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Otterbein Towers: Legacy of School Pride - The Witts

Otterbein Towers: Legacy of School Pride - The Witts

Editor's Note: This and other stories appear in the Summer 2017 edition of Otterbein Towers Magazine, available online now.

When the first Witt came to Otterbein in 1946, he could not have predicted that nearly 30 future family members (through birth or marriage) spanning generations would follow in his footsteps. 

Elsley Witt ’49 started the tradition, attending Otterbein on the G.I. Bill after serving in World War II. In 1960, he returned to Otterbein as director of financial aid. His brother, Dale, graduated from Otterbein in 1951. In the 1970s, Elsley’s four sons, Keith, Kevin, Kent, and Kerry, also graduated from Otterbein. The tradition continues with neices and nephews and grandchildren.

“Elsley was a big advocate of education. I think he really believed in what Otterbein stood for with its academics, religious affiliations and investing in people. Having so many family members attend, it is an important part of so many lives,” said Amy Witt ’09, a granddaughter of Elsley.

So what keeps Witt after Witt returning to campus? At a Witt family reunion in 2008, Amy’s sister, Megan Witt ’08, posed that question to her family. While many cited high academic standards and the affiliation with the Evangelical United Brethren/United Methodist Church, the legacy was the biggest attraction.

The Witts are proud of their family’s long legacy, and credit Otterbein with giving generations of Witts a quality education and lifelong friendships.

Many of the Witts make it back for Homecoming each year or serve in other ways. Christy Witt Hoffman ’00 has worked with the Otterbein Showcase in New York City; Kent ’75 and Jane Witt ’75 have served on the Alumni Council; and currently, two members of the family work at Otterbein. Amy is a financial aid officer and her brother, Kevin Witt Jr. ’11, MBA ’16, is the copy center coordinator.

“We share many memories when our families gather. Having my granddad work at Otterbein before his children went there gives us more stories about Otterbein, the Westerville area, and the people they met,” Amy said.

“The face of the campus changes with time, but the soul of Otterbein is always the same,” Jane said in a 2008 interview.

“I think it is wonderful that grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins have all walked in the same footsteps,” said Megan. 

Read the entire Summer 2017 edition of Otterbein Towers Magazine online now.