Seniors and alumni reflect on OWU

Areena Arora, Managing Editor

With only two weeks left to graduation, besides academic work and designing graduation caps, seniors have much to accomplish.

While some wish to drive on the JayWalk, others want to maintain strong relationships with friends and graduate.

Senior Mackenzie Sommers’ bucket list includes going for a midnight dip in the fountain at the JayWalk. “I’m pretty cautious about this one, though, because god only knows what people do to the water in that fountain,” said Sommers.

Senior Mili Green does not have much on her bucket list. “I try to live without regrets, so I do what I can. I do want to go karaoking at Clancey’s, though,” said Green.

With nearly 100 clubs, there is always room for involvement at Ohio Wesleyan.

Senior Nate Goodhart said, “This school offers so many programs, clubs and organizations that allow for students to truly take advantage of their time here at OWU.”

Senior Sadie Parsons from California said, “I do participate in many things. However, I wish I would have acquired more leadership roles in the clubs and activities I was involved with.”

Looking back at the four years spent at OWU, some say it has been a rewarding experience while yet others have some regrets.

Sommers said, “I wish I’d written more TIPITS (Theory-to-Practice grants) and SIPS (Student Individualized Project grants). This school gives you so many opportunities to see and do the things that you are interested in.”

Green said, “I was always curious about Greek Life … but I think it was too late to rush because everyone knows I’m not for it.”

For some seniors we talked to, summarizing four years’ experience was not easy. Parsons said, “My time at OWU has been amazing and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I wouldn’t even take back any of the hardest times I’ve had here because I learned from them and only became a stronger person from them.”

Senior Camille Mullins-Lemieux, resident of Peace and Justice House said, “This place has allowed me to flourish as a person a lot.”

Kim Eckart, ’13, who now works as the assistant to VP of Finance and Administration said she regrets not having participated in a travel learning course and not joining a small living unit.

Haley Barber, ’13, who now works for the Community Service Learning office and Office of Career Services said, “I regret not studying abroad. That was one of the things on my bucket list … I couldn’t fit it in with my double majors in biology and studio arts.”

Kelly Rand, ’15, an intern at the Office of President, has some advice for rising seniors. “My advice to seniors is to be a little less responsible and little more spontaneous. You should enjoy time outside by the fountain with friends on a beautiful day. You can do your reading later, because you won’t be able to do that next year. Soak it all in while you can,” said Rand.

Looking ahead, in less than a month, seniors will be out in the world with an undergraduate degree. The campus they’ve come to identify as home will no longer be their residence.

Senior Shelli Reeves has her post-graduation plans made. “I will be completing my first book and travelling as much as possible,” said Reeves.

Mullins-Lemieux said, “I’m staying at a Buddhist monastery in Oregon in June … and then taking an internship in Panama at a sustainable village on their design-thinking team.”

Major alumni gifts contribute to campaign

Jason R. Downey (’02) and Elizabeth Long Downey (’06) donated $250,000 in November. Photo courtesy of Connect2OWU.
evan and barbara corns
Evan and Barbara Corns recently donated $505,000. Photo courtesy of Connect2OWU.
Don and Danielle Hudler (’56) donated property “with a potential value of $10 million.” Photo courtesy of Connect2OWU.


Many donations have been pouring into Ohio Wesleyan the past semester. Recently, an anonymous couple challenged alumni to match their donation of $250,000.

Thursday’s gift, according to an email sent out from President Rock Jones, was from Ginny and Mark Shipps, both of whom graduated in 1971.

Colleen Garland, vice president for university advancement, said the gift marked the tenth of the 12 total commitments in the gift-match plan. These funds are allocated to the Hubbart/Shipps Family Legacy Scholarship Endowment.

Jones said the challenge was designed to secure 12 commitments of $250,000 to total $3 million.

Most recently, two large donations have come in. Evan (’59) and Barbara (’98) Corns donated $505,000, making the total amount the couple has donated to their alma mater $10 million. Neither of the Corns returned phone calls for a comment.

In addition, according to a press release from the university, Don and Danielle Hudler (’56) donated property “with a potential value of $10 million.”

At the end of last semester, another gift of $250,000 was donated to Ohio Wesleyan from anonymous donors. This gift, according to Garland, establishes a new endowment fund to support OWU faculty, as part of the “Connect Today, Create Tomorrow” campaign.

The campaign is aimed at raising $200 million over the next seven years and began July 1, 2014 Garland said, and has been very successful thus far.

“It is important to have a lot of early-on success in these campaigns,” said Garland in a phone interview.

Last year, two donations of $8 million each were designated to repair the defunct Merrick Hall and renovate Simpson-Querrey fitness center.

Jones said the last time we had a gift match challenge of this magnitude was the $5 million gift match challenge, which raised $10 million to rebuild the then-defunct Stuyvesant Hall. That project was completed in 2012.

This past November, Jason R. Downey (’02) Elizabeth Long Downey (’06) donated $250,000, making them the youngest couple to make such a large donation, according to a statement from the university’s communications department.