The Honorary Alumnus/Alumna Award

The Honorary Alumnus/Alumna Award is given to a friend of the University who did not graduate from Ashland University and has demonstrated dedication to the beliefs and values of the University through service and philanthropy.


Steven Hannan

Steve started working at Ashland in 1983 as a writer in the Public Relations Office and became director of PR in 1985. Steve retired from Ashland University in June 2021. For most of those 38 years he was responsible for all promotional materials and served as editor of the university’s Accent magazine. He estimates more than 100 magazines and annual reports were printed during those years. He served as lead person for Commencement exercises since 1990; as co-chair of AU's 125th anniversary committee in 2003; and on the committee that changed the institution’s name from Ashland College to Ashland University in 1989. In 2021, he received the Dick Obrecht Outstanding Staff Member of the Year Award for his outstanding service and lasting contribution to AU.

Steve is a 1975 graduate of Loudonville High School and 1979 graduate of OSU. He and his wife Becky are lifelong residents of the Ashland area. They have three children – Jennifer, a third grade teacher; Jessica, a Veterans Center nurse; and Josiah, an Army veteran and now a brew master – and four grandchildren – Valerie, Trevor, Anna and Elise.


Jim & Margaret Ann Hess

As Ashland residents, Jim and Margaret Ann Hess have long-standing connections to Ashland College and Ashland University. Their involvement on campus has included taking classes, attending lectures and sporting events, speaking at a Seminary leadership program, serving as an advisory committee member and Board member, raising funds for the Prayer Garden, and cheering for the Eagles! Currently, Jim serves on the Executive Committee of the AU Board of Trustees. Jim and Margaret Ann enjoy meeting the many students who choose Ashland University for the school’s “Accent on the Individual” mission, small town atmosphere, and connection to The Brethren Church.



Bob Archer graduated from Case Institute of Technology in 1957 and received his MBA from Kent State University in 1960. He began working at The Hoover Company in North Canton, OH in 1957 and later worked for White Motors in Cleveland, OH before joining Brown Group/Eagle Rubber Co. in 1973. He also taught undergraduate evening classes at Kent State/Canton from 1961-65. In 1981, Bob purchased Kent Watersports with five partners from Brown Group. Since then, the company has made 37 acquisitions and divested three. Watersports brands include HO/Hyperlite, Liquid Force, O’Brien, Connelly, Barefoot International, Aqua Glide, Absolute Outdoor, Onyx, Kidder and Full Throttle. The company also offers Arbor Snowboards and Arctic Shield hunting apparel. Bob has always been an active member of the Ashland community supporting numerous campaigns and fundraising initiatives, including the recently added Archer Auditorium at Ashland High School. He has been a member of the Ashland University Board of Trustees since 2016 where he lives out the University’s mission daily. Bob and his wife, Janet, have been married since 1957 and live in Ashland. They have three children, Pamela, David and John.



Bud Ingmand is a native of Ashland and was educated in the Ashland City Schools. He graduated from Princeton University in 1960. Following graduation, he joined with his father in the insurance business in Ashland and operated Ingmand Insurance for many years. He was invited to replace his deceased father on the Board of Trustees at Ashland University in 1980. He served as chairman of the Development Committee and the Presidential Assessment Committee. He became Trustee Emeritus after serving on the Board for 34 years.





Barbara Camp was born and raised in Ashland, Ohio, and Ashland University has always been a part of her life. Her husband, father, three uncles, and aunt all graduated from Ashland College. Her son and daughter-in-law graduated from Ashland University. In 2004, her husband was selected for the Ashland University Board of Trustees and she shortly after became a member of the AU Board of Trustees Auxiliary. Upon retirement in 2007, Camp was able to take a more active role on the board, even serving as President for five years starting in 2010. Camp supports the Discretionary Fund, which provides assistance to students with unexpected financial need and she is excited about AU’s nursing program because of her position as a registered nurse. Camp received her Bachelor of Science in Health Service Management from David Myers College and she received her Diploma in Nursing from Miami Valley Hospital School of Nursing. She started her career at the Samaritan Hospital in Ashland, Ohio, as a staff nurse in the hospital’s first Coronary Care Unit until 1969. Until 1972, she worked as a staff nurse in Cardiac Stepdown for Parma Community Hospital. Then she finished her career at the Cleveland Clinic Health System in the Fairview Hospital until her retirement in 2007. During Camp’s time at Fairview Hospital, she worked as a paramedic instructor of WESHARE, as a staff nurse in the Coronary Care Unit, as a charge nurse on the 3-11 and 11-7 shifts, and as a nursing supervisor on the 11-7 shift. She also participated in the role of clinical manager of the Coronary Care Unit, Cardiac Stepdown, Medical and Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, and of the Dialysis Unit. As for awards, Camp has received the Quality Task Force Service Award in 1991 and the Women of Professional Excellence Award in 1992. Camp has been a member of the Ashland University Board of Trustees Auxiliary, Kings Daughters and Sons, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (national), the Lake Erie Chapter American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the American Heart Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and the Miami Valley Hospital Alumni Association. She is a member of the United Church of Christ Congregational in Strongsville, Ohio. In her spare time, she enjoys clog dancing with Good Time Cloggers in Akron, square dancing, cooking and taking long walks with her husband and dog.



Dr. Thomas Gregory, a mathematics researcher and educator, is an emeritus professor on the faculty of The Ohio State University at Mansfield, where he has served as president of the faculty, and where, in 2009, he was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award. Gregory grew up in Michigan, and spent his undergraduate years at Oberlin College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year and to Sigma Xi, an honorary scientific research fraternity, in his senior year. He spent two of his college summers studying ring theory and convexity in National Science Foundation Summer Programs, and a third summer in Vienna, studying German.

Dr. Gregory earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in mathematics at Yale University, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow. While there, he sang in the Yale Russian Chorus and served as a translator of Russian mathematics articles for the American Mathematical Society. His graduate studies were punctuated by three years of active duty in the United States Navy. As a computer programmer and analyst, he served as Head of the Systems Design Branch of the Management Information Center of the Naval Communications Command in Washington, D.C. He has been Commanding Officer and Executive Officer of several Naval Reserve units. In Mansfield, he has been active both in the church, where he has served as Elder, Deacon, choir and bell-choir member, youth worker, and Lay Pastor, and in the community. He gives classical piano recitals and sings with local choral groups.



David Hall is currently serving his third term in the Ohio House of Representatives. He represents the 70th House District, which includes all of Ashland County, the western part of Medina County and northwest part of Holmes County. In the 130th General Assembly, Representative Hall was chairman of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, and a member of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee and the House Manufacturing and Workforce Development Committee. During his time as chairman, he has overseen the development of such policies as House Bill 133, 129th GA (Oil & Natural Gas Development and Public Lands Protection); House Bill 473, 129th GA (Great Lakes Water Compact); and Senate Bill 150 (Agricultural Nutrients Management).

Representative Hall’s recent achievements include being named the “2014 PCSAO Outstanding Legislator of the Year” by the Public Children Services Agencies of Ohio and the “2014 Friend of Independent Higher Education” by the Association of Independent Colleges & Universities of Ohio.



Paul Ditlevson graduated from Ottawa University in 1968 with a degree in English and communications, and completed graduate work in developmental psychology at Kansas University and S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo. In 1992, he became director of legacy giving at AU and was a very popular employee on campus. Ditlevson's job at AU was fitting; he spent his work days helping people plan their gifts, and he spent his life giving to others.

Ditlevson moved the University’s legacy estate program to a new level, bringing AU nearly $40 million in legacy gifts and life insurance policy payments.

He was a devoted member of the Park Street Brethren Church, where he was a Sunday school teacher. He was also a member of Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, Northern Ohio Planned Giving Council, AFP, CASE, OFIC and ICAA. Ditlevson was the recipient of Ernie Sheetz Mentor of the Year Award by ICAA, Social Capital Paradigm Award Winner by Renaissance Inc., Who's Who in Young Men of America and Who's Who in Education.

Ditlevson passed away on Nov. 17, 2010. He was known for sharing his knowledge and wisdom to others, always going above and beyond when asked for help.



Joseph Maggelet received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible from Central Wesleyan College in 1985, and his Master of Arts in Theology from the Ashland Theological Seminary in 1992. Maggelet has continued to work at Ashland since his graduation, serving as a Resident Director for Andrews Hall in the 1980s, as a minister for Religious Life on campus, on the Student Life committee, and serving as the campus Chaplain for Ashland University.

In addition to being a Bible teacher for adults at the Grace Brethren Church, Maggelet works with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, coordinates a prison ministry program, helps inmates at the Richland Correctional Institute operate a seminary program for the inmates who want to become pastors, and works as the Assistant Director of Religious Life at Ashland University. Maggelet won the Religious Services Volunteer Award from the Richland Correctional Institute in 2006 and, in 2010, had the Joe and Renee Maggelet Award named after him and his wife for their work in the Religious Life area at Ashland University.



Gunther Meisse serves as president of Mid-State Multimedia Group in Mansfield, which includes WMFD-TV, WOHZ-TV, WVNO Radio and WRGM Radio. Born and raised in Mansfield, he graduated from Mansfield Senior High School in 1960. He and his wife, Jeanne, reside in Mansfield and have six grown children and 17 grandchildren.

In 2010, Meisse was honored to be selected as a North Central State College "Entrepreneur of the Year” and was recognized by the Mansfield/Richland Chamber of Commerce as a “Leader of the Year.” In 2011, he was involved with the development fund drive for Ashland University College of Nursing’s new campus in Mansfield.

Meisse has served on the board of the Richland/Mansfield Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber Economic Foundation, the National Association of FM Broadcasters, the Ohio Association of Broadcasters and is presently on the board of the Radio Advertising Bureau. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Broadcasters.

Meisse formed the North Central Ohio Association of Broadcasters in the mid ’70s and also served as president of the local Community Improvement Corporation (CIC), and of Richland County Growth Corporation, which later became the Richland Economic Development Corporation. He also was one of the founders of the Richland Community Development Group and serves as its vice-chairman. He presently serves on the Board of the North Central State College Foundation and also chairs the UW Capital Drive Gateway Committee.

Jeanne Meisse was born and raised in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., graduating as salutatorian of her high school class. She received a B.S. at the University of Tennessee in 1963 and M.S. from Arizona State University in 1965. As a home economics teacher, she taught school one year in Phoenix, Ariz., and five years at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, Calif., retiring from teaching in June 1970 to raise a family. After moving to Ohio in 1973, she was a stay-at-home mom for two young sons and became an active community volunteer.

She is currently active in and was a former president of Pleasant Valley Garden Club, Wednesday Study Club and Mansfield Area Delta Gamma Alumnae Group. She also serves on the newly organized Friends of Kingwood committee.

In 2008, she was elected vice president of Johnny Appleseed Broadcasting Co. Inc., GSM Media Inc., and Mid State Television Inc. In 1980-81, after her late husband’s untimely death, she was interim president of Mansfield Aircraft Products and subsequently a consultant for the new owners, Midland-Ross Corporation.

While currently serving on the capital fund drive committee for Ashland University’s Dwight Schar College of Nursing, she has attained a new level of excitement and appreciation for the leadership and staff of Ashland University and the field of nursing. She also served on the Mansfield Area Y capital campaign committee for its new building.

Click HERE to nominate someone for the Honorary Alumnus/Alumna Award.