Otterbein Towers Fall 2023

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S I N C E 19 2 6

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The Mark of the Otterbein Community

IN THIS ISSUE | Coalition for the Common Good | New Campus Leaders | Keeping Christopher's Promise

From the President.

Dear Alumni and Friends, Not a day goes by at Otterbein that I’m not reminded we are all learning together. The public may think that college is a oneway street for learning. Faculty and staff, loaded with graduate credentials, teach the undergraduates like a “sage on a stage.” Of course, you know that is not how Otterbein works. In small classes, on athletic teams, and through fraternities and sororities, we are all learning from one another. Yes, our faculty, and staff, and alumni have great expertise to share. But our students have wisdom and life experiences too.

to the side and said kindly, “Why don’t we save that question for next time.” I was in Instagram 101 and that was an Instagram 102 question apparently! The point of this is not to demonstrate my Instagram naivete. That should be evident to anyone who understands the words above. I learned a lot from Olivia — not just about social media, but how to teach, be patient, and be kind. And hopefully she will learn something from me during her internship.

This was illustrated for me recently. Our office has an intern, Olivia, who majors in Public Relations. Among other things, she is assigned to help me manage social media. Communicating and being accessible, especially to students, requires being on the platforms they use.

This is just like anytime I attend a class, a meeting of the Black Student Union, or a volleyball game. There is always something to learn, something to impress me, something to remind me what a remarkable group of people Otterbein manages to attract for our community. You’ll enjoy a few stories that demonstrate this quality throughout this Towers. Whether it’s an alumna who, in her personal time, matches custom fitted bicycles to kids with special needs or a group of students creating new ways to instill sensitivity and awareness on important topics.

Olivia advised I needed to get on Instagram. Apparently, students rarely use Twitter (or X or whatever it’s called) anymore. I agreed and we set a time to create the account. The meeting appeared on my calendar as “Olivia teaches John Instagram.” Luckily, she was a patient teacher. I repeatedly got confused about why stories are temporary, while posts are permanent … unless, that is, you create files for your stories. And while people will follow me, unlike Facebook or Twitter, I should not follow them. New platform, new rules, apparently. At one point in my lesson, Olivia mentioned something about boomerangs and reels (this is all real, by the way). I asked about why you would use a reel instead of a story. Olivia cocked her head

Vice President for Institutional Advancement Michael R. McGreevey Associate Editors

These are hallmarks of those who call themselves a part of Otterbein. And I am grateful to be a learner here. Sincerely,

Instagram Posts from @otterbeinpres Top: Olivia teaches John Instagram. Middle: Thank-you donuts. Bottom: Selfie with the Class of 2027.

Creative Direction Chloe Martin, Multimedia Designer Anne Meskey Elhajoui

Jenny Hill ’05, Director of Communications

Marcy Shultz, Director of Creative Services

Gina M. Calcamuggio, Senior Director of Brand and Content Strategy

Class Notes Editors Becky Hill May ’78, Office of Engagement

Dana Madden Viglietta ’96, Becky Olmstead Smith ’08, Executive Director of 2 OTTERBEIN TOWERS FALLOffice 2023of Engagement Engagement

John L. Comerford, Ph.D. P.S. Follow me on Instagram @otterbeinpres. It’s not that bad, I promise!

Contributing Writers Jefferson Blackburn-Smith, Erica Bush ’25, Gina M. Calcamuggio, Catie Duzzny ’21, MBA’23, Janice Glowski, Jenny Hill ’05, Payton Kaufman ’24, Maggie Nicol ’25, Adam Prescott MSAH’15, Dan Steinberg, Dana Madden Viglietta ’96

Contributing Photographers Gina M. Calcamuggio, John Comerford, Catie Duzzny ’21, MBA’23, Melissa Gilbert, Stephen Grinch ’98, Jenny Hill ’05, Jeffry Konczal, Chloe Martin, Chaz O’Neil ’06, Hailey Owens, Samuel Walker Digital Towers Editors Gina M. Calcamuggio, Jenny Hill ’05 Digital Towers Design Nilesh Sharma, German Vargas Ramos

Otterbein Towers FA L L 2 0 2 3


Class of 2027 New Student Convocation

The Impact of Christopher's Promise

2023 Homecoming Court

feature stories 6

Playing the Game of Real Life Professor Rob Braun teams up with alumni to create a game that puts people in the shoes of others — with a public health spin.


Addressing World Hunger through Research Eunice Foster ’70, Ph.D. followed her calling from teaching elementary school to agricultural research to help ease the global food crisis.


Meet Otterbein's Newest Athletics Leaders


Coalition for the Common Good Otterbein joins forces with Antioch University to create a national system of private, non-profit universities committed to social justice.


Somali Culture, Community, and the Common Book Like the author of this year’s Common Book, Otterbein’s Somali students are embracing their community, sharing their culture, and leading the way.


Homecoming and Family Weekend Celebrated

New ideas meet time-honored traditions with new Cardinal leaders. 8

Powerful Promises Through her charity, Lauren Lichtenauer ’11 brings the promise of childhood memories to kids with physical limitations.


Ukrainian Connections Two Ukrainian artists will share their culture with the campus community through unique exhibitions of folk art.

Otterbein welcomed alumni, family, and friends to celebrate shared campus connections.

in every issue 2

Around the ’Bein




Alumni Matters


Class Notes

Otterbein University Mission Statement Otterbein University is an inclusive community dedicated to educating the whole person in the context of humane values. Our mission is to prepare graduates to think deeply and broadly, to engage locally and globally, and to advance their professions and communities. Towers magazine is printed by Freeport Press, New Philadelphia, Ohio. Freeport uses soy-based, environmentally friendly inks and recycles millions of pounds of paper per year.



An Otterbein education is distinguished by the intentional blending of the liberal arts and professional studies, combined with a unique approach to integrating direct experience into all learning.

Read, hear, and experience more of these stories online. Towers (USPS 413-720) is published two times a year by the Office of Marketing and Communications of Otterbein University, 1 South Grove Street, Westerville, OH 43081. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Towers, Institutional Advancement, Howard House, Otterbein University, 1 South Grove Street, Westerville, OH 43081.

Otterbein University is committed to providing a workplace that is free from discrimination. Otterbein does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information, military status, or veteran status in admissions, in access OTTERBEIN TOWERS FALLin2023 to, or in treatment within its educational programs or activities, employment, 1 recruiting, or policy administration.

Around the ’Bein.

Alumni Shine at the Tony Awards Three alumni from Otterbein’s Department of Theatre and Dance had a big night at the Tony Awards this year. Jordan Donica ’16 was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Jordan Donica ’16 Corey Brill ’17 Annie Schroeder ’17 Role in a Musical for his role as Lancelot in Camelot. Donica kicked off a live performance by the show’s cast at the ceremony, and his solo was widely praised by critics and viewers alike. Leopoldstadt took home the Tony for Best Play, thanks to its talented cast, which includes Corey Brill ’17 as Civilian and Ernst (understudy). Finally, Annie Schroeder ’17 is the assistant company manager for & Juliet, which was nominated for Best Musical. Congratulations to these accomplished alumni! Learn more at:

Special thanks to the Vida S. Clements Foundation for their donation of $25,000 to support this opportunity for our students!

Above: Prior Concert Choir tour to New Orleans. Left: Concert Choir, with director Gayle Walker (front row right) at a recent performance.

Concert Choir Touring Baltics in December The Otterbein Concert Choir will embark on a 10-day performance tour of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia on Dec. 11. The Baltic countries are known for their love of choral music and are home to distinguished choral composers Arvo Pärt, Veljo Tormis, and Erik Esenvalds. The Concert Choir, under the direction of Director of Choral Activities Gayle Walker, will perform in the historic churches of Talinn, Vilnius, Riga, and Kaunas; share concerts 2


with local choirs; and partake in cultural exchanges. In addition to performances, the singers will tour museums of art and history, historic town centers, and cathedrals. Since 2000, hundreds of singers have toured internationally with the Concert Choir to locations including Japan, Austria, the Czech Republic, France, China, Ireland, and Germany. Read more at:

Compiled by Jenny Hill ’05

Thrift Shop Funding Scholarships for 55 Years The Columbus Otterbein Women’s Club, founded in 1921, originally limited membership to alumnae and former women students. A lot has changed since then. Now called the Westerville Otterbein Women’s Club, it is open to members of any gender, and it runs a Thrift Shop on campus that has raised over $1 million for scholarships for Otterbein students. Opened in 1952, the Thrift Shop is the oldest sustainability initiative on campus. All merchandise is donated, all staffing is volunteered, and all proceeds are returned as gifts to the University. The first scholarship — the Westerville Otterbein Women’s Club Scholarship — was established 55 years ago in 1968 and is still awarded annually to two or more first-year students who graduated from Westerville City Schools. The Club is accepting new members, and the Thrift Shop has your next treasure in stock.

The Thrift Shop is located on campus at 177 W. Park St., Westerville.

Learn more at:



An impressive 100%* of the Class of

U.S. News & World Report, Otterbein has

2023 passed the National Council State

once again ranked in the top 20 among

Licensing Examination-RN (NCLEX-RN)

164 peers in the Regional Universities – Midwest category.

on their first attempt. The 46 graduates

It is in the top three regional universities in Ohio and 20th in

worked especially hard, starting their

the Midwest. Additionally, Otterbein was recognized on the

education during the onset of the COVID-19

following lists: Best Colleges for Veterans (ranked sixth, top 4%);

pandemic and being the first class to take the “Next Generation

Best Undergraduate Teaching (ranked 12th, top 7%); Best Value

NCLEX,” enhanced to assess clinical judgment in nursing.

Schools (jumped 11 places to rank 26th); and A+ School for B

*Compared to 84.4% for Ohio and a 87.62% national passage rate.

Students. View the entire survey at


In the 2024 Best Colleges rankings by



Chemistry Professor Joan

Washington Monthly has recognized Otterbein

Esson was named the 2023 Ohio

University for its contributions to the public

STEM Educator of the Year by

good in its annual rankings. Among 604

Ohio Project Kaleidoscope. The

Master’s Universities, Otterbein ranked second in the service

awards committee cited Esson’s

category, which encompasses community and national service.

implementation and invention


of evidence-based pedagogies; generation of student interest via real-world applications of

Professor Joan Esson

Otterbein has once again been recognized as one of the nation’s Colleges of Distinction.

chemistry; advancement of chemistry teaching though

Otterbein also received program-specific

research and publication; mentorship of early-career

recognition in Business, Education,

chemistry educators; and leadership on campus and in local

Engineering, Nursing, and Career

chemistry education organizations.

Development, and was recognized for its Equity and Inclusion.



Around the ’Bein.

Meet Otterbein’s Newest Cardinals! Here’s a look at the

Class of 2027 Otterbein welcomed

519 first-year students


from states to campus this fall!

Incoming Class Overview


37% Women 63%

36 % Students of color

48 % Already have college credit 38 % Pell-eligible students

Significant Retention Gains 82.4% Entering Fall Students +3.9% 82.8% Men +8.5% 80.8% Students of Color +11% 78.7% Pell-Eligible Students +7.1% 86.7% Columbus City Schools +24.2% 78.8% First-Generation Students +2.5%

Academic Majors: 24% STEM • 13% Health and Sport Sciences • 12% Business, Accounting, and Economics • 12% Nursing

Rolling Out the Mats for Women’s Wrestling There are 50,000 participants at the high school level and that number is increasing every year, yet there are only 160 collegiate women’s wrestling teams in the U.S. Now there is an exciting new option, as Otterbein has started recruiting athletes for its women’s wrestling team — the first collegiate program in central Ohio. The program will begin varsity competition during the 2024-25 academic year. Since announcing the new program in June, Director of Wrestling Operations Brent Rastetter has received a steady flow of calls from prospective student-athletes.



Get to know women’s wrestling: •T he Ohio High School Athletic Association sponsored its first state championship in March 2023. Three of the state’s top four high school teams are in central Ohio. •O tterbein is the 51st school in Division III, sixth in the state of Ohio, and third in the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) to sponsor women’s wrestling. • A cross all three NCAA Divisions, wrestling has the highest percentage of firstgeneration college students of any sport.

WRESTLING Any current or future Cardinal students or families who are interested in the women’s wrestling program should reach out to Coach Rastetter at

Around the ’Bein.

Innovative Return on Investment Otterbein is using an innovative approach to grow enrollment and revenue by “crowd sourcing” ideas from faculty and staff and investing in the best ideas with $1 million approved by the Board of Trustees. Under the Fast Track Innovation Fund initiative, six programs proposed in May have been funded and are already being implemented on campus. “This investment in Otterbein’s future demonstrates our trustees’ commitment to allowing every member of our community to be heard and to have a role in shaping our University,” said President John Comerford. “Our Board has given us the opportunity and our community has provided solid proposals, so we are able to be nimble in an industry that is typically slow to implement changes.” The Fast Track Innovation Fund initiative calls for proposals of non-academic programs specifically focused on providing immediate return on investment. It is a condensed version of the Innovation Fund that has run during the academic year since 2021.

The funded proposals are: Part-Time Equine Team Recruiter • Grow the size of Otterbein’s National Champion team through new student recruitment.

STEM Community Liaison • Work with Ohio STEM high schools to increase enrollment in under-enrolled STEM programs.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Recruiter • Increase enrollment in Otterbein’s nursing program.

Women’s Wrestling Program • Recruit the growing number of high school female wrestlers regionally and nationally.

Recreational Sports/eSports Coach • Grow the intramural and club sports programming and establish e-sports on campus to increase enrollment and expand student life opportunities.

Podcast Studio • Give access to both on- and off-campus clients to allow non­-degree-seeking adult learners to enroll in multimedia workshops for certification.


Supporting Scholarships

A helpful, small look at how to make a big difference at Otterbein.

Q&A with Kathleen Bonte

Executive Director, Development, Institutional Advancement

Q:Why are scholarships so important?

A: Institutional aid is the largest source of support for our students. Not only does a scholarship recognize a student’s achievement and potential, the added financial relief a scholarship can provide a family is often the deciding factor in choosing to attend Otterbein and the opportunity to go to college.

Q: Can I really afford to fund a scholarship? I thought it was expensive?

A: There are many exciting ways to give and varied levels of support to fit your interest. Supporting scholarships at Otterbein has never been easier or more important. It is an investment in a student's education. For example, you can help support a student with a step up Otterbein Fund Scholarship and provide immediate relief to a student today while supporting them through their four years here. That kind of support requires a minimum commitment of $7,000 but that total can be spread over four years. (If you decide to distribute your giving evenly over four years, that works out to $145 a month). Or you might choose to give to one of Otterbein’s existing scholarship funds that work to match student talent with the right Otterbein source of support. Other options include endowing a scholarship fund of your own, or setting up a planned gift.

Q:What can I do if I want to learn more?

A: You can email or call me, and I’ll help you explore all the options available. Want to read more first? Let me know that, too, and I can give you the facts you need to help you decide. When you make a gift at Otterbein, you make a difference. That’s a fact. Reach me by email at or by phone at 614.823.2707.

You can make a difference! OTTERBEIN



The Game of

( . ~ ~ ~)



Classic board games like Monopoly “People face these issues daily. We and Clue have nothing on Our World, want to start the dialogue, get the the health education board game conversation going, and get people created by Professor of Public Health aware and involved.” Education Rob Braun and alumni Braun is always looking for Mariah Nevels ’19 and Chris Saylor ’17. impactful ways to teach about O ur Wo rl d showc a s e s how health disparities. For his health health disparities among different equity class, he partners with communities impact daily life. Players CelebrateOne, a central Ohio nonstart the game by selecting a “life” profit that has identified eight highcard, which tells the player their priority areas where Black infant education level, salary, and what mortality is extremely high. He type of family unit they have. From assigns small groups of students to there, gameplay begins and players visit an area and assess the positives land on spots which require them to Professor Rob Braun, Mariah Nevels ’19, and Chris Saylor ’17 and negatives of that particular draw “scenario” cards that give them multiple options of how community through the health disparity lens. to respond, all with unknown consequences. “For example, in a particular area, is there access to healthy food options, a healthcare center, a safe space to play, transportation, Saylor says that the idea to create a board game happened while at a health disparities conference in March 2017. “Rob street lights, sidewalks, etc.? Are the houses up to date, or are and I were perusing the posters at the conference and started they in need of repair? What’s the mean income, the education having a conversation about different ways to teach about the level? Those are just a few examples of what they would look social determinants of health and health disparities that wasn’t for,” he explained. just him standing in front of the class lecturing.” “I love this assignment because the students in my class For Braun, finding ways for his students to truly understand come from all different backgrounds and they, for the most the impacts of health disparities is critical to making a difference part, have probably not been exposed to other communities in the public health system. and the issues those communities face,” Braun said. “This “Racial and ethnic health disparities are a huge public health assignment gets them out of their bubble or comfort zone issue that not everyone knows about or understands. These and solidifies everything we discussed for the past 10 weeks disparities have deleterious effects on individuals and communities, in class. It is one thing to read and talk about the issues — it’s especially Black and Brown communities. I believe we need to another thing when they go out and observe for themselves. eliminate this issue, but we cannot do anything about these It is eye-opening for many of the students.” issues if people don’t know about them,” Braun explained. In addition to his impactful teaching methods, Braun is “My role is to educate students, individuals, communities, known for being an advocate who supports and pushes students etc., about these issues. Understanding the root causes and of color to pursue higher degrees, saying that representation increasing awareness will hopefully start conversations about matters in healthcare. how to eliminate these issues.” “People want to go see a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare While the goal of Our World is to educate players about health professional who looks like them. Any time we can promote disparities, the creators say that this game is not just for more diversity in our health-related fields, we must do so.” public health students. Groups of faculty and staff Our World is across campus have played at events hosted by the now available game’s creators. for purchase and “People think you have to be in the the three creators health field to learn about these things, offer facilitated but this is geared to anyone,” said Nevels. group training.



Learn more at

By Adam Prescott MSAH’15


Director of Athletics Greg Lott, Ph.D.

Football Coach Tommy Zagorski

There are plenty of new faces on campus this fall — including three notable individuals taking over primary roles in the Athletics Department.

health, exercise, and sport studies at

out before,” Zagorski said. “But we

nearby Denison University.

are just focused on who we are —

“The tradition in this department is

between the lines, in the classroom,

special,” Lott said. “I noticed so much

in meetings, and across campus.

passion in our exceptional group of

Challenges always emerge, but this is

coaches and administrators — pride for

a growth-oriented team that is going

where they have been and excitement

to make the University proud.”

about where we can go. I’m humbled to

Matt Sutton also arrived over winter

join the team as we strive to enhance

and began learning the ropes as a

the culture, student-athlete experience,

first-time head coach. He previously

and competitive results.”

spent three years as a cross country

Coach Zagorski began generating

distance specialist at Adrian College,

buzz simply with the announcement

growing the roster from 12 to 32. Under

New Director of Athletics Greg Lott,

of his hire back in January. The well-

his guidance, the Bulldogs recorded

Ph.D., has taken the helm while head

respected coach launched his career

their highest finish at the MIAA

coaches Tommy Zagorski (football)

with a stellar rise at fellow Ohio Athletic

Championships in over a decade. A

and Matt Sutton (cross country) enter

Conference school John Carroll, helping

graduate of Georgia College, Sutton

their inaugural seasons at Otterbein.

elevate the Blue Streaks to national

was a four-year runner and two-time

prominence as a coordinator.

member of the Peach Belt Conference

Lott was an All-American sprinter at the NCAA Division III level for

A former standout offensive lineman

All-Sportsmanship Team.

Dickinson College before competing

at Case Western Reserve, he

“The goals have been to make an

professionally on the European Circuit

then dabbled in the Division

immediate impact on recruiting

and with Team USA. He then obtained

I ranks before returning to

and just add natural energy,”

a plethora of coaching experience

Ohio and starting a family. His

Sutton said.

through stops at West Point, the

journey has now led him

“We want to

National Training Center, Valparaiso

back into the Division

keep providing

University, Buffalo State, and the U.S.

III landscape with his

an environment

Merchant Marine Academy.

first college head

where student-athletes grow . . .

The scholar-practitioner hopes to

coaching job, tasked

and ultimately thrive.”

continue blending (and relaying) that

with rebuilding the

knowledge along with many other


When you are on campus this school year, stop by to say hello

administrative skill sets, including his

“I’ve seen a gritty

or drop a note to these new faces

most recent six-year stint as associate

group of guys . . . many

as they begin putting their

athletic director and a professor of

that have been counted

stamp on Otterbein Athletics.

Cross Country Coach Matt Sutton




Christopher’s Promise celebrates 12 years s an Otterbein junior Life Science and Education major, Lauren Lichtenauer ’11 planned to be a biology teacher. After careful introspection, however, she decided she wanted to change the lives of children outside the classroom. More than a decade later, scores of kids with life-threatening illnesses and their families are glad

she did. That’s because Lichtenauer founded the non-profit Christopher’s Promise, with a mission to “allow all kids, despite physical limitations, the ability to experience the same hallmark childhood memories as their peers.” Christopher’s Promise is now celebrating 12 years of granting children such memories, funding adaptive bikes for 157 kids in that time. Lichtenauer is a recipient of this year’s Otterbein alumni Rising Star Award, honoring those who have contributed

Joe Wilkins, Shelley Payne, Lauren Lichtenauer 11, and Paul Longenecker.

At the end of the Buzinski family’s week at camp, Lichtenauer returned to Westerville and wrote her senior thesis: The Effects of Therapeutic Camps on Children Facing Life-Threatening Illnesses.

excellence in their post-graduate careers. In addition to

While attending Otterbein, Lichtenauer worked in bike

running Christopher’s Promise, she is vice president, clin-

shops and volunteered at Flying Horse Farms — a camp

ical sales for Curonix.

for children with serious illnesses located in central Ohio.

Christopher’s Promise has its roots in the summer of

“One day I got a call from my friend while she was at Flying

Lichtenauer’s junior year at Otterbein, when she worked

Horse Farms,” Lichtenauer said. “I picked up the phone and

at a summer camp in Maine for children facing life-threat-

heard Christopher’s voice for the first time in several years.”

ening illnesses and their families to connect with other

A week after Christopher’s visit to Flying Horse Farms,

families experiencing similar challenges. “I heard about Camp Sunshine and resonated with its cause,” Lichtenauer said. “I was a one-on-one counselor with the children who faced cancer.”

Lichtenauer visited the Buzinski family. “After the kids went to bed I caught up with his parents and asked them if there was anything I could do to help out their family.” The family knew of Lichtenauer’s background in cycling,

One child she worked with was Christopher Buzinski, an

so they asked for one thing: a bicycle for Christopher. Cere-

8-year-old with cerebral palsy, optic glioma, and neurofi-

bral palsy restricted him from pedaling on the typical two-

bromatosis, a rare genetic disorder that causes tumors of

wheeled bicycles sold in stores and his disability left him

the nerves.

unable to join his siblings as they rode their own bicycles.

“He was a super happy and cute kid. He melted my heart,”

After conducting research Lichtenauer found an organi-

Lichtenauer said. “I had a feeling he was going to be my

zation, Athletes Helping Athletes (AHA), that would fund an


adaptive bicycle for Christopher. The cost was more than




of helping kiddos get on bikes and JUST BE KIDS.

Malachi Parsons-Anderson joyfully receives his adaptive bike on campus.

$2,000 but Lichtenauer completed the application and Christopher and his brother, who also has neurofibromatosis, received new bikes. Lichtenauer wanted to give other disabled children the

Lauren Lichtenauer with her inspiration, Christopher Buzinski.

through a friend whose daughter received a bicycle. “Bikes really enrich these kids’ lives,” Parsons said. “The bikes give them a sense of independence where they feel they have no limitations.”

quintessential childhood experience of riding a bicycle.

The Parsons-Anderson family visited Otterbein’s cam-

To find those children, she turned to Shelley Payne, her

pus along with Christopher’s Promise volunteers to meet

former Health and Sports Sciences (HSS) professor, who

Wilkins and to celebrate Malachi’s new ride.

put her in contact with a physical therapist who referred the first 20 children. Christopher’s Promise was established and began the ride it is still on today.

“It makes my heart happy to see him be able to do something that he can participate in with other kids,” Parsons said. In addition to managing Christopher’s Promise, Lichtenauer enjoys a successful career in medical device sales.

Last year, Lichtenauer reconnected with another HSS

She takes no money from her countless hours heading

professor, Joe Wilkins, who had the idea that the depart-

Christopher’s Promise. “I believe all the funding given to

ment would donate money to gift a bicycle instead of

the organization should go to the bikes so we can get as

buying each other holiday gifts.

many kids on bikes as possible.”

“It was a natural fit for our department since we deal with health disparities and access issues,” Payne said.

The Columbus Firefighters Foundation and other community groups are involved now too. Two Otterbein alum-

The recipient was a miracle boy named Malachi Par-

nae, Catherine Mueller Eisenbrown ’10 and Ashley Gregg

sons-Anderson. When he was born, he was given less than

Taylor ’10, have also funded bikes. There’s an infinite need.

a year to live due to his spinal muscular atrophy, but he

Find out more at

recently celebrated his eighth birthday. His mother, Tina Parsons, heard of Christopher’s Promise

By Payton Kaufman ’23 | Dan Steinberg, Senior Instructor OTTERBEIN TOWERS FALL 2023



UKRAINE By Janice Glowski, Ph.D. Director, Museum and Galleries

Otterbein & The Arts: Opening Doors to the World invites you to explore Ukraine next spring, as The Frank Museum of Art and Fisher Gallery in Roush Hall feature work

by Ukrainian artists Zaryana Bezu and Oleksii Koval, respectively. Both shows explore possibilities of diverse and expansive worlds grounded in and inspired by nature, as well as beauty and balance. The shows will run from Jan. 10-April 19, 2024. Zaryana Bezu, a fiber and sculpture artist who was born in Kyiv, was 17 years old when the Soviet Union broke apart, and her country was thrown into economic and social chaos. Amid the hardship, Bezu turned for solace to the ancient Ukrainian folktales she found deeply embedded in the country’s history — stories, images, and realities that lived just beneath the surface The Ukrainian Cultural Association of Ohio

of communist and orthodox narratives. Her environmental

(UCAO) is cultivating tradition and culture at the

installation in The Frank Museum will introduce visitors to some

Otterbein Community Garden. “The garden has

of the realms and beings she has encountered over three decades.

become a space where different generations

Also born in Kyiv, Oleksii Koval has worked

and backgrounds converge, where our shared

with hot enamel according to the tradition

Ukrainian heritage becomes a bridge that con-

of Leonardo da Vinci for more than 16 years.

nects us. Together, we remember and honor

Also a mixed-media printmaker, Koval’s

our cultural roots, sharing traditions and recipes

art amplifies natural and human-made

that have been passed down through the years,”

beauty and harmony, as well as the joy of

said UCAO garden leader Michael Litvinovich.

communication through exploration. The

“Our plot and gardeners inspire reflection and

exhibition in the Fisher Gallery will invite viewers into a joyful

conversation on the current war in Ukraine,”

experience of diversity and call for the care of all living things

said Associate Professor Megan Chawansky, a

around us. Koval has had more than 50 solo exhibitions in

UCAO member.

leading art museums in Ukraine and galleries in Europe and the United States.

Learn more about Otterbein's art exhibits at 10



Relieve World Hunger OT: What challenges have you faced as a EUNICE FOSTER, Ph.D., graduated from Otterbein Black woman in your field? with a degree in Elementary Education in 1970, but her career took an unplanned path. Now a crop physiolEF: When I first came to Michigan State, I was ogist at Michigan State University, Foster has broken the first female and the first person of color in our glass ceilings as the first African American and first department. People would say things that they didn’t realize were offensive, and some of these female associate dean in the College of Agriculture people were men I came to like. But I did have to and Natural Resources. She works to lift others work to change things. up as a founding member of the National Society for We ended up founding Minorities in Agriculture, Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Natural Resources, and Related Sciences, and it’s Related Sciences, which now has 65 chapters in 35 states. still going strong. We had 1,000 members at our She has made significant contributions to addressing Eunice Foster ’70 was a recipient the global food crisis with her research on drought resis- of Otterbein's 2023 Distinguished last national meeting. There are many professionals of color in universities, government, industry, tance and nitrogen utilization in some crops. In 2021 she Alumni Award. and non-profits who have come through this orgawas elected as a Fellow of the American Association for nization. But it always has been open to everyone. the Advancement of Science — one of the most prestigious distinctions The students at MSU were the impetus. It’s been amazing for in science. me to see the growth and the national impact. OTTERBEIN TOWERS: What led you to your career in crop physiology? EUNICE FOSTER: I was teaching sixth grade and I loved it, but I was telling my students that you could do anything you wanted, and you could make a difference. World hunger was an issue (and still is) particularly in Africa in the ’70s, and I became interested in it. I found out that, as a land grant university, Ohio State had money for research in agriculture. So, I got my master’s at Ohio State. I did my Ph.D. at the University of Arkansas. OT: Why is your research important with climate change? EF: Even before the almost-crisis that we’re in right now, areas would have periodic episodes of drought. Now it’s happening more often with extreme temperatures. We now have 8 billion people on the planet, and it has been projected to reach 9 or 10 billion by 2050. We need to feed those people. Trying to increase crop yield with serious drought, excess rain, and tornadoes will be even more difficult. There are also issues with fertilizer and pesticide run-off, diseases, and insects. We need to be able to deal with all of that and grow food.

OT: Why is it important to include minority scientists and scholars in your discipline? EF: Intelligence is not scarce and it’s not in any one race, nor any one gender. In the 1890s in Florida, there was a terrible freeze, and they lost the citrus crop. A young man named Lue Gim Gong, who came here as an immigrant by himself at age 12 from China, came up with varieties that were freeze tolerant. He’s called the “Citrus Wizard of Florida.” In the ’70s and ’80s, an African American woman named Gladys West did some mapping with the stratosphere and the Earth’s gravitational pull and other things that led to the foundation of the GPS. We need different viewpoints. There’s a saying that if you and your partner always agree, one of you is unnecessary. We need constructive, positive criticism and thinking, and we need everybody’s ideas.

Read the full interview at




By Jefferson Blackburn-Smith, Executive Vice President for Strategic Initiatives

On Aug. 15, 2023, a little more than a year after first announcing their intentions, Otterbein President John Comerford, Ph.D., and Antioch University Chancellor William Groves, J.D., stood before an audience of faculty and administrators to reveal the formation of the Coalition for the Common Good, a first-of-its-kind national, private, non-profit system of higher education. With affiliated universities convened around a shared mission rather than geography, the Coalition for the Common Good focuses on educating students not only to advance their careers, but also to promote our pluralistic democracy, and social, racial, economic, and environmental justice. At a time when divisive politics drives our nation and higher education is under attack for its work in building diverse, equitable, inclusive communities, the Coalition is standing up for the common good — something its founding institutions have long histories of doing. “The histories of our institutions are deeply rooted in providing equal access to all learners,” said Comerford, the newly appointed president of the Coalition for the Common Good. “Otterbein and Antioch were among the first colleges in pre-Civil War America to enroll Black students and women to learn side-by-side with White, male students and today Antioch and Otterbein continue that same focus of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging.” Comerford has frequently expressed his disdain for some aspects of American higher education, especially the pursuit of prestige and rankings by a narrow subset of exclusive universities who have an outsized impact on the AmeriOtterbein President John Comerford and Antioch University Chancellor William Groves during the coalition signing.



can public’s view of higher education. “Otterbein University provides opportunity to low-income, first-generation, and

Otterbein University and Antioch University representatives.

marginalized students — as we have done from our founding — unlike these universities



that chase prestige by denying as many students as possible to create an air of exclusivity.



Higher education should be a common good, not a private good.”

/"~ I


building or acquiring new programs that will benefit our students,” added Groves, the newly named vice president of the Coalition for the Common Good.

The Coalition for the Common Good also provides some immediate benefits for Otterbein

Comerford’s remarks are echoed by Lynn

undergraduate students. Those students now have

Pasquerella, president of the American Associ-

access to Graduate Early Admission Pathways in

ation of Colleges and Universities, who said, “The

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Art Therapy, and

Coalition for the Common Good offers an exciting,

Business Administration (MBA), which allow students

innovative model of excellence for revolutionizing

to apply during their junior year at Otterbein and

and reimagining higher education in ways that posi-

then take three graduate courses during their senior

tion all students for success in work, citizenship, and

year that count toward both their undergraduate and

life in the 21st century.”

graduate degrees, accelerating time to graduation

Pasquerella was so impressed with the Coalition

and reducing cost for the graduate degree.

for the Common Good that she accepted an offer to

There are immediate benefits for alumni, too.

become the Coalition’s ninth, independent member

Otterbein alumni are eligible for a 15% tuition

of its Board of Directors.

discount when enrolling in Antioch University

Built on the faculty expertise of both institu-

degree programs.

tions, the Coalition combines members’ graduate

Required approvals from the Higher Learning

programs to form a graduate division with a national

Commission (HLC) and the Ohio Department of

scope, operated by Antioch University.

Higher Education (ODHE) came earlier this summer.

“Our universities have moved from being

The Coalition for the Common Good will expand to

competitors to collaborators for the betterment of

include other colleges and universities that share the

our students and communities,” said Comerford.

universities’ long-standing commitments to preserv-

“We will leverage what each institution does

ing democracy; furthering social, racial, economic,

best by bringing Otterbein programs to Antioch’s

and environmental justice; and providing access to

markets and Antioch’s programs to Otterbein’s

those seeking to advance their lives and communi-

central Ohio market. We will also collaborate on

ties through education.



SHARING CULTURE, FINDING This year’s Common Book is the story of a Somali immigrant and his experience of becoming and being an American. In Call Me American by Abdi Nor Iftin, the author chronicles his love for all things American, his life in Somalia laid waste by war, the perils of leaving Africa and his immigration to the United States. Otterbein has a thriving and growing immigrant population on campus taking leadership positions within the student community. Here, in their own words, are their experiences.

HANAN HUSSEIN Junior, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Public Health majors (Pre-Med), Psychology minor I have lived in the U.S. for about six years. I lived

I loved the sense of bringing the Muslim com-

my whole life in Saudi Arabia; both my parents

munity back together and giving them, as well as

are Somali but raised in Saudi as well. Settling in

myself, a sense of belonging on Otterbein’s cam-

the U.S. was not a hardship (because) I always

pus because I am a Muslim student that needed

felt I shared so much with everyone I met no

that faith-centered organization. So while I did it

matter their background or religion.

for everyone, I also did it for me. And that is what

For the past two years, Otterbein has been

we stand for — speaking for the minority and

the best experience that I have had. Dr. (Colette)

those that don’t speak up, because not everyone

Masterson’s First Year Experience class was the

knows how or when to speak up.

best. I am also excited to be working with Dr. Jennifer Bennett in her research lab and grateful for the opportunity. And many other professors make my education experience rich. The class sizes are small which means focused education. The campus feels like a family because everyone knows everyone. I am the president of the Muslim Student Association (MSA). When I came to Otterbein, MSA was not an active organization because there were not many Muslim students on campus. I (worked) hard with other Muslim students to make MSA an organization. I managed to get a proposal and pitched what MSA was for and about and after years, MSA was once again an active organization.

Hanan Hussein, second from right, with friends.

By Dan Steinberg,



COMMUNITY AT OTTERBEIN KUNKARON ADAWE Senior, Public Health Education and Global Studies majors, Psychology minor I am Somali American. I was born in Mogadishu. My journey to the United States was a significant turning point in my life. Arriving at the age of 12, I faced numerous challenges as I adapted to a new culture and language. However, compared to my father, I recognized that I was relatively fortunate. My father, a true survivor, had experienced the hardships of wartorn Somalia as a child. His stories of resilience and sacrifice served as a constant reminder of how far we had come. It was his unwavering

Ikra Koriyow, left, with friends.

support and hard work that paved the way for our family’s journey to the U.S. It’s a place where hard work and dedication can lead to success, and I’ve seen my father embody that spirit. Although my memories of Somalia are limited . . . my father’s stories

IKRA KORIYOW Junior, Political Science and Communication

of a harmonious past, before the turmoil, painted a picture of a place

majors, Legal Studies minor

with a rich cultural heritage and close-knit communities.

My mother grew up in a small village in Jijiga,

There are many aspects of Otterbein that I deeply appreciate, such

Ethiopia. I was born in Nairobi, Kenya. My

as its vibrant and diverse community. During my time on campus, I

family’s nationality is Somali, going down gen-

have had the privilege of holding several sig-

erations. I had a culturally diverse upbringing,

nificant leadership positions. These roles not

adhering to my family’s customs while still

only enriched my college experience but also

being able to learn and grow through experi-

allowed me to contribute to the community.

ences beyond Somali culture.

Kunkaron Adawe

Two years ago, a group of dedicated

I chose Otterbein because I always saw

Muslim students and I sought to revive the

myself going to a small campus and Otterbein

Muslim Student Association. I served as the

is just its own little community. Otterbein is

president. We took on the responsibility of

close to home, which I have always loved, and

providing a welcoming and inclusive environ-

the scholarships offered to me have helped my

ment for Muslim students on campus. We

family and I from having financial burdens.

organized various cultural and educational

What I like the best about Otterbein is the

events, which not only helped in promoting

courses I have taken. I believe they have molded

understanding and tolerance but also created

me into being a well-rounded person and stu-

a strong sense of unity among our members.

dent. I have made lifelong friendships and

I am also the current vice president of Eta

relationships here at Otterbein. And I am the

Sigma Gamma, a public health honorary.

vice president of the Black Student Union.

Senior Instructor








family weekend &Time to Celebrate! This year’s Homecoming and Family Weekend, held Sept. 15-16, was a wonderful weekend of festivities for our alumni, students, and their families. The 50th Golden Reunion class of 1973 came to campus to reconnect and walk down memory lane. The annual Alumni Awards and State of the University Address were held in Riley Auditorium as part of the Celebration of Otterbein. Eta Phi Mu (Jonda) fraternity celebrated its 100th anniversary and Lambda Gamma Epsilon (Kings) fraternity celebrated 75 years. Kerr Hall was officially dedicated in honor of late President Emeritus Thomas Kerr and his wife, Donna. During OtterFest on Friday and Saturday, we welcomed local band The Moonbats, alumna performer Allison Asarch ’18, and emcee Johnny Steiner ’96 to help keep the festive vibes flowing all weekend.

Photo Credit: Chaz O’Neil ’06

Eta Phi Mu (Jonda) Fraternity Celebrate their 100th Anniversary

Three Generations of Cardinals in the Freshour and Halterman Family

Otterbein Football

FreeZone and Cardinal Pride

To see more photos and videos visit: alumni/homecoming


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Class of 1963 60th Reunion Class Photo

Go Cards!


family weekend COMING




Leader of the Band

The Black Student Union welcomes Distinguished Alumni Award honoree Eunice Fanning Foster ’70 to its annual Homecoming cookout

Family Weekend Photo Op

OtterFest Fun

Lambda Gamma Epsilon “Kings” Celebrate their 75th Anniversary

Homecoming Parade

Students Gather Together

Class of 1973 Golden Reunion Class Photo

Party with C


OTTERBEIN TOWERS FALL 2023 Save the date for next year’s Homecoming & Family Weekend: Sept. 20-21, 2024!17


Philanthropy in Action Cardinal Couple Dick ’54 and Carolyn Brown ’53 Sherrick Celebrate 70-Year Wedding Anniversary with Special $70,000 Gift to Otterbein Richard and Carolyn Sherrick Five Cardinal Experiences Fund, the Sherrick Nativity Endowment, and a planned gift that will benefit Otterbein’s future. “We like to say that Otterbein has done a lot to make us what we are and think we all need to pass it forward to the next generation. Those who have received have an obligation to give,” note the Sherricks. They are grateful to the many people that have supported them throughout their lives. They hope their gift will serve as an inspiration for others to celebrate important milestones and people in a similar way, benefiting Otterbein and its mission of preparing the next generation. The Sherricks enjoying their 70th anniversary party.

We’ve all heard the saying “love at first sight,” but “love at first bite” might be more fitting for Dick ’54 and Carolyn Brown ’53 Sherrick, who met at the Otterbein cafeteria more than 70 years ago. “It was over a steam table at lunch,” she says, recalling that she was working on the college’s cafeteria line as Dick picked up an entrée. He soon joined her on the food service staff, and the two worked side-by-side for the rest of their undergraduate years at Otterbein and throughout their lives. They credit the success of their relationship to their faith, their friends and family, and the importance of laughing together through life’s journey. Although they have been fortunate to travel all over the world, Otterbein also holds a special place in their hearts. Along the way, the Sherricks have never forgotten the valuable lessons they learned at Otterbein. To show their appreciation, they have been steadfast supporters of the University, and in honor of their 70th wedding anniversary, they have given a $70,000 gift to support students and the University in general. In addition to this generous gift, the couple has supported Otterbein for more than 35 years through the Otterbein Fund and the creation of multiple endowments, including the Richard and Carolyn Sherrick Endowed Scholarship, the



Learn more about how you can leave a legacy at Otterbein at

Otterbein Welcomes New Director of Annual Giving Jordan Helphrey joined the Institutional Advancement Development team in August as the director of annual giving. He brings a wealth of experience in fundraising from his most recent role at Wittenberg University and is committed to fostering a culture of philanthropy that supports the mission and vision of Otterbein. Jordan can be reached at or 614.823.1400.

Our sincere gratitude goes out to these alumni and friends who have recently made generous gifts to Otterbein: Emily Bale Warner ’58, P’80 and Robert E. “Bud” Warner Jr. ’56, P’80 have donated $25,000 to create the Robert and Emily Bale Warner Scholarship, which will help future generations of Otterbein students achieve their dreams and goals in life.

The Annie Mary and Ashley Dowdy Scholarship endowment has been established by Janet Dowdy Granger ’69, through a pledge of $25,000, to support nursing students. The gift honors Granger’s parents, who had a deep love and respect for the nursing profession and higher education.

The Otterbein “O” Club Foundation gifted $23,000 to support renovations in the Rike Center athletic weight room. The “O” Club has been supporting athletics capital campaigns and special projects since 1955.

Emily Smith Curie ’66 has donated $27,000 to honor her late husband, Donald, by creating the Emily '66 and Donald Curie Scholarship to support students with a passion for theatre as they work to achieve the dream of making a life in professional theatre.

The Howard ’55 and Virginia ’55 Longmire Endowed Scholarship Fund will be created through a generous gift from alumna Virginia Phillippi Longmire ’55. Their four years at Otterbein were highlighted by participation in numerous musical endeavors, all made possible by financial assistance programs. Otterbein provided Howard and Ginny the opportunity to gain a valuable educational experience and this endowment is established to help future students continue their music legacy.

Ric Spicer ’61 and Will Spitler, longtime friends of the University, recently gave a generous gift of $15,000 to support the Otterbein Fund, the unrestricted fund that benefits all areas of campus.

Vernon L. Pack ’50 continued his longstanding support with a generous gift to the Otterbein Fund. Otterbein is currently working on plans for the 2024 Vernon L. Pack ’50 Lecture next spring, so watch for details soon! Author Heather McGhee and Vernon L. Pack '50

Mark Plaumann P’22 and Marilyn Wilson P’22, parents of graduate Mason Plaumann ’22, made a generous $45,000 pledge to create the Plaumann

Equine IDA 2023 Champions

Family Equine Endowment and support the Otterbein Fund. The gift will provide support for the distinguished equine science program and award-winning equestrian riding teams.

The Westerville Otterbein Women's Club has continued its long legacy of supporting students with its recent $45,000 gift to their existing scholarship endowments. Annual proceeds from the WOWC’s Thrift Shop, located at 177 W. Park St. on campus, support their donations to the University each year.

Mary Pat Knight H’00 and Dr. Douglas R. Knight ’63 have donated $20,000 to support the purchase of a portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer for the Department of Chemistry. The equipment will help to expand interdisciplinary work with the Department of Art and Art History, further enriching STEAM research at Otterbein. Otterbein received a $100,000 gift from the Betty A. Campbell Trust to create an endowed scholarship. Betty was married to late alumnus John Campbell ’61 and was instrumental in fostering past support for Otterbein from the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation, where she worked for many years.




Otterbein’s Top Fundraising Priorities Scholarship Support Funds

Each year, University leaders identify the key programs and initiatives for which we seek philanthropic support from our Cardinal community. This year, these include:

Endowed and annual scholarships help to make an Otterbein education affordable. Named endowed funds begin at $25,000 and provide impact in perpetuity and can be pledged over five years. Annual support for scholarships help today’s students and provide immediate assistance.

Otterbein Fund

Benefits all areas of campus via unrestricted funds that can be used for our greatest needs. Interested in supporting our top fundraising priorities? You can support Learn more at www.otterbein. Giving options include online now at or contact the Office of edu/giving/endowments. Institutional Advancement at 614.823.1400. annual donations, as well as our Otterbein Fund Innovation Fund Scholarship, which allows you to spread an impactful This fund is a catalyst for developing new and dynamic pledge over four years that directly benefits a student each academic and extra-curricular programs. Supporting year. Learn more at the Innovation Fund helps Otterbein drive our strategic priorities and mission, vision, and values while giving the Campus Center Renovation — Phase Two University the flexibility to explore new and exciting paths. With phase one complete, we are ready to continue the transformation of this beloved space for our students and community. Plans for phase two include renovation of the dining hall (Nest) and kitchen from a 1960s style “hot line” into a modern food court, allowing for greater customization including special dietary needs. The decorative stairs on the north side of the building will be removed, allowing seating up to the windows and the first floor to become more flexible. A new stairwell will be added to the northwest corner, offering a glass-enclosed modern look to the building.

Otterbein READY

Support for this innovative new Otterbein program helps fund career and professional preparation programs that guide our students through a four-year plan with advisors and mentors along the way. All students will graduate with at least one immersive, experiential learning experience. Learn more at

Grants, Corporate, and Foundation Support Grants help to provide essential funding for new programs, research, and other areas that directly impact our students at Otterbein. Our faculty and staff have recently been awarded grants from several organizations, including those listed below.

National Endowment for the Humanities PROGRAM: S ustaining Cultural Heritage Collections AMOUNT: $50,000 (Planning Grant) The University Archives has been awarded a NEH grant to facilitate the development of a compact shelving installation plan. Schorr Architects and preservation consultants LYRASIS will be instrumental in preparing the detailed plan needed to install compact shelving, which would drastically increase the amount of usable storage space and increase the preservation of collections. 20



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Ohio Arts Council PROGRAM: S ustainability AMOUNT: $35,104 (Year One) The Department of Music has been awarded a four-year OAC Sustainability grant. Funds will support public programming, including a visiting artist, public performances, and external community engagement events.

The Otterbein Advantage Scholarship Partnering with industry leaders to educate, prepare, and connect the next generation of talent. What’s the real advantage of becoming an Otterbein Advantage Partner? Advantage Partner employees, their spouse/domestic partner, AND their dependent children ALL have access to a transformative educational opportunity. Otterbein is proud to serve a rapidly growing list of employers throughout Ohio.

$19,000 Scholarship

for the dependent children of Otterbein Advantage Partner employees! This award is renewable for FOUR years* making the total value of this scholarship $76,000.

Discover the advantage of a private university education at a public university price:

* Students are responsible for additional costs that may include textbooks and supplies, mandatory technology and student life fees, and room and board if they choose to live on campus.



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Alumni Matters.

2023 Alumni Award Recipients Honored During the 2023 Celebration of Otterbein ceremony at Homecoming and Family Weekend on Sept. 16, 13 exemplary individuals were recognized for their contributions to their professions, communities, and Otterbein. The honorees included:

Rising Star Award

Lauren Lichtenauer ’11 Sarah H. Mabee ’07 Keeshon Morrow ’08 Andrew Tobias ’08

Top Row (L-R): Lauren Lichtenauer ’11, Sarah H. Mabee ’07, Keeshon Morrow ’08, Andrew Tobias ’08, Jennifer A. Jackson ’03, Aaron K. Kerr ’91. Bottom Row (L-R): Shantel Weinsheimer ’99, Robert S. Fortner ’70, Eunice Fanning Foster ’70, Beth Rigel Daugherty H’23, Coral Harris H’23.

Mary B. Thomas ’28 Commitment to Otterbein Award

Otterbein Alumni Award Jennifer A. Jackson ’03 Aaron K. Kerr ’91 Shantel Weinsheimer ’99

Distinguished Alumni Award Robert S. Fortner ’70 Eunice Fanning Foster ’70

Honorary Alumni Recognition

Barbara Chapman Achter Beth Rigel Daugherty, professor emerita of English Coral Harris, friend of Otterbein, donor, and Lifelong Learning Community member.

L: Morton J. Achter H’00, professor emeritus of music. R: Barbara Chapman Achter H’23, co-founder of the Otterbein Department of Nursing.

Learn more about the Otterbein Alumni Awards at 22


Meet the team:

New Office of Engagement (L-R): Mary Beth Metz, Becky Smith ’08, Dana Madden Viglietta ’96, Melinda Garcia Metz, and Marcus Fowler.

Greetings from the New Office of Engagement at Otterbein! Over the past few months, the Division of Institutional Advancement at Otterbein has been planning some positive changes in our team structure and we’re excited to share that we are now the Office of Engagement. Our focus will be on serving the more than 28,000 alumni, families of current and former students, and our valued donors to provide meaningful opportunities to engage with our Otterbein community. This change also included the hiring of a new team member, Melinda Garcia Metz, our coordinator for donor engagement. Melinda will be the front line of our donor relations and stewardship efforts to ensure that those who support Otterbein have a top-notch experience. Melinda comes to our office by way of SourcePoint in Delaware County, OH, where she played a vital role in raising awareness of the agency and its services. She joins Marcus, Mary Beth, Becky, and me to form our new team. You can learn more about our Office of Engagement at www.otterbein. edu/giving/contact-us. In addition to these changes, I am humbled and honored to have been

tapped to lead our engagement “dream team” as the executive director of engagement. This coming April I will have been back at my alma mater for a decade, and it’s flown by! The adage “time flies when you are having fun” certainly applies to my time at Otterbein. I was fortunate when I returned to campus 10 years ago to work for everyone’s favorite Cardinal, Becky Fickel Smith ’81, during her tenure as executive director of alumni relations. Three fun facts about me: I worked for Becky in the Campus Center during my time as a federal work study student from 1992-1996; I worked as an admission counselor recruiting students for Otterbein for two years after I graduated; and I married a fellow Otterbein grad, Alberto Viglietta ’94. Otterbein has been a special part of my life for a very long time and my hope is that I can serve our alumni, family, and donor communities to help you connect with Otterbein in meaningful ways — whether it be through learning opportunities, mentoring our students, attending special events, celebrating traditions, or maybe something as simple as

coming to campus on a beautiful day and taking a stroll through our “quiet, peaceful village.” Engagement looks different to each Cardinal in our Otterbein community, and we’re here to help provide you with opportunities to use Otterbein as a springboard for making connections, learning something new, giving back, and making a difference in the lives of others. Soon we will be asking for your feedback via an engagement survey to help us better understand how we can best serve you. We hope you’ll take some time to share your thoughts with us. On behalf of the Office of Engagement team, we look forward to serving you!

Dana Madden Viglietta ’96 Executive Director of Engagement Let us know what you’ve been up to at update-my-information.



Class Notes.


Robert Arledge ’55

1960s Nancy Jones Smith ’61 received the Portage (OH) Park District Foundation Environmental Conservation Award: Lifetime Achievement in March.

1970s Cynthia Savage Dybik ’71 retired from Columbus City Schools in June of 2023, after a half-century of teaching music. She took Independence High School’s Show Choir to the 2009 Presidential Inauguration and other students to Carnegie Hall.


Bob Day ’73

Bob Day ’73 retired after 37 years as the organist for Church of the Saviour, Cleveland Heights, OH. He was admired for his ability to play around the notes that no longer worked on the 1928 Austin pipe organ. Nancy Griffin Robinson ’73 is an ordained deacon in full membership in the Virginia Conference. Her current appointment is pastor with sacramental authority. She completed six years as a missionary with Global ministries in Sierra Leone and Southeast Jurisdiction mission advocate. Photo Courtesy of City of Westerville.

Robert Arledge ’55, age 90, competed in the 2023 National Senior Games in Pittsburgh in July. For the 90-94 age group, he won the gold medal in the men's 100yard backstroke and earned silver in the men's polevault. He also was chosen from 11,500 competitors to be one of 28 "Humana Game Changers," an award given to athletes who exemplify healthy aging.

highest honor given in the International Lions Club. She has been a member of Westerville Lions Club for 12 years.

L: Janet Tressler-Davis ’82 R: Debbie Hall Bennati ’74

Debbie Hall Bennati ’74 was named Westerville City Volunteer of the Year for her work with the Westerville Uptown Merchants Association. She also received the Melvin Jones Award, the


Thomas Lloyd ’74 retired after 24 years as band director at Columbus State Community College. He continues as music director at London (OH) First Presbyterian Church and conducts the London Silver Cornet Band.

per inning average in 1974. He is in the Olentangy (OH) High School Athletic Hall of Fame and still holds the school record for lowest ERA (0.34, 1972 season).

1980s Robin Fillmore ’82 is serving as the senior pastor of the United Methodist Church in the Susquehanna Conference in Dalton, PA.

The 1983 Otterbein baseball team was the first Cardinal squad to make it to a national championship game in any sport. Led by Coach Dick Fishbaugh, the team competed at the NCAA College Division III World Series. To honor the 40th anniversary of their athletic achievement, Greg Masters ’87 and Masters Insurance Group sponsored Otterbein Night at the Columbus Clippers, where the 1983 World Series Baseball Team was honored. Pictured are team members (L to R): Greg Masters '87, Keith Evans ’85, Michael Blythe ’83, James Hoyle ’83, Timothy Harris ’86, David Weaver ’84, John Cardwell, Bret Brownfield ’83, Mike Goodwin ’85, Jon Mastel ’84, and Ob Hartman ’85.

Russ Meade ’76 was awarded the "O" Club's 2023 Excel Award after the Homecoming football game on Sept. 16, 2023. He is entering his 11th season as an assistant baseball coach at Otterbein. He played baseball for Otterbein as a student and ranked third in the nation with a 1.59 strikeouts

Cheryl Newcomb Boudreaux ’82 retired in February 2023 and moved to Bernalillo, NM. Victoria Beerman ’86 started a surface pattern design business based in Brooklyn, NY, named victoriab:design, adding to her online shops on Etsy,

Spoonflower, Redbubble, and Society6. She is also a mixed media/book artist and creates hand-dyed silk scarves. Polly James ’87 is the director of risk management at Feld Entertainment in Palmetto, FL.

Scott Rush ’87

Scott Rush ’87 was named the 2023 Professor of the Year at Calvin University, Grand Rapids, MI. The award is granted by the Student Alumni Association on behalf of the senior class to honor a current faculty member. Rush has been an associate professor of business for six years. Lisa Collins Huston ’88 is the district administrator for the North Coast and Western Reserve Districts in the East Ohio Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Jolene Thompson ’88

Jolene Thompson ’88, president and CEO of American Municipal Power, Inc., received the Alex Radin Distinguished Service Award during the American Public Power Association (APPA) National Conference in Seattle on June 16, 2021.

From Ukraine to America BY CATIE DUZZNY ’21, MBA ’23 As long as Anna Davydova could remember, her dream was to study in the United States. Davydova’s dream came true in fall 2019, when she was selected for the highly competitive Global Undergraduate Exchange Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Davydova traveled from her small town of Obukviv, Ukraine, (outside of Kyiv) to Westerville, which turned out to be the ideal place for her to experience a real sense of community and American culture. “For the semester, I lived my dream. Four years later, it still feels like a dream, the perfect dream,” she said. When Davydova arrived in the U.S. she was welcomed by her host family, Associate Professor Megan Chawansky and her partner, Monica Carroll. “Otterbein gifted me with the best people. L: Anna Davydova R: Megan Chawansky Megan and Monica are my chosen family. They are so amazing, super supportive, and continue to show their support with the current war in Ukraine,” said Davydova. At Otterbein, she had fascinating yet challenging classes that she could choose herself for the first time in her school experience. “I was amazed that I chose my own classes! I loved every class. They were amazing and complicated in the best way,” she said. Otterbein gave her the space to grow and the experience she needed to succeed in her career. “I gained the most knowledge in my major here. My computer graphics classes helped me learn more about programming. That is when I really fell in love with coding and led me to future job,” said Davydova. Now with her bachelor's degree in software engineering, Davydova works remotely as a front-end developer at Blackbird Lab, a Ukrainian IT company. Davydova chose to remain in Ukraine when Russia invaded. As Ukrainian citizens continue to fight for their freedom, she does volunteer work for the Ukrainian army. “Our reality is nightly missiles attacks from Russia and then we get coffee in the morning, donate to Ukrainian army, and go to work. It’s just the way it is,” she said. Davydova finds peace in working for a company that helps the Ukrainian defenders, volunteering for her country, and in the support she receives from her American friends. Chawansky and Carroll text her almost daily and provide constant support, along with many other American friends. “I am very fond of and thankful for my Otterbein memories, I remember it like it was yesterday,” she said.



Compiled as of Sept. 25, 2023 by Becky Hill May ’78 and Becky Olmstead Smith ’08


BY ERICA BUSH ’25 Forty-five years ago, Professor Emeritus Jean Spero joined the Otterbein community and soon became a beloved member of the faculty. This year, she turned 100 and now she is passing her extraordinary legacy, the University’s Historic Costume Collection, on to her daughter. In the 1940s, Spero went to Wellesley College in the hopes of being an architect. She left Wellesley when she got married and moved for her husband’s WWII assignment at the Pentagon. Years later, in the late 1960s, Spero attended The Ohio State University as an adult student studying human ecology education and earned a master’s degree in textiles and clothing. “The head of the human ecology department at Ohio State was very friendly and realized that I was an adult. At the time, if Otterbein was looking to hire someone, they would notify Ohio State, so the head of the department sent me to Otterbein for an interview,” Spero said. Spero joined the Otterbein faculty as an assistant professor of human ecology in 1978. She eventually became chair of the Department of Home Economics before retiring in 1991. In 1985, Spero started the University’s Historic Costume Collection. The collection began when she connected with Otterbein Theatre Department costume designer Lucy Lee Reuther about donating some of her family heirloom pieces, but Reuther instead suggested starting a collection of pieces to be displayed. The Historic Costume Collection now has over 800 pieces and is coming back to Otterbein’s campus this fall after a hiatus due to COVID-19 complications. The collection will be shown in Fisher Gallery in Roush Hall with Spero’s daughter, Maggie Spero ’85, serving as co-curator with past Historic Costume Collection co-curator Linnette Schaffer ’91 and Karen Adams. Looking back at her time on the faculty, Spero says that her favorite thing about Otterbein was the small class sizes and the ability to connect with each student individually. She says that she is still in touch with some of her past students. “That is one of the nice things about Otterbein,” Spero said. “You get to know and be very fond of some of your students because you can be in class with them multiple times.” Spero offers this advice for current Otterbein students: “You have to live a while before you really know what you want and it is okay to change your mind." 26



A Centenarian's Decades-Long Impact

Leigh Ann Inskeep-Simpson ’89 was chosen by the Ohio Education Association as the Education Champion of the Week, March 6, 2023, for her work at Urbana High School as an art teacher.

1990s Beth Kidwell ’92 is a risk management consultant at United Educators in Bethesda, MD. Tammy Warner Palermo ’92 earned her master's degree in practical theology at Methodist Theological School in Delaware, OH, May 20, 2023. She is now a provisional deacon in the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church. Jill Conarroe Kramer ’93 was awarded the Silver Circle award with Keller Williams Realty, Inc., for over $3 million sold in 2022. Sara Nichols Barton ’94 is a senior copywriter at Syneos Health. She writes for high-profile brands, including embecta, GE HealthCare, Pfizer, Roche, and AstraZeneca. Paul Smith ’98 flew his final flight May 27, 2023, as a Coast Guard aviator before his retirement ceremony at U.S. Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco. Originally with the Army National Guard, he became active duty after Sept. 11, 2001, and officially retired as the executive officer of Air Station San Francisco, September 2023. Crystal Austen Von Oesen ’98 is a learning manager at CohnReznick in New York City. She serves as head of advisory practice learning and development.

2000s Jeff Stewart ’01 was named vice president, strategic marketing for CHRISTUS Health, a Catholic, not-forprofit system in Texas. Chris Lenz ’02 is a senior contracts manager, pharmacy, at the University of California, Irvine Health.

Class Notes. Authors School District. He also hosts Drawing with Mr. J, produced by WOSU.

Carol Morse Kearney ’61 has written a novel, Moffa Wheeler, 1950, It's the story of a young girl growing up in central Ohio.



Tom Heller ’75 published a memoir, Mischievous "Boomers": My Story, My Family, My Friends.

Pictured with Kyle Witt ’06 are his wife, Sarah, and sons Noah, Isaac, and Aaron.

Kyle Witt ’02 received the Louis H. Urling, M.D., Statesman Award for Fairfield County (OH) as Statesman of the Year, 2023. He is a prosecuting attorney. Matthew Wolfe ’04 was named the 2023 Stephen Schwartz Musical Theatre Teacher of the Year in July 2023. The award honors exceptional middle- and high-school theatre educators. He currently teaches at Westerville South High School

Phil La Susa ’06

Phil La Susa ’06, vice president of strategic growth and client engagement for TRC Companies, Inc., was named on the Columbus Business First 40 Under 40 list for 2023. Jessica Oakes Hilts ’08 is the clerk of council for the City of Westerville. Mallory Alexin Sribanditmongkol ’08 is the strategic communications officer for the City of Powell. Darcy Baxter ’09 is the program supervisor at the City of Hilliard Recreation and Parks Department.

Jonathan Juravich ’05

Jonathan Juravich ’05 was recognized as both the National Art Education Association's Western Region Elementary Art Teacher of the Year and the 2023 National Elementary Art Educator for his work as an art teacher at Liberty Tree Elementary School in the Olentangy (OH) Local

Caitlin Ward Hopper ’09 is the director of content strategy at UMB Financial Corporation in Kansas City, MO. Natalie Mikita ’09 is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry of the College of Science and Health at Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph. She joined the faculty in 2016 and became the NCAA faculty athletics representative in August 2022.

Carol Morse Kearney ’61


Nancy Flinchbaugh ’77 has written her sixth book, Mariah of the Wind, to celebrate the beauty of God’s creation as she grappled with climate change. Timothy Clark ’90 is the author of the novel, The Mice Storm, set in Columbus during the Blizzard of ‘78. His next book, Rise of the Dragonwitch, will be released in late 2023. Melissa Barber ’92, wrote her inaugural publication, the illustrated children’s book, Scaredy Cat and ‘Fraidy Pants. The book is the first in a series.

Tom Heller ’75

Sonya Bond Overstreet ’02 recently published her first novel, When to Love Again, under the pen name LaVette Johnson Chelsea Jenney O'Leary ’13 published The Wiley Canning Company Cookbook, featuring methods and recipes for canning and pickling. She is the founder and owner of Wiley Canning Company.

Nancy Flinchbaugh ’77 -



.- -::-:.-..:TtlE





•• • ··· I ···· "'·"

Timothy Clark ’90

Chelsea Jenney O'Leary '13

Sonya Bond Overstreet ’02

Melissa Barber ’92



BY MAGGIE NICOL ’25 When you think of an actor, you don’t expect them to be an expert with spreadsheets or in charge of their company's financial wellbeing. However, Tom Cardinal ’92 applies his math skills in the office and entertains audiences from the stage. And he wouldn’t have it any other way. “No week is the same; some weeks I am busy with rehearsals, and others I am helping to unload materials. This keeps my job interesting, but finances never stop,” Cardinal said. At Otterbein, Cardinal majored in Theatre and Speech Communication with an emphasis in Broadcasting and was a member of Lambda Gamma Epsilon fraternity. Since graduating, he has dedicated 30 years of his career to Shadowbox Live, a professional theatre company in Columbus. He is currently its chief financial officer and a performer. “It isn’t too often that you hear about an actor who is also the CFO of their company,” he said. “I enjoy math as much as I do performing." In addition to his math and acting skills, he stands out in his field because of his background in speech communication. Through this major, he learned the importance of talking to people and not at them and became more comfortable and confident when speaking to large audiences. Cardinal also credits Greek life with giving him the opportunity to learn more about himself and allowing him to make relationships outside of his majors. “Being a member of Kings allowed me to meet a bunch of people that I would have never gotten the chance to meet. I learned how to talk to people that weren’t in my normal sphere.” Stacie Boord, CEO of Shadowbox Live, said Cardinal has the right mix of skills for the job. “Key characteristics I look for in employees are those interested in exploring their full potential both on and off the stage, those who are interested in their personal growth, and that have a love for the arts; Tom embodies all of these.” Cardinal considers himself lucky to be part of the company. “Working at a place like Shadowbox Live has allowed me to ‘scratch my creative itch’ and gives me the opportunity to be in shows every week, which is not typical for performers,” he said. Cardinal’s advice for current Otterbein students, like his son Alec, a sophomore education major, is, “Do what you love and find a path that works for you — you never know where your path will take you.”




Master of Stage and Spreadsheet

2010s Megan Saxman DelGrosso ’11 is the director of student ministries at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, KS. Sue Moui Ly ’11 graduated from Full Sail University, Winter Park, FL, with an advanced degree in instructional design and technology. She was valedictorian of her class and received the Course Director's Award. Andrea Varadi Jones ’12 received her master's degree in teaching from Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR, June 12, 2020. Kristen Davis ’15 is a senior photographer at Homage in Columbus. Megan Lynch ’15 received her master's degree in nursing from Ohio University, Athens, April 29, 2022. Heather Soma-Hauer ’16 works for Bob Evans Farms as the manager of business intelligence and reporting. Jared Pulliam ’16 is an occupational therapist at Peterson Regional Medical Center Foundation in Kerrville, TX. Justin Roberts ’16 received his master's degree in English at Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, MA, May 18, 2023. Meghan Stursa Barnovsky ’17 is the assistant director of development at The Ohio State University Alumni Association. Dylan Davis ’17 is currently singing in the chorus with the New York Metropolitan Opera’s production of Wagner's Lohengrin. Laurel Welsh Davis ’19 is a fifth-grade teacher in the Athens, OH, area. Nicholas Emery ’19 is a technology media and telecom investment banker at Wells Fargo Securities, Charlotte, NC.

Class Notes.



Daniel Davis ’20 is working on dual master's degrees in music history and conducting at Ohio University, Athens. Abigail Shump Kanicki ’20 is a project manager at Holden Ellis, a branding and web design firm in Westerville. Ange Leone ’20 is a member of the Emerging Leader Council of the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) in Columbus, OH. Tiffany Martin ’20 is an operations coordinator at Daniel Motter ’20 is a service worker at Bexley (OH) Recreation and Parks Department. Reyana Bates ’21 is a financial services representative for Nationwide Financial in Grandview Heights, OH. Kobe Long-Weber ’21 was promoted to senior business solutions banker at JPMorgan

Kobe Long-Weber ’21

Chase, after being recognized as an “Outstanding Performer” in 2022. Jordan Arnowitz ’22 is an assistant director of group sales for the Columbus Clippers baseball team. Erin Kibby ’22 is an associate analytical chemist with Eurofins Food Integrity and Innovation, Madison, WI. Olivia Smith '22 is a specimen processor at UPMC Passavant in Pittsburgh. She wants to further her education and become a professional medical laboratory scientist.

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Sail in Style with Alumni and Friends in Portugal Sept. 4-14, 2024

Otterbein alumni and friends of the University are invited to join our travel group for an unforgettable river cruise in Portugal, on the Douro River. River cruising through Portugal on the MS Emerald Radiance unveils the stunning natural wonders of the Iberian Peninsula. You’ll take in the sights and experience: • The region’s famed vineyards. • Samplings of the revered Port wine that put the Douro Valley at the center of Europe’s wine scene. • Peaceful villages dotted around the Douro River. • Excursions to Lamego and Porto that will immerse you in Portuguese traditions. To book your adventure, call our travel partner, Travel Warther at 330.556.4535 and mention Otterbein River Cruise to Portugal. For more information visit Trip reservation deadline is Dec. 1 with $1,019 deposit per person required to hold your cabin. Visit for more details.




1 Darcy Baxter ’09 to Annette Rundio, Jan. 7, 2022. 2 Kristen Bennett ’13 to Caleb Martin ’17, April 22, 2023. The wedding party included Allie Pulos Grilliot ’13 and Rachel Snedegar Shatalov ’14.

3 Jared Pulliam ’16 to Kiley Wood, April 8, 2023. The wedding party included Conor Holland ’15 and Brice Mitchell ’15. 4 B renna McNally ’17 to Max Campbell, Sept. 10, 2022. In attendance were Rachel Williams ’17, Caylee Buchman Lucas ’17, Tyler Lucas ’17, Cheyanne Rowe Pyles ’17, John Pyles ’16, Hannah Shank Hull ’17, Lydia Barnes ’17, Megan Gordon ’17, Kelly Barbour ’17, Turner Jones ’17, and photographer Polly Sellers ’17.




5 Hannah Pohlman ’18 to Nicholas Hahn ’18, Nov. 19, 2022. The wedding party included Joelle Marshall ’18, Zach Paugh ’15, and Gunnar Schmidt ’18.


6 E mily Kollmann ’20 to Traejon Stone, Aug. 20, 2022. The wedding party included Maya Venkataraman ’20. 7 K athleen Waite ’21 to Michael Wright ’21, Feb. 18, 2023. The wedding party included Kate McMaster ’21. 8 K arissa McGinnis ’21 to Nathan Miller, May 27, 2023. The wedding party included Alyssa Miller Dunn ’21, Makayla Cornell ’23, and Adam Dunn ’19.



NOT PICTURED Michelle Johnson ’95 to Dale Shaver, Aug. 6, 2022.






1 Arya Shannon, born to Shannon Ebbinghaus Oldham ’07 and Jimmy Oldham. 2S ophia Lobo, born to Mary Krulia Somyak ’07 and Andrew Somyak. 3 J ack Thomas, born to Kristen Lavric Smith ’07 and Mike Smith. 4 Nya, born to Megan Clifton ’08.










5 R ussell Bradley, born to Darcy Baxter ’09 and Annette Baxter. 6 B enny John, born to Mat Greene ’12 and Bourke Greene. 7 A rchie Matthew born to Laura Chenos Hochberg ’12 and Matthew Hochberg ’10. 8O live Marie, born to Andrea Varadi Jones ’12. 9 B oone Marshall, born to Alecia Pollack Kohl ’13 and Nicholas Kohl ’15. 10 W illiam Elliot Doss, born to Stephanie Maupin ’15. 11 L evi Thomas, born to Malerie Takach Leach ’17 and Eric Leach. 12 B rynee Lee, born to Kylie Daniel-Cantrell ’18 and Tyler Cantrell. 13 B rett Wayne, born to Caitlyn Ryan Pauley ’21 and Brett Pauley.


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In Memoriam.

Read more about these special alumni and friends of Otterbein at

Otterbein honors the memory of the alumni and friends we have lost. 1940s

Janet Hinkle Alban ’46, July 15, 2020 Evalou Stauffer Middaugh ’46, Aug. 16, 2020 Miriam Miller Carter ’47, Sept. 18, 2022 Lois Bachtel Spafford ’48, June 19, 2023 Marion Gannon Smith ’49, Oct. 30, 2022 Alice Walter Stoddard ’49, Apr. 2, 2023 Robert Vance ’49, Nov. 23, 2022


John Gilbert ’50, Mar. 2, 2023 Betty Knight Recob ’50, July 11, 2023 Donald Bloomster ’51, July 18, 2023 Beverly Thompson Kelly ’52, June 27, 2023 Nancy Hampton Kibler ’52, Aug. 23, 2019 Robert Wareham ’52, June 8, 2022 Myron Williams ’53, May 14, 2023 Caroline Powell Fisher ’54, May 20, 2023 Carole Lincoln Grandstaff ’55, Nov. 30, 2022 Duane Yothers ’55, May 15, 2023 Thelma Orr ’56, July 11, 2023 Annbeth Sommers Wilkinson ’56, Aug. 23 2023 Barbara Cox Thompson ’58, Mar. 29, 2023 Eva Jane Holmes ’58, Jan. 14, 2023 Eric Winterhalter ’59, Dec. 1, 2022


Leland Brown ’61, Feb. 11, 2019 Janet Schoppelrei Ardrey ’62, July 1, 2020 Richard Swigart ’62, July 23, 2023 Larry Alspach ’63, Aug. 22, 2020 Alan Biddle ’63, Jan. 15, 2022 Ronald Boyer ’63, Jan. 23, 2023 Charles David ’63, Nov. 23, 2021 Thomas Dennis ’63, Dec. 7, 2022 Gar Garman ’63, July 15, 2022 Adelie Bence Henley ’63, Feb. 11, 2019 Paul Indorf ’63, May 11, 2021 Frederick Kletrovets ’63, Jan. 1, 2020 Ruth Hassell Ivory ’63. Sept. 1, 2019 Jerry Linkhorn ’63, Mar. 9, 2020 James Marcum ’63, Dec. 3, 2022 Frank Murphy ’63, Jan. 31, 2022 Michael Murphy ’63, Feb. 7, 2019 Diane Davies Palmer ’63, Mar. 24, 2021 Barbara Parker-Davis ’63, Dec. 3, 2022 Thomas Sharp ’63, Jan. 6, 2023 Gary Reynolds ’64, May 7, 2023 George Parthemos ’65, Aug. 29, 2022 Lee Peglow ’65, May 25, 2022 Trenda Bly Kleinman ’66, Feb. 21, 2022 Warren Wheeler ’67, Mar. 14, 2023 David Ruch ’69, Mar.28, 2023


Susan Cotton Eynon ’70, Mar. 28, 2023 Richard Thomas ’71, July 1, 2023 Susan Keiser White ’71, June 14, 2021 Robin Good Porte ’73, July 13, 2022 Ronnie Stemen ’73, Apr. 12, 2023 Harry Gilbert ’74, May 21, 2019 Timothy Miller ’74, Aug. 1, 2022 William Speaks ’74, Mar. 12, 2020 Margaret Macrum Witt ’74, Jan. 24, 2023 Nadine Rohal Spencer ’78, Sept. 8, 2022 Jane Hurdiss Tolliver ’78 , Nov. 28, 2022


Jennifer Dearth ’86, Jan. 17, 2023 Jon McClintock ’88, Feb. 27, 2023 Barbara Fleshman Wickline ’88, July 29, 2020


Robert Rode '90, Aug. 9, 2023 Bobbye Fritsch Skipton ’90, Apr. 25, 2023 Heather Robinson McClintock ’90, May 18, 2023 Jason McGlothlin ’95, May 22, 2023

2000s Matt Russell ’00, Jan. 17, 2023 Eric Larrabee ’06, June 3, 2023

Remembering our Fellow Cardinals

Eileen Fagan Huston ’57, P’85, P’89, March 27, 2023 Huston taught in the Department of Music as an adjunct professor for many years and was heavily involved within the music community. She was an alumna, Otterbein parent to Carol Huston Driver ’85 and John Huston ’89, and wife of fellow graduate John “Ted” Huston ’57.



Bob Kennedy ’87, April 30, 2023 The longtime Otterbein Athletics PA announcer was well known for his public announcing duties at Otterbein (football, basketball, and volleyball), The Ohio State University (where he was known as “The Voice of Buckeye Football,” but also worked with baseball, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, women’s hockey games, and as a fill-in for men’s basketball) and the Columbus Clippers, in addition to WDLR Radio.

Cheryl Patton P’99, May 6, 2023 Serving as a registration services specialist, Patton was a familiar face in the Office of the Registrar for many years before her retirement.

Kim Fischer, May 19, 2023 Fischer taught in the Department of Health and Sport Sciences for several years. In 2017, a group of exercise science and health promotion seniors honored her for her mentorship and guidance. She was also honored as the Otterbein Teacher of the Year in 2019. The Dr. Kim Fischer Memorial Endowed Award is being created in her memory and will eventually provide support for a rising freshman, sophomore or junior exercise science and health promotion major. Leading the funding effort are Andrew ’06 and Annette ’94 Boose, Laura Green Berger ’10 and Andy Berger ’06, and Caitlin Renner Trainer ’10 and family. To support, please visit, select "Other" from the drop-down menu, and write in Dr. Kim Fischer Memorial Endowment.

Officers of the University Cheryl L. Herbert Chair Vice-chair William E. Harrell Jr. ’94 Assistant Secretary Theresa Harris President John L. Comerford, Ph.D Board of Trustees Peter R. Bible ’80 Mechelle Buys du Plessis P’20, P’22 Rev. April Jones Casperson ’03 John L. Comerford, Ph.D. Talisa Dixon, Ph.D. David W. Fisher ’75, P’11 James L. Francis ’71 Daniel C. Gifford ’88, P’21, P’23 William E. Harrell Jr. ’94 Theresa Harris Cheryl L. Herbert Lisa L. Hinson P’17

Gregory Jordan K. Christopher Kaiser ’77 Yasmeen Khafagy ’25 Susan Millsap, Ph.D. Nevalyn Fritsche Nevil ’71 Mindy S. Phinney ’85, M.D. James D. Shilling ’77, Ph.D. Brant O. Smith ’95 Kathryn Felsenthal Stephens ’97 John Tansey, Ph.D. P’22 Mahad Yusuf ’26

Trustees Emeriti Annie Bauman Ames ’86 Michael H. Cochran ’66, P’93 Michael E. Ducey ’70 William L. Evans ’56 Judith Graham Gebhart ’61 Terry L. Goodman ’70 Mary F. Hall ’64, Ph.D. John T. Huston ’57, M.D., P’85, P’89 Rev. Erwin K. Kerr H’02, P’91 John E. King ’68 John W. Magaw ’57

Alumni Council Carl Bates ’86 Annette Harting Boose ’94 Bob Buchan ’76 Amy Trimble Burton ’98, P’18 Erin Sites Ensign ’08, Chair Fred Glasser ’69 Leondra James Gonzalez ’13 Ben Hoeger ’07 Matt Lofy ’08 Holly Schutz McFarland ’78, Vice-Chair Tammy Roberts Myers ’88 Bryana Anderson Ross MBA’09 Kathryn Felsenthal Stephens ’97 Wesley Thorne ’96 Sheronda Whitner ’12 Kyle Williams ’07

Thomas C. Morrison ’63 Hon. Alan E. Norris ’57 Jane W. Oman H’96 Paul S. Reiner ’68 Peggy Miller Ruhlin ’79 James A. Rutherford P’99 Wolfgang R. Schmitt ’66, P’91 Kent D. Stuckey ’79, P’23 Mark R. Thresher ’78, P’05 Alec Wightman

Tom Bromeley ’51, Sept. 21, 2023 Bromeley was a business and civic leader whose business interests involved newspaper publishing, radio broadcasting, information technology, and stainless steel fabrication and utilization. At Otterbein, he studied physics and mathematics and was a member of Pi Kappa Phi. He was the chief announcer of the inaugural program of the University’s radio station, WOBC, on March 5, 1948. He earned his master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 1953 and served as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1953-1956.

Remembering Otterbein with a bequest from your estate will help sustain and strengthen the University in years to come.

We thank the members of our 1847 Society. Each has made an investment in Otterbein's future through a planned estate gift. Estate gifts are a bridge to the future for Otterbein University and its students.

With their commitments, our 1847 Society members ensure that Otterbein's educational mission will not only endure, but flourish. We celebrate their generosity and foresight.

A dedicated supporter of higher education, Bromeley graciously offered his time, talents, and financial support to Otterbein. He joined the Otterbein Board of Trustees in 1975 and served for 31 years. He was chair from 1996 until 2006, when he was named a trustee emeritus. He also co-chaired the campaign to renovate Towers Hall. Otterbein honored him with an honorary doctorate of science in business administration in 1988 and a Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2002. Bromeley was preceded in death by his wife, Jean Hostetler Bromeley ’54, and his parents, Dr. Robert B. and Marian Grow Bromeley, both 1929 graduates of Otterbein. Lydie Dorelien ’15, MBA’20, Sept. 24, 2023 Otterbein alumna and former admission counselor, Lydie coordinated the Urban Districts Initiative and worked to strengthen Otterbein's work with the Columbus City Schools.

We care about our community. If you know of a Cardinal who has passed, please share this important news with us at

Kathleen M. Bonte Executive Director, Development (614) 823-2707




change service requested


1 South Grove Street Westerville, OH 43081


The residence hall at 25 W. Home St. was dedicated in honor of late President Emeritus Thomas J. Kerr IV (1971-84) and his wife, Donna Kerr, at a ceremony on Sept. 16 during Homecoming and Family Weekend.

Donna Kerr, pictured right, at the dedication ceremony.

Nonprofit Org US Postage PAID Permit No. 21 Freeport, Freeport, OH OH

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