Each year, Heidelberg is honored to recognize the significant achievements and contributions of our talented alumni. Awards are presented during Alumni Weekend each June. The following awards are presented: Career Excellence, Service, Philanthropy, Legacy Family, Young Alumni and Outstanding Alumni, considered the highest honor.
2017 Alumni Award Winners
Outstanding Alumni Award
Kim Newman, MAE '90
There are many reasons why Kim Newman, MAE '90 is an outstanding alumna, but the bottom line is that for the past 17 years, when Heidelberg has needed her, she has answered the call. She is one of our most prominent, visible, accessible and valuable alumni volunteers, not only as the former face of the Fellows Organization but most recently, she has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to guide the restructuring of the Alumni Council, which she has led as president the past four years. As a member of the Board of Trustees, she has represented the interests of all alumni around the board table. Kim is a leader, a generous donor and the ultimate partner and friend. Her contributions to Heidelberg have been transformational.
Young Alumni Achievement Award
Rebecca Shope, '03
Although she hadn’t initially planned on a career in law, Rebecca (Denton) Shope, '03, has found her place in the courtroom. After receiving her Juris Doctor degree in 2008, she joined the Toledo firm of Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick, specializing in labor and employment and litigation. Daily, she helps her clients untangle the complex world of discrimination, harassment, FMLA and even divorce and child custody cases so successfully that she was promoted to partner in January. Rebecca has also taken on leadership roles in her Toledo community and has served her alma mater with distinction as the youngest president of the Fellows Organization, among other volunteer service.
Ken Fruscella, '84
After 30 years building a successful career in managerial accounting, Ken Fruscella, '84, realized the time had come to give back to Heidelberg and to provide opportunities for current and future Heidelberg students that had not been available to him. He worked with the School of Business to establish an internship program and mentors students as they prepare for the working world. He became actively engaged with the Alumni Council, taking the lead as the Council conducted focus groups for the emerging Academic Strategic Initiatives for Improvement Plan. He plans to continue his active involvement through the HYPE Career Ready Program and other campus and alumni activities.
Legacy Family Award
Leiner-Bage family members have been represented among Heidelberg’s alumni for nearly a century. They are honored for sending four generations of graduates – including two current students – to Heidelberg.
You have to travel back a century to find the first member of this year’s honorees, the Leiner-Bage Family. Their legacy began when Karl Leiner enrolled in 1916 and graduated in 1920. Karl and his son, Charles, '50, were the longtime owners and operators of the Leiner men’s clothing store in downtown Tiffin. Two of Charlie’s three siblings – Suzanne,'54, and Jane,'55 – also are ‘Berg alumni, as are Suzanne’s and Jane’s spouses, UCC ministers Rev. Larold Schulz, '56, and, Rev. C. Thomas Jackson, ’55. The fourth generation is represented by Charlie’s nephew, James Bage,'87, and his two sons, current ‘Berg juniors Rory and Alec Bage.
Career Excellence Award
Barbara Cliffe-Miller, ’80
When a young Barbara Cliffe-Miller told her parents she planned to be a doctor and an opera singer, her mother’s reaction – a dropped bowl of potatoes – was priceless. But Barbara, Class of ’81, knew what she wanted. She has been fulfilling her career goal with the highest level of excellence for the past 35 years as an accomplished physical therapist, all the while maintaining involvement in the activities she cherishes.
Past Winners & Nominations
If you know of a deserving alumna or alumnus, we encourage you to nominate them for one of our annual awards. Nominations may be made by anyone, including Heidelberg alumni, current or retired members of the Heidelberg faculty or staff. Nominations remain on file and are reviewed annually for three years. All alumni are eligible for an award, including: Heidelberg employees, members of the Board of Trustees, members of the Alumni Council and previous Alumni Citation winners. Non-graduates are eligible for the Service and Philanthropy Awards.
The deadline for nominations to be considered for the following year’s awards is Dec. 31. For example, nominations for the 2018 year must be received by Dec. 31, 2017.
Athletic Hall of Fame
In conjunction with Homecoming each fall, Heidelberg celebrates student-athletes who enjoyed awesome performances on the athletic field. The Athletic Hall of Fame inducts individuals and teams who have made their mark in the athletic record books.
Since the Athletic Hall of Fame was initiated in 1985, a total of 11 teams and 159 individuals have been honored for their excellence. We encourage you to nominate an outstanding alumna or alumnus student-athlete.