Alumni Awards

2024 Alumni Awards Ceremony

On Friday, September 20, 2024, Otterbein University will celebrate our 2024 Alumni Award recipients in Riley Auditorium within Battelle Fine Arts Center. Recipients and ceremony details will be announced both on this page and via our social media channels in May. 

We hope to see you there! 

2025 Alumni Award Nominations are Open!

Each year, Otterbein University recognizes individuals across a wide range of professions who have demonstrated excellence in one or more of the following areas:

  • Advancement of intellectual curiosity, either professionally or academically, through innovative and intensive research or creative work.
  • Passion for increased intercultural competency and interest in global environments. The honoree also demonstrates transferable intercultural skills that they have integrated and applied across local and international communities through service, volunteerism, or professional contributions
  • Leadership in meaningful change in their profession, community, or the Otterbein campus community; represents the ideal of a committed, industrious, and caring individual.
  • Commitment to society demonstrated thorough civic and social responsibility; they have utilized their knowledge, skills, resources and time to create a clear, positive impact on their chosen community need or issue.
  • Dedication to a high-level of excellence and professional achievement at the local, regional, national or global level in the field of their endeavor.

There are four categories of awards: Rising Star, Otterbein Alumni, Distinguished Alumni, and Honorary Alumni. To learn more about these categories, please explore the “Award Categories” section below.

Otterbein University welcomes nominations from any individual, group, department, or organization. To submit a nomination, simply complete this online form by November 1, 2024.

Recipients of 2025 Otterbein Alumni Awards will be notified in early 2025 and will receive their award in person during the 2025 Celebration of Otterbein, held on campus in September, 2025.

Award Categories

Rising Star Award: This award recognizes accomplished alumni that received their degree within the last 15 years and have not reached their 38th birthday at the time of selection. An ideal candidate will have demonstrated one or more of the following: Community Achievement, Global or Intercultural Achievement, Leadership & Citizenship Achievement, Professional Achievement, Research or Creative Achievement, and Service to the University. *See below for a description of each type of achievement.

Otterbein Alumni Award: This award recognizes accomplished alumni that received their degree 16 or more years ago or are over the age of 38 years. An ideal candidate will have demonstrated one or more of the following: Community Achievement, Global or Intercultural Achievement, Leadership & Citizenship Achievement, Professional Achievement, Research or Creative Achievement, and Service to the University. *See below for a description of each type of achievement.

Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award: This award represents the most prestigious award presented by the Otterbein Alumni Association. Traditionally presented to only one individual per year, this award was established in 1951 to honor graduates of Otterbein University who have achieved recognized national or international prominence in their chosen career and have made significant contributions to their profession, community and the lives of others. The recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award represents the ideal of a committed, industrious, and caring individual to whom the Otterbein community may look as personifying the University’s mission.

Honorary Alumnus/Alumna: The Honorary Alumni Award was created in 1950 for the purpose of recognizing and honoring those individuals, who, though not graduates of Otterbein University, have demonstrated outstanding interest, commitment and involvement in its life and activities. Recipients embody the notion that friends of the University, in addition to its alumni, can play an important and vital role in the enhancement of the institution.

Mary B. Thomas ’28 Commitment to Otterbein Award: Visit this page for more information.  

Award Criteria

*Community Achievement
– Exemplifies Otterbein’s mission of alumni advancing communities
– Commitment to educational, faith, social, diversity, marginalized, environmental, youth or other societal concerns
– Creation of a clear, distinctive, positive impact on a community need

*Global or Intercultural Achievement
– Exemplifies Otterbein’s mission of alumni engaging globally and thinking broadly
– Engagement to advance a diverse population
– Demonstrated intercultural worldview applied through service, volunteerism, or profession

*Leadership & Citizenship Achievement
– Demonstrated outstanding leadership in professional or volunteer activities
– Demonstrated creative problem solving in leadership roles
– Demonstrated mentoring of others

*Professional Achievement
– Exemplifies Otterbein’s mission of alumni advancing their professions
– Demonstrated professional excellence and achievement
– Significant career advancement
– Enhancement of an organization

*Research or Creative Achievement
– Innovative, intensive and thorough research or creative work
– Intellectual curiosity resulting in research excellence in a chosen field of endeavor
– Innovative thinking resulting in creative excellence in a chosen field of endeavor

*Service to the University 
– Giving of time, talents, and service to create a better university
– Generally interpreted to be contributions as a volunteer
– An employee could be considered if their contribution is beyond the scope of their job expectations or is in a voluntary role

Past Recipients

Otterbein Alumni Award

2023 – Jennifer A. Jackson ’03
2023 – Aaron K. Kerr ’91
2023 – Shantel Weinsheimer ’99
2022 – Tonya M. Milligan ’90 MAE ’98
2022 – Alicia D. Caudill ’95
2022 – Theodore Lloyd Jones ’70
2022 – James Wagner ’56 P’81 P’88
2022 – Jodi West Zellers ’96
2021 – Ann Bancroft ’98 DVM, cAVCA, CCRP
2021 – Larry Gifford ’94
2021 – Leslie Lascheid ’81
2021 – George Edward Liston ’52
2021 – Charles W. Noble II ’78 M.D.

Special Achievement

2019 – Margaret Wooding Baker, ’97 MSN
2019 – Roger Nisley, ’67
2018 – Dianne Grote Adams, ’78
2018 – Jeffrey A. Brindley, ’81
2017 – Nita Seibel, ’75 M.D.
2016 – Michael McKinney ’86
2016 – Carlton M. Bates, M.D. ’86
2015 – MaryAnn Everhart-McDonald ’72
2015 – Judge David W. Fais ’65
2015 – Donna Lee Valput Hanly ’00
2014 – Jeri Malmsberry Close ’93
2014 – Ruth Downing ’04, MSN ’06 RN CNP SANE-A
2014 – Dr. Michael Leadbetter ’69
2013 – Steve Johnston ’82
2013 – Lou Ann Layton ’81
2013 – John Wentzell ’82
2012 – Richard Fetter ’73
2011 – Randy Adams ’76
2012 – Ronald C. Moomaw ’74
2011 – Michael E. Ducey ’70
2011 – Arthur B. Fulton ’51
2009 – Thomas Dipko ’58
2009 – Peggy Ruhlin ’79
2008 – Cindy L. Loudenslager ’77
2008 – Al Waterhouse ’82
2007 – David A. Brown ’64
2007 – Wayne Cummerlander ’80
2007 – Jack G. Mehl ’72
2006 – Janet Tressler Davis ’82
2006 – Richard Reynolds ’65
2005 – Douglas R. Knight ’63
2005 – Allen L. Manson ’60
2005 – Tatsuo Tsuda ’55
2004 – Susan L. Canfield ’58
2004 – Mark R. Thresher ’78
2003 – Christine Kapostasy Jansing ’78
2003 – Karl G. Kempf ’69
2002 – W. Edward Harrell, Jr. ’94
2002 – John E. King ’68
2001 – Jerry B. Lingrel ’57
2001 – Michael D. Pratt ’71
2001 – Glen D. Shaffer ’70
2000 – Myron K. Campbell ’77
2000 – Mary F. Hall ’64
1999 – Mellar P. Davis ’74
1999 – Larry D. Schultz ’74
1998 – Robert E. Dunham ’53
1998 – Shirley Omietanski ’56
1997 – Carl Becker ’49
1997 – Richard Kissling ’61
1997 – Lance Lord ’69
1996 – Frederick Collins ’54
1996 – Robert Eschbach ’54
1996 – Curtis Tong ’56
1995 – Richard Gantz ’43
1995 – Jane Griggs ’69
1995 – Gordon Jump ’55
1995 – Morton M. Woolley ’45
1994 – Suzanne Stilson Edgar ’79
1994 – Nita Leland ’55
1994 – Robert Woods ’69
1993 – Roger A. Bell ’59
1993 – Joanne Klepinger Ditmer ’50
1993 – Granville S. Hammond ’40
1993 – John W. Magaw ’57
1992 – Ray W. Gifford ’44
1992 – Dee M. Hoty ’74
1991 – Joseph W. Eschbach ’55
1991 – William J. Rea ’58
1991 – Ferd Wagner ’40
1990 – Lillard E. Law ’51
1990 – Victor Ritter ’48
1989 – Julia Thomas Morris ’60
1989 – Paul S. Reiner ’68
1988 – Waldo M. Keck ’28
1988 – James E. Walter ’29
1988 – Robert E. Holmes ’35
1987 – Denton W. Elliott ’37
1987 – Judith Stone Olin ’62
1986 – Judith Graham Gebhart ’61
1986 – Melvin A. Moody ’36
1985 – Ken Holland ’35
1985 – Adolphus ’40 and Gwen ’40 Pringle
1984 – Sager Tryon ’34
1984 – J. Robert Knight ’28
1984 – Russell E. Garrett ’34
1983 – Harold B. Hancock H’69
1983 – Charles W. Harding ’38
1982 – Floyd C. Beelman ’25
1982 – Katherine Ryan McWilliams ’50
1981 – John R. Wilson ’38
1981 – David S. Yohn ’51
1980 – Alice Propst Hoover ’28
1980 – John M. Karefa-Smart ’40
1979 – James S. Gallagher ’63
1979 – Donald J. Henry ’33
1979 – Philipp L. Charles ’29
1978 – Robert C. Mumma ’27
1978 – Perry F. Wysong ’39
1977 – W. Frederic Miller ’30
1977 – Marjorie McEntire Robinson ’37
1977 – George E. Parkinson ’35
1976 – Carl B. Eschbach ’26
1976 – Isabel Howe Ziegler ’40
1976 – Samuel R. Ziegler ’36
1975 – E. Luella Fouts Clements ’89
1975 – Merlin A. Ditmer ’10
1975 – Royal F. Martin ’14
1975 – W. Harold Anderson ’24
1975 – Carrol C. Widdoes ’26
1975 – Robert Edler
1975 – Harry Ewing
1975 – Albert A. Exendine
1975 – Elmo Lingrel ’17
1975 – Roy Peden ’22
1975 – Arthur Francis ’33
1975 – Robert Shaw ’52
1974 – Ruth Cogan ’15
1974 – John E. Vance ’30
1973 – Alan E. Norris ’57
1973 – Norman H. Dohn ’43
1973 – A. Monroe Courtright ’41
1973 – Wayne V. Harsha ’27
1970 – Robert H. Cavins ’26
1970 – Ray W. Gifford, Jr. ’44
1970 – Richard C. Himes ’47
1970 – Donald R. Martin ’37
1970 – George W. White ’21
1966 – Paul G. Craig ’50
1966 – Mack A. Grimes ’41
1966 – Robert E. Kline, Jr. ’18
1966 – Ralph E. Shauck ’42
1966 – Phyllis Brown Walker ’45
1966 – J. Hutchinson Williams ’44

Professional Achievement

2020- Crystal Kelley ’05
2020- Jeremy Young ’00
2019- Carl D. Gelfius ’00, M.D.

Research/Creative Achievement

2020- Mina Makary ’09 MD, DABR
2019- Mindy McGinnis ’01

Community Service

2018 – The Puskarich Family, accepted by Matthew P. Puskarich ’88
2015 – Dom Tiberi ’81 and Terri Tiberi
2017 – Nancy Loudenslager Cassell, ’65 Ph.D.
2015 – Sherry Williamson ’05
2014 – Mara Matteson ’89
2013 – Amanda Slager Pickerill ’90 and Craig Pickerill ’90
2012 – Mr and Mrs. Doug ’82 and Julie Leigh ’95, ’03 Sharp
2011 – Dr. Susan E. Wiley ’86
2009 – Dee Dee Krumm and Dennis Heffner ’69
2008 – Harvey B. Smith
2008 – Imodale Caulker-Burnett ’63
2007 – Mark Puskarich ’86
2006 – W. Thomas Deever ’68
2006 – Shirley Amos Hodapp ’56

Honorary Alumni

2023 – Barbara K. Achter
2023 – Beth Rigel Daugherty
2023 – Coral Harris
2022 – Stephen Rossman
2021 – Barb Smoot
2021 – Jon Devlin
2020 – Joan Rocks Ph.D, ATC
2019 – Mary Ann Bradford Burnam
2019 – LaJoyce M. Daniel-Cain
2013 – Betty Campbell
2012 – Bruce Bailey
2012 – Craig and Cass Johnson
2011 – Guido Ricevuto
1973 – Ralph Charlesworth
1973 – Mabel Joyce
1973 – James K. Ray
1972 – Marguerite Boda
1972 – Carol F. Frank
1972 – Lawrence S. Frank
1971 – Keith D. Crane
1971 – Mildred Crane
1971 – Myrtle T. Grimes
1971 – Donna L. Kerr
1971 – Thomas J. Kerr, IV
1970 – A. M. Sanders
1970 – Joanne F. Van Sant
1969 – Harold B. Hancock
1969 – Forrest R. Moreland
1968 – Donald N. Ciampa
1968 – Dorothy Ciampa
1968 – Lillian S. Frank
1967 – Opal Henderson
1967 – Henry C. Ruegg
1966 – William G. Comstock
1966 – Samuel G. Ziegler
1965 – O. T. Deever
1965 – Marion E. Morris
1965 – Lena Mae Wilson
1964 – Celia I. Grabill
1963 – Esther Jacobs
1963 – Marguerite E. Nelson
1963 – Alice Rheinaheimer
1962 – Mrs. V. W. Norris
1961 – Sanders A. Frye
1960 – Robert Price
1959 – Harold L. McMillan
1959 – M. J. Miller
1958 – Lynn W. Turner
1958 – Vera Turner
1957 – Merle W. Harner
1957 – Mrs. Merle Harner
1956 – C. E. Ashcraft
1955 – Wade S. Miller
1955 – L. Lee Shackson
1954 – Harry W. Ewing
1954 – A. R. Spessard
1953 – A. J. Esselstyn
1952 – Wesley O. Clark
1952 – James H. McCloy
1951 – A. R. Clippinger
1951 – Aleece Cowan Gresham
1951 – Henry Ochs
1950 – B. C. Glover

Pacesetter Award

2020 – Joyce Ray ’00
2019 – Rhonda Talford Knight ’96
2018 – Tonye T. Patano ’83
2017 – Rob Gagnon ’87
2017 – Tammy Roberts Myers ’88
2016 – Karen Kasler ’89
2016 – Margenett Moore-Roberts ’94

Distinguished Alumni Award

2023 – Robert S. Fortner ’70
2023 – Eunice Fanning Foster ’70
2020 – David Robinson ’78
2019 – M. Robert Yakely ’62
2017 – James Shilling ’77 Ph.D.
2016 – Mellar P. Davis, M.D. ’74
2015 – General Lance W. Lord ’68
2013 – Thomas C. Morrison ’63
2012 – Brian K. Hajek ’66
2011 – David Yohn ’51
2009 – Paul Paulus ’66
2008 – Kent Stuckey ’79
2007 – Bruce E. Flinchbaugh ’75
2005 – William and Sonya Stauffer Evans ’56
2004 – Robert E. Woods ’69
2002 – Thomas R. Bromeley ’51
2000 – Francis M. Pottenger III ’51
1999 – Marilynn Etzler ’62
1998 – John T. Huston ’57
1997 – William LeMay ’48
1996 – Hugh Allen ’62
1995 – Sylvia Vance ’47
1994 – Steve Lorton ’68
1993 – Tony E. Hugli ’63
1992 – Wolfgang R. Schmitt ’66
1989 – Alan E. Norris ’57
1988 – Edwin L. Roush ’47
1987 – J. Hutchison Williams ’44
1986 – Franklin M. Young ’26
1985 – Rillmond W. Schear ’20
1984 – Wilbur H. Morrison ’34
1983 – Robert B. Bromeley ’29
1982 – Howard A. Sporck ’34
1981 – Frank M. VanSickle ’41
1980 – Kenneth W. Bunce ’30
1978 – Mary C. Lord ’45
1977 – Virginia Norris Smith ’36
1976 – William K. Messmer ’36
1974 – L. William Steck ’37
1973 – Virgil O. Hinton ’34
1972 – Emerson Shuck ’38
1971 – Verda B. Evans ’28
1970 – Earl R. Hoover ’26
1969 – Horace W. Troop ’23
1968 – Elmer N. Funkhouser, Jr. ’38
1967 – Harold L. Boda ’25
1966 – J. Gordon Howard ’22
1965 – Francis M. Pottenger, Jr. ’25
1964 – John A. Smith ’33
1963 – Richard E. Caulker ’35
1962 – Lehman Otis ’33
1961 – Sylvester M. Broderick ’24
1960 – DeWitt Zuerner ’10
1959 – W. R. Huber ’16
1958 – Roy A. Burkhart ’27
1958 – Herman F. Lehman ’22
1957 – Richard Bradfield ’17
1956 – Francis Bundy ’31
1954 – Mabel E. Gardner ’08
1952 – F. M. Pottenger ’92
1951 – E. L. Weinland ’91
1951 – John Finley Williamson ’11

Service to Otterbein Award

2020 – Karl Niederer ’75
2009 – Wendell ’60 and Judith Lovejoy Foote ’58 (posthumously)
2004 – Elizabeth Glor Allen ’64
2004 – Lewis Michael Duckworth ’63
2003 – Jane Morrison Horn ’50
2003 – Leslie E. Mokry ’47
2002 – Dayton Otterbein Women’s Club
2002 – Westerville Otterbein Women’s Club
2001 – Edward L. Mentzer ’58
2000 – William N. Freeman ’57
1999 – Helen Hilt LeMay ’47
1999 – Elmer “Bud” Yoest ’53
1998 – Victor ’48 and Eileen Ritter
1996 – Mary Bivins H’85
1995 – John Becker ’50
1995 – Margaret Lloyd Trent ’65
1994 – Lillian Frank H’68
1994 – James A. Grissinger H’75
1993 – Harold Boda ’25
1993 – Marilyn Day ’53
1992 – Frederick E. Brady ’39
1992 – Albert V. Horn ’49
1992 – Chester R. Turner ’43
1991 – Francis “Red” Bailey ’43
1991 – Larry Boor ’36
1991 – Norman H. Dohn ’43
1989 – Grace Burdge Augspurger ’39
1989 – Alberta Engle MacKenzie ’40
1988 – Charles W. Dodrill H’79
1987 – Wilbur R. Franklin ’23
1986 – Henry V. A. Bielstein ’55
1986 – Edmond J. Booth ’36
1986 – Robert L. Corbin ’49
1985 – Charles S. Beadle ’54
1985 – Nellie Niswonger ’26
1985 – Donna L. Sitton ’55
1984 – Craig Gifford ’57
1983 – William E. LeMay ’48
1983 – Edna Smith Zech ’33
1982 – Benjamin B. Copeland
1981 – Harold F. Augspurger ’41
1981 – Robert C. Barr ’50
1980 – Robert S. Agler ’48
1980 – George H. Dunlap H’69
1979 – Dwight C. Ballenger ’39
1979 – Homer D. Cassel ’17
1979 – Phyllis L. Shultz ’52
1978 – Mary B. Thomas ’28
1978 – Edwin L. Roush ’47
1977 – Sara Kessler Steck ’37
1977 – S. Clark Lord ’39
1976 – Richard A. Sanders ’29
1976 – Morris E. Allton ’36
1975 – Melvin A. Moody ’36
1975 – William C. Moffitt
1973 – Evelyn Edwards Bale ’30
1971 – Lynn W. Turner H’58
1970 – Frederic R. Bamforth
1970 – Albert J. Esselstyn H’53
1970 – B. C. Glover H’50
1970 – James H. McCloy H’52
1970 – Lyle J. Michael ’19
1970 – Edward W. E. Schear ’07
1969 – Wade S. Miller H’55
1964 – Ed Begley
1964 – Carl Copp
1964 – Ray W. Gifford ’17
1964 – Joe P. Hendrix ’17
1964 – John F. Smith ’10

Mentor Impact

2017 – Allen Prindle

Rising Star

2023 – Lauren Lichtenauer ’11
2023 – Sarah H. Mabee ’07
2023 – Keeshon Morrow ’08
2023 – Andrew Tobias ’08
2022 – Hilary Stone MBA ’20
2022 – Karen Castro ’12
2022 – Brooke Wilson ’10
2021- Andy Chow ’08
2021- Andrew J. Grant ’08
2021- Maria Wheeler-Dubas ’08 Ph.D.
2020- Tony Bishop III ’15, MSAH ’18
2020- Andrea Drago ’10 MS, RN, NE-BC
2020- Jonathan Hill ’15
2019- Sherona Whitner ’12
2019- Anna Walker ’07
2019- Dr. Christine Humphrey, MSN/MBA ’14, DNP ’18, RN
2019- Kimberly Shapiro ’16
2019- Amanda Helmrich Julca ’06

Leadership & Citizenship

2019- Melica Hampton ’04

Mary B. Thomas Commitment to Otterbein

2023 – Morton J. H’00 & Barbara K. Achter
2022 – Otterbein “O” Club and Mark ’78 & Deborah Scott ’77 Thresher
2021 – Alan Goff ’75 and Coral Harris and Westerville Otterbein Women’s Club
2020 – James & Kathleen Rutherford P’99
2019 – Annie Upper Ames ’86
2018 – Thomas C. ’63 and Sarah K. Morrison
2017 – Wendell Foote ’60 and Dr. Thomas R. ’51 and Jean Hostetler ’54  Bromeley
2015 – John ’68 and Susie King
2014 - Bill and Helen LeMay ’48 & ’47
2012 – Vernon L. Pack ’50
2011 – Vida S. Clements Foundation , Ernest ’38 and Neva Fritsche , and Edwin and Marilou Roush ’47 & ’45

Past Award Ceremonies

2023 Celebration of Otterbein

On Saturday, September 16, we celebrated the contributions of our 2022 Alumni Award Honorees. You can watch the entire ceremony here.

2022 Celebration of Otterbein

On Saturday, October 1, we celebrated the contributions of our 2022 Alumni Award Honorees. You can watch the entire ceremony here.