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Profiles of ability
and conviction

Bob Biggs '67

Terry Pettit '68

Mike DeBord '78

Marsha Palmer
'68 Link

Mutual Kumquat

“Hero” steps in, swiftly regains respect for troubled Ohio utility

“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 process skill.”

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 teachers, friendships

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 attached note:

“… 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 Hollis ’62.

“… 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 tackle.

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!


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


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 Dream on It (2004) and Mutual Kumquat (2008).


In this issue
We are in this together
from the president.

The Chime Inscriptions on the 10 bells continue to ring true today.

A legacy of Faith, Learning and Service
Remembering President A. Blair Helman.

International consciousness
Expanding MC horizons on campus and abroad.

The PERC pulses with activity
Bulging at the girders with Spartans, intramurals, classes.

Not your parents' P.E. class
Exercise and sport sciences bring new career opportunities.

Manchester in the spotlight
New initiatives put College in national media.

Profiles of ability and conviction


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