Published March 15, 2019
Wittenberg Alumni & Friends,
Last week was spring break at Wittenberg, and I had the pleasure of connecting with many alumni in Florida at our annual Sarasota and Marco Island events. The conversations and stories shared served as significant reminders that Wittenberg experiences and connections are timeless ones that have transformed so many lives. My thanks to those who were able to attend. Special thanks also go to Wes and Ann Bates, both class of 1970 and the lead donors for our Health, Wellness and Athletics Restoration and Expansion initiative, for hosting the Marco Island event in their home.
With the final months of the spring semester moving at full speed, the energy on campus has been incredible, bringing with it many celebratory moments. Admission's recent "I Heart Wittenberg" campaign yielded more than 500 accolades from accepted students about what they love about their future college home. Several students embodied our service excellence as they helped with disaster relief in Alabama last week. Two professors were honored with endowed chairs. Yesterday's annual Empty Bowls fundraiser again showed the power of community in combatting hunger.
Additionally, we are excited that the seventh annual Liberal Arts in Action: A Celebration of Learning will occur on April 5. Sessions from this year's all-day event, which recognizes student achievement and academic excellence, will be streamed via Facebook Live, so I encourage you to check in during the day as you are able. The annual Honors Convocation will then follow at 4 p.m.
Spring may still be a week away, but renewal is already underway. I hope you can feel a sense of the energy for yourselves in this month's alumni e-communication. As always, thank you for sharing your Wittenberg memories at this email and for continuing to inspire all of us with how you live and lead in your careers and communities.
Michael Frandsen, Ph.D.
Springfield-area leaders and local media visited Wittenberg’s campus for a special preview tour of the new Health, Wellness and Athletics (HWA) facilities. Scheduled to be fully operational by Homecoming and Reunion Weekend, Oct. 24-27, the HWA facilities will elevate Wittenberg’s commitment to student success and community building, and set the standard for excellence in Division III.
Choir Tour 2019
One of the most traveled college choral groups in the United States, the Wittenberg Choir hit the road in late February and early March for its annual Spring Concert Tour. Under the direction of Erik Zinter, this year’s group performed a program titled “The Living Spirit” at several Lutheran churches in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
From Setback to Success
#LifeAtWitt: After two ACL surgeries ended his plans to play baseball at Wittenberg, Loie Greenwood '19 found other ways to flourish in college, from leadership roles in his fraternity and involvement with a local youth non-profit to study abroad in Australia and an internship with a Chicago advertising agency. In May, he will be the first member of his family to graduate from a four-year institution.
#LifeAtWitt: Alberto Zaragoza '19 credits Wittenberg’s student success network, including university administrators, fraternity brothers, teammates, and a tight-knit campus community, with helping him overcome obstacles to succeed both athletically and academically.
All About Dance
For four days in early March, nearly 400 students and faculty members representing 26 colleges and universities gathered at Wittenberg for the 2019 American College Dance Association East Central Region Conference, which offered classes, workshops, rehearsals, performances, and social events.
Poems Across the Seasons, a collection of poetry by Professor Emeritus of History Bob Hartje, was recently published by Four Directions Press. History majors at Wittenberg still benefit from Hartje's passion for the institution he served from 1956-1988, thanks to the Martha and Bob Hartje Award in History, presented annually to the senior with the best essay on an historical event or figure.
Professor of Biology Cathy Pederson ’91 has been named the first Elizabeth E. Powelson Chair in Biology, an endowed chair created with an initial gift from the late professor emerita of biology, along with gifts from friends and former students. A recipient of the Omicron Delta Kappa Excellence in Teaching Award in 1999, Pederson has published with more than 100 students while also pursuing her own research in the field of chronic illness.
Kevin Steidel, associate professor of practice in the department of business, is the new Robert E. Ness Chair of Entrepreneurship. His teaching experience and practical experience in entrepreneurship, as well as his efforts to advocate for innovative changes to the business curriculum, led to his appointment.
Tiger Sports Update
The 2018-19 winter sports season has come to a close, but not before significant Red & White fireworks. Making the biggest wave as a team was men’s basketball, which won 11 straight games to capture the NCAC Tournament title and advance to the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. Individually, the highlight was provided by women’s track and field as freshman Alexis Walker took first place in three events at the NCAC Indoor Championships to claim Sprinter/Hurdler MVP honors. As the winter teams were winding down, the spring seasons were heating up with action featuring men’s volleyball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s outdoor track and field, men’s and women’s lacrosse, baseball, softball, and, for the first time as an intercollegiate sport, women’s water polo.
Art majors Madoka Yamakawa ’93 and Michael Ermarth ’91 found more than just a love of art in Florence, Italy, on a study-abroad experience. They found each other, and together they have translated their liberal arts experience at Wittenberg into rewarding careers for themselves.
Recently recognized in the 2018 Top Urban Planners Under 40 in Washington, D.C., Melissa Jackson Lindsjo ’07 is putting her education to work as a senior planner for Loudoun County (Virginia) Planning and Zoning Community Planning Section.
Refer a Student Today
It’s time to start recruiting the class of 2024 (current high school juniors) and beyond! Please refer students you think would be perfect at Wittenberg. It’s never too early to refer a student, and you can refer as many students as you would like. By referring now, the student will receive a $1,000 annual award should they choose to attend Wittenberg.
As shared in President Frandsen's above note, Liberal Arts in Action: A Celebration of Learning will take place on April 5. Close to 150 students representing the best in academic excellence will showcase their work, research with faculty, and experiences to date. The annual Honors Convocation and a special student-alumni networking session will conclude the all-day event, portions of which will be streamed live on Facebook.
Save The Date
Wittenberg's annual day of giving is fast approaching on April 24. If you are interested in becoming a social media ambassador during this year's Commit to Witt, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wittenberg University Alumni Board is made up of 24 dedicated alumni. In an effort to get to know members of the Alumni Board better, brief profiles of members will be featured in forthcoming editions of Tiger Tales. Stay tuned!