“Hero” steps in, swiftly
regains respect for troubled
“ROBERT D. BIGGS UNDERTOOK A HERCULEAN TASK and has
come out a hero in Dayton and beyond.”
That high praise comes from the Outstanding Directors
Exchange (ODX), which has named Bob Biggs ’67 to its
Outstanding Directors Class of 2009.
Directors of other public companies
in the nation believe Biggs saved the
scandal-plagued DPL Inc. (formerly
Dayton Power & Light), returning it to
financial soundness and respect.
ODX honors independent directors of
public companies as leaders who go
above and beyond the call of duty. Past
honorees include the retired CEOs of
American Express, RJR Nabisco and
Verizon, for example.
Biggs, an MC business administration
and economics major, had retired as a
managing partner for
PricewaterhouseCoopers when the DPL Board of Directors
recruited him in 2004 to launch an investigation into
“information blockages” cited by the utility’s auditors.
“Biggs drove the investigation in the swiftest, most-thorough
manner imaginable,” said ODX in honoring Biggs. “He worked
around the clock for four months with incredible analytical and
In the end, the DPL board agreed to replace three executives
(chairman, CEO and CFO) and asked Biggs to become executive
chairman. “He recruited a new top team, replaced most of the
directors, recapitalized the business and returned the company to
its previously proud, integrity-based culture,” said ODX.
Biggs stepped down as executive chair of DPL in 2006, but
remained as a director.
Extraordinary NCAA coach
draws from his Manchester
TALENT AND THE SECRET LIFE OF
TEAMS is a collection of
writings on coaching, leadership
and team-building by Terry Pettit
’68, who led University of Nebraska women’s volleyball to
21 conference championships and
the 1995 NCAA national
championship, and developed
more All-Americans and Academic
All-Americans than any other
coach in the nation.
He gave 17 copies of his book, Talent and the Secret Life of Teams, to Manchester College coaches.
Here are excerpts from his
“… There is no question that my vision for education,
coaching and leadership grew out of conversations with the
extraordinary teachers and friendships that I developed at
Manchester. Paul Keller’s communication class, Language and
Thought, was a transformational experience for me as were
other classes with David Waas ’47, Ken Brown and James
“… I can remember being so excited at reading James
Dickey’s poem Falling for the first time in the Funderberg
Library that I ran down the steps, cut across campus to find my
best friend who was also a beginning writer and a forward on
the basketball team. Paul Hoover ’68 continues to be a poet
and has published over 20 books.
“… The most important ingredients in my experience at
Manchester were the teachers, who were tolerant and patient
with my development, who believed that I had the right DNA
to do something well. All leadership begins with hope. And
great coaching, like great teaching is about creating a culture
where the people that you are mentoring know that you believe they have the right stuff.
“I wish you well. You are living and working in a place that is sacred to me."
MC coaching mentors give
DeBord ’78 the offensive
edge in the pros
AFTER 26 YEARS AT THE COLLEGE
LEVEL – including 12 years with
the University of Michigan (and
four trips to the Rose Bowl) – Mike DeBord ’78 is coaching the
pros. He joined the NFL’s Seattle
Seahawks in spring 2008, as the
tight end coach.
DeBord, a secondary physical
education major, captained the
Spartan football team, receiving All-Conference and All-District
honors playing both center and
He found inspiring coaches at
Manchester. “I knew I wanted to
coach, so going to Manchester
allowed me the opportunity to learn how to play the game the
right way. I went on to major in education, and my professors
and coaches really taught me how to be an effective teacher.”
DeBord particularly recalls Donald C. Meek, who coached MC
cross country and track and field.
DeBord tested his new coaching skills at colleges large and
small, joining Michigan’s coaching team in 1992, serving as
offensive coordinator for its 1997 national championship season,
when The Sporting News named him 1997 National Assistant
Coach of the Year. After several seasons as head football coach at
Central Michigan University, he returned to Michigan, his last
two seasons as offensive coordinator and tight end coach.
He entered the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 2005. Of
course, he’s a Claude Wolfe Coach of the Year, too!
BY JAY NUSSELL
Manchester welcomes home
psychologist, musician, servant
leader with honorary degree
CELEBRATING HER COMMITMENT TO HELPING OTHERS
enjoy healthier, stronger, whole lives, Manchester College will
present an honorary doctor of humane letters to Marsha Palmer
’68 Link at commencement this spring.
A believer in the empowerment
of lifelong learning, Link is an
innovative, dynamic change-agent.
She is co-founder of Link
Consulting Group, specializing in
organizational change and
effectiveness, especially in the health
care field. She and her husband Bill
founded Chiron Vision Corp., a
leader in ophthalmic surgical
products, and continue to strongly
support biomedical research.
Her passion for Manchester’s
liberal arts heritage is evident on the
east edge of campus, where the Link
Gallery, which wraps around Wine
Recital Hall, proudly displays student artwork and other talent. Link, who practiced piano in Winger Hall as a music major,
served on the Recital Hall renovation committee, remarking, “I’m
putting our dollars where our hearts are.”
Link holds a master’s degree in counseling, certification in
human resources and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. She has
served as a psychotherapist in hospitals and community clinics
and is an innovator in health care organization, tailoring training
in strategic planning, team-building and conflict resolution.
Serving her third term on the Board of Trustees, and as a
member of the President’s Leadership Council, she returns to her
Manchester roots frequently.
Mutual Kumquat alumni musicians bring
revolution-punk to the masses
MESSAGES OF HOPE. MESSAGES OF PEACE AND JUSTICE. MESSAGES
Chris Good ’02, Seth Hendricks ’03, Drue Gray and Jacob Jolliff
combine voices, guitars, drums and mandolins to create a wonderful mix
of socially conscious alternative indie folk funk, with bluegrass jam band
influence and African undertones.
It began when Good, Nate Shull ’03 and Ben Long ’03, who returned to
campus after graduation to mix it up
with Michael Good ’04 on keyboard for
a benefit in North Manchester. Hendricks
and Eric Stalter ’01x joined on guitar and
bass. Then came saxophonist Liz
Geisewite ’02. And Justin Peterson ’05x on drums, Kyle Morris ’02 on guitar,
Anne Hall on marimba and percussion, April Schmidt ’03 on trumpet, Jolliff on
mandolin, and vocalists Drue Gray, Fred
Agyeman-Duah ’04 and Amy Fry-Miller ’05.
While the Kumquats have matured and experienced different jobs,
parts of the country (and the world) and ways of life, they remain excited
with ideals and values learned at Manchester College – just in a more
refined exuberance. “We’re taking this more seriously now,” explains
Chris, who plays bass and acoustic guitar. “I guess we want to be more
than just jamming with friends.”
Because their music is original, they are able to remain true to their
beginnings. “It’s always been about mixing our activism and work with
our music,” Chris says. “Popular music is void of strong messages. We
try to reach for inspiration. We want to move people. As we weave our
messages into our music, our fans take part in that as they help us
promote what we stand for.”
Two CDs are available at www.mutualkumquat.com: Dream on It (2004) and Mutual Kumquat (2008).
BY MEGAN HINELINE ’04 FETTERS