Uconnect Parents and Family Association Newsletter - February 2012

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U and the President 

Higher education is indeed a necessity in our increasingly competitive world. In fact, in my last letter, I shared some information with you regarding the impact of a college education in general and a Mount Union degree specifically – an education that has been lauded by external rankings bodies like U.S. News and World Report, Forbes and Washington Monthly

Since then, we have uncovered some even more exciting news based on study results recently released by Smart Money magazine regarding best values in higher education. The publication conducted a unique payback survey spotlighting the relationship between tuition costs and a graduate’s earning power by calculating the return on tuition investment for only 50 of the highest-priced institutions in the nation. Although we were not included in the study (fortunately because we are not among the 50 highest-priced institutions in the country), we were intrigued by this gauge of return on investment.  So, we applied the SmartMoney methodology and identified how we, as well as our competitor institutions, would fare in regard to a Payback Score. 

The combination of Mount Union’s affordable tuition and exceptional success by graduates ranked us third among our 23 identified peer and aspirant institutions, indicating once again that Mount Union is an outstanding value for students and their parents. I should also mention that we scored higher than the average for the Ivy League (including Harvard!) and non-Ivy private institutions included in SmartMoney’s study.

And, results from our 2010 graduate survey support this new-found knowledge. Among members of this class, 97% of survey respondents secured employment in their major field of study or graduate school placement in the college or university of their choice.  In another study, an overwhelming majority – 93% of parents and 91% of alumni – say a Mount Union education is worth the investment as well. 

If you’d like to learn more about Our Value, I invite you to visit us online.  We just launched a new series of value videos that you may find intriguing!

I couldn’t be more pleased with the fact that, as parents, you appreciate the value of the experience we provide to your students. Thank you for your continued support, trust and involvement.


Dr. Richard F. Giese
President of the University of Mount Union

U and the Parents and Family Association

Parents are invited to attend events sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations and University Activities

Mount Union Choir Performance with the Canton Symphony 
Sunday, February 26, 3 p.m.
Canton Symphony Orchestra, Umstattd Hall

The Mount Union Choir will be performing with the Canton Symphony on Sunday, February 26 at 3 p.m., and complimentary tickets are available to all members of the Mount Union community on a first-come, first-served basis. If interested in tickets, please contact The Mount Union Fund at or (330) 823-2092. Attendees must be able to pick up tickets by Friday, February 24 from Mount Union or provide an address to mail by Wednesday, February 22. Heartfelt thanks to generous Mount Union alum and Canton Symphony Orchestra board member, Joy (Colley '58) Silverhart, for providing the tickets.

Kalahari Indoor Waterpark
February 25-26

Enjoy discounted room rates through Mount Union and spend a weekend away with the whole family! Contact Kalahari directly at 877-KALAHARI or (419) 433-7200 to make reservations.   

M Club Reverse Raffle and Silent Auction
March 31 at Skyland Pines, Canton, OH
All Purple Raider fans are invited to participate in a great evening of fun at Skyland Pines, with all proceeds supporting Mount Union athletic programs. Only 200 raffle admission tickets are available, so call (330) 823-2030 today to purchase a ticket! Additional dinner tickets also are available. Enjoy a silent auction full of items from Raider programs, local businesses, professional and semi-pro teams and more. Plus, you can have dinner and socialize all before the reverse raffle begins. Don't worry, the NCAA Final Four games will be on TV during the event. For more information, visit Purple Raiders Central.

Office of Business Affairs
The Office of Business Affairs would like to thank all the parents who have returned their Payment Calculation Worksheets. It is much appreciated! The office also wants to make sure you are aware of dates that will be of importance to you and your student this spring:

  • February 29 – All accounts will be reviewed for current status. Accounts not current will be placed on hold status.  The hold status will not allow registration or viewing of grades.  Transcripts will not be released to any account in hold status.
  • March 26 – April 6 – Online registration dates for fall 2012 semester.

The Office of Business Affairs hours is Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. If you have any questions or concerns, call (330) 823-6557 or toll-free 1 (800) 992-6682.

It is now easier to make a payment!  You no longer need to have access to your student’s self-service account. Please visit, click on the “Parents and Families” tab; and then click “Make a payment.”

Information will be sent to your student soon regarding changes in requesting and receiving refunds.

Featured Profile

How incredible is it that more than 100 Mount Union alumni vest their time and talents every day as current faculty, administrators and staff at the University? In fact, our very own Dr. Pat Matthews, who is a 1973 graduate, is our featured video profile this month. Dr. Matthews serves as dean of the Division of Professional Studies, Nolan A. Cunningham Chair of Business, professor of economics, accounting and business administration and advisor of the Investment Team. For the past 35 plus years, she has influenced countless lives and steered many individuals down a successful career path. I am thrilled to say she continues to make an amazing impact today, molding and shaping our business students and the Department of Economics, Accounting and Business Administration. I hope you will enjoy listening to her interview as much as I enjoyed talking with my mentor, teacher and friend.

Anne Graffice ‘95
Director of Alumni Relations and University Activities

U and our Students

Congratulations to our upcoming graduating class and their parents! Folders containing valuable information from various departments and offices on campus regarding the ceremony and preparations will be mailed to potential graduates’ campus mailboxes within the next week. A copy also will be sent to their parents. We invite you to take a moment to review the materials.

The Commencement ceremony is planned for Saturday, May 5 on the South lawn of Chapman Hall. If there is inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved indoors to the Peterson Field House in the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex (The MAAC) and a notice will be posted on Mount Union’s website.

Students can pick up Commencement tickets during Senior Salute on Wednesday, April 11. Each student receives (10) tickets.  View more Commencement information online.


Save the Date for Little Sibs Weekend - Country Pride, Campus Wide!
March 23-24

This is a great time for little siblings, cousins and family friends to visit Alliance with their big sib! During this weekend, the Raider Programming Board, in conjunction with several other campus organizations, provides many fun and exciting activities for sibs and kids of all ages!

Throughout the “Country Pride” weekend, participants will have the opportunity to participate in the Blue Ribbon Bash coloring contest, a County Fair, and much more! Check out the full schedule of events for Little Sibs Weekend online! Registration also will be available online soon.

If you have questions or need more information, contact Jesse Douglas, assistant director of student involvement and leadership, at (330) 823-6051 or

We hope to see you in March!

Service Learning Opportunities

In conjunction with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration on campus, the Regula Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement participated in events including the day of service, presentations about diversity by students and the Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Dinner. Most notably, the Center coordinated and sponsored the fifth annual Martin Luther King Jr.  Day of Service as part of a week of events in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Over 250 volunteers from the Mount Union community including children, high school students, community leaders, staff and students participated in the day of service, making it the largest turnout thus far at Mount Union.

“Being able to have the largest turnout in five years of the event was an incredible thing of which to be part,” said Abby Honaker, Ohio campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA in the Regula Center, who coordinated the event. “The Alliance community is very important to me and sharing that with the students at Mount means a lot.  Knowing that over 250 volunteers cared enough to spend the morning giving back is a true testament to the value of community.”

The volunteers gathered in Campus Grounds on the morning of Martin Luther King Jr. Day to receive their placements. Volunteer locations included the Alliance Area Domestic Violence Shelter, Alchemy Acres, Rodman Public Library, Alliance for Children and Families, YMCA, The Empowerment Center, Habitat for Humanity of Salem, Alliance Neighborhood Center, First Presbyterian Church, Feed My Sheep Ministries, Alliance Community Pantry, Canterbury Villa, McCrea Manor, Joel’s Garage, Community Care, Bel Air Senior Living, Black History Museum of Alliance, CJ’s Deli, Goodwill, Copeland Oaks, Mount Union Sustainability Project, Mount Union Physical Plant and Roselawn Nursing Home. 

Logan Cook, a sophomore at Mount Union shared, “I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself and this was a great opportunity to do that.”

Charlene Duro, head of the bookmobile department at Rodman Public Library, used volunteers to help shelving materials.

“It helps me because I can get other library work done,” Duro said.  ‘”It’s great – they’re just cooking right along here.”

Another student, freshman Erin Smolinksi said, “I think it’s a nice way to help out the community.”

Rev. Paul Dykshoorn, a founder of the new Men’s Challenge Program and pastor at Alliance Christian Center used some of the volunteers to work on his new office at the Neighborhood Center. 

“It was fantastic,” Dykshoorn said.  “I looked forward to this.  It’s a great idea – a day of service instead of a day off.  It’s a good way to remember Martin Luther King Jr.”

After finishing the service projects, volunteers returned to Campus Grounds for a reflection activity and lunch provided by AVI.

US Army War College Eisenhower Series

The US Army War College Eisenhower Series is returning to campus on Wednesday, March through Thursday, March 29. They are a team of students from the War College in Pennsylvania and they focus on current events and national security. The team will be doing a panel discussion on March 28 that is open to the public as well as visiting classes.  Check the website for details.  The Eisenhower Series only visits about 12 campuses a year so Mount Union is fortunate to have them back on campus again this year.

U and Mount Union

Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership Event
Thursday, February 23
4-7 p.m.
Playmakers Sports Grille, Garfield Heights, OH

Mount Union teacher alumni, spouses and friends in education are invited to join the M.A. in Educational Leadership faculty to learn more about the upcoming master's program that can be taken online. RSVP by February 22 to Linda Bigham at or (330) 823-3170.

For more information about the MAEL Program, visit

Joseph M. Carr Lecture in Religion
Thursday, March 29
Presser Recital Hall

Dr. Gail O’Day, dean and professor of new testament and preaching at Wake Forest University School of Divinity, will present the Joseph M. Carr Lecture on Thursday, March 29 at 10:30 a.m. in Presser Recital Hall. She will present Friendship as a Christian Practice: Embodying Jesus’ Love in an Anxious World. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, April 17

The fifth annual SCHOLAR Day will be held on Tuesday, April 17, and will feature a full day of presentations showcasing academic excellence and scholarly research at Mount Union.

SCHOLAR Day, which stands for Student Celebration Honoring Our Latest Academic Research, provides Mount Union students an opportunity to share their latest research projects and findings with faculty, staff, students, family, friends and community members. Launched in 2008, the continued success of this academic tradition is made possible through the generous support of George ’58 and Sally (Shrake ’59) Stradley of Hartville, OH.

Visit for more details.

Raider Athletics

Winter sports are finishing their seasons this month! Cheer on the Purple Raiders at an away game near your hometown or stop by campus. Check the athletic website for all athletic events.

Upcoming Fine Arts Events
The spring semester at Mount Union is packed with many fine art events. View a complete schedule of events online.

Senior Class Gift
Each year, The Mount Union Fund assists the Senior Class in planning the legacy they will leave on campus after graduation. After much discussion and a class-wide vote, the Class of 2012 has begun fund-raising efforts to add a regulation basketball court and a sand volleyball court to the area between Bica-Ross and Shields Residence Halls. They also hope to include a brick patio space for relaxing, studying or simply taking a break between pick-up games. This exciting project will fill a need for many of our student intramural basketball and volleyball teams, while also providing a more functional recreational space for students living in these residence halls and the surrounding area.

The Mount Union Fund takes pride each year in raising unrestricted funds to assist students with financial aid, library and technology resources and more, and we are proud to support the Class of 2012 in their endeavor. We invite parents and families to join us by making a gift in honor of their students’ time and accomplishments at Mount Union. To lend your support to The Mount Union Fund or the Senior Class Gift, call (330) 823-2092 or visit us on online. Thank you!

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