From left: Tim Ogden, Bill Robinson, Keith Pontius, Sara Edgerton, Steve Likens and Gene Likens
What do a sandwich box, cancer care, acid rain,
Steinway pianos and CPAs have in common?
Ask these Manchester alumni honorees!
One discovered acid rain, another is a leader in the packaging industry and a third pioneered a community-based cancer care system. Another is a film musician and top sales leader for Steinway & Sons. Two others are well-respected in higher education.
All are the epitome of the Manchester University ethos – and recipients of the 2013 Honor Awards. Five are graduates:
- Sara Edgerton ’70 of Indianapolis, co-founder of Community Cancer Care, a pioneer in community-based cancer services in Indiana
- Gene Likens ’57 of Clinton Corners, N.Y., who discovered acid rain in North America and is founding director of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
- Steve Likens ’71 of Santa Ana, Calif., a sales consultant to the stars for Steinway & Sons and a trumpet and piano player for film, television and Los Angeles venues.
- Tim Ogden ’87 of Pendleton, Ind., attorney, professor. mentor and chair of the MU Department of Accounting and Business
- Keith Pontius ’55 of Crossville, Tenn., retired executive in the packaging industry and servant-leader
Bill Robinson of Spokane, Wash., received MU's Distinguished Honor Award. As Manchester’s 10th president (1986 to 1993), he improved enrollment, the endowment, student scholarship and facilities. Robinson is retired president of Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash.
Sara Edgerton founded Community Cancer Care Inc. with Indianapolis oncologist Dr. William Dugan. The largest medical cancer care service in Indiana helps patients in their own communities, at their own small hospitals, so they do not have to travel to large cities. She is a longtime member of Manchester’s Board of Trustees.
Gene Likens and co-researchers at Cornell University discovered that using fossil fuels in North America creates acid rain, destroying vegetation, harming waterways and threatening human health. The research prompted public policy debate, awareness of the connections between human activities and our ecosystem, and sweeping revisions of the U.S. Clean Air Act. Likens received the 2002 National Medal of Science.
Steve Likens worked for HBO and Showtime, accompanying many famous entertainers. He has played for titans of industry, entertainment, politics and sports at the exclusive Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles. Likens is “the Steinway guy” to famous pianists, helping them select pianos and placing the instruments in major performance venues.
Tim Ogden is one of Manchester’s “favorite professors,” a faculty leader, a mentor and a highly effective student recruiter. “Professor Ogden constantly looks for ways to better prepare students for life,” says Sarah Squires '09 Richmond, an auditor for Steel Dynamics in Fort Wayne. “His influence has had a profound effect on me. I cannot thank him enough.”
Keith Pontius, a leader in the packaging industry for more than 50 years, founded KP Packaging paper container company. He served 19 years on the Manchester Board of Trustees and led the creation of the central Ohio chapter of the Alumni Board. He has served as a Chamber of Commerce president, United Way chair, was Lions Clubs International district Lion of the Decade and has served on numerous boards.