Published December 28, 2019
Wittenberg Alumni & Friends,
As we look ahead to 2020, we do so with anticipation as the year will mark the 175th anniversary of our founding of the place Ezra Keller called "a lovely spot for the location of a literary institution." Keller went on to state that the vision "requires some faith to believe that in after years it will be an academic grove, to which hundreds will resort to drink at the pure fountains of knowledge, and then go forth into the world to do good, to bless mankind." Little did Reverend Keller know that 25,000 alumni would call Wittenberg their alma mater and that more continue to find their light in this "grove" each year.
Our 175th year will commence with a special program called Witt Everywhere on January 16, 2020. From hearing a brief update to seeing campus today, this event aims to bring all alumni together for one evening to engage with Wittenberg. I encourage you to learn more about this opportunity to connect virtually with each other and with the University on the Witt Everywhere website. Additional anniversary-themed programming will also be shared in the weeks and months to come.
For now, as the new year nears, continue to share your Wittenberg story, wear your red and white, refer prospective students, hire an intern or recent grad, pass your light, support our future, stay connected, and come back to campus often.
Michael Frandsen, Ph.D.
Born with one hand, education major Luke Campbell '20 never let that stop him from pursuing his own sports dreams. Now he’s dedicated to helping others pursue theirs with Overcome Disability, a fundraiser he recently organized that will provide money for children with disabilities with the opportunity to participate in sports.
Courtney Buck ’22, Emily Nolan ’22, Rinn Ramcke ’21, and Jamie Spallino ’23 attended the 5th Annual Naylor Workshop for Undergraduate Research in Writing Studies, where they advanced their research projects by engaging in seminars on writing research, collaborating with teams of experienced scholars and peer researchers, and crafting research artifacts.
Kimmey Mugford '21, an art major, shared the educational journey that led to her work being displayed at the 83rd National Midyear Art Exhibition. Her work was selected from 652 artworks submitted by 260 artists.
Save the Date
Save the date for March 11, when we again launch Commit to Witt, our annual 24-hour giving day to support Wittenberg's mission, students, and overall educational experience. This year's event is happening on the exact day of Wittenberg's founding 175 years ago.
Approximately 60 young students from the Springfield community experienced college life through the annual Mini-Witt event hosted by Wittenberg’s community service program. Students representing athletics, academics, and Greek Life organizations volunteered to lead stations in team building, crafts, literacy, games, and science activities.
Kathleen Reinsel, associate professor of biology and the director of the marine science program at Wittenberg, has been named the Dr. George Greenawalt Professor of Biology. Reinsel is the fifth Wittenberg biology professor to earn the distinction.
Ed Hasecke ’97, professor of political science, has been named interim director of the Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Civic and Urban Engagement.
Mike Mattison, associate professor of English and director of both the Writing Center and the Oral Communication Center, has accepted the position of associate provost for undergraduate curricular development and academic support services.
#LifeAfterWitt: Alumni in the News
Cathy Capelle ’76, a world champion diver, was selected to appear in the 2020 Dayton 60 Strong calendar that recognizes baby boomers who have “accomplished unimaginable feats.” She re-entered the world of competitive diving at the age of 46 and won a gold medal and two bronze medals at the FINA World Masters 2019 held in August in South Korea.
For more than 40 years, Susan Palo Cherwien ’75 has traveled the world, studying, composing, and presenting music. In recognition of her exceptional contributions to the worship life of the Lutheran church, she was awarded the 2019 Faithful Servant Award by the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians earlier this year.
Recipes created by cookbook author Judith Merkle Fertig ’72 are featured in the December 2019 issue of Eating Well magazine, on newsstands now. Her recipe for Winter Greens Salad with Pomegranate & Kumquats also graces the cover of the holiday issue.
Leave a Legacy
Appreciated securities are just one of the many ways to make a year-end charitable gift to Wittenberg. Gifting appreciated stock or mutual fund shares instead of cash gives you the opportunity to escape any capital gains taxes on those shares while also receiving a tax-saving charitable deduction if you itemize. If your total annual itemized deductions for 2019 are close to your standard deduction amount, consider making a gift before year-end to exceed your standard deduction. This will lower your 2019 tax bill. Talk to your advisor about what makes sense for your situation; talk to us about what impact you’d like to have with your support. But act soon! Stock and mutual fund shares may take several days to transfer to charitable organizations like Wittenberg University. If you have questions or would like information on how to transfer appreciated securities, please email Chris Nelson, call 937-591-1479 or click here for more on how your strategic and deferred giving can support an area of Wittenberg that has been meaningful in your life.
It’s time to register for the Alumni Postcard Project. Sign up to send a postcard to 10 applicants telling them your Wittenberg story and what makes the University special. Alumni postcard packets will be mailed mid-January, and we ask that you write and mail your 10 postcards by March 1.
Refer a Student
This is the last chance to refer a current high school senior who will be graduating from high school in Spring 2020 and starting college in Fall 2020. The referral award is $1,000 per year! Submit your referral by Jan. 1, 2020. Freshman, sophomore, and junior high school students can be referred to the Office of Admission any time prior to Jan. 1 of their senior year. Make a difference and submit your referral now!
The winter break brings with it plenty of hardwood action as the Tiger basketball teams continue competition. The men's team, ranked No. 3 in the nation, has won each of its first eight games by at least nine points. Connor Seipel '20 is the team's leading scorer and rebounder, and he was honored for his achievements with a spot on the d3hoops.com Team of the Week for games played Dec. 9-15. On the women's side, the Tigers have a 6-4 record after winning three straight, including a 71-56 decision against Muskingum on Dec. 16 in a game played in the recently renovated 1929 Field House. In that game, Delaney Williams '21 tied a Tiger women's basketball record with nine steals. Both teams are back in action Dec. 29-30 for the annual Charles B. Zimmerman Memorial Classic in historic Pam Evans Smith Arena.