Published May 18, 2017
Nothing but blue skies welcomed a standing-room only crowd in Commencement Hollow to celebrate the Class of 2017 as Wittenberg hosted its 167th Commencement exercises on May 13. Interim University President Dick Helton recognized the 430 graduates and also awarded honorary degrees to two distinguished guests: Commencement speaker Sandra L. Postel ’78 and Christopher Philip Long ’91.
What began in the 1980s as a volunteer program called “Doing Our Share” has grown into an award-winning, nationally recognized program for its commitment to service learning on campus and abroad. Commencement 2017 marks 25 years of Wittenberg graduates who have each engaged in community service as a requirement for graduation.
“Working for the mouse” was a dream come true for communication major Maggie Mullens, class of 2018 from North Canton, Ohio, who spent the spring semester working at Walt Disney World as part of Disney’s College Program. From operating the Tower of Terror in Disney’s Hollywood Studios to taking classes in marketing and leadership, Mullens experienced the “Disney magic” up close and personal.
For Emmaline Higgins, class of 2018 from Severna Park, Md., the chance to study Egyptology at one of the world's best museums has become a reality. The self-designed cultural anthropology major/archaeology and East Asian studies minor will intern at the Turin Museum of Egyptology program in Turin, Italy, this summer.
In 2014, a passionate group of Wittenberg students started the Lesotho Nutrition Initiative, a non-profit organization that works to combat stunting and malnutrition in the South African nation. Now partnering with Pack Away Hunger to host meal packing events, the group has created a powerful video to highlight their efforts to feed 1,500 malnourished children under the age of 5.
Make The Switch
Get the Most out of the Wittenberg network by joining Switchboard, a new social media site now open to Wittenberg alumni and students. Described as a combination of LinkedIn and Craigslist, Switchboard provides a platform where Wittenberg members can ask for what they need and offer what they have, from job and internship opportunities to professional advice.
Invited to Speak
Professor of Political Science and East Asian Studies Bin Yu has been invited by the U.S. Army War College to speak at the prestigious institution in Carlisle, Pa., in recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. A distinguished scholar and author, Yu is also a senior fellow of the Shanghai Association of American Studies and a senior fellow at the Russian Studies Center of the East China Normal University in Shanghai.
Alumni In The News / #LifeAfterWitt
Kirstin Wolfe Flores ’93, executive director of Arizona’s Office of Victim Services, was recently recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime with the prestigious “Crime Victims’ Rights Award.” The team that Flores leads has created programs that advance and enforce statewide uniformity and efficiency in following victims’ rights in Arizona.
Amy Pye Kochensparger ’97 has been selected to represent Ohio as a PBS Digital Innovator, a program that recognizes classroom changemakers who integrate digital media and resources in a way that sparks a love of learning for their students. A LEED Green certified teacher, she teaches science at Eaton High School in Eaton, Ohio.
Meet The Board
A new feature in Tiger Tales, this month's Board members are Martin “Marty” Uhle ’85 and Alicia Sweet Hupp '82.
Uhle is the executive director of the Pierstorf Memorial Fund, based out of Messiah Lutheran Church, Fairview Park, Ohio. The Pierstorf Fund has made $8 million in loans to more than 1,200 students since inception. Marty previously served as president and CEO of Vantage Financial Group in Cleveland, Ohio, and as president and COO of Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. He also serves as superintendent of the Cleveland Lutheran High School Association.
Hupp serves as CEO and president of the Springfield, Ohio-based Sweet Manufacturing Company. Active in the Springfield community, including serving on several area boards, Alicia has been recognized repeatedly for her work and commitment to her hometown. In 2013, she was inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame. She has most recently served as chair of the Advancement Committee of the Board and as a member of the Finance & Investment Committee of the Board.
Thanks to the support of our alumni and the Wittenberg community, the university's annual "Commit to Witt" Day of Giving was a success with 647 gifts and $312,600 contributed ($150,000 of which was through an anonymous gift serving as a challenge match). Thank you for your generosity!