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

 

 



Taking the long way back

Posted by Janae Melvin on April 4, 2017 in Bicycle, Cannondale, "John Tharp", Ottawa, reunion, University

Usually, when an alum begins making plans to return to his or her alma mater for homecoming festivities the process includes checking flight prices, looking into available hotel rooms and planning the quick trip back for a few days of memories with old classmates and friends. When John Tharp ’66...

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Ottawa University Announces New Residential Campus in Surprise

Posted by Janae Melvin on February 17, 2017 in Arizona, Ottawa, Spirit, Surprise, University

Expanding on more than 151 years of preparing students for lifetimes of significance, Ottawa University announced on Feb. 17, 2017, that it will be opening a brand new residential campus in Surprise, Ariz., beginning in the Fall of 2017.

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OU Women's Soccer Falls Short in National Title Bid

Posted by Janae Melvin/Katie Tooley on November 30, 2016 in Braves, NAIA, Ottawa, soccer, University

The OU women’s soccer team ended a successful season in the most brutal of ways, losing 0-0 (4-2 in penalty kicks) to Northwest College (Wash.) during the round of 16 in the NAIA National Tournament on Tuesday, Nov. 29.

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Nursing Program Experiences Rapid Growth After CCNE Accreditation

Posted by Janae Melvin on November 29, 2016 in CCNE, Maricopa, Nursing, Ottawa, University

Since Ottawa University added an online RN-to-BSN program to the University’s degree offerings in 2013, student inquiries have continued to increase at a rapid pace. Once the program was accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in the summer of 2015, it received the...

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Energizing the International Studies Program

Posted by Janae Melvin on November 29, 2016 in International, IT, MBA

The global appeal of Ottawa University is rapidly growing as word spreads about the quality of education offered both at The College and in APOS. Over the past year, OU has taken steps to again become a major player in the international student market.

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