Mary B. Thomas '28 Commitment to Otterbein Award

The Mary B. Thomas Award for Commitment to Otterbein was established in 2011 by President Emerita Kathy A. Krendl and the University’s Board of Trustees to recognize the remarkable commitment of Otterbein investors to the University.

The award’s namesake, Mary Burnham Thomas ’28 (1907-1999), is fondly remembered and appreciated for her enduring loyalty and service to Otterbein University. Mary was a donor to the institution ever since the Development Board was formed in 1948. A member of the President’s Club, she participated in many capital campaigns. She honored the institution with a $6.3 million estate gift. During her tenure as a member of the Otterbein Board of Trustees from 1960 to 1979, she served as secretary of the Board and as a member of the Executive Committee.

Recipients of the Mary B. Thomas ’28 Commitment to Otterbein Award are recognized for their philanthropic leadership, service, and commitment to advance Otterbein’s mission as a Model Community. Their contributions — offered through significant contributions and/or time and talent (longtime or extraordinary advisory or other volunteer leadership) — provide transformative and lasting change that positively impacts the University and its students, faculty, and staff.

Past Recipients:

2023: Dr. Morton Achter H’00 and Dr. Barbara Chapman Achter H’23
Presented in September 2023 at Homecoming

2022: Mark Thresher ’78 and Deb Scott Thresher ’77
and the Otterbein “O” Club
Presented in September 2022 at Homecoming

2021: Alan Goff ’75 and Coral Harris
The Westerville Otterbein Women’s Club
Presented in September 2021 at Homecoming 

2020: James and Kathleen Rutherford P’99
Presented in August 2020, by Michael McGreevey after cancellation of awards program due to COVID. 

2019:    Annie Upper Ames ’86 
April 13, 2019, at Alumni Awards Gala  

2018: Thomas C. ’63 and Sarah K. Morrison
April 21, 2018 at Alumni Awards Gala 

2017: Wendell Foote ’60
Dr. Thomas R. ’51 and Jean Hostetler ’54 Bromeley
April 2017 at Alumni Awards Gala (presented later in person by Michael McGreevey)

2015:  John ’68 and Susie King   
October 2014 at Nationwide 

2014:  Bill and Helen LeMay ’48 & ’47
April 2014 at Alumni weekend

2013:  No award given 

2012:  Vernon L. Pack ’50
October 2011 at Hilton Polaris, Donor Recognition Dinner

2011:  Vida S. Clements Foundation
Ernest ‘38 and Neva Fritsche
Edwin and Marilou Roush ’47 & ‘45 
October 2010 Northpoint Donor Recognition Dinner 

Mary B Thomas Class Of 1928

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