The Marietta College Alumni Association is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 MCAA Awards, which are some of the most prestigious awards conferred by the College.

This year’s nine award recipients will be honored for their dedication to their alma mater and the outstanding contributions they have made to society after graduation on Saturday, October 21st in conjunction with Marietta College’s Homecoming weekend festivities.

The MCAA Award Ceremony & Sports Tribute will begin at 10 a.m. on The Christy Mall.

This year’s honored alumni are:

Hall of Honor —  Christine Fry Burns ’66

Christine, who served in both the U.S. Air Force (1976-84) and U.S. Army (1984-97), is a successful eye surgeon and clinical instructor at the University of South Florida in Tampa. After serving as the Assistant Chief of Ophthalmology at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, from 1984-86, Christine entered reserve status and officially retired in 1997.

Following her tour of duty with the U.S. Army, Christine established a pediatric ophthalmology practice in Florida, where she continues to practice in two locations — Specialty Eye Care in Palm Harbor and Suncoast Eye Center in Hudson.

During her time in the military, Christine served on the staffs at multiple hospitals, including the USAF Hospital at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines, Audie Murphy Veterans Administration Hospital in San Antonio and the USAF Hospital in Wiesbaden, West Germany.

Christine served on the Marietta College Board of Trustees from 1999-2011, is a member of the Erwin Academy and Legacy Society, as well as a reunion volunteer. Christine and her husband, George ’66, who live in Hudson, Florida, both earned their medical degrees from Albany Medical College in New York.

Christine receiving a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology, while earning Phi Beta Kappa honors. She was a member of Chi Omega sorority, performed with the music department and worked at the student newspaper, The Marcolian.

Hall of Honor — John Strotbeck ’79

John, who rowed in two Olympics for the U.S., is the president and founder of Boathouse Sports — a leading direct manufacturer of custom team athletic apparel for high schools, colleges, clubs and professional teams around the globe.

He has won 17 gold medals in rowing national championships and competed in both the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics, serving a as a team captain in his final Olympics. He also earned a silver medal in the 1983 Pan American Games. He also rowed in the 1985 and 1986 World Championships.

Following his successful rowing career, Strotbeck founded Boathouse Row Sports (which eventually was renamed to Boathouse Sports) in 1989. The original mission of Boathouse was to meet the needs of rowing programs across the U.S. However, athletes in other sports liked the products, so Strotbeck and the company expanded and revenues soared from less than $1 million annually to approximately $10 million in four years.

The company’s lightweight outer sportswear is worn by athletes and Boathouse currently outfits more than 7,000 teams across all sports in the U.S., Germany, Japan, Australia and Great Britain.

John earned a B.A. in Managerial Economics at Marietta and was a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity.

Distinguished Alumnus — Earl Homsher ’64

Earl, who earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh after Marietta, is a Professor Emeritus of Physiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

He specialized in regulation of contraction, single motor molecule force displacement measurements, the molecular biology of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, single myofibril mechanics and kinetics, in vitro motility, single molecule force measurements and transient kinetics of non- muscle myosin IIB and myosin 18.

During his career, Earl received multiple National Institute of Health (NIH) grants, has published several of his research projects and is among the most respected scientists in his field.

Earl, who is married to Dianne Smith ’65, received a Bachelor of Science degree while earning Phi Beta Kappa honors.

Distinguished Alumna — Jane Taylor ’57

Jane, who won the 1995 Silver Seal Award from the National Council of State Garden Clubs, was the founding curator of the national award-winning Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden in Michigan State University’s 17-acre Horticulture Gardens.

The Garden has been called “...the most creative half-acre in America” and is considered the national model for the design of gardens for children at public garden sites.

Jane, who was also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State, received the eponymous “Jane L. Taylor Great American Gardeners Award,” from the American Horticulture Society. She also received the Nancy Putnam Howard Award for Excellence in Horticulture, along with her husband Lee, from the Herb Society of America.

Jane received a B.S. in Biology with honors, and was a member of Sigma Kappa sorority, the Geological Society and Greek Government at Marietta.

Outstanding Young Alumnus — Ryan Whitnable ’11

Ryan, who assists Marietta College as an Admission volunteer, is an internal auditor with Dana Holdings Corp. and the founder of This Week in Great Lakes Basketball podcast.

Prior to joining Dana, Ryan worked in the banking industry and gained manufacturing experience with Simonton Windows. He currently oversees forecasting of net new business and pricing actions globally for Dana’s Light Vehicle division.

He developed a passion for NCAA Division III athletics as a fan of Marietta’s men’s basketball team. This led to the podcast and eventually to starting the Great Lakes Invitational, which debuts in November with eight nationally prominent teams coming to Marietta College for two days. The tournament is also scheduled for 2018 and 2019.

Ryan, who earned a B.A. in Accounting, played tennis for the Pioneers and met his wife, Erica Martin ’11.

Outstanding Young Alumna — Lindsey Romick-Rosendale ’07

Lindsey, who received her Ph.D. from Miami University in 2011, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at both Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She is also the Director of NMR-based Metabolomics Core at CCHMC.

She works with scientists and physicians from hospitals all over the world to help in better understanding what role a person’s metabolism plays in onset, progression and treatment of hundreds of rare and common diseases, including cancers.

Her own research interests include the study of children and adults with a rare genetic disorder called Fanconi anemia. These children have a shortened life expectancy and are known to develop cancers at a young age, but cannot be given chemotherapy like the general population because their bodies are too fragile. Lindsay has a patent pending for the development of a biomarker for this rare genetic disorder.

Lindsay’s husband, Andrew is a 2007 graduate of Marietta.

Liz Tribett Service Award — Bill Kingzett ’79 and David Reese ’79

For the past five years, Bill and David have joined forces and organized and executed the Pioneer Challenge — a golf outing in Meadville, Pennsylvania, that has contributed tens of thousands of dollars for the College’s athletic department.

Bill owns Kingzett Construction, is a managing partner with Conneaut Lake and Meadville Self Storage and Vice President of the Huidekoper Group Inc., a real estate partnership. He is also a co-owner of Whispering Pines Golf Course with his sister, Carol ’81.

Bill earned a B.A. in both Psychology and Management, while competing on the wrestling and soccer teams. He was also a member of Lambda Chi Alpha and the Way-Weigelt Award winner.

David is a production manager for Road Systems Inc., and prior to that was the new products manager for Syro Steel for 15 years.

David earned a B.A. in Psychology, while playing soccer and lacrosse for the Pioneers.

Honorary Alumnus — Bernard Russi

Bernard, who is a Professor Emeritus of Mass Media, taught at the College from 1955-87. He handled the operations of both the radio and television operations and was the first director of the Mass Media Department after radio, television and journalism were merged in 1975.

The relatively new majors were popular at the time and Bernard was known for developing strong relationships with his eager and inexperienced students. 


Do you know an outstanding alumnus/a who reflects the very best of Marietta College through significant professional accomplishments, service to the College or community or great contributions to humanity? Or a friend of the College that has done great service to or on behalf of MC?

Each year, the Marietta College Alumni Association, (MCAA), gathers at Homecoming to recognize the recipients of the following awards:

  • Hall of Honor - The Hall of Honor celebrates the most outstanding accomplishments of Marietta College alumni. Members exemplify extraordinary characteristics that reflect the very best of the Marietta experience by: accomplishments in their profession, service to the College, service to their community and/or contribution to humanity. Induction in the Hall of Honor is the highest honor bestowed by the Marietta College Alumni Association.
  • Distinguished Alumnus/a Award - Presented to an alumnus/a who has achieved significant accomplishments, made outstanding contributions in his or her field, or has distinguished himself or herself through service to the community, state, or nation.
  • Outstanding Young Alumnus/a Award - Presented to alumnus/a who has graduated 15 years ago or less, who has made significant accomplishments in business or professional life and/or who has rendered outstanding service to the College or the MCAA.
  • Honorary Alumnus/a Award - Presented to an individual who is not an alumnus/a, but has given specific and meritorious service on behalf of the quality and advancement of the College and the MCAA.
  • Liz Tribett MCAA Service Award - Presented to anyone considered deserving of recognition for service to Marietta College.
If you know a deserving Pioneer, please use the form below to nominate them today!

2016 Award Winners

Hall of Honor — Margaret Bird ’58 and Leonard “Randy” Randolph ’65
Distinguished  Alumna — Jacquelen Smith `61  and Alumnus — Donald Knechtges ’64
Outstanding Young Alumna — Jerry Tardivo Alcoser ’02 and Alumnus — Nicholas Gehlfuss ’07
Liz Tribett MCAA Service Award — Reginald Sims ’75 and Jon Wendell ’68
Honorary Alumna — Joyce Pennington

Award Nomination Process

Please email to alumni@marietta.edu to submit your nomination for one of the awards. Your nomination will be forwarded to the MCAA Board for consideration. Should your nomination be received AFTER the deadline, it will be forwarded to the file for the next year and review at that time. Thank you for taking the time to help strengthen The Long Blue Line!