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Alumnus Answers The Call to Give

“It’s hard to articulate why giving is important, because I come from Otterbein. When you come from Otterbein, the call to give becomes baked into your DNA. Giving is what we do, with a purpose that defines the phrase, “We are called to plant trees, the shade from which we should never hope to enjoy.” But enjoy we do, because somewhere out there, there is a tree we planted. And it grew another, and it grew another, and in the end we understand kindness really does matter. And so we give.”

Jeff Wilson ’85,

Senior Regional Vice President and General Manager

Urban One



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Otterbein student works with 4th graders on kindness

Otterbein student Allison Cline works with 4th graders in Westerville on a Kindness Matters lesson as part of her PHED 2200 Early Childhood Health & Movement Activities class.

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Otterbein Honors Fallen Heroes Westerville Police Officer Joering and Officer Morelli

Dear Members of the Otterbein Community:

On Saturday, the Westerville community suffered a tragic loss when two Westerville Police officers, Eric Joering, 39, and Anthony Morelli, 54, were killed in the line of duty.

The Otterbein University Community offers its sincere condolences to the men and women of the Westerville Police Department, their families, and friends during this difficult time. These brave officers gave their lives protecting others, and their loss will be felt deeply. I invite all members of the Otterbein community to keep all those affected by this tragedy, and indeed all of our first responders, in your thoughts and prayers.

Otterbein is a safer place because of the brave men and women of the Westerville Police Department and their close relationship with our own Otterbein Police Department. This is a small community, and our first responders are our friends and neighbors.

This week, Otterbein will be going blue to honor these officers. We encourage you to wear blue to show your support, and the Service Department will be changing lights to blue across campus.

While we have extended our condolences and support on behalf of Otterbein, there are a number of ways in which individuals can pay tribute.

Members of our community will be tying blue ribbons along the streets running through campus this afternoon. If you are interested in assisting with this effort, please meet in front of Towers Hall at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12.

The students of the African American Student Union and Otterbein University Student Government are hosting a candlelight vigil at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, at the Rock. All are welcome to attend.

Later this week, we will ask members of our community to sign a banner that we will present to the Westerville Police Department. Details will come later.

You are also invited to attend community events. The City of Westerville will hold a candlelight vigil at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13, at First Responders Park, 374 W. Main Street. Additionally, the car that Officer Morelli was driving is parked in front of City Hall in Uptown Westerville in tribute to both of the officers. Members of the community are invited to share cards, flowers or other condolences at that memorial.

If you would like to donate to the families of the officers, the Fraternal Order of Police has set up an official fundraiser. You can also find it on Otterbein’s Facebook page.

Thank you for joining with me and the Otterbein Community in showing your support to the men and women who keep us safe every day. We honor their commitment and sacrifice to our community.

President Krendl

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Kindness in the New Year

At Otterbein, we believe the kindness you show, the compassion you offer, the service you give — makes a difference. Kindness Matters at Otterbein.

Enjoy this brief message of kindness and know that Otterbein is grateful for the ways you share kindness. If you feel inspired, we invite you to tell us your story of kindness.

May the kindness you give be returned to you during the holidays and the New Year!

President Kathy A. Krendl


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Why Kindness Matters

Why Kindness Matters. What inspires one of the most powerful business minds in the country to help motivate his city to be kinder?

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Otterbein Hosts Pop Up Kindness Think Tank

College and high school students, Otterbein employees and community members from central Ohio gathered at The Point at Otterbein on Sat., Oct. 28, to participate in a Kindness Think Tank.

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Salute to Kindness: A Stadium-Sized Thank You to Honor Veterans

Otterbein’s 100th Homecoming was full of opportunities to celebrate the values that make our University a distinctive and caring community

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Salute to Kindness: Share a Message of Thanks with our Nation’s Heroes

There are lots of people we say thank you to every day —many out of habit and general politeness. But some don’t get nearly the thanks they deserve.

Otterbein is asking its community to take a moment to offer thanks to those who protect some of the ideals and freedoms we hold most dear.

Recognizing the selfless commitment of those who serve and protect the United States, student leaders from the Center for Community Engagement, Otterbein alumni and employees staffed card-writing stations during Otterbein’s 100th Homecoming. Volunteers were able to collect several hundred hand-written messages of thanks, kindness and gratitude to United States veterans and service members.

The card-writing effort continues on campus and even at the National Girl Scouts Convention for more notes of thanks from girls around the globe. here.

A Kindness Matters Tip:  To write a personal note of thanks, send your message by Nov. 3 to: otterbeinkindness@otterbein.edu.

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A Kind Tradition Grows: New Students Plunge Into Service Culture at Otterbein

From its earliest days, Otterbein has been the kind of place that believes in giving back. Otterbein’s founding affiliation with the United Brethren Church (later the United Methodist Church) has strongly influenced its commitment to serving others and advancing the common good since its beginning in 1847.

One of the best ways to welcome new Otterbein students and help them understand their school’s values and principles is to invite them to plunge in, service first. The annual Fall Plunge, organized by the Center for Community Engagement, gives students the chance to get to know one another and why Otterbein values serving others in one impactful morning.

This fall, with support from the Kindness Matters at Otterbein initiative, this outstanding tradition grew to be one of its largest plunges in the event’s history. With added transportation options, not only were more first-year students able to participate, but more organizations, partners and neighbors were able to be served.

From 2016 to 2017, the Center for Community Engagement grew its Fall Plunge from its 20 sites served to 32 sites; and, 40 site leader volunteers grew to 63 to help organize the 400+ students who had pre-registered for this year’s event.

After encouragement from Otterbein President Krendl and some inspiration from Otterbein’s Cardinal Corp Leaders, the first year students hopped in busses and vans to scatter throughout Columbus, Westerville and campus to help with projects ranging from gardening to painting, to chores like organizing and cleaning.

Just as important as the help they provided, students were asked to reflect on why their service mattered, the benefits of their involvement and what they discovered about themselves by participating.

One-hundred percent of the students who responded to a post-event survey said they were glad they participated in the Fall Plunge. Students said they appreciated “learning the value of hard work,” “how their work has the potential to help others,” and “you can make a difference no matter how small.”

Students were also invited to complete a sentence asking them to consider why they think kindness matters. Some of their responses included the following:

 Kindness matters because: everyone deserves to be treated fairly.

Kindness matters because: no matter how different you are from another person, kindness is the most important thing.

Kindness matters because: it’s the only thing that can change the world.

Kindness matters because: we all need to feel that we have someone we could count on.

Kindness matters because: the only way to change the world is to start with just one person.

A Kindness Matters Tip: You can help, too. The 2018 Spring Plunge, scheduled for DATE, will be open to Otterbein employees, alumni and Westerville community teams. To learn more on how to get involved or to support the annual plunges, send an email to OtterbeinKindness@otterbein.edu.

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Welcome to Westerville: Neighbors “Bridge” Welcome to New Otterbein Students

With a number of programs and activities designed to help first year students get to know their new University community — Otterbein added another friendly connection this year — a warm welcome to students’ new home from the friendly neighbors who make Westerville the perfect place to live.

When Otterbein approached Rick Bannister, Westerville resident and founder of the “Westerville Neighborhood  Bridges” program, the answer was, ‘yes, of course, we can make that happen!’ Bannister’s motto, after all, is “kindness is cool.”

Bannister issued the call to neighbors and members of four area churches: Church of the Master, Church of the Messiah, Heritage Christian Church and St. Paul’s Church through his online kindness connecting bridge. Westerville Neighborhood Bridges is an online platform that bridges community need and individual requests for help with area citizens who are ready and able to answer that call.

More than 600 personal messages of welcome from members of the Westerville community were shared with entering Otterbein students at their First Year Convocation.

A Kindness Matters Tip:  It’s easy to make a difference! To learn more about Westerville Neighborhood Bridges, visit: westervillebridges.org.

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Kindness Matters is made possible with the generous support of the Kind Columbus initiative at The Columbus Foundation.

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