Denison Magazine Winter 2023

Page 1

Homer O N The h i Ll !



ISSUE 1 | 2023

(Especially when our crews do such a fantastic job clearing campus roads.)


No matter how you feel about winter, a snow-dusted Denison is a lovely sight to behold.


We asked Thomas Richner ’97, an artist for The Simpsons, to bring a little Springfield to campus.

The result?

Cowabunga, Buzzy.


The new 16,000-squarefoot facility is a place to quiet the mind and recharge the body.


An English professor breathes life, learning, and fun into a 563-yearold manuscript.



From developing resilience and humility to understanding the importance of critical thinking and a well-rounded education, Denison alums share thoughts on the foundations for future success.




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



On-campus debates look to depolarize hot-button issues by stressing the importance of intellectual inquiry and humility.




Recalling how Denison swimmers pierced Kenyon’s aura of invincibility to launch a dynasty of their own.


Thomas Richner ’97 used advice he learned at Denison to land a dream job as a storyboard artist on The Simpsons.

Denison alumni are all over the big screen. And the small screen. Here’s what to check out. 54




Rex Elliott ’84 taps into a deep well of empathy to connect with others — and make the world a safer place.



The comments section



Where Denison’s headed

14 THE HILL It suits him!

18 THE OFFICE Nan Carney-DeBord ’80



Speaking of the ’90s...


The comments section

If we quadrupled the pages of this magazine — delivered you a massive brick to rival one of your old college textbooks — we still wouldn’t have enough space to deliver all of the extraordinary and downright delightful news coming out of Denison these days.

Nor could we capture the countless moments and encounters that are a hallmark of the Denison experience — the evening talk with award-winning author Ann Hagedorn ’71, the unexpected visit from Alex Moffat ’04 during an entrepreneurial summit, the chat with Dan Berger ’67, who swung by Sigma Chi and regaled Denison Magazine staffers with tales from his Denison days.

This magazine is a celebration of an institution and its people, and we have plenty to celebrate.

In September, U.S. News & World Report ranked us the No. 9 most innovative and No. 9 most international liberal arts college in the country, as well as the No. 19 best college of any type in the country for internships, tied with Clemson, Notre Dame, and Harvard. Overall, Denison ranked No. 39 among national liberal arts colleges — a leap of 16 places since 2016.

In October, the journalism program shared that Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Connie Schultz will be joining Denison’s faculty, beginning her two-year appointment as Professor of Practice in Journalism in August 2023. Also that month, the members of our grounds crew — the magicians behind the beauty of The Hill — were honored by the Professional Grounds Management Society with three national awards, putting us in the company of the U.S. Capitol grounds and the storied Biltmore Estate.

In November, we announced that Teckie ʼ56 and Don ʼ54 Shackelford were building on their extraordinary commitment to expanding educational access for Columbusarea students with a $21 million endowment to support Columbus City Schools students attending Denison University.

And in December, we began accepting applications for Summer TUTTI, our innovative new high school performing arts camp made possible in part by the Ohio Arts Council’s ArtsNEXT grant for experimental projects.

That’s not even scratching the surface. In the following pages you’ll learn about several other ways campus is transforming, students are thriving, and faculty are shaping lives. You’ll share in some of the many successes of our alumni. You’ll see what we mean — there are simply not enough pages to celebrate what a great time this is for Denison and Denisonians.

As always, we’d love to hear your good news, and we’ll try our best to keep up with this brilliant family of students, alumni, staff, faculty, and friends. Send your letters to and share your personal updates — new addresses, jobs, marriages, babies, experiences — with us at


Thank you! Thank you! One and all

The Olmsted party on campus, June 2, 2022, was absolutely overwhelming and glorious. What a treat to see you all that afternoon. I can’t thank you enough for being there. A perfectly beautiful 200th Olmsted birthday. So many generous speeches and the appearance of each and every one of you who have contributed to the beauty of Denison’s campus as well.

Adam and Kevin (Mercer) showered me with kind words, and the gift of the beautiful Olmsted campus map was a highlight, for sure.

The Preston Horticultural Fund was initiated by my husband, Seymour S. Preston III (“Moe”), 17 years ago, and I could only wish to have shared the day with him. The finances gathered have all been voluntary by those who wished to develop this fund. He would have been proud of our current achievement of $5 million.

Without the skill and devotion of Richard Anson Hotaling ’54, the progress and reality of today’s fund would not have taken place. His contributions of time and emotional support were priceless.

The superb talk by Dede Petrie, president and CEO of the National Association of Olmsted Parks, was an outstanding contribution of the afternoon. What a gift that was to share the Olmsteds on campus that afternoon, to let us know the background and history of our campus. No one could describe it better. Dede taught us about the “long view.” It is that which we are grappling with today: the importance of nature, the preservation of animals and human life, the weather, and yes, our courage. Denison can only have a beautiful campus if we have an eye for the “long view.”

To conclude, it is with my greatest gratitude that I thank each and every one of Kevin’s team. You have worked unfailingy, season after season, creating and maintaining Denison’s horticultural beauty.

Gratefully, and with my appreciation and devotion, Jean


Because of a design oversight, we gave Tommy Ray Burkett the wrong title in a rather unfortunately prominent headline in the last issue of Denison Magazine. We deeply regret this error. Burkett, of course, was an emeritus professor of English, not mathematics. (As Emeritus Biology Professor Julie Mulroy noted to us in pointing out this error: “He was an early adopter of quantitative tools in his field, but his field definitely was English!”)

Still getting together with Denison friends once a year — or more?
brenda yingling


Where is Denison headed? Look to the Hoaglin Center

This fall, we opened the Ann and Thomas Hoaglin Wellness Center. It replaced Whisler as our student health center. I am proud of this building for what it will do for the college — and how it represents Denison’s positive forward momentum.

At its core, the Hoaglin Wellness Center creates a new home for health services for our students. We have needed more modern facilities for a long time, and the spaces for health care and wellness in this building are fantastic. They are precisely what our staff needs and deserves, and what you would expect to find at a college like Denison.


The design and vision for the building have allowed us to create a new and innovative partnership with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center — a collaboration that offers us access to a wide range of world-class health professionals. For the last few years, students have asked for a more diverse range of health services, and while a college our size will always struggle to provide that alone, this new partnership with the Wexner Medical Center makes it possible.

The partnership also allows us to expand the range of on-campus health services for faculty and staff during the workday, which reinforces our commitment to enhancing the support for the employees who provide life-shaping education and support to our students.

We stayed open during Covid, when many of our peer colleges did not, because of our partnership with the Wexner Medical Center. Now we have developed an innovative collaboration that we believe will be a model for other colleges.

Furthermore, this building creates a new environment to connect with our students about proactively managing health and well-being. The liberal arts are designed to educate and develop whole people. Health should be an integral part of this education. We want our students to be able to take responsibility for their well-being — and to understand that, while none of us is in complete control, we have many tools we can use to shape our physical and mental health. The Hoaglin Wellness Center is home to a wide range of programs that help students develop

foundational habits for physical and mental health — sleep, nutrition, and exercise. Part of this is about directly addressing a critical challenge of our times: unhealthy habits around social media and technology that are detrimental to our physical and mental health.

What excited me most is our ability to use this building to help students develop the skills of mindfulness, which can equip us with tools and techniques to move beyond the daily stresses, challenges, and failures of life to successfully create the lives we want for ourselves. A member of the Denison community recently said to me, “We only learn by doing hard things. But we all need the skills to turn hard things into moments of learning and personal growth.”

While there are no panaceas in life, mindfulness comes very close. The programs we are running will help our students develop the emotional agility and resiliency to thrive in a challenging, chaotic, fast-paced, and competitive world.

All of this — the spaces, the partnership with the Wexner Medical Center, the new approaches to helping students take greater control over their health — signify where Denison is headed.

WE ARE A COLLEGE THAT IS INNOVATING, forming new partnerships, and taking on the big issues that define this historical moment. We are embracing the best of the liberal arts while also developing the next generation of programs to keep them relevant and vibrant.

And, of course, none of this is possible without the incredible support from our Denison community. Thanks to Tom and Ann Hoaglin, and lots of alumni and parents, this building was fully funded by donors.

It would also not be possible without our proximity to Columbus. Columbus and central Ohio are thriving and filled with world-class institutions. Over the past few years, we have started to think about ourselves much more explicitly as a Columbus-based college, and we are continually asking ourselves how we can better take advantage of our amazing location.

The articles in this issue of Denison Magazine capture our direction and momentum in lots of different ways. I hope you enjoy this issue!


quiet the mind and recharge the body.

When raina runk ’24 walks through the Ann and Thomas Hoaglin Wellness Center, what she doesn’t see tells as much a story about Denison’s commitment to well-being as what she does see.

Runk doesn’t notice many fellow students glued to their cell phones as they participate in programs to promote mindfulness. She doesn’t observe them sitting in the spacious lobby or the outdoor meditation garden with noses buried in laptops.

What Runk often witnesses, she says, are students using the 16,000-square-foot center for one of its intended purposes — a place to quiet the mind and recharge the body.

With the 2022 opening of the Hoaglin Wellness Center, a single-story limestone structure that sits along Chapel Walk, Denison has expanded both on-campus health services and access to health care professionals — largely through a new

partnership with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, one of the region’s most respected and established academic health centers.

Students, faculty, and staff can access musculoskeletal and soon physical therapy services through the new partnership, and students can consult with primary care providers, mental health clinicians, psychiatrists, and nutritionists at the Hoaglin Wellness Center.

The college community is also taking advantage of the center’s wellness-centered programs and opportunities. More than 2,200 students and staff members registered for wellness programs in the first two months.

“Before Covid, you would hear professors and faculty members say that it’s important to take time away from school work and just de-stress,” Runk said. “But I think there was a disconnect between what was being said and what was being done. Since this space opened, I see more students taking the time to do that.”


Even before the first spade of dirt was turned at groundbreaking, the university sought to accommodate a generation of students looking for resources to manage their own well-being.

“There has been a huge shift,” said Jack Wheeler, associate director of student wellness at the Hoaglin Center. “This generation is far more likely to have a conversation about their mental-health journey or just their general mental well-being. They also are a lot quicker to seek services.”

In recent years, Denison has broadened its definition of wellness, creating educational programs that encourage a holistic approach and helping students develop the habits and skills to manage their health and well-being throughout their lifetimes. Denison was among five universities in 2020 to earn an Active Minds Healthy Campus Award, which recognizes excellence in prioritizing the health and well-being of students.


Emphasizing the importance of sleep, nutrition, and exercise for physical and mental health, President Adam Weinberg has been a vocal proponent of helping students develop “emotional agility and resilience” that enables them to thrive at Denison and in the years beyond.

advocates for their alma mater, and their vision for the center inspired several Denison alumni and parents of Denison students to support the project financially.


Majeda Humeidan, Hoaglin’s director of mental well-being and psychologist, noted that young adults across the nation have experienced a rise in mental health concerns in recent years. She cited a study from the Collegiate Mental Health Report that found 72% of American college students say Covid has impacted their mental health in a negative way.

Census Bureau that states symptoms of anxiety and depression “on a near-daily basis” had spiked to 41% among adults in 2021 — a 30% increase from 2019. Beyond isolation and other challenges faced during the pandemic, factors such as the political climate, uncertainty about the future, and changes in access to social support have contributed to a rise in anxiety, according to a 2022 Harris poll.

The centerpiece of this effort is the Hoaglin Wellness Center, named for Ann and Tom Hoaglin, to honor their philanthropic leadership of the project. The Hoaglins, both members of the Denison Class of 1971, are long-time civic champions and passionate

“Young adults are aware of the strong connection between mental and physical health,” Humeidan said. “Having the Hoaglin Center at Denison that attends to the whole person allows students to more holistically engage in their well-being.”

She also referenced a survey from the

Humeidan is one of seven full-time mental health clinicians working at the Hoaglin Center’s counseling services, which was also joined by a part-time psychiatrist from the Wexner Medical Center. One-on-one mental health assessments and therapy sessions are common at most universities, and necessary for diagnosable clinical mental health disorders, but Humeidan lauds the proactive work of Denison’s wellness programs.

“When students come to us, they are quite positive about the new center, its location, and quick access to a broad range of

“It’s nice to have a place where you can come and enjoy some peace and take care of yourself.”

services,” she said. “We are continuing to assess needs and looking to increase collaboration across departments to enhance positive coping, emotional regulation, and self care among students — all skills that can also be taught outside of one-on-one counseling.”


Twice a week, Brooklyn Heller ’24 visits the wellness center to participate in yoga classes. There’s much she appreciates about the Hoaglin facility, not the least of which is the presence of natural light that pours through 2,600-square feet of windows.

But it’s the serenity of the wellness center’s environment that helps her relieve stress after a busy day of classes.

“With our crazy schedules,” Heller said, “it’s nice to have a place where you can come and enjoy some peace and take care of yourself.”

Students are using the new facility for a wide variety of reasons beyond medical treatment and counseling. There are rooms for meditation, yoga, spinning, and group chats. Visits from therapy dogs are popular, as are the occasional campfires, morning smoothies, and paint nights.

The wellness rooms, which students, staff, and faculty can reserve for 30-minute visits, are a huge hit. Occupants can relax in massage chairs, listen to soft music and trickling water, and indulge in aromatherapy.

“Sometimes, all you need is just a few minutes to drop in and turn off,” Wheeler said. “Students who come in seem to be more optimistic and hopeful. They see this as a space where they can relax and de-stress in an atmosphere that’s different than what’s going on across campus.”

RIGHT: Ann and Tom Hoaglin ’71 at the dedication of Denison’s new home for wellness. BELOW: Students are using the new facility in a variety of ways, including meditation, yoga, and spinning.
“They see this as a space where they can relax and de-stress in an atmosphere that’s different than what’s going on across campus.”
Patrick DeMichael james schuller


On Sept. 21, 2022, Denison kicked off its fourth entrepreneurship summit, ReMix. What followed were three days — across campus and into the Granville community — of sharing, connecting, and sparking new ideas. Here are just a few highlights.




■▶ Three mainstage speakers

■▶ Six deep-dive sessions ■▶ 16 breakout sessions

■▶ Countless networking and connecting opportunities


Students Alumni

“I got inspired to take the next step in my entrepreneurial goals.”

“I now have a deeper understanding of what I want my future career to be!”

“I potentially have a job lined up for next year.”

“I feel re-connected with the Denison community!”

“I was able to reconfirm my love and appreciation for what is going on at Denison and redefine how I want to be involved in using my time and talents.”





ALUMNI Christopher Celeste ’87 Matt Gillin ’89 Alex Moffat ’04


One of the most distinguished garments in American theater has come home to Denison more than 70 years after Hal Holbrook ’48 took it on the road with him.

A white linen suit, which the award-winning actor wore on stage while impersonating Mark Twain in his famous one-man show, is the centerpiece of a collection of memorabilia the Holbrook estate gifted the university in the summer of 2022.

Holbrook, who died in 2021 at 95, donned replica suits in performing Mark Twain Tonight! for more than six decades to audiences worldwide. The original suit, however, was given to him by Everett and Martha Grace Reese — parents of Thekla “Teckie” Reese Shackelford ’56, one of Denison’s great benefactors, and David E. Reese ’61.

“When Hal and his wife Ruby were getting ready to do the Mark Twain show, Hal told my dad, ‘I need a white suit,’” Shackelford recalls. “My dad said, ‘I’ve got a white suit that you can have.’ It’s fabulous and it’s fitting that the suit is back. This is where Hal’s career in theater began.”

Holbrook specified in his trust that Denison receive the original white suit, which university archivist and special collections librarian Sasha Kim Griffin had sent to a professional conservator for cleaning.

The suit will be returned to campus later this year and placed on display in fall 2023.

“When (Hal Holbrook was) getting ready to do the Mark Twain show, Hal told my dad, ‘I need a white suit.’”


The best Big Red accessory for your favorite pup? This sharp Denison pet collar, available in three sizes at


Created by a co-owner of local coffee roaster Bella’s Beans, the Smile Phone provides listeners with mood-boosting affirmations when they pick up the receiver. Find the bright yellow booth on East Broadway — you can’t miss it!


A highlight of the North Market in Columbus, Black Radish Creamery now offers a self-service farm store just five miles down the road from Denison. You can pop in and grab cheese, honey, eggs, and more on the honor system. Find them at

Found james schuller, Patrick demichael

Looking to create an area of tranquility, Grounds and Landscape Manager Kevin Mercer constructed Japanese gardens in the nook between Doane Library and Fellows Hall in August 2022. The two-month project, funded by the Jean Holman Preston Endowment Fund for Horticultural Enrichment, includes a small bridge across a water feature and a bench for contemplation.

Mercer solicited the help of Japanese Professor Michael Tangeman ’91, who designed the gardens and worked alongside Mike Flood, owner of nearby Albyn’s Landscape and Nursery Center, on the project. The often-shaded area is ideal for the growth of many Japanese plants, Mercer said.

THE Hıll
james schuller

The Office

204 Mitchell


So much of the athletic director’s life is here, packed within these four walls.

There’s the 40-year-old field hockey stick hanging over her doorway. 1 The photograph of her family in the bleachers after a field hockey game — parents clad in plaid, fresh off a round at the Denison Golf Club, older sister sprouting a pair of bunny ears behind Carney-DeBord’s head. 2

There’s the line of bright yellow rubber ducks on her window sill. The keys to a long-gone desk. The magnet affixed to her file cabinet: “Well behaved women rarely make history.” 3

It’s an evolving collection. CarneyDeBord’s story is still unfolding.

In some ways it began here at Denison, in 1976, when the local athlete matriculated at the college atop the hill intent on becoming a dentist. She loaded up on tough science classes and lettered all four years in basketball and field hockey and along the way met “someone really special who saw in me what I didn’t see in myself.”

Jack was a fellow athlete who wanted to coach, and he thought Carney-DeBord could lead a team as well. He encouraged her to balance those challenging science courses with an easy January term credit by coaching basketball at the local high school.

“And then January was over and they asked me to stay,” Carney-DeBord says. “I went to classes all day and coached in the evenings. I fell in love with coaching.”

And Jack? He captured her heart, too. “There was nothing else to do but marry him,” she says. (That photo over by the door is Sebago Lake in Maine, where they exchanged vows and baptized both of their boys.)

Carney-DeBord had her mind set on coaching a college team, and though she heeded her advisor’s advice to devise a backup plan — invaluable wisdom, it turned out, that opened her to the social sciences — she ultimately didn’t need it. At age 23, she was hired on as the head field hockey coach at Bethany College in West Virginia, an opportunity she almost immediately blew by losing her first contest 10-0.

“Which is, yeah, bad,” she says. She was a nervous wreck facing the athletic direc-

tor who’d taken a chance on her. “I was like, OK, well he’s going to regret this decision of hiring me. But he just said, ‘The good news is the next team on your schedule is in conference, so it should be a much more competitive game. Glad you had a safe trip.’”

That conversation — and the man delivering the message — set the standard for the kind of leader Carney-DeBord wanted to be. David Hutter, who later became athletic director at Case Western Reserve University, remained her mentor for decades. (That’s his picture up there on the shelf.)

Mentors have always been important to Carney-DeBord. When early in her career, she had to choose between a position at Denison and rival Ohio Wesleyan University, another mentor — longtime OWU coach and athletic director Richard Gordin — encouraged her to opt for the latter.

“You don’t want to go back to your alma mater,” he said, “because they’ll still see you as a student.”

Hutter suggested she pursue basketball, a gender neutral sport, over field hockey, which would provide a strong leadership foundation for a long-term goal of becom-

patrick demichael Walking into Nan Carney-DeBord’s office is a bit like flipping through the pages of her memoir.

ing an athletic director. At Ohio Wesleyan, Carney-DeBord went on to become a tenured faculty member, full professor, and one of the winningest coaches in Division III women’s basketball history, guiding OWU to six NCAA Division III Tournament berths.

“Flash forward 25 years when I was offered this position (as athletic director at Denison),” Carney-DeBord says, “and I took (Gordin) out for coffee and said, ‘Is it OK now? They’ve probably completely forgotten me.’ “He said, ‘Yeah, OK, it’s a good decision.’”

Carney-DeBord returned to The Hill in 2011, encouraged by Denison’s trajectory. When Adam Weinberg, a former college hockey player, was selected as the university’s 20th president two years later, “I just felt my stars were aligned,” CarneyDeBord says. “He really understands how athletics aligns with the liberal arts and enhances the academic experience.”

The decade since has been a rewarding one. Since Carney-DeBord’s return, Denison has won 50 North Coast Athletic Conference Championships and four Division III national championships, and the college has completed $38 million in

renovations and expansion to the Mitchell Center. 4

In 2019, she was named the Under Armour Division III Athletics Director of the Year by the National Collegiate Directors of Athletics, and in 2021 she was the NCAA Division III Women Leaders in College Sports Nike Executive of the Year.

(That award is here too, and it’s Senior Associate Athletic Director Sara Lee’s favorite item in her boss’s office: “This has special meaning to me,” Lee says, “as I have attended this organization’s national conference with her the last several years and feel she was so deserving of this honor and recognition for all she has done and continues to do to move our department and university forward.”)

“Nan brings great passion and vision to the department,” says Gregg Parini, who’s turned Denison into a swimming powerhouse over his 35 years as the head men’s and women’s coach. “She’s an invested leader who cares deeply about our coaches, our staff, and our student-athletes. Her commitment to building an elite athletic experience is evident on a daily basis.”

Parini’s success is part of this office,

too. His favorite piece hangs high above Carney-DeBord’s head, flanked by framed accolades — a painted window that celebrates the men’s first NCAA swimming championship in 2011. 5

In fact, the more you look around these walls and shelves, the more you realize the plaques and trinkets and baubles are less about Carney-DeBord and more about the people who surround her.

There’s an old tennis racket. A football helmet. A track and field letter. The framed words of encouragement she once offered a former player. The yellowed newspaper story about the growth of the NCAC with a picture of Carney-DeBord and longtime Denison coach and administrator Lynn Schweizer, arms thrown over each other’s shoulders. 6

This is an office occupied by one person but built by a community — a space that celebrates the former colleagues and coaches who came before her, the mentors and heroes and friends, the players and parents and alumni who continue to write her story.

2 1 4 5 6

OFF THE HILL take a hike !

With the leaves changing colors in Granville — gorgeous pops of gold and amber lining the sidewalks — it felt like an ideal time to soak up the perfect fall weather in Ohio. In need of a break and light exercise, Asesha Dayal ’17 ventured off The Hill to find the best spot for a nearby hike. Here are her reviews of some popular area trails.

honorable mentions

If you’re in the Columbus area, we also recommend checking out the following parks:





THE BIOLOGICAL RESERVE (Sure, it’s part of campus — so while it’s not “off The Hill,” it’s still 350 acres of wonderful wilderness.)

Sugar Loaf Park





A stone’s throw from Stone Hall, Sugar Loaf Park is located on West Broadway in Granville and offers a quiet retreat from the bustle of campus.

If you’re visiting in the fall, the sounds of crunching leaves will follow you to the top. The steep, wooded incline is suited for five minutes of cardio that will make you feel less guilty about the treats in your picnic basket.

This is a friendly spot for novice hikers of all ages, but beware: That incline may pose a challenge to those (like yours truly) with knee problems!

Having gone by Sugar Loaf many times over the years, I was curious about the view from the top of the trail. I was hoping for a stunning view of Granville.

SPOILER ALERT: It’s not that, but when you reach the top of the hill, you’ll find a nice spot for a picnic plus Founders Monument, a massive rock that was dedicated in 1905 during Granville’s Centennial celebration. According to the park’s Facebook page, that big boulder got to the peak with the help of two oxen.

In 2020, Sugar Loaf received a new a plaque paying tribute to those who’ve dedicated countless hours to make the park what it is today.


Dawes Arboretum





At the gate for Dawes Arboretum, I was greeted by a very friendly and helpful employee who, after recovering from the shock of learning it was my first visit, gave me a quick rundown of offerings and attractions I shouldn’t miss.

Since it’s 20 minutes from campus and there’s a cost to enter, I recommend making a trip to Dawes Arboretum a fullday excursion. Don’t worry — you won’t run out of things to do. Dawes spans nearly 2,000 acres of land and hosts regular events, including a historic tour of the Daweswood House Museum and a wagon tour. If you aren’t in the mood to walk or the weather catches you out, the arboretum has a driving path for you to experience the beauty.

My first stop was the Daweswood Trail hike. The red leaves were glowing, ablaze in the sunlight. A picturesque lake, hypnotizing windmills, gigantic compostable bird sculptures, and scarecrows in costumes were waiting for me along the trail.

I knew I couldn’t leave without visiting the Japanese Garden. The two arched bridges across the water set a serene scene. Most of the trail loop was paved, with the exception of the pebble path to cross the pool of water. If I find myself missing this vibe during the workday, there’s now a Japanese garden on campus (look for it on page 16!).

Blendon Woods Metro Park





Blendon Woods Metro Park is absolutely stunning. From the moment I drove into the park, I was surrounded by sunny yellow and green trees. As the wind made the leaves dance, a wave of calmness washed over me. An oasis in the city.

It was a great, mild day for this hike. My friend and fellow Denisonian Megan Puritz ’17 joined me with her dog, Atticus. We decided to walk along Goldenrod Trail, the only pet-friendly trail in the park. The trail was flat, an easy mile-long loop around a shrubbed area. We walked and talked, taking in the blue sky and the colors of the trees as we caught up with each other.

We spotted a deer peering at us (shades of Denison!) from the shrubs and promptly entered into a staring contest. We weren’t sure it was real. Plus, we had to be careful not to spook Atticus. Slowly making our way past it, we continued our walk — aware, now, that we weren’t the only ones in the park.

While we stuck to our chosen trail, there’s plenty to do in Blendon Woods Metro Park, with activities including disc golf and ice skating.


For these high-achieving ’90s graduates, an education on The Hill was about exploring, stumbling, adapting — and thriving.

To go pro udly and


Gregory Evans ’97 wasn’t allowing himself to become a modern-day Willy Loman.

In his first semester at Denison, the premed major dropped chemistry and was carrying a C-plus in zoology. Sitting in English class and watching the cinematic adaptation of Death of a Salesman, Evans realized he didn’t want to go through life harboring regrets like Loman, the unforgettable protagonist in the Arthur Miller production. Evans decided to switch academic paths and major in English and cinema.

“I started getting into film, and I would sit down to edit and the hours would disappear,” says Evans, a director and editor who’s worked on such blockbuster projects as Grey's Anatomy and the Netflix smash Bridgerton. “Something like that never happened to me. I realized it was something I liked and hoped to get good at.”

Evans is one of seven Denison graduates from the 1990s we spoke to about their college experiences. While their backgrounds and professions are varied, each learned

lessons in coping with challenges and, in some cases, changing career aspirations during their time at Denison. Most agree that their liberal arts education afforded them a wide base on which to pivot.

In the next few pages, these seven Gen X alums discuss their experiences as well as their favorite campus hangouts, memorable concerts, and the once-fashionable attire they would never wear again.

Including at least one pair of Hammer pants.


into the w orld .· .

For Gregory Evans ’97, Denison’s great teaching and filmmaking equipment made the goal of becoming a filmmaker and editor attainable. Photo shot in La Crescenta, California.



Shootyour shot


HOW DID YOUR DENISON EXPERIENCE SHAPE THE PERSON YOU HAVE BECOME? Getting to Denison and seeing all the equipment and all of the great teaching they had really opened up my world to the possibilities of being a filmmaker and an editor.

WHO AT DENISON MOST INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU THINK AND LEARN? In the English department, Dr. Richard Hood was a big influence because we took a Russian literature class with him. It was just me and two other students and we sat around and talked about what we were reading. It was so personal, and it helped change the way I think about things.

Dr. Dave Bussan in the film department taught me a lot about the way a story is told. He also taught me that how you shoot something and edit it really affects the story. He was a real inspiration.


When you go out to shoot a movie, what you shoot is not always what you get. It’s not exactly what you wanted. Every time that happens you learn. You also learn how to fix the problem. That’s what I learned working on projects at Denison, which paid off for me now as an editor.


It really helps for the creative process to be able to draw on things and be able to be well-rounded. Everyone has different places they are coming from, and to be able to have a little bit of the pie in a lot of different areas is huge.

WHERE DID YOU HANG OUT OR SPEND MOST OF YOUR TIME AT DENISON? I spent most of my time at the cinema annex working on projects and films and studies.

WHAT WERE YOU WATCHING AND LISTENING TO WHILE YOU WERE IN SCHOOL? I remember watching Pulp Fiction a lot. I think I had an illegal copy of it, and I think we watched it in my dorm room every day. People would come over and watch it.

I also watched a lot of Martin Scorsese movies looking for inspiration. Music wise, Dave Matthews was big. He came to campus to play my junior or senior year.

WHAT WERE YOU WEARING BACK IN THE DAY THAT YOU WOULD NEVER BE CAUGHT DEAD WEARING TODAY? Some of it’s coming back. My kids are wearing my wife’s clothes from the 90s. I wore flannels all the time. It didn’t matter what season. I wore a beret-style hat, and that got retired as soon as I left Denison.


Make an impact



HOW DID YOUR DENISON EXPERIENCE SHAPE THE PERSON YOU HAVE BECOME? Denison shaped me in so many ways. It gave me perspective on how the world operates, but in a microcosm sort of environment. It provided me with a diversity of experience and thought. Challenges relative to critical thinking. Problem solving. Interpersonal skills. It gave me a chance to test and validate life in general. It prepared me with an incredible network of friends that I call family today. Those four years gave me an opportunity to discover who I am and to lean into my strengths and to go proudly and boldly into the world and do what I believe is my passion and purpose.

WHO AT DENISON MOST INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU THINK AND LEARN? There are several, but if I had to narrow it down, I’d pick Dr. Betty Lovelace. She represented the university with the utmost highest standards. Dr. Lovelace found creative ways for students

of color to actively engage in campus culture. She encouraged us to participate on a macro level and helped us feel comfortable and ensure we were seen and heard. She influenced us to do whatever we can to make people feel invited, to feel comfortable and to feel a part of the ecosystem. For me, that went into how I viewed my world and corporate America. When I brought in new employees, I wanted to make sure they felt invited into the culture.


My first failure at Denison came in my first three weeks on campus. Dr. Evans was the chemistry professor, and by the time we got to week three, he was on chapter 12 and I was still on chapter 2. I went graciously to him and said, “I need you to sign this slip because I have to get out of this class.” It’s hilarious because to this day, he has no idea the path that he put me on. I was hellbent on premed. I was great in science in high school, but man did it change dramatically in college.

WHEN YOU STARTED AT DENISON, WHAT DID YOU SEE YOURSELF BECOMING? When I started at Denison, I pictured myself becoming a medical doctor. What I ended up becoming over those four years was more of a business and political person. I enjoyed the business side of the world, but I also enjoyed the impact community leaders could have. I started in the business arena and now I serve in a nonprofit and continue to move more into that community leadership space. I have the honor and privilege of serving as the CEO of Maryhaven (central Ohio’s largest and most comprehensive behavioral health services provider specializing in addiction recovery). All of my on-campus organization involvement, leadership roles, and impact prepared me for continued involvement in community/nonprofit work in order to make a meaningful difference.

HOW DOES YOUR LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION INFLUENCE YOUR DAILY AND PROFESSIONAL LIFE? It affords me a very open mind. I can lean in and connect with people on a number of different levels, and it helps me to flex disciplines. Whether it’s finance or development, strategic planning or leadership, public speaking or writing grants, I can go as far as I need to and still be able to connect with others.

WHAT WERE YOU WATCHING AND LISTENING TO WHILE YOU WERE IN SCHOOL? On TV, it was In Living Color and Martin . Music wise it was R&B and hip-hop. Prince was still No.1 for me.

WHAT WERE YOU WEARING BACK IN THE DAY THAT YOU WOULD NEVER BE CAUGHT DEAD WEARING TODAY? Oh my gosh, we used to wear the MC Hammer pants. Today, that’s a no.

Oyauma Garrison ’96 says Denison provided him with a diversity of experience and thought. Photo shot in Columbus, Ohio.

Try things on




HOW DID YOUR DENISON EXPERIENCE SHAPE THE PERSON YOU HAVE BECOME? It helped form my appreciation for the diverse and unique attributes of others and a willingness to try a lot of different things. It also helped me build a foundation as a strong writer and a love of performing arts, adventure, and growth. Since graduation, I’ve become a tech executive, startup builder, venture investor, and a mom of three.

Her time at Denison taught Maria Hess ’94 the value of trying many different things. Photo shot in Seattle.

WHO AT DENISON MOST INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU THINK AND LEARN? There are two people that come to mind. Keith Ward was my piano professor and advisor. He encouraged and challenged me in a variety of ways. My aunt Anne Powell Riley ’53, who’s a major donor and alumni citation recipient, inspired me through her love of travel and stewardship of the environment.

HOW DID YOU LEARN FROM FAILURES AT DENISON? I’ve come to realize that I learn more from my failures than my successes. At Denison, I felt it was more important to develop understanding and insights from the material even if my grade didn’t (yet) reflect that mastery.

WHEN YOU STARTED AT DENISON, WHAT DID YOU SEE YOURSELF BECOMING? I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I started at Denison, and I felt like it was an opportunity to try things on for size — from pre-med to performing arts. I chose things I enjoyed while building skills that I thought would be valued after graduation.

HOW DOES YOUR LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION INFLUENCE YOUR DAILY AND PROFESSIONAL LIFE? The writing and listening skills, friendships, and network were important foundations for my career. Listening and curiosity are particularly important in the tech and startup industry. Customer obsession and being able to understand customers’ challenges and needs are critical to knowing what solutions to build or invest in and forming a point of view with meaningful insights.

WHERE DID YOU SPEND MOST OF YOUR TIME AT DENISON? I spent a lot of time in the music and dance buildings, practicing piano as a music minor and participating in dance classes and performances.

WHAT WERE YOU WATCHING AND LISTENING TO? For TV, Growing Pains , Frazier, and Seinfeld . I was into music from the Spice Girls, TLC, The Samples, Blues Traveler, Big Head Todd, and Rusted Root.

WHAT WERE YOU WEARING BACK IN THE DAY THAT YOU WOULD NEVER BE CAUGHT DEAD WEARING TODAY? I won’t say never when it comes to fashion because it all seems to come back in some format. Back then, I might have been found in shoulder pads and big bangs.


Learn to learn


WHEN YOU STARTED AT DENISON, WHAT DID YOU SEE YOURSELF BECOMING? I saw myself working in business and some leadership role. The thing 30 years on, what I hadn’t realized when I started, was how important it was going to be for me to always be doing something that I believed in and something bigger than myself. Looking back, it’s not transactional. I’ve been in business to be part of things I believe in, and that’s been a wellspring of energy and inspiration throughout my career.

HOW DID YOUR DENISON EXPERIENCE SHAPE THE PERSON YOU HAVE BECOME? Denison taught me to learn how to learn. I’ve worked in six different functions in my career and 10 different countries. I’m usually doing something I don’t precisely know how to do. That’s been the case most of my career, and it’s worked out pretty well.

Denison also helped breed some humility, and that’s really important. The combination of confidence and humility has been crucial to me in the way I go through life. The absence of humility is a killer.

WHERE DID YOU HANG OUT OR SPEND MOST OF YOUR TIME AT DENISON? I was in the gym a lot and also my fraternity. I played club lacrosse, and I also spent a lot of time at Slayter Hall.

WHAT WERE YOU WATCHING AND LISTENING TO WHILE YOU WERE IN SCHOOL? I never watched TV. That wasn’t part of my experience. I feel like when R.E.M. showed up, we had the music of our generation.

WHO AT DENISON MOST INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU THINK AND LEARN? Dick Lucier was the head of the econ department, and I majored in English and economics, and he had a profound impact on me. Gill Miller was a dance professor who I had nothing in common with, but she had a huge impact as someone who’s different than me. She took an interest and challenged me.

The promise of a place like Denison is you will be challenged by people who are on your side. They challenge you from a place of goodness and belief in you — and that was Gill Miller.


My biggest leadership failure of my life happened at Denison, and it came in the context of my fraternity. It’s a lesson that’s been with me forever. What I came to realize is I was unconsciously oriented more toward pleasing the bosses than I was to serving the team. It should always be about the team first.


YOUR DAILY AND PROFESSIONAL LIFE? Denison taught me to thrive in ambiguity. It taught me to bring clarity and strategy to ambiguous spaces. A liberal arts education did a lot of that without me knowing it. It prepared me to step into a variety of different spaces and not only be able to comprehend the space but connect the space to something bigger.

Jim Reynolds ’90 says his time at Denison helped breed humility, which he finds vital in his profession. Photo shot in Beaverton, Oregon.

Erin Dempsey Lowenberg ’93 says many of her closest friends are Denison alums. “They are smart, loyal, caring, funny and have done interesting things.”


Photo shot in San Francisco.


WHEN YOU STARTED AT DENISON, WHAT DID YOU SEE YOURSELF BECOMING? I started my Denison career thinking I was a pathologist. I was fascinated by all things medical. That lasted about a year.

What I realized was the need to pick courses and subjects I enjoyed deeply. My goal was to figure out how to learn. I graduated as a history major, but I ended up in design and retail. It was a strange, circuitous route.

But it taught me the lesson that I didn’t know as much about myself as I thought when I started at Denison. And that’s OK.

HOW DID YOUR DENISON EXPERIENCE SHAPE THE PERSON YOU HAVE BECOME? I have incredibly longlasting relationships, and I know that’s probably true with lots of schools, but I think there’s truly something magical about Denison’s enduring friendships. I married a guy from Denison (John Lowenberg Jr. ’93). My friend group is intensely Denison focused. These are the people I resonate the most with. They are smart, loyal, caring, funny, and have done interesting things. Those friendships have transcended a very small school in the middle of Ohio.

WHERE DID YOU HANG OUT OR SPEND MOST OF YOUR TIME AT DENISON? I loved the ’Villa, sorry. True story. I spent a ton of time at King Hall in my junior year and that entire quad by the tiny theater. It was fun to be outside there. I also loved being in the library, which I know is the dorkiest thing ever, but I liked being in the music listening room and listening to classical music. It was the 1990s, and nobody had Spotify, playlists, or Apple anything.

WHO IS THE PERSON AT DENISON WHO INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU THINK AND LEARN? Dr. Amy Gordon. I had a seminar course with her during my junior year. There were six of us sitting around a table in a very deep and intensive history course. She really gave me some intellectual and academic confidence.

HOW DOES YOUR LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION INFLUENCE YOUR DAILY AND PROFESSIONAL LIFE? Liberal arts educations are for lifetime learners. Whether focusing on something that’s deeply important, or ambiguous, or trying something new, my Denison education gave me confidence in myself as a learner. I’ve tried out new things in my career and am always open to challenges. That’s the beauty of a liberal arts education. I was able to test all the boundaries of what I wanted to explore, and I could do it with confidence and alacrity, even if I failed at times. There were subjects I knew nothing about, and I would say, “I’m going to dig in and figure it out.”

I’ve kept that growth mindset through my whole career. I’ve never shied away from the unknown. For me, Denison taught me about myself and my learning style. I have relied on it for life.

WHAT WERE YOU WATCHING AND LISTENING TO WHILE YOU WERE IN SCHOOL? I honestly didn’t watch a lot of TV, maybe a bit of Golden Girls and 90210. My time at Denison was kind of unplugged. I equate my Denison years in terms of music to The Samples and the Freddy Jones Band. Those two bands make me think of Denison.

WHAT WERE YOU WEARING BACK IN THE DAY THAT YOU WOULD NEVER BE CAUGHT DEAD WEARING TODAY? I had a perm in my first year. It took the whole year to grow out. I wear the memory with pride, but I wish I knew why I thought the perm was a good idea.




HOW DID YOUR DENISON EXPERIENCE SHAPE THE PERSON YOU HAVE BECOME? When I was there, we used to always say Denison was a very social school. You can take that many different ways, but it was very much the act of relating to other people, which was a big part of being at that school. I consider myself an introvert, but I enjoyed my time at Denison. It really got me comfortable in my own skin, and it allowed me to grow in what I considered a safe place, a place that was very open and welcoming.

WHO IS THE PERSON AT DENISON WHO INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU THINK AND LEARN? The professor I remember the most was professor Emmett H. Buell Jr. in political science. I was someone who was already interested in policy and policy making. The way he helped me engage in his classes, it grabbed me.

HOW DID YOU LEARN FROM FAILURES AT DENISON? There’s nothing particular, but what I learned while I was there was that tomorrow is a new day. You put a bad day behind you and you get up and go again. It was a positive feeling of letting go of the past and getting ready for the next day. It goes back to what I was saying about Denison being a safe space. It helped you develop fortitude. That’s definitely something that’s helped me in my post-Denison days.

WHEN YOU STARTED AT DENISON, WHAT DID YOU SEE YOURSELF BECOMING? To be honest, that experience happened to me in high school when I thought I wanted to go to medical school and become a doctor. It was AP chemistry. I was like, “No, this isn’t for me.” Once I got to college, I kind of knew what I wanted to do. I had a good feeling that I would go to law school. For me, Denison was as much about the personal growth as it was the academic growth.


YOUR DAILY AND PROFESSIONAL LIFE? It helped teach me to think for myself. I’m not saying you have to go to a liberal arts school to think that way, but at Denison, it’s almost like you take a step back and you kind of look at everything in front of you and see how all these aspects of humanity come together. I think that’s important now

more than ever. Take innovation — the best innovators are people who understand how humanity will want to live and need to live in 50 years.

WHERE DID YOU HANG OUT OR SPEND MOST OF YOUR TIME AT DENISON? My non-classroom time was spent either hanging out with my friends in their dorm rooms or, because I was in a sorority, at the Row at one of the parties or at Slayter Hall.

WHAT WERE YOU WATCHING AND LISTENING TO WHILE YOU WERE IN SCHOOL? I really didn’t watch a lot of TV at that time. I liked the movie Singles. I was a classic rock person. Probably the Eagles.

WHAT WERE YOU WEARING BACK IN THE DAY THAT YOU WOULD NEVER BE CAUGHT DEAD WEARING TODAY? I have a creative streak, and even back then I wore some unique jewelry. Other than that, I was a pretty conservative dresser.

Get up, go again
For Crystal Roberts Jezierski ’94, Denison was a welcoming place for an introvert. “It really got me comfortable in my own skin.” Photo shot in Washington, D.C.

your hand Raise

WHEN YOU STARTED AT DENISON, WHAT DID YOU SEE YOURSELF BECOMING? I went to Denison because I liked the idea that it was going to expose me to a wide variety of things. Did I necessarily see what I’m doing today back then? Absolutely not. But I knew I wanted to do something that involved building relationships and high performing teams, and Denison helps you excel with both. It’s a terrific community with many different personalities.

HOW DOES YOUR LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION INFLUENCE YOUR DAILY AND PROFESSIONAL LIFE? I do sessions with students and I get asked a lot of, “What do you look for most in employees?” And from the younger folks, “How do you grow in a company?” I always end up giving the same answers.

I believe a liberal arts education supports community involvement and risk taking. When I meet with new employees or do sessions with students I often get asked, “What do you look for most in employees? And “how do you grow in a company?” I always point to the same two things that helped me in my career and were supported from my time at Denison.



HOW DID YOUR DENISON EXPERIENCE SHAPE THE PERSON YOU HAVE BECOME? I think liberal arts, and especially Denison, help prepare you for all the unpredictability in life. The flexible nature of the education allows you to be more adaptable to all of life’s unforeseen challenges.

HOW DID YOU LEARN FROM FAILURES AT DENISON? Denison teaches you resiliency. When you are young, setbacks drop you back a mile and you think it’s the end of the world, but Denison does a nice job of building that resiliency muscle that you find ways to adapt. Maybe you don’t realize it when you are first out of school, but as you progress, you understand you were given a foundation at Denison that helps you learn from setbacks and keep moving forward.

In addition to excelling at what’s in front of you every day, it is important to support your colleagues without asking anything in return. Managers will see that effort and you will stand out. You want to be supportive of your community. The second thing that helps set you apart is to be willing to always raise your hand for critical assignments and new projects. Whether you succeed or fail, you will learn from the experience and show that you are not afraid to challenge yourself.

WHAT WERE YOU WATCHING AND LISTENING TO WHILE YOU WERE IN SCHOOL? Football was always on, and Shark Week was big for us. So was playing Madden football. Great bands came to campus: Big Head Todd (and the Monsters), The Samples, and I’m pretty sure Phish came. And a shoutout for the Barley Boys.

WHAT WERE YOU WEARING BACK IN THE DAY THAT YOU WOULD NEVER BE CAUGHT DEAD WEARING TODAY? Ripped jeans. T-shirts that I wore the day before. Clothes that could use a wash.

Denison taught Nelson Griggs ’93 the importance of resilience. “When you are young, setbacks drop you back a mile … Denison does a nice job of building that resiliency muscle.” Photo shot in New York City. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY MARK PINKERTON


On a night dedicated to past glories, Aaron Cole ’00 wanted to discuss the current state of men’s Division III swimming and diving.

It was Big Red Weekend in 2010 and Cole was being inducted into the Varsity D Association Hall of Fame. Among the university’s greatest swimmers, Cole kept his acceptance speech brief. He was more focused on addressing Denison’s 2010-11 team.

The message was direct and searing. It was time to deliver Denison’s first men’s national championship and end Kenyon College’s 31-year stranglehold on the NCAA title.

Don’t be afraid of failure, Cole told them. Be afraid of being forgotten.

“My fear for you is somebody else will be the team that breaks Kenyon’s streak,” Cole said. “Because once that happens nobody else will have that opportunity again.”

In 2022, members of the 2010-11 team returned to campus during Big Red Weekend to be honored by the swimming program, presenting the perfect opportunity to revisit some glorious history.

This is the story, in their own words, of how Denison won one of the greatest swimming and diving meets in NCAA history.

Michael DeSantis ’12: We finished runner-up to Kenyon the previous year by

424 points. That’s like reaching the NCAA basketball final and losing by 50.

Quinn Bartlett ’13: If you combined our score (272 points) and Emory’s third-place score (259.5 points), Kenyon still would have won.

George Kennedy (former Johns Hopkins coach): There was a mystique about Kenyon’s program. Every year, the feeling was that everyone else was fighting for second. And yet, I don’t think Gregg Parini felt that way.

Gregg Parini (Denison men’s and women’s coach): My old man told me, “You are too dumb to give up.” Most of the country had given up trying to beat them. My feeling was nobody has a monopoly on this title unless you give them permission.

Cody Smith ’11: There are times you hear guys give a motivational speech, and you’re like, ‘Yeah, whatever.’ But what Aaron Cole said resonated. Guys were putting it on sticky notes in the locker room.

Kenyon did not just beat contenders at NCAA meets — it demoralized them. The average margin of victory over Kenyon’s 31-year title run was 226.6 points. Denison finished second seven times in that span.

A delicious subplot to the Kenyon-Denison rivalry was that Parini helped Kenyon’s legendary coach Jim Steen win his first title in 1980 as a swimmer on the team.

Parini: I had great love and affection for my college coach, and I probably had him too high on a pedestal when I got to Denison. But by the time 2011 rolled around, it was like, “Why not us?”

Alice Parini (coach’s wife): Gregg had won an NCAA title with the women’s team in 2001, but with the men, he referred to it as “always the bridesmaid, never the bride.”

DeSantis: We had our exit meetings after the 2010 meet and Gregg asked, “What can we do to narrow the gap? Let’s start chipping away.” He set the tone right there. The other factor was our incoming freshman class with guys like Al Weik ’14 and Spencer Fronk ’14, who ended up being the best recruiting class in team history. Parini: Our guys worked their tails off to improve. They were sick of losing to Kenyon.

Steen: We had a target on our backs. We knew a lot of teams wanted to knock it off.

Parini: I had to look at my old coach in a different light. There’s quite a history between us. I’m sure there were times it got very confrontational on the pool deck — not just between the coaches, but between the athletes. There were a few times where it was like, “This could come to blows.”

“My fear for you is somebody else will be the team that breaks Kenyon’s streak.”

DeSantis: We hated Kenyon. We still do. It’s all in good fun, and I don’t wish ill will on anyone who goes there. I just hope they never win again.

Cole: I have a 15-year-old son who refuses to wear purple. There’s nothing purple in my closet. It sounds silly, but that’s the level of competition that exists between the schools.

Bartlett: During the recruiting process, one of the Denison swimmers said if you go to Kenyon, you’ll swim for an amazing program. But if you come here, you could be part of the first team to beat Kenyon and if you go there, you might be part of the first team to lose.

Denison’s team enjoyed a tremendous 2010-11 season, winning the Kenyon Invitational and capturing the NCAC title. The Big Red carried that momentum into the four-day NCAA Championship in Knoxville, Tennessee. Heading into the final day, Denison trailed Kenyon by just 35 points.

race and a 1-2 finish from Barlett and Robert Barry ’12 in the 200-meter backstroke helped reduce the deficit to four points heading into the penultimate event, the 3-meter dive.

The Big Red had Smith and Dixson competing in the finals, needing a strong showing to give Denison a shot at the title.

Bartlett: When a pitcher is throwing a perfect game, nobody in the dugout talks to him. That’s kind of how it was on the pool deck. We were gaining on Kenyon, but guys were just milling about with intense energy not knowing what to do with it. It was an electric silence.

Lynn Schweizer (former Denison senior associate athletic director): Cody and Gabe had tremendous pressure on them.

Smith: You could tell everyone in the natatorium was paying attention to us, which is not always the case in diving. It made for a great event. Everybody was hitting their dives, and you knew you had to hit yours to keep pace.

Cole: I was sending a ton of text messages to fellow alumni, and I was telling them, “You should get here. It could really happen. This feels different.”

DeSantis: Swimming can be a solitary sport. You can swim fast and do it for yourself. With that team, everyone bought in. Everyone was swimming for someone else, and it showed in that meet.

Weik: The family atmosphere was baked into that team, and I haven’t experienced anything like that since I left Denison.

Gabe Dixson ’13: As the season went along, there was a feeling of ‘We can do this, or at least we’re going to give it our damndest.’

Kenyon had an Achilles’ heel — it didn’t emphasize or excel in diving — but no opponent in NCAA meets could capitalize on that weakness. In 2011, Denison changed that as a victory from Weik in the 1650-meter

DeSantis: That’s the most I’ve ever paid attention to diving in my life. I was holding my breath on every dive.

Parini: I remember sitting at the far end of the pool talking to one of my former swimmers, and I couldn’t watch. We had guys sitting in the bleachers with towels over their faces because they couldn’t watch.

Dixson: Before we left for nationals, Gregg was like, “Guys, you are our secret weapon. You are going to help us close gaps or push us further ahead.”

Schweizer: They kept their composure and nailed their last few dives. Gabe finished fourth and Cody was fifth. That gave us 29 big points.

The 2011 NCAA meet came down to the final event, the 400-meter free relay. Everyone knew Kenyon’s team would win the race, meaning Denison’s quartet of Carlos Maciel, Mike Barczak, Andrew Krawchyk, and Fronk needed to finish no worse than third.

Denison coach Gregg Parini, left, and his mentor Jim Steen, right, of Kenyon, both addressed the Big Red swim team after the 2011 title was awarded.

Kennedy: Throughout my 31 years at Johns Hopkins, the sport of swimming and diving has rarely seen the excitement or heard a noise level like that last event.

Cole: I have been to NFL playoff games and World Series games. It was as loud before that 400 relay as any sporting event I’ve ever attended.

Weik: Honestly, I don’t remember much. I think I blacked out from adrenaline.

Fronk: Gregg came over to us and said, ‘You just need to get third. Don’t get cute.’ Everyone was focused and mindful of not leaving the blocks early to get disqualified.

Maciel ’14: Spencer was in fourth place on the final turn, but you could see he still had something left in the tank. We were trying to push him with our voices.

Fronk touched the wall in third place by 0.32 of a second ahead of Emory University’s swimmer. Denison won its first men’s national title by a single point — 500.5

I love him like a father. When we jumped in the pool after the meet, you could see years and years of pent-up frustration melt away.

DeSantis: We went out that night with a lot of the alumni. I don’t know how word got out, but the taxis in Knoxville were driving us around for free. We were getting drinks and cover charges paid for. I felt like a celebrity for one night.

to Kenyon’s 499.5 — the closest finish in Division III history. The victory snapped Kenyon’s 31-year run as champions, the longest in any college sport.

Smith: For a split second, there’s silence as everyone turns their heads to look at the scoreboard. As soon as we saw “Denison third,” we just exploded out of our stands.

DeSantis: I jumped in the air and, the pool deck being as wet as it was, I wiped out. It didn’t matter. There are a few moments in life when you get to define who you are. We did it that night.

Fronk: Yeah, it came down to one point but that one point was won over the course of four days. It truly was a team win.

Steen: I went over and congratulated their swimmers. I was as happy as anyone could be for a coach who just lost a meet.

Parini: It was a very gracious gesture on his part.

Weik: In some way that whole thing was for Gregg.

The 2011 title transformed Denison’s program from a perennial contender to a national powerhouse. The Big Red repeated as champions in 2012, topping second-place Kenyon by 81 points, and Parini has added three more NCAA titles in 2016, 2018, and 2019.

Bartlett: Winning the 2011 title in such a ridiculously romantic fashion gave us so much motivation. Everyone came into the next season in great shape.

Alice Parini: 2012 was almost more satisfying because there was a perception that 2011 had been a fluke.

DeSantis: It was a culture reset. Guys here now know they can be the best of the best. You can say that 2011 team turned Denison into a winner instead of maybe, “first loser” or “best non-winner.” Nobody remembers who finishes second.

In keeping with tradition, the newly crowned national champions dove into the pool for a celebration photo.
“When a pitcher is throwing a perfect game, nobody in the dugout talks to him. That’s kind of how it was on the pool deck... It was an electric silence.
photo by carlisle stockton

It’s that old cliche: the English professor who writes books and coaches sword fighting. Wait, sword fighting?

You won’t often find a résumé like that of Peter Grandbois. He teaches creative writing and journalism at Denison and has written 13 books. He also started the university’s fencing team from scratch and coaxed it into a growing varsity program.

In 2011, soon after hiring on at Denison, Grandbois poked around and discovered an old locker full of fencing equipment from the ’80s — the suits and masks that make fencers look a bit like armed beekeepers. It turns out Denison’s fencing history goes decades back. It fielded a club team at the first NCAA championships in 1941, Grandbois says, but the student-run club eventually fizzled out.

“I’m excited to keep that history alive,” he says. “Already four years into our women’s varsity program and I think we have potential to return to the NCAA national championships in the next couple years. When that happens, Big Red fencing will have come full circle.”


Grandbois has a habit of starting fencing programs. His love for fencing stems back to his childhood when he would fake illness to skip school and watch a good sword-fighting movie.

He encountered the sport in college and became so passionate about it that he extended his college career to continue fencing, earning a master’s in literature along the way.

His ability earned him a spot on the national team, but eventually, Grandbois shifted into teaching. At Adlai Stevenson High School in Chicago, he started a fencing program in the early ’90s that he says quickly became the biggest team in the school.

Following that pattern, not long after he came to Denison Grandbois began plastering campus with flyers in an effort to start a team. He supplemented the meager supply of equipment with his own gear.

The club team started small and fluctuated but grew into a program that now features a men’s club team and a women’s varsity team that’s drawing increasing interest and playing some of the top teams in the country.

“Peter is just such a wonderful reflection of incorporating athletics in the liberal arts,” says Nan Carney-DeBord ’80, Denison’s athletic director. “It’s in line with the athletic department’s focus on academics. To have a full professor publishing books and coaching a varsity sport? If that is not a symbol of the quintessential experience in the liberal arts, I don’t know what is.”


While sports like football usually draw an elite few, Grandbois took pretty much all comers as he cobbled together the fencing teams at Denison. His first varsity team had only one fencer with prior experience.

Cinema major Paige Cromwell ’24 was one of the novices. She had no idea that fencing was in her future when she arrived at Denison, and in fact was not all that into sports. But early in her first year, friends who were part of the club team invited her to join.

“I thought it would be fun to go just to try out a combat sport,” she said.

Her hunch was right. She loved it. Grandbois soon tapped her for the varsity team.

Cromwell says she enjoys the thrill of competition and having a team behind her. She liked it so much that when she had to pick between fencing and another class — one closer to her major — she went with fencing.

Given that Grandbois didn’t pick up fencing until college either, he’s open to welcoming inexperienced team members. He also says he’s determined to keep the club option going.

“I want people to be able to start even later in life, because not everybody gets the chance to do it early,” he says.

Grandbois credits the program’s culture for the way even new fencers thrive. The fencers embrace self-confidence in the face of risk and build trust with each other. When that happens, he says, “they can do some pretty amazing things.”


The risk of diving into a new and difficult sport has parallels with the field of English, Grandbois thinks, and he emphasizes that with the fencers.

“Willingness to fail is so crucial in both fields,” he says. “And both require creativity and spontaneity. They say it takes one lifetime to learn the basics of fencing and the next lifetime to master it. I would say the same thing for creative writing.”

He’s seen many talented writers and fencers quit as soon as things get hard. Focusing on mastering a tough craft gives you the confidence to carry on, he says.

It helps to have a guide and mentor. Nina de Laperouse, a biology major, is a varsity team member and has taken a creative writing class with Grandbois. He brings the same approach to both, she says: energy, encouragement, and availability when help is needed.

Fencing departs from the creative arts with its athletic demands, though: “There’s a lot of technique and a lot of work that’s involved with fencing,” de Laperouse says. “It’s not just us moving around and swinging swords.”

De Laperouse, who picked up fencing in high school, represents a shift in the program, which has begun to pick up steam and bring on more experienced fencers. The women’s team finished the end of last season with nine fencers, Grandbois says (four left to study abroad), but this year is up to 21.

And the newcomers add fencing chops. “It’s so cool to see,” Cromwell says. “Some of these freshmen just absolutely demolished me.”



Mike Deegan is authoring more than a winning record

In a sport where a manager’s most thoughtful writing is often reserved for his lineup card, Denison’s baseball coach is a refreshing anomaly.

Baseball managers are inundated with responsibilities that don’t end with the last out of a season, yet over the past eight years, Denison’s Mike Deegan has made time to share his insights on team building, leadership, and life lessons.

Visitors to the Coach Mike Deegan website, home to his popular newsletter, are treated to a cornucopia of topics — and not all about baseball. Deegan opines on work-life integration (a must for coaches), little league parenting (savor the present season, stop focusing on the next level), chewing tobacco in baseball (it’s gross), and lessons learned from harness racing (stats can be misleading and longshots sometimes win).

“I had all these thoughts about coaching and life, and my wife encouraged me to start writing them

down,” Deegan said. “I went to school for business management; I’m not a trained writer. It started out as a blog, and it kind of grew from there.”

His page views are aided by the fact that Deegan has transformed the Big Red into a perennial winner heading into his 11th year.

Denison has reached the NCAA regional tournament the past four seasons — save for Covid-shortened 2020 — and Deegan’s .666 winning percentage (259-130 record) is the best in the program’s 125year history.

A father of four children under the age 13, Deegan understood he could no longer spend as much time away from home recruiting ball players. What the manager discovered is his newsletter could work as

“I had all these thoughts about coaching and life, and my wife encouraged me to start writing them down.”
THE Hıll
SUCCESS STORY: Mike Deegan heads into his 11th season at Denison. His 666 winning percentage is the best in program history. Brandon Morgan

a recruiting tool, offering high school prospects a window into his program and his beliefs.

“I think it’s a good way for people to know what they are getting into,” said Deegan, who also wrote a book, Let It Rip , in 2019. “If I share my thoughts and feelings, hopefully it will attract people who want a similar experience.”

The newsletter and website have helped Deegan network inside and outside of baseball. Mark Shapiro, president of the Toronto Blue Jays, has become a friend and mentor after reading Deegan’s work.

His philosophies on leadership and team building also have earned him speaking engagements, including a twoday presentation at American Electric Power (AEP) in Columbus, Ohio, where he spoke about culture as a competitive advantage and attracting, developing, and retaining talent.

Deegan is heavily influenced by his own former manager, Don Schaly, who led Marietta College to three NCAA Division III titles in 40 years. Schaly’s approach was so businesslike and thorough, Deegan said, that the coaching legend “could have been the CEO of General Electric.”

Former Denison baseball player Eric Zmuda ’17 said Deegan possesses similar traits.

“He has great attention to detail,” Zmuda said of Deegan. “He believes how you do anything is how you do everything, whether it’s taking care of the field or cleaning the press box. It’s why he’s able to connect with an 18-year-old recruit just as well as the president of AEP.

“He’s someone who shows you with actions, not words. That’s leadership.”

—Tom Reed MAKING A SPLASH: Under Mike Deegan, celebrations have become routine, as the team has qualified for the NCAA regionals the past four seasons.
“He believes how you do anything is how you do everything, whether it’s taking care of the field or cleaning the press box. He’s someone who shows you with actions, not words. That’s leadership.”
– Eric Zmuda ’17
Lexi Rex

The Manuscript


Amedieval manuscript providing a medicinal road map for outliving an apocalypse resides in the Special Collections section of Denison’s Doane Library.

It’s 563 years old and looks quite fetching for its age.

Impeccably handwritten by a teenage German scribe in the 15th century, the manuscript has survived wars, plagues, time, and indifference. It sat in a desk drawer for at least a year after being donated to the university in 2003.

The manuscript’s rich and colorful history — it features the treatise of a radical 14th century alchemist confined to a papal dungeon — might have remained obscure had it not come to the attention of a Denison

English professor, a self-described “picker-up of unconsidered trifles.”

When Fred Porcheddu-Engel ’87 learned of its existence in 2005, he couldn’t believe the good fortune bequeathed his alma mater.

“It was totally an Indiana Jones moment,” says Porcheddu-Engel, who once wrote an essay on an obscure English poet after finding his notebooks, incorrectly cataloged, in a Cambridge, England, library.

“What do you do when you discover that a remarkable treasure is located right in your midst? What you do is spend years of your life squeezing it like a sponge.”

Fully intact medieval manuscripts are rare possessions for small colleges. Here was one of the first

“What do you do when you discover that a remarkable treasure is located right in your midst?
Spend years of your life squeezing it like a sponge.”

examples of medical chemistry, explaining the human benefits of distilled ethyl alcohol, just waiting to be transcribed from Latin to English.


Nearly two decades of research, including multiple trips to European libraries to photograph other existing copies, are coming to fruition in the form of a website showcasing the educational perks of owning a unique artifact.

In 2022, Porcheddu-Engel received the R.C. Good Faculty Fellowship, which grants tenured faculty a semester-long release from teaching and advising to complete a major research project.

Best known for his engaging approach to English literature and medieval studies, Porcheddu-Engel dedicated the fall of 2022 to building the website. Once complete, it will catalog the approximately 250 known copies of the treatise, digitize and translate each page of Denison’s version, promote discussion of medieval topics, and include video of Denison chemistry professors and students conducting experiments to test the assertions and remedies of 14th century French alchemist John of Rupescissa.

Celebrating his 30th year of teaching at Denison, Porcheddu-Engel continues to step outside his comfort zone, bringing medieval times into the digital age with hopes of attracting larger and younger audiences.

He’s also paying tribute to the university’s long tradition of alumni donations to the library’s Special Collections. The manuscript — its 120 pages are about as thick as a thumb — was among the literary gifts given to Denison by Elizabeth D. Sturges ’54.

“We can’t own hundreds of these coffee table manuscripts the way they can at Harvard and Yale and universities in Europe,” he says. “But the things that are given to us through the generosity of the alumni or the friends of Denison, we need to take them seriously and say, ‘This is worth our study.’”


Bridget Koerwitz-Crosley ’21 was recently married, and her wedding ring offers a clue to one of her great passions. The blue stone, lapis lazuli, was once ground up and used as ink by scribes to write and decorate medieval texts.

“I was always drawn to the beautiful handwriting,” Koerwitz-Crosley says. “I did my senior thesis on manuscripts.”

She found a kindred spirit in the colorful Porcheddu-Engel, who ambles across campus in the summer wearing bright blue shirts emblazoned with kiwi and socks with shellfish. The professor fed Koerwitz-Crosley’s curiosity about the Middle Ages and recruited her to assist him in the manuscript project.

Koerwitz-Crosley and Jordan Cardinale ’20 joined Porcheddu-Engel at workshops and helped him assemble the skeleton frame of the website during their time at college. The professor and two Denison graduates co-authored an academic essay, “Midwestern Alchemy: The Global Context of a Small-Town Manuscript.”

“I’ve discovered so many interests I didn’t know I had working with Fred,” Cardinale says. “I’m pretty sure I became an English teacher because of him.”


Porcheddu-Engel, who considers himself a “book nerd,” was overjoyed to peruse the material gifted by Sturges, whose grandfather purchased it in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1877. The manuscript is one of Denison’s oldest texts. Like many texts of its era, it was penned on highly durable parchment made of animal hide, which ages more gracefully than common paper.

Porcheddu-Engel, above, spent two years translating the 120-page manuscript, which was donated by Elizabeth D. Sturges ’54.


As the digital age dawned, Porcheddu-Engel recognized the sea change in his field. Everything was going to the internet, and he needed to embrace technological advancement to reach students and “citizen humanists,” ones who might have an interest in the topic but lacked the time to spend traveling to libraries containing the ancient texts.

“The tempo, the pace of scholarship, even in something like medieval studies, which had been glacial in the past, has really sped up because so many things are online now,” he says.

Porcheddu-Engel and Greta Smith ’08 founded the university’s inaugural digital humanities project in 2007. It involved photographing individual pages of religious text from Denison’s collection and traveling around Ohio to locate pages from the same book. The professor believes it was the first such digital endeavor dedicated to medieval writings, paving the way for the research of Cardinale and Koerwitz-Crosley.

“His enthusiasm is contagious,” says Smith, now an English teacher. “I try to bring the same high-energy approach to my students.”

Since the transcript’s arrival at Denison, Rupescissa’s reputation as a “lunatic Franciscan friar” has undergone a transformation. Some modern scholars now see validity in the work with ethyl alcohol and herbal remedies.

“He’s the first person in Europe who’s known to have connected the distillation of alcohol with something other than just getting drunk,” Porcheddu-Engel says. “Our manuscript is a survivalist’s text written by a guy who thought the prophecies in the Book of Revelations were about to come true.”

The manuscript project requires the professor to be part scholar, part detective, part linguist. When Porcheddu-Engel began his work, there were 150 known copies penned by various Europeans. In recent years, he’s located another 100 copies online, using his rudimentary understanding of about 15 languages to decode their details.

The various manuscripts have different interpretations depending on the scribe. It illustrates the “power of the pen” — or quill — in understanding historical figures and events. How a medieval author characterizes a topic can have a profound impact in how we view it today.

The Denison manuscript was written by someone named Reymbertus Eynbeck, who signs and dates it four times. He completed the work, which features two other minor alchemical texts, early in 1459.



Nothing is known about the manuscript until its purchase by Sturges’ grandfather in the 19th century. But unlike so many other valuable works from the Middle Ages, it wasn’t destroyed, defaced or disassembled. Controversial 20th century book collector Otto Ege removed thousands of pages from his manuscripts and either sold or gave them away to smaller institutions such as Denison so they could own a piece of history.

Adding to the manuscript’s rarity is the topic. It’s not religious or literary in nature, but a work of science. Porcheddu-Engel wants his project to involve multiple disciplines, so he’s drawing on support from the data analytics and scientific communities to complete the website.


Porcheddu-Engel spent two years translating the bulk of the manuscript. What he discovered, to his delight, was that the treaties’ central author was a James Dean for the Middle Ages.

John of Rupescissa, also known as Jean de Roquetaillade, was a rebellious Franciscan alchemist who rattled ecclesiastic cages. His prophecies and antagonistic attitude toward church leaders frequently landed him in jail.

“He was a troublemaker who believed the church should be poor and not own property,” the professor says. “He wrote a tremendous amount of stuff in prison, where he clearly got access to books and writing paper.”

“One of the best things you can do at a liberal arts college is treat it like a liberal arts object,” the professor says. “Let’s explore it from every angle.”

Once the website goes live in the spring, it will ensure the manuscript’s eternal life — a survivalist guide in the spirit of John of Rupescissa.

“I want people to see that it’s possible to participate in a digital network of information using old objects that still have plenty to teach us,” Porcheddu-Engel says. “They teach us about our relationship to science, our relationship to religion, our relationship to the past.”

“Our manuscript is a survivalist’s text written by a guy who thought the prophecies in the Book of Revelations were about to come true.”


Madeleine Murphy ’23 stepped onstage in front of about 240 first-year students in Sharon Martin Hall and shared a story that initially didn’t sound relevant to a debate on campus free speech.

It was about her first interaction with Denison President Adam Weinberg, back in the spring of 2019.

She recalled him saying: “Denisonians are the type of people you want as neighbors.”

That observation gained deeper meaning three years later during Murphy’s travels from Granville to Capitol Hill, where she spent the summer as an intern in the U.S. Senate.

“Working in Congress, I was told, ‘You have to be a generalist. You must be able to relate to all kinds of people and create relationships,’” Murphy said. “And I thought, ‘That’s what Denison does.’ Being able to talk to others who might have different opinions is such an important skill.”

On the Sunday before classes started in the fall of 2022, first-year students, about 680 in all, were scheduled to attend one of three free speech debates held concurrently in the Eisner Center’s Martin Hall, Slayter Auditorium, and Herrick Auditorium.

The debates — believed to be the first of their kind to involve an entire incoming class of American college students — were organized by Denison’s Lisska Center for Intellectual Engagement and Braver Angels, a nonprofit group dedicated to political depolarization.

In his addresses to incoming students, Weinberg stressed the importance of intellectual inquiry and humility during a time of deep divide.

“If someone says something in a classroom that you find deeply troubling and maybe even offensive, ask them out for coffee,” Weinberg said in his Class of 2026 Induction remarks. “Don’t start by asking them about their worldviews. Start by asking them about their life history. Because once you understand somebody’s life story, often their political views and intellectual perspectives make a lot more sense.”

If the 90-minute session in Martin Hall was any indication, the innovative forum had the desired effect. Murphy was among six featured speakers, including two faculty members, to engage in parliamentary debate on the topic of whether Denison should impose limits on campus speech.

By design, the two sides were evenly split, and after each speaker presented an opinion, the first-year students in the crowd were encouraged to join the conversation.

Audience participation was robust. During a post-debate workshop, several students told organizers they appreciated the format, which allowed them to speak openly without having opinions challenged in a hostile manner.

“Before they attend their first classes, these debates will show our students that the campus embraces civil discourse and intellectual engagement,” said Adam Davis, a professor of history and director of the Lisska Center. “Hopefully, this will serve as an antidote to a lot of forces that are in play right now.”

The goal of Braver Angels, which has run about

“Once you understand somebody’s life story, often their political views and intellectual perspectives make a lot more sense.”
How campus free speech debates are encouraging open minds PHOTOS BY PATRICK DEMICHAEL STORY BY TOM REED

100 college debates since its 2016 founding, is to bridge the partisan divide through civil discourse.

Davis invited the organization to Denison last school year for two events after Weinberg learned of its mission, and this year the university president wanted to involve first-year students during August Orientation. The partnership with Braver Angels continues to grow.

Starting in January 2023, Denison will become one of 10 universities studied over a two-year period to gauge the impact of Braver Angels debates, said Doug Sprei, a vice president at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni and leader of the College Debates and Discourse initiative.

Other campuses participating in the study, funded through a $1.3 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation, include Duke University, Arizona State University, and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Davis will serve as the project’s faculty fellow at Denison.

The university is making this push at a time of increasing polarization that’s also affecting American youth. Davis said the impact of “cancel culture” is a growing concern on college campuses.

“It’s hard to imagine authentic education happening if students or faculty are afraid of

trotting out an idea or challenging an idea, feeling instead they have to conform to some orthodoxy in terms of ideology,” said Davis, who along with Weinberg, participated in a Higher Ed Now podcast on the topic.

The Aug. 28 debates marked a homecoming for Sadie Webb ’22. The co-founder of the Denison Debate Society now works for the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, which partners with Braver Angels.

Webb witnessed the positive impact of civil discourse during last year’s campus debates.

“I remember a student coming up to me and saying, ‘I only came here to support my friend who was speaking, but I came to realize there are valid arguments on both sides,’” Webb recalled. “I think it was the first event that gave students an opportunity to realize that when they engage in discourse in these spaces, there’s a lot of potential for a positive outcome.”

Meet us in Naples! THURSDAY, FEB. 23, 2023 Join fellow Denisonians in southwest Florida for an evening of learning and reconnecting, featuring an engaging student wellness presentation from university leadership and a fun outdoor reception. Learn more and register by scanning the code or visiting Contact us at or (740) 587-5659. 44 #DENISONPROUD ISSUE 1 2023


‘Oh, what a life’

As America celebrated its birthday, Parker Bailey ’23 sat alone on the balcony of his fourth-floor Nashville apartment, strumming a guitar and writing a song about gratitude.

festive atmosphere.

Fourth of July revelers were headed out for an evening of partying in a city built on that spirit. In the distance, fireworks illuminated the night sky, their percussive booms adding to the

Bailey, 21, wasn’t in town to chase good times, however. He came to Nashville for a summer internship at Round Hill Music, which satisfied a Global Commerce requirement and offered him access to an industry that’s had him in its spell since he first picked up a guitar at age 8. Bailey, who’s published more than 50 songs, believes inspiration comes randomly and that an artist must surrender to it when it beckons. On this extended holiday weekend in 2022, he spent two days sequestered in his one-bedroom apartment along Music Row, taking his first crack at writing a country song.

Bailey’s summer in Nashville was an extension of his time at Denison. He wants a wellrounded education preparing him for a career in music on both the creative and business fronts. It was a three-month stretch of networking with musicians and producers, learning the fast pace of songwriting at his internship, and bartending at a local high-end club to earn a few extra

bucks and operate in the orbit of the city’s movers and shakers. And if it meant spilling mac and cheese on his pants while helping caterers set up for a lunch at Round Hill Music, he was all about proving his worth.

“I’m fortunate enough to be down here for the summer and to have this opportunity,” Bailey says. “It’s about saying ‘yes,’ working hard, and grinding through it. What scares me the most in life is standing in one spot and remaining there. So when I get a chance to put myself in a new position, I’m not afraid to get uncomfortable.”


When a young Parker began pestering his parents for a guitar, Amy Bailey sought the counsel of his elementary school

your mother dressed in white
your father by her side 55 years No shortage of tears
they cherished every night
’Cause you can’t buy time You can struggle but you can’t fight it Lesson learned, a bridge unburned Make a friend

music teacher.

The instructor’s advice was concise: Buy a high-quality instrument and don’t let him quit for at least 18 months.

Bailey played his Little Martin acoustic guitar until his fingers bled.

“There were times when it was frustrating at first as he tried to play songs,” Amy Bailey recalls. “But he was just so happy with a guitar in his hands. We would be late to parties because he was in his room playing instead of getting ready to go.”

Both Bailey and his younger brother, Gavin, excelled at lacrosse at their suburban Chicago high school. But as Bailey grew older, his passion for music won out.

He fronted his first band, The Spins, in high school, entertaining classmates in neighborhood garages and basements. His second band, Runner and Bobby — a name he still records under — began producing songs that generated a following on audio streaming services such as Spotify.

“Fall For Her (Nobody Else)” is Bailey’s most popular tune to date. The song “For Marcy” was turned into a music video that was filmed in England, earning

him a trip to London to witness the production.

“Parker not only has the songwriting skills and talent, but he has a great work ethic,” says award-winning composer Ching-chu Hu, professor of music and director of music theater at Denison. “It pushes him to strive to never be satisfied with what he has and always pushes him forward to try to make it one step better. That’s something, in a way, you can’t really teach.”

Bailey visited several campuses before deciding on Denison. The appealing ingredients of an innovative music program and a highly adaptable global commerce major baked into a liberal arts education were too good to pass up.

“I talk with my friends about this all the time,” Bailey says. “I’m so glad I came to Denison. I wanted to be challenged in a variety of ways, and Denison does that for you.”


On a humid afternoon, Bailey sat wedged on a stool in a walk-in closet converted into a recording booth. The space, with its padded walls for optimal sound, was so narrow that he barely had room to

maneuver his acoustic guitar.

For more than an hour, Bailey made repeated trips into the booth — one located in a suburban Nashville house — to lay down vocal tracks.

For a student not afraid to put himself in uncomfortable situations, this was as literal as it gets.

“It was a little cramped in there and pretty hot,” Bailey says. “But I’m lucky to find a place like this where I can record music with a professional quality and sound.”

When tourists descend on Nashville, they want to experience the Grand Ole Opry, visit the famous honky tonks along Broadway, and see the major recording houses on Music Row.

But for hundreds of musicians seeking a breakthrough, their route to success often starts in small independent studios like the one in the home of Wylie Withers. Bailey spent his free time searching out producers such as Withers and singer-songwriters such as Kelley Ann Williams, all of whom are climbing the ladder toward discovery.

“You can walk into a random bar and hear an unbelievable singer

who’s trying to make it in the business,” says Williams, who met Bailey over the summer and employed him as a guitarist for gigs. “It’s very clear that Parker came to Nashville for a reason, and it wasn’t just to see what the city is all about. He came with a large sense of intentionality and purpose.”

Williams is a barista at the same country club where Withers tends bar. On this day, Withers worked a split shift so he could drive home to record Bailey in his studio.

As Bailey sang in the booth, Withers worked the soundboard and hummed along in the adjacent room.

Bailey treasured the experience of his internship. He learned the business side of music and witnessed how quickly groups of Round Hill Music writers were

Oh, what a life There’s a sunset every night
When push comes to shove You’ve got someone to love What a life

expected to deliver lyrics to their bosses, who pitch them to agents.

That sense of urgency inspired Bailey to write 10 songs during his time in Nashville.

“Parker is one of the best interns we’ve ever had,” says Lindsay Will, a Round Hill Music director of artist and repertoire. “You can tell the ones who are going to make it from the ones who are just kind of here for fun, and it’s obvious that Parker has the drive.”


As much as he enjoyed working at an established record label in a downtown office tower, Bailey was most in his element creating music in Withers’ home studio.

“Dude, I love that line, ‘Oh, what a life,’” Withers tells Bailey. “It just feels like I’m sitting around a campfire with my boys during the best summer of my life.”

Bailey wants to make music his life’s work. It’s why in this playland of a city, where fun-loving distractions are at the end of every block, Bailey set his phone alarm for 6 p.m. each day for three months. That was when he dropped everything and tapped into his creative outlets, often composing music in his apartment.

And while Bailey isn’t ready to publish “What a Life,” the country song he was strumming on his balcony, he wrote five other songs in Nashville for an EP entitled Maui

Tapes that he hopes to release soon. “It’s some of the best music I’ve written,” he says, “It’s the work I’m most proud of.”

Bailey packed up his gear from Withers’ studio and prepared for an hour-long drive to a gig with Williams at a Thai restaurant. It might not be the stage at the Grand Ole Opry, but it’s another opportunity to perform. Another chance to show he won’t stand in one spot and remain there.

“I know I’m going to be in the music industry, and I’m ready to give myself over to it completely,” the Denison senior says. “The end goal is to do whatever I want creatively with people who inspire me — and to do it forever.”


Denison on the big (AND



There’s a good chance a Denison alum worked on something you watched in the past year. Graduates of the college’s cinema program have been finding success in the film and TV industry for years, partially thanks to the hands-on training they got in Granville and a network of fellow Denisonians who “bend over backward to give back to the students after them,” as Associate Cinema Professor Marc Wiskemann explains it.

Just one example: Chelsea Warner ’11, an associate producer on the popular Amazon superhero satire The Boys , got her start working on the Starz pirate drama Black Sails, a Treasure Island prequel created by Denison grad Robert Levine ’96.

Others have hit it big by working together with their classmates.

Loose Films, a production company launched by Ori Segev ’14, Noah Dixon ’14, Brett Reiter ’14, and Drew Johnson ’14, got their movie Poser — shot in Columbus and set in the local music scene — into New York’s prestigious Tribeca Film Festival, leading to theatrical distribution and agency representation for the company. A fifth Denisonian, Logan Floyd ’16, did the Poser cinematography.

“The movie has a look to it,” Wiskemann says, “and that’s Logan.”

The Loose Films team presently is working on their Poser follow-up with lots of industry support.

“They graduated. They worked together. They all played to their own strengths,” Wiskemann says. “They’re on the path of achieving the filmmaker dream.”

Denison is developing a presence in newer forms of media, too. Chase Hilt ’14 is both on-screen talent and a supervising producer for Mythical Entertainment and its hit online variety show Good Mythical Morning , which boasts 17.8 million subscribers on YouTube and famous guests such as Post Malone.

It’s a lot to keep up with, but Wiskemann, a two-decade veteran of the cinema program, documents it all via the @denison_cinema Instagram account — a must-follow for Denisonians interested in keeping tabs on the school’s movers and shakers in Hollywood and beyond.

“I’m not surprised by the achievements of any of these students,” Wiskemann says. “They were invested in their work while they were here, and continued to work really hard after they graduated. It’s there for any of our majors who really want it, and it doesn’t take a lifetime to find success.”


Denison Cinema watchlist:

_ Robert Levine ’00 followed up his Starz series Black Sails by co-creating the new FX series The Old Man starring Jeff Bridges and John Lithgow, recently picked up for a second season.

_ Screenwriter Dan Ewen ’96 penned the 2019 family comedy Playing With Fire starring John Cena. Ewen also just landed a series at Amazon Freevee called Clean Slate starring Laverne Cox and George Wallace.

_ Cinematographer Lyn Moncrief ’96 shot The Office star B.J. Novak’s recent directorial debut Vengeance.

_ Greg Evans ’97 is an editor on the smash Netflix drama Bridgerton.

_ Adam Mallinger ’02 is a writer for the CW series Superman & Lois

_ Medha Jaishankar ’06 is a producer on the forthcoming thriller He Went That Way starring Euphoria’s Jacob Elordi.

_ Former Denison football player Peter Jarowey ’09 is the CEO and a founding member of distributor Vertical Entertainment, which recently purchased the Sundance favorite Emily The Criminal starring Aubrey Plaza.

_ Chelsea Warner ’11 is an associate producer on the hit Amazon Prime series The Boys

_ Loose Films, the production company started by Ori Segev ’14, Noah Dixon ’14, Brett Reiter ’14, and Drew Johnson ’14, was the force behind Poser. This Columbus music scene drama recently saw theatrical release through Oscilloscope Laboratories, the distributor founded by late Beastie Boy Adam Yauch.

_ Chase Hilt ’14 is a supervising producer for Mythical Entertainment’s popular YouTube series Good Mythical Morning.


Gaining career clarity

College is a lifeshaping experience — and that can feel a bit overwhelming.

That’s why Denison is launching several innovative programs that help students develop leadership skills, land internships, hone their competitive advantage, and figure out what, exactly, they want to do next.

If you’re the parent of a current or future Denisonian, here are some programs your student might want to explore.

Exordium and Studium Scholar-Leader Programs


Launched in the fall of 2022 with 42 students, Exordium (“the beginning”) is a one-year co-curricular program designed to give first-year students a competitive edge in pursuit of internships, fellowships, and graduate programs. Studium (“to study”) will kick off in fall 2023 with a cohort of about 25 students. All rising sophomores will have the opportunity to apply to Studium, which will eventually encompass juniors and seniors as well.

While the Scholar-Leader program goals remain constant over a four-year period, the content areas are tailored to support students’ individualized interests and ambitions.

Denison Journey


It can be hard for students to imagine life after graduation — uncertain and overwhelmed, they may find themselves down a path to inertia. The Journey program is an immersive exploration experience designed for sophomores (but also open to juniors) to help students identify their career interests and get moving. This program helps students start thinking about their future with excitement, possibility, and promise — and

by breaking the process down into manageable pieces, facilitators help students gain the clarity and confidence to move forward.

Learn more:

CX Innovation Lab


This immersive summer program at Denison Edge in downtown Columbus gives college students and recent graduates the opportunity to tackle real business problems in a supportive environment. During a seven-week session, participants network and consult with business professionals and industry experts to grow and develop customer experience (CX) skills in design thinking and innovation.

This experience goes beyond the typical internship. It starts with a complex problem from a real client that students are challenged to solve in teams. At the end of CX Innovation Lab, participants have a certificate of completion, a portfolio of practical business knowledge, and a strong professional network.

Spots are limited. Learn more:



Ayana Hinton

Biology Professor Ayana Hinton has taken on a new role as associate provost for diversity and director of Denison Forward, the university’s plan for inclusion, diversity, equity, and antiracism.

“We can’t do things the way we’ve always done them if we expect to see change. We have to be both active and selfreflective. We must ask ourselves, ‘What can I do to make things better?’”

Putting in the work


ur culture sees math as something that you’re either really good at or you’re not, and that’s not true. Everyone is capable of doing math.

OI tell my students all the time that the number one quality of being a mathematician is to work hard. You don’t have to be a genius or brilliant — you just have to put in the work. Students can see peers who don’t seem to have to work hard, and it can be discouraging, but it hits people at different times. Everyone has to do the work.

I work hard to challenge my students deeply while also giving them the tools to succeed. I hold them to very high standards and then work extremely hard to help them see that they can meet those standards.

Math gives such a great playground to challenge yourself and work through that challenge. You have to force yourself to push through it and work with the people around you. When that light bulb moment comes, it’s so exciting.

What will you do in South Africa during your Fulbright experience?

I’ll be positioned at Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley, South Africa. It’s the first university in

South Africa that was established post-Apartheid. Before that, Kimberley was an area of few opportunities and it continues to be an area of high need. I am partnering with them to teach and to develop math curricula.

On top of that, I’ll be tutoring students at the Maths & Science Leadership Academy, a local nonprofit STEM education program for 8-12 graders. Unemployment is incredibly high there. Technology and science-oriented jobs are available, but the fact is if you don’t pass a certain test you can’t even study in those fields. This program has an amazing track record, with over 95% of their seniors earning acceptance to university.

Tell us about your research.

I work in generalized Fourier transforms. They generalize a very ubiquitous algorithm called the discrete Fourier transform.

In essence, you apply generalized Fourier transforms to a data set and get new information or ways of seeing things. A helpful metaphor is a recording of an orchestra playing a piece of music. A transform takes that recording and remixes it to give what we call frequency information. You can see the different notes being played or possibly what the different instruments are — a much deeper analysis of what you’re hearing.


What do you do for fun?

I run and play soccer — and my students will all tell you that I just love cats. I’ve run five marathons, many half-marathons, two 50Ks, three 50-milers, and completed the HURT100 race in the mountains above Honolulu. While I’m in South Africa, I hope I’ll be able to get some running in and maybe play soccer with some students, too.

MATHEMATICS PROFESSOR Sarah Wolff james schuller Wolff joined Denison’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science in 2015 and was awarded tenure in 2021.
“Math gives such a great playground to challenge yourself and work through that challenge.”



Rex Elliott was in the spotlight — the actual lights of TV cameras but also of a community in Columbus tired of losing young men to police violence. They were focused on his every word. The pressure was real, but the events of his life had brought him to this moment: a press conference in an ordinary hotel conference room.

With the mother of the victim and a dozen or so family and friends standing behind him, Elliott talked of stories and evidence — a 2 a.m. search warrant, three white officers and a German Shepherd, a bedroom door opened, and a shot fired that killed 22-yearold Donovan Lewis. He showed the body cam video, clearly narrating the events of that night with a calmness that belied the intensity of what the video showed.

And Elliott spoke of the need for everyone in the room to bear witness to the pain Lewis’ death had caused for this family. To try to empathize with them.

It’s a cornerstone of his work — to empathize, to cross over, to try to connect with others to make the world a safer place for more people.

Elliott grew up in Bexley, Ohio, a first-ring suburb of Columbus. He learned a lot from the folks who raised him — especially his grandfather and father.

His grandfather was a hard-hitting attorney, tall and imposing in the courtroom. As a kid, Elliott would watch him at trial in the Franklin County Courthouse. His grandfather, he says, was always working.

His father was an insurance salesman whose work didn’t define him — his family did. Every day he would come home early to be with his


kids. One time Elliott remembers rolling up to a baseball game on the school bus. The stands were empty — save for his father.

“I remember thinking at the time,” Elliott says, “everybody else’s dad on this bus is working and here’s my dad in the middle of the afternoon about to watch my baseball game.”

It wasn’t until he had children that Elliott truly appreciated what his father taught him. That’s why, after a few years at a high-powered New York City law firm, Sullivan and Cromwell, Elliott moved back to Columbus in 1991 and founded Cooper Elliott in 1995.

“I wanted to be around as a dad like my dad was, but I also wanted to be the lawyer that my grandfather was,” he says. “And I was able to do that because I started my own firm. If I needed to get up at four o’clock in the morning and start working, I could do that and be home to coach my kids in sports in the afternoon.”

He’s always seeking that balance — between the thing he wants to do and the thing that’s best for others in his life. During the spring of his sophomore year at Denison, Elliott took a leave from campus, knowing his family was struggling to afford tuition. His father never told him the bill was a burden on the family, but Elliott could sense it. He wanted to help. So he drove out west to California and Texas and worked for a company building power lines for six months — hot, heavy labor.

It was hard to leave his friends, his relationships, behind. He felt like he was letting down his Beta fraternity brothers and football coach Keith Piper who, he says, was like a second father to him.

But it was harder to imagine not graduating from Denison — a place that, he could already tell, had challenged and transformed him. Denison, he says, taught him to think independently and become more confident in his ideas. He felt uncomfortable at first, like everyone was smarter than he was. But that pushed him, and he learned that sometimes being uncomfortable is a good thing — that through discomfort, we can grow.


When he realized he had to leave the comfort of his community on The Hill, he was again uncomfortable. But it was necessary. And so, at 19, he drove his car across the country and worked with people he’d never met before in conditions that challenged his mind and body.

When he returned the next year, he had to overload his courses each semester to make up for missing one, but he managed to graduate on time with a major in political science and a minor in economics. On the gridiron, he was a four-year letter winner from 1980-83, and in 1982, he set the single-season record for receptions with 33. In both 1982 and 1983, he was a first-team All-Ohio Athletic Conference selection.

After graduation, he went back out West for another year, this time working in the Mojave Desert and living in a condo in Las Vegas. At 4 a.m., he would drive past early morning partiers on the Strip and out into the desert, toward the coyotes, rattlesnakes, and scorpions. They were long, hot days. But he was learning — learning to work hard, to persevere, to not take things too seriously. Talking over the radio to another crew one day, he used the word “prerogative,” a choice his coworkers ribbed him about for weeks.

He worked enough to put himself through two years of Syracuse law school — his third year was paid for by a fellowship — and finished in the top of his class, summa cum laude, editor of the law review.

deathbed that they would never forget him and would work to end hazing in the United States. They helped renew the push for Collin’s Law, Ohio’s Anti Hazing Act, to pass.

This time, it did.

Collin’s Law increases hazing to a second-degree misdemeanor, and when it involves drugs or alcohol, it becomes a third-degree felony carrying up to 36 months in prison and a $10,000 fine. Now, failing to report hazing is a first-degree misdemeanor with sentences of up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. It’s a significant change.

“If you think about it for a second,” Elliott says, “if a mom and dad lose a kid, I think the natural reaction is to kind of curl up in a fetal position and mourn and grieve.”

Instead, he says, these parents went to work, talked to the media, and pushed legislators to pass the law. “None of that’s money-related. It’s all related to trying to prevent another tragedy from happening.”

To a packed audience of students, faculty, coaches, and administrators gathered to hear Foltz’s story this past September in Swasey Chapel, Elliott said he desperately wants to end hazing on U.S. college campuses.

People think that it can’t happen to them, Elliott told the crowd, but “it can, and if it does, it will have devastating consequences for you, and your family, and your life.”

That work experience, coupled with his college education, opened his eyes. For one, he knows that he had advantages growing up, and he knows, too, how much harder life can be for those who don’t — or even for those who have a stroke of bad luck. When life gets complicated, it can send them into a tailspin. He sees it all the time.

What Elliott also sees often — the prominent cases that have defined him as a public figure in Ohio and nationwide — are instances where people have been taken advantage of by those in power. He says it’s about fighting for the underdog, but more importantly, it’s what gets him out of bed every morning: “To come in here and to help these people is to try to make the world a safer place.”

He’s being modest. This is the work of seeking justice.

Elliott knows some people think lawsuits are about trying to score easy money. In his experience, that’s just not true. “I never once had a family come in here and say, ‘Hey, I’ve just lost my son or my husband — how much is this worth?’ They never say that. They always say, ‘I don’t want this to happen to another family.’”

Case in point: After Collin Wiant’s 2018 hazing death at Ohio University, Collin’s mother, Kathleen Wiant, worked with Elliott and a lobbyist to push for legislation to make hazing a felony. The legislation stalled. In March 2021, when Stone Foltz died after a brutal alcohol-fueled night of hazing at Bowling Green University, the Foltz family approached Elliott’s firm. They had promised Stone on his

Like Stone Foltz’s family, Donovan Lewis’ family reached out to Elliott because they wanted to change a system — to keep this from happening to another family, another community.

Elliott says he can’t pretend to understand what it was like for Lewis living on Sullivant Avenue or the fear that a young Black man might feel if the police are knocking on his front door.

“I don’t think anybody is ever going to know whether Donovan was asleep before that door was open or whether he was awake and just back in that bedroom,” Elliott says. “But let’s assume for a second, he was awake. Is it all that unbelievable to think about a young Black kid in this world right now that’s afraid to open that door when he hears dogs and police officers on the other side?”

At the end of the day, Elliott says, this was a human with a family, with loved ones, with a complicated life. He noted after Lewis was killed, people pointed out that he had warrants — an insinuation that, somehow, he deserved to be shot.

No one deserves that, he says.

And now Elliott is going to get to work. He wants the City of Columbus and the police department to figure out how to keep this from happening again, and to figure out how they can make this community safer for more people.


Ay, Caramba!

Thomas Richner ’97 draws on sage advice as a Simpsons artist

One of the animators who helps bring Homer Simpson and the cartoon town of Springfield to life got his big break after following the guidance of his Denison swim coach.

Gregg Parini might not know Krusty the Clown from Sideshow Bob, but Thomas Richner ’97, a storyboard artist on The Simpsons, says his coach’s sage advice about asking for what you want in life is — in the words of Montgomery Burns — excellent.

Richner was a grad student at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1998 when he was invited by one of the show’s producers — a

fellow UCLA swimmer — to attend an animatic screening of an episode of The Simpsons.

Richner was only there as an observer in a room filled with artists, directors, and other creative talent. But when someone asked how a character might best be revealed in a certain scene, he boldly volunteered a suggestion.

It was Richner’s way of asking for what he wanted.

“I shouldn’t have spoken up, and everybody was looking at me, wondering, ‘Who is this guy?’’’ Richner recalled. “But after the screening, Mike Scully, who was a showrunner at that time, approached me and said they were looking for artists. I had brought my portfolio

with me. I remember thinking this is one of the lessons Gregg had taught us. If I say nothing, nobody will know I’m here.”

After taking an artistic test, Richner was offered a part-time role as an animator for The Simpsons in the summer of 1998, which led to a full-time gig following graduation. His willingness to speak up launched a career on the longest-running prime-time scripted show in television history.

The Simpsons is now in its 34th season, and Richner is working his second stint on the Fox series after taking a long hiatus to return to central Ohio to teach classes at the Columbus College of Art & Design.

Above: A board panel from the Emmynominated episode “Pixelated and Afraid.” Right: A layout drawing Richner did for another episode. Both aired in season 33 (The Simpsons is currently in its 34th season). IMAGES COURTESY OF THE SIMPSONS TM AND © 20TH TELEVISION.

There are many ways to frame the remarkable longevity of The Simpsons — the show first aired in 1989 and has spanned six U.S. presidential administrations — and Richner’s career path provides a unique one.

“Not many people have the opportunity to go back to the same television show after taking a 13-year break,” said Richner, who returned to the show in 2017.

His ties to Denison remain as tight as the day he arrived on campus from suburban Cleveland. Richner and his wife, Kristin Goldthorpe Richner ’97, met on The Hill, and both are enshrined in the Varsity D Association Hall of Fame as swimmers. Their oldest daughter, Lauren ’25, is also swimming for Parini.

Richner says he owes much to his former coach and teammates, who supported him during a difficult academic spell in which he switched majors from biology to studio art after his sophomore year.

“Tom is one of my favorites,” Parini said. “He’s open-minded and so humble. Some athletes are afraid to fail, but he learned from every mistake to have a great career here.”

Richner believes the sacrifices swimmers make for the good of a team have benefited him in his time with The Simpsons. Deadlines are intense. Teamwork is essential. Each episode takes about nine months from inception to televised airing.

As a storyboard artist, Richner’s job is to interpret the script frame by frame and set it into motion. What angle is the best to display the characters? How do you draw them to maximize the humor and action?

Each 30-minute episode involves three storyboard artists, and they are assigned one segment apiece.

Richner sketches the characters and backgrounds in black and white on a computer, but he still dabbles in freehand. On a recent visit to Granville, he drew Marge

Simpson on a sheet of paper in under 30 seconds in between bites of spinach artichoke dip at Broadway Pub.

“I love being part of that first take of putting visuals to words,” Richner said. “Hundreds of people are involved in the process, but you get a good shot at figuring out what the blueprint of the show is going to look like.”

The animator said it’s been fun to see the humor evolve over the years. Among his favorite episodes to storyboard are the annual “Treehouse of Horror” shows that air around Halloween. The 2022 edition was an anime tribute to the movie Death Note.

“I love talking to people about The Simpsons,” Richner said. “You can’t believe the granular detail some fans have about episodes. It feels very rewarding being a part of something that has had such staying power in our culture.”

For Simpsons fans, Richner is a must follow on Twitter, where he shares a treasure trove of nuggets about past and upcoming episodes.
Patrich demichael



1953 Herbert Russell Brown , of Columbus, Ohio, writes that in October 2022, the Abbey Theater of Dublin presented a staged reading of his new play, The Price of Power

1956 David Lane Jones, of Melbourne, Florida, received the Heart of a Hero award from the Brevard Heart Foundation. Since retirement, he’s spent 25 years as a volunteer medically treating those less fortunate.


1961 Richard Lee Mathias , of Winnetka, Illinois, writes that for more than 30 years, several 1961 Denison graduates and their spouses have met each year to renew their friendships. Initially, the group met for some skiing in Lake Tahoe, California, and then for many years near Bend, Oregon. They’ve also met in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and northern Wisconsin. This year’s group, which came from Seattle, Illinois, Florida, and California, met in eastern Washington state to “hike, cook, reminisce, discuss, and laugh a lot.”

1963 Charles Richter Taylor, of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, celebrated the launch of his first published novel, Curse of the Klondike, on Nov. 22. His novel, published by Koehler Books, follows three self-published books of poetry available on Amazon.

1966 William Henry Gosline, of Toledo, Ohio, a trusts and estates attorney with the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, has been included in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

1967 James Hazen Armstrong, of Tampa, Florida, is the owner of BioWhorl Fingerprinting.


1970 Ann Nicholson Townes , of West Newton, Massachusetts, is a program coordinator at Harvard University.

1971 Richard Jay Bodorff, of Easton, Maryland, has been elected chairman of the board of the MPT Foundation, Inc., which supports Maryland’s six PBS TV affiliates and associated digital platforms. Bodorff, a retired

communications attorney and vice chair of the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission, joined the foundation board in 2019. • Ann Elizabeth Hagedorn , of Ripley, Ohio, is the author of Sleeper Agent: The Atomic Spy in America Who Got Away, which was released in paperback on June 28, 2022. Two days later, Barnes & Noble chose the book as its nonfiction pick for July. The book, which the Wall Street Journal described as “a historical pageturner of the highest order,” was also one of six finalists in the nonfiction category of the 2022 Edgar Awards. • Lawrence William Sherman , of Bethesda, Maryland, joined the London Metropolitan Police as its first chief scientific officer.

1973 James William Lee , of Cape May, New Jersey, retired in 2016. He just published his first novel, Alive in Algonquin . He continues to coordinate Canadian canoe trips. • Donald Vaughan Matthews, of Hendersonville, North Carolina, writes that he and Kiki Matthews ’77 were recognized as the Pardee Hospital Foundation’s Philanthropists of the Year at the annual gala on June 25 • Richard Neel Skuse , of Roswell, Georgia, still works in the mainframe software sales sector of IBM in Atlanta. He tells people that he is “one bad day away from retirement,” but he still really loves what he does. He enjoys spending time with his six grandchildren. He also loves playing golf and traveling with his wife, Nancy. The couple had a great time exploring the country with Phil Lovell ’73 and his wife, Betsy. He looks forward to the 50th class reunion next June.

1974 Nancy R. Leko, of Okatie, South Carolina, has recently moved from Cleveland. • Glenn T. Shwaery, of Quincy, Maryland, is a technical advisor at Emlin Ventures.

1975 John L. Daly, of Chelsea, Michigan, developed a one-act, one-man show called Mark Twain’s American West, which was motivated by Hal Holbrook’s death.

1976 Donald Jeffrey Ireland , of Dayton, Ohio, was recognized as a Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star. Ireland is one of the founding partners of Faruki PLL. Among other notable awards and benchmarks, Ireland completed the Harvard Program on Mediation at Harvard Law School and has been recognized for several years as an America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators by America’s Top 100 LLC. Each year since its inception, peers from the Ohio Super Lawyer pool have also voted him an “Ohio Super Lawyer.”

1977 David G. Crouse , of Petoskey, Michigan, writes that his latest film, Michigan: An American Portrait, will air this fall on PBS stations nationwide. He writes, “On my second day on campus my freshman year I walked into the studios of WDUB, where I luckily worked for four years –the last year as station manager. WDUB gave me a career


in radio and television that has lasted nearly 50 years.” In addition to producing documentaries airing on PBS, Crouse also hosts the popular C.S. Lewis Scholar podcast series. • Steven W. Forrest, of Elmira, New York, writes that he and John R. Cissel ’77 took first and second place, respectively, in the Fifth Annual Denison Alumni Tennis Challenge held in Liberty, New York, on Oct. 22, 2022. • Barbara Longley MacGregor, of Rochester, Michigan, is a marketing writer/editor at Markit Strategies and PR, LLC. • Gay Parks Rainville , of Media, Pennsylvania, obtained her MFA in poetry writing from the Warren Wilson College Master of Fine Arts Program for Writers in July, 2019. In January 2021, she published her debut chapbook of poetry, Clearing the Mask (Finishing Line Press). In 2019, Rainville also co-founded a new law firm, Dailey LLP, where she continues to practice law as a commercial litigator.

office and has worked in higher education ever since. “I have and always will treasure my time at Denison,” he writes. “Living at the time in Dustin Cabin was, shall we say, an ‘experience,’ but I still think of it as my first home where I began my career – and Beth Eden remains the best office space within which I’ve ever worked.”

1981 John Tweedt Haynes , Charlottesville, Virginia, and his wife, Maribeth Mallon Haynes ’81, recently spent several months in Italy, where John was on sabbatical as a visiting professor of geology at the University of Camerino. In August 2022, John was promoted to the rank of full professor in the department of geology and environmental science at James Madison University, where he has taught since 2007. Maribeth continues to work at the University of Virginia, in the Darden School of Business. She also serves as a simulated patient at the university’s medical school clinical skills center. • Mark Allen McLoney, of Cleveland, is the medical director of the PRIDE clinic at Metrohealth. Last year, he won the Kaiser Permanente Excellence in Teaching award from Case Western Medical School.

1982 John Francis O’Connor, of North Falmouth, Massachusetts, has been named managing director and head of business development in Cincinnati for Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Inc. O’Connor holds FINRA series 7, 63, and 24 registrations. He began his career as a lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, then worked for Pioneer Investments and was later managing director for Morgan Stanley Investment Management in New York. Next, O’Connor worked at DDJ Capital Management in Waltham, Massachusetts, where he was head of business development and client service before joining Fort Washington.


Class Notes


1979 Timothy H. Barnard , of Healdsburg, California, enjoyed having 28 “Choates” visit his art studio in Alexander Valley, California, for a mini reunion. Warren Roos ’75 came over from Davis to see his work. Barnard will have gallery openings in many areas for his 2022 season and would love to share his work with more alumni.

• David Lee Marshall , of Bethesda, Maryland, retired from the practice of law after 28 years, having focused his career on the law of tax-exempt organizations. He spent 18 years in private practice. He then spent the second half of his career with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, where he retired as a senior counsel. Marshall is the son of former English professor Kenneth B. Marshall.


1980 Ross Barton Peacock , of Oberlin, Ohio, will retire from Oberlin College as assistant vice president for institutional research and planning. He spent his initial three and a half years working in the Denison admissions


Marriages: Andrew Richard Ellers and Maribeth Haglof, March 28, 2022.

Kent David Krafft, of North Royalton, Ohio, and his wife, Diane Krafft, met up with Kim ’78 and Roy Bromfield and Kathy ’78 and Bill ’77 Stevenson for a Viking river cruise in September 2022. They traveled from Budapest, Hungary, to Passau, Germany. They had “lots of laughs and told many old college stories!”

1984 Patrick Lord Sullivan, of Lakeville, Connecticut, writes that three generations of Denisonians found themselves at the Salisbury Band end-of-summer concert in Salisbury, Connecticut, on Aug. 27. “Finding just two Denison alumni together in this neck of the woods is rare,” he writes, “but four is unprecedented.”

1985 Valorie Raye Luther, of Fairfield, Connecticut, is an adjunct professor at Boston University teaching digital

WDUB gave me a career in radio and television that has lasted nearly 50 years.

marketing and cultural insights courses, and has run her own digital marketing and communications business for 20 years.

1986 Stephen Christopher Baker, of Chicago, earned his Master of Business Administration (marketing concentration) in March 2022 from DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.

Class Notes


1990 Mark George Morawski, of Cincinnati, is the head of lower school at Cincinnati Country Day School.

1987 Kevin Harrington Merritt , of Virginia Beach, Virginia, is director of program/project management at Anthem. • Harry David Smith, of Glenview, Illinois, is a professor of psychology and an instructor at a maximum security prison, where he teaches college courses to incarcerated students, many of whom were formerly on death row. Stateville Correctional Center is just outside of Joliet, Illinois, and has hosted some of the most notorious criminals in history, including Leopold and Loeb, John Wayne Gacy, and Richard Speck. This has been a “transformative experience” for Smith. He is proud of his efforts toward promoting restorative justice in the Chicagoland area and loves to share about this topic within his community.

1988 Jennie Marie Benford , of Pittsburgh, received a Golden Quill award for Excellence in Written Journalism for her article, “The Delirious Adventures of Pittsburgh Poets Tom Boggs and Robert Clairmont,” which appeared in the Winter 2021 issue of Western Pennsylvania History Magazine . • Jackson Edward Winters , of Durham, North Carolina, has been promoted to senior associate director of athletics at Duke University. Winters joins the executive staff and will continue to oversee the Iron Dukes Annual Fund, assist in managing the Iron Dukes office staff, and serve as the primary sport administrator for women’s golf.

1992 David Timothy Bottoms, of San Mateo, California, has a new leadership role as vice president of product innovation at Growth and Expansion at Upwork. • Kristin Thalheimer Davin , of Coventry, Connecticut, has been promoted to CEO after five years with Livius Prep, which has been offering tutoring, test prep, and college readiness services to students, schools, and nonprofit organizations across the country for almost 40 years. • Rebecca Concepcion Engl Deen, of Arlington, Texas, has been appointed associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Arlington. • Noel Manak Petty, of Charlotte, North Carolina, is chief of staff for Americas Climate Change and Sustainability Services at EY. • Corey Thomas Zurbuch , of Castle Hayne, North Carolina, has been welcomed to Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s real estate department as of counsel. Zurbuch has 25 years of real estate experience and a broad background in transactions and owners association issues. After Denison, Zurbuch received his law degree from West Virginia University College of Law. He was the founder and managing member of his own firm, The Zurbuch Law Office, LLC, and then he served as a partner with Rountree Losee, LLP, in Wilmington, North Carolina, before coming into real estate at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.

1993 Heather Elizabeth Cunningham , of Sunnyside, New York, has appeared in two productions in New York City this year. The world premiere of White on White, by Robert Quillen Camp, was produced by Hoi Polloi. Cunningham’s performance received a New York Times Critics Pick and a rave review in Vulture: “precisely, even superbly, performed.” The second show, On the Verge, by Eric Overmyer, was produced by Cunningham’s company, Retro Productions. This received a strong review as well from Theatrescene, which called her performance both “touching” and “absolutely haunting.”

1994 Krista Holman Slemmons , of Presque Isle, Wisconsin, will be a Fulbright teaching and research scholar at the University of Malaga in Spain in spring 2023. • Kirsten Louise Williams, of Concord, North Carolina, is senior business execution consultant at Wells Fargo.


Marriages: Hollie Melissa Caldwell and Erik Caldwell, June 11, 2022.

Beth Widmaier Capo , of Jacksonville, Illinois, was named Edward Capps Professor of Humanities at Illinois College in 2020. Her co-edited collection, The Palgrave

1985–1995 &
Finding just two Denison alumni together in this neck of the woods is rare, but four is unprecedented.

Writing for the living

Novelist, poet, and journalist Alison Stine ’00 crafts stories for readers who understand the darkness — and seek the light.

T“here isn’t a magical muse,” says Alison Stine ’00, staff culture writer for Salon, novelist, and poet. When asked what she’d call the entity energizing her work, she gives it a humble, familiar name: rent.

A note of bathos, a note of truth. But Alison Stine “writes for a living” in more than the surface sense.

At her day job, she tells others’ stories and makes connections with artists of all sorts. But when she’s not sharing a cry with Jamie Lee Curtis after an interview for Salon , she’s hard at another kind of work: creating worlds, populating them, propelling plots. Dreaming new dreams. Letting drafts take shape with no outline — for, as writer R.L. Stine (no relation) once observed of her, she’s “looking to be surprised.” Sometimes she’s down in the weeds, printing and hand editing.

That is all to say — she’s writing novels.

It was a lifelong dream, being a novelist. As Stine says, “That’s also the one genre I never studied. So, to write fiction is all I know of freedom.”

Now she’s preparing Dust for publication, her third novel in as many years. She wakes up early, carving out time to write before she takes her son to school.

“You have to get in a state where you’re giving everything inside you,” she says. “More than you think you have — that’s the magic part. But at the same time, knowing people are counting on me helps me keep going.”

People — counting on her, cheering her on, connecting through stories — are the other side of Stine’s practical muse. At Denison, she forged relationships with professors emeriti Dominick Consolo and Richard and June Kraus, “extra grandparents” who offered encouragement and guidance. Now Stine brings that same energy back to campus, returning in the summers to teach at the Reynolds Young Writers Workshop.

It’s a role close to Stine’s heart, an opportunity to show students that there is no “one or right way” to be an artist. “I think it’s important for students to see someone who is openly queer and physically disabled,” Stine says. “I want to always be open with students

about my partial deafness because you never know who’s in your classes, you never know what they need from you — you never know when you might be ‘the first’ or only for them.”

Stine hopes that her own stories help people feel less alone. Her novels Road out of Winter (2020, a Philip K. Dick Award winner), Trashlands (2021), and the forthcoming Dust (2023) are all considered “cli-fi,” set in worlds variously afflicted by climate change. Though no such neat term casts a net wide enough for all of Stine’s work — fiction, poetry, and journalism — a shared spirit glimmers through it.

As she puts it, “I think my work across genres is for someone who understands the darkness of the world but also keeps looking for the light.”


Class Notes

Handbook of Reproductive Justice and Literature , was recently published by Palgrave Macmillan. • Elizabeth Anne Gonda , of New Albany, Ohio, is a high school English teacher at New Albany-Plain Local Schools. • Lisa Marie Antonille Rhody, of Maplewood, New Jersey, writes that her daughter, Evalyn Grace Rhody, joined Denison’s class of 2026 in the fall. Evalyn is excited to have joined the new varsity women’s fencing team as an epée.

1996 David Jeffrey Bandrowski , of New Orleans, released a New Orleans Jazz record called French Onion Superman . You can find it on Apple Music and Spotify. • Hollie Melissa Caldwell, of Marietta, Georgia, moved to Georgia in 2021, got married, and started a new position in Marietta at Oracle Corp as senior director for Sales Excellence. • Nicole Petrarca , of Fairlawn, Ohio, is the vocal music and musical theater director and theater manager at Barberton High School. • Eric Daniel Royse, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is president and CEO at Continental Battery Systems.

1997 Allison Audrey Jervey, of Miami, was promoted to senior director of global digital program management at Chicago-based JLL. Jervey also just celebrated her 12th anniversary with her partner, Luis Hernandez, who lives with her in Miami.

1998 William Chowning Dennis, of Orlando, is president at MCAP, Inc.

• Wyatt Jeffry Holliday, of Sylvania, Ohio, is an attorney with the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP. He was recognized among the “Ones to Watch in America Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law” and has been included in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America . • Jeff Daniel Navicky, of New Concord, Ohio, writes that his most recent book, Antique Densities: Modern Parables & Other Experiments in Short Prose, won the 2022 Maine Literary Book Award for poetry.

1999 Nayantara Gauba , of London, is a production executive at the BBC. • Lindsay Michael O’Leary, of London, has been named the interim director of digital for Tate Galleries, a family of four art galleries in the UK: Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, and Tate St Ives. • Hannah Smith Paulin, of Akron, Ohio, has been promoted to chief strategic officer at National Inventors Hall of Fame, Inc. • Stephanie Michelle Rawlings-Roberts, of Worthington, Ohio, is assistant U.S. attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office. • David Allan Ziegler, Ph.D., of San Francisco, is an assistant professor of neurology at UCSF. He recently received a $7 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to support his research on cognitive neurotherapeutic approaches to reversing cognitive decline and preventing dementia in older adults. He was also lead author on a Perspective article commissioned and published by Nature Aging this year, entitled “Leveraging Technology to Personalize Cognitive Enhancement Methods in Aging.”

2000s 2000

Marriages: Hilary Allison Lowery-Hauser and Ashley Lowery-Hauser, Sept. 10, 2022.

Angelica Kristine Lemke, of Columbus, Ohio, is now a senior account coordinator at N. Wasserstrom & Sons in Columbus. Prior to this, she had completed a nine-month project coordinator internship with Cambium Assessment.


Births: Julia Gruber Arany and Michael Arany, a daughter, Roseanna (Rosie) Paige, March 2020. “She is adored,” writes Arany, “by big brother Avery and big sister Madeleine.”

2002 Syed Ali Husain, of Sindh, Pakistan, is a corporate and investment banker at Askari Bank Limited. • Kimberly Nelson Becher, M.D., of Clendenin, West Virginia, was featured in The New York Times in an article titled “A Rural Doctor Gave Her All. Then Her Heart Broke.”

2003 Rebecca Ann Glick , of Trenton, New Jersey, was nominated by the governor of New Jersey to be an administrative law judge. • Jessica Krisher Messer, of Columbus, Ohio, is a senior associate with Willis Towers Watson as of January 2022.


Births: Ricardo Quan and Clelia Giron , a daughter, Clelia Valentina Quan, Sept. 2, 2022. • Elizabeth Averbeck Storm and Ken Storm, a daughter, Skylar Grace Storm, July 2021.

Heather Jones Stafford, of Dresden, Ohio, is a teacher at Tri-Valley Local Schools. • Audra Beth Comes , of Columbus, Ohio, is a speech/language pathologist at Bexley City Schools. • Abigail Lee Myette, of Salem, Massachusetts, was recently promoted to vice president at Salem Five Bank. She leads the learning and development team and is responsible for onboarding and training more than 650 employees. In addition, she runs her own coaching business, Abby Lee Coaching, where she helps burnt-out women reclaim their lives and live with purpose and joy.

2006 Eliza Prendergast Byrnes , of Shaker Heights, Ohio, is a teacher at University School. • Amber Burgett Kramer, of St. Louis, Montana, recently accepted a position as the coordinator of curriculum and assessment at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Prior to this, Kramer was an associate professor of biology at Wittenberg University and had served as the director of general education for 10 years. She and her husband have three daughters, Rosie, Eloise, and Hattie. Kramer writes, “We are all excited to be able to cheer on the Cardinals at home games now!”

1995–2006 &

A long walk in the fight against cancer

Four Denison roommates reunited in October for 26.2 miles of memories, blisters, and hope.

Ever since sharing apartments at Denison in the mid-2000s, Julie Wilson ’06 and her college roommates have stuck together. You could say they’re teammates in this marathon called life — a metaphor that became a lot more literal when Julie and her late husband invited her friends to walk the Boston Marathon course to raise money for cancer research.

In 2013, on their first wedding anniversary, Julie Wilson and Travis Sauerwald traveled from their Cleveland-area home to Boston for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund Walk, a fundraiser in which participants walk the entire Boston Marathon course.

Avid hikers but not distance runners, the couple did it largely for the bragging rights: How many people can say they’ve completed the Boston Marathon?

They figured it was a one-and-done experience — until 2016, when Travis, a wildland firefighter and volunteer EMT who loved his cats and was fiercely protective of the environment, was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer called glioblastoma and given less than a year to live.

One night, Travis shook Julie awake and asked if they could do the Jimmy Fund Walk again and raise money for brain cancer research. They recruited a group of about 20 friends to join them and dubbed themselves Team Wolverine, so named because Travis emerged from his craniotomy believing he was Wolverine from the X-Men. (The scary hallucination lasted about a week, after which the character became something of a “cancer-fighting alter ego,” Julie says.)

Travis threw himself into marathon training and fundraising. The team more than doubled their $10,000 fundraising goal, and on a day when he was supposed to already be dead, Travis not only walked a full 26.2 miles

— in a kilt, no less — he also finished more than an hour ahead of his next teammate.

Among those teammates were June (Trimble) Torres ’06 and Krista (Reese) Lehde ’06, two of Julie’s roommates from her junior and senior years at Denison. As sophomores, rugby teammates June, Krista, and Kate Armbrust ’06 (who for years supported Team Wolverine financially before walking the marathon in 2022) shared an apartment. They invited Julie, June’s Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority sister, to join them for the next two school years.

In the decade-plus since graduation, the quartet has stayed close despite living in four different cities.

“They’re still my best friends,” Julie says. “When I went through my darkest days, they were there for me.”

Krista and June returned to Team Wolverine in 2018, this time pushing an ailing Travis in a wheelchair the whole way. After his death at age 45 in early 2019, the team honored his memory by returning to Boston that fall for another Jimmy Fund Walk. They kept it up virtually in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid.

On Oct. 2, 2022, they returned to Boston, now with Kate in tow — the first time all four roommates have reunited at the walk.

It’s not easy to walk a marathon. Even the preparation can be brutal. Case in point, Julie broke her ankle during a training hike just weeks before this year’s event. Instead of attempting the 2022 marathon on crutches, she greeted her teammates with signs and snacks every few miles. The other three Denisonians walked in lockstep at what June called turtle pace. Whereas one year the weather was so hot some walkers were treated for heat stroke, Krista says this time it was windy enough to chap her lips.

“It was like a small miracle that I finished,” Kate says. “But I did it.”

To date, Team Wolverine has raised almost $200,000 toward the fight against brain cancer, much of it earmarked for neuro-oncology expert Dr. Patrick Y. Wen’s research. June says that money — and this tradition — are an ideal monument to Travis and Julie’s marriage. “Their love was always founded on service,” she says, “and they brought their friends into it, too.”

From top: Krista Lehde ’06 with Travis Sauerwald; Julie Wilson, Krista Lehde, Kate Armbrust, and June Torres as seniors at Denison; Wilson, Lehde, Armbrust, and Torres at the finish line of the Boston Marathon course in 2022.

Class Notes 2009


& W

Xerxes Unvala ’09

Managing arts through a global pandemic

en we last spoke with Xerxes Unvala ’09 in 2014, he had just left the Kennedy Center to take a position as manager of programming and festivals at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Mumbai, the first multi-venue, multi-genre cultural center in South Asia.

It was a good match. Just three years into his career at the NCPA, Unvala assumed the mantle of general manager of the Symphony Orchestra of India, the nation’s only full-time professional orchestra, and manager of Western classical programming at the NCPA.

Unvala’s days mostly revolve around the planning and execution of 50-some events each year, ranging from small ensemble concerts to international tours with the entire 70-plus piece symphony orchestra. We chatted with him about how performance arts have adapted throughout the pandemic and the benefits of being open to new experiences.

Are audiences returning to live performances?

Habits have changed. Some people have gotten used to consuming their entertainment through screens at home. Our audiences have mostly, but not completely, returned. For example, concerts I would have booked as sellouts are now not guaranteed to be so. Like many sectors, we have to rethink how and why we do things.

The novelty of home entertainment may have worn off, but we have to find the balance of live performance with a digital presence. I’m a tech geek, but there is a sanctity of the arts and the community experience of sitting with people around you that cannot be replaced.

What’s next for India’s national symphony?

We are keenly focused on national touring, alongside our international touring plans. This can be challenging, as India is so big and diverse. Western classical music is relatively new in India, and there are not many venues that can support a full-size orchestra.

We also run a music school and are being creative and finding ways we can support music education in other parts of the country to help bring Western classical music into more prominence.

As you look back on your career, what advice would you give to college students?

When I entered Denison, I had no idea I would eventually end up in arts management. In fact, I was considering a business-related major. Then I took my first class in music, which led to a Vail internship, and I realized how much I enjoyed it.

So be open to new experiences, be open to changing your mind — things evolve. And recognize your experience will not be like anyone else’s. My brother Rohaan Unvala ’17 and I both went to Denison and had very different experiences, yet we both had similar outcomes. (Rohaan is now on the faculty at the Drama School Mumbai.)



Marriages: Christopher Lee Day and Janel Eppolito on Sept. 7, 2022.

Laura Richardson Bright , of Fort Myers, Florida, was elected to Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity’s grand council and will serve as vice president for 2022 -2024.

Births: Gregory Stephen Dellner and Jess Dellner, a son, Casey James, March 2022 • Nicole Perry Kurilchick and Justin Kurilchick, twins, Emilia Frances and Garrett Paul, July 8, 2021.

Chelsea Mikula Tomko , of Chesterland, Ohio, has been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2023 in the areas of commercial litigation and employee benefits (ERISA) Law. Tomko is one of 60 Tucker Ellis attorneys to be recognized by Best Lawyers this year.


Births: Read Powel Lanctot and Pete Lanctot , a son, Peter FitzSimons “Fitz” Lanctot, July 12, 2022. He joins big sisters Louise and Milly.

Jessie Elizabeth Kanelos Weiner, of Vincennes, Indiana, is an illustrator and author. She published The New Victory Garden 2023 Wall Calendar (Universe Books). She is also the co-author of the bestselling Rizzoli book Paris in Stride: An Insider’s Walking Guide.

2009 Ashley Beth Christopherson , of Anchorage, Alaska, is the special assistant to the commissioner of the department of health and social and works closely with leadership on policies and legislation. • Dustin Lee Meltzer, of Lebanon, New Hampshire, is associate director of marketing and communications and a film production teacher at Kimball Union Academy. • Kyler Jandl Queen, of Victoria, Minnesota, is now national director of marketing/ business development and partner at architecture and design firm BKV Group. • Caitlin Hays Schroering , of Charlotte, North Carolina, graduated with her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2021. She is now an assistant professor in the department of global studies at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.



Births: Michelle Kailey Snyder, a daughter, Madelyn Kailey Snyder, March 2021.

Stephanie Churchill Leuck , of Milford, Ohio, is an HR business partner at 84.51, a data science subsidiary of The Kroger Co. • Anne Elizabeth Ruffley, of Madison, Wisconsin, graduated in May 2022 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Master of Arts in Arts and

Creative Enterprise Leadership. She also started a new full-time job at the Madison Children’s Museum as a grants and corporate giving officer.

2011 Sophia K. Chen, of Chicago, is principal consultant at Daugherty Business Solutions.


Marriages: Mary “Rorie” Dean and Stephen McCarthy, Nov. 19, 2022. • Christina Marie Myers and Zachary Wake, June 25, 2022.

Meryl Marie Duff, of Jersey City, New Jersey, is a database analyst for global biometrics and data management at Pfizer. • Emma Dare Hazel , of Lincoln, Nebraska, is a graduate programs coordinator for the school of natural resources at University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Marriages: Anne Corbin Blackwell and Kevin Donahue ’10, July 9, 2022. • Kaitlin Hayes and Lindsay Dorrier III, June 3, 2022.


Births: Caleb Elias-Martz Bower and Victoria Bledsoe, a son, Frederick Byron Bower, in January 2022. The parents are back in their hometown near Anchorage, Alaska, where Bower is a stay-at-home dad and Bledsoe is a program manager for a tech company.

Ephraim Joshua Abocado , of Chicago, is senior coordinator of volunteer programs at the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. • Ben B. Chiewphasa, of New York City, is the social sciences and policy librarian at Columbia University. • Joel Christopher Elliott, of Rome, Georgia, is the defensive coordinator for the football program at Berry College. • Jane Katherine Frandsen, of St. Peter, Minnesota, is an assistant professor at Gustavus Adolphus College. • Natalie Renata Machicao, of New York City, is director of executive search, at Sheffield Haworth. • Raymond Joseph Marolt , of Arlington, Virginia, is an international relations specialist at the Department of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs. • Andrew Ryan Quinn, of Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, graduated with a Ph.D. and is working as a professor of computer science at University of California, Santa Cruz.


Marriages: Jeffrey Ross LoDuca and Serena Clavenna, Aug. 27, 2022. Many of LoDuca’s Denison friends and tennis teammates from 2011 through 2019 were in attendance. Kinga W. Magiera, of Chicago, is a senior finance manager at Insureon. • Kristine Anne Mallinson , of Columbia, Missouri, graduated with a Ph.D. in art history and archaeology from the University of Missouri in July 2022.

Class Notes

2007 – 2015



Where do





8% BOX





*Results from a totally informal and not at all scientific survey conducted on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

you keep your Denison diploma?*

Class Notes



Marriages: Aedin Brennan Rajput and Akshay Rajput , 2020. • Taylor Hawkins and Kevin Brinega , Sept. 10, 2022 — with about 45 Denison alumni in attendance, Hawkins writes. • Lucille Itzkoff and William Smith, September 2021.

Lauren Elizabeth Giovanoli of Charlottesville, North Carolina, is associate director for the Advisory Board.

• Madison Kristine Kavanaugh , of Pittsburgh, is a resident physician at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. • Meghan Elizabeth Powers , of Nashville, has been promoted to vice president of the Bliss Group and is leader of a specialty practice group focusing on the workplace industry. • Andrew Anthony Rich , of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, is a pulmonology clinical pharmacy specialist at Cleveland Clinic.


Marriages: Noah Sidney James Rogers and Alivia Tacheny ’18, June 26, 2022.

Philip John Benz , of Miami, is construction project manager at Twenty Two Group.


Marriages: Andrianna Deleah Peterson and Jerome Sheriff Jr., July 2, 2022.

Neal Patrick Ables , of Columbus, Ohio, is a catalog maintenance associate at Ohio State University. • Bailey Lyons Fitzgerald, of Columbus, Ohio, is a Ph.D. research assistant at Ohio State University. • Katherine Anne Foster, of Boston, is a sustainability specialist at NV5.

• Bennett Isaac Kushnick , of Chicago, is an assistant director of leadership annual giving at University of Chicago Law School. • Kelsey Lynn Schwimmer, of Hillsborough, New Jersey, is a teacher at Dunellen Public Schools. • Edwin Jeremy Torres , of New York City, is assistant residence director at the University of Vermont.


Marriages: Eva Maria Vivero and Charlie Maguire.

Katherine Elizabeth Voigt , of Chelsea, Michigan, is patron services manager at Purple Rose Theatre Company.

• Caleigh Reilly Dwyer, of New York City, is pursuing a master’s of public health in sociomedical sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

• Caileigh Heather Marshall , of Minneapolis, is a software engineer at 3M.


2020 Andrew Paul Campo, of Arlington, Virginia, is a data analyst at INADEV. • Julia Elizabeth Eltringham,

of Palatine, Illinois, is a special ed teaching assistant at South Middle School. • Haley Williams Gullquist , of Salt Lake City, is a senior research analyst at Ipsos.

• Abhijeet Anil Henry, of Columbus, Ohio, is a hematology research assistant at Ohio State University.

• Arya Isabella Kirkhope , of Arlington, Virginia, is a junior commercial real estate underwriter at National Cooperative Bank. • Jacquelyn Diane Kurkjian , of Wilmington, North Carolina, is graduate area coordinator at Vanderbilt University. • Sydney Marie Lerda , of Boston, is associate consultant at C Space. • Michaela Morrison, of Arlington, Virginia, is operations lead and sports performance lead at Beyond Sports.

2021 Nil Baglar , of New York City, is a data strategist at Grey Global. • Nina Raphaella Cosdon , of Highland Park, New Jersey, is associate editor at MJH Life Sciences-Contagion. • Madelyn Kay Dirrim , of Lakewood, Ohio, is a graduate student at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. • Christian Franco, of Chicago, is a government services training associate at the Center for Tech and Civic Life. • Crystal Gutierrez , of Granville, Ohio, is program coordinator for LGBTQ Initiatives at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. • Yuliya Klishch , of Glenview, Illinois, is a project support associate at Thermo Fisher Scientific. • Bridget Grace Koerwitz , of Akron, Ohio, is site development manager at MIM Software. • Joanne Lee , of Columbus, Ohio, is an analyst at JPMorgan Chase. • Emily Kristina Muckle , of South Euclid, Ohio, is a student at Ross University School of Medicine, Barbados.

2022 Rachel Duvall , of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, is a legal assistant at Levy & Associates, LLC. • Eiliana Jolee Walsh Wright , of Tipp City, Ohio, is overseeing the Summit County government, education, business, and real estate beats at the Summit Daily News, a newspaper in Summit County, Colorado.



Former faculty

David Andrew Niwa , 58, of Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 1, 2022. A music instructor and gifted performer, he appeared with such ensembles as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony, and the Symphony Orchestra of the Curtis Institute. He is survived by his wife, Mariko Kaneda-Niwa, his cousin, Larry Niwa, his nephew, Matthew Powel, and many other relatives.

Robert P. Raker, 88, of Granville, Ohio, July 29, 2022. Raker was a longtime Licking County coroner as well as an accomplished bassoonist and adjunct music professor at Denison. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Kathryn A. Raker; sons and daughters-in-law, Robert Raker Jr. (Beverly) and Keith Raker (Laurel); grandchildren, Oliver, Zachary, Kelissah, Leemah, Chase, Remi, and Abri; and sister, Rebecca Turner.

Former staff

Arline K. Burgie, 79, of Westerville, Ohio, Aug. 2, 2022. Burgie worked at Denison for 15 years in what is now known as the Center for Global Programs. Survived by her husband of nearly 56 years, Richard Ray Burgie; her son, Robert (Debbie); her daughters, Leslie Ann Burgie and Marcy Terry (PJ); and several grandchildren.

Hong Chau , 85, of Montebello, California, Aug. 30, 2022. A former building services assistant, Chau worked at Denison from 1982 until his retirement in 1991.

David Cozad , 69, of Hebron, Ohio, Jan. 29, 2022. Cozad was a former building services assistant at Denison. Preceded in death by his parents, Clarence Cozad and LaDonna Floyd, and brother, Michael Floyd. He is survived by his wife of almost 48 years, Shirley Wallace Cozad; son, Jonathan Cozad (Danielle); daughter, Rachel Price; several grandchildren and greatgrandchildren; and sister, Rhonda Dillon (Steve).

The Very Rev. Michael G. Gribble , 72, of Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 3, 2022. Gribble, a former Denison chaplain known affectionately as “Father Mike,” is survived by his sisters, Susie K. Gribble and Rose M. McEntire (Greg); aunt, Maryann Kane; and many cousins, friends, and parishioners.

M. Jane King, 80, of Granville, Ohio, June 6, 2022. King retired from the Denison University Education Department after more than 25 years as a mentor and advocate for teachers in training. King was preceded in death by her parents and brothers, Arthur, Thomas, and William; and sister Therese. Surviving are her husband of 55 years, Paul G. King; sons and daughters-in-law, Gregory King (Stacey), Bryan King (Kelly), and Jeremy King (Susan); grandchildren, Elisa, Coleman, Liam, Brenna, Erin, and J.B.; twin sister, Jeanne McDermott (Philip); sisters-inlaw, Patricia Zammikiel and Mary Zammikiel; and many nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews.

Dena L. Speranza, 61, of Westerville, Ohio, Sept. 22, 2022. Speranza was chief information officer at Denison from 2015 to 2021. She was preceded in death by her father, James Orth, and is survived by her husband of 34 years, Isaiah; mother, Penny Orth Merdeath (Dewey); sisters, Julia Orth Vogel (Kurt), Keri Orth Rammelsberg (Joe); sisters-in-law, Darlene Slifco (Paul) and Maura Bernarding (Pete); 11 nieces and nephews; and 14 grandnieces and nephews.

Emma Lou Wygle, 86, of Newark, Ohio, June 9, 2022. Wygle retired from Denison, where she was a secretary in the alumni office. She was preceded in death by her husband, Roland L. “Butch” Wygle; granddaughter Kimmy LeFever; brothers Sydney and John Lantz; son-in-law, Jerry Rhoades; and brother-in-law, William Holtzclaw. Surviving are her children and their spouses, Michael and Vicky Wygle, Mark and Candy Wygle, Pamela Rhoades, and Susan Wygle; siblings, Jim Lantz (Maxine), Jane Davis, and Judith Holtzclaw; eight grandchildren; 15 great grandchildren; and special friend and adopted family member, Pam Dunn.


James N. Dresser, 85, of Alexandria, Virginia, April 10, 2022.

Elizabeth B. Gibbons , 91, of Shrewsbury, New Jersey, Aug. 19, 2022. Preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, David, and her grandson Jacob GibbonsMorales. She is survived by her daughter, Laura; three sons, Ken, Phil, and Alan; and five grandchildren.

Roxana Markham Harper, 85, of Seattle, Oct. 28, 2020. Preceded in death by Gordon, her husband of 56 years. She is survived by her three children: Geoffrey (Kayla), Stuart (Christine), and Elena, as well as eight grandchildren.



1943 Louis e Koehl Monson , 99, of Lakewood, Ohio, April 19, 2021. Preceded in death by her husband, John Dean Monson ’43, and daughter Leslie Crider (Michael). Survived by children Marjorie Harris (Bruce) and John (Virginia); 14 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

John Charles Wright , 97, of Sistersville, West Virginia, June 9, 2022. At Denison, he was a proud member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He played football briefly for the Big Red under head coach Woody Hayes. He is preceded in death by his wife, Becky; and his only brother, Robert. He is survived by his three children and their spouses; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.


Jacqu elin Snyder Pillsbury, 95, of Sarasota, Florida, Sept. 8, 2022. Preceded in death by grandchild Jonas Pillsbury; and great-grandchild Erika Diercks; she is survived by her children, William Pillsbury, Michael (Jane), Leslie Pedley (Russell), Matthew (Irene), and Amy Brewer (Scott); 10 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.


Thoma s Reeves Gentry , 99, of Akron, Ohio, Aug. 14, 2022. Preceded in death by his wife, Geraldine; granddaughters Holly Grant and Heather Herbst, and dear friend Devendra Mehta. He is survived by his children, Tom “Chip” Gentry Jr., Robin Seeley (Jim), Bill Gentry (Erica), and Julie Otto (Danny); grandchildren Jimmy Seeley, Callie Channell, Nathan Otto, Erin Gentry, Colin Gentry, Kaitlin Roberts, Clayton Otto, Hannah Palmer, and Alexa Begley; and numerous great- and great-great-grandchildren.

1949 Janet Miesse Englehart , 95, of Murrysville, Pennsylvania, Sept. 14, 2022. Preceded in death by her husband, Robert L. Englehart. Survived by her two sons, Robert Englehart and William Englehart (Sandie), and three grandchildren.


Kenne th H. Chard , 96, of Sarasota, Florida, Aug. 19, 2022. Preceded in death by sisters Florence Julia Walker and Phyllis Ann Chard Johnson. He is survived by sister Jean Chard Brandt.

Horac e Burton Edwards , 96, of Topeka, Kansas, March 29, 2022. He is survived by his wife, Fran; four children, Adrienne, Paul, Toussaint, and Michael; stepchildren, Scott, Brian, and Jeffrey; 11 grandchildren; and former wife, Patsy Carter.

Helen Mural Shipka , 98, of Valley City, Ohio, Feb. 26, 2022. Preceded in death by her husband, Walter Shipka, she is survived by her daughters, Kathy Rotundo, Susan Tharp (Gary), and Doria Shipka; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Anne Rossel Quadrano, 95, of Newark, Ohio, June 17, 2022, just 12 days before her 96th birthday. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dominic Quadrano; her son, Doug; her brother, William Rossel; and her sister, Martha Rossel Wilson. At Denison, Quadrano was a member of the Women’s Athletic Association, and played on the field hockey team. She was also a member of the Raccoon Ramblers, a club responsible for the Fall Barn Dance, the Winter Carnival, and the spring PowPow. In her later years she was assisted by her niece, Wendy Wilson ’78 .

Jane Scott Reed , 95, of Townshend, Vermont, July 4, 2022. Preceded in death by her husband and only sister, Christine Scott Shelhart. She is survived by two daughters, Nan Reed Mann and Susan Rowell (Robert); three grandchildren, Louisa-Marie Mann, Ali Nemeti (Nick), Flint Rowell (Audrey Tin Latt); two great-grandchildren, Eve Louisa Nemeti and William Nathan Rowell; and several nieces and nephews.


Alice Orwig Dupler, 97, of Dearborn, Michigan, July 25, 2022. At Denison, Dupler met the love of her life, Gerald Eugene Dupler ’46. She was active in her sorority, Alpha Phi, for much of her life. She is survived by four children, Diana McIntire (Stephen), Jeffrey Dupler, Virginia Nuffer (Jim), and Barbara Murray (Dan); five grandchildren, Emily Hawks, Bradley Nuffer, Ryan Nuffer, Patrick Murray, and Charles Murray; and eight great-grandchildren.

Rosco e “Ross” Vernon Stuber , 94, of Boulder, Colorado, May 31, 2022. At Denison, Roscoe met his future wife, Barbara “Darbi” Drew ’50. They married while he was in medical school at Columbia School of Physicians and Surgeons. He is survived by two sisters, Lois Stuber Spitzer and Sylvia Stuber Heap; his children, Margaret, Libby, Paul, and Edith Stuber; their spouses, Larry Gail, Ed Pomponi, Cheryl Brummel, and Daran Wallman; and his grandchildren, Emma and Benjamin Gail and Beth and Evan Stuber.

Maria n Peirce Todd , 94, of Milwaukee, May 22, 2022. At Denison, she met her husband of 62 years, Rowland


Todd ’49. Preceded in death by her husband and her two brothers. She is survived by her children, Judy Todd Campbell, Gary Todd, and Brian Todd; two grandchildren, Elissa Todd and Jacob Todd; and one great-granddaughter, Amara Todd.

preceded in death by her grandson Thomas. Survivors include her brother, Alan (Barbara); children, Donald (Brenda), Peter (Suzie), and Thomas (Marcy); several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and her beloved Bernedoodle, Stewart.


Patri cia Hayford Coen , 94, of Mount Pleasant, Michigan, June 11, 2022. Survived by her children, Leigh Hayford Coen, Alban “Sandy” Coen, and Christopher Bryant Coen; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Maryhelen Lynn Porter, 95, of Port Charlotte, Florida, July 20, 2022. Member of Chi Omega sorority. Preceded in death by husband, William G. Heim, and son, Philip Allan Heim. She is survived by two daughters, Cynthia Lynn Zeitz (Gary) and Martha Kay Heim; six grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.


Judit h Reynolds Brown , 92, of Seattle, March 31, 2022.

John Charles King , 93, of Pittsburgh, May 31, 2022. Preceded in death by wife, Mary Hope Powell. He is survived by children, Kristi Karsh and Mike King (Pam), as well as several grandchildren and a greatgrandchild.

Elisabeth Brown McConnell , 89, of Quincy, Illinois, Jan. 2, 2020. Preceded in death by husband, Wiley N. McConnell; sister Sarama Schnack; and three greatgrandchildren. Survivors include her son, Charles Edwin McConnell (Melissa); four grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; sister Mary Brown Cox; and several nieces and nephews.

Joyce Goodwin Warner, 92, of Carmel, Indiana, May 30, 2022. Preceded in death by husband of 45 years, Frank Warner; her brother, Glenn S. Goodwin; and her stepson, Craig Warner. She is survived by her five children, Allison Davis (Nicholas), Caryl Lester, Gayle Warner, Clint Warner, and Glenn Warner (Margaret); nine grandchildren; a step-grandson; and 10 greatgrandchildren.


Marjo rie “Maggie” Harbaugh Bennett , 90, of Bellevue, Washington, March 26, 2022. Bennett was raised in Hudson, Ohio, and at age 14 bought a 25-cent raffle ticket at the fair, writing in the prize’s dust: “Marjorie owns this car.” She won it, and the sale financed her first trip to Europe. At Denison, she purchased an autoharp and mountain dulcimer. At age 20, she traveled by ship to Paris to study at Sorbonne University. Bennett married her college sweetheart, Paul Bennett ’53 , in 1956. (They later divorced. Paul once said, “I’d marry you again if you learned how to cook.” She didn’t.) Preceded in death by her brothers and her dear friend Harry Wiant. She is survived by her sister, Sylvia Rountree; children, Robin Bennett (Scott), Kristin Bennett (Scott), and Paul Bennett (Shauna); and several grandchildren.


John Woods Fitton , 92, of Cincinnati, Aug. 24, 2022. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta and served in the U.S. Navy, where he was stationed in Panama. Survived by his wife of 53 years, Tamara Ball Fitton; his sons, Jay (Sheila) and Michael (Sallie); daughter, Jane; and grandchildren, William, Catherine, Tanner, and Paige.

Lois Preucil Habbe, 92, of Missoula, Montana, Oct. 4, 2022. At Denison, she met her future husband, Donald Habbe ’52 , whom she was preceded by in death. Also

Helen Nagel Fee , 92, of Pompano Beach, Florida, July 18, 2022. Fee was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. Preceded in death by her sister, Barbara Francis Kull ’50. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Edward “Ham” Hamilton Fee; four children, David (Terry), Jeff (Michele), Elizabeth (Todd) and Michael (Lana); 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Barba ra Ream King , 91, of Morristown, New Jersey, May 10, 2022. Preceded in death by her husband, Elmer King, she is survived by her son, David, and daughter, Sharon; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren, a brother; two sisters; and several nieces and nephews.

Virgi nia Baker McLoughlin , 91, of Shelburne, Vermont, Aug. 18, 2022. McLoughlin studied at Sorbonne University in Paris, where she was swept off her feet by her future husband, Samuel McLoughlin, riding in her beau’s sidecar as the two toured Europe on motorcycle. She is survived by her daughter, Sharon McLoughlin Riley; son, Geoffrey Lee McLoughlin (Wendy); granddaughters, Emily Baker Riley and Laura Stevens Riley; her older sister, Barbara Jean Baker; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Carleton Harlan Murray, 93, of Hudson, Ohio, Sept. 9, 2022. Murray played football and baseball at Denison. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Donald and John, and is survived by his wife, Judith Whaley Murray ’54; children, Margaret Murray-Briar (Pete), Sarah Murray, Carl Murray (Kay), and Rob Murray (Susan); and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.




John Wallace Stephen, 91, of Pittsburgh, Aug. 19, 2022. At Denison, Stephen focused on geography and history, feeding a passion for maps and travel. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Mary Jean Morris Stephen; children, Karen, Richard (Julie), and John III (Jennifer Thoma); four grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

1954 Chester William Christensen, 89, of Akron, Ohio, July 25, 2020.

Janet Groth Smith , 90, of Cleveland, June 2, 2022. Smith was preceded in death by her sister, Betty Diebold, and her husband, William Tousley Smith. She is survived by her children, Stacy Quinn, Marcie Barker (Ali), and Christy Soldatis (Jeffery); six grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and several nieces and nephews, extended family, and friends.

Ann Woods Taylor , 90, of Fairfax, Vermont, June 3, 2022. Taylor is survived by her daughter, Katherine Penberthy, and son, Kevin Penberthy; grandchildren, Jasmine, Lily, and Isabel Penberthy; sisters, Judy Gibeaut and Sibby Neff; and many relatives and friends.

Dale Eugene Wolfe , 90, of Roxbury, Connecticut, Aug. 1, 2022. Wolfe, the first person in his family to attend college, was on the football team, a member of Beta Theta Pi, and president of the Christian Emphasis program. He joined the Marines after college, earning the rank of lieutenant and serving 14 months in Okinawa, Japan. He was preceded in death by his wife, Susan Miles Wolfe ’54 , and his sister, Erma Judy. Wolfe is survived by his three children and their spouses, Beth Bull (Eddie), David Wolfe (Cathy), and Kathy Dumont (Michael); four grandchildren; and two step-grandchildren.

Virgi nia Lee Wright , 89, of Corning, New York, June 22, 2022, two days before her 90th birthday. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jerry E. Wright, and is survived by her children, Peter Wright (Stacey), Kathryn Gerwig (Daniel), and Alison Wright-Merkl; her grandchildren, Kimberly Gerwig, Elizabeth Gerwig, and Natalea Wright; brother, John Gibson (Nora Mae); sister, Joyce Schmoll (William); and many nieces, nephews and friends.

Preceded in death by her husband, Robert James “Bob” Campbell ’53, and her sister, Mary Louise Tallberg. She is survived by her children, Mary Brandon Campbell and James Hubbard Campbell (Jacquelyn); grandchildren, Scott, Jack, Morgan, Collin, and Catherine; and brother-in-law, Richard Campbell.

M. Roxanne Sparr Harrison, 89, of Alpha, Ohio, June 22, 2022. Harrison was preceded in death by her sister, Deanne Miller, and her daughter, Ginger Harrison. She is survived by her children, Leeanne Stookey (Jay), Jack Harrison, and Lesli Fitzpatrick (David); several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.

Lynda Jane Sciortino, 88, of Youngstown, Ohio, Aug. 25, 2022. She was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Charles O. Smith, her second husband, Vin cent J. “Sonny” Sciortino, and great-grandson, Zachary Paradise. Sciortino is survived by her daughters, Laurie Babcock (Charles), Gwen Spitz (Russell), and Marty Smith (Paul Sauline); sister, Judy Strawderman (Jack); and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Nancy Barton Wise , 87, of Amherst, Massachusetts, Oct. 6, 2021. Phi Beta Kappa at Denison. Preceded in death by her older sister, Barbara, and her younger brother, Doug. She is survived by her husband, Donald Underkofler Wise; two sons, Barton Lahn Wise and Kurt Cuillin Wise, and their families; and many cherished pets, including dogs, Pumpernickel, Snickerdoodle, Woofy Woofy Wise, and Nutmeg; and cats, Scruffy and Sourpuss.


Sally Clark Byers , 88, of Augusta, Georgia, Sept. 6, 2022. She is survived by her husband of 63 years, Donald Byers; her sons, Scott and Todd; her daughter-in-law, Donna; and her grandsons, Brandon and Cameron.

Frances Smith Keleher, 88, of Englewood, Colorado, May 19, 2022. Preceded in death by her husband, Patrick Keleher ’58.


Rober t Jeffrey Barth, 91, of Eugene, Oregon, June 13, 2022. He is preceded in death by his daughter, Jennifer, and is survived by his children, Deborah (Lloyd), Allison (James), and Jeffrey (Carrie); their mother, Diane; and seven grandchildren.

Emily Lingelbach Campbell , 89, of St. Louis, Dec. 10, 2021. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma.

Mary Ellen McConnell Landschulz , 88, of Granville, Ohio, Sept. 27, 2022. Landschulz was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, Paul Landschulz, and two grandchildren. She is survived by her children and their spouses, Sue Ellen Kern (Frank), Jayni Timmons (Bob); Ann Simpson (Wes); Mark and Kathy McCarty Landschulz; Julie McLaren (Ryan); and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Nancy Leonard MacEwen , 84, of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Nov. 6, 2018. She was a member of Kappa


Terrance Dean


Terrance Dean, a gifted facilitator who linked people with opportunities and raised awareness of social injustices, died Aug. 11, 2022 at age 53.

An assistant professor of Black studies at Denison since 2019, Dean made a significant impact in a short time span with his passionate approach to activism and relationship building. He challenged students and friends alike to reach their potential in a firm yet empathetic manner.

Through his experiences as an MTV executive, author, journalist, and social commentator, Dean built a vast network of contacts, helping students find internships and employment.

“Terrance connected students to opportunities,” said Toni King, a professor of Black studies and women’s and gender studies and the director of the Center for Black Studies. “He was generous with his networking.”

Dean joined the Columbus Dispatch editorial board in 2020 and coordinated a series of guest columns from the Black community after the death of George Floyd. He also created a podcast series, In Black and White, with co-host Scot Kirk, and opened his home to foster care children through programs that provide a respite for foster parents who might need a break from the daily stresses of parenting or who have obligations that might prevent them from including their child.

“Terrance put his hand up for so many things, I don’t know where he found the time to do them all,” said Alan Miller, a visiting instructor in journalism and a former Dispatch executive editor. “He was constantly getting involved with projects.”

Miller added that Dean, a Detroit native, thrived at illuminating “uncomfortable truths” in society. A prolific writer, he explored his own sexuality in books such as Hiding in Hip Hop and Straight From Your Gay Best Friend.

Dean earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from Fisk University in Nashville before moving to New York in the early 1990s. He worked in the

entertainment industry, including a stint with MTV Networks, where he helped produce award shows.

Returning to college, Dean attained two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in religion and African American diaspora studies. Asked about his wide range of endeavors and interests, Dean told Kirk, a Dispatch web producer, “I’m here for whatever the universe has in store.”

“Terrance believed in cultivating opportunities,” Kirk said. “He was not afraid to fail, and he refused to settle.”

Dean wanted those around him to develop a similar attitude. Kirk recalls the Denison professor admonishing him for making excuses for not pursuing his long-term goals. “He was very honest and direct,” Kirk said. “He recognized things in people that they didn’t see in themselves, and he was unapologetic in pointing them out.”

Marcus Nowling ’23 considered Dean a mentor and a motivator, someone who never stopped pushing him to improve.

Nowling served as a research assistant in the university’s William Payne Innovation Lab for Racial, Social, Political, and Communal Sustainability. Started by Dean, the lab worked to preserve the heritage of Allensworth, the first Black colony in California, which was co-founded by Payne, a 1906 Denison graduate.

Accompanying Dean on two trips to Allensworth last school year, Nowling wrote a story on the experience for The Reporting Project, the nonprofit news organization of Denison's journalism program. The student also spoke at Dean’s on-campus remembrance in September despite his aversion to public speaking.

“I felt like I needed to do it and that Dr. Dean would have wanted me to do it,” Nowling said. “I wanted to show the impact he had on me as a Black man. He shaped my personality, and he connected me to so many people.”





Emeritus professor John Kessler, who taught German language and literature to students and lessons in perseverance to all who saw him rally from a devastating mid-life stroke, died Oct. 19, 2022, at age 81.

Kessler immersed himself in German culture, developing a knowledge of its gifted writers, a love of its famous musical composers, and a taste for its legendary beer. After teaching mathematics to middle school students in suburban Cleveland, Kessler shifted his educational focus to foreign language, attending the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany, and earning his master’s and Ph.D. in German from the University of Texas at Austin.

Whether he spotlighted a verse from a Thomas Mann novel or a movement from a Ludwig van Beethoven sonata, he brought passion and enthusiasm to his classrooms. Kessler taught at Denison from 1969 to 2006.

“I was the first person in my family to go to college, and I put a lot of pressure on myself academically,” says Michael Novak ’72, one of Kessler’s students. “He showed me the difference between learning to get As and learning for learning’s sake, and the joyful companionship this could bring between teacher and student.”

Kessler’s influence motivated Novak to become a professor, teaching history for 40 years at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“I learned the power of kindness from ‘Herr Kessler,’” Novak says. “College students are vulnerable learners in my experience — even the ones who don’t seem to fit that profile. He was such a wonderful combination of intellectual brilliance, modesty, and kindness.”

Kessler never lost those traits despite suffering a massive stroke at age 38 that paralyzed portions of his body’s left side. He dealt with the debilitating effects of the stroke for more than

40 years, losing use of his left hand.

But the former track and field athlete at Ohio Wesleyan University didn’t allow the traumatic event to stop him from participating in the activities he enjoyed, says his son, David Kessler.

He traveled abroad frequently with his wife, Eloise DeZwarte. He continued to play tennis, squash, and racquetball. He rode his bike around Granville with a custom braking system equipped on the right side of the handlebars and served as a docent with the Granville Historical Society Museum.

“Never once did I hear him say, ‘I wish I still had the use of both hands,’” says his daughter, Mary Clare Kessler. “He tried his best to pick up where he left off before the stroke.”

Kessler adored music, everything from Wagner to Willie Nelson, and sang with his daughter in the Denison Concert Choir. He also enjoyed opera. According to family legend, Kessler traveled to Germany and purchased standing-roomonly tickets to a performance of Wagner’s Ring Cycle , which can run 15 hours and is sometimes spread over four nights.

“He responded to music even as he was dying,” Mary Clare says. “When he heard songs that he recognized, you saw the lights turn on.”

Kessler is survived by his wife, a son and daughter from his first marriage, a granddaughter, and two stepsons.


Kappa Gamma sorority. Survivors include her husband, John MacEwen; son, John R. MacEwen; daughter, Heather Waliters; and three grandchildren.

Patri cia “Pat” Truman McClelland , 87, of West Glacier, Montana, July 15, 2022. McClelland’s father, Dr. Harry V. Truman, was a botany professor at Denison. She is survived by her husband, B. Riley McClelland; five children, Mary Teresa, Kevin, Jane, Kerry, and Terence; six grandchildren; and three greatgrandchildren.

Patricia Ann Ott , 87, of Lake Worth, Florida, Jan. 1, 2021. Preceded in death by her husband, David Ott. She is survived by her children, Susan Ott Rodberg (Eric) and Karl Ott (Debra); and grandchildren, Kelsey Lin, David Ott and Karl Rodberg.

Donal d Melvin Pattison , 88, of Chesterland, Ohio, June 22, 2022. At Denison, he played football, ran track, and was a proud member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He was preceded in death by his wife, Patty, and his brother, Fred. Pattison is survived by his wife, Connie Perotti, his children, Catherine Piwinski, Laurie Kowalski (Jim), Don (Colette), and Steve (Kelly); Perotti’s children, Tom (Laura), Ned (Margi), Tim, Priscilla (Ab); 10 grandchildren; and three greatgrandchildren.

Jean Smart Siddall , 88, of Monroe, Ohio, July 12, 2022. She was preceded in death by her brother, Paul Milton Smart, and sister Phyliss Smart Hackett. She is survived by her husband of 65 years, the Rev. George Thomas Siddall Jr.; her twin sister, June Kloes; three children, George Thomas Siddall III (Lisa Jennings), Laura June Gallagher (Rick Wiegand), and Timothy Paul Siddall (Leigh Ann); and five grandchildren.

Shirley, and his sister Betty. He is survived by his sister Sandra; his four children, Cary, Tracy, Tripper, and Jeff ’84; and seven grandchildren and five greatgrandchildren who lovingly called him “Dah” or “Gramcracker.”

Franc es Knapp Roberts , 86, of Carmel, Indiana, Feb. 15, 2022. Preceded in death by her sisters, Leslie Jean Fortiner ’39, Elsie Jane Mayes, Marjorie Ann Lutz, and Peggy DeHaan Moyle. Roberts is survived by her husband of 65 years, Jack Richard Roberts; her three children, Roxanne Roberts Bush, Jack Richard Roberts Jr., and Roben Roberts Trout (David); five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Cynth ia Baldwin Robertson , 87, of Indianapolis, Oct. 9, 2022. Robertson was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Edwin Robertson ’56 , and sisters, Filis Coit, Beverly Baldwin, and Alice Cederquist. She is survived by her daughters, Rebecca Moore ’82 (Michael) and Pamela Robertson (James Bolton); grandchildren, Abe Moore (Deborah Celizic), Alys Moore (Luke Mahrenholz), Griffin Moore (Savannah Provine), Spencer Moore (Natalie), Grant Bolton, and Lindsay Tunny (Josh); and several greatgrandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

Willi am Wheeler Sadd , 87,of Fort Myers, Florida, July 17, 2022. Preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Linnea Paulson Sadd. He is survived by his daughters, Juliet Sadd Wiehe (Stephen) and Karen Sadd Spence (Robert), and grandchildren, Andrew and Stephanie Wiehe.

Frank W. Schreiner, 87, of Littleton, Colorado, June 17, 2022.


Jane Botsford Corrie , 87, of Southport, North Carolina, July 15, 2022. She was preceded in death by her brother, Daniel. Corrie is survived by her husband of 65 years, Dr. Bruce Corrie ’57; daughters, Linda Hoke (Alan) and Bonnie Estes (Joe); six grandchildren; two greatgrandchildren; and five nieces.

David Lane Halteman, 87, of Columbus, Ohio, August 28, 2022. He was preceded in death by one sister, Susan Halteman. Halteman is survived by his wife of 60 years, Marilyn J. Kitchen; three children, Becky Halteman, Mike Halteman (Janis), Susan Wilker (Gerald); five grandchildren; and two brothers, John Halteman (Marsha), and Steve Halteman (Chery).

Walter Nadzak Jr., 86, of Charleston, South Carolina, March 18, 2022. Preceded in death by his wife of 62 years,

William Kirby Smith, 76, of Phoenix, Jan. 1, 2012. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Margaret; daughters, Martha Smith (Steve Robinson) and Ellen Brennan (David); grandsons, Mitchell and Nicholas Brennan; brother, David W. Smith (Kathryn); and several nieces and nephews.

William H. Wagner, 87, of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, Oct. 22, 2022. At Denison, he played four years of varsity football and was a member of the Beta Theta Pi. Over the last 30 years, he attended reunions with his fraternity brothers all over the United States. He was preceded in death by his son, William H. Wagner, III, and son-in-law, Michael Wright. In addition to Sharon O’Donnell Wagner, his wife of 65 years, Wagner is survived by his daughter, Kelly Wright; his sister, Carolyn MacIntosh; brother-in-law, Terry O’Donnell (Judy); and several nieces and nephews.






Georg e A. Gescheider , 85, of Cazenovia, New York, June 19, 2022. He is survived by his four children, Mary Post (Norman), Margaret Gescheider, Olivia Gescheider, and George Gescheider Jr.; a grandson, Asher Lee Post; his sister, Anita G. Stubblebine; four nephews, David (Alana), Robert (Annie), James, Micah Stubblebine (Millie Rose); and his favorite cousin, Emilie Kaden (Nancy).

Lisa Logan Herman, 85, of Prescott, Arizona, Feb. 14, 2022. She was a member of the Chi Omega sorority. Preceded in death by her husband, James Russell “Russ” Herman Jr., she is survived by her brother, John Logan ’66; three daughters, Linda Hunyar (Steve), Amy Lind (Jim), and Darcy Alvarado (Vic); six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. She had just celebrated her 85th birthday with her family flying in from all over the country — as her son-in-law said, “God just wanted his valentine.”

Ann A llison Johnson , 86, of Mt. Airy, Maryland, May 31, 2022. She is survived by her brother, Richard Allison (Marcia); her children, Kathie Borghans (Dries) and Beth Kuby (Kevin); and her grandchildren, Luc, Pieter, Quinn, Courtney, and Campbell.

David A. Schweig , 86, of Oak Park, Illinois, June 4, 2022. He is survived by his wife, Cynthia; his daughters, Jessica Schweig, Leslie Bauer, and Melinda Schweig; his stepchildren, Julia Harris-McCline and Chris Harris; his grandchildren, Carmelo Harris, JaMya McCline, and Jamall McCline; and several nieces and nephews.

U.S. Army after graduating from Denison. Surviving is his wife Martha “Marty” Popp Carnahan.

Sam E . Kinney, 83, of Miami, Aug. 29, 2022. He was preceded in death by his wife of almost 60 years, Sally Eckert Kinney ’62, and his brother, Charles E. Kinney Jr. He’s survived by sons, Sam E. Kinney Jr. (Winifred) and William C. Kinney Sr. (Bridgid); grandchildren, Sam Emerson Kinney III, Matthew Neville Kinney, John Barry Kinney, William Charles Kinney Jr., and Sarah Ruth Kinney; step-grandchildren, Joseph M. Fuster, Alexander K. Fuster, Maximillian J. Fuster, and Helen K. Miller; and cousins, Arthur Pape, Janet Pape Pilarowski, Taylor Pape, James Pape, Kate Shockey Lafrance, and Terry Shockey.

Diane Rosebraugh Klein, 84, of Head Waters, Virginia, June 13, 2022. Klein died at home, surrounded by her family and her three dear canine companions, Max, Buddy, and Louie. She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Paul Klein, and her sister, Cheryl Burmeister. She is survived by her daughter, Lisa; three granddaughters, Caterina, Alexandra, and Elisabeth; two grandsons-in-law, Robert and Travis; four greatgrandsons; her sister-in-law, Joan; her brother-in-law, Roger; and many other family members and friends.

Ellen Ebert Stitt , 84, of Apalachicola, Florida, May 28, 2022. She is survived by her husband, Myron Stitt; daughter, Laura Valendza; son, Jamie Douglas; and sister-in-law, Martha Stitt.


Rober t Ervin Barney, 84, of Muncie, Indiana, July 15, 2022. Barney served in the U.S. Navy after graduating from Denison. Preceded in death by Barrie, his wife of 59 years, and a brother, Ross Barney. Survivors include his son, Robert Barney Jr. (Michelle); his daughter, Barbara Paschal (Mark); brother Roger Barney; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.


Suzan ne Roberts , 85, of Venice, California, Aug. 2, 2022. Survivors include her children, Sean and Shannon, and many special “bonus” children.

Sandr a Hawkey Scatterday, 84, of Honeoye Falls, New York, Sept. 9, 2022. She is survived by her husband, Dr. James (Jim) Ware Scatterday ’57; her sister-in-law, Jane Scatterday Papin; and many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, and even greatgreat-nieces and nephews.

Dean E. Curl , 85, of Port Charlotte, Florida, Sept. 2, 2022. He was preceded in death by his wife of 41 years, Carol; his son, Bradley; and his sister, Jo Anne Forbes. He is survived by his daughter, Dr. Cynthia Curl, and his brothers, Kent Curl and Dr. Franklin Curl.

Charles Spencer Rogers, 82, of Brattleboro, Vermont, June 8, 2022. Throughout his life, Rogers was blessed with wonderful canine friends: Heidi, Snoochie, Gretchen, Tyrone, and Ginger. He had dreams of seeing his canine family members at the end of his life. Survived by his brother, William B. Rogers (Linda); nephews, David, John, Peter, Tom, and their children; cousins, and a special new addition to the family: Morey and his family.

1962 Howard Jeffrey Bray, 81, of Airmont, New York, May 7, 2022. He was a social member of Delta Upsilon. He is survived by his wife, Margaret (Meg) Light Bray ’61; a daughter, Wendy Hock; a granddaughter; and four brothers.


David H. Carnahan , 89, Mayville, New York, Aug. 13, 2022. He was a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity and served in the

Sandr a J. Hoefflinger, 81, of Mentor, Ohio, May 2, 2022. She is survived by her children, Tod Nichols and


Tony J. Lisska


Emeritus Professor Tony J. Lisska, who ascended to prominence in academia without losing his blue-collar roots, died Sept. 18, 2022, at 82.

Lisska spent 52 years as a member of Denison’s faculty, chairing the philosophy department three times, launching the honors program, and winning a national professor of the year award. He was equally proud, however, of his East Columbus heritage, taking university friends on tours of his youthful haunts and treating them to kielbasa from bars owned by family members.

The affable Lisska lived above his father’s pub in high school and retired from Denison in 2021 with an intellectual center renamed in his honor.

“Tony was the kind of intellectual who never forgot where he came from, and who never thought he had to apologize for it either,” said Steve Vogel, a professor emeritus in philosophy. “He was proud of being a kid from East Columbus, and didn’t have much patience for fancy intellectuals who looked down on people from that world.”

A devout Catholic with a quick wit, Lisska nearly went into the priesthood. Five decades of Denison philosophy students were happy Lisska chose higher education as his calling. His catchphrases were so popular among some students they created a Facebook page called “Good Move, Good Move” to catalog them.

“He was the life of the college for several generations,” Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy Sam Cowling said.

Lisska arrived on campus in 1969 after earning a Bachelor of Arts from Providence College, a master’s from Saint Stephen’s College, and a doctorate from the Ohio State University. He later received a certificate from the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University.

In 1994, Lisska earned the Carnegie Foundation Baccalaureate Colleges Professor of the Year, besting a field of 500 nominees. He also gained acclaim for his expertise on St. Thomas Aquinas, publishing extensively on the works of the 13th century philosopher.

“Tony was a great teacher, a scholar, a mentor, a friend,” Vogel said of the professor who also served as dean of the college for several years. “The ethos of the philosophy department was set by him in lots of ways.”

In 2016, the Gilpatrick Center was rededicated as the Lisska Center for Scholarly Engagement, now the Lisska Center for Intellectual Engagement, “to recognize Tony’s focus on the intellectual life of our students,” said Mark Moller, dean of transfer students and associate professor of philosophy. “That was a commitment for which he cared very deeply.”

The Emeritus Maria Theresa Barney Professor of Philosophy loved regional history, authoring books on the subject, serving on the board of the Granville Historical Society, and offering walking tours of the village. On campus, he was a serial gift giver known for plying friends with Polish sausage and whisky.

“Tony treated people in an incredibly humane way,” Cowling said. “He was the quintessential colleague.”

On the evening of the funeral, members of the philosophy department came to Vogel’s home to celebrate Lisska’s life. They ate kielbasa and drank single malt scotch.

Lisska is survived by his wife, Marianne, his daughters, Megan and Elin, and his grandchildren, James, Gretel, and Eleanor Antonia.





Tracy Nichols Busch (Benjamin); two granddaughters, Alexandra Hoefflinger Busch and Kyrah Nichols Busch; and her sister, Susan Hoefflinger Taft (Rick).

Sally Eckert Kinney, 81, of Miami, Sept. 5, 2021. She was briefly survived by her husband, Sam Emerson Kinney ’60, who died Aug. 29, 2022. She is survived by their sons, Sam E. Kinney Jr. (Winifred) and William C. Kinney Sr. (Bridgid); grandchildren, Sam Emerson Kinney III, Matthew Neville Kinney, John Barry Kinney, William Charles Kinney Jr., and Sarah Ruth Kinney; step-grandchildren, Joseph M. Fuster, Alexander K. Fuster, Maximillian J. Fuster, and Helen K. Miller; and sisters, Judith Baumer and Joan O’Bannon.

Carol Maxwell Kolsti, 82, of Roanoke, Texas, Aug. 13, 2022. Preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, John Kolsti; her parents; and her beloved stepmother, Jean Carlson Maxwell. She is survived by her two sons, Kenneth (Nancy) and Kyle (Colleen); grandchildren, Matthew and Kathleen Kolsti; brother, Kenneth Maxwell; sister, Elizabeth Maxwell; nephew, Peter Kolsti; and many other family members and friends.

Scott B. Wallace, 81, of Waunakee, Wisconsin, Sept. 15, 2022. Preceded in death by his parents, Gordon and Isabelle Wallace, and his sister, Nancy Wallace Peters. He is survived by his wife, Marty; three daughters, Carrie Wallace (David Adams), Cindy Wallace (Kelly Powers), and Christy Wallace (Jeremy McCann); granddaughter, Claire Celeste Powers; grandson, Ryan Wallace McCann; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Richa rd Douglas “Doug” Wrightsel , 82, of Powell, Ohio, Sept. 5, 2022. Wrightsel formed many strong bonds with his Alpha Tau Omega fraternity brothers that would endure throughout the rest of his life. Wrightsel was preceded in death by his sister, Paulette (Wrightsel) Mitchen. He is survived by his two sons, P. Brent Wrightsel (Heather) and Bradley B. Wrightsel ’88; and his four grandchildren, Kelsey Wrightsel, Madison Wrightsel, Jack Wrightsel, and Trent Wrightsel.

spaces enthralled him. He was awed by the beauty and immediately fell in love with Licking County and its people. It was a love affair that lasted a lifetime. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Michael; and sister-in-law, Donna Keller Barrie. Surviving are his wife of 31 years, Mary Ellinger; his children, Courtney Ellinger, Scott Ellinger, and Christy Bellina, and their families; stepchildren and their families; brothers and sisters-in-law; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Warren B. Knapp, 81, of Fairport, New York, Aug. 22, 2022. Survived by his wife of 58 years, Patricia Smith Knapp; his children, W. Bruce and Theresa Knapp, Rebekah K. and Jonathan Pullis, and Ryan Turner and Angela Campbell Knapp; his grandchildren, Joshua and Madison Knapp, Charlie and Oliver Pullis, and Tanner and Eleanor Knapp; sister, Kathy Knapp Taylor, and brother-in-law, Richard. His family also includes his in-laws: Sheri Tisa, Michael and Mary Jean Smith, Bill and Denise Smith, Jeff and Cindi Smith, as well as two nieces, six nephews, and 12 greatnieces and nephews.

David Chalmers Regester, 80, of Spring Lake, Michigan, Feb. 23, 2022. Fondly known as “Cash,” Regester was a member of Alpha Tau Omega, Psi Chi psychology honor society, and Concert Choir. Preceded in death by his parents and his brother Bruce, he is survived by his wife, Jean; his children, Craig (Vickie Novell) and Kristen (Chris Detmer); three grandchildren; and several other relatives.

Philip W. Sullivan, 90, of Granville, Ohio, Oct. 22, 2022.

1964Thoma s E. Africa , 80, of Warren, Pennsylvania, Aug. 8, 2022. Preceded in death by his parents, W. Beyer Africa and Virginia Kane Africa; and nephew, Matthew K. Africa. Africa is survived by his wife, Gerry L. Africa; a brother, Dr. Bruce Africa; and niece, Julia Kane Africa.


Jeffr ey Berry Ball , 80, of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Oct. 30, 2022. Ball played basketball at Denison. Survived by his sister, Sue Ball Spirit; sons, Jay Breck Ball, Kevin Lee Ball, and Timothy Berry Ball; and grandchildren, Jayson, Heather, and Austin.

Thoma s Christy Ellinger, 85, of Newark, Ohio, Sept. 10, 2022. After taking a train from New York to Ohio to begin his education at Denison, Ellinger knew he was home — the landscape, the livestock, and the open

Theod ora E. Betjemann , 79, of Philomath, Oregon, July 29, 2022. Preceded in death by her beloved companion, Horace Roundtree, and her older brother, John. She is survived by her brothers, Martin and Peter (Dori); John’s spouse, Celeste; and many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

John J. Mikita , 80, of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Aug. 26, 2022. Survived by his wife of 56 years, Linda; children, Kathryn Anugwom (Jermaine), and Jeff Mikita (Christine); and grandchildren, Alexander and Rachel Mikita and Jermaine Anugwom.

1965 John L. Drury, 80, of Bullard, Texas, May 26, 2022.


Jost Nickelsberg , 80, of Medusa, New York, Oct. 25, 2022. Nickelsberg played varsity baseball at Denison for three years. He is survived by his wife, Ellen Worcester Nickelsberg; a brother, Robert Nickelsberg; a cousin, Anka Meyer of San Francisco; and a half-sis ter, Jutta Shenkl of Germany.

Michael Jung ’58


Susan Deshler Craig, 78, of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, Oct. 14, 2022. She was preceded in death by a sister, Virginia Waterbury. Craig is survived by her husband, George H. Craig Jr.; daughter, Nancy Garvey (Mike); son, Jim Craig (Christine); sisters Jane Anne Bode and Lydia Stang; and five grandchildren.

Gary L. Lowe , 78, of East Falmouth, Massachusetts, July 12, 2022. Before and during his career in higher education, Lowe was a captain in the U.S. Air Force. Gary is survived by his wife, Suzanne Currier, and her daughter and family; his daughter and daughter-in-law; three grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter; and his brother and sister.

Rober t Carl Zeller, 78, of Payne, Ohio, Aug. 11, 2022. Preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Virginia Zeller; his son, Richard Zeller; and his sister, Melissa Zeller. He is survived by his daughter, Betty Heim (Cornelis Van Elk); two brothers, Mark (Debbie) Zeller and Kevin Zeller; three grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.



Emeritus Studio Art Professor Michael Jung ’58, whose life and career as a student and as an artist was closely tied to Denison and Granville, died September 7, 2022, at age 86.

A Sheboygan, Wisconsin, native, Jung took the advice of his older brother Henry, who was a student at Miami University, and applied to Denison. The night before meeting with the director of admissions, he drove to Granville and slept in his car parked next to the football practice field. A campus security guard agreed to wake him up the next morning in time for his interview.

At Denison, Jung was a Cora Whitcomb Shepardson Scholar and received a Clara Hudson King Memorial Award. During his first year, he met his future wife, Marilyn Berger ’58. The story goes that Jung spotted Marilyn on campus and called her on the phone asking for a date. Marilyn responded, “I don’t know you,” and he replied, “I’ll be right down.”


James Vincent Bullard , 77, of Lottsburg, Virginia, May 13, 2022. He is survived by his wife, Dee David; his children, Jeff Bullard (Regine), Abigail Forbes (Shane), and Kathryn Truesdale (Andrew); stepdaughter, Hanne David Jolley (Grady); granddaughters, Emma, Lily, Blake, and Ava; a sister, Leonore Wiltse (Lee); brother, Truman Bullard (Beth); and many nephews, cousins, and friends far and wide.

Edwar d W. Morgan , 77, of Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 22, 2022. Preceded in death by his parents, Glenn and Elaine Morgan, and brother, James Morgan. He is survived by his wife, Tracy; daughters, Sarah and Molly Knutson (Sam); son, Kevin; grandchildren, Darcy and Lochlann Knutson; sister, Cynthia (Alan) Broad; and brother Philip Morgan.

Following Jung’s three years as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy touring the Pacific, he and Marilyn were married, and by 1962 they had a daughter, Robin, and twin sons, Timothy and Stephen. Jung earned two master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, took a teaching position at Western Kentucky University, and was then offered a position at Denison in 1967 as an artist-in-residence, which eventually became a full professorship for nearly 35 years.

Eric Hirshler, emeritus art history professor and longtime colleague, wrote in a faculty assessment that Jung “lives his profession every minute. There hardly was a time when I did not see him drawing or doing watercolor or keeping his mind and hand busy with assemblage. He is the most dedicated artist and teacher with whom I have been in contact and I believe the key person in the studio arts at Denison.”

Former student Gail Lutsch wrote that Jung “was always a kind and patient teacher who never intimidated the uncertain or struggling art student but rather encouraged artistic production with constructive criticism and a sense of humor.”

Ron Abram, current professor of studio art, recalls the respect of students and peers for Jung’s work and teaching, and how he donned a lab coat before painting — a habit some of his students also developed.

He was a man of few words, often delivered with dry wit.


Henry K. Coerdt, 75, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, June 13, 2022. After Denison, Coerdt joined the U.S. Army Reserves and was honorably discharged with the rank of staff sergeant in 1975. Coerdt perished in a house fire along with his wife of 45 years, Barbara J. “Suni” Coerdt. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Robert J. Coerdt (Dorothy O’Brien) and Frederick C. Coerdt; and sister, Elizabeth J. “Kitty”

“He had such a grace about him,” Abram said. “Sometimes it’s the flashy characters who get all the attention, but students gravitated to Michael because of his ability, his humor, and his sweet nature.”

Jung traveled widely, visiting 58 countries during his life, and the imagery of his travel experiences often informed his painting. He kept a studio on River Road in Granville that he worked in daily after his retirement in 2001, filling it with paintings, drawings, prints, constructions, and objects that inspired him.

Jung is survived by his wife, three children, and five grandchildren.



Sawyer (Arthor B. Johnson). He is survived by brother Carl DeWitt Coerdt (Constance Parsons); children, Clinton C. Coerdt ’04 (Katherine Sartain) and Chapin H. Coerdt (Brian Sheets); and grandson, River W. Sheets Robert W. Morgan, 76, of Cedar Falls, Iowa, Sept. 11, 2022.


W. Th eodore Kuck , 75, of New York City, June 19, 2022. Preceded in death by his parents and his older brother, Joe A. Kuck. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Joan Graves Kuck.


Sally Ireland Robertson , 74, of Wadena, Minnesota, Aug. 14, 2022. Preceded in death by her parents, Robert E. and L. Gail Ireland. She is survived by her husband of 51 years, James Robertson; son, Colin Robertson (Monica); daughter, Caitlin; grandchildren, Tate, Auden, and Lucy Robertson and Juniper Ramsey; brother, Tom Ireland (Kathleen); sister, Kathleen Russell; and many other family members and friends and colleagues she considered family.


David William Horning , 72, of Granville, Ohio, Aug. 19, 2022. He was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity and president of its alumni board at Denison for nearly 50 years. Preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Margaret Horning. Surviving are his wife of 47 years, Judy Horning ’75 , and their children, Ben and Kim Horning.


Cathy Morgan Dawson , 71, of Columbus, Ohio, May 26, 2022. She is survived by her fiance, John Guggliemotto; sister, Pat Elsholz; and brothers, Jeffrey Morgan (Carol) and Richard Morgan (Jeanne).

A.T. Payne , 71, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 27, 2022. Preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Payne Jr. and Marjorie Ellen. Payne is survived by Pandora, his wife of 41 years; three daughters, Ashley VanDellen (Mark), Mollie Blasius (Troy), and Hannah Rosema (Ben); five grandchildren; sister, Miki Hempleman (Roger); and many other relatives.


Eric A. Hage, 70, of Batavia, Illinois, Aug. 26, 2022. Preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Barbara Hage; father-in-law, Donald Bowen; sister-in-law Debra Fletcher; brother-in-law

Barry Ward, cousin Carla Reeves Smith, and nephew Jeffrey Hage. Survived by his wife of 43 years, Denise Hage; son, Adam Hage; daughter, Syrena Rivera; sonin-law, Chris Rivera; granddaughter and step-grandson; brothers Peter Hage ’72 and Jon Hage; sisters-in-law

Diane Hage, Pattie Hage, and Deanna Ward; brother-inlaw Russ Fletcher; and many other family members.

Susan Trumbull Magnuson , 69, of Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 22, 2022. She was the president of her sorority, Delta Delta Delta. Magnuson is survived by her husband, Dan Magnuson; her children, Heidi Magnuson James (Clark), Michael Magnuson (Connie), and Scott Magnuson (Allison); five grandchildren; and many other relatives.


Grego ry James Seller, M.D. , 69, of Delphos, Ohio, Sept. 11, 2022. He was preceded in death by his father, James Seller; brother-in-law Richard “Dick” Dukes; and grandson Everett Seller. He is survived by his mother; his wife, Dodie M. Seller; a son, Eric Seller (Jenna); a daughter, Ann Seller (Rob Honkonen); a brother, Mark Seller (Mary); four stepchildren; four grandchildren; and six step-grandchildren.

Susan Nick Wolfson, 69, of St. Clairsville, Ohio, July 10, 2022. In addition to her parents and husband, William Symons Wolfson, she was preceded in death by her motherin-law, Eloise Wolfson, for whom she was a caretaker; a brother, Robert Nick; and a niece, Malerie Nick. Wolfson was survived briefly by her son Bill Jr., who died Aug. 4, 2022. She is survived by her son Bryce; brothers Mark Nick (Laura) and Bill Nick (Pam); a sister-in-law, Brenda Nick; several nieces and nephews; and 13 close friends with whom she dined almost every Wednesday.

1976 Kirst en Dale Edwards , 67, of Columbus, Ohio, Oct. 17, 2022. Preceded in death by her father, J.T. Edwards Jr. She is survived by her mother, Mary Jo Chase Edwards; sisters, Kathleen Rose (Mike) and Karen Mescher (Ron); brother, Jack Edwards (Cecelia); and many other relatives.

1979 James Michael Rohman , 66, of Westfield, Massachusetts, July 5, 2022. Just 10 days earlier, he walked his only child, Chelsea, down the aisle in a seaside Connecticut wedding. Rohman was preceded in death by his father, Paul J. Rohman Jr. He is survived by his daughter and his son-in-law, Nathan S. Jackson; his mom, Patricia A. Rohman; his older brother, Tom Rohman (Anne); his five younger sisters, Ann Palumbo (Ralph), Jane Bianco (John), Mary Rohman, Nancy Watkins (John) and Susan Arpin (David); his former wife, Kate, along with her two daughters; and several nieces, nephews, and their families.

1980 Carol yn Hudgins Dorff , 63, of Holderness, New Hampshire, Sept. 19, 2022. For a decade, Dorff traveled all over the country performing original children’s music with her family, including her three children. She also landed the lead role, Lily, in the national touring Broadway production of The Secret Garden . Dorff is survived by her husband, Robin Dorff; her children, Bill Stevens (Laura), Katie

1969–2008 &

Corman (Brian), and Becca Stevens (Nathan Schram); her brother, Tom Hudgins (Deborah); her stepchildren, Emilie Jimenez (Joey), Justin Dorff (Tracy), and Nathan Dorff (Kayla); and several grandchildren.

(Joshua), Terrance Collins Jr., Annissia Collins, and Alesha Hinton II (Wendell); and several more cherished relatives.


Rodne y Earl Williams , 64, of Granville, Ohio, Sept. 10, 2022. An education specialist, Williams worked at Denison through the Licking County Department of Disabilities for 27 years with their trash and recycling program. He was preceded in death by his wife of 22 years, Kathia E. Stout-Williams. Surviving are his stepchildren, Kourtney Stout and Kristopher Stout; step-grandchildren, Konner, Skye, Dravin, Kyah, Silas, Sybil, and Sayj; and step-greatgrandchildren, Kenleigh, Cohen, and Ramiyah.


Human yun “Mao” Sheikh , 54, of Blacklick, Ohio, May 20, 2022. Sheikh is preceded in death by his mother, Husna, and survived by his father, Farrukh; brothers, Suleman (Sobia) and Asim (Victoria); and nephews and niece, Joseph, Nicholas, and Maria.


Dougl as Haigh Cundey , 61, of Millburn, New Jersey, Aug. 28, 2022. He was an All American member of the men’s varsity swim team for four years and a record holder for the college in four events. He is survived by his parents, Haigh and Kie Cundey; his daughter, Alison Cundey; his son, Nicholas Cundey; his sister, Kassie Means; his brother, David Cundey (Mary Ellen); his former wife, Heather Cundey (John Bartlett); and his nieces and nephews.


Gregory R. May, 50, of Columbus, Ohio, Jan. 24, 2022. Preceded in death by his mother, Darlene May Bailey. May is survived by his children, Lauren May and Ryan May; his sister, Lisa Ford (Martin Garnes); his brothers, Randall May ’87 and Daniel May (Christie); his father, Warren May; his stepfather, Robert Bailey; and his former spouse, Suzanne May.


Betha ny Lynn Matia , 48, of Paradise Valley, Arizona, Oct. 2, 2022. Preceded in death by her mother, Barbara. Matia is survived by her father, Robert; brother, Douglas (Abigail); nephews, William and Christopher; aunts, Carolyn Wallace (Charles) and Nancy Wright (Gary); and uncles, Paul Matia and Lee Matia (Carol).


Catherine Crouch Kegans , 58, of Fort Collins, Colorado, Feb. 18, 2022. Preceded in death by her father, John. She is survived by her three children, Benjamin (Grace), Andrew, and Sarah Harrison; her husband, Chad Kegans; stepchildren, Holly and Cole; mother, Carolyn Crouch; brother, Jay (Debbie); and stepmother, Sharon.


Susan Holcomb Lerner , 58, of Champaign, Illinois, July 13, 2022. Lerner is survived by her husband, Scott Lerner; their children, Seth and Maya Lerner; her parents, Joseph Paul Holcomb and Marjorie Holcomb; and her brothers and their spouses.


Jenni fer Russell Decker, 57, of Gates Mills, Ohio, Oct. 15, 2022. Decker is survived by her husband, Andy; her daughters, Elaine, Katherine, and Mary; her father, Robert Russell, and her mother, Jane Ann Zagray Mougey ’62 .


Tamela Renee Collins, 56, of Blacklick, Ohio, July 18, 2022. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha. Preceded in death by her parents, Lane Flowers and Lavonnie Beckham Flowers; niece Jennifer Morris-Greg; and father-in-law, Charles Jackson. Collins is survived her husband, Terrance Collins Sr.; sisters, Lesha Flowers, Gwendolyn Osborne (Quinton), and Karen Lyons (Robert); brother, Lawrence Flowers Sr. (Cassandra); children, Victoria Sumner, Chelsey Williams


Cory Elizabeth Tremaine , 46, of Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 4, 2022. She was the star of her high school basketball team and went on to play at Denison. Tremaine is survived by her husband of 20 years, Erik Casperson; daughters, Ava Grace, Anna Paige, and Cara Elizabeth; father, William Tremaine (Melanie); mother, Linda Gore; brother, Dan Tremaine (Erin); sister, Brittainy Lauback; aunts, Melissa Gore and Janet Tremaine; two nieces; one nephew; and her dog, Teddy.


James Joseph “Jim” Rorimer, 37, of Shaker Heights, Ohio, Dec. 7, 2021. Rorimer was an enthusiastic orientation leader for the June-O and August-O programs, a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, and a member of the crew team. He is survived by his wife, Yougeng Yin-Rorimer; daughter, Charlotte Yin Rorimer; his parents, Louis and Savery Rorimer; and his sister and brother-in-law, Sarah and Peter Chen.


Molly Paschke Jones , 36, of Novelty, Ohio, July 2, 2022. She was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority and played on Denison’s volleyball team. Preceded in death by her father, Gerald Paschke, and her grandparents, Ray and Majken “Micke”” Haserodt. Jones is survived by her parents, Heidi and Jay O’Neill; son, Blake Jones; sister, Kelly Paschke (Stuart Saunders); step siblings, Michael O’Neill (Wesley Kloss), Catherine Urban (Eli), and Leanne O’Neill; and many other relatives.


The birth of

The 1990s were interesting times in college communications, just as they were in the field of public relations more generally. The long-established model of reliance on print and broadcast media for external visibility was changing rapidly as the World Wide Web was becoming more accessible to a greater number of target audiences.

Institutional websites were methodically replacing newspapers and radio and TV stations as sources of information. As early adopters of web communications (or “new media,” as it was called), colleges had instant, constant, and direct access to the public and academic colleagues across higher education. And the internet had no geographic limitations.

Most college websites were born of rudimentary text-only online documents that were used to communicate internally through a local campus-wide information system, or CWIS, sometimes called a campus Gopher (based on an open-source file transport protocol developed at the University of Minnesota). Prior to Denison’s venture onto the World Wide Web, faculty, staff, and students were already accessing one another’s information on local Gopher servers in the basement of Fellows Hall.

As the university made an incremental transition to the public web, there were differing opinions across campus as to the mission of the website, which the Office of Computing Services initially controlled. Many faculty saw the globally accessible World Wide Web as a place universities should use for scholarly endeavors — a platform for collaborating on research and distributing knowledge. School

libraries also viewed the web as providing a quantum leap in how they shared publications. On the other hand, Denison’s administrators in admission, communications, advancement, and athletics were quick to see the potential of this new medium to communicate directly with prospective students, parents, alumni, donors, volunteers, and the media. Every college experienced the same growing pains as the promotional potential of the web began to influence visual site design and content development, especially with the emergence of digital imaging.

As Denison entered the onramp to the “information superhighway,” as it was called by politicians and the media, we had concerns about the accessibility of our information based on variables like who did or did not have an internet connection and the speed of those connections. Back then, “broadband” was not widely available, and we were designing digital content to be consumed by slow modems in far-off places.

Nevertheless, it was an exhilarating time for those of us working in the fields of institutional communications, content creation and distribution, and constituent relations. I often told others here at the university and elsewhere that it was “exciting to be in the information business in the information age.”

Now, decades later, it still is.

Jack Hire is the senior writer for Advancement Communications and has worked in a variety of positions at Denison since 1974. In 2000, after taking Denison’s sports promotion efforts online, he became the college’s first editor of new media in University Communications.

photo illustration by jack hire

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