Around the Hollow - November 2023 Issue

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Published November 28, 2023

Faculty and Staff,

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving break. As November comes to a close, I want to thank the roughly 100 members of our community who attended my post-Board forum last month either in person or online. I appreciated the questions and engagement. While we have much to celebrate, we are certainly not immune from the challenges facing higher education, especially at schools like Wittenberg. The challenges are significant, which is why we are continuing to work with the Board, our alumni, friends, and all of you to adapt to our changing landscape. If you were unable to attend the presentation in-person or online, a recording of the presentation can be found here at this link.

As we navigate these times, I continue to be energized by this community and the conversations that are occurring around such topics as new academic offerings, sports programs, our living-learning experience, and the heightened interest in Wittenberg among our prospective students and families. Our alumni also continue to show their passion for their alma mater. Last month, for example, more than 45 alumni joined Professor of Geology John Ritter on a hike in nearby Clifton Gorge to learn about the gorge's formation and history, as well as local bedrock and glacial geology. Another similar event is already being discussed.

During this holiday season, I encourage you to participate in our third-annual Tree Lighting this Thursday, November 30, starting at 4 p.m. on Chapel Lawn. The Wittenberg Series-sponsored Lessons and Carols for Advent & Christmas will then follow on December 8 in Weaver Chapel, after which Sharon and I will be hosting a reception in our home. Everyone is invited, and we ask that you please register to attend.

Since the start of classes, we have been saying "Tigers Thrive Together," and we continue to do so. I am grateful for your ongoing investment of time and talent in Wittenberg. Below please find some additional updates.

Michael Frandsen, Ph.D.

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Follow-Up to Our Work with Credo

Earlier this month, Sean McGreevey, Credo's senior consultant for student success who has been helping to lead our Move the Needle initiative, met with several campus constituents, including senior staff, to discuss next steps in our work together. One of the changes proposed is to evolve what was the Business of Being a Student (BoBaS) group into the Student Services Council with representatives from the Offices of Admission, Financial Aid, Student Development, the Registrar, Institutional Research, and the Provost. Current student representatives will also be consulted in this group’s efforts. We expect this new group to further streamline our processes and assist with additional education where needed to ensure our policies and procedures are clearly understood in hopes of limiting barriers in our students' success. I will continue to keep you updated. To read more about our Move the Needle project, visit the strategic plan website.

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Choose Ohio First

The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) has announced that Wittenberg has been awarded a grant in the amount of $1,075,999.96 as part of the Choose Ohio First (COF) funding round. COF grants support scholarships for students in the critical fields of science including health professions, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Wittenberg will award the first scholarships through this program to eligible students beginning in Fall 2024. I want to thank all those involved with submitting our application and the follow-up involved. More information on the funding can be found here.

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New Partnership Announced

Thanks to the leadership of Professor of Biology Matt Collier, we have entered into an exciting partnership with the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine for students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in dentistry, medicine, and pharmacy. To learn more about this early acceptance program and related requirements for admission, visit the program's website.

The Steemer

Fall Sports Season Wrap-Up

The dust has settled on another busy – and successful – fall sports season for the Wittenberg Tigers, highlighted by NCAC regular season championships won by women’s soccer and women’s cross country, an NCAC Tournament title earned by women’s volleyball, and a sweep of the men’s and women’s NCAC cross country individual titles by Conor Kolka ’25 and Sydney Khosla ’24. The women’s volleyball team and a pair of cross country runners – Kolka and Ella Webster ’26 – earned berths in NCAA Division III national competitions. Attention now turns to a promising winter sports season, with women’s basketball making an appearance in the national polls for the first time in 19 years after a pair of wins over nationally ranked opponents, and men’s basketball claiming a tourney title at Sewanee and a victory over 24th-ranked Middlebury in the Great Lakes Invitational.

The Steemer

Competitive Gaming

We recently launched a new Esports program at Wittenberg, which will be led by newly hired director Ryan Brown. Students are currently being recruited, and we are building an arena for competition on the main level of the Benham-Pence Student Center. To learn more about this new initiative, visit the program’s website here.

The Steemer

Trademarking Tiger Up®

Originally coined in the 1960s by the late Dave Maurer, Hall of Fame coach and athletics department administrator, "Tiger Up," Wittenberg's long-time rallying cry, was recently designated with a Federal Trademark Register. A news release with more on the phrase's history was created, along with a special video.

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Stay Engaged All Academic Year

Every year, multiple offices and departments work to bring a range of engaging events to our campus. From guests speakers, performers, and distinguished alumni to creative activities, athletic contests, service, and community-building, the events provide time to connect and be engaged in the life of Wittenberg. Be sure to bookmark our events page, which includes respective links to athletics- and alumni-related events.

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