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Learning and Serving in His Hometown

Learning and Serving in His Hometown

When Jacob Dilley was looking for a college to attend, he had some priorities. He wanted top-notch faculty who cared about his success, small class sizes and student organizations and activities he would enjoy. He found it all in his backyard.

Now a junior business administration major with a minor in finance, Dilley grew up in Westerville and was familiar with Otterbein before he started his college search. He commutes from home, and has the luxury of spending time both on campus and with his family.

“Being close to home meant a lot to me,” said Dilley. “I am very close to my family and I wanted to share this experience with them.”

In high school, Dilley drove through campus frequently and even attended some Otterbein events. So when the decision came down to which college he would attend, he knew that Otterbein was the right choice for him.

“I did receive some financial help from Otterbein which helped a lot,” said Dilley. “It keeps me motivated to succeed in school.”

Like many freshmen, Dilley had a bit of a rough time and was somewhat unsure about himself. Now, as a junior, his confidence level has really developed.

“There is a lot of great faculty here,” said Dilley. “One faculty member that stands out to me is Shirine Mafi. She has had a huge impact on me. She and other faculty members saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. They really push me to be better.”

Mafi is the advisor of the Otterbein chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Dilley, president of AFP, recently worked with Mafi and a team of students to raise money for Syrian refugees. The group held a charity dodgeball tournament and raised $500, which they presented to the American Red Cross at the end of fall semester 2015.

“The money…(will go) toward needs such as food, water, and medicine to aid the individuals that have been impacted and displaced by the crisis in Syria,” Dilley said.

As president of the organization, Dilley continues to look to the future of AFP. “For the majority of our members, this was their first year in AFP. We have been working hard to build our group not only in numbers, but also in the impact we have on campus and within the community. I am extremely proud of what we were able to accomplish with this being our first fundraiser. I am very excited to see how we grow as a group in the near future, and how we can extend the impact we are hoping to make within the school and Westerville itself,” Dilley said.

Dilley credits Otterbein with allowing him to become more involved, stay focused, develop independence and find inspiration. Dilley believes that Otterbein sets students up for success during school and after graduation. He has also had the opportunity to gain networking connections that could help him in the future.

“I thrive in the small classroom size,” said Dilley. “The individual attention has made a difference in my grades, my attitude and my overall experience at Otterbein.”

Dilley has found Otterbein to be such a good fit that his younger brother, Trevor, followed in his footsteps. Trevor is a freshman.


Learn more about the Department of Business, Accounting and Economics programs.

Visit the Association of Fundraising Professionals website for more about their organization and events.