columbus, Ohio, March 6, 2023. After teaching several years, Littick decided to embrace his entrepreneurial spirit and strike out on his own, and over the years traveled the world and started several businesses. He is survived by his daughter, Pamela Roberts; grandchildren, Abigail and Terra Roberts; and several cousins.


George Jones III, 79, of Whitehouse, Ohio, Feb. 15, 2023. Head of a longstanding family business and a charitable foundation


Russell Ameter, 76, of Three Rivers, Michigan, Aug. 6, 2022. At Denison, he was a member of Delta Upsilon. A long military career began when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and became a hospital corpsman. He later joined the Michigan Air National Guard in Battle Creek and eventually became a flight surgeon. His flying experience included 12 different aircraft, more than 600 flight hours, and seven air medals. He went on to build two aircraft and owned two others. He is survived by his wife, Darlene Ameter; daughter, Sarah Ameter; three sons, Rusty Ameter (Sarah), Andy Ameter (Elena), and Stuart Ameter (Erin Tornello); three stepchildren, Scott Warner (Jessica), LeeAnn Middleton (Mark), and Nicole Fowler; 12 grandchildren; a brother, Tac Ameter (Amy); two sisters, Mary Ann Ameter, and Salley Longley; and many nieces and nephews.

Jim Baird , 74, of Pittsburgh, March 9, 2021. At Denison, he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta. Baird’s long career as a clinical psychologist ended just two weeks before his death and included 35 years at Mayview State Hospital. His commitment to fitness and mental health carried through his personal life; he meditated daily and rode up to 2,000 miles annually on his bicycle. He is survived by his wife, Harriet (Jacobsen); two sons, David and Michael (Allison Fitz); and two sisters, Mary (Ed Hunka) and Barbara.





Charlie Barnes , 75, of Commerce Township, Michigan, July 29, 2021. At Denison, he was a member of Sigma Chi. He is survived by his wife, Bunny Barnes; children, Justin Beyer, Emily McCarthy (John), and Greg Barnes (Claire); four granddaughters; a sister, Carolyn Lamping (Don); a niece; and two nephews.

Nancy Grimes, 77, of Lexington, Kentucky, Nov. 16, 2022. After Denison, where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi, she began working as a travel guide. In 1978, she led one of the first American groups to the People’s Republic of China. She is survived by her husband, Allen Evans Grimes, Jr., M.D.; their two sons, Andrew Newman Grimes (Alison) and George Reed Grimes (Radhika); five grandchildren; stepchildren, Katherine Grimes Williamson (Andrew), Allen Evans Grimes III (Lamar), and Stephen Bradley Grimes (Laurie); many step-grandchildren; brother, Stephen Reed Howard (Diana); and other extended family.

enjoy gardening. She was preceded in death by her first husband, George Swope. She is survived by her husband, John Trumbull; Ben Swope; Timothy W. Swope (Emily); Jonathan Trumbull (Allison); Timothy Trumbull (Virginie); Betsy Trumbull (John Newberg); sisters, Kate Wilson, Ruth White, Barbara Cenich; brother, Frank Whitney; and a granddaughter.



Robert Iacobucci, 75, of Pittsburgh, Feb. 23, 2023. A member of the championship-winning 1964-65 Aliquippa football team, Iacobucci went on to play as a four-year starter at Denison and as captain and MVP his senior year. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi. He is survived by his wife, Helen Iacobucci; siblings, Ed Iacobucci (Kelly), Maryann Micklewright (Jim), and Teresa Heid; and nieces and nephews.

James Kijowski , 74, of Easton, Maryland, Jan. 31, 2022. At Denison, he was a proud member of Beta Theta Pi and a four-year starter and team captain on the football team, named to the All-Ohio Conference in 1967 and 1968. He is survived by his wife, Christine, his children, Jamie ’99 and Erin ’01, and his four grandchildren.

Barbara Sexton, 75, of Vero Beach, Florida, Feb. 17, 2023. Sexton started a career in finance but left Wall Street after she and her husband, O.G. Sexton, adopted their first child in 1983. They adopted again in 1985 and in 1990 settled in Greenwich, Connecticut, where she raised their children but still found time for the occasional game of bridge, tennis, or golf with friends at the Belle Haven Club, Stanwich Club, or The Golf Club of Purchase. She is survived by her husband of 47 years; daughter, Laura Catharine Sexton; son, Matthew Griffith Sexton; two grandsons; a brother, Thomas R. Haack; and sisters, Elizabeth Haack Barr and Linda Haack Brooks.

Loretta Trumbull , 75, of New Hartford, Connecticut, Feb. 7, 2023. At Denison, she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Trumbull taught high school math for over 30 years. Her other passion was singing, and she studied voice for many years. She was a member of the New Hartford Garden Club, where she enjoyed socializing but not so much gardening. She was a good sport about it, though, and helped out her husband, who actually did

Robert Johnson, 74, of Honeoye Falls, New York, Feb. 11, 2023. At Denison, he was a member of Delta Upsilon. He enjoyed a long legal career in commercial real estate and banking and was a partner at Phillips Lytle LLP for 37 years. He is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Betsi Johnson; his daughters, Lisa Suaranawa (Wayan), Kimberly Johnson (Anne), Lori Dibartolo (Jerry), and Cameron Johnson; and stepson, Angelo Costanza (Jill). Also survived by his siblings, Richard Johnson (Michele) and Craig Johnson; seven grandchildren; former wife, Lynn Johnson, and numerous nieces and nephews.


Randy Cebul, 73, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, March 16, 2023. A dedicated teacher, scholar, and champion of fair and accessible community health, Cebul met his wife and loving partner of more than 50 years, Mary-Scott Cebul ’72, at Denison. At Denison, he was a member of Delta Upsilon. After earning his M.D. from Yale University, Cebul specialized in epidemiology and biostatistics as a medical resident and fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School. In 1987, he returned to Cleveland, joined the faculty of Case Western Reserve University, and served as the chief of general medicine at MetroHealth Medical Center. He was the inaugural chair and a longstanding member of the Ohio Medicaid Technical Assistance Program, which worked to improve Medicaid access for millions of Ohioans. He created the Better Health Partnership, a nonprofit collaborative of northeastern Ohio medical providers that works to reduce health disparities. In 2009, he received the Mt. Sinai Healthcare Foundation’s Maurice Saltzman award. For his grandchildren, he was a “horse” when they needed a ride, Donald Duck when they needed a laugh, and a tummy-woofer whether they needed one or not. He is survived by his wife; sons, Brent Cebul (Katherine Treppendahl) and Kerry Cebul (Leila Tabbaa); three grandchildren; a brother, Dennis Cebul; and sisters, RaeLynn Ziegler (Steve) and Sherri Ligas (Ben).

Jim Helmer, 72, of Cincinnati, Feb. 3, 2023. As a child, Helmer worked summers at his uncle’s South Carolina farm driving mules and harvesting cotton and tobacco. He played four years of football at Denison and was a member and officer of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He clerked for the chief judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio before entering private practice as a trial lawyer. He recovered more than $3 billion for his


clients, including more than $1 billion for taxpayers by rediscovering and modernizing a Civil War era law known as the False Claims Act and representing whistleblowers against fraudulent government contractors. His testimony before Congress in 1985, 1986, and 2008 led to numerous federal law amendments which have resulted in the recovery of more than $71 billion in taxpayer money. He won four cases before the Ohio Supreme Court and a landmark decision before the U.S. Supreme Court. He authored 10 books on the law, established scholarships at both the University of Cincinnati College of Law and Denison, and supported numerous exonerees of the Ohio Innocence Project. He was honored with numerous awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from Taxpayers Against Fraud for his pioneering work on the federal False Claims Act. Helmer was preceded in death by a brother, Stephen K. Helmer (Donna). He is survived by his wife, Deborah; children, Jeffrey A. Helmer and Sarah A. Helmer; a granddaughter; sister Pamilla A. James; brother Charles R. Helmer (Angela); and several nieces and nephews.

Wendy Adler, 72, of Santa Cruz, California, Nov. 4, 2022. Her passion was always the theater, and she participated in many school and community productions in the Cleveland area in her younger years. As an adult, she directed plays and worked in supportive administrative roles for several theater companies, including the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and the Shakespeare Santa Cruz program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She loved her dogs, roller coasters, manatees, her childhood camp, Draeger's hot fudge sauce, and corned beef sandwiches from Jack's Delicatessen, which she visited whenever she came home to Cleveland. And she loved words — the more unusual, the better. She is survived by her husband, Stephen Siegel, from whom she was separated; sisters, June Adler Vail and Christine Adler Phillips; a niece; two nephews; and nine greatnieces and great-nephews.

children, Tara Greene Minett (Ben) and Matthew Greene (Amy); five grandchildren; and two younger brothers, Christopher and Peter.

1975 David Hughes , 70, of Middletown, Ohio, Jan. 24, 2023. Hughes spent his early years in Venezuela, where he learned to speak Spanish. Hughes and his high school sweetheart, Becky Hughes ’ 76 , both attended Denison, where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi. He lost her to cancer in late 2021 and spent the next year decorating her favorite spot on the porch with sweet memorabilia. Hughes was a nature lover who spent hours mowing trails through the woods and building treehouses and whimsical hideouts for their children. He coached youth sports and listened to classic rock on vinyl. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his brother, Gordon Elliot. Hughes is survived by his children, Christy Hughes and Brian Hughes (Teresa), and five grandchildren.

Catherine Talmadge, 71, of Westport, Connecticut, Dec. 20, 2022. A longtime Westporter and prominent volunteer in numerous organizations, Talmadge graduated with a degree in dance performance from Denison. She practiced modern dance and moved to Breckenridge, Colorado, where she met her husband, Tom Talmadge, in 1977. Their early years were carefree, spent on the slopes and with friends. She returned to school for her MBA, thinking she would open a dance studio, but instead joined Time Warner Cable in 1982 where she rose to become vice president of finance. In addition to the usual house pets, she raised chickens and cared for a pride of feral cats, working with a local trap and neuter organization to keep them healthy and humanely contained. She is survived by her husband; daughter, Carolyn; sisters, Polly Cassel, Beth Cassel, and Martha Cassel; two nieces; a nephew; and many beloved friends.


Paul Deutschlander , 64, of Adams, Oregon, May 28, 2016. Deutschlander, a licensed clinical social worker for 40 years, also volunteered as a counselor in partnership with a local elementary school and greatly enjoyed his time as a member of the Pendleton Men's Chorus. He is survived by his twin daughters, Gretchen and Denise Deutschländer, and his siblings, Laurie and Tom.


David Greene , 71, of East Aurora, New York, Jan. 25, 2023. At Denison, he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha. An extension specialist for Cornell University, Greene was also a Cub Scout leader, Sunday school teacher, and Kiwanis Club president. He was preceded in death by his sister, Margaret Nicklin, brother, Dr. Robert C. Greene, and two nephews. He is survived by his wife, Gina;

Jay Callander, 73, of Granville, Ohio, Dec. 21, 2022. Callander lived his life on the edge. He was 3 years old when he had his first of many car accidents when he backed his father's car out of his grandfather's driveway and T-boned a passing car. His name and the incident made it into the Newark Advocate, and wrecking cars became a regular event throughout his lifetime. Callander attended many educational institutions and probably inspired more than one teacher to retire early. He was a self-taught chef and hosted many large gatherings for family and friends over the years. He was past president of the Granville Rotary and a Paul Harris fellow. He filled his home with pets, including dogs, cats, rats, snakes, and his potbellied pig, Handsome, who lived in his house for 16 years. He had many “sweethearts" over the years, resulting in lasting friendships but only one wife, Deborah Barber. He battled addiction his entire life and truly cherished his many compadres in the AA community. He is survived by his wife; sisters, Ann Callander and Amy Matesich (Jim);


an uncle, Dwight Groce; two nephews; two great-nieces; and one great-nephew. Also surviving are Deborah’s uncle and weekly dinner companion, Vince Hitt, and Elisha (who was like a daughter to Jay) and Thomas Lamp, and their two sons.



traveling abroad and in the United States. She is survived by her husband, William; her mother, Phyllis D. Patterson; sisters, Polly Shiraishi (Bryan) and Jill Buzas (Gabe); and other relatives.


Darrell Law, 66, of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Dec. 25, 2022. Law lived through a house fire as a child and as he grew, he took pride in caring for his mother and gaining insight from his many football and baseball coaches, including Brian Hill and Barry Cohen. These positive influences played a key role in his high school baseball team winning the New Jersey state championship in 1973. They were a non-ranked team, and it was a true “Cinderella story” that year. He won a scholarship to Denison, where he met Teresa Webb ’77 They married a year after college. He was inducted into the United States Flag & Touch Football League Hall of Fame in 2007. He is survived by his wife; three children, Veronica M. Toppin, David A. Law, and Terrance P. Law; sister, Maxine Aiken (Doug); brother, Jack Law, Jr.; and two granddaughters.

Dwight Palmer, 67, of Pittsburgh, Nov. 30, 2022. Palmer studied biological sciences at Denison and opened his shop, Works in Wood, to craft custom cabinets. He could repair anything, advise on most things, and create oneof-a-kind cherished pieces from wood. Palmer played the trumpet and had a deep appreciation of jazz. He and his ex-wife, Eileen, raised two daughters, Lauren and Jessica. He is also survived by a sister, Susan Hall, and brothers, Robert and Scott.

Mark Winders , 66, Western Springs, Illinois, Jan. 31, 2023. At Denison, he played soccer and lacrosse in addition to being a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. After college, he moved to Chicago, where he enjoyed a successful career as a software sales executive. He also took physical fitness seriously, completing two 100-mile bicycle rides, the last of which was in 2019 when he rode 100 miles, at the age of 64, from Chicago to South Bend, Indiana. He had many hobbies, including aviation in which he earned his commercial and instructor licenses. and specialized in flying engineless gliders where he logged thousands of hours of flight time. He is survived by his parents, Frank and Beverly Winders; daughter, Emily Stout (Conner); son, Ted Winders (Mackenzie); sister, Lynn Rovelstad (Steven); and four grandchildren.


Alberto Verme, 65, of London, Feb. 15 2023. A prominent dealmaker, he spent 44 years in the banking industry and occupied some of the highest positions at Citigroup. In a memo to the company’s staff, Verme was described as a “Citi legend” and a “true titan of our industry and selfless mentor to many of us.” A native of Peru, he was an aspiring poet in his youth. He’s survived by his wife, Maria, and three children.


Stuart Spalding , 65, of Farmington, Connecticut, Feb. 17, 2023. Spalding had been a volunteer at Hartford Hospital for many years. He is survived by his wife, Carol Spalding, brother, Thomas C. Spalding (Martha), a niece, two nephews, and a large circle of caring aunts, uncles, and cousins.


Becke Tomkiewicz , 66, of Palmyra, New York, Nov. 12, 2022. At Denison, she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. She was a staple in the community goings-on in Palmyra. She was preceded in death by her husband, James Tomkiewicz ’ 79. She is survived by her brother, Gregg Westover ’81 (Michelle Beckler); nephew, Gavin Westover; stepson, James Tomkiewicz; and her partner and companion, Bob Hegeman.

Donath “ Donnie ” Tuggle , 66, of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Jan. 31, 2023. She was a 32-year employee of Bank of America and predecessor banks, serving in positions in human resources and corporate communications. More recently, she enjoyed learning about ancestral peoples and ancient civilizations while

Ilam Smith, 64, of Louisville, Kentucky, Feb. 22, 2023. He spent four decades as an attorney concentrating mostly in business and commercial law, trust and estate work and real estate. At Denison, he was a member of the dean's list, the Sigma Chi fraternity, and the golf team. He was known by family and friends as a “colorful raconteur” whose battle with cancer reminded him of the Winston Churchill quote: “If you are going through hell, keep on going.” Although he golfed, he found it a foolhardy pursuit because lasting improvement to one’s swing was, in his words, “as difficult to find as hanging onto a melting snowflake.” His unusual first name produced frequent misspellings which included “Illem,” and “Plam.” One of his dates first read it as “11 am.” He was a body surfer and an avid traveler. He is survived by his mother, Betty F. Smith, and his sister, Guinever Lee Smith.


John C. Goodall , 61, of Glenview, Illinois, Nov. 2, 2022. He spent 31 years working for the IRS after earning an MBA at Notre Dame and beginning his career at H&R Block. He is survived by his sister, Dana Goodall DeAngelis (Mark); nephews, Matthew DeAngelis, Thomas DeAngelis, Peter DeAngelis; and uncle, Donald Thorson.



Ronda “Pippy” Brewington , 60, of Mount Rainier, Maryland, March 7, 2023. An educator and evangelist, she spent a lifetime engaging and helping people. She spread Christianity through plays, programs, workshops, and seminars in the Washington, D.C., area. In 2004, she became a licensed missionary and four years later was ordained as an evangelist at Gospel Power of God Ministries in Maryland. She is survived by her husband, Jonathan; son, Jonathan Jr.; and brother, Steven B. Williams (Abigail).

Former faculty

Dane Imerman , 43, of Mount Angel, Oregon, Feb. 12, 2023. The political science professor taught at Denison from 2013 to 2021 after two years at Oberlin College. He spent his final years traveling extensively through Europe conducting interviews and doing research. He is survived by his ex-wife, Sara; daughter, Elizabeth; son, Elijah; brother, Lucas Imerman; parents, Janet Lea Woodring and Steven Imerman; and stepparents, Joel Woodring and Kyong Hwa "Song" Imerman.


Cal O'Callaghan , 60, of Cohasset, Massachusetts, Feb. 15, 2023. A leader in the construction industry for more than 35 years, he founded Bowline Construction in 2004, which played a role in developing and restoring office buildings, hotels, and life sciences and critical public facilities throughout New England. At Denison, he excelled as an athlete, playing football, lacrosse, and hockey. A Beta Theta Pi, he was part of the 1985 fraternity class that has reunited for golf trips annually since 2002, an event known as the Mo Gutridge Tournament. In honor of O’Callaghan’s passing, the winners now receive the “Cal Cup.” He is survived by his wife, Catherine Callaghan ’85; daughters, Kate Clapp (Reid), Charlotte, Allie, and Sarah; his mother, Wendy Cushman; sister, Karen Horan (Freddie); and brothers, Michael O'Callaghan (Cherie), Brian (Suzanne), and Dan O'Callaghan (Diane).

Former trustees

Thomas Laco, 93, of Cincinnati, Jan. 7, 2023. A native of Czechoslovakia, he came to the United States at age 6 and served in the Navy during the Korean War, rising to the rank of Lieutenant JG. After leaving the Navy, he moved to Cincinnati and worked for Procter & Gamble for 35 years, earning promotion to vice chairman of the board. He also served as a life trustee at Denison, while sitting on numerous other boards. His hobbies included hunting, fishing, golf, gardening and photography. In addition, he raised bird dogs and bred and raced thoroughbred horses for 25 years. He was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Barbie. He is survived by his daughter, Susan L. (David) Chapman; sons, Thomas R. (Christine), Randall J. (Pam), and Gregory E. (Jane); and eight grandchildren.


George Walsh, 58, of Fairport, New York, Oct. 24, 2022. He made a career of working in the telecommunications field. Away from work, he was known by family and friends as a grill master who specialized in honey mustard chicken and ribs. An avid Buffalo Bills fan, he lived for Sunday tailgate parties outside the stadium where he would grill his favorite meats. He is survived by his wife, Lori, and children, Matthew and Molly; mother, Josephine (Peppy) Walsh; and sisters, Kathleen Pringle (Larry Pitts) and Stephanie Prato (Tom).

Former staff


Nasreen Behdad , 62, of Granville, Ohio, Nov. 24, 2022. She was a senior accountant with Huntington Bank. She is survived by her husband, Sohrab; children, Siavash and Yasameen; and a granddaughter.

William “Bill” Sharp, 88, of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, June 19, 2023. For nearly 30 years, he served as director of Denison’s physical plant before retiring and relocating to South Carolina. He loved tennis and many activities that involved the sea, the beach, and sailing. After retirement, Bill served as the commodore of the Hilton Head Plantation (HHP) Yacht Club, vice president of the HHP Dock Association, secretary of the Association of Low Country Past Commodores, and the president of the Dolphin Point Club. He is survived by his wife, Rebecca Glackin Sharp; his sister, Elaine Soutar; his daughter, Rebecca D. Sharp; his son, Thomas Marshall Sharp; and four grandchildren.


Michael Ernst , 36, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Feb. 19, 2023. He was a decorated Naval sailor and Navy Seal who died in a parachuting accident while on duty. A member of the Naval Special Warfare unit, he earned a Silver Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and three Combat Action Ribbons, among his many awards and decorations. He enlisted in the Navy in 2009. He is survived by his wife, Megan Ernst ’08; two children; and his parents, Robert and Mary Ernst.


Sylvia Brookbank , 83, of Newark, Ohio, Dec. 12, 2021. She was a nurse’s aide for many years at Newark Healthcare Centre. She enjoyed listening to Christian music and going to yard sales with her sisters. She is survived by her son, Thomas A. (Kari) Brookbank; daughter, Pamela (Charles) Jackson; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by a brother, Richard Saum; and two sisters, Faye Morton and Darlene Ervin.




Elaine Cowen, 102, of Okemos, Michigan, Feb. 12, 2023. A tireless educator who taught into her 80s, she seamlessly balanced parenthood and a professional career. She entered college at age 16, attending Michigan State before receiving a full scholarship at Michigan, where she earned a master’s degree in mathematics. During World War II, she taught statistics at Denison and met her future husband, Jerry Cowen. The couple moved to Boston, and she worked in an MIT computing lab while teaching at Wellesley College. Returning to her native Michigan, she taught statistics at MSU. At 52, she began teaching high school math in Okemos, and while she officially retired at age 76, she continued in the school system for another decade. She is survived by her sisters, Alice Bonta and Ruth Ann Abbott; her five children, Cheryl Cowen, Randy Cowen (Phyllis), Thom Cowen (Meredith Stricker), Neil Cowen (Robin), Eleanor Cowen (Peter MacIntyre); and nine grandchildren.

Jack Crockford , 92, of the Villages, Florida, March 23, 2021. A U.S. Army veteran, he served in World War II and was stationed in allied occupied Japan at the end of the war. He worked in linen services and rose to the level of president of operations for Buckeye Linen Services. A graduate of William & Mary College, he was a skilled woodworker and was musically inclined, becoming proficient in brass instruments. After moving to Newark, Ohio in 1981, he became involved with the community serving as president of the Licking County Historical Society and treasurer of the Licking Memorial Hospital Board. He was preceded in death by his wife, Beverly; and an infant daughter, Deborah Ann Crockford. He is survived by two sons, Jon L. Crockford, M.D. (Patricia Weeks), and Michael D. Crockford (Linnette); and five grandchildren.

John Emery, 87, of Brookfield, Wisconsin, Aug. 27, 2018. Preceded in death by son Mark. Survived by his wife, Bonnie; children John and Jody; and two grandchildren.

Keith Fellure , 94, of Columbus, Ohio, May 4, 2022. He was a World War II veteran who served in the South Pacific before working at Burba-Kern Printing until his 1989 retirement. Preceded in death by wife, Marjorie Kline Fellure. Survived by stepchildren, Mark (Michelle) Moberly, Sandy (Steve) Eaton, Ted (Nancy) Moberly, Tom (Colleen) Moberly; and grandchildren.

Twila Granger, 97, of Aurora, Ohio, Jan. 11, 2022. She enjoyed golf, tennis, swimming, gardening, and travel. She was preceded in death by her husband, Louis V. Granger; brother, Bruce Claggett; and sister, Shirley Calhoun. She is survived by her son, Jeffrey (Katherine); her daughter, Linda (Mark Atwood); four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Helen Harris , 91, of New Philadelphia, Ohio, Nov. 29, 2022. She earned a degree in elementary education in 1968 from Kent State University at age 37 before teaching the next 28 years in Strasburg, Ohio. She had studied at Mount Union and Ohio State University before marrying Robert Harris ’50 in 1950. She is survived by her children, Wendy Evans, Jeff Harris (Cynthia), and Brett Harris (Connie); five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Martha “Marty” Howland , 87, of Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 30, 2021. The Ohio State University graduate traveled extensively while working in the market research department of Procter & Gamble. She treasured her role as a docent at the Columbus Museum of Art, and as a volunteer at Riverside Methodist Hospital. Her passions included yoga, travel, and Ohio State University basketball. She died just 15 days before celebrating her 65th wedding anniversary with husband, Donald, who later died on Nov. 8, 2022. She is survived by her two sons, Donald III and Peter; and her four grandchildren.

Thomas Hughes , 97, of Chevy Chase Maryland, Jan. 2, 2023. A prominent voice in U.S. foreign policy for decades, he’s best known for arguing against American escalation of the Vietnam War in the 1960s. He was a Rhodes scholar and Yale-trained lawyer who began his government career in the 1950s. An adviser to Hubert Humphrey, who served as vice president under Lyndon Johnson, Hughes gave “an extremely pessimistic appraisal of the chances for success in Vietnam and a rather positive estimate on the vitality of the enemy,” according to journalist David Halberstam in his 1972 book The Best and Brightest. He also served as Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, and later became the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His first wife, journalist and designer Jean Hurlburt Reiman, died in 1993. Two years later, he married Jane Casey Kuczynski, a former reporter for the Voice of America , who survives him. Also surviving are a sister, Marianne Hughes Nordholm; and two sons, Thomas Evan Hughes (Lynn McCary) and Allan Cameron Hughes.

William “Bill” Peck , 89, of Hadley, Massachusetts, Oct. 3, 2020. He enjoyed a long career in public relations and community affairs with U.S Steel after serving two years in Korea with the U.S. Army Signal Corps and completing a Master of Business Science at Boston University. He met Regina Ann “Jean” Hauser on a transatlantic crossing while they both were college students headed on a tour of Europe. The couple married and embraced a lifetime of travel together, visiting dozens of places around the globe. He is survived by his sister, Elizabeth “Betsy” Mixner; daughters, Sarah Peck, and Susan Horgan (P.J.); and son, Stephen Peck (Marla).


Julie Pregenger, of Manchester Township, New Jersey, Oct. 6, 2013.

June Sloan , 98, of Perrysburg, Ohio, Dec. 6, 2022. She loved ballroom dancing with her husband, Samuel Sloan. She attended Denison and Miami University before becoming heavily involved on the cultural arts scene in Toledo, Ohio. She was a member of the Toledo Country Club, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Opera Guild, Axillary of the Ability Center, and Toledo Symphony League. She is survived by her daughter, Cynthia Hoffman, and five grandchildren.

Phyllis Jeanne Snoad , 91, of Rochester Hills, Michigan, Dec. 1, 2021. She was a registered nurse, and served as the parish nurse at her church for many years. She also loved flowers and had a passion for painting them. Preceded in death by her husband of 70 years, Richard, and son David. She’s survived by son Richard Snoad Jr.; daughters, Lorrie Schackmann, Barbara Sprunk, and Judy (Dale) Stewart; and 13 grandchildren.

Jeanne Sutton , 80, of Fremont, Ohio, Nov. 14, 2021. She taught real estate and appraisal at Hondros College. An avid reader and walker, she also loved to travel with her husband, Alva Sutton. She was preceded in death by Alva and daughter Kathleen Booher. She is survived by daughters Holly (Charles) Gates and Sarah (Frank) Erckman; son-in-law Robert Booher III; and seven grandchildren.

Margery A. Steele , 87, of Weimar, Texas, Feb. 13, 2021. She was an editor with the Departments of Energy and the Army before joining the Department of Education, where she won a Blue Pencil Award for her work on booklets that helped parents teach their children science. She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold “Bud” Steele, and daughter Carolyn Jones Green. She is survived by daughters Stefni Kueht, Dorothy Demos, Shirley McConnell, Patricia Steele, and Roberta Habeeb; and 14 grandchildren.

John “Jack” Raymond Tegmeyer, 90, of Elmhurst, Illinois, July 8, 2022. Preceded in death by brother George Tegmeyer. His wife of 66 years, Marlene M. Tegmeyer, died on July 27, 2022. He is survived by a daughter, Paula Serfling (Brian) Nugent; two grandchildren; sister, Carol Tegmeyer Krantz; and twin brother, Gerald E. Tegmeyer.

Sunshine Timrud , 88, of Bearsville, New York, Dec. 21, 2021. Adopted at age six months, she was nicknamed “Sunshine” for the joy she brought to the lives of her parents and later had her name legally changed to Sunshine. She thrived among a large circle of artists and writers living in Woodstock, New York. She worked for Edgar Vilchur, who invented the acoustic suspension loudspeaker that revolutionized the field of high-fidelity equipment. She

was preceded in death by her husband, David Timrud, a psychiatrist. Together they built an idyllic mini farm on their property, which included a vegetable garden along with chickens, goats, two ponies, and their resident dog and cat. They also co-founded The National Dog registry at a time when family pets were being stolen for use as laboratory subjects. The registry required that pets be tattooed with the owners’ Social Security numbers — a forerunner to the chip implants for pets. She is survived by family members and many friends.

Anne Margaret Ward , 89, of Norwich, New York, Oct. 18, 2020. She was active in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Eagle Scouts, and Cub Scouts. She also served as a speaker for the scouting service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, traveling throughout the country promoting leadership, friendship, and service to college-age youth. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Robert Ward, in 1997 and her second husband, John “Zeke” Ward in 2012; and a son, Joseph. She is survived by children Timothy, Matthew (Gilda), Robert, Edith Ward-Cleaver (James), Jonathan, David (Marlys), Stephen (Cindy), and Daniel; 18 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.

Carolyn Thrasher Weh, 85, of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, May 26, 2022. She loved spending time with family on her screened porch. She also was a passionate sports fan, rooting for the Green Bay Packers and University of Wisconsin teams. In her final months, she was most content sitting in her bay window watching the birds, trying to chase squirrels off the birdfeeder, and listening to her granddaughter practice her violin. She is survived by her daughter, Suzanne Rahn (David); her son, Robert Weh (Amy); her two grandchildren; and her brothers, Charles D. Thrasher (Elizabeth) and Richard Thrasher (Laurel).

John R. West , MD, 89, of Sacramento, California, May 5, 2022. He was an accomplished surgeon for 35 years, a talented carpenter and woodworker, a long-time partner in a Ford dealership, and a licensed pilot. He also loved to sing and whistle. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Carol West; his brother, Peter (Penny) West; his daughters, Jan West (Bryon Bayer), Kim Newton (Craig), and Susan West; and three grandchildren.



Howard Fish ’78

Peter Sparks ’78

Hunter Nickell ’78

Steve Pisanelli ’78

Tony Padgett ’78

David Crouse ’77


No Boss? No fuss

How does a place define us? This was an important question for five Denison fraternity brothers of mine on our two-day reunion in Granville to attend a Bruce Springsteen concert in Columbus. The Boss is an important thread in our lives, so the anticipation built weeks prior to the

What none of us anticipated was that the concert would become a minor footnote — and that our 48 hours together would be deeply profound in ways we never anticipated.

While several of us had been back to campus on a periodic basis, others had not, so in many respects it was a homecoming for them. As Peter Sparks ’78 said, “We were fortunate to be thrown together at Denison, because those four years shaped us as people.”

All six of us — me, Tony Padgett ’78, Howard Fish ’78, Hunter Nickell ’78, Peter Sparks ’78, and resident comedian Steve Pisanelli ’78 — hailing from New Hampshire to Florida and places between, together for the first time in 40 years. It was time to catch up: how are the kids, how’s your health, funny you look like your Dad back when we were students — and stories, endless Denison stories.

Each of us headed off in different directions before dinner to take in the sights of a college experience long ago. I visited the Doobie (formerly WDUB), and station manager Kat Colvin ’23 in Slayter Hall. It was my second day on campus as a freshman that I stopped by the station and never left during my four years. It has given me a 50-year career in radio, television, and film. The connections made at the Doobie by countless students through the years has led to careers in broadcasting, sports, and communications.

On day two, we connected with students at the Knowlton Center for Career Exploration. Hunter

had been asked to speak of his long career as an executive in TV sports. In reality we all spoke to these very gifted students.

At one point the question was asked, “How many of you have had a professor who’s had a profound impact on you at Denison?” Every hand shot up from the students and from all six of us. For many, those connections have and will endure.

As Tony said: “The thing I remember most about the administrators and the professors was that they truly cared about us and wanted us to succeed.”

From our interaction with the students, we were able to connect two with contacts in film and television sports immediately.

We then made our way over to President Weinberg’s office. It became readily apparent he has an encyclopedic mind for detail — including the names of students and current and past professors — and a clear sense of the direction of liberal arts in America. There has been a dramatic increase in applications to Denison under his leadership to nearly 15,000 per year, and an acceptance rate of just 17%. Quality over quantity.

As we left his office to head to the concert, Peter’s wife called to say the concert had been postponed due to illness. Postponed!

What does one do when receiving news like this?

Quickly we went into crisis mode. This calls for a beer to cogitate and ruminate, and then it calls for food and dinner. And so back to the Granville Inn we went. It was during dinner, with laughter wafting from our private dining room, that I realized our friendship went so much deeper.

At that moment I think we all realized our friendship as a kind of sacrament that had metamorphosed from a very special time in college to intense joy that we have survived and flourished and held onto the bonds of brotherhood. The deeply immersed liberal arts education we received at Denison prepared us for the long journey we’re on — just like it will for the students we met during our return to campus.


Denison University Society of the Alumni ORGANIZED IN 1846


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Denison Magazine

(ISSN 1042-1645) is published two times a year by the Denison University Office of University Communications, 100 West College St., Granville, OH 43023

Lewis A. (Lee) Sachs ’85 (Chair), James L. Anderson ’85, George Bodenheimer ’80, Cynthia Ooten Booth ’79, Ashley Edwards Bradley ’93, Daniel J. Brickman ’80, Lisa M. Coleman ’88, Marcus Colwell ’84, Kathryn Correia ’79, Ben Cross ’20 (Ex Officio), Fatima Elghazawi ’21, Tim Ewing ’89, Jeremy J. Flug ’83, Kristen Fitzwilliam Giarrusso ’84, James T. Glerum Jr. ’82, Lauren S. Haarlow ’90, Matthew J. Harrington ’84, Jeryl Hayes ’04, Jeffrey Johnson ’81, Richard Kienzle ’85, Suzanne B. Kriscunas ’72, Marc B. Lautenbach ’83, Eric Lindberg ’93, Douglas W. Mabie ’86, Jeffrey Masten ’86, Amy Todd Middleton ’93, William C. Mulligan ’76, Stephen Polk ’78, Abigail Pringle ’96, Vivian Quaye ’03, George V. Russell ’88, Arthur P. Steinmetz Jr. ’80, Thomas E. Szykowny ’79, G. Jackson Tankersley Jr. ’72, Gregory N. Taylor ’86, Jamie K. Thorsen ’77, Rayshon Walker ’22, Susan D. Whiting ’78


Mary Jane Le Van Armacost ’62, Charles A. Brickman ’54, Walter F. Burke ’71, John A. Canning Jr. ’66, Janet Crown ’85, Mark F. Dalton ’72, Paul A. Dimitruk ’71, Michael D. Eisner ’64, John V. Faraci Jr. ’72, Martha Dunbar Hall ’81, Dana Hart ’76, Ro Nita Hawes-Saunders ’73, W August Hillenbrand, Thomas E. Hoaglin ’71, David J. Hooker ’72, Paul W. Hylbert ’66, Charlotte Power Kessler ’65, John D. Lowenberg ’64, Sharon Smith Martin ’65, Steven P. Matteucci ’78, William T. McConnell ’55, Malcolm A. McNiven ’51, Donald B. Shackelford ’54, Gary V. Simpson ’84, John N. Taylor Jr. ’57, Joseph H. Thomas ’56, Alexander (Sandy) Thomson ’59

Copyright ©2023 by Denison University. All rights reserved. Opinions expressed in Denison Magazine are those of the individual authors and subjects, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the college administration, faculty, or students. No portion of this magazine may be reprinted without the express written consent of the editor.


Send address changes to Denison Magazine, Denison University, 100 West College St., Granville, OH 43023.


DENISON MAGAZINE Denison University 100 West College Street Granville, Ohio 43023 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED NONPROFIT US Postage PAID NEWARK, OH 43055 PERMIT NO. 66

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