Roush Hall

Edwin and Marilou Roush

Otterbein University’s unparalleled friendship with Edwin “Dubbs” ’47 and Marilou Harold ’45 Roush has spanned for more than 50 years. The Roushes’ loyalty and their philanthropy to the University will be felt by the Otterbein community and its friends forever.

A native of central Ohio, Dubbs attended Otterbein for three years before enlisting in the U.S. Navy, spending the majority of his three-year tour in the South Pacific. After his discharge, Dubbs returned to Westerville, married his Otterbein sweetheart, Marilou, in 1946, and finished his bachelor’s degree in education.

He was co-captain and quarterback of the 1946 Ohio Conference championship football team—a first for Otterbein. He was later  drafted by the Detroit Lions and led their club team to the American Division Championship before returning home to Westerville.

While he and Marilou started a family, Dubbs taught and coached in two local high schools and painted houses for extra money which led to the opening of Roush Hardware in 1951. Over the years, he added motorcycles, cars and sporting goods to his family of stores, which today includes Roush Honda and Roush Sporting Goods. In 1980, a second hardware store was opened in Dublin and his auto sales business was recognized by Honda as a top dealer in the country.

“I don’t think there was ever anything he thought he couldn’t accomplish,” said Bud Yoest, former longtime athletics director at Otterbein and friend of the Roushes since the early 1950s.

Always loyal to Otterbein, Dubbs led the formation of the Otterbein “O” Club in 1955, serving as its first president. He was a longtime member of the Otterbein Board of Trustees, serving as chairman before retiring as a trustee emeritus. He also served as a trustee for the Vida S. Clements Foundation.

Yoest said Dubbs always asked what the school needed and then had a part in making it happen. He and Marilou gave generously to many Otterbein campaigns, including the lead $2 million naming gift to build Roush Hall, dedicated in 1993, and the lead private donation for Memorial Stadium, dedicated in 2005. Over the years, the Roushes have made substantial contributions to the Clements Recreation Center, the “O” Club Foundation and many other athletic endeavors. In 1985, Dubbs established the Roush Family Scholarship.

Otterbein recognized Dubbs for his commitment and accomplishments with the Distinguished Service Award in 1978, the Honorary Doctor of Business Administration in 1982 and the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1988.

Marilou served as an active participant at many Otterbein functions including the Leadership Giving Society events and the 1945 Golden Year Reunion committee. She and Dubbs raised five children, three of whom graduated from Otterbein.

On June 8, 2011, the Otterbein and Westerville communities said goodbye to this “ultimate business and civic leader.”

“Dubbs epitomized the culture of Otterbein,” said Otterbein President Kathy Krendl. “He was a caring and giving individual who made lasting friendships. His engagement with the Otterbein community, Westerville community and beyond has left us in a better place.”

There is no doubt that the selfless giving and loyal friendship of Dubbs and Marilou Roush have left lasting footprints in the Westerville and Otterbein communities, footprints that have forever changed the lives of students, athletes, alumni, administrators and friends.

Mary B Thomas Award Seal

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