Distinguished Alumni

Ottawa University has a long and distinguished history of graduating alumni who have led lives of significance and made a major difference in countless for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. A few of these alumni are worth mentioning by name as examples of Ottawa University graduates who are determined to leave a mark in the world both personally and professionally.

Mitch Barnhart has been the Athletic Director at the University of Kentucky since 2002, establishing his 15X15X15 Plan in 2008. In March 2015, he achieved his goals of ranking among NCAA’s top 15 athletic programs, winning at least 15 conference or national championships, and posting a cumulative 3.0 GPA for UK’s 500 plus student-athletes. In addition, UK Athletics has directly and indirectly contributed nearly $200 million to the UK mission since he came on board. Barnhart is extremely active in community service personally, serving among the people of Appalachia with his wife Connie ’81 and racking up 4,319 UK Athletics community service hours in 2013 -14. Barnhart serves on the NCAA Division I Council and has served as chair of the NCAA Basketball Issues Committee.

Marian Rumohr Getz is the executive pastry chef for the Wolfgang Puck Café in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, and the spokesperson and food preparer on Puck’s live Home Shopping Network show that nets $10 million in cookware and kitchen gadgets each 21-hour weekend it airs. Getz is also author of the popular “Simply the Best” cookbook series. Her skills were featured in a 2005 cover story in Better Homes & Gardens.

Barry Rohde is a former CBS radio news anchor and reporter with affiliate KNX of Los Angeles. His career spanned more than three decades. Though training to be a minister, he landed the job after a CBS radio executive heard the young news and sports announcer on WIOU in Kokomo, Indiana. Barry first served as the announcer for the station’s morning show hosted by future “Hogan’s Heroes” star Bob Crane. He then had stints as a field reporter and sports editor, which Barry considered his dream job. Some outstanding reporting eventually landed him the afternoon-drive news anchor position, which he held for 13 years before moving to the midday shift to finish out his career.

Ontoniel Gonzaga is an internationally renowned opera singer who made his New York City Opera debut in the role of Fernando in Verdi's "Atilla.” After the fall of the "Iron Curtain,” he was the first Asian-American singer to be invited to sing at the Prague State Opera in the Czech Republic. He has also been invited to sing with the Japan Metropolitan Opera, in China for the 20th Anniversary of the diplomatic ties between The Republic of China and the Philippines, for the 50th anniversary celebration of the United Nations, and for His Royal Highness Prince Edward of England during his visit to Marbella, Spain. Gonzaga has sung over 70 major roles in operas around the world.

Bob Wallace spent a total of 32 years with the CIA, both in field operations and senior administration. He served as the Director of the CIA’s Office of Technical Service (OTS) between 1998 and 2002 and coordinated the OTS global response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City. Following his retirement in 2003, Wallace co-authored Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA’s Spytechs from Communism to al-Qaeda, a book that outlines the organizational and operational history of the OTS, the role of technology in the CIA’s covert operations, and insight into the human factor of spy exploits. He also co-authored The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception and Nine from the Ninth, a book about the Vietnam War. Wallace is the founder of Artemus Consulting Group, a network of skilled intelligence and security professionals.

Dan Crabtree, a Stinson Leonard Street LLP Attorney and '78 Ottawa University alumnus was confirmed May 1, 2014, to become District Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. Crabtree was one of six nominations for federal judgeships made by President Barack Obama in August of 2013. His confirmation was unanimous among democrats in the U.S. Senate with a vote of 94-0. Crabtree litigates complex business, antitrust and civil rights cases in both federal and state courts nationwide. He represented the Kansas City Royals baseball team as lead counsel in Senator George Mitchell's investigation of performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball. After earning his B.A. in 1978 from Ottawa University, Crabtree received his J.D. in 1981 from the University of Kansas School of Law.

Bill Edwards started out by touring with Jerry Van Dyke and has spent the majority of his career as a music transcriber and arranger in Hollywood, California. He has worked with such artists as Henry Mancini, Paul Anka, Bette Midler, Bobby Vinton, and Barry Manilow. Edwards has also been a studio singer for numerous TV and hit movie songs, and he helped with musical arrangements for the Utah and Atlanta Olympic Games.