Published May 18, 2018
Wittenberg’s service-focused mission was on full display during the 168th Commencement exercises on May 12, as the university celebrated with the Class of 2018, their families and distinguished guests. President Michael Frandsen welcomed the 370 graduates and their families, along with keynote speaker, His Majesty King Letsie III, the Constitutional Monarch of the southern African Kingdom of Lesotho and an education leader in his role as chancellor of the National University of Lesotho.
Wittenberg has received a $10 million gift from Thomas B. Hagen and Sarah Hagen McWilliams ’88 to renovate Koch Hall and advance the visual arts. The gift is expected to transform the historic building’s teaching and learning spaces to accommodate both the traditional fine arts and new spaces for new media, as well as attract future students.
Concerned Black Students (CBS) hosted the first-ever congratulatory dinner to honor students of color and those representing various nationalities, as well as the recipients of five special awards. The dinner, which CBS plans to make an annual event, seeks to connect students of color with alumni.
To help prepare computer science and business students for the rapid advances in technology and its use in business settings, Wittenberg has created a new major in information systems. Scheduled to begin in fall 2018, the program is designed for students interested in technical careers who also have talents in organization, administration and management.
New VPFA Named
Rob Young, an executive and strategic business consultant, and the former vice president for business and finance at Hendrix College in Conway, Ark., has been named Wittenberg’s new vice president for finance and administration.
All About Alumni
Holly C. Gersbacher ’03, associate director of alumni engagement and scholarship initiatives at Wright State University, will serve as Wittenberg’s new director of alumni relations and lifelong engagement. She will begin her tenure on May 21.
Commit to Witt
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 677 gifts and $313,040 contributed ($150,000 of which was through an anonymous gift serving as a challenge match). Thank you for your generosity!
Wittenberg will offer Activate, a summer leadership academy with an emphasis on entrepreneurship, social justice and inclusion, from June 24-27. Designed for high school students entering grades 11 and 12, the program explores leadership through every lens while helping students build skills to stand out in the college admission and scholarship process.
Progress on the Health, Wellness and Athletics facility continues, with much of the recent construction work focused on the 1929 Fieldhouse, including framing walls and roughing-in of mechanical, electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems. In addition, substantial site work related to utilities has been done in preparation for concrete foundations for the new indoor facility.
Warren Copeland, professor of religion, faculty director of the Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Civic and Urban Engagement, and mayor of Springfield, was awarded the University’s highest recognition, the Wittenberg Medal of Honor, during Commencement, May 12.
Associate Professor of Political Science Heather Wright and Associate Professor of Psychology Michael Anes, along with nine Wittenberg students, will travel from the mountains to the sea as they traverse the entire length of Poland in less than four weeks this summer. Students will explore ideology and identity in Polish culture and study the psychology of the Holocaust. Follow their journey here.
Alumni In The News / #LifeAfterWitt
Erin Hord '17 is living the dream daily in Maui, Hawaii, as a naturalist for the Pacific Whale Foundation. A crew member on a 150-passenger, double-hull catamaran vessel, Hord provides excellent customer service to all passengers, and educates them about the marine environment.
Charlie Bush ’97, city manager for Sequim, Wash., has been awarded a full scholarship to the Harvard Senior Executive program by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) in recognition of his outstanding job performance.
Former Wittenberg head men’s basketball coach Larry Hunter, whose head coaching career began in 1976-1977 by guiding the Tigers to a NCAA Division III National Championship, passed away May 4, 2018.