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Marietta College community marks 185th birthday

Beth Lebar and Zacary Turkowski, students at Marietta College, dish up appetizers before the Founders Day celebration Thursday evening at Dyson Baudo Recreation Center in Marietta. (Photo by Michele Newbanks)

More than 300 members of the community and faculty of Marietta College gathered Thursday evening for a Founders Day celebration at the Dyson Baudo Recreation Center.

President Bill Ruud said the college, which is celebrating its 185th birthday today, has always held a Founders Day event. This celebration is only in its third year.

“We changed it around so we made it a much more community-oriented event,” he said. “We give both college awards and community awards.”

Ruud explained the college was founded in 1797 as Muskingum Academy, and 38 years later, it was chartered as Marietta College.

“We’ve gone through 19 presidents, so I’m president number 19,” Ruud said. “Which you divide out over 185 years, that’s about 10 years a president, so that’s pretty good.”

He said the college has grown and developed over the years, starting with three buildings on Fourth Street.

“Now we pretty much own the area between Putnam, Seventh, Pike and Fourth streets,” he added.

Cody Clemens, assistant professor in communications at Marietta College, said this was his second year attending the ceremony.

“To me, this event is really something that allows all the college employees and community members to feel like home and come together and enjoy each other’s company,” he said. “It’s also a celebration of the achievements that have gone on over the last year. We celebrate community members, we celebrate teachers, and enjoy good food and good company.”

One of the community organizations to win an award was Marietta Main Street, which won the Linsley Community Partner Award.

“It’s recognition of college and community connection,” said Cristie Thomas, executive director of Marietta Main Street.

She explained the college put out a call for area organizations to be nominated to win the award.

“I believe the award is based on the partnership between the college and the organization that was being nominated. Marietta Main Street has worked with Marietta College for years and years on a number of activities,” she said.

Marietta Main Street was just one of many award winners during the celebration. Fourteen awards were presented. They included:

¯ Patriot Award: Laurie McKain and Linda Adelson.

¯ Douglas Putnam Collaborative Staff Service Award: Tara Meagle.

¯ Douglas Putnam Faculty Service Award: Roger Pitasky.

¯ Edward G. Harness Outstanding Educator Award: Mary Barnas, Tanya Judd Pucella and Michael Morgan.

¯ First Year Advising Award: Michael Morgan.

¯ Innovative Teaching Award: Brandon Downing.

¯ John G. and Jeanne McCoy Teaching Excellence Professorship: John Grosel.

¯ Linsley Community Partner Award: Marietta Main Street, Perry and Associates CPAs, Marian Clowes, Carl Heinrich and Judy Heinrich.

¯ Major Advising Award: John Fazio.

¯ Marietta Community Leadership Award: Lynn Bostrom and John Tynan.

¯ Outstanding Education Volunteer Award: Cheryl Arnold.

¯ Research Award: Robert McManus and Alexandra Perry.

¯ Staff Award for Mentoring: Greg Myhr and Linda Roesch.

¯ Jean Scott Award: Wendy Thieman and Gillian Keeley.

Ruud said it was important to include both community and faculty in the event.

“We really want to make sure we celebrate Founders Day at Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio, so everybody’s involved,” he said.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

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