ALLIANCE – Thomas Botzman considers himself a âlackeyâ in the service of others.
The president of Mount Union University said his mother spent a lot of time volunteering and taught him as a child the importance of giving to others.
Following:Mount Union students to teach English to Trilogy Plastics workers
âWhen asked why she volunteered so much, she said, ‘I think it all started because my maiden name was Lackey,â Botzman said.
He has adopted a similar mindset, he said, and strives to help others.
Mount Union installed Botzman, 62, as the university’s 13th president on Friday in a ceremony at Peterson Field House.
Botzman, who succeeded W. Richard Merriman Jr., took office in July 2020, but the ceremony was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Stow native served as a faculty member at Mount Union from 1989 to 2004. He was also president of Misericordia University, a private college in Pennsylvania, for seven years.
In his speech, Botzman said the pandemic has created many challenges for the university, but Mount Union has remained committed to its core values.
âSince the founding of Mount Union in 1846, we have supported Orville Nelson Hartshorn’s vision for 175 years and will continue on this path for 175 more years,â he said.
Botzman said Hartshorn called Mount Union “a cosmic institution for the people.” The university continues to focus on this idea, he said, providing an in-depth Christian education to its students.
âOur faculty colleagues will continue to challenge themselves and their students to do research and scholarship,â Botzman said.
Going forward, he said, Mount Union will implement a strategic plan that includes increasing undergraduate enrollment, providing a stimulating curriculum and making educational opportunities available. for people of all genders, races and economic backgrounds.
“University education aims to make the invisible visible in several ways,” he said.
Mount Union faculty members, alumni and past university presidents Harold Kolenbrander, John Ewing Jr., Richard Giese and Merriman spoke at the ceremony, wishing Botzman a successful stay at Mount Union.
Alliance Mayor Alan Andreani told the audience that Mount Union continues to be a âgemâ of the community. The university is one of the Alliance’s largest employers, he said, and the success of one entity is important to others.
“With the selection of Dr. Botzman as president, we have a leader with a vision that understands the role the community plays in the life of the university. And I am optimistic that as we move forward, Mount Union and Alliance will continue. to present a united front as we attract economic development to our region, âhe said.
Contact Paige at 330-580-8577 or [email protected], or on Twitter at @paigembenn.