Long-Standing Loyalty

Posted Sep 16, 2020

Dave Lehman’s ’70 connection to Otterbein runs deep, going back to his boyhood when he would peek through the fence at Memorial Stadium to watch the powerhouse Cardinal football teams in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

He went on to make his own mark in Otterbein athletics, first as a member of the cross country and track teams and later as a highly successful coach in those sports at the University for more than 40 years. He retired from coaching, but not before he and his wife, Claudia Lehman H’97, made a generous $50,000 contribution to the $2.1 million project to install a new track and synthetic turf playing surface at Memorial Stadium.

The gift was another example of Dave’s love and loyalty to his alma mater. How else do you describe a man who convinced his wife to buy a house on West Street in 1972 based on it being in the shadow of Memorial Stadium? The Lehmans still live there after four decades of hosting pasta dinners for Dave’s athletes and providing them with a home away from home.

“It’s a loyalty thing for me. I never was one to think the grass was greener on the other side of the fence,” says Dave, who has lived his entire life in Westerville and helped run his family’s business, Culver Art & Frame Co., until he retired from the company in 2009. “I think we’ve got a pretty good product at Otterbein. It’s worth supporting.

“Otterbein offers the opportunity to have a great four-year experience not just from a classroom standpoint but a life-education standpoint,” he says. “We want to make sure future generations of students have the same great experiences as past generations have had at Otterbein.”