OWU in the News

Anna Tillou ’35 Receives OWU’s Monnett Teapot

July 1, 2015 – by Cole Hatcher

Lowell Vorpe ’67

Also in this edition: Umair Akeel ’00, Keith Rucker Sr. ’92, Julia Metz Ward ’12, Brendan Bouchard ’15, Doug Brooks ’89, Wendy Huston ’98, Joe Costabile ’76, Laurence Bettcher ’61, William Shepler Jr. ’54, Michael Jordan ’76, and Lowell Vorpe ’67.

Anna Tillou ’35

Anna Tillou ’35

102-year-old Anna Tillou of Penney Farms, Florida, is honored as Ohio Wesleyan’s oldest living graduate when OWU President Rock Jones presents her with a ceremonial teapot and a silver platter, indicating she is the current holder of the Monnett Teapot.

One of the first women to graduate from Ohio Wesleyan with a degree in sociology/anthropology, Tillou spent two years in the Marine Corps during World War II, then served 26 years in the mission field in India with an emphasis on special education.

Read the complete First Coast Voice article, “102-Year-Old Penney Retirement Community Resident Honored By Ohio Wesleyan University.”

Umair Akeel ’00

Umair Akeel ’00

Umair Akeel is named chief technology officer in residence and operating partner at Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP), a $4 billion global venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, California.

“Umair’s impressive technology pedigree makes him an invaluable asset to our portfolio companies, as they tap his expertise to help them manage the challenges of hypergrowth,” says Byron Deeter, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. “Having worked closely with Umair at Trigo, IBM, and Eloqua, I know he’ll deepen our thinking on the future of technology.”

Akeel, who studied economics and computer science at Ohio Wesleyan University, says he is excited to be part of BVP.

“I look forward to working closely with these entrepreneurs as their companies evolve from unique ideas to billion dollar businesses,” he says.

Read the full businesswire.com article, “Bessemer Venture Partners Names Former Eloqua Chief Architect Umair Akeel as Chief Technology Officer in Residence and Operating Partner.”

Keith Rucker Sr. ’92

Keith Rucker Sr. ’92

Keith Rucker, defensive line coach at Ohio Wesleyan, will work at the Bengals training camp as an intern in the 2015 Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship program.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis says, “This program helped me get ahead as a coach, and it’s great to see it continue as strong as it is. It’s a good experience for our full-time coaches as well as the interns.”

Rucker was a six-year defensive tackle in the NFL, including two seasons with Cincinnati (1994-95). He will work during Bengals training camp in late July and early August. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan with a degree in secondary physical education.

Read more about the Minority Coaching Fellowship program and Rucker at Bengals.com.

Julia Metz Ward ’12

Julia Metz Ward ’12

Julia Ward, who has been with the State Library of Ohio for 15 years, is promoted to executive secretary to the state librarian.

Ward will manage the office of the state librarian and provide organizational support for special programs. She has worked in the Norwalk Public Library, Bowling Green State University Firelands College Library, Ohio Wesleyan University Libraries, and the Delaware County District Library.

“Julia’s work ethic, her strong commitment to customer service, and her knowledge of State Library programs and services and the Ohio library community, made her the ideal candidate for this position,” State Librarian Beverly Cain says.

Ward lives in Delaware and majored in psychology at Ohio Wesleyan. She plans to attend Kent State University to pursue a master’s degree in library and information science.

Read the full Delaware Gazette article, “Ward promoted to State Library post.”

Brendan Bouchard ’15

Brendan Bouchard ’15

Brendan Bouchard is appointed vice president of sales and operations at Bouchard Transportation Co., the nation’s largest independently owned ocean-going petroleum barge company.

“Brendan will bring a new and modern perspective to Bouchard, which will allow Bouchard to continue to grow,” says Morton S. Bouchard III, president and CEO of Bouchard Transportation and a 1980 OWU alumnus. “It is extremely gratifying to welcome the fifth generation of Bouchards into the business that my great grandfather established almost 100 years ago.”

Brendan Bouchard has worked in various capacities throughout the years at Bouchard Transportation. Most recently, he worked within the operations and vetting department.

Bouchard earned his bachelor’s degree in business management and economics from Ohio Wesleyan. He also was captain of his senior-year lacrosse team, which was ranked 3rd in the USILA POLLS and earned All-American honors.

Doug Brooks ’89

Doug Brooks ’89

Doug Brooks is named vice president of Grandbridge Real Estate Capital, full-service commercial banking firm, in Columbus, Ohio.

Brooks has more than 21 years of experience in the commercial real estate finance industry. In his new role, he manages relationships with a diverse group of capital and equity providers including banks, funds, Wall Street firms, life insurance companies, and pension funds.

He previously served as a senior vice president with Forest City Enterprises Inc. Brooks, a native of Worthington, Ohio, majored in accounting at Ohio Wesleyan.

Read the REjournals.com article, “Grandbridge Real Estate Capital hires VP in Columbus office.”

Wendy Huston ’98

Wendy Huston ’98

Wendy Huston is named senior account executive of Jeff Dezen Public Relations (JDPR) in Greenville, South Carolina.

“[Wendy] knows how the news gets built, and her journalism insights and high-caliber communications skills will help to advance our clients’ business imperatives,” says Jeff Dezen, president of JDPR. “She’s a really talented PR pro.”

Huston’s primary responsibilities at the agency will include content development, strategic planning, media relations and program coordination for the Verizon Wireless, Bulldog Hardware, and Shur-Line paint accessories accounts.

Huston has 17 years of PR agency, reporting, and professional writing experience for magazines, newspapers, and web publications. She also has held reporting roles at The Charlotte Observer and The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.

At Ohio Wesleyan, she majored in journalism. Read the complete UpstateBizSC.com article, “Jeff Dezen Public Relations (JDPR) hires new Senior Account Executive Wendy Huston.”

Joe Costabile ’76

Joe Costabile ’76

Capt. Joe Costabile, M.D., general and vascular surgeon at Virtua Surgical Group, is honored with an Outstanding Medical Research Scientist Award for Clinical Research from MDAdvantage Insurance Co.

Each year, the company honors exemplary New Jersey physicians and leaders for their dedication to education, research, and public service with its Edward J. Ill Excellence in Medicine awards. Costabile earned the Peter W. Rodino, Jr., Citizen’s Award.

Costabile studied bacteriology and chemistry at Ohio Wesleyan and received his medical degree from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in 1986.

Read the complete New Jersey Business article, “New Jersey’s Reputation for Excellence in Medicine, Research and Education.”

Laurence Bettcher ’61

Laurence Bettcher ’61

Laurence Bettcher, retired chairman and CEO of Bettcher Industries, is inducted into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame Class of 2015.

“This year’s Class of 2015 is a stellar group that includes some of the most successful business leaders in the meat and poultry industries,” says Dan Murphy, Meat Industry Hall of Fame executive director.

Bettcher served as president of Bettcher Industries from 1979 until his retirement in 2014. He currently holds directorships at Bettcher Industries, First Citizens Banc Corp. in Ohio, and The Citizens Banking Co.

Bettcher developed his company into a premier manufacturer of cutting tools used in food processing and other industrial applications. Under his leadership, the company developed the first mechanically powered hand-held meat trimmer in 1954.

Read the full cattlenetwork.com article, “Meat Industry Hall of Fame names seven new members to the Class of 2015.”

William Shepler Jr. ’54

William Shepler Jr. ’54

William Shepler, a state tourism promoter, is inducted into the Distinguished Graduate Hall of Fame by Roosevelt High School in Michigan.

Shepler graduated from Roosevelt in 1950, majored in business and sociology at Ohio Wesleyan, and then joined the Air Force, where he worked as an airplane maintenance specialist and earned his pilot’s license.

Over the years, Shepler has devoted himself to serving the state of Michigan and its tourism industry. He served as vice president on the Mackinac City Chamber of Commerce and served eight years on the Historic Street Scape Committee.

Shepler received many awards for his efforts in promoting the state, including the prestigious Michigan Ambassador to Tourism Award for his years of service promoting the “Pure Michigan” campaign.

Read the full News-Herald article, “Roosevelt High School inducts microbiologist, state tourism promoter into Hall of Fame.”

Michael Jordan ’76

Michael Jordan ’76

Michael Jordan of Cleveland-based Jordan Resolutions, LLC, is included in The Best Lawyers in America 2015 Edition.

Jordan has been included in The Best Lawyers in America every year since 2006. He also has been recognized as an Ohio Super Lawyer every year since 2007.

Jordan currently focuses on providing arbitration and mediation services for the American Arbitration Association, the American Health Lawyers Association, and the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR). He assists attorneys and their clients in the resolution of disputes and addresses complex commercial, health care, and employment matters.

Jordan graduated summa cum laude from Ohio Wesleyan and earned his law degree from George Washington University National Law Center in 1979.

Lowell Vorpe ’67

Lowell Vorpe ’67

Lowell Vorpe, a former educator and principal at Kettering (Ohio) City Schools, is inducted into the 2015 Chester A. Roush Educational Hall of Fame for Distinguished Service to Education.

Vorpe began teaching at Kettering City Schools in 1968, serving at Van Buren Junior High School and then at Fairmont West High School. He also served as football and track coach at both schools.

In 1993, he was named assistant principal at Van Buren Middle School. He held this position until he became principal of the school in 1997. He retired from the district in 2002.

After graduating from Ohio Wesleyan, Vorpe earned his master’s degree from the University of Dayton. He was a four-year letterman in football at OWU, an all-conference running back in 1965-1966, and Bishop Football co-captain during his senior season. He also is a member of the Ohio Beta chapter of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.