From the Chancellor
Spring 2018

Dear Friends:

Greetings to all of you from all of us from OU in Kansas, Arizona, Wisconsin, Indiana, and across the nation where Ottawa University continues to pursue its most worthy mission.

In this issue of Spirit Magazine, you will learn why your president now has a new title and how the Board of Trustees is looking to further undergird the long-term growth and impact of our 153-year-old institution.  You will learn of some incredible generosity thanks to Jim ‘57 and Jeanne ‘56 O’Dell who have made a transformational gift to secure the future of our new OUAZ campus in Surprise, Arizona.  You will discover yet another example of how OU is living out its Christian faith commitment.  You will read of many examples of the vibrant life of a school that was once a small, one campus operation on the plains of Kansas and has grown now into a full and comprehensive university system serving over 4000 students and with revenues expected to grow by nearly 50% this year alone.  And, sadly, you will learn of the passing of some wonderful people who, each in their own special ways, helped to contribute to and shape the Ottawa University of today.

At the time you read this, Marylin and I will mark the tenth year of our service here.  The decision to accept the invitation of the Board back then was very difficult for us, as we were firmly rooted in St. Louis with family, friends, and leadership of company that we co-founded. Life there had become very successful and fulfilling for us.  Marylin had literally lived her entire life in that community.  The very thought of uprooting and moving to Ottawa, Kansas, to take on the multi-faceted challenges of a beloved but struggling school was daunting to say the least.  For both of us.

Now, those ten years have gone by seemingly in the blink of an eye.  With the help of five Board chairs who managed to completely surprise us with their individual retrospectives at our board dinner in Arizona at the end of February, we were reminded of all that we have faced at OU in that time—the struggles and the wonderful victories.  When one tries to put it all in perspective, it can feel overwhelming and breath taking.  But the net residual take-away from all of it is that we both feel that we have been very blessed to be a part of this portion of the Ottawa story.

So, now we look together to the future.  Our plan is to continue in our newly revised structure to lead into and through Vision 2020.  Continued growth, albeit more muted, for our OUKS Ottawa campus is the intent and the challenge for a new president for that campus.  Further stabilization and modest growth of our Adult, Professional, and Graduate studies programs is the plan there.  And the more rapid growth and expansion of our new campus in Surprise, Arizona must all be brought together in a way that delivers on our commitments to all of our constituencies wherever they reside and whatever role they play.  As a friend of mine says, “you have a lot of plate spinning to do.”

And so we mark another year in the journey of a fine institution.  Grateful for so much support and many blessings in so many configurations.  Challenged to do what we do but to do more of it and better.  Building lives and communities and organizations of significance.  These are fine things to get to spend one’s life doing, and so we do it gladly and with reverence.

We thank you for who you are, what you do for OU, and what you have meant to us.

In the OU Spirit,

Kevin C. Eichner
’73, MBA, LLD ’08



Head Women’s Soccer Coach Marc Gordon wins NSCAA and KCAC Coach of the Year Honors

Posted by Janae Melvin on April 4, 2017 in

Ottawa University women’s soccer head coach Marc Gordon was named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Plains Region Coach of the Year and the KCAC Coach of the Year after an impressive 2016 season.

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Wrestling programs has successful postseason

Posted by Janae Melvin on April 4, 2017 in

The Ottawa University women’s wrestling team was the national runner-up at the 2017 National Collegiate Wrestling Association National Championships. The Braves were led by sophomore Valeria Rivera who won the National Championship in the 109 pound weight class. Rivera is the second women’s...

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Ottawa University adds bowling to varsity sports teams

Posted by Janae Melvin on April 4, 2017 in

In December, Ottawa University announced it will add men’s and women’s bowling to its lineup of varsity intercollegiate teams. The teams will begin competing in the 2017-2018 season and recruiting has already begun. The addition of bowling brings the number of intercollegiate teams offered at...

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Braves Have Strong Showing at 2017 KCAC Indoor Track & Field Championships

Posted by Janae Melvin on April 4, 2017 in

The OU men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams competed at the 2017 KCAC Indoor Track and Field Championships on Friday, February 3 and Saturday, February 4. The women finished seventh and the men placed eighth at the meet. Bryanna Music brought home the Braves only KCAC Championship. She...

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Work continues on Dick Peters Sports Complex facility upgrades

Posted by Janae Melvin on April 4, 2017 in

Work continues on improvements to the Dick Peters Sports Complex on the campus of Ottawa University thanks to the generosity of donors and the successful Advancing the Vision Capital Campaign. The complex, which is currently home to the baseball and softball facilities, will be enhanced with the...

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