Published October 19, 2019
Wittenberg Alumni & Friends,
Homecoming & Reunion Weekend is almost here, and the campus community cannot wait to welcome you back, October 24-27. The full schedule is included below, but a few highlights of the weekend include commemorating the 50th anniversary of the CBS Walkout and officially dedicating our new 265,000-square-foot Health, Wellness & Athletics Complex. As the finishing touches fall into place, I am even more excited for you to see the complex up close and personal as it will set the new standard of excellence and enhance the student experience for generations.
Also during Homecoming, we will be able to see the power of Wittenberg's light in the world as reflected in the recipients of our annual Alumni Achievement Awards. Reading about their impressive accomplishments and seeing how they are living our their Wittenberg experience and our motto both reaffirm the undeniable, life-changing difference our education makes. Thank you for continuing to share your accomplishments with us.
I look forward to seeing many of you next week as we celebrate the spirit that has defined us since 1845. Your stories of the past and present and your partnership for the future are essential in moving us forward.
Michael Frandsen, Ph.D.
In The News: NSF Grant, Cape Town Program, Global Missions, Wittenberg Series Speaker, NCAA Leadership, and ESPN's Top 50
From the traditional football game and tailgate to the dedication of the new HWA Complex, the 50th Anniversary of the Concerned Black Students Walkout, the Alumni Achievement Awards brunch, and all the special reunions this year, there will be plenty of opportunities for alumni to reminisce and re-connect during Homecoming & Reunion Weekend.
Fifty years have elapsed since 44 students first challenged the University by conducting a walkout to respond to the call for greater inclusion. Wittenberg invites everyone to participate on Friday, Oct. 25, in the Concerned Black Students (CBS) Commemorative Walkout and discussion of reflections and the legacy of the historic 1969 event.
Wittenberg alumni are making an impact in everything they do, both in their careers and in their communities. During Homecoming & Reunion Weekend, the Alumni Association will honor six distinguished individuals for their outstanding accomplishments and service to their alma mater.
Founded in 1994 as the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping, Step Afrika! will dance into Springfield for a concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21 at Pam Evans Smith Arena in the Health, Wellness & Athletics Complex as part of the 2019-2020 Wittenberg Series.
The Wittenberg Symphonic Band has joined a consortium to commission four women composers to each write a work for wind band in celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in the United States. The Symphonic Band will give regional premieres of the works throughout the 2019-2020 season.
Wittenberg hosted alumni entrepreneurs and local partners in the food and beverage industry for a special tasting event that drew 400 guests. Sponsored by the Ness Family and organized by Kevin Steidel, Ness Chair of Entrepreneurship, “Taste of Witt” gave students the opportunity to talk with business owners about their career paths.
Amber Burgett, associate professor of biology, and Brooke Wagner, associate professor of sociology and director of the criminology program, recently presented their research on the influence of neighborhood socioeconomic status on biodiversity in suburban retention ponds at the Ecological Society of America’s national conference in Louisville, Kentucky.
During her time at Wittenberg, chemistry major Michelle Peace ’91 didn’t know much about crime labs or forensic scientists as they exist today. But on the advice of Dr. Amil Anderson and a visit to a crime lab, she was hooked on the field and now works as a forensic science professor who advocates for legislative change related to electronic cigarettes and vaping.
Co-majoring in theatre and English has led Jerry Metzker ’86 down an exciting career path, from playwright to aerialist. Currently, he is co-director of the popular theatre production A History of World War II: The D-Day Invasion to the Fall of Berlin, which runs through October at Los Angeles’ Broadwater Black Box Theatre.
Kathryn Volk ’06, an associate staff scientist at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, is boldly going where few others have gone before – to the Kuiper Belt along the far edges of the solar system in hopes of proving the existence of a few more planets.
Meet the Alumni Board
As the governing body of the Wittenberg University Alumni Association, the Alumni Board regularly returns to campus to interact with current students, highlight faculty excellence, foster alumni engagement, support fundraising, and partner with admission in encouraging prospective students to make Wittenberg their college choice. This month's featured board member is Scott Strawn '76. Strawn earned his business administration degree with an accounting emphasis before joining Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. (now KPMG) where he earned his CPA. He subsequently spent more than 20 years in financial management at Reliance Electric and Rockwell Automation, and today provides tax planning and preparation services. Scott and Carol Pfeifer Strawn '75 have a son, John '07, a fourth-generation Wittenberg graduate.