Last Updated: January 2020
Mr. Roy K. Allen '63
Mr. Allen is retired CEO and chairman of Buckeye Corrugated. He owns Thermo-Rite Manufacturing, as well as Star-Fire Distributing, both located in Akron, Ohio. A member of Phi Kappa Alpha fraternity, Mr. Allen played football and baseball at Wittenberg. As an alumnus, he has been an active volunteer for Wittenberg’s Office of Advancement. In 1991, Mr. Allen was inducted into Wittenberg’s Athletics Hall of Honor. He is married to Karin Anderson Allen ’64, and together they are a proud third-generation Wittenberg family.
Mr. David E. Baines '69
Mr. Baines is a retired senior vice president with United States Aviation Underwriters Inc., a company that provides insurance to various airlines and aviation companies. He is an avid pilot, a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, was a member of the men’s soccer team and is an active volunteer for Wittenberg’s Office of Advancement. He and his wife, Cherie, established the David and Sharon Baines Endowed Scholarship in 2011.
Mr. Wes C. Bates '70
Mr. Bates is CEO and chairman of the board of Stanley Steemer International. Mr. Bates has served on the Board for the last 11 years and is the recipient of the Alumni Association’s most prestigious recognition, the Class of 1914 Award, given to individuals who have served Wittenberg above and beyond what might be expected of any contributor to the college’s welfare. He is currently chair of the Enrollment & Marketing Committee of the Board. He and his wife, Ann ’70, have a son and a daughter.
Mr. R. Andrew Bell
Mr. Bell, now retired, formerly served as senior vice president at Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC. Prior to his role at Marsh & McLennan, Mr. Bell was president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Ohio and director of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America. A graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and of the London School of Economics, Mr. Bell is a Springfield native, having been active on numerous boards including the Global STEM Academy, the Clark State Foundation, the Springfield Family YMCA, the United Way of Clark and Champaign Counties, the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, the Springfield Foundation, the Springfield Rotary Club, and Security National Bank. He and his wife, Catherine, have four sons.
Mr. William S. Boggs '68
Mr. Boggs has served as an attorney with DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP, with a specific focus on the San Diego area. He earned his J.D. from Harvard University Law School. Mr. Boggs has since retired from regular practice and is now acting as a consultant with DLA Piper’s National Litigation Training program. While attending Wittenberg, he was a member of the football team and is a brother of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. In addition to his service on the Board of Directors, Mr. Boggs also volunteers with the Office of Advancement. A number of his family members are Wittenberg alumni, including his sister, Sally Bashore ’66, and one of his cousins, John Boggs ’68.
Mr. William D. Edwards '89
Mr. Edwards is an attorney with Ulmer & Berne LLP in Cleveland, Ohio, and serves as the Chair of the firm's Employment and Labor group. He has been recognized numerous times as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” and in Ohio Super Lawyers. A history major and a member of the football team during his time at Wittenberg, Mr. Edwards earned his J.D. at Case Western Reserve University in 1993. Bill’s family has a lasting legacy at Wittenberg, starting with his grandfather, also William “Bill” Edwards, who served as Wittenberg’s legendary head football coach and athletics director from 1955 until his retirement in 1973. Bill Edwards Drive, the road running directly in front of the football stadium and HPER center, is named for Mr. Edward's grandfather.
The. Rev. Jonathan L. Eilert '93
A member of the Board since 2008, Rev. Eilert officially became Board chair in May 2016. During his time on the Board, he has been a member of numerous committees, including Academic & Student Life, Lutheran Identity Task Force, Advancement & Alumni Relations, Finance & Investments, and Enrollment & Marketing. The lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Loveland, Ohio, he received his master of divinity from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. He also served as chair of the 2016-2017 presidential search committee.
Ms. Wendy Ford '76
A retired director of human resources with the Springfield City School District, Ms. Ford is a leader in the Springfield community through her service as first vice president of the Wittenberg Guild, as a member of the Community Health Foundation board, the Covenant United Methodist Freedom School board, Opportunities for Individual Change, and United Senior Services. Ms. Ford is married to Eddie '75, and together, they have two children.
Mrs. Alvera S. "Vikki" Hooper '78
Mrs. Hooper is currently a semi-retired Instructor-Facilitator for IBM Corp. Prior to this post, she also served as Assistant to the Pastor for Gethsemane Baptist Church. Mrs. Hooper was a member of the Concerned Black Students organization. She currently sits on the Alumni Board. During a prior Alumni Board term, Mrs. Hooper served as Alumni Board President, sitting on the Advancement/Alumni Relations and Enrollment/Marketing committees of the Board of Directors during her term. Recently, she served as a representative for Wittenberg at the inauguration of the new president of Marymount University, and continues to serve as an Alumni Chapter Leader in her region. She also was of particular help during recent Homecoming events, particularly at the Legacies and Leadership event.
Ms. Janet E. Jackson '75
Recently retired president and CEO of United Way of Central Ohio, where she served for 13 years, Jackson was the first woman and the first African American to lead the United Way of Central Ohio in its 80-year history. She was also the first woman elected Columbus City Attorney. In addition, Ms. Jackson was the first African-American judge in Franklin County. She earned her law degree from George Washington University School of Law. Her son followed in her footsteps in attending Wittenberg.
Dr. James J. Lakso '67
Lakso is Provost and Vice President for Student Development and Professor of Economics Emeritus at Juniata College. He joined the Juniata faculty in 1970, was promoted to full professor in 1981, and was named Provost and Vice President for Student Development in 1998. Juniata's Center for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning was named in his honor, and The Lakso Endowment for Faculty Excellence was created in 2011 to support faculty development in his honor. Lakso currently serves as the vice-chair of the board of directors for Kish Bancorp (KISB), and he serves on the board of United Lutheran Seminary. An economics major at Wittenberg, Lakso was awarded an Alumni Citation in 2014.
Mr. Bob Merzweiler '76
Mr. Merzweiler is the chairman and CEO of Landmark Plastic Corporation, an Akron-based firm he founded in 1984. The company focuses primarily in horticultural plant packaging and actively participates in sustainability efforts, including collection and usage of recycled plastics. He is a member of the Ohio Foundation for Independent Colleges (OFIC) and has been a member of the Akron Roundtable, the Akron Community Foundation, the Akron General Medical Center Board of Trustees and the Info Line Inc. Board of Trustees. He and wife Vicki live in Akron. His daughter, Lauren, is a member of the class of 2004.
Mr. Frederick B. Mitchell '69
Mr. Mitchell worked as a beat writer for the Chicago Tribune, covering the Cubs, Bills and Bears and earning numerous awards for outstanding sports writing. He is the author of numerous books including biographies of Hall of Famers Gale Sayers, Richard Dent, Ryne Sandberg and Billy Williams. A record-setting place kicker at Wittenberg, Mr. Mitchell was inducted into Wittenberg’s Athletic Hall of Honor in 1995. He has served on the Board of Directors for 10 years and has been active with Concerned Black Students and The Torch. He was honored with a Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2000, named a Wittenberg Fellow in 2001, and awarded the Class of 1914 award in 2016.
Mr. Steve Neely '75
Mr. Neely serves as president of Springfield-based Armoloy of Ohio Inc., where he works directly with renowned companies such as Kraft Foods and Kellogg’s. A community leader, Neely has served numerous organizations in the Springfield area, including the Springfield Foundation, the Clark State Foundation, and the Community Healthcare Foundation. He is also a past president of the Springfield Rotary Club, and it was through Springfield Rotary that Neely became involved in aiding orphaned children from the South African Kingdom of Lesotho after learning about the effort through Wittenberg. He is married to Mary Alice Schryver Neely.
The Rev. Scott Ness '01
The Rev. Ness is the associate pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Fayetteville, Georgia. In addition to similar positions held at St. Paul Lutheran Church (Bridgeport, Ohio) and St. John Lutheran Church (Grove City, Ohio), Scott is also a committee member of the NALC National Committee. While at Wittenberg, Scott was a member of the men’s basketball team and the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. In addition, he was a Resident Advisor and a member of Senior Circle. As an alumnus, Scott has served as a class agent, volunteered with admission, and served on Wittenberg’s Alumni Board.
Mr. Eric C. Rusnak '00
Mr. Rusnak is a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP, in Washington, DC, and practices law in the areas of intellectual property and corporate litigation. He earned his law degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2003. In addition to his service as a board member, he serves on the Wittenberg’s Alumni Board and as a volunteer for the Office of Advancement. At Wittenberg, Mr. Rusnak was a member of the Wittenberg Review of Literature and Art editorial board and the Spectrum editorial board.
Pastor Catherine L. Schibler Keegan '82
The Rev. Schibler is a Lutheran pastor. She is the regional representative for her synod with Portico Benefits Service, a group that provides retirement and life insurance benefits to pastors, ministers and lay employees within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). A volunteer in the Office of Advancement, she is a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority. As a student, she participated in the Wittenberg music program and was a member of The Torch newspaper staff. She is married to Clayton Keegan, and many of her relatives are Wittenberg alumni, including three of her sisters and daughters, Meredith ’16 and Sarah ’17.
Mr. Lewis W. Shaw, II '66
Mr. Shaw is the chairman and CEO of Jackson-Shaw Co., a real estate development company that specializes in development opportunities for light office, light industrial, office/warehouse, and hospitality services. Mr. Shaw, who was a philosophy major at Wittenberg, has worked in the Office of Advancement as a volunteer in addition to his service on the Board of Directors. During his tenure on the Board, he has helped to lead the construction of the Health, Wellness and Athletics Facility, the renovation of Blair Hall and the restoration of Commencement Hollow.
Mr. John Shumate '99
Mr. Shumate is formerly the vice president for marketing and brand management at Eastbay, a subsidiary of Foot Locker. Prior to this position, he served as director of strategy & innovation for the Water+ brand at PepsiCo. He also held marketing positions with a number of sports teams, including the Miami Dolphins, Orlando Magic, and Columbus Blue Jackets. As a student, John was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Concerned Black Students, and Union Board, and he was among the founders of WittFest.
Dr. Alan D. Stewart '69
Dr. Stewart is an internal medicine physician with Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes, Ind. He has also served as medical director of Good Samaritan’s rehabilitation unit and as director of medical education for the hospital. He previously owned a private practice (1976-2006). Named 2008 Citizen of the Year for his work within the Vincennes community, Dr. Stewart is a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and was awarded the Class of 1914 award in 2010. He was a founding member of Wittenberg's Parents Leadership Council and has been an Office of Advancement volunteer. Wife, Pamela ’69, and all of their children, Elisabeth ’96, Christopher ’99, Melissa ’02, Jonathan ’06, Rebekah ’08 and Zachary ’11, are graduates of Wittenberg.
Mr. Ron Szuch '87
Mr. Szuch is president and CEO of Union Capital Mortgage Corp. in the Cleveland/Akron area, which focuses primarily on providing residential loans to individuals. A member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, he is a steward of the current Health, Wellness and Athletics Restoration Expansion Initiative. Mr. Szuch currently splits his time between his home in Sarasota, Fla. and the Union Capitol offices in Mentor, Ohio. While at Wittenberg, he was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and was on the football team.
Mr. Martin J. Uhle '85
Mr. Uhle is the executive director of the Pierstorf Memorial Fund, based out of Messiah Lutheran Church, Fairview Park, Ohio. The Pierstorf Fund has made $8 million in loans to more than 1,200 students since inception. Mr. Uhle previously served as president and CEO of Vantage Financial Group in Cleveland, Ohio, and as president and COO of Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. In 2017, he was named superintendent and CEO of the Cleveland Lutheran High School Association. Mr. Uhle received his M.B.A. from Baldwin Wallace College. He is a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and was a founding member of the Parents Leadership Council. He and wife, Laura, have two sons, both Wittenberg grads – Ryan ’11, and Steven ’13. His father, John ’59, and brother, Christopher ’89, are also alumni.
Mr. Jim Wade '69
Mr. Wade spent most of his career as a senior broadcast journalist with the BBC World News in London, England. This position entailed both work within the BBC London newsrooms as well as locations across the globe, including Peru and Japan. In addition, he served as the chair of the Abbeyfield Oxford Society, which operates the Abbeyfield House, a residential care home in Oxfordshire. Since his return to the United States a few years ago, he has volunteered with the Wittenberg Offices of University Communications, Admission and Advancement, serving as chair of the Cincinnati Health, Wellness and Athletics facility committee and with the Tiger Career Network.
Mr. Scott H. "Muddy" Watters '87
Mr. Watters is owner and president of Flippin Water LLC, which assists with fundraising, equity and debt solutions, capital and finance restructuring. He earned an MBA from Nova College in 1990. A member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, he was a standout on the football field earning the Golden Helmet Award, first-team All-American honors and the Lee Tressel Award. He was also a four-year letter winner, three-time All-OAC player and two-time MVP with records for “tackles in a season” and “tackles in a career." He was inducted into Wittenberg’s Athletics Hall of Honor in 2004. He and wife Beverley ’85 have three sons. His brother, Jacques ’89, and sister, Martine ’85, are also alumni.
Mr. James R. Wymer '77
Mr. Wymer is president of WXZ Development, a company that grows real estate throughout the United States. Through WXZ, he has developed more than 250 single-tenant retail buildings and strip centers throughout Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky. He has been listed as principal on the construction of more than $100 million in multi-family housing units across Northeast Ohio, and owns private homes in Westlake, Ohio and in the Naples, Fla., areas. Mr. Wymer is a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and was on the football team. He has worked as a volunteer in the Office of Advancement. He and wife Maria ’77 have one daughter.