Published September 24, 2019
Wittenberg Alumni & Friends,
We celebrated Family Weekend last weekend at Wittenberg. One of the highlights was the Senior Wine & Cheese Reception, one of many celebrations we will have with and for the Class of 2020 throughout the year as the class transitions from students to alumni. Senior class President Leul Bulcha reminded those in attendance of the ways in which current students have been helped by past generations and called on his classmates to think now about how they will begin to do that through their class gift. Thank you for the support you have provided to Wittenberg as you have passed your light on to others in your careers and communities, and back to us in Springfield.
Next up is Homecoming & Reunion Weekend, October 24-27. During this special time of reconnecting, we will celebrate with all our reunion classes, commemorate the 50th anniversary of the CBS Walkout, and officially dedicate our new Health, Wellness & Athletics complex, along with its centerpiece, The Steemer. I would encourage you to come back for all this and more. The link to all Homecoming events and activities is below.
As I briefly touched upon in my last communication, we, like many institutions our size, are facing increasing challenges in light of our current and projected enrollment, changing student demographics both in Ohio and in the nation, changing student interests, and new ways of knowledge-building in the world today. While we remain committed to the residential liberal arts model of integrative, broad-based learning, which has defined Wittenberg since its founding, we also recognize that the content of a liberal arts education cannot remained fixed nor can the delivery of it.
As a result, we are beginning the process of analyzing our operations, staffing levels, and academic program offerings. This will have an impact on programs and, more importantly, people. Please know that we understand the situation fully, and recognize that this is a challenging time for all of us at Wittenberg and across higher education. However, if we are to be an institution that continues to go all in for student success, remains grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, and believes in the transformative power of integrated learning within a residential setting, we must move forward with this realignment while looking boldly to the future.
I know Sharon and I continually hear from our students, their families, and you about the power of this place. I look forward to hearing more of your powerful moments at Homecoming and as the year unfolds.
Michael Frandsen, Ph.D.
In The News: NSF Grant, Cape Town Program, Global Missions, Wittenberg Series Speaker, NCAA Leadership, and ESPN's Top 50
Wittenberg is among those receiving a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support a transdisciplinary culture of change and build open access to a Science Technology Engineering and Math (or STEM) Business curriculum featuring the UN Sustainable Development goals. The University will receive approximately $370,000 and will work to identify strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth.
Building on the success of programs in Germany and Costa Rica, Wittenberg launched a third study-abroad opportunity in Cape Town, South Africa, last month. The semester-long program is modeled after the University’s established programs with an emphasis on general education requirements, experiential learning, and unique opportunities at the Sports Science Institute.
Thanks to a leadership program offered by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Megan Mong ’19 is in Jerusalem working with Palestinian Christians in a church setting and teaching English to younger children. Her participation continues Wittenberg’s strong partnership with the Young Adults in Global Mission program.
President Michael Frandsen has been appointed to serve on the NCAA Division III Membership Committee effective immediately. “Division III offers student-athletes the chance to find their true center across multiple academic, co-curricular, and athletics experiences, all of which produce tomorrow’s leaders,” he said. “I look forward to partnering with my NCAA Division III colleagues to further that goal.”
The 2019-2020 Wittenberg Series continues with the IBM Endowed Lecture in the Sciences featuring Renu Malhotra, planetary scientist, as the keynote speaker at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, in Bayley Auditorium at the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center. Her address is titled “Prospects for Unseen Planets Beyond Neptune.” Malhotra and Wittenberg alumna and fellow planetary scientist Katherine Volk '06 have partnered on research.
Wittenberg’s famed football program, which boasts tremendous success spanning more than a century, earned a spot on ESPN's list of "The 50 best college football programs over 150 years." The project encompassed football programs across all three NCAA divisions and utilized a variety of metrics.
After more than 25 years of research and writing on Bosnia, Keith Doubt, professor of sociology and chair of the department of sociology, is convinced that the Bosnian society is resilient, despite a war and genocide. His latest book, Ethnic and National Identity in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Kinship and Solidarity in a Polyethnic Society examines the kinship relations that cut across ethnic and national identities.
Dave Finster, professor emeritus of chemistry, received the American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Health and Safety (CHAS) Fellows Award at the organization’s annual meeting in August in recognition of his continuous, active service to CHAS.
Assistant Professor of Art Elena Dahl is one of 44 artists whose work was selected by the Cincinnati-based nonprofit arts organization FotoFocus for inclusion in a juried group exhibition. AutoUpdate, which examines technology’s impact on photography and video, will be on view until Nov. 16, 2019, at The Carnegie in Northern Kentucky.
Featured by Nasdaq as a "Face of Entrepreneurship," Rakesh Tondon ’01 is co-founder and CEO of Le Tote, a clothing rental subscription service. The New York Times recently reported that Le Tote will acquire the department store chain Lord & Taylor.
Loralynn Kadell ’86, farm operations director at Learning Tree Farm located in Dayton, Ohio, was named "Daytonian of the Week" by dayton.com. She started as a field trip educator 11 years ago at the working farm dedicated to environmental education.
George Doorley ’89 was headed back to his hometown of Washington, D.C., for what seemed like a career in the political realm upon graduation. But things changed, and he now lives in San Jose, California, and serves as the director of the Controller-Treasurer Department for the County of Santa Clara, California.
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 Chase Beach '15. A business major with a concentration in entrepreneurship, Beach was active at Wittenberg, playing on the lacrosse team, volunteering at the Springfield Promise Neighborhood, and connecting with fellow brothers in Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI). He also helped to establish the University's Fly Fishing club, Fishenberg. Beach now lives in San Francisco where he has been working in the Silicon Valley tech world, specifically with Ocelot as its director of school partnerships.