From the President
Spring 2016

It’s hard to believe the 2015-2016 school year has ended. It seems like yesterday we were helping students move into Martin and Bennett Halls. Now that commencement ceremonies are complete at all our campuses, I sit back and reflect on another successful year and find myself reenergized as we forge ahead, continuing to advance the mission of Ottawa University. 

As this year comes to a close, we wrapped up our Advancing the Vision campaign, the largest fundraising campaign in the history of Ottawa University. Because of you, we raised more than $26 million in gifts and pledges. We have made great strides in ensuring our students have all the tools necessary to go out into the world and make a significant impact.

Everyday, we are helping young minds develop and grow in powerful ways. We continue to keep an eye on the changing demands of society and are exploring new programs that will meet the needs of current and future OU students. We are also currently evaluating existing programs and taking inventory of our classes and coursework to ensure that we are preparing students to enter an even more challenging workforce. 

As we look ahead to the 2016-2017 year, we have seen an increase in inquiries and signed letters for the fall. Word is spreading about the high quality education and the top-notch faculty in the classroom here at OU. We are optimistic about our fall enrollment numbers, especially at The College in Kansas.

I hope that as you read the spring issue of Spirit Magazine you are proud of all Ottawa University has accomplished and the role that you have played in our history. We count on you to be advocates of the University. I cannot thank you enough for your continued support and commitment to expanding the Ottawa spirit.

In the Ottawa spirit,

Kevin C. Eichner ’73, MBA, LLD ’08


Leaving a Legacy: The DeFries Society for the Performing Arts

Posted by Janae Melvin on February 17, 2016 in arts, choir, concert, DeFries, Eichner, Performing

In 2015, Ottawa University established the DeFries Society for the Performing Arts through a generous family gift from alumni Dr. Stanley ’50 and Alice Jo (Hostetter) ’51 DeFries of Lawrence, KS, as well as their children, Lucky ’75 and his wife, Pam ’75, of Topeka, KS; and Paula Nauman ’77 and...

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Helping Students “Plug In” to their Faith

Posted by Janae Melvin on February 16, 2016 in Bible, Braving, Briley, Christian, Discipleship, Ministries, Rivers

If you’re looking for Director of Christian Ministries Briley Rivers ’01, his office would be the last place to check. Since returning to Ottawa University and assuming the role of DCM in July, Rivers has been on the move around campus. He has meetings to get to, Bible studies to attend and lives...

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Women’s Volleyball Team Completes Historic Season

Posted by Janae Melvin on February 16, 2016 in Blessington, Championship, KCAC, NAIA, National, Tournament, volleyball

The Ottawa University women’s volleyball team wrapped up a successful 2015 season that saw the team tie a school record with 34 wins and a victory in the opening round of the NAIA National Tournament for the first time in program history. The team finished the season ranked 23rd in the NAIA Women...

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Legendary Coach Retires

Posted by Janae Melvin on February 16, 2016 in and, country, cross, field, KCAC, Kirk, NAIA, track, Wren

Legendary Ottawa University cross country and track coach Kirk Wren announced his retirement from coaching at the conclusion of the track season. Luckily, Wren is not leaving OU; he has accepted a new opportunity to teach full-time as an associate professor in the School of Education and liberal...

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Jordan Calderwood Runs Away with Cross Country Honors

Posted by Janae Melvin on February 16, 2016 in and, calderwood, championships, country, cross, field, jordan, marathon, NAIA, track

Junior Jordan Calderwood left her mark on the conference this season, capturing the KCAC Cross Country Championship title for the Braves. She finished the race with a winning time of 18:46.6, a victory earned her a spot in her third straight NAIA National Cross Country Meet. It’s the first women...

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