Otterbein University Flu Shots Funded by Donors

Posted Nov 13, 2020

We know students don’t get flu shots regularly — they feel healthy and the hassle of figuring out Mom and Dad’s insurance doesn’t seem worth it. This year there is a real reason to encourage them, so a group of donors funded free flu shots for all current students, whether they have health insurance or not. 

“Otterbein is committed to removing barriers to success for our students. There are many examples, from Student Success and Career Development staff helping students overcome academic challenges to the Promise House addressing food insecurity,” said Michael McGreevey, vice president for institutional advancement. “When we saw a need for students to protect their health with flu shots, we mobilized to remove one barrier — the cost.” 

On its own, influenza is an unpleasant and potentially deadly virus. But this year, two easily transmissible and potentially deadly viruses will be circulating in the community at the same time, testing the limits of healthcare providers. Not only is the flu shot the most effective way to avoid getting the flu, but it is also an effective way to conserve precious healthcare resources needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Many of the donors have backgrounds in healthcare and have a deep understanding of the importance of the flu shot.  

Alumna Donna Hanly ’00 is the former senior vice president and chief nursing executive at OhioHealth. Her nursing background motivated her to fund flu shots for students. “I chose to donate to the student flu vaccine program for two reasons. As a nurse, I am passionate about supporting good health, and those things that we can do to help to ensure our health. Getting a flu vaccine not only protects you, it helps to protect those around you. Second, as an Otterbein graduate, I am so proud to be able to give back, and to support the great programs that the University provides.” 

Other donors gave because they felt it was the right thing to do.  

Robert Woodruff ’67, a longtime Westerville resident who retired from Blendon Middle School in 2000 after 32 years of service, said donating to the cause was an easy decision for him. “I always feel that if you could help someone you should. Everyone should be able to get a flu shot at this critical time,” he said. 

Still others saw the bigger picture.  

“Our country and the entire world need Otterbein graduates more today than ever in our lifetime. Our future depends on these dedicated people,” said Curt Moore ’64. “I am honored to be able to support the flu vaccination effort to help ensure 100% participation in this program.” 

No matter what their reason is for supporting free flu shots for students, the result is the same — a healthier and stronger Otterbein community. 

“Our donors come together when the need is there,” said McGreevey. “They care about and support their fellow Cardinals, asking for nothing in return. That’s what makes Otterbein so special.”