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A Kind Surprise!


While walking to an Assembly of Administrators meeting on campus this week, I was delightfully surprised when two Otterbein colleagues from across campus in the Office of the Registrar stopped my colleague, Sarah Burnell, and I and offered us a “kindness cookie!” It made us feel so special that on a cold, rainy day, David and Cheryl would choose to brighten our day with a smiley face cookie with a special message that read, “Sometimes kindness begins with a simple smile. #KindnessMatters.” It was great to see the Kindness Matters effort taking off around campus and making an impact!



Dana Madden Viglietta ’96,

Director of Campaign Planning and Logistics
Institutional Advancement
Otterbein University

One comment on A Kind Surprise!

  1. Kathy A. Krendl says:

    I am repeating the story from the January 29 University Update regarding the unexpected gift to Otterbein of more than $60,000.

    When I returned from the holiday break, I found a letter on my desk. Enclosed with the letter was a check for $61,900. The letter explained that a family member had benefitted from scholarship and grant support during his years at Otterbein in the 1990s, and they wanted to re-pay the funds to support the next generation of students. They had calculated the support he received into today’s value, and the total resulted in the sum of $61,900. When I called to thank them, the comment was, “We just felt we needed to pay it back. It was a debt that we needed to pay.”
    This remark prompted my thinking about how many debts I have not re-paid. There are many of them, I’m sure, and I suspect that is true for many of us. It also made me think about Otterbein’s Kindness Matters initiative. How many of you presented your Welcome Back plant last fall to a friend or neighbor or community member as a recognition of an act of kindness, to say thank you, to acknowledge their generosity? And what did those individuals do next? Did it prompt them to fulfill a debt of gratitude? How many lives were touched from that simple act of distributing plants around our community, and how can we measure the impact of such actions? That is the concept behind the Kindness Matters initiative.
    The question posed to us by the Columbus Foundation — what makes kindness contagious – is intriguing. What prompts us to re-pay debts of gratitude? Whatever debts remain for you, I hope the Kindness Matters effort will prompt you to consider re-paying them. I also hope that you will take the time to add your reflections on the meaning of kindness on our website,

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A Kind Surprise!

A KindnessMatters effort takes off around campus and makes an impact!

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

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