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In My Own Words

November 23, 2020

By Tony Zurbrugg '69 (with wife Cathy)

Mount Union has been a part of my life since I was very young. I was first exposed to all that it had to offer during frequent fall homecoming visits to campus with my late father Dr. Earl B. Zurbrugg ’25. I also learned that several other family members had graduated as well. Later, when it came time to select a strong liberal arts school for college, I was confident that Mount Union would be a great fit for me and, indeed, it was. My years in Alliance were a transformative experience that prepared me well for life and the later demands of graduate school at The Ohio State University and for two parallel careers as a hospital administrator in both the civilian and military sectors.

Having the opportunity to give back to Mount Union over the years in terms of volunteer service and philanthropy has been one of the most important joys of my life.  

Mount Union was a welcoming community of scholars and a rigorous academic experience during the last half of the 60s decade. Many lifelong friendships were formed that continue to this day, and I recall with great respect the expert and caring faculty who guided and mentored us along the way as we embraced and internalized the concept of lifelong learning.

One of the most gratifying aspects of Mount Union’s evolution over recent decades on its journey to University status has been the consistently high quality of governance and leadership that has been demonstrated. Growth across the board in virtually every conceivable area has been strategically driven and is sustainable because one of Mount’s many enduring legacies is that of fiscal prudence grounded in reality and transparency. Mount Union has always remained true to itself and its mission of preparing its students for fulfilling lives, meaningful work, and responsible citizenship.

Names like Bracy, Weber, Weimer, Crist, Gilpatric, Stonesifer, Pinney, Blount, Montagno, Meyer, Vesey, and Wiese, just to name a few, will be with me forever as I remember their contribution to my social and intellectual development. It is well and proper that we acknowledge and have gratitude for those whose interest, dedication, and commitment to scholarship and teaching came to influence our own paths in life. 

Mount continues today to be an institution worthy of emulation and imitation by other private schools of similar size, characteristics, and sponsorship. Excellence abounds and is the source of the quiet pride that only those who have worn the purple and white can ever understand. It’s what makes us uniquely different and better. “Often imitated, but never equaled” is a wholly-earned moniker. If Mount Union was a stock, it would be on my “must buy” list. 

My wife, Cathy (a UMSL grad), and I are both blessed to have had wonderful and fulfilling careers and to have enjoyed good health and prosperity. While still fully engaged, our family commitments have been largely completed or satisfied, and so it is our time to reflect and show gratitude to those causes and institutions that have meant so much to us.   

We are thrilled that we can make an estate provision that will benefit our Class of 1969 Memorial Scholarship at Mount Union in the years to come, and we have every confidence that the University will continue to “Be Exceptional” in serving the needs of those deserving, bright, and talented students who are prepared to take advantage of this unique educational opportunity before them.