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



Arabie Conner Named 2016-2017 Under Armour NAIA Athletic Director of the Year

Posted by Janae Melvin on April 4, 2017 in

Ottawa University Athletic Director Arabie Conner has been named a 2016-2017 Under Armour NAIA Athletic Director of the Year by The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). Conner will be recognized during a ceremony on June 13, at NACDA’s 52nd Annual Convention in...

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KICA Student Day 2017 at Kansas State Capitol

Posted by on April 4, 2017 in

Annually in February, the Kansas Independent College Association (KICA) hosts Student Day at the Capitol in Topeka, KS. This year, three students from Ottawa University represented the school at the State Capitol Building; seniors Ada Castro and Jacyn Dawes, and sophomore John Hawks. The students...

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Ottawa University seniors bring home first place awards at annual DECA competition

Posted by Janae Melvin on April 4, 2017 in

Ottawa University DECA business students competed in the annual Kansas DECA State Career Competition held at Fort Hays State University on February 17. The competition is open to all regional schools and approximately 50 students from five universities participated.

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Pi Kappa Delta honors Ottawa University alumni

Posted by Janae Melvin on April 4, 2017 in

Ottawa University alumni Dr. Jack William Bremer ’56 and Wilma (Rugh) Taylor ‘56 have been awarded the Order of Attainment from Pi Kappa Delta, the national speech organization. The Order of Attainment is the highest award bestowed on PKD alums and is presented to those who have achieved a...

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From Braves to Chiefs

Posted by Janae Melvin on April 4, 2017 in

His brother’s experience during his own campus visit is all Bobby Adamson ’12 needed when making a final decision about whether or not to enroll at Ottawa University. He was looking for a place to transfer to for his final two years of college while his brother Travis ’14 was being recruited by...

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