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The Creager Family Today — ONU Ties that Bind

A look back at the Creager family.

“I’m proud to be a Polar Bear and proud that my four brothers all followed the same path,” reflects Kelly (Creager) Meyer, BA ’01, when sharing her love for Ohio Northern University. Today, the Creager family’s connections to Northern could be given truly “epic” status. The family’s broad reach into their respective communities and professions is equally impressive. The Northern-Creager roots run deep, having grown and developed over almost two decades. It is a life-changing story being played out not only with the Creagers, but also with other families with multiple graduates who have found ONU to be a tie that binds.

When Jim and Bonnie Creager’s eldest daughter, Kelly, chose to attend ONU, they probably had no idea that her four siblings would follow her lead. Rather than being daunted by the challenge of sending all five children to a private and more expensive university, the Creagers embraced each student, and each year, one at a time by providing encouragement, guidance and support. With the assistance of scholarships, work, loans and sheer determination, the Creager family has made their ONU dream a reality. There has never been a doubt among these five Creagers that becoming ONU graduates would be worth the time, the sacrifice and the stamina necessary for success.

Look at what the Creager siblings have accomplished thus far:

Kelly (Creager) Meyer is a 2001 ONU alumna who resides in Hamler, Ohio. She holds a degree in elementary education and a minor in music. When enrolled at ONU, Kelly competed and won the title of Miss Ohio in the Miss America Scholarship Pageant. She traveled the state and represented Ohio as well as ONU with her talent and grace. Upon graduating, Kelly taught at a private school in Napolean, Ohio. More recently, she has been busy raising her own young family. Kelly is married to Chris Meyer, BS ’01, a pediatrician at West Ohio Pediatrics, and the couple has five children: Chase, Emily, Linn, Addison and Avery. This Polar Bear couple makes a difference via community health care, education and family involvement.

“After my first visit to campus, I knew ONU was the place for me,” Kelly says. “The caliber of advisors and professors and the unique personal approach made me feel like part of a family. I sought to mirror the uplifting qualities exhibited by the people of ONU in my teaching career and in my daily life.”

Kent Creager, BA ’05, graduated in 2005 with degreed in health education and physical education. He lives in Lewis Center, Ohio, and works for Nationwide Insurance. Like Kelly, he married a Polar Bear. Sarah (Mitchell) Creager, BFA ’05, BA ’05, graduated in 2005 with degrees in graphic design and public relations. She works for Limited Brands. Kent and Sarah are parents of twin sons, Logan and Drew, and a third son arrives soon. While a student at ONU, Kent played basketball.

“I chose ONU for its excellent reputation in academics and sports. I have so many great memories of ONU. Reflecting back on those college days, I would have to say I met and made some great and lasting friendships, one being my wife, Sarah.” Kent says. This is another Northern couple continuing to build positive relationships.

Ross Creager, BSBA ’07, majored in management at ONU and currently works as a registered investment representative and personal banker SR with Huntington Bank in Dublin, Ohio. Another Polar Bear family tie occurred when Ross met and married Tara (Ickes) Creager, BS ’09, currently a physical therapist at Mount Carmel Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Ross and Tara live in Lewis Center, Ohio, where they maintain active professional careers and lives. Ross relates the unique qualities of ONU, “ I’ll always remember the good friends and memories I had in Ada. I am so thankful for these best friends and the family I have today. This is certainly due to ONU being both an excellent and affordable education.”

Clint Creager, PharmD ’12, earned his doctor of pharmacy in 2012. He currently works as a staff pharmacist at Rite Aid in Lima, Ohio. Clint and his wife, Meredith, live near Kalida, Ohio, and have a young son, Calvin. Clint’s professional life is taking shape as his responsibilities as a new father are coupled with being health care practitioner.

“Not only did I receive a high-quality education, I developed several lifelong friendships and meaningful relationships with colleagues, many of whom are ONU graduates, as well,” Clint says. “My ONU experience prepared me for life by giving me the skills and credentials needed for my occupation as well as instilling the mental discipline needed to succeed.”

Luke Creager is a junior exercise physiology major. The youngest of the five Creagers, it would have been understandable if he were to step out of the shadows of his four siblings. He certainly had options to study elsewhere and play football, a sport he loves. Seeing his siblings so well connected to ONU’s campus and its people only fueled his passion to experience the same satisfaction. Luke will graduate in 2015, and he hopes to attend graduate school for a doctorate in physical therapy. Luke has been a member of the ONU football team and has been a true Polar Bear in his own right.

“The thing I like most about ONU is the quality of its students and people. It feels like a second home to me,” says Luke. He also indicates that the exercise physiology program is one of the few accredited programs in the nation. “The professors and staff make this experience memorable and rewarding.”

This is all quite a legacy for Jim and Bonnie Creager as parents and, now, grandparents. They have found Northern to be a great place to educate and enrich their family amidst the making of Polar Bear memories year after year.