From the President
It seems no matter how hard we wish for it, time doesn’t seem interested in slowing down. It’s hard to believe we have welcomed our 152nd class to Ottawa University – and for the third year in a row, we’ve seen the largest number of students on our campus in more than 40 years. It’s always exciting to reconnect with old friends and welcome the new faces to OU each August as we continue to grow the University community. I was right there on move-in day, watching returning students carry their belongings into the residence halls and assisting the first year students find their way around campus just as I have since becoming president of our beloved University.
With each new academic year comes a time to reflect on the accomplishments of the previous year. We experienced tremendous growth in our nursing and engineering programs, welcomed more than 25 international students thanks to a renewed focus on our international studies program, received national accreditation of our business school, and improved facilities and technology capabilities across campus.
Our student-athletes made a statement on the field of play last season. Women’s volleyball and women’s golf won KCAC Conference Championships, 12 teams earned NAIA Scholar Team Awards, three were named KCAC Champions of Character, and a NAIA Individual National Championship was won in women’s wrestling. And all of this was possible thanks to the leadership of our 2015-2016 KCAC Athletic Director of the Year Arabie Conner and the amazing coaching staff that she has assembled.
As always, I’m proud of the hard work and dedication of the OU administration, faculty and staff – they are the gears that keep this University moving forward day after day. Their vision for our students experience while on campus has been instrumental in creating the atmosphere that has helped us reach record enrollment numbers for the past three years.
I would be remiss if I didn’t stop and take a moment to extend my deepest gratitude to you, our alumni and friends, for your ongoing support of our programming, athletics and student activities. Ottawa University holds a special place in all our hearts and without you, we wouldn’t be able to celebrate nearly 152 years of significance in the lives of all we encounter.
I hope you enjoy this latest issue of Spirit Magazine as much as we enjoy sharing the stories and imagery with you. We look forward to seeing you all during Homecoming Weekend, October 20-23, here on campus.
In the Ottawa spirit,
Kevin C. Eichner ’73, MBA, LLD ’08
Posted by Janae Melvin on February 17, 2016 in 150th, alumni, BAHOF, banquet, Gangwish, Homecoming, sesquicentennial
Ottawa University hosted its annual Homecoming festivities October 15 – 18 at The College. The highlight of the weekend was the dedication of the new Gangwish Library and Gibson Student Center and then the Sesquicentennial Convocation, the culmination of the University’s year-long celebration of...
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...
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...
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...
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...