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Students Thankful for Otterbein Community, Family

Students Thankful for Otterbein Community, Family

Thanksgiving is fast approaching on the calendar, and students are anxiously awaiting a short break from classes and a chance to catch their breath before finals week. With the mad dash towards the end of the semester and other general holiday craziness on the way, it can be easy to forget what really matters.

In a recent University Update email to the Otterbein community, President Kathy Krendl gave her well wishes and offered this hopeful outlook on the remainder of the term.

“My hope is that during this season of giving thanks and preparing for a new semester and a new year,” President Krendl wrote, “we also take time to reflect on and reaffirm the many positive attributes that distinguish our community, one of them in particular – caring for and supporting one another.”

We asked five Otterbein students between classes, and during study breaks, what they are most thankful for this year. Here’s how they answered.


My sister goes to school near Buffalo, New York, and I’m thankful that we continue to have such a strong relationship on a daily basis, even though we’re six hours away from one another. On campus, I’m so thankful for the Cardinal Marching Band. This was my final year and I went from being a saxophone player to drum major. I’m so happy I had the opportunity to play with all of these talented musicians.

Meghan Stursa ‘17
Music major, Public Relations minor
Amherst, Ohio


You never really notice how much you enjoy your family until you step away for a while, then you can’t wait to hang out with them again, at least that’s how it is for me. And on top of that, my friends at Otterbein are some of the best people I’ve ever met and I’m truly my most comfortable around them. I’m thankful I get to have both experiences this holiday season.

Connor Dziewit ‘18
Business Management major
Clarkston, Michigan


This will be my first experience the Thanksgiving holiday in America as I am from India. But I am enjoying a lot of it already. Everyone is very happy and coming together to celebrate as family and friends is very nice to see. I’m grateful to also have such wonderful professors and lectures and labs to go participate in. It’s all a very welcoming experience. However, I’m not much of a turkey fan. I’m vegetarian.

Dhruvini Patel ‘20
Nursing major
Gujarat, India


I’m thankful for my entire family as they’re always super supporting of me and my life. All around, I couldn’t ask for anything more. I’ve had so many opportunities at Otterbein, like being the spokesman in the upcoming Giving Tuesday video, which I wouldn’t have been able to do at another school.

Michael Kleman ‘20
Systems Engineering major
Cincinnati, Ohio


I can’t imagine being without my family at my side this whole time my first semester. When I’ve felt down about classwork or feeling stressed out, they’ve always been there with encouraging words and reassurance. I also get the same feeling from everyone at school, like my friends and professors. Otterbein has a wonderful tightknit community feel and everyone helps each other, whether it’s with schoolwork or having fun.

Lillian Cool ‘20
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major
Fremont, Ohio