Members of the Mayer-Longworth-McDonald-Uher Family have been represented among Heidelberg’s alumni for well more than a century – nearly 14 decades, to be exact. Today, we honor them for sending five generations of graduates – including one current student – to Heidelberg.
The family’s legacy dates back to 1880, when the Rev. Frederick Mayer enrolled in Heidelberg’s Theological Seminary, graduating in 1884. Rev. Mayer’s two sons, Dr. Nevin Mayer and Dr. Frederick M. Mayer, followed their father to Heidelberg. Nevin Mayer (1890-1978) served in World War I as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Following his service, he graduated in 1917 from Western Reserve Medical School. He enjoyed a 62-year career practicing family medicine in Apple Creek Ohio.
Dr. Nevin Mayer’s daughter, Ruth (Mayer) Longworth, ’50, enrolled in Heidelberg in 1946. A lifelong resident of Wooster, Ohio, she was a retired social worker who devoted her life to helping disabled children. She died in 2007 at the age of 80. Two of her three daughters – Kim and Lynn -- followed their mother to Heidelberg. Kim graduated in 1979.
John F. Uher, ’82, the grandson of Nevin Mayer, represents the family’s fourth generation. John received his bachelor’s degree in business administration and works as an underwriter for Progressive Casualty Insurance Company. Like hundreds of other ‘Berg alumni, John met his future wife, Cindy McDonald, while both were students at Heidelberg. Cindy completed her bachelor’s degree and additional coursework at Ashland University and currently works for Bloomin’ Brands Inc. Cindy’s sister, Kerri McDonald-Goldstein, is a member of the Heidelberg Class of 1991. She has been a software developer for 25 years, currently working as director of applications development at a language services company.
John and Cindy’s son, current ‘Berg student Benjamin Uher, represents the fifth generation of the family’s Heidelberg legacy. Ben, a member of the Class 2020, is majoring in psychology and minoring in biology. He shares his musical talents as a performer in the Symphonic Band and the Jazz Ensemble and followed in his father’s footsteps as a member of Sigma Tau Nu fraternity.
Perhaps one of the most notable members of this legacy family is Dr. Frederick M. Mayer, who completed his Heidelberg degree in 1920. Following his graduation, he obtained his law degree from Harvard University, practicing in Youngstown, Ohio, before joining Continental Emsco Company in 1931. He retired as president of Continental, a manufacturer and distributor of oil and gas drilling equipment in Dallas. As a vice president and director for Continental's parent company, Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co., Fred also served as director of the American Petroleum Institute, Texas Mid-Continent Oil Association, and had leadership roles with other industry organizations.
During his lifetime, he was an important voice for Heidelberg, leaving his mark on the physical plant and also providing vision and wisdom as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1949-70. A member of the inaugural class of the Heidelberg Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985, he is credited with providing funds to build Mayer Field (inside today’s Hoernemann Stadium and helping to secure funding for Beeghly Library Additionally, he was a charter member of the Fellows Organization in 1950. Fred died in 1993.