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Commencement Stories: Eric

The Double Bear

Eric Ambos was a typical Ohio Northern University freshman. He was wide-eyed and eager to experience everything college had to offer. He got involved, signing up for clubs and organizations all over campus. However, unlike many freshmen, he never really lost interest in any of them. Instead he committed more of himself and became a leader.

“I had actually planned on playing golf here, but I didn’t end up making the team, so that gave me more opportunities to get involved with other things,” says Ambos. “So even though that was disappointing at the time, it actually opened up a whole new world to me that I never would have had the opportunity for otherwise. Campus involvement has defined my college career, and I’m very thankful that it happened the way it did.”

Ambos’ résumé is impressive. The management major was the president of Student Senate and, before that, its secretary of finance. He served as vice president of the Dicke College of Business Administration’s Dean’s Advisory Board. He was part of the Peer Mentorship Program and an active member of the President’s Club. When he wasn’t personally involved in a club, he was advocating for them on ONU 3-TV through Campus Connections, a weekly television program he hosted to increase awareness of all the things happening on campus.

The common thread in his involvement is his sincere desire to make ONU better. He credits his time as secretary of finance for Student Senate with turning him into the leader his is today.

Ambos speaking at Convocation in 2012.

“The secretary of finance is in charge of the budget appropriations process for Student Senate, which means deciding which student organizations get allocated money. It gets very contentious sometimes,” he says. “It could be nerve-wracking because I knew I had to be explain to my classmates why their club did or did not receive financial support from Student Senate. We are given a budget, and it is our responsibility to use it in a judicious manner, but that didn’t make the decisions any easier.”

ONU has a knack for fostering leadership among its students. With more than 200 student organizations on campus, there are plenty of opportunities to lead at every level, including the very top. Less than 25 percent of colleges and universities give students a vote on the Board of Trustees. ONU does, and as president of Student Senate, that vote fell to Ambos.

“It just exemplifies the importance that ONU places on hearing student voices,” he says. “Being able to provide input from a student standpoint at such a high level has been invaluable to me personally, and to the University as well.”

It’s not surprising to learn that someone who has invested so much of himself into an institution wouldn’t want to say goodbye so easily. For Ambos, his speech at Commencement won’t be his ONU (black) swan song. He’ll be back next fall as a member of the Pettit College of Law’s class of 2017 and couldn’t be more excited to become a Double Bear.

“Coming into college, I had so many interests, and I’m finding that as I’m preparing to start law school, I have so many interests in the legal realm as well. It’s kind of reminiscent of where I was four years ago, just in a more focused way.”

Read more Class of 2014 Commencement Stories