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Save the date!

Fellow Communication Arts Alumni:

As I am sure you are aware, Professor Nils Riess retired last year after many years of faithful service to Ohio Northern and the Communication Arts Department.

Many of us were able to attend the gala held at ONU in Nils’ honor and shared with him in celebration of his time, service and accomplishments. It was a wonderful evening and much fun was had re-connecting with fellow classmates, meeting other alumni and sharing in the common experience of the Communication Arts Department.

Many of us present remarked that it was shame that it took Professor Riess’ retirement to get us all back together in one place. That thought was one that many of us carried in our minds as we left Ada once again the next morning. Those of you who are part of the Facebook group know that there was much discussion in the weeks following the gala about how we could recapture that experience. The discussion centered on the concept that the alumni could return to campus for a day of mentoring, teaching and interaction with the current students. The event would include a fundraiser of some sort (gala dinner, follies type performance, etc.) for the Nils Riess Endowment as well. The event would give all of us the chance to continue Nils’ charge to us to build on the foundation of experiences that the Department of Theatre Arts program represents.

This letter is the “Save the Date Letter.” We have had a number of conversations with Professor Reiss, Bill Robinson, Dean Catherine Albrecht, Alumni Affairs and Dr. Laurie Bell, who is serving as interim chair of the Theatre Arts Department. All of them are fully on board with the concept of a day of interaction and mentoring with the current students as well as an evening reception that is also a fundraiser for the endowment that was set-up in Professor Reiss’ honor to provide opportunities for current students. Based on conversations with Dr. Bell and the rest of the faculty, we are planning for the initial event to take place in during the weekend of Jan. 18 and 19, 2015. So please mark your calendars and plan on being involved in some way with this exciting event.

Many of you expressed your interest and willingness to help with this project and we will be in touch with you soon about how we can use your talents. One of the biggest initial challenges is making sure that we have made contact with as many students who were part of the former Communication Arts programs, including those who were involved but were not majors. We are working with the Theatre Arts Department to compile the contact list, but if you are in touch with friends and classmates that were not department majors or minors but should be included in this event, please let one of us know so that we can add them to the contact list. We will be setting up an email address and other social media soon, but for now, please email me at the email address below.

Thank you for your time and we hope to see you in Ada in January, 2015, for the initial event.


Christopher Sprague, BA ’98

Cynthia Kocher, BA ’95

Tracey Coppedge, BA '99