In the News

Beverly Ott has been working for more than 25 years in Togo, Africa

Manchester speaker proves poverty is not destiny

The public is invited to hear a Manchester University alumna who has been working for more than 25 years in Togo, Africa, to break the cycles of poverty through supporting individual initiatives for economic improvement and social growth.

The Beulah E. Book Lecture Series presentation by Beverly Ott, “Poverty is Not Destiny,” is 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, in Room 101 of the Academic Center on the North Manchester campus.

She will talk about the mission of the nonprofit Exchange for the Organization and Promotion of Small Entrepreneurs, current events surrounding ECHOPPE and the history behind it. Afterward, there will be a small reception with the speaker. 

Ott has spent her life reflecting the mission and values of Manchester University by improving the human condition, developing an international consciousness and strengthening communities.

In 1990, Ott and her husband, Olivier Hauville, co-founded the nonprofit organization. ECHOPPE continues today, establishing financial stability and cooperative empowerment for more than 25,000 women in rural and urban Togo.

Currently, the two live and farm in Angers, France. While seeking ways to expand the mission of ECHOPPE, they operate a small enterprise, Terre et Terroirs. That project creates a parallel program with ECHOPPE as they work to get the products of small farmers into the hands of local entrepreneurs, which in turn helps protect local economies. They also graciously host current Manchester students in France. 

The Manchester departments of modern languages and social work, the Peace Studies Institute and Program in Conflict Resolution, and the Office of Alumni Relations are collaborating to feature the 1980 Manchester graduate. The presentation is free, but those who plan to attend are asked to RSVP at

Ott grew up in Huntertown and graduated from Carroll High School. Her sister continues to live in the Columbia City area and serves as the main contact for ECHOPPE in the United States. 

The Beulah E. Book Lecture Series is made possible by the generosity of Beulah E. Book, who established the I. Bruce Book Memorial Endowment Fund to further the study of language at Manchester University. Beulah Book earned her bachelor’s degree from Manchester in 1939 and her master’s degree from Indiana University in 1952. She was an art teacher in Muncie, Ind., schools for 40 years, retiring in 1978. She was a founding member of Art Education of Indiana. 
March 21, 2016

Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, offers more than 60 areas of academic study to 1,500 students in undergraduate programs, a Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics, Master of Athletic Training and a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy.  Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at


March 21, 2016