Mount Union Dedicates Orwick-Nicholson Court

October 18, 2008

On Friday, October 17 Mount Union College held a dedication ceremony for Orwick-Nicholson Court, the College’s newest apartment-style housing facility.

When Carl Orwick ’42 and his wife Martha “Nickie” (Nicholson ’45) made the decision to support residential housing on the Mount Union College campus through Orwick-Nicholson Court, they did so because of their long-time personal history with the College.

The Orwick legacy is alive and well today, but the family bond was first forged in 1911 when Nickie’s great-uncle, Elmer Trott, professor of mathematics and astronomy, came to Mount Union from Scio College when the two schools merged. The tradition of family alumni began when Nickie’s father, Wilbur H. Nicholson, a junior at Scio at the time of the merger, graduated from Mount Union in 1912 and continued with that of her brother, John ’39. Carl and Nickie’s two children are also both graduates. Phillip ’71 and his wife, Joan (Shepard ’69) reside in Carmel, IN and have two children, David and Karen. Nancy ’76 and her husband Gary McCamon ’75 reside in Alliance and also have two children – Ryan ’02 and Kristi ’05. 

Although they were acquainted while students at Mount Union, Carl and Nickie didn’t begin dating until both were serving in the armed forces during World War II. The two were lucky enough to reunite while in San Francisco in 1945, thanks to fellow alumnus Eugene Haidet’42, and were married one year later. 

Carl credits long-time Board of Trustee members Byron Y. “Brick” McCready and N. A. Cunningham with being influential in their decision to give back to the College that had given so much to them. Not only did McCready pave the way for Carl by getting him into the Insurance Company of North America school, he and Cunningham came to visit the Orwicks in Nashville where Carl first worked as an agent and offered Carl a place in the McConnell Insurance Agency in Alliance in 1948.

Dedicated to serving Mount Union and the Alliance community for many years, McCready and Cunningham were both honored by having residence halls on campus named after them. Encouraged by the commitment of McCready and Cunningham, the Orwicks wanted to have their name connected to Mount Union in a meaningful way.

“We felt we owed our livelihood to the College because of our personal history,” said Carl. “We wanted to have our name associated with the College.”

Generous supporters of the College for many years, the Orwicks established the Orwick-Nicholson Scholarship Fund in 1993. In 1987, Carl and Nickie received the Alumni Service Award. Carl was also honored as the Greek Advisor of the Year in 2003.  Carl recently retired as long-time advisor to Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. “Grandpa and Grandma Orwick” are familiar faces to many of the brothers that have lived at the ATO House through the years. Nickie, a sister of Alpha Chi Omega, is also still active in the sorority. Today, the Orwicks proud to have their name associated with residential housing at Mount Union.  

Houses within Orwick-Nicholson Court include Orwick House, given by Dr. Phil ’71 and Joni (Shepard ’69) Orwick; Lazear House, a gift of Dr. Edward J. ’44 and Eileen (Sterrett ’46) Lazear; Crispin House, a gift of Robert W. and Kathleen P. (Frisk ’67) Crispin; and Haupt Family House and Victor House, given by Dr. Fred J. ’63 and Victoria Haupt in honor of Fred F. and Christina Haupt and Forrest L. Haupt and Victor M. and Carmella A. Tzetzu respectively.

Orwick-Nicholson Court, which welcomed students at the beginning of the 2008-2009 academic year, offers a more independent housing option for upperclass students.

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