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September 12, 2017
On Campus Alumni

Honoring Its Own

Wittenberg Alumni Association to Recognize Several With Special Awards

Wittenberg's 2017 Homecoming and Reunion Weekend, Sept. 14-17, will reunite hundreds of alumni on campus, as well as recognize five distinguished individuals.

The recognition ceremony will take place during the inaugural Legacies and Leadership: A Celebration of Philanthropy from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 16, room 105 of the Joseph C. Shouvlin Center for Lifelong Learning.

David Boyle, class of 1969, will receive 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.

Boyle graduated from Wittenberg with a B.S. in business administration and was a member of the basketball team and Phi Mu Delta. After graduating from The Ohio State University with an M.B.A. in finance and marketing, he worked for Citibank for more than 22 years and put in another eight at Ambac Financial Group, both located in New York City. Boyle finished his career as vice chairman and head of the company’s portfolio risk management. He is a former member and chair of the Wittenberg’s Board of Directors.

Laurie Heckler Griffin, class of 1979, will receive an Alumni Citation award, given to those who have brought honor to Wittenberg with their exceptional accomplishments in which service to humanity is placed above personal gain or recognition.

Griffin, a current resident of Centerville, Ohio, became a Certified Public Accountant in 1981 and worked for Coopers & Lybrand, Physics International and Epiphany Lutheran Church. A member of Wittenberg’s softball team and student government during her time on campus, she served on Wittenberg’s Alumni Association Board for nine years (2007-2016). She has volunteered in a number of capacities for the Cub Scouts, EarthQuest, the local schools and Centerville youth programs.

The Outstanding Young Alumni award will be presented to Jon Duraj, class of 2009 and current associate dean of students for student success at Wittenberg. Former director of student activities at Wittenberg, Duraj completed his master’s degree at the University of Dayton and is in the process of completing his Ph.D. in higher education administration from Ohio University.

Selected to participate in the Council for Independent Colleges Senior Leadership Academy, Duraj is a founding board member and still serves BLOOM Africa, an international NGO working in the Kingdom of Lesotho building sustainable partnerships to aid orphan and vulnerable children and their communities.

Others to be recognized this year include Richard and Cindy Helton as Honorary Alumni Award recipients.

Helton, who served as interim president of Wittenberg from January 2016 to June 2017, holds a Ph.D. in educational administration from Indiana State University, an M.S. in secondary education and an educational specialist degree from Indiana University, and a B.A. in secondary education from Hanover College, which also recognized him with an honorary doctorate in 2005.

Helton served 47 years in public education, including 11 years as president of Vincennes University prior to his retirement in July 2015. Cindy is retired following a 30-year career as a teacher, coach, counselor and director of guidance.

In June 2016, the Heltons were jointly awarded the Walter A. Davis Citation for Service from Vincennes University, in recognition not only of professional achievements but also civic leadership and contributions. The couple has also been active in the United Methodist Church in the communities in which they have lived.

The Heltons met while in high school in their home town of Otwell, Ind., and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in July. They are the parents of two children, a son, Todd Helton, and a daughter, Lori Welker. They have five granddaughters.

To register for the event, go to

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About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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