From the President
Summer 2017

Dear Friends:

As this is written, we are preparing for our summer board meeting and to wrap up our 152nd fiscal year of operations at Ottawa University. As I enter my 10th year as president of this special place, I look back in awe at what has been accomplished over the decade and forward with real optimism about what lies in front of us despite many challenges.

In particular, I am grateful that this past year we achieved the highest enrollment at our College in Ottawa since 1975, we were able to reverse a multi-year downtrend in new enrollments in our adult sites with a gain of 14% in new students and we announced the opening of our new residential branch campus in Surprise, Arizona. Taken together, these are momentous achievements for our University and come at a fortuitous moment in our institutional life.

These gains are made possible by new academic programs such as those in nursing, business, and in the international student arena where OU has once again managed to establish a highly successful Executive MBA program for students in the U.S. who come from international backgrounds. They are also made possible by a talented and enormously dedicated board of trustees, faculty, staff, and administrative team that day in and day out demonstrate their commitment to our mission and vision.

After some years of painful contraction (primarily in the adult markets), we are again repositioning OU for some significant new growth. In fact, we are budgeting revenues to grow by over 20% this coming year - the first such growth in many years - driven by new programs, the new campus in Arizona and enhanced fundraising. Very few educational institutions can even dream of such numbers in this day and age, and in that and many other ways we are blessed.

This growth is essential to us as we remain a tuition driven institution. However, through your generosity, our ratio of donated income to that of tuition is steadily improving. You - our friends, alumni, and donors - are key to all we do here. For your prayers, your referrals and your support in all of its forms, we are humbled and grateful.
We hope you enjoy this latest edition of Spirit Magazine.

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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