Each year, Heidelberg honors a group of alumni and legacy families for their contributions to their careers, their communities and their alma mater. It’s been a tradition since 1971. This year’s award winners represent the classes of 1948, 1952, 1957, 1974 and 1982.
The Career Excellence Award, presented to an alumnus or alumna who has demonstrated excellence in his or her chosen profession, was awarded this year to J. Mark Busch, ’82. Busch began his professional career after graduation when he joined the family-owned Busch Funeral and Crematory Services in Cleveland. He has provided support and encouragement to families for over two decades.
With his passion for philanthropy he has been active with the Funeral Service Foundation Hand In Hand program, and supportive of many community organizations including his church and the YMCA. He has served as commodore of the Cleveland Yachting Club.
The Legacy Family Award pays tribute to one family each year that has had two or more generations graduate from Heidelberg. This year, the college honored the members of the Herbster-Winter family, whose relationship to Heidelberg began in the mid-1800s and includes generations of faculty, graduates and the trustees.
The family has supported the endowment of scholarships and awards and donated funds for the creation of Herbster Chapel. Their global influence has included missionary work in China and Japan and ministries in the Presbyterian and United Church of Christ denominations that continue to today.
Two alumni, Fred Schuld, ’48, and David Sharp, ’57, received the Alumni Service Award, presented to alumni who have made important contributions to perpetuate and enhance Heidelberg or the alumni association through years of dedicated service.
Sharp began his service to Heidelberg during his student days as a campus leader and as president of the Class of 1957. He has continued his service to the college by serving as an active member of the Alumni Council and its development committee.
His classmates nominated him for this award because of the extraordinary leadership he demonstrated in organizing the 50th anniversary for their class and his role in educating his classmates about planned giving and the needs of Heidelberg. His class donated or pledged more than $1.5 million toward the college’s endowment.
His commitment to his alma mater is matched by his dedication to society at large through his work with his church and local youth and community organizations.
Schuld has worked hard to fulfill his fraternity’s pledge to “give your best” throughout his life. Today he is being recognized for the service he has provided to countless students since his graduation in 1948. As a history and social studies teacher he inspired his students, and made history come alive. He challenged them to stretch beyond their comfort zones.
Long before Heidelberg had an official program to involve alumni in the recruitment of students, he was encouraging students to attend Heidelberg. The students he sent to Heidelberg were successful in the classroom and on the athletic field and are loyal alumni today.
The Outstanding Alumni Award is presented to an alumnus or alumna in recognition of lifetime accomplishments and contributions to their profession, community and society at large. This year’s recipients are Tom Bartlett, ’74, and Robert Parmelee, ’52 (posthumously).
A retired teacher, Bartlett is a man who has always challenged the status quo. He expects the best of himself and his students. He has demonstrated his passion for learning, service and nature throughout his life. Through his wit and sense of humor, as a science teacher for over 30 years in Ohio public schools, he engaged his students in active learning and inspired them to preserve the environment.
He practiced what he taught by working each summer as a biologist for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. His love of birds led him to become one of the first bird banders in the country and he has passed on that skill to numerous students. He has conducted wildlife census surveys for many years and has been honored with several nature awards from his peers.
He has coached soccer at Heidelberg and still assists biology students with their research.
The college posthumously recognized Parmelee, a man who quietly and unassumingly supported his profession, his country, his community, his family and his alma mater.
Parmelee served his country in World War II as a signalman on a U.S. Navy destroyer. He graduated from Heidelberg and Harvard University and went on to become a successful businessman in the packaging and financial services industries.
Following his retirement, he continued to share his business knowledge by mentoring business executives. Always involved in the communities in which he lived, he was active in many organizations including his church, the VFW and the American Legion. Always loyal to his alma mater, he and his wife, Vesta, hosted alumni gatherings wherever they lived throughout the United States.
In 1975, Parmelee he was elected to the Heidelberg Board of Trustees and served the college in this capacity for more than 30 years. He often worked behind the scenes, sharing his financial expertise on board committees and assisting college administrators.