Members of the OWU Class of 1973 have a groovy time participating in the Parade of Classes as they celebrate their 50th reunion. View more photos in our 2023 Reunion Weekend collection. (Photo by Paul Vernon)

A Great Weekend

More Than 800 Bishops Come Home to Celebrate Their Class Reunions

By Ericka Kurtz

It’s always a great day to be a Bishop, but more than 800 alumni made it a great weekend to be a Bishop when they returned to the Ohio Wesleyan University campus May 19-21 to celebrate Reunion Weekend. Alumni in classes ending in ’3 and ’8 gathered to reconnect with lifelong friends including members of the Class of 1973, who celebrated their 50th Class Reunion.

Reunion Weekend featured annual favorites such as the All-Alumni Picnic, Parade of Classes, Alumni College featuring speakers from the Class of 1973, and the Tower Society Ice Cream Cart. A highlight of the weekend was the Celebrating OWU Program, with the OWU Alumni Awards handed out by Keith Rozanski ’99, president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. The 2023 recipients include:

Alumni Awards

  • Belinda Brown Fouts ’73
  • David Fouts ’73
  • Jim Mendenhall ’73
  • Ann Muenster-Nuiry ’73
  • Mary Beth Sommer ’88

Honorary Alumni Awards

  • Rock Jones P’15 and Melissa Lollar Jones P’15
  • Todd and Tina Luttinger P’10
  • Susan Palmer
  • Tim and Lisa Sloan P’13, ’14, ’16

Distinguished Alumni Citation

  • Ron Leibman ’57 (posthumously)
  • Deydre Smyth Teyhen ’93
  • Vaikuntanath (Ram) Samudrala ’93

Please visit to nominate alumni for future OWU Alumni Awards. During Celebration Ohio Wesleyan, President Rock Jones gave a State of the University update and Alumni Board member Kelli McNairy Winston ’93 recognized Reunion Class Giving. The Class of 1973 led the way in Reunion Giving with a class contribution of $553,045! Total Reunion giving for fiscal year 2023 is $3,054,563 as of May 19, 2023.

Ohio Wesleyan also honored its Founders’ Circle and Associate Founders’ Circle members during a ceremony on Friday afternoon on the Founders’ Plaza, located in front of Slocum Hall. Founders’ Circle was established in 1998 to recognize those alumni and friends who have made significant philanthropic investment in the future of Ohio Wesleyan, with lifetime giving of $1 million, or $500,000 for the Associate Founders’ Circle. Founders’ Circle members John Milligan ’83 and Kathie Bradford Milligan ’83 presented medallions during the ceremony. The following donors were recognized during this ceremony or will be recognized at other times:

Associate Founders’ Circle

  • Peggy William Burke ’44 (posthumously)
  • Darell Geib ’57 and MaryAnna Fitch Geib ’57
  • Charlotte Birt Osborne ’33 (posthumously)
  • Ken Sternad ’77 and Judy White Sternad ’77
  • John Thomas ’61

Founders’ Circle

  • Dick Cassell ’64 P’93 and Ann Colson Cassell ’64 P’93
  • Bob Coutts P’08 and Ingrid Coutts P’08
  • Rob Hickson ’78 and Sharon Hickson
  • Jean Howell in honor of Kathryn Howell ’61 (posthumously)
  • Dick Nault ’64 (posthumously)
  • Bob Rybolt ’35 and Iris Rybolt (both posthumously)

During Reunion Weekend festivities, the University also celebrated President Rock Jones and Melissa Lollar Jones as Rock retires from 15 years of leadership. Special moments included:

  • A resolution from the OWU Board of Trustees to name “The Rock Quad,” the green space between Elliott and Merrick halls.

  • Journalist Greg Moore ’76 sitting down with Rock for a final interview during “Rock Reflections.” Watch the interview here.
  • A tribute video from various alumni thanking Rock and Melissa for their dedication to OWU. Click here to watch the video.

Check out the 2023 Reunion Weekend photo collection on Flickr for lots of fun Reunion Weekend photos and the Ohio Wesleyan Reunion Weekend 2023 recap video for highlights from the weekend.