Alumnus Rallies Classmates to Honor David Deever ‘61

Posted Sep 16, 2020

The Summer Breeze gathering in June 2015 was a chance for the free-spirited students of the ’70s to kick back and enjoy the college experience together again. And as they reminisced on the people who made their college experience special, a group came together to honor a beloved math professor by announcing an endowed fund in his name.

Alan Goff ’75 and 21 fellow alumni created the Dr. David Deever Mathematics and Computer Science Endowed Fund. Many of them were there for the surprise announcement, attended by Professor Emeritus David Deever ’61.

Deever was one of three mathematics professors, along with Dr. Roy Reeves and Dr. Tom James, responsible for co-developing a new major for Otterbein called computer science. The trio also served as the original campus IT department. When the workload of supporting the computer systems in addition to teaching computer science and mathematics became too much, Deever proposed a separate IT department. This is the origin of Otterbein’s Information and Technology Services (ITS).

Goff led the charge on behalf of his classmates to create an endowment that will provide discretionary resources to support math and computer science at Otterbein and to honor and celebrate Deever.

Goff earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Otterbein in 1975 and took his career path into the field of software development and computer science. He served as a vice president at Chase Manhattan Bank in software development before becoming a consultant in his field.

“When it came time to think of how I got to where I am today and who helped shape me during my years at Otterbein, I knew it was my responsibility to acknowledge what Dr. Deever’s impact meant for me and my classmates,” Goff said.

Pete Sanderson, mathematics professor and former chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, said Deever’s influence has been broad. “In talking with those who knew him well, I can tell you he is remembered with respect and fondness for his advocacy on behalf of his colleagues, his excellence as a teacher and his dedication to Otterbein as a scholar, a teacher, an avid history buff and for his commitment to serving others.”

Through this fund, Goff and his fellow classmates hope others will benefit from the values Deever exemplified. “I know that Dr. Sanderson and those who follow will use these funds in ways that honor the same spirit of innovation and excellence that Dr. Deever will forever represent to me and many of his students,” he said.

Deever was present for the announcement, which was a surprise to him. He was flattered that his students honored him in a way that will continue to help future students at Otterbein.