Though Homecoming looked very different from years past, University of Findlay still found a way to come together and celebrate Oiler Nation.
Julie Klingler, director of the Wolfe Center for Alumni, Parents & Friends, stated, “I’m overwhelmed at the positive response and energy shown by everyone in our Oiler family. The first-ever virtual Homecoming Celebration of Oiler Nation was a great success.”
Findlay’s 2020 Homecoming and Family Weekend was held virtually this year to ensure the health and safety of the community and all participants. Fun events such as a Virtual 5K, multiple virtual professional development presentations, Virtual Oiler Marching Band Showcase, Virtual Alumni Tailgate & Oiler Football Surprise, and a live-streamed Worship Service were created to bring the Findlay community together while keeping everyone healthy.
One of the most popular events was the first ever Oiler Nation Drive-Thru where 237 participants took a special drive through a “Celebration of Oiler Nation.” During this event, they received an Oiler swag bag, had the opportunity to take a selfie with Derrick the Oiler at their vehicle window, listened to the Oiler Marching Band, and said hello to the UF football team.
Multiple social media contests were also added to the agenda to encourage interaction and flood the web with Oiler spirit.
“While our first choice is to always celebrate in person together, we were still able to enjoy the Oiler spirit and experience all it means to be Oiler proud,” said Klingler. “Thank you to everyone from the University, the community, our wonderful alumni, and all of our friends.”
The University’s Alumni Association also recognized individuals who exemplify the values, ethics, and mission of the University of Findlay. Award recipients included:
The Honorable Christina M. (Terry) Muryn, Mayor of the City of Findlay and 2014 graduate of the University of Findlay, is the 2020 recipient of the Old Main Award for outstanding achievement before the age of 36. Muryn was a double major while at University of Findlay, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Marketing and a minor in Finance.
A Findlay native, Muryn was appointed to serve as the Mayor of Findlay by the Hancock County Republican Party Central Committee in February 2019, and was later elected to a four-year term as Mayor by the citizens of Findlay in November 2019.
In the community, Mayor Muryn serves on the Finance Committee of the Findlay Family YMCA Board of Directors, and has served as the Chair of the not-for-profit Empowering Women into Leadership, as treasurer of the Hancock County Young Republicans, Committeewoman of the Hancock County Republican Central Committee, and as a mentor in the Findlay Young Professionals/University of Findlay Mentorship Program. She has been recognized numerous times for her community service and business leadership.
Crates is the recipient of the Gold Medallion Award, an honor posthumously bestowed to alumni who had superb records of distinguished career accomplishments and had made outstanding contributions to their profession, to their university, and/or to their community, but who had not been appropriately recognized by the University prior to their deaths.
Crates was a proud Findlay resident who loved his hometown and fondly spoke of his wonderful times as a little boy growing up in old Findlay. He treasured his memories of spending Saturday afternoons with his cousin, Jerry, watching westerns at the Lyceum, State or Harris theaters in downtown Findlay. Mr. Crates and his wife, Kathleen, were generous supporters of UF. They provided a large biology lab space at the Crates farm for UF students. They also were Findlay Fund supporters, as Fred felt this had the greatest impact.
Brent Wise is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award for his innovative work in education.
Wise graduated from the University of Findlay in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in Adolescent/Young Adult Social Studies Education. He has been a middle school social studies teacher and department head, a high school social studies teacher, and a coach for various districts around central Ohio.
Wise serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Education at the University of Findlay, was the Alumni Speaker at the Symposium for Scholarship and Creativity in 2017, and was the Homecoming Alumni Speaker in 2018.
Jo Ann Davidson, the first woman Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives and a Trustee Emerita of University of Findlay, is the recipient of the 2020 Arch Award, given for more than 25 years of service by a person who is not an alumnus/alumna of the institution.
A member of the Ohio legislature for 20 years, Davidson served as Speaker from January 1995 through December 2000.
Along with University of Findlay, Davidson is a Trustee Emerita of Franklin University. She is also a former member of The Ohio State University Board of Trustees, and holds honorary degrees from Ohio University, The Ohio State University, Franklin University, Capital University and the University of Findlay.
Duane and Kathleen Jebbett are the 2020 recipients of the University of Findlay’s Honorary Alumni Award, which is presented to members of the University of Findlay community who have demonstrated loyalty and support of the institution and who do not hold a UF degree.
The Jebbetts are very active members of the Findlay community, collectively having been the Leadership Chairs for United Way in Hancock County, and being presented Rotary’s “Service Above Self Community Award” in 2017. In addition, they are donors to the College of Business, have established a scholarship plan and most recently, a Leadership Endowment Program with the University of Findlay.