Packaging leader makes time,
habit of servant leadership, too
SERVANT LEADERS accept the
responsibilities of leadership. They
focus on the needs of others and they
work for the common good.
Ever since Keith Pontius ’55 earned
his Manchester degree in accounting,
he has used his time, treasure and
talents to serve his alma mater, his
church and the communities in which
he has lived.
A leader in the packaging industry
for more than 50 years, Pontius has
had executive positions at several
companies. He founded and remains in
leadership of KP Packaging paper container company. The
57-year member of Lions Clubs International takes that
organization’s motto – “We Serve” – very seriously. In addition to
active club service, he was a district governor, district Lion of the
Decade, and recipient of the Lions International Leadership
Award and other honors.
His other contributions of service are considerable, too:
Chamber of Commerce president, United Way chair and
corporate, foundation and community board memberships.
Always active in his Church of the Brethren congregations, Keith
has served on the denomination’s General Board.
Manchester also is blessed with his service: 19 years on the
Board of Trustees, eight as secretary. As a member of the Alumni
Board, he led creation of the central Ohio alumni chapter. He
helps with fundraising. The Pontiuses’ gift to the Students First! campaign provided the first floor of the Academic Center.
“Manchester has been good to me,” states a grateful Pontius,
who will receive an Alumni Honor Award on May 30.
BY MELINDA LANTZ '81
Sara Edgerton ’70, making history, the Manchester way
THE BENEFITS OF A LIBERAL ARTS
education often are guideposts in the
unexpected paths Manchester’s
graduates take. That’s certainly true
for Sara Edgerton ’70, who majored
in history and became chief
executive officer of a statewide
health care provider.
Edgerton grew up in a Quaker
family that valued education. Her
arrival on campus in the 1960s was
perfect timing for a history major to
watch history unfold – civil rights,
women’s rights, the environment and
issues of war and peace. She thrived
amid the lively exchange of ideas nurtured by professors like
David Waas, Eldon Burke and Ken Brown.
After Manchester, she taught social studies, launched
entrepreneurial ventures and earned a master’s degree. While
working for the American Cancer Society, she met Indianapolis
oncologist Dr. William Dugan and, together, they founded
Community Cancer Care Inc. It would become the largest
provider of medical cancer care services in Indiana.
A longtime member of the Board of Trustees, Edgerton is a
“big picture” thinker who asks such motivating questions as
“How will this move Manchester forward?” She is the
quintessential ambassador for Manchester and a leadership
donor to Students First! and other fund-raising campaigns.
For making health care better and more accessible in Indiana,
and for her steadfast support of Manchester, Sara Edgerton, class
of 1970, will receive an Alumni Honor Award on May 30.
BY MELINDA LANTZ '81
Answering “a call of service,” Tim Ogden ’87 is the ultimate professor
OUR FAVORITE PROFESSORS challenge us. They teach us character and perseverance and excellence. And, throughout our lives, we draw upon their wisdom to guide us.
For nearly a generation of Manchester students, Tim Ogden ’87 has been that challenging professor.
“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.”
Professor Ogden earned a degree in English at Manchester. Then came an MBA from Claremont Graduate University in California and a law degree from Indiana University.
He says his return to Manchester was “a call to service.” He came back to help Manchester students the way he had been helped – to give students the kinds of opportunities he had been given – and to honor faculty who served before him.
When Professor Ogden talks, people listen. His legal training provides valuable critical thinking at faculty meetings, says Professor Mary Plunkett ’83 Lahman. He is a leader among faculty, a mentor and a highly effective student recruiter.
He sets an example through his philanthropy, too. For years, he and his wife, Patty, have been generous supporters of Manchester students’ needs, contributing to The Manchester Fund, better learning spaces and a scholarship fund.
For his excellence as a professor and a colleague, and for answering his “call of service” to teach at Manchester, Professor Tim Ogden, Class of 1987, will receive an Alumni Honor Award on May 30.
BY MELINDA LANTZ '81
Feeling the heat: Ben Martin ’08
knows his way around a fire
BEN MARTIN’S SUMMER OF 2012 was hot, literally. While many
tried to beat the heat and drought, Martin was fighting the flames
of wildfires across the
West. As a forestry
technician on a Type II
crew for the U.S. Forest
Service, Martin was first
on the scene of some of
2012’s most dangerous
wildfires. (That’s Ben on
the far left.)
When lightning ignited
the forest surrounding
retreat camps north of
Colorado Springs, Colo., Martin’s team ran 3 miles of hose and
set up more than 100 sprinklers to try to protect the area from
the looming burn. A day later, after fire swept through, Eagle
Creek Camp remained green amidst a charred and smoky forest.
Then the wind shifted, fanning fires back toward the camp. Yet
Eagle Creek remained green. The crew had done its job well.
As the fires raged on toward residential areas of Colorado
Springs, Martin’s crew saw success again. Not a single home in
their assigned area was lost. Thousands of other Colorado
Springs homeowners weren’t as lucky.
Martin’s Manchester and service background drew him to
forest firefighting. “If you go to Manchester and pay attention,
you must find work that matters,” says Martin. “You will want
to put your head on the pillow at night and say, ‘What I do
Martin, a cum laude environmental studies and political
science graduate, also worked with AmeriCorps on the
Washington Conservation Corps. He is hoping to join the next
level of forest firefighting, the “Hotshots” of the U.S. Forest
BY CHAZ BELLMAN ’13