When you lead, others will follow.
This idea is central to Otterbein's role as a leader in higher education. This University has long been defined by its forward-thinking leaders, innovative programs, bold initiatives and its unwavering commitment to principled values.
As another academic year ends, I'm proud of what the Otterbein community has accomplished. I have never been more certain of the need for the kind of leaders Otterbein prepares.
As you read through some of the accomplishments highlighted in this year-end letter, I ask you to consider whether there is something more you might do to guarantee Otterbein's role as a leader in the years ahead.
There are many ways you can make a difference. You can lead by adding your support to this year's Annual Fund to make it another record-breaking year. We also welcome your support as a mentor to students, a fan at Cardinal events, and a recruiter and champion of Otterbein's excellence.
Thank you for your loyalty and your leadership in Otterbein's name. Enjoy your summer! We have great work ahead of us!
President Kathy A. Krendl
This year was one of growth for Otterbein, both academically and physically. The Department of Equine Science was strengthened by a new relationship with the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation, which donated $1.5 million to name the Austin E. Knowlton Center for Equine Science after the Foundation's horse-loving founder, who died in 2003. A dedication was held on Sept. 22. For the benefit of adult and transfer students, Otterbein expanded a partnership with Columbus State Community College to provide a direct path from associate's to bachelor's degree. Additionally, to provide for future physical growth, Otterbein acquired 25 acres of property adjacent to campus, extending from Cleveland Avenue to the University's facility at 60 Collegeview Rd. With all these exciting changes, it's no wonder Otterbein continues to earn national recognition from U.S. News & World Report and Washington Monthly for its focus on academics, service and student success. Otterbein was also recognized by the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the seventh consecutive year for its commitment to citizenship and service. Otterbein's own student feedback put the University in the top 10 percent for "Supportive Campus" and "Academic Challenge" by the National Survey of Student Engagement.
The close of the academic year marked a change in leadership of the Board of Trustees. Tom Morrison '63 completed his eight-year term as chair and retired from the Board, which he has served since 1988. Mark Thresher '78, executive vice president and CFO of Nationwide, has been appointed the new chair. He joined the board in 2000.
As the Annual Fund closes in on June 30, the end of the 2013 fiscal year, it is well on its way to achieving another record-breaking year of contributions. As of June 13, Otterbein alumni, parents and friends had contributed $803,503 — 94 percent of this year's goal of $850,000. Support Otterbein and put the Annual Fund over the top by making your gift today.
The Graduate School Looks to the Future
Otterbein's Graduate School added to its offerings this year to prepare students for careers poised for growth now and in the future with master's degree programs in allied health and educational mathematics. The Graduate Education staff also spent the year preparing to offer a new teacher licensure program in special education. May 18 was an exciting day for Graduate Nursing, with the first class of Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students receiving their degrees. The ceremony marked the first time Otterbein has granted doctorate degrees since 1896.
Otterbein and Its Students Take on Social Issues
Social issues were front and center this year as the University, student groups and individuals brought awareness to a variety of topics. The Graduate School Symposium focused on changing demographics in its fall event, The Changing Faces of Central Ohio). Also in the fall, Otterbein received a grant to research challenges faced by women in STEM fields. Otterbein held its second Community Impact Summit in the spring, this year focusing on social innovation and national policy issues as they relate to business and community development. Communication students teamed up with the Drug Free Action Alliance on a national campaign bringing awareness to issues from the connection between media advertisements and underage consumerism. On campus, students led and participated in events like One Billion Rising.
Campus Guests Enrich Learning Opportunities for Students
An exciting array of guest scholars visited campus last year, speaking to Otterbein students, faculty, and staff about topics ranging from printmaking to controversial mathematics. Dr. Robert Fefferman spoke at Otterbein about the controversy surrounding the pioneering work of mathematician George Cantor in the understanding of infinity as a guest of this year's Vernon L. Pack Scholar-in Residence program. Critically-acclaimed author and cartoonist Alison Bechdel spoke about her life and how it inspired her writing and art as part of the Artist Series. Chilean printmaker Isabel Cauas discussed her work and inspiration at a gallery talk and reception for an exhibition of her work in the Frank Museum of Art. The Science Lecture Series hosted renowned molecular microbiologist Dr. Tina Henkin to discuss RNA and gene expression. Rebecca Skloot, author of Otterbein University's 2012 Common Book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks discussed the issues of medical ethics and individual rights. Human rights were a popular topic this year, as three speakers approached the subject from different angles: Dr. Taliaferro Baszile addressed issues of race for the 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation; author, poet, journalist and human rights activist Roya Hakakian discussed growing up in Iran as a Jewish woman; and Dr. Anna Ornstein discussed the process of mourning and her journey as a Holocaust survivor.
Bringing the academic year to a close, Otterbein tapped two prestigious leaders
to speak at its undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies. Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree and delivered the commencement address to the class of 2013. Dr. James W. Mahoney, executive director of Battelle for Kids, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree and addressed the master's and doctorate degree recipients.