From The President

Posted by cservaes on March 12, 2012 in This is proving to be an especially eventful year at OU as we enter Phase II of our Vision 2020 strategic plan. After summarizing for our many constituents the accomplishments of Phase I in our most recent Annual Report, it is exciting to note that the momentum continues to build. We do hope you have had a chance to read that Annual Report, as it is chock full of news about your alma mater and our future direction. A record number of alumni returned to The College campus to celebrate our Reunion/Homecoming Weekend during the fall semester, which recorded the highest number of enrolled students since 1975. That weekend featured the Angell Snyder School of Business Gala, with namesakes Wayne Angell and Sherwin Snyder and many of their close family, friends, and former students present to honor them. Dr. E. Earl “Sonny” Hays ‘93 MA AZ was also honored as the recipient of the prestigious Esther Ruth Award and Wynndee (Shipp) Lee ’89 was presented the Distinguished Service Award, both from our Alumni Association. Both of these individuals continue to distinguish themselves as trustee leaders, with Wynndee serving as our new Vice Chair and Sonny as Board Secretary. E. Morgan Williams ‘61 was recognized with the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award to round out the celebration. We are truly blessed to have alumni with such talent and dedication to our institution and its purposes. Notably, the Ottawa University football program celebrated its 1,000th game on November 12—the first NAIA program in Kansas to do so—with a rousing 72-6 victory over Bethel, capping off another KCAC championship season and propelling the Braves into their third straight national playoff appearance against a tough Azusa Pacific team in California. Not to be outdone, our women’s soccer team under second year coach Marc Gordon won the conference tournament over nationally ranked Kansas Wesleyan and also earned its second trip in three years to the nationals to be matched against–you guessed it–Azusa Pacific. What a fun and memorable experience for our football and women’s soccer teams to be competing in the playoffs in California on the same day! We were especially thrilled when the football team was selected as the recipient of the 2011 Five Star Champions of Character Award, which recognizes the top team nationally in every sport for “exemplary character and sportsmanship displayed during practice, competition, on campus, and in the community.” We like winning. But we love winning with student athletes and coaches who demonstrate the OU Spirit and who make us as proud of them off the field as on. This is a great honor and we were delighted that others are recognizing what we stand for here at Ottawa University. Our Spring term opened with another record enrollment at both the College and in our Adult, Professional and Online Studies divisions. Momentum in enrollments is being echoed by growth in gift income, spurred by the efforts of our Advancement staff and Advancing the Vision Capital Campaign now in full swing. At this writing, we can document gifts of just over $8 million on our way to our goal of $24 million in support of a new library/student center, the Angell Snyder School of Business, the Fredrikson Chapel and Center for Faith and Church Vitality, endowment and annual fund, student support services, music, and athletics. We will soon be approaching all of our friends to consider how you might contribute to these worthy elements of the OU mission. We hope you enjoy this edition of the Ottawa Spirit magazine. Clearly, the OU Spirit is alive and flourishing, thanks in great part to the support of our thousands of friends and alumni. We are grateful for your help. In the OU Spirit, Kevin C. Eichner